SW Orlando Neighborhood News

compiled by Lauren Salinero

Dr. Phillips

neighborhood news 1Having earned Diamond Club status,
Randy Cook of Dr. Phillips joins an elite group of Eddie V’s Prime Seafood managing partners from across the country.

In SW Orlando neighborhood news, Dr. Phillips resident Randy Cook, managing partner of Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, was awarded parent company Darden Restaurants’ Diamond Club status. He is among a group of top-performing managing partners recognized for their commitment to delivering guest experiences at the highest level, while making a difference in the lives of guests, team members and in their community. This is the third time Randy received this award. He is one of two managing partners selected this year from the 16 Eddie V’s restaurants in the country.

Dr. Phillips resident Cassie Shultz, daughter of Rebecca and Kevin, was commissioned as a Cap Corps volunteer with Capuchin Community Services. Cap Corps Midwest is a yearlong full-time Franciscan Capuchin volunteer ministry geared toward college-age students and graduates who wish to emulate the example of St. Francis of Assisi and serve the poor and disenfranchised. Cassie, a recent graduate of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will be providing service to Capuchin Community Services, which serves the poor, hungry and homeless in Milwaukee.

Silver Woods

neighborhood news 2Silver Woods residents Thomas (left) and Paul Kelly explore the Grand Canyon.

Paul Kelly and his son, Thomas, of Silver Woods traveled to the Grand Canyon this summer. They backpacked for three nights and four days, hiking from rim to rim, south to north, for a total of 26 miles.


Bill Criswell, a resident of Windermere for 54 years and the founder of Home At Last, stepped down as chairman of the special program that builds homes for combat-wounded, permanently disabled veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The new chairman is Gary Atwill, a U.S. Navy Vietnam war veteran and past Rotary Club of Windermere president. Home at Last has built six mortgage-free, disability-friendly homes in the town of Oakland for veterans and their families. Four have been for U.S. Army veterans and two for members of the U.S. Marine Corps. Work has begun on a seventh home for Marine Staff Sgt. Brandon Wittwer and his family. An eighth home for U.S. Army Capt. Elmer Rivera and his family is also expected to be completed this year. Home At Last provides the entire community an opportunity to express its appreciation to veteran families for their service and sacrifice. Individuals, clubs, organizations, churches, architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers have all made the mortgage-free homes a reality.

neighborhood news 4Windermere resident Alex Hamberg graduates from Robotics Academy at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

Alex Hamberg of Windermere attended Robotics Academy at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, the official visitor center for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. Alex was part of a weeklong program specifically designed for trainees who have a particular interest in engineering. The mission of Space Camp Robotics is to show trainees how engineers develop solutions for real-world problems using real-world technologies. At all age levels, trainees use state-of-the-art robotics systems to compete in air, sea and land activities and missions. Using the Office of Naval Research’s SeaPerch undersea robotics, Alex and the other trainees tested payloads on an unmanned aerial vehicle, all while strengthening teamwork and leadership skills. At the end of their missions, the team arrived in time to graduate with honors.

Et Al

neighborhood news 3Francelis Ivette Gonzalez, M.D., (left) of Turtle Creek congratulates Vonny Collison of Windermere for winning the “Shoedelicious” contest at her couture shoe-themed birthday party.

Turtle Creek resident Dr. Francelis Ivette Gonzalez, CEO of Kidsville Pediatrics, held a couture shoe-themed “Shoedelicious” birthday party at Vines Grille & Wine Bar. A champagne-filled cocktail reception was followed by a seated dinner. About 48 of the 94 guests entered a fun shoe contest, from which 10 finalists were chosen. Eventually, three winners were named: Vonny Collison of Windermere, winner; Jackie Dowell of Windermere, first runner-up; and Tatiana Vazquez Fernando of Vizcaya, second runner-up. In lieu of gifts, donations to Pink Ribbon and Team Natalia charities were given.

Congratulations to the following Southwest-area residents on their recent academic achievements:

Amy Glass of Dr. Phillips earned an Associate in Applied Science, and Alexis Faulkner of Winter Garden earned an Associate in Arts at Illinois Central College.

Sebastian Mandino of Ocoee earned highest honors for the 2016 spring semester at the University of New Hampshire. Highest honors are awarded to students who earn a semester GPA of 3.85 or higher out of a possible 4.0.

Ocoee residents MeLeah Morris and Sonia Rodriquez graduated from Troy University during the summer term with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in counseling and psychology, respectively.

neighborhood news 5Southwest resident RobertBobBrown (center) presents an Outstanding Corporate Group Award to Casey McLeod (left) and Doug Whitemore of Sodexo at Heart of Florida United Way’s Community Volunteer Excellence Awards event.

Heart of Florida United Way held its third annual Community Volunteer Excellence Awards event, during which it recognized contributions that impact nonprofit, governmental, faith-based and educational organizations across Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. Robert BobBrown of Southwest Orlando received Volunteer Florida’s Champion of Service Lifelong Achievement Award, which honors those who have demonstrated significant dedication to making a difference in their communities by volunteering and providing leadership over the course of their life.

neighborhood news 6Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips former President RuthAnn DiLauri passes the gavel to new President Ken Peach.

Ken Peach became the new president of the Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips for the 2016-17 year. He succeeded former President RuthAnn DiLauri. The club meets weekly at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge.

neighborhood news 7 Photo courtesy of WOCC

West Orange Chamber of Commerce members celebrate the opening of Friendly Confines in MetroWest.

West Orange Chamber of Commerce members held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Friendly Confines, a Chicago-themed sports restaurant located at 2461 S. Hiawassee Road in the MetroWest Village Plaza. 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 8Vista Toastmasters 7250 President Randall Labrache (left) and Contest Chief Judge Robert Burns (right) present first- and second-place trophies, respectively, to Susan Williams (second from left) and Edwin Mercado from the club’s annual Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contest.

Vista Toastmasters 7250 held its annual Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contest at a recent meeting. Winners were Susan Williams, first place, and Edwin Mercado, second place. Vista Toastmasters 7250 meets at the Southwest Library at Dr. Phillips every Thursday from 7-8:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.vistatoastmasters.org on the web.

neighborhood news 9Rotary Club of Lake Buena Vista President Jean Campana welcomes Peter Maggio, Planet Hollywood Observatory’s director of sales and marketing, to speak at a meeting.

At a meeting of the Rotary Club of Lake Buena Vista, Peter Maggio, director of sales and marketing at Planet Hollywood Observatory, showed members the transformation of Planet Hollywood’s name change to Planet Hollywood Observatory. The establishment, expected to premier under its new name this October or November, includes expanded facilities and an all-new look inside and out.

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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