Mayor’s Year in Review … and more News & Business Briefs!

compiled by Lauren Salinero

Ocooe grants available

The city of Ocoee is accepting applications for its Community Grant program. Held annually in both January and July, the program provides financial grants of up to $500. There is a total of $5,000 available for this grant cycle. Groups that are eligible to apply are Ocoee nonprofit organizations and civic groups. In addition, nonprofit organizations and civic groups outside the city limits, which benefit residents of Ocoee, are also qualified to apply. The city awards the grants to acknowledge excellence and to further the contributions these local organizations bring to the Ocoee community.

People can pick up applications at Ocoee City Hall, 150 N. Lakeshore Drive. Completed applications should be mailed or delivered to Community Relations at the same address, and the deadline to submit applications is Jan. 31, 2018.

For more information, call 407-905-3100.

Year in Review

Southwest resident and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs releases her annual Year in Review.

Southwest resident and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs recently released her Year in Review 2017. In the statement, she said, “In reflecting on 2017, I continue to be buoyed by Orange County’s ongoing success — from economic achievement to community development … But above all, I continue to be overwhelmed with pride and gratitude for our Orange County community. Pride in our heartfelt response to one of the largest humanitarian crises in U.S. history, as we welcomed more than 100,000 storm-stricken Puerto Rican evacuees to Central Florida — and gratitude for the deep and authentic sense of compassion that we continue to demonstrate.”

After detailing some of the year’s more challenging trials, Mayor Jacobs said, “As we prepare for 2018, I am confident in our continued success. Not only because of our strengthening economic climate, our outstanding quality of life, and the many ongoing initiatives showcased in this ‘Year in Review,’ but because of you — our heart and soul — and the role you play in Orange County. I offer my sincere best wishes for a wonderful New Year! By working together, I know that the best is yet
to come.”

For the full review, visit orange

Orlando Magic showers family with gifts

As part of the NBA Cares Season of Giving, the Orlando Magic celebrated Christmas by surprising LaToya Pugh and her two daughters, Aicha and Aiyari, during the Magic vs. Pelicans game. The team was joined by Amway, Corkcicle, Jewett Orthopeadic Clinic, Papa John’s Pizza, PepsiCo, Talk of the Town Restaurants, and Tijuana Flats to shower the family with gifts and other items to assist them through difficult times. The family also was transported to and from the game in a limo. It was the ninth consecutive season the Magic has hosted one family around the holidays for “The Big Give.”

The family’s surprise began early in December, when the Magic and Habitat for Humanity presented the family with keys to a new home in the Butler Preserve neighborhood. Magic Community Ambassadors and Southwest residents Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw, along with Stuff the mascot, attended the home dedication ceremony and presented the family with courtside tickets for the Dec. 22 game. The Pughs had no idea they were going to be receiving the gifts at halftime.

For more information, visit

History Center receives

Operating Support Grant Board representatives of the United Arts of Central Florida announced the Operating Support Grants for 2018 to 37 Central Florida nonprofit cultural institutions, including an award of $27,400 to the Orange County Regional History Center.

“The general operating-support funds from this grant will allow us to deliver educational programs to thousands of Title 1 school children, allowing us to bring history alive to many who otherwise would not have the opportunity to visit the museum,” said Michael Perkins, the museum’s manager.

For more information, visit

Flu season hits Florida hard

Both the holiday and flu seasons coincided this year as numbers of confirmed influenza cases continue to rise across Florida. So far, influenza A (H3) is the most common strain being reported this season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seasons where influenza A (H3) was the most dominant strain were generally more severe, particularly for children younger than age 5 and adults age 65-older. The CDC has labeled Florida as a widespread influenza zone. Data from Florida Hospital Centra Care shows there is a nearly 200 percent increase in flu cases since this time last year and a 400 percent increase from 2015.


Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort now offers memberships to its golf courses and resort.

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort representatives announced that the property is now offering memberships to both of its golf courses, Tranquilo Golf Club, and to the resort, including pool access. It also announced a $2.5 million enhancement to the practice facility at Tranquilo Golf Club. The available memberships are a Golf Club Membership at Tranquilo Golf Club and a Resort & Golf Club Membership, which provides access to the resort’s 5-acre water park and recreational amenities, including the fitness center and more. For more information, visit

West Orange Chamber of Commerce installed its 2018 chairman in front of more than 200 members during the Member Celebration Brunch. Keith Bradford, the 2016 WOCC chairman, passed the gavel to Joe Alarie, officially signaling the beginning of his term as the 2018 chairman. For more information about WOCC, call 407-656-1304 or visit

Orlando Health’s Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, Orlando Regional Medical Center, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies were designated as top hospitals in the country by The Leapfrong Group, an independent hospital watchdog organization. Hospitals recognized as top performers have better systems in place to prevent medication errors, higher quality on maternity care and high-risk procedures, and lower readmission rates than other hospitals. Fewer than 6 percent of U.S. hospitals achieve this prestigious recognition. For more information, visit

Orlando Ballet School is hosting its 2018 Classical Ballet Variation Workshops and Expo. Students will learn a series of classical variations during the eight-week workshop and perform a classical variation for a panel of ballet professionals from outside of OBS at the expo. Classes begin Jan. 19 at the South Campus, Jan. 27 at the Central Campus, and Jan. 31 at the Seminole Campus. For more information or to register, call 407-426-1733 or visit
#variations-workshops. ♥

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