compiled by Lauren Salinero
Bay Hill resident Matt Durfee led the sixth international trek of the Bucket List Hiking Club, which took place in western Scotland. The group hiked 52 miles during three days, and the route followed the northern segment of the Ayrshire Coastal Path. Future hikes include Normandy, France and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Anyone interested in participating in future hikes should email Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bucketlisthiking.com on the web.
Victoria Mei Ashton of MetroWest will make her London West End debut this summer as part of West End Stage, the U.K.’s premier theatrical summer school for ages 8-21. The 9-year-old will spend a week at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, one of the top drama schools in the U.K., where she will study singing, dance and drama, as well as take part in industry-specific workshops. As part of the program, Victoria Mei will attend the hit West End musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and have the opportunity to question the cast during a private Q&A session after the performance. Some of the cast members will also lead a master class for the students. Victoria Mei was inspired to apply for West End Stage through her performances with The Acting Up Theater Academy and Shine In the Limelight.
Longtime Orange Tree resident Larry Guest released his book, Sports Icons ‘R Funny. It devotes full chapters of mostly unreported humorous and insightful stories that feature major sports personalities with whom Larry engaged professionally and socially during his 30-plus years as a syndicated columnist. A few of the stories include former University of Florida coach Charley Pell probably sealing UF’s athletic probation, when during a meeting with an NCAA investigator, he defiantly balled up a sheet of paper and threw it across the conference table, striking the official in the forehead; Shaquille O’Neal and his younger brother shocking the Orlando Magic owner and top officials when they engaged in a full-blown food fight during a get-acquainted dinner just before the team drafted Shaq; and Mickey Mantle playing one hole at a Dallas country club wearing only his golf shoes. The book is available as a Kindle e-book or in print from amazon.com on the web.
Due to his leadership and achievements in the Turtle Creek community during the past year while serving as president of the Turtle Creek Homeowners’ Association, Michael Kulich of Turtle Creek was awarded the 2016 Monica Harris Spires Excellence in Leadership Award at the 21st annual Community Conference that was organized by the Orange County Neighborhood Preservation and Revitalization Division. He was also recognized this year by the Community Associate Institute as one of six outstanding community board members in the country.
Bill Squires of Windermere has performed The Star-Spangled Banner, O Canada or God Bless America at more than 280 events throughout the East Coast and Texas, including Orlando’s Amway Center. This past Father’s Day, he sang God Bless America during the seventh-inning stretch at the Boston Red Sox-Seattle Mariners baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston.
“When I read the email [asking me to sing at the game], I started to cry, knowing that this was a dream come true,” Bill said. “It became a whirlwind weekend, beginning with a sound check in Boston on the Friday beforehand. Then, on that Sunday, after the top of the seventh inning, I was ushered onto the outfield grass with family and friends cheering me on. I could see [the] Fenway Park sign above the press box at home plate and was awestruck.”
Windermere resident Isaac Lidsky, CEO of ODC Construction, spoke at the TEDSummit in Canada. During a session called “I, Human,” Isaac shared his story, from his experience risking it all for the potential success of his construction services company and being recognized by the governor on multiple occasions to graduating from Harvard and serving as the first and only blind clerk for the Supreme Court. He also talked about his book, Eyes Wide Open: Overcoming Obstacles and Recognizing Opportunities in A World That Can’t See Clearly.
Congratulations to the following Southwest-area residents on their recent academic achievements:
• Southwest students who made their school’s 2016 spring semester dean’s lists include Windermere resident Reed Hill Cawthorn and Winter Garden residents Desi Ferreira and Taylor Ann Staley, Clemson University; MetroWest resident Samantha Leon, Georgia Southern University; Gotha resident Nica De Nijs, Georgia Institute of Technology; and Ocoee resident Nathan Steineck, Chatham University School of Health Sciences.
• Isabela Araujo of Windermere achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA during the spring 2016 semester, earning a spot on Hofstra University’s provost’s list.
• Georgia Institute of Technology awarded Bachelor of Science degrees to Winter Garden resident Mara Azzouz, materials science and engineering; Windermere resident Cory Brzycki, computer science; and Dr. Phillips residents Joseph Knipe, industrial engineering, and Daniel Puleri, biomolecular engineering.
• BreAnn Davis of Dr. Phillips graduated from Florida Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in forensic psychology.
• Cameron Green of Windermere graduated from Furman University.
• MetroWest resident Riley McCall Messer graduated from Washington and Lee University with a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience.
• Caitlin Poor of MetroWest graduated from Tulane University’s law school with a Juris Doctor.
• Alyssa Venuto of Celebration received a Bachelor of Arts in history from Loyola University Maryland.
Photo courtesy of WOCC
West Orange Chamber of Commerce members celebrate the opening of Cavallo Hair Designers’ new location.
West Orange Chamber of Commerce members held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new location of Cavallo Hair Designers. 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, call 407-656-1304 or visit wochamber.com on the web.
Angela Reed, a Southwest resident and designer for Baker Barrios Architects Inc., was elected as the 2016 Network of Executive Women in Hospitality Sunshine chapter vice president of chapter development. She will serve as a liaison between the local and international NEWH board and oversee all areas of development, membership, marketing and events. NEWH is the premier networking resource for the hospitality industry, providing scholarships, education, leadership development, recognition of excellence and business development opportunities.
Orange Tree resident Rosie Olszewski retired after 30 years as a teacher with Orange County Public Schools. She began her OCPS career at West Orange High School, having taught for nine years in Cleveland, Ohio. Rosie was the first teacher hired at Dr. Phillips High School by then-Principal Bill Spoone in 1987. During first period on Rosie’s last day of teaching, she received a surprise visitor bearing gifts in the form of her son, Sterling Pointe resident and Winter Garden Commissioner Robert “Bobby” Olszewski.
Congratulations to Michelle Bedoya, a Southwest resident and longtime employee of The Health Law Firm, for being admitted to The Florida Bar. She was sworn in at a ceremony at Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law. The February 2016 state bar exam had a passage rate of only 58.4 percent, being the hardest bar exam to pass in more than 33 years. Michelle is practicing health law as an associate attorney with The Health Law Firm. She has eight years of prior experience working in home health compliance and regulations and wrote two published law articles, one for the Barry Law Review and one for the DePaul Journal of Health Care Law. Michelle also is a frequent author on The Health Law Firm’s health facilities blog.
Elizabeth Parsons School of Dance students perform in Then and Now — Our 35th Anniversary.
Elizabeth Parsons School of Dance presented its annual recital, Then and Now — Our 35th Anniversary. The show opened with a fun and exciting cancan, and the finale paid tribute to the school’s 35 years of dancing. The audience was treated to outstanding choreography and strong dancers with lots of personality.
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