Saving Manatees … and more News & Business Briefs!

compiled by Lauren Salinero

Dellagio to host A Taste of Dr. Phillipsn

Dellagio Town Center on Sand Lake Road will host the 11th annual A Taste of Dr. Phillips on Nov. 12 from 1-4 p.m. Attendees will enjoy unlimited samples from more than 20 local restaurants, and entertainment will be provided by The Down Brothers. The general admission price is $70 per person. There is also a VIP ticket available for $95, which includes early entrance, seating in an upscale and covered area, and beverage service.

The event, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips, celebrates great food and wine, and features a silent auction and networking opportunities with area businesses. Proceeds go back to the community by supporting projects and local charities.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or

Chamber seeks bids on renovation project

West Orange Chamber of Commerce officials approved plans to revamp the organization’s headquarters in Winter Garden. The improvements to the building, which was last renovated in 1998, will help WOCC lead the west Orange business community in meeting the challenges of a dynamic business environment. In anticipation of the area’s continued growth, the chamber 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.

Opportunities are now available for businesses to submit subcontractor bids on this project. Bids are being sought for interior finishes, exterior finishes, roofing, HVAC, plumbing and electrical. Bid documents are available at Bids must be submitted to Keith Kolakowski at by 3 p.m. on Oct. 30, 2017.

For more information, call 407-656-1304 or visit

SeaWorld rescues stranded animals

Following Hurricane Irma in Florida, SeaWorld Orlando’s rescue team assisted with stranded, displaced and injured animals.

Maggie Mariolis, SeaWorld Orlando animal care specialist, cares for a rescued manatee calf.

A manatee calf was found orphaned or abandoned in southwest Florida, presumably as a result of the storm. Manatee calves and moms have tight bonds, and if a calf is seen without a mom around for several hours, it’s very likely that calf has been orphaned. Since manatees nurse for one to two years, a calf on its own has very little chance of survival.

The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission rescued the calf and transported it to SeaWorld Orlando. Upon arrival, the animal care team provided fluids to the calf, as it was suffering from dehydration. Then it was transitioned to a nutritional formula created by SeaWorld that replicates mother’s milk. An animal care specialist will give the calf a bottle every three hours for the next several months. Orphaned calves are typically rehabilitated until they are at least 600 pounds, which usually takes about two to three years. At that time, if they are deemed healthy, they will be returned to their natural environments.

The team also assisted in successfully rescuing and relocating six manatees that stranded in Melbourne, and SeaWorld Orlando aviculturists cared for several birds blown inland by the storm.

Prior to the hurricane, five dolphins were relocated from the Dolphin Connection in the Florida Keys, and they continue to thrive. SeaWorld’s animal experts have helped more than 31,000 animals in need — ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned — for more than 50 years.

Orlando pilots recycling project

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and its partners announced that the city of Orlando will serve as the location for its multistakeholder pilot project, Beyond 34: Recycling and Recovery for A New Economy. The project aims to increase the current 34 percent recycling rate in the country by providing a scalable model for improving recycling and recovery rates. The goal of the project is to help communities, cities and businesses across the U.S. create a more sustainable future.

The venture will be implemented as a private-public partnership between the U.S. Chamber Foundation, Resource Recycling Systems, Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the city of Orlando. RRS will facilitate development of a recycling business plan for the Orlando region and its stakeholders that keeps high-value recyclable material out of landfills. The plan will also identify greater economic reuse opportunities material generated from commercial, industrial and residential sources.

For more information, visit

Medical clinic to open for the underserved

Shepherd’s Hope held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the new West Orange Medical Clinic & Administrative Center in Winter Garden. It is the first permanent clinic for Shepherd’s Hope and will provide greater access to free health care services for the growing west Orange County community. Design and construction will have a positive influence on the local economy, including the direct involvement of 25 companies and an anticipated job impact of 500 or more.

Orlando Magic volunteers exceed goal

The Magic Volunteer Program contributed 7,078 hours of community service for the 2016-17 Magic season, surpassing its goal of 6,000 hours as an organization for the 11th consecutive year. More than 220 employees participated in numerous events throughout the year with a large focus on the Magic’s three areas of interest — education, hunger and health/wellness. The events included a complete staff food-packing and distribution event with United Healthcare, benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida; a Magic Fit Rally at an elementary school; Magic basketball court refurbishments at local schools/community centers; Thanksgiving at the Coalition for the Homeless; Black Tie and Tennies Gala, benefiting the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation; and more. This past season, the Magic had 33 staff members serve on a total of 56 different local boards, including Habitat for Humanity, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, and United Arts of Central Florida, to name a few.

The MVP was developed to encourage Orlando Magic employees to get out and get involved in the community. The program began in July 2006 with a goal of performing 2,000 hours of community service during the 2006-07 season. More than 3,800 hours were tracked that first year. Since the program’s inception, 67,023 hours in the Central Florida community have been recorded.

For more information, visit


Officials at Florida Hospital Medical Group announced the addition of Steve McElveen, M.D., board-certified general surgeon, to the team at Center for Specialized Surgery. Dr. McElveen is a native of Hartsville, South Carolina, and has more than two decades of experience as a general surgeon in Anderson, South Carolina, including a term as hospital chief of staff at AnMed Health. For more information or to book an appointment with Dr. McElveen, call 407-303-7399 or visit

Steve Emmerson co-owns Royal Landscape Nursery with his wife, Connie.

Royal Landscape Nursery, a locally owned and family-operated business in the heart of Gotha, maintains a large variety of all sizes of plants, trees and materials for residential or business properties. Started 20 years ago by husband-and-wife team Steve and Connie Emmerson, Royal has added the couple’s oldest daughter, Mia, to the team as the full-time business operations manager for the commercial division of landscape and construction. Royal Landscape sells sod by the piece or the pallet, which is an easy way to improve the appearance of almost any property. Advice is always free, and customers are always welcome. Royal Landscape is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. For upcoming specials and customer appreciation specials, visit

Photo courtesy of WOCC
West Orange Chamber of Commerce members celebrate the opening of MyFamily Orthodontics.

West Orange Chamber of Commerce representatives held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for MyFamily Orthodontics in Windermere. 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 For more information about MyFamily Orthodontics, visit

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, located at 1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd. in Lake Buena Vista, completed the largest transformation in the resort’s history: a $140 million, three-year project that included a redesign of all guest rooms, complete transformation of the Dolphin Resort lobby, and renovation of all meeting spaces. The resort returned to operating at full capacity, just in time for the openings of Toy Story Land (2018) and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (2019) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which is within walking distance of the resort. For more information, call 800-227-1500 or visit

Lakeland Regional Health and Orlando Health completed an affiliation to create an integrated regional health care system. The system better positions both organizations to advance clinical programs, improve access and enhance the clinical quality of services provided. The affiliation was formed following a period of due diligence and the execution of a definitive agreement detailing the relationship between the two systems. Other affiliations currently in place with both organizations will continue, and both foundations will remain under the control of their respective health care systems, performing community specific philanthropic activities. For more information, visit

Tickets are on sale for performances of Orlando Repertory Theatre’s Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical, showing from Oct. 23-Nov. 19. The musical is inspired by civil rights pioneers Ruby Bridges and The Little Rock Nine. Polkadots follows Lily Polkadot, who just moved to the “squares only” small town of Rockaway. As the first polkadot to attend the all-square school, Lily faces an almost impossible task of gaining acceptance from her peers. The brand-new musical features a book by Melvin Tunstall III, lyrics by Douglas Lyons, and music by Greg Borowsky and Douglas Lyons. For showtimes and to purchase tickets, call 407-896-7365 or visit ♥

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