OC earns Chairman’s Award … and more News & Business Briefs!

compiled by Lauren Salinero

Arnie’s Army goes nationwide

Officials of the Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation, the organization created to support golf legend Arnold Palmer’s lifetime mission of philanthropy, announced that Arnie’s March Against Children’s Cancer expanded its footprint to new markets nationwide. In addition to being one of the signature fundraising events at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, Arnie’s March Against Children’s Cancer is now part of the weekly lineup of special events at three premier PGA Tour events, including the recent World Golf Championships-Bridgestone in Akron, Ohio; the Dell Technologies Championship in Norton, Massachusetts; and the 2017 Tour Championship in Atlanta.

Arnie’s March is a unique fundraising model that allows PGA Tour events and their local children’s hospital to showcase the strength and impact of their partnership, providing an opportunity to recognize and honor cancer patients, their families, hospital staff and community supporters. The goal of each Arnie’s March is to generate significant, local philanthropic support for the children’s hospitals in the unique ways that tour events provide.
For more information or to make a donation, visit www.arniesarmy.org.

County employees give back

Orange County employees (l. to r.) Leslie King, Tracy Salem, Jon Weiss, Lavon Williams and Paulette Julien accept a Heart of Florida United Way Chairman’s Award.

The Orange County government was awarded a Chairman’s Award for being one of United Way’s top corporate partners. Every Orange County employee is offered the opportunity to give back through payroll deductions, which has experienced nearly a 15 percent increase in each of the past two years. In fact, 30 percent of Orange County employees give to United Way through payroll deductions. This past year, hundreds of local individuals and businesses raised $17.7 million for Heart of Florida United Way’s 2016-17 annual workplace giving campaign.

Rescued whale returns to sea

A female short-finned pilot whale was given a second chance at life after an extensive and complex return to the sea. The 725-pound whale beached herself in Dixie County. Discovered by beach-goers, rescue teams from the University of Florida and Clearwater Marine Aquarium assisted the whale and transported her to SeaWorld Orlando for continued medical intervention and rehabilitation.

As soon as she was there, the pilot whale received 24-hour care from SeaWorld’s veterinary and animal care teams. She responded well to treatment and began to show signs of improvement almost immediately. She was able to swim on her own upon arrival and began eating fish within one day. The U.S. Coast Guard assisted with transportation, along with five members of SeaWorld’s rescue team, to return the whale safely to the Gulf of Mexico.

“We all watched her strongly swim away,” said Dr. Lara Croft, veterinarian at SeaWorld Orlando, who escorted the pilot whale through every step of her rescue journey. “This story has been a true collaboration, and we worked together with many dedicated partners. We are proud to be a part of this rescue, rehabilitation and successful release. This truly is why we all do what we do.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) encourages people to report sightings of dead, injured or entangled dolphins and whales to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-3922.

OneBlood calls for blood donations

OneBlood, a local nonprofit blood center serving the southeastern U.S., sent nearly 300 units of blood to Texas after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Rising flood waters and massive destruction prevented blood centers in Texas from being able to collect blood. The local center encouraged residents to donate blood, and blood supply will continue to be in need during the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and as hurricane season progresses. While all blood types are needed, there is an urgent call for O negative and O positive blood, as well as platelets and plasma donations. Generally healthy people age 16 and older who weigh at least 110 pounds can donate blood.

For more information, call 888-936-6283 or visit oneblood.org/donate-now.

Foundation serves local high schools

Fairwinds Credit Union launched a nonprofit, Fairwinds Foundation, dedicated to helping individuals create and achieve a path toward financial responsibility, security and freedom. The foundation, led by Executive Director Garry Capton, already selected two organizations for partnerships, sponsoring a Junior Achievement of Central Florida program as well as a program with the University of Central Florida. It will partner with Junior Achievement to serve as the exclusive banking sponsor of JA Finance Park Virtual, a virtual simulation exercise for high school seniors in economics classes. Participating Southwest-area schools are Dr. Phillips, Ocoee, Olympia and West Orange high schools.

Already a long-standing partner and the official Student Banking Service Provider for UCF, Fairwinds will continue to support the university through its newly formed foundation. It will support UCF’s Centsible Knights financial literacy program, offering five $2,500 scholarships to UCF students that complete the program. Centsible Knights provides students with information and resources that enhance their financial knowledge and equip them to make sound financial decisions, including responsible spending and saving, student load management, credit evaluation, protection of financial information, and investment planning.

For more information about theFairwinds Foundation, visit www.fairwinds.org/foundation.


iFly Orlando, the world’s largest indoor skydiving operator, invites all individuals, despite physical and cognitive barriers, to attend iFly Orlando’s All Abilities Event on Sept. 27 from 6-8 p.m. The program is customized for those with physical and cognitive challenges in an environment of support and inclusion for those in the special needs community. The event package includes a preflight training session, all necessary flight gear, and two one-minute flights at the special price of $39.95. iFly Orlando is located at 8969 International Drive in Orlando. To reserve a spot, call 407-337-4359 or email sales.orlando@iflyworld.com.

Photo courtesy of WOCC

West Orange Chamber of Commerce members celebrate the one-year anniversary of Friendly Confines.

West Orange Chamber of Commerce representatives held a one-year anniversary celebration for Friendly Confines. 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.

Florida Hospital officials announced the hospital is developing a pediatric liver transplant program that will provide much-needed services to children in Central and North Florida. Today, the only active pediatric liver transplant program in Florida is in Miami, causing children and their families to travel great distances, sometimes out of state, for treatment. The Agency for Health Care Administration approved Florida Hospital’s request to develop the program. It anticipates listing its first patients for the Orlando program in January 2018. For more information, visit www.floridahospitalnews.com. ♥

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