SW Orlando Neighborhood News

compiled by Lauren Salinero

Dr. Phillips

neighborhood news 1(L. to r.) Dave, Maximilian and Zachary Plavcan of Dr. Phillips climb to the summit of Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany.

Dr. Phillips resident Dave Plavcan flew to Germany to join his sons, Maximilian and Zachary, both of whom are Dr. Phillips High School alumni, on a climb of Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany. Zachary was studying for a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Stuttgart, and Maximilian was completing an internship at the German Aerospace Center in Cologne, when they decided to climb the mountain by the hardest route. The trio endured the first two hours of the climb in the rain, and reached the summit in 9.5 hours. They climbed 7,200 feet vertically, 2,000 feet of which was technical rock climbing as well as crossing a glacier.

Hidden Springs/Estates

neighborhood news 2(Left) John Scolaro, a Dr. Phillips resident and local Realtor, congratulates Lyn and Jacqueline Rigsby for winning Hidden Springs/Estates Yard of the Quarter.

Residents of Hidden Springs/Estates have an opportunity to nominate a fellow neighbor whose property stands out as being attractive and well-maintained for the Yard of the Quarter program. A committee of volunteers reviews the quarterly nominations and selects a winner. The most recent winners were Lyn and Jacqueline Rigsby.

“A well-kept yard adds to the value of our neighborhood and reflects how much residents care about our community,” said Jeff Olszewski, president of the Hidden Springs/Estates Homeowners Association.

The Yard of the Quarter is sponsored by Dr. Phillips resident and Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate agent John Scolaro who donated a Lowe’s gift certificate to the Rigsby family.

Palm Lake

neighborhood news 3Amanda Sikora of Palm Lake and Michael Klinski plan to marry in March 2017.

Palm Lake residents Joe and Mary Sikora announced the engagement of their daughter, Amanda, to Michael Klinski, son of Dave and Jean Klinski of Caledonia, Minnesota. Amanda is an alumna of Dr. Phillips High School’s Class of 2004. She graduated from Florida State University in 2008 with a degree in elementary education and teaches third grade at Millennia Elementary School. She also has held a seasonal position with Universal Resort’s Islands of Adventure for the past 13 years. Michael graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 2007. He manages David’s World Cycle in College Park. The couple will wed March 18, 2017, at Salem Lutheran Church.

Sterling Pointe

neighborhood news Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner (left) endorses Sterling Pointe resident and Winter Garden Commissioner Robert BobbyOlszewski for Orange County Commission District 1.

Winter Garden Commissioner and Orange County Commission District 1 candidate Robert Bobby Olszewski of Sterling Pointe announced that former Orange County Commission District 1 candidates Nuren Haider and Dr. Usha Jain endorsed him for the runoff election Nov. 8. Bobby has also been endorsed by Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner, as well as current Windermere Town Council members John Armstrong, Bob McKinley, Jim OBrien and Al Pichon, as well as other local elected officials.


neighborhood news Jennifer Halbert, a former resident of Vizcaya, plays a news reporter in the film Mafiosa.

Former Vizcaya resident Jennifer Halbert appears in the feature-length film Mafiosa. She portrays a news reporter. The film, written and produced by Florida resident Veronica Russo, was screened twice during the recent Central Florida Film Festival.


neighborhood news 1Vicky and Mitesh Popat of Windermere showcase their company’s fruit trees at New York Fashion Week.

Windermere residents Mitesh and Vicky Popat, CEO and marketing manager of PlantOGram, were invited to display their fruit trees during New York Fashion Week. The couple shipped a few of their more popular trees in advance with stickers indicating what was planted and would grow from each pot. The trees were a hit with the New Yorkers, who don’t have access to the same variety and volume as Floridians.

During their annual conference, Florida League of Mayors members re-elected Windermere Mayor Gary Bruhn to serve on the board of directors for a fifth consecutive two-year term. He will serve until 2018. The mayor also serves as chairman of the Orange County Council of Mayors, composed of every Orange County mayor. He is a member of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce board of directors, the Florida League of Cities’ Urban Administration Legislative Committee, and several other community organizations.

“I’m honored that my fellow mayors would re-elect me to a fifth term on the Florida League of Mayors’ board of directors, to serve not only Windermere, but all of Florida’s 412 mayors,” he said. “To be able to serve in this capacity for a decade is most humbling and a responsibility I take very seriously.”

neighborhood news Miss Windermere Teen USA 2017 Tara McDonald competes for the title of Miss Florida Teen USA 2017.

Tara McDonald holds the title of Miss Windermere Teen USA 2017, part of the Miss Universe organization. She competed for the title of Miss Florida Teen USA, an official preliminary competition to Miss Teen USA, at Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale. Tara has been an actress since the age of 10. She has appeared in more than 10 films and five commercials, and models for multiple companies. She also is an active volunteer with Hands On Orlando and other organizations in Central Florida.

Et Al

neighborhood news Southwest Orlando Bulletin staff members (l. to r.) Donna Wolk, South Bay residents Brenda and Clay Kearney, and Winderlakes resident Diana Chastain attend Central Florida Hotel & Lodging’s Patriot Day Breakfast.

Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association held its Patriot Day Breakfast to remember and honor local heroes. The event included the remembrance of the victims from Sept. 11 and the Pulse nightclub shooting. Awards were also given to local first responders for their extraordinary service. The breakfast drew community and hospitality leaders and supporters, including Southwest Orlando Bulletin representatives Diana Chastain of Winderlakes, marketing consultant; Clay and Brenda Kearney of South Bay, president and vice president; and Donna Wolk, vice president of sales and operations.

neighborhood news Southwest Orlando resident and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs (second from left) accepts the 2016 Wind Beneath My Wings Award at the Orlando Republican Women’s Network Gala.

During the Orlando Republican Women’s Network Gala at Rosen Centre Hotel, Southwest resident and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs was honored with the 2016 Wind Beneath My Wings Award. Several community leaders attended the event as Mayor Jacobs accepted the award, including Orange County District 3 Commissioner Pete Clarke, Rep. Bob Cortes, and Rep. Rene “Coach P” Plasencia.

“I’m deeply honored to receive this award,” Mayor Jacobs said. “It is truly a pleasure to be among so many wonderful and strong leaders in our community. We are fortunate to have organizations like the Orlando Republican Women’s Network that empower women and push for positive change in our community.”

neighborhood news West Orange Chamber of Commerce members recognize West Orange Country Club with a “We Noticed” celebration for improvements the club has made to its facility (Photo courtesy of WOCC).

West Orange Chamber of Commerce members held a “We Noticed” celebration for West Orange Country Club, which has made improvements to its golf course, swimming pool and restaurant. The celebration was held in conjunction with WOCC’s September Business After Hours and Building Business & Wellness Expo, hosted and sponsored by West Orange Country Club. 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 on the web.

neighborhood news As part of her Silver Award project, Cadet Hadya of Girl Scout Troop 1069 in the Dr. Win Service Unit delivers five sets of brand-new mattresses to a local women’s shelter.

Seventh-grader Hadya, a cadet with Girl Scout Troop 1069 in the Dr. Win Service Unit, completed her Silver Award project. She arranged for five sets of brand-new mattresses to be donated to a local shelter for women. They were donated by Mattress1One and valued at $1,500.

neighborhood news Rotary Club of Lake Buena Vista President Jean Campana (back, second from right) is joined by new members Nick Pagan (back, far right) and Eugene Petriella (second from left) with his children, Emily (far left) and Zachary.

Rotary Club of Lake Buena Vista greeted two new members during its meeting at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort in Downtown Disney. Nick Pagan is an account manager with Escot Bus Lines, and Eugene Petriella is the owner of Florida in Motion Realty.

Although we try to ensure that all information presented above is the most current, correct and dependable available, we do rely on others for the source of our news. Therefore, the Southwest Orlando Bulletin and Kearney Publishing Corp. cannot be held responsible for the validity of the information presented here, nor does mentioning it constitute an endorsement. In Your Neighborhood news is welcome and may be mailed to P.O. Box 851, Windermere, FL  34786; or emailed to Lauren@kearneypublishing.com.💓

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