News & Business Briefs

compiled by Lauren Salinero

SouthwestArea Seniors Receive Scholarship Money

051916nbb01Representatives of the Central Florida Womens League Foundation award scholarships to 12 local high school seniors.

Central Florida Womens League Foundation gave out $27,000 in scholarships to 12 well-deserving high school seniors from Dr. Phillips, Ocoee, Olympia and West Orange high schools. Five young women each received $3,000, six girls received $1,500 each, and one young man was awarded the George M. Fortier Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $3,000. The funds can be used at the college of each student’s choice.

This year more than 40 students applied for the scholarships by writing an essay and were then interviewed by a CFWL committee before the final recipients were selected. All of the scholarship recipients boast impressive credentials — ranging from high GPAs, hours of community service, working part-time jobs, or overcoming family tragedies. Recipients were Adam Avalos, Isabella Venturini and Kishania Williams of DPHS; Ariel Gholar of Ocoee High School; Elizabeth Cavallo and Chau Ha Phan of Olympia High School; and Nicole Kimmel, Charity Le, Madelyn Martin, Alexandra Miller, Felicia Miller and Bianca Wilheim of WOHS.

HFUW Needs Books For Low-Income Students

In low-income neighborhoods, there is just one book for every 300+ children as opposed to 13 books for every child in middle-income neighborhoods. To change this statistic, Heart of Florida United Way is inviting local businesses, community groups and individuals to collect new and gently used books to benefit low-income kindergartners-12th graders as part of its eighth annual Day of Action on June 21. By providing low-income students access to books, the nonprofit hopes to encourage reading and enhance literacy during the summer months. Last year, United Way distributed more than 30,000 books to 2,300 children in Central Florida.

Volunteers are needed to help distribute the books to children at approximately 20 United Way partner agencies, including Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Orlando Day Nursery, Together for Tomorrow and more. The event is a communitywide effort.

Book donations can be dropped off from May 23 through May 27 at Heart of Florida United Way, 1940 Traylor Blvd., Orlando. For more information, email or visit on the web.

Summer Program Keeps Homeless Children Safe


Fifth Third Bank employees attend the Summer of Dreams kick-off at Lake Eola Park.

When school breaks for summer, fewer critical resources are available for Central Florida’s growing population of homeless children. To fill this need, Summer of Dreams is a free, 10-week program that provides homeless students with meals, academic enrichment, mentoring and school supplies as well as financial counseling for parents and students. More than 1,200 homeless students in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties participated in Summer of Dreams in 2015, and the goal is to see that number increase this year.

During the month of April, Fifth Third Bank employees participated in their annual food drive at all 40 local banking centers, raising 89 barrels of food donations for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida to help provide meals for Summer of Dreams participants.

Donations from the public and private sectors fund the Summer of Dreams program. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities or how to get involved, visit on the web.


051916nbb03Photo courtesy of WOCC

West Orange Chamber of Commerce members congratulate Dr. John Nowell of Southwest Orlando Eye Care on the practice’s fifth anniversary.

West Orange Chamber of Commerce members held a five-year anniversary celebration for Southwest Orlando Eye Care. The office is dedicated to providing high-quality optometry services in a comfortable environment with knowledgeable and friendly staff. WOCC builds partnerships, strong businesses and commitment to the community by serving as the leading business advocate in Central Florida, facilitating opportunity to nearly 1,000 member businesses. For more information, call 407-656-1304 or visit or on the web.

Cranium Academy is offering summer camps for children ages 3-10. Campers can become junior paleontologists discovering fossils, aspiring artists preparing for their first exhibit, young entrepreneurs opening their own restaurant, and more. Cranium Academy boasts more than 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space to explore, exciting curriculum and classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art learning technology. Half-day and full-day camps are available. For more information, call 407-294-6950 or visit on the web.

051916nbb04As part of the Summer BreakSpot Program, food trucks will provide free meals to children at select Orange County libraries during the summer.

Beginning in June, the Orange County Library System will participate in the Summer BreakSpot Program, which offers children free meals at participating locations across the state. Monday through Friday, from June 13-Aug. 5, food trucks and buses will visit select library branches to serve free lunches to youth 18-younger. Once kids have received their meals, they are invited inside the library to eat and participate in fun, educational Summer Reading Program events. For more information about each program, visit or on the web.

051916nbb05Scott Boyd receives a Best of Southwest 2016 plaque for best public figure from Southwest Orlando Bulletin Marketing Consultant and Southwest resident Diana Chastain.

051916nbb06Southwest Orlando Bulletin Marketing Consultant Madeline DeVito (right) presents a Best of Southwest 2016 plaque for best fast food/casual restaurant to Lydia Sedely and Joe Addeo of ChickfilA at Sand Lake Road.

Southwest Orlando Bulletin representatives made many business owners happy by delivering their Best of Southwest 2016 plaques. The Best of Southwest contest is held at the end of every year. It invites residents to vote on their favorite restaurants, physicians, shopping venues and more. The winners of each category are presented with a keepsake plaque to proudly display at their places of business to let consumers know they were voted as a Best of Southwest winner.

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, 1 Grand Cypress Blvd., Orlando, opened a locally sourced, farm-to-table restaurant, LakeHouse. Themed to capture the latest trends in family dining, LakeHouse overlooks the resort’s private Lake Windsong and offers upscale breakfast, lunch and dinner options, as well as cocktails and small bites throughout the day and evening. Operating hours are daily from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. The menu includes chef-driven fast-casual concepts, healthy kids meals and sustainable seafood. For more information, visit on the web. 💓

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