Avalon Park Sun-February 2020

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LIVE Coffee Hour with Beat



AVALON PARK INNOVATION CENTER NOW UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN DOWNTOWN AVALON PARK Food Hall, General Store, Gathering Kitchen and Pro-Working Space to Come Together in Innovative Collaboration

by Stephanie Lerret PAGE 2



PLAY Fiber Artists at Play!



Avalon Park, east Orlando’s premier community to live, learn, work, and play is adding to its downtown with an innovation center. Comprised of a food hall, general store, gathering kitchen, pro-working space and traditional office space, the building is meant to be a hub of innovation, allowing for small businesses and entrepreneurs to grow. Marketplace at Avalon Park, which will occupy approximately 8,000 SF on the first floor of the Innovation Center will serve as the first of its kind in east Orlando. “While the food hall concept is up and coming, this will be the first of anything like this on this side of town,� says Mara Hunt, Marketplace at Avalon Park. Slated to open late summer 2020, it will be home to 10 food vendor bays,

amount of interest, not only from potential vendors, but also from the community, who is very excited about this concept coming to their neighborhood.� Occupying the next floor of the building is The 5th Floor pro-working offices. Similar to a co-working environment, the floorplan calls for different working environments in the form of private and shared working spaces. The options for different working spaces allow for small businesses to scale as they grow. “Pro-working takes co-working to the next level,� says Beat Kahli, President and CEO of Avalon Park Group. “It gives global connectivity to small and growing businesses looking for local networks and opportunities.�

Marketplace will be home to 10 food vendor bays, a commissary/gathering kitchen, live entertainment, event space, general store and bar. a commissary/gathering kitchen, live entertainment, event space, general store and bar. Hunt also stated, “Since its announcement I have seen a tremendous

The remaining space in the building will be traditional office space, with commercial tenants like Rosenthal Meyer, PLLC, Attorneys at Law and Avalon Park

Group, who have already signed leases. “As we finalize the last 1% of Avalon Park Orlando, it is important for us to implement a development plan that rounds out the overall community. The Marketplace will be another place that residents can walk to with their families and enjoy a nice meal, see live entertainment or do some local shopping,� says Beat Kahli, CEO, Avalon Park Group. “Avalon Park’s developments have proven to be successful because we keep everything our residents need, next to where they live.� Additionally, Avalon Park Group plans on bringing the same concept to its other communities across central Florida in Wesley Chapel, Tavares and Daytona Beach.



For more information on The Marketplace at Avalon Park: Visit www.MarketplaceAtAvalonPark.com or contact Mara Hunt at Info@MarketplaceAtAvalonPark.com or 321-278-7040. For more information on The 5th Floor or traditional lease space: Visit www.AvalonParkGroup. com or contact Nery Thorimbert at Nery@AvalonParkGroup.com or 407-658-6565.



I have called central Florida home for exactly a quarter of a century and what a journey it has been over the last 25 years. From 100 cows in east Orlando to a city, called Avalon Park. Participating in many personal, charitable and business ventures around the globe, more and more people have asked me when I am going to write a book. Stephanie Lerret, who joined Avalon Park Group almost 20 years ago as a student straight from the University of Kansas, and who is today our Senior Vice President for Marketing and Community relations had a better idea when she suggested: Let’s bring back the East Orlando Sun! The Sun was founded by a great lady, named Sheryl Quatrano, back when east Orlando was in the “middle of


ing the Sun will end. Yes, a few years ago we decided to take a break, but as we promised the community, the Sun is back. NOW is the time to end the break: THE SUN IS BACK!

nowhere.” She started the newspaper as a one-woman enterprise, writing all articles, selling advertisement and at times personally delivering the newspaper. Sheryl became famous for telling the stories of east Orlando residents, students and businesses through her paper. When she and her husband were ready to retire, she decided to sell the East Orange Sun (later called the East Orlando Sun) to me. The Sun was shining bright, reaching many families in east central Florida, and quickly became the largest central Florida community newspaper, with a weekly circulation of over 100,000. Not a day goes by that we do not hear from somebody either talking about an article they saw in a past edition, calling us to place an advertisement or asking when our break from publish-

Over the past several years of traveling and doing business internationally, we have been able to learn and connect with many new friends and colleaguesall over the world. Today the sun never goes down in the Avalon Park Group global group of companies. With operations all over the world, in the US, Europe, Asia, Africa or Australia, someone in the APG family of companies is always working. Being a global company means that sometimes my sleep patterns take a while to catch up with me, and while I may be in the US, my body is often still on Swiss time! This is actually a great “problem, ” as that is when I am blessed to be able to get in touch with a member of our family-styled enterprises elsewhere in the world. And while we used our break from publishing the Sun to travel the world, our foundation and home base has al-


ways been central Florida. We always come home to Avalon Park Orlando where people can live, learn, work and play.

It is our goal to let the Sun shine all over the world, on every continent and in many different languages. Every large vision and mission starts with a first step, and our first step is a new name: The Avalon Park Sun. While you are reading the 224th edition of Coffee Hour with Beat, you are also reading the first Avalon Park Sun. We are reaching online and through delivery of hard copies more than 50,000 readers today, and hope to reach an online and print circulation of more than 100,000 by the end of 2020. The Avalon Park Sun is a local community newspaper with a global reach. Because of our roots in Switzerland, and our ventures on every continent, we can bring you firsthand experience and news written by people like you and I, living in Orlando, Tampa, Daytona Beach, Tavares, Florida, in Austin, Texas, Denver, Colorado, Basel,

Switzerland, Singapore, Asia, Sydney, Australia or Cape Town, Africa and more. We want this to be an interactive newspaper. We want you to be able to contribute and to share your opinion. The Avalon Park Sun will not be written by hired journalists, it will be written by you, the community! Moms, dads, by students, people of all ages and backgrounds, artists, politicians, athletes, business people and many more will share their experiences and tell the story of the communities they live, learn, work and play in. The Avalon Park Sun, will be a monthly publication with dynamic updates as they are submitted, and will be printed 2 times per year. While we want to be your community news source, we will not “chase” the latest scandal or gossip. And while we will tell you how people are talking about the US, the US economy in Singapore or Sydney, we will also let you know if the Timber Creek Wolves won their last football game and feature pictures

from local schools and community events. You can view the latest news for each of our communities by logging into the Avalon Park Sun anytime at www.AvalonParkSun.com or by subscribing to receive our weekly email updates at www.DowntownAvalonPark.com. Whenever I read an article in a newspaper about an event I personally participated in, it seems like most of the time, the account is not “like it really” was. The Avalon Park Sun will be different, all articles are written by people like you and I, and the news is only first hand. The Avalon Park Sun will have an opinion and it will be the opinion of the people who live, learn, work and play in central Florida, or around the globe. Rome was not built in one day, the Avalon Park Sun will evolve and we need your input and help. Submit your articles, pictures, questions, comments, complaints and ideas to Info@AvalonParkSun.com. The SUN is Shining Again. Go Avalon Park Sun, Go!

From the Desk of Commissioner

Maribel Gomez Cordero


MOVE-IN SPECIAL No Admin Fee ($200.00 Value) Receive a Samsung Galaxy Tablet Receive an additional $150.00 Visa Gift card if move in by 03/16/2020

EXCEPTIONAL APARTMENTS. EXTRAORDINARY NEIGHBORHOOD. The distinctive flavor of small-town life and the sophistication of uptown living come together at The Flats. Located in Downtown Avalon Park these uniquely styled four-story apartment homes place you above – yet at the center of – all the shopping, dining and professional services that downtown offers. *Offer valid on select apartment homes and subject to approval.


To the residents in Avalon Park, as your Commissioner, I will be using this space in the upcoming issues to keep you informed of all the District 4 and Orange County updates. I have enjoyed this first year in office and have taken the time to learn from those that know District 4 best. It has been my priority to make time over the last year to have an open door policy with my constituents. This is seen in the different community meetings I have attended, to meet you and hear your thoughts and concerns. Providing follow-up and taking action when a resident calls or writes with a question. I have also upheld my weekly encounters with you one-on-one at my Satellite offices, Wednesdays from 10am-12pm. It is through these interactions that I have learned and listened to the actual issues you face. I will continue to be visible and responsive, ensuring you know where to find me when you need an ally in the community. I continue to support efforts to assist seniors and have been working with different agencies to help with the Mental Health and Homelessness crisis. I am proud to see the adoption of the updated Neighborhood Improvement Grants that areas all over District 4 are taking advantage of in this new year. Safety and security are important to me. I have worked closely with Sector Captain Susan Wallis and supported Fire Station 87 to ensure we are responding when you need us most. In 2020, I will continue to work hard and serve you all.

LIVE (Cont.)

Orlando Housing Market Closes Out 2019 With Slight Increases In Median Price And Sales by Veronica Figueroa Orlando’s annual median home price for 2019 ($242,000) is 4.1% higher than the 2018 annual median price ($232,500) thanks to another 11 months of year-over-year median price increases, according to the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association’s year-end report. Only one month in 2019, April, posted a decline in median price. Orlando home sales completed during 2019 racked up a final tally of 36,694, which is 1.8% above the cumulative sales total of 36,057 for 2018. For a bit of historical comparison, annual sales in 2018 were 3.2% lower than in 2017. ORRA President Reese Stewart, RE/MAX Properties SW, sees the Orlando’s 2020 housing market continuing along a path similar to 2019. “Orlando REALTORS® expect high demand from buyers in 2020, but only moderate gains in home sales due to our chronic low inventory. Those same forces are expected to buoy median price gains at a decelerated but healthy rate.”


“Furthermore, we expect continued seller’s market conditions overall and particularly within the lower price categories, where lack of inventory is most significant,” explains Stewart. “Luxury homebuyers, however, have much to cheer about as data shows that inventory levels at the price point of $750,000 and above moves the needle firmly into buyer’s market territory.”

COMMUNITY An Avalon Park Property Owners’ Association Update

• Kite Day is February 29th at 9:00 am. Loction the flagpole lot.

Community Town Hall Meeting March 5th, 6 p.m.at the Avalon Park Pavilion. Updates from County Commissioner Maribel Cordero Gomez, County Officials and the POA Board and Management.


Veronica is the owner of Figueroa Team, located in Downtown Avalon Park. For more information, visit www.FigueroaTeam.com or 407-625-3749.

• Spring Festival featuring the Easter Bunny and variety of children’s ac-

tivities is scheduled for April 11th at Tanja King Park at 10 am until 1:00 pm. No admission charged.

• Free weights are scheduled for replacement at the South Village in February. • All Townhome roofs in South Village schedule to be completed by the end

of this year.

We believe that companionship within a community is an essential ingredient for successful aging. •

by Kimberly Edwards, Executive Director

UCF-20 minutes

Assisted Living License AL12618 Alafaya Tr.



The people who work at Encore are a compassionate and dedicated group. The caregivers are very hard-working, but they know how to have fun with the residents along the way. If you walk the halls of Encore, you will often see the staff enjoying music, dancing and laughing with the residents. The residents have a depth

and breadth of knowledge and life experiences and one thing the caregivers like the most is hearing about the residents’ life experiences and learning from them.

vd ran Bl

At Encore, 95 employees provide care and services for 100+ residents. The residents are from all over the country and many of them have adult children who live in Avalon Park or the surrounding area. The residents of Encore have moved into the community because they need assistance with meal

Waterford Lakes Town Center

Colonial Dr.

Memory Care programming Oversight of physical well-being by Florida Hospital physician team

All neighborhood design

Social, educational & cultural activities in our community

Outreach room




Medical City

In n o v a

new Gree

p ay Ex



Future Road Expansion


Wellness center with geriatrician on site


When an elder moves into an assisted living community, it is important that the elder continues to be a part of the community at large. That is why we love our community partners. The residents get so much joy from seeing the bright, smiling faces of the children in the community, whether it’s the preschoolers from Primrose School, the local Boy Scout Troop or Brownie and Girl Scout Troops, the Avalon Elementary K-Kids, the Avalon Middle School students participating in the Songbird program, or the Timber Creek High School students who volunteer from a variety of different

Walking access to restaurants, shops & community festivals

East/West Expwy


preparation, medication management, and other activities of daily living. In addition, Encore provides care for people living with dementia and other memory impairments. The oldest resident living at Encore is 103 years old.


The crown jewel of Avalon Park, Encore Assisted Living and Memory Care, is a vital part of the Avalon Park community. Located in the heart of Avalon Park, this beautiful jewel is so full of life and has so much activity going on inside every day!


13798 Cygnus Drive, Orlando, FL 32828

clubs. These intergenerational programs provide the children with exposure to the older generation which good for the children as well. In addition to the various children’s groups who visit Encore, we also have community volunteer, such as the Jetsetters, the Avalon Park American Legion, various church groups, and many other volunteers, who come each week to play games or help out each week with special programs, such as our Friday afternoon Happy Hour. The community partners contribute to the vitality in


the building and enrich the lives of the residents in so many ways. This week, some of the APG development team associates convened for a planning session for our senior housing Independent Living development in Avalon Park I am excited that we will soon be adding the senior housing development to Avalon Park. This will be a key component to providing a continuum of care for the elders in the community. Look for more details to come in our next edition of the East Orlando Sun.

To SUBMIT your local LIVE news.... to ADVERTISE, to REGISTER or to RECEIVE the Avalon Park Sun email: Info@AvalonParkSun.com

Those of us who work in the aging services sector have chosen this occupation for a reason. For me, it’s not a career, it’s a calling. It is gratifying to see the smiles on the faces of our residents when the children come for a visit. I think the partnerships are mutually beneficial. I am thrilled that the intergenerational programs teach the younger generations to love and respect our elders. If you’ve never been to Encore, I encourage you to stop by for a visit. We’d love to show you around!


VPK Registration is NOW OPEN for our NEW State of the Art Building !! If you live in Florida, and your child turns 4 years old by September 1, 2020 your child is eligible to participate in Florida's FREE Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) education program.

Register online at www.floridaearlylearning.com/vpk Fill out application online Print your certificate/voucher of eligibility at home Bring in your voucher to reserve your spot today!

Sign up for our VPK classes at

Avalon Park

Call Today *407-306-9037 *12001-C Avalon Lake Drive Orlando, Fl 32828

FREE 5 days and 3 days programs available

LEARN (Cont.)

Avalon Park Loves Kids! MONDAY

EASTSIDE BISTRO. Kids eat free with main meal purchase. Kids must be under 12. LUNA BAR & GRILL Kids eat free all day wih paying adult. Kid must be under 12. Dine in only


PESAROS. Kids eat free at night with purchase of an adult entrée. *Verify details with each participating restaurant.

To SUBMIT your local LIVE news.... to ADVERTISE, to REGISTER or to RECEIVE the Avalon Park Sun email: Info@AvalonParkSun.com


EAST ORLANDO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Supporting Small Businesses for Nearly 75 Years

by Andrew Cole For nearly 75 years, the East Orlando Chamber of Commerce (EOCC) has helped further the interests of small business throughout the 440 square miles it serves including the Avalon Park community, where you “live, learn, work & play”. Regardless of the industry or type of business, support is key. There are many resources we all tap into, like online groups or social media, however there is also a largely untapped resource on the community level. Your EOCC can be a huge resource through a variety of events, advocating for charitable work for the betterment of the community to our local representatives, a directory listing of reputable local businesses, to discounts and specials and even area job postings. For the small business owner, networking is imperative and the EOCC offers a variety of opportunities throughout the month in addition to presenting business owners in a positive light to the community. The Chamber is also essential to the growth and sometimes the revitalization of an area, often through advocating activities and grant preparation to help find funding for improvements. Where else can you turn for Free Marketing? Members get free promotion with many consumers looking to it as a source for products and services. In addition, members also have access to the list of other business members allowing you to market directly through your shared alliance with the EOCC. We are a business partner with a valuable tool for any small business owner and resources and a source for activities for the Avalon Park and East Orange County communities. Are you hungry for more? Peek at our event calendar filled with something for everyone, like our Feast in the East and Just Desserts event that was held on February 20th at The Pavilion at Avalon Park. Guests’ taste buds were tantalized with tempting bites of savory and sweet delights from local member restaurants. Below you will see a picture of the 2020 Feast Beast and Sweet Treat Award Winners, with the Sweet Treat Award going to Avalon Park’s very own, Chill Pop Lounge.

For more information about this and more visit EOCC.org or call 407277-5951. The East Orlando Chamber of Commerce is your regional connection to everything East of I-4.

2020 Feast Beast & Sweet Treat Awards Feast Beast winner: 3Natives Sweet Treat Award: Chill Pop Lounge

For the small business owner, networking is imperative and the EOCC offers a variety of opportunities

WORK (Cont.)

Ibrahim Sebai Loan Officer NMLS# 1035513

Cell Office eFax

3401 NW 82nd Avenue Suite 230 Doral FL 33122

305-773-4536 786-517-4600 954-541-9154

isebai@prmg.net isebai.prmgapp.com

Rates effective 12/6/17. Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc. NMLS# 75243, www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org. Financing is shown for comparison only, not an offer of credit or commitment to lend. Based on buyer & property qualification. Rates & fees are subject to change without notice. Aprobación del préstamo y tasa de interés depende del crédito del solicitante, colateral, historia financiera y disponibilidad del préstamo en el momento de originación del préstamo. Tarifas y condiciones pueden cambiar sin notificación. Florida Mortgage Lender License #MLD23.

To SUBMIT your local LIVE news.... to ADVERTISE, to REGISTER or to RECEIVE the Avalon Park Sun email: Info@AvalonParkSun.com

WORK (Cont.)


BROUGHT CHANGES TO 2018 TAX RATES AND DEDUCTIONS by Dalia Cantor, CPA, CVA Thanks to the massive new tax legislation, big changes happened in 2018. It changed tax rates and deductions and had millions of Americans taking a closer look at how they did their taxes. Most of those changes went into effect when you filed your taxes last spring for the 2018 tax year, but there are still a few things that will be different when you file your 2019 taxes that are due April 15, 2020. What exactly is going to be different when you file your taxes this year? Here are the main highlights: • Income tax brackets increased in 2019 to account for inflation; • The standard deduction increased to $12,200 for single filers and $24,400 for married couples filing jointly; • There is no longer a penalty for not having health insurance coverage; • IRS has raised the employee contribution limit for 401(k), 403(b) and most 457 plans to $19,000 in 2019. Below is the recap of major key points from 2018 Tax Reform. Remember - where you live, how you derive your income and the level of income and deductions are key on how these changes will

determine your effective tax rate.

Most Significant Business Tax Changes:

Corporations and their shareholders. The

drop in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent is significant and perhaps makes corporations the biggest winners. This lower rate allows domestic corporations to be more competitive internationally, less influenced by tax incentives, and is designed to free up capital for hiring and distribution to shareholders. In addition, the corporate alternative minimum tax has been repealed. Owners of passthrough businesses.

Under the new Act, owners of pass-through businesses, such as partnerships, S corporations, limited liability companies, and sole proprietorships, would be entitled to a deduction of up to 20% of qualified business income from most activities. Certain service professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, consultants, financial service advisors and performing artists, would not receive a benefit of the deduction unless their taxable income is below $315,000

if married filing jointly and $157,500 for all other taxpayers. These provisions are, however, some of the most complex in the new law. There are lots of limits and restrictions to help deter gaming of the tax system. Small businesses.

Increased Section 179 limits will allow businesses to expense up to $1 million in assets, with a phase-out of $2.5 million, up from $500,000. The break applies to assets placed in service after September 27, 2017. The 9% domestic production deduction is eliminated in the new law. Net operating losses can offset only 80% of taxable income, and NOL carrybacks are generally prohibited. Tax-deferred like-kind exchanges are limited to real property not held primarily for sale but rather held for investment purposes. Business entertainment deduction. The

new Act eliminates the deduction for entertainment expenses, which is used for many business development activities and employee morale building, such as golf outings, tickets to sporting events, company retreats and holiday parties. Additionally, the deduction for

transportation fringe benefits is eliminated.

Business interest deduction. The deduc-

tion that firms claim for interest on business debt is limited. Net interest write off will be capped at 30% of adjusted taxable income, with disallowed interest carried forward, Firms with $25 million or less in gross receipts and real estate companies will be exempt.

adversely impacted many retirees who are entering or residing in nursing homes, where a large part of their substantial entrance and monthly fees consist of deductible medical expenses. Itemized deductions.

By doubling the standard deduction to $24,000 for couples, $12,000 for singles and $18,000 for household heads, the new Act

Few things will be different when you file your 2019 taxes that are due April 15, 2020 Business losses. The

deduction for business losses in individual returns is capped. The amount of trade or business losses that exceed a $500,000 threshold for couples and $250,000 for other filers is nondeductible, but any excess can be carried forward.

Most Significant Individual Tax Changes: High-income taxpayers. While almost all

taxpayers get a reduction in their marginal rate, those most excited about the changes will be those earning more than $500,000 if single or $600,000 if married filing jointly. In 2017, these taxpayers are paying 39.6 percent on their income over $444,550 and $470,700, respectively, but these taxpayers will have a maximum rate of 37 percent in 2018.

Certain Retirees.

Under the new Act, the “floor” for the medical expense deduction is reduced for 2017 and 2018. This lower floor means that more retirees will be able to claim a larger proportion of their medical expenses than in prior years. In earlier versions of the law, this deduction was being considered for repeal, which could have

creates a larger “zero percent” bracket, effectively removing many from the tax rolls. Given these much higher amounts, it’s a sure bet that far fewer people will itemize. Good news for upper-income individuals as well as the phaseout of itemized deductions is scrapped under the new law. State and local tax deduction will allow

taxpayers to deduct property taxes and either income or sales taxes, with a combined limit of only $10,000. This change will primarily affect high earners living in high-tax states like New York, New Jersey and California.

Mortgage interest

deduction will have a cap of $750,000, down from $1 million under the current law. Interest on home equity line of credit will be no longer deductible under the new law. Miscellaneous deductions subject to 2% of adjusted gross income are eliminated under the new law. These deductions included unreimbursed employee expenses, tax preparation fees, advisory fees and safe deposit box fee.

Alimony deduction

for post-2018 divorce decrees is eliminated. Recipients will not be taxed on alimony they receive. Child Tax Credit. The

increase in the refundable portion of the child tax credit was a victory for those taxpayers with income so low, they do not generate a tax liability. Under the new Act, the child tax credit is doubled to $2,000 for each dependent under age 17 with up to $1,400 of the child tax credit will now be refundable to taxpayers who do not owe taxes. The income phaseout thresholds are much higher with over $400,000 for couples and $200,000 for all other filers. There is a new $500 credit for each dependent who is not a qualifying child, including, for example, an elderly parent you take care of or a disabled adult child.

Accountants, lawyers, doctors, and other providers of professional services. Owners,

partners, or shareholders of personal service businesses (including doctors, lawyers, and accountants) are not eligible for the full pass-through deduction of 20 percent unless their taxable income is less than $157,500 if single or $315,000 if married. The low-income exception phases out over the span of $50,000 of income for singles or $100,000 if married. This means that any lawyer, doctor, or accountant earning more than $415,000 if married or $207,500 if single, loses out on the 20 percent deduction entirely.

Dalia is the owner of CPA Solutions, located in Downtown Avalon Park. For more information, visit www. MyCPASolutions.com or 407-650-9088.


Discover Puerto Rico

by Marta Pierluisi


Despite the local economic and recent political crisis, the island of Puerto Rico is a genuine experience of culture, history, arts, festivals, traditions, with a rich landscape of natural wonders and diversity – not to mention delicious food! It’s an enchanted island open for business. Let’s get started, traveling from (Avalon Park) Orlando, FL to San Juan, Puerto Rico is a short and smooth cruise over the Atlantic Ocean. Being a US unincorporated territory, if you are American you do not need a passport, hence one less thing to worry about. However, make sure you have your Florida Real ID with you. Being a US territory also means that Puerto Ricans are US citizens and that Puerto Rico

currency is the US dollar, so you do not have to exchange money or pay foreign transaction fees. If you are worried about the language barrier, Spanish is the most popular language on the island but English is the official second language and many people speak it fluently. Now the fun part, exploring the island. The island offers a wealthy variety of great activities for visitors of all ages from incredible blue waters beaches with palm trees, old Spanish Forts, rain-forest, waterfalls, mountains hiking, bio-luminescent bays, caves, lighthouses, to delicious fresh seafood and more. The island territory is 100 miles long and 35 miles wide. Even though you can drive around the island in just couple hours, it

won’t be enough time to discover it and enjoy. Let’s face it, people want different things when traveling. If you are an adventurer, the best way to navigate the island will be to plan the trip staying on different lodges across the island

days on relaxing spots. Puerto Rico has it all, possibilities are endless: zip-lining, rum or coffee tasting, museums, kayaking, hiking, dancing, horseback riding on beaches or mountains, mount biking, cycling,

es, while you plan and decide what to do just sit back in any of its beautiful beaches or relaxing mountains – as all year long the weather is tropical averaging the 80 degrees. Old San Juan is an iconic place of Puerto Rico so make

Sit back in any of its beautiful beaches or relaxing mountains different regions, north, west, south, east and central to maximize the experience and enjoy of all the destination options. As well, you can combine with more stay

fishing, snorkeling, surfing, water sports, golfing, caving, four tracks, shopping, casinos, local festivals, sightseeing … you name it. The whole island is full of surpris-

sure it’s on your things to do! When it comes to safety, as Puerto Rico relays heavily on tourism, police are responsive and

proactive – just take the same precautions you would take in any other city. Don’t let them tell you, Discover Puerto Rico! Ah, and if you would need a pro-working space to manage any business- or work-related matter while enjoying the island…. coming soon The 5th Floor (an Avalon Park sister venture) will also launch services which include memberships passes so you can enjoy the Avalon Park philosophy to live, learn, work and play in Puerto Rico and around the globe. Stay tuned! Marta Pierluisi works with Avalon Park Group connecting their global operations in Puerto Rico and South America.

PLAY (Cont.)

Fiber Artists at PLAY!

by Allyson Roth-Kennedy

The Avalon Park Fiber Artists are a great group of local volunteers working together on services projects. Here you will see some of us cutting material, sewing and knitting! Over the past year our group has had various supplies donated to us, which has helped us make baby caps, chemo caps, prayer shawls, baby booties, kitten blankets and anything else that is presented as a need. Have you noticed the knitted sign wraps on the stop signs during the holidays? That was us too!

Check Out Our Facebook Entry All The Way From Australia! A team of Amazing Helpers all the way from the Far East end of Orlando, Florida gathered a group of family & friends to help out a great cause! They even got people from their own community to donate the materials! Just can’t get better than that! Team Work makes the Dream Work! Absolutely Love that people have joined forces around the world in solidarity, together we really have done something fantastic to make a difference! Just look at those Smiles! Thank You Ladies!! AUSTRALIA YOU!!



To SUBMIT your local LIVE news.... to ADVERTISE, to REGISTER or to RECEIVE the Avalon Park Sun email: Info@AvalonParkSun.com

PLAY (Cont.)

To SUBMIT your local LIVE news.... to ADVERTISE, to REGISTER or to RECEIVE the Avalon Park Sun email: Info@AvalonParkSun.com

Coming together to create a healthy community

An East Orlando Health Alliance


Diabetes and Dental Health 25.8 million children and adults in the United States – 8.3% of the population – have diabetes. And not too far behind those 25.8 million are the estimated 79 million Americans with prediabetes. What’s worse, the increasing prevalence of Type II diabetes has become so staggering, the International Diabetes Foundation has begun to denote Diabetes as “The Global Burden.” Diabetes is a serious illness, and its complications are manifold. Most know of its impact on circulation, visual acuity, and heart and kidney function. Many aren’t aware, however, of its deleterious effect on gum tissue. If you’re prediabetic, have diabetes or have a loved one with the disease, you’ll want to learn more about how to ward off this commonly unknown side effect of the disease.

Diabetes is a disease with tentacles. It touches and degrades so many aspects of a person’s physical health.

tested for diabetes. This is because uncontrolled diabetes results in higher levels of salivary glucose.

Vigilance is needed, particularly with regard to its role in a healthy mouth, because having diabetes can not only lead to oral disease, but the presence of oral disease can also aggravate diabetes.

When coupled with a diabetic’s diminished salivary production, the mouth tends to bathe in an environment ripe for tooth decay, and these parallels are markers that get a dentists’ attention.

When it comes to diabetes and the mouth, it is unfortunately, as the scientific community calls it, a two-way street.

If you’re already diabetic, you’ll want to keep your dentist informed of your disease and its current state so they can always be on the lookout for related problems in your mouth.

What are some of the Oral Health complications of Diabetes? Tooth Decay: Occa-

sionally, an observant dentist who notices a high instance of cavities in an otherwise healthy mouth is the first to suggest a patient be

Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease:

Because diabetes lowers the body’s ability to fight infection, people with the disease are more likely to encounter bouts with gingivitis and periodontitis. Both gingivitis and periodontitis are bacterial gum infections, with

gingivitis being the less advanced version of the two. Having either condition, though, requires diligent care because of a diabetic’s inability to fight these infections properly. Diabetics have the added burden of contending with rising sugar levels caused by the body’s reaction to stress and infection. The resulting see-saw effect can be quite difficult to manage, to say the least.

Fungal Infections: Also

related to the body’s inability to fight infection, diabetics are likely to experience a greater

By: Dr. Mark Ashy, Elite Dentistry

incidence of oral fungal infections. Thrush, which can be common in infancy as a baby, develops their immune system is often seen in diabetic patients as well.

Loss of Taste: In the far-reaching realm of diabetes complications, losing your ability to taste certainly ranks among the most unpopular. Here, nerve damage is the culprit, as untreated or uncontrolled diabetes can cut off nerve transmissions to the brain from the taste buds,

thus impairing or completely removing one’s ability to taste. Diabetes is a serious illness. If you already have the disease, it can be controlled by following the advice of your doctor and your dentist. Be sure to make all of your health care team members aware of your disease so you can best stay on top of it.

Healthy Eating Doesn’t Have to Cost a Fortune by Craig D. James


Welcome to the new year! It is a time for setting goals and setting budgets. Many of us will resolve to live healthier but will also worry about the impact on family finances. Here’s a secret: healthy eating doesn’t have to cost a fortune! Read on for tips for eating healthier on any budget:

Look at the unit price. Even if something is on sale, it’s not always the better price. The small stickers on the shelves don’t just tell you how much the item costs, but they also list the cost per ounce or per pound. Compare these prices to ensure you’re are getting the best value.

options. Bagged salad mixes cost more (and might not stay as fresh!) as a head of lettuce. You can usually save money if you are willing to do a little bit of work. For example, buy a whole chicken and cut it into parts, shred or grate your own cheese, and avoid instant rice or instant oatmeal.




Consider store brands over national brands. Quite often they are exactly the same or pretty close to what you normally buy, and are cheaper!

Convenience often costs more. Think pre-shredded carrots, pre-chopped vegetables, or pre-shredded cheese. These are often more expensive than the whole

Focus on economical and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Bananas, apples, oranges, cabbage, sweet potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables, green peppers,

and regular carrots are typically economical and are packed full of nutrition. Local seasonal produce is generally cheaper and is at its peak in nutrition and flavor. Produce that is not in season has often been transported halfway around the world to get to your store, which is not ideal for either the environment or your budget!


Save money by cooking pasta. Wholegrain pasta dishes with veggies and lean proteins like canned tuna or salmon, canned beans, or grilled chicken breast are simple and cost-effective. Grill up extra chicken so you can en-

joy it for lunch the next day! By adding protein and veggies to your pasta dishes, you can cut back on the amount of pasta you eat while still feeling full.


Buy frozen fruits and veggies. They are rich in nutrients, and are quick and easy to use. Take veggies as a side to your lunch. You can heat them up in the microwave and season with some salt and pepper, dried herbs, lemon juice, and a splash of vinegar. Use that extra chicken breast that you grilled up last night for your protein. Frozen fruits are a great snack when you’re feeling the need for something

sweet, or simply throw them into a blender for a quick smoothie! Remember, you don’t have to break the bank to eat well. Making smarter choices at the grocery store, eating at home, bringing your lunch to work, and planning your meals can all help you to eat better without over-spending. Plus, you will feel better knowing what you are eating. Here’s to a very happy and healthy new year! Craig James is the Executive Director at the Avalon Park YMCA, located at 12001 Avalon Lake Drive


WholeMe Study A PERSONALIZED GENOMICS PROFILE By Marissa Sgambati, E-MHA, AdventHealth If you haven’t signed up yet for “WholeMe,” the first-of-its-kind DNA study in Florida spearheaded by Advent Health, you still have time. Ten-thousand people will have the opportunity to join the study, in which every participant will be screened for the genes linked to familial hypercholesterolemia, known as “FH.” FH is a life-threatening genetic condition that causes high cholesterol. If left untreated, it can lead to cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, even in young adults. Participants will also be able to learn about their ancestry traits and 22 other personal genetic traits such as sweet tooth, sleep movement and caffeine metabolism. Scheduled appointments and walk-ins are available at different locations. There is no cost to join the study. To learn more or register, visit WholeMeFlorida.com.





2 Calendar Planning -10 a.m.-Encore Games-Encore1:30 pm.***

3 Memory Chi-9:30 a.m.-Anytime Fitness Mahjong-A.P. Pavilion-12:30 p.m.

4 Laps Around the Lake-Founders Square-9 a.m.

5 Games-A.P. Pavillion-12:30 p.m.+++ Memory ChiEncore-3 p.m.

6 Goodfellas Pizza Party-1 p.m. (Peggy)



9 Games-Encore1:30 p.m.***

10 Memory Chi9:30 a.m.-Anytime Fitness Mahjong-A.P. Pavilion-12:30 p.m.

11 Laps Around the Lake-Founders Square-9 a.m. MONTHLY MEETING-1 p.m.

12 Nuno’s-9:30 a.m.

13 Bowling-11 a.m. Boardwalk Bowl

14 BINGO-Encore6:30 p.m. (Alan)


16 Games-Encore1:30 p.m.***

17 Memory Chi9:30 a.m.-Anytime Fitness Mahjong-A.P. Pavilion-12:30 p.m.

18 Laps Around the Lake-Founders Square-9 a.m. Armchair TravelersPeggy’s house-6:00 p.m.

19 IHop-11 a.m. (Peggy)

20 Fiddlers Green1 p.m. (Marie)

21 Movie Night at Encore-BYOB & snack-6:30 p.m.(Alan)

23 Games-Encore-

24 Memory Chi9:30 a.m.-Anytime Fitness Mahjong-A.P. Pavilion-12:30 p.m.

25 Laps Around the Lake-Founders Square-9 a.m. Book Clubs-Noon

27 Bowling–11 a.m. -Boardwalk Bowl L-R-C – $3- Encore -6:30 p.m. (Lorraine)

28 A.P. Yard Sale Rotary Craft Beer Festival-4 p.m.

+++Rummikub & Mahjong are played at Thursday’s Games at A.P. Pavilion

Online calendar: www.jetsettersofa valon.webs.com

22 Walk around Lake UnderhillNoon-Followed by lunch at Sweet Tomatoes (Mal) 29

Email address: Jetsettersofavalon @hotmail.com


1:30 p.m.*** Wine & Cheese Tasting-Encore6:30 p.m.-Bring one sealed bottle of wine(Phil) 30 Games-Encore-

1:30 p.m.***

“LV” indicates that we are leaving from the parking lot that is located Goodwill in Avalon Park.

31 Memory Chi9:30 a.m.-Anytime Fitness Mahjong-A.P. Pavilion-12:30 p.m. Additional information & pictures can be found on Facebook at Avalon Park Jetsetters

***Dominoes, Uno & Mahjong are played at Monday’s Games at Encore


(Mal) Games-A.P. Pavillion-12:30 p.m.+++ Memory Chi-Encore3 p.m. Games-A.P. Pavillion-12:30 p.m.+++ Memory Chi-Encore3 p.m. 26 Nuno’s-9:30 a.m. (Mal) Games-A.P. Pavillion-12:30 p.m.+++ Memory Chi-Encore3 p.m.

Book Club 2 meets at the Avalon Park Pavilion, 13401 Tanja King Blvd.




AVALON PARK YMCA | 12001 Avalon Lake Drive Suite M-P. Orlando, FL 32828 | 407.381.2512



By Dave Schmitt The Kiwanis of Avalon Park is very active from our weekly reading in 7 schools including the neighboring head start program to all the local elementary schools. We are working closely with our 14 service leadership programs at all of the local schools including four Lake Nona schools and UCF. We recognize students and/ or teachers at all 14 partner schools.

The club has their annual charity golf tournament coming up Friday, March 6th at Stoneybrook East at 8 a.m. There are still opening to register and sponsor. The club also has been feeding the homeless just around the corner from Avalon Park every couple months on Sunday. We just held a shoe and sock drive for those in need collecting over 100 pairs of shoes and over 400 pairs of socks in conjunction with our service leadership clubs. Additionally, just

started our annual diaper drive with our partner schools. The club also will be participating in the annual bowl-a-thon for the Florida Juvenile Diabetes Camp later this month. We welcome anyone interested in helping with the many opportunities our club offers. For more information, please contact Dave Schmitt, PE (club membership chair) at dave. schmitt@dseorl.com (407) 247-8131

ROTARY CLUB Service Above Self The Rotary Club of Avalon Park just celebrated its 14th anniversary as the club was established February 6, 2006. Rotary is an international service

Jim Foulks, Treasurer

organization of more than 33,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. The members of these autonomous clubs are called Rotar-

ians, and they form a global network of 1.2 million business and professional leaders, all volunteering their time and talents to serve their communities and

the world. The Rotary motto is “Service Above Self”. The club meets weekly at the Avalon Park Pavilion located at 13401 Tanja King Blvd – meetings are Wednesdays at 7:30 AM and anyone else welcome to attend as a guest of the club. Meetings are one hour or less and typically feature a guest speaker and an update on club service projects. Over the years many people have asked me “what is Rotary”? The short answer to that is we are a volunteer organization focused on community service as we try to help those in need and contribute to worthy causes and projects. Some examples of service projects include: Senior & Veterans Pancake Breakfasts, Orange County storm drain labeling, the Little Free Library in Founders Square, Toy Drives for Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital, cooking and serving at the Ronald McDonald House, building wheelchair ramps for the elderly, serving the homeless,

and helping numerous organizations raise funds over the years… the overall list is extensive but we try to do different types of projects that appeal to our membership and focus our time and resources where need exists. The club is funded by membership dues and through fundraising projects and events. We’ve done a myriad of different types of fundraisers from a golf tournament to the Little Miss Avalon Pageant and numerous other smaller events like the Oktoberfest Dunk Tank and the East Orlando Chamber of Commerce Kickball Tournament. Today we rely on three signature events: The Poker Tournament (Fall Event), The Holiday Wine Walk (Early December), and The Rotary Craft Beer Festival (3rd annual event is on March 28th). We are proud to have a designated charity for the Poker Tournament and Craft Beer Festival and contribute funds to the Sacha Patin Memorial Scholarship Fund as a part of the Holiday

Wine Walk. Your local Rotary Club is a diverse club of both men and women that work in various industries including real estate, insurance, transportation, law, engineering, marketing, interior design, banking, pharmaceuticals, restaurant/catering, aviation, investments, education, auctions, and more. We are proud to sponsor the Interact Club at Timber Creek High School as well as the Rotaract Club at UCF – we are invested in our youth as they will one day become leaders and hopefully Rotarians. We are always looking for new members who want to give back to their community and be a part of something special. Please visit The Rotary Club of Avalon Park Facebook page and “Like Us” to keep in tune with all of our projects and activities.

The Rotary Club of Avalon Park meets every Wednesday at the Avalon Park Pavilion at 7:15 a.m.

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