compiled by Lauren Salinero
WOCC building getting revamped
West Orange Chamber of Commerce officials announced that its board of directors approved plans to revamp the chamber’s headquarters in its central location on State Road 50 in Winter Garden. The improvements to the chamber building, which was last renovated in 1998, will help the organization lead the west Orange business community in meeting the challenges of a dynamic business environment.
In anticipation of the continued strong growth of the business community, the organization is seeking to create a state-of-the-art interior with expanded meeting areas, new-member service stations, upgrades to the building’s exterior, and accommodations for a growing staff to meet members’ needs. The cost of the expansion is $450,000, which will be funded through community support, along with a significant contribution of the organization’s own funds. To date, WOCC has lead gifts of $125,000 toward the “Growth Matters” capital campaign.
“We are excited to announce this renovation as we celebrate 45 years of facilitating opportunity in west Orange County,” said Stina D’Uva, a Southwest resident and president/CEO of WOCC. “The revitalization of our building will allow us to provide the best possible service to our members and our rapidly growing community.”
To keep up with the latest news on the chamber’s new venture, visit wochamber.com.
Valencia students and staff rides free
Valencia College and Lynx signed an agreement that allows the college’s students and employees to ride the Lynx bus system for free. Currently, approximately 650 passengers ride the bus to and from Valencia’s campuses each school day, riders who might not otherwise have transportation to classes and work. Under the agreement, Valencia will provide funding for bus service for its students and employees, to include all Lynx routes and NeighborLink routes during times Lynx is in service. Lynx will also add a bus route to Valencia’s Lake Nona Campus, rerouting the existing Link 406 from downtown Orlando to Lake Nona. Previously, there was no bus stop at the Lake Nona Campus.
To ride the bus, all students and employees have to do is show their Valencia ID card, which will have a sticker provided by the college that’s good for one academic year. Stickers will be available beginning Aug. 23 at any Valencia campus security office.
For more information, visit news.valenciacollege.edu.
Record-breaking pet adoption month
Orange County Animal Services officials announced that 922 adoptions — 473 dogs and 449 cats — took place in the month of July, the highest number of pet adoptions during one month in the agency’s 48-year history. The record was especially rewarding since the shelter reached capacity in early July with more than 500 animals in its care at once. The spike in population prompted officials to place an urgent call for adoptive homes to the community and rescue partners, which was clearly heard.
“Nine hundred twenty adoptions in one month is an incredible milestone to have achieved,” said Southwest resident and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. “This record-breaking number demonstrates how deeply our community cares — and the same goes for our Orange County Animal Services staff. In partnership with citizens and local families, as well as our dedicated volunteers and awesome rescue partners, we continue to surpass expectations in finding ‘forever homes’ for our four-pawed friends.”
OCAS is open for adoptions Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. It is currently offering the “Pawgust” promotion, which reduces dog adoption fees to $15 and cat adoption fees to $10. Adoption includes spay/neuter surgery, initial vaccinations and microchip implantation for ID purposes. For more information, call 407-254-9150 or visit ocnetpets.com.
West Orange Chamber of Commerce representatives held a groundbreaking ceremony for PremierMed — Family & Sports Medicine. 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 about WOCC, call 407-656-1304 or visit wochamber.com.
West Orange Chamber of Commerce members hold a groundbreaking ceremony for PremierMed — Family & Sports Medicine in Ocoee.
Moin Kola, M.D., joins the Florida Hospital Medical Group practice of Central Florida Hepatology & Gastroenterology.
Florida Hospital Medical Group is pleased to announce the addition of Moin Kola, M.D., to Central Florida Hepatology & Gastroenterology. Now seeing patients in Winter Garden and Apopka, Dr. Kola is a board-certified fellowship-trained gastroenterologist and internal medicine physician who has served the Orlando area since 2009. To learn more or book an appointment with Dr. Kola, call 407-303-1812 or visit fhmedicalgroup.com.
Fall registration at Theatre South Playhouse is now open. The company offers classes and private lessons for children, teens and adults in musical theater, dance, acting and more. TSP is located in The Marketplace at Dr. Phillips, 7601 Della Drive, Suite 15, Orlando. For more information or to sign up for classes, visit www.theatresouthplayhouse.org.
Emilia Rapport, D.M.D., joins Windermere Center for Dentistry.
Emilia Rapport, D.M.D., is the new lead dentist at Windermere Center for Dentistry. She will be practicing there exclusively. Dr. Rapport graduated from the University of Florida College of Dentistry and has been practicing in Central Florida for more than 20 years.
“I have a passion for dentistry and strive to treat each of my patients as if I was treating a member of my own family,” she said. “I look forward to getting to know each one of you.”
For more information, call 407-909-1097 or visit windermeresmiles.com. ♥