Light Up Windermere and More News …

compiled by Lauren Salinero


The Ocoee Fire Department is hosting its 16th annual Operation Santa event this month. For six days, Santa Claus and his helpers will visit Ocoee neighborhoods, tossing candy and spreading holiday cheer to hundreds of children and families. The jolly crew has already visited some communities aboard a special holiday float on four different days, and are scheduled to visit more Dec. 15 and Dec. 20. New, unwrapped toys given to the Santa on the float are donated to Ocoee Police Department’s Holiday Toys for Kids in Need drive. For a complete list of subdivisions to be visited, visit on the web or call the Ocoee Fire Department at 407-905-3140.

Ameena McKenzie of Ocoee has been busy with Brenau University, Gainesville Theatre Alliance and WonderQuest. She is majoring in musical theater at Brenau University and will graduate with the Class of 2018. Ameena worked as a carpenter on the productions of The Flick, Mermaid Song, and Beauty and the Beast. She also performed as Fannie in Flyin’ West at the Ed Cabell Theatre at the University of North Georgia.


Rosie Moore of Windermere announced the nationwide release of her new children’s book, A Day in a Puppy’s Life. The story follows Tom, an adorable husky who always seems to get himself into trouble, and his exciting adventures when his owner is not at home. Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, the book is available through bookstores nationwide, as well as online. Rosie is a mother of three children — Christopher, Kayla and Kaleb. She also is the founder of The Gift of Live, a charitable organization that helps premature babies. Her hobbies include reading, writing, dancing and spending time with her family.

During Light Up Windermere, one of three choirs from First Baptist Church of Windermere serenades the crowd with songs of the season.

In what attendees dubbed the “best Light Up Windermere ever,” 3,000 people took part in the town’s fourth annual welcome to the holiday season. As promised, there was snow in Windermere, as First Baptist Church Windermere donated 10 tons. It became a gathering place for people of all ages to make snowballs, slip and slide, or simply enjoy the white fluff. Leading up to the lighting, three different choirs from FBCW provided songs of the season. Hundreds of children joined Mayor Gary Bruhn as the entire town was lit by more than 100,000 lights and more than one-half a mile of wiring. The community extends its thanks to the church for its support, as well as Windermere’s Downtown Business Committee and the Windermere Wine and Dine, whose contributions paid entirely for this year’s lighting.

Windermere resident Paul F. Shuler, M.D., announced the opening of his new Ocoee practice, Provident Orthopedic and Sports Medicine. Prior to pursuing medicine, Dr. Shuler graduated summa cum laude from Michigan Technological University with a degree in electrical engineering. He returned to Michigan State University College of Human Medicine to earn a medical degree. He is board-certified in orthopedic surgery and orthopedic sports medicine. When he is not with his family or enjoying his favorite activities of waterskiing, swimming, biking and camping, Dr. Shuler is often “tinkering.”

Winter Garden

William Derdock Jr. of Winter Garden was initiated into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi at Eastern Kentucky University. The society is the nation’s oldest, most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. William is among approximately 30,000 students, faculty members, professional staff and alumni to be in Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation and requires nomination and approval by a chapter.

Et Al

Southwest resident Etline St. Jean joins the team at Weichert, Realtors Hallmark Properties as a Realtor.

Officials at Weichert, Realtors Hallmark Properties announced that Realtor Etline St. Jean of Southwest Orlando joined their Kissimmee office. Etline assists homebuyers and sellers in Kissimmee, Orlando and the surrounding areas with all of their real estate needs.

Vladimir Bykov (back) of MetroWest and Camila Varley perform in Central Florida Ballet’s The Nutcracker.

Central Florida Ballet representatives named this year’s lineup for the 16th anniversary of The Nutcracker production. Artistic Director Vladimir Bykov of MetroWest will play the title role of Drosselmeyer. Elizabeth Cotter of Windermere will play the lead roles of Jig, Chinese Lead and Spanish Demi-Solo. She will be joined by her mother as the Main Party Mom, her father as the Party Dad, and her brother as a Party Dad. Ellexis Hatch of Dr. Phillips will be featured as a soloist, performing as Shepherdess and Butterfly in Waltz of the Flowers. Gina Hatch of Dr. Phillips will be featured as the Maid and Mother Ginger. Sara Komatsu and Madison Spack of MetroWest will alternate in lead roles of Chinese Lead and Jig.

Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips Foundation Chairman Dave Lehman (left) presents a Paul Harris Fellow Award to Scott Wellington.

Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips Foundation Chairman Dave Lehman (left) presents Paul Harris Fellow awards to second-time recipient Harry Mancia (center) and Harry’s wife, first-time recipient Liz Mancia.

Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips awarded three of its members Paul Harris Fellow awards. Paul Harris Fellowship contributions support Rotary International programs, providing educational opportunities, food, potable water, health care, immunizations and shelter for millions of people around the world. Rotarians Harry and Liz Mancia and Scott Wellington received the awards because of their special donations toward Rotary Foundation and the ways in which their lives exemplify the humanitarian and educational objectives of the Rotary Foundation.

Bank of America officials appointed Southwest resident Shalonda Warren small business banker for south Orange and Osceola counties. She provides personalized attention to small business owners by connecting with them, typically at their places of business, and by implementing solutions to help them operate successfully. She also consults with small business owners and assesses their companies’ credit and cash management needs, allowing her to provide solutions tailored to their specific business. Shalonda has worked in the banking field for 13 years, serving as a banking center manager and business banking relationship manager. She holds a doctorate in business administration with a specialization in marketing, as well as two master degrees, one in business and one in management.

(L. to r.) Don Snyder of MetroWest, Diana Chastain of Winderlakes, Terryl White of Lake Marsha, and Juliana Daurio of Providence attend Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips’ 10th annual A Taste of Dr. Phillips.

Although we try to ensure that all information presented above is the most current, correct and dependable available, we do rely on others for the source of our news. Therefore, the Southwest Orlando Bulletin and Kearney Publishing Corp. cannot be held responsible for the validity of the information presented here, nor does mentioning it constitute an endorsement. In Your Neighborhood news is welcome and may be mailed to P.O. Box 851, Windermere, FL  34786; or emailed to

Big Beating Heart

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