Avalon Park Sun Orlando August 2023

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New Business Launches and Must-Attend Events this August

This August, Downtown Avalon Park is bustling with a multitude of activities, from business openings to community events to getting ready to go back to school. You will not want to miss out on all the fun-- be sure to schedule a little of the summer before getting back to your routine.

Avalon Park is excited to welcome four new businesses to Downtown! Infinite Me Spa, We Build, F45 Training, and the Juiice Box are bringing exciting new services to the neighborhood. Please help us welcome these new businesses to town!

Infinite Me Spa, found in the heart of Downtown Avalon Park at 13000 Avalon Lake Drive, Ste. 100, officially opened its doors on July 15th. From massages, to facials, to lash extensions and waxing, Infinite Me Spa is the epitome of an extraordinary spa experience. Their team of experts are devoted to ensuring that each visit leaves their clients feeling refreshed and revitalized. Visit them online today to see a full list of their services and to schedule your appointment.

Grand Opening in the Avalon Innovation Center, located at 3801 Avalon Park East Blvd., Ste. 340. It is their commitment to turn your vision into a reality that exceeds your expectations, where you can build the perfect home for the next chapter of your life.

Anticipated to open in the Marketplace at Avalon Park this month, The Juiice Box is bringing their flavorful and healthy menu to the Avalon Park community and beyond. Indulge in the variety of create-your-own smoothies, juices, açaí and pitaya bowls, and salads that highlight their vast menu, as well as wraps and all-day breakfast items.

While you are Downtown enjoying a great new dining experience, check out these great events:

The Avalon Park YMCA and Connect 2 Kid have once again partnered together with Downtown Avalon Park to bring families in their monthly event: Reading at Sunset. All are invited to participate in this children’s reading club that meets the second Tuesday of each month (August 8th) at 6:30 pm under the trees in front of the Avalon Park YMCA.

Thursday, August 3rd, 6-9 pm, is the 90’s themed Night Market featuring local makers and vendors. Vendors will be set up in Founder’s Square and in front of other businesses throughout Downtown. Join us for an evening of supporting local and taking it back to the 90’s!

The monthly Food Truck Night on Sunday, August 20th, 5-9 pm at Town Park will feature new trucks like Mulata Artisan Pizzeria and Bon Appetit and returning favorites like the Monsta Lobsta truck!

F45 Training specializes in innovative, highintensity group workouts that are fast, fun, and results-driven. By combining functional movements, cutting-edge technology, and a motivating group environment, F45 Training provides a unique fitness experience designed to empower individuals and foster a strong sense of community. The anticipated opening date for the new F45 Avalon Park is October 1, 2023 at 12001 Avalon Lake Drive, Ste. C.

We Build, a leading home building company in Central Florida, have recently celebrated their

August is also a busy month at the Avalon Park Arts and Culture Center. With a Shrinky Dink Workshop, Sewing Club, Arte en tu Idioma, Barbie Party, and the Artist Reception for the new Community and Collaboration, Friday, August 4th, 5-9 pm, there is something for everyone. For more information on these events, email Info@ AvalonArtsCenter.com

To stay up to date on news and events in Downtown Avalon Park, make sure and sign up for our newsletter here and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.


A Glimpse into Avalon Park Wesley Chapel

master-planned community development project in Pasco County, Avalon Park Wesley Chapel, is a significant example of why those strategies work.

In 1988, 35 years ago, we bought 1,800 acres of land in Pasco County, which today we call Avalon Park Wesley Chapel. Thirty-five years ago, when nobody had internet, there were no smart phones, social media and most of the technologies we rely upon today.

It started in 1988 with the sellers, Bill Brown, and his family. The Browns did not want to sell their 1,800 acres of land in East Pasco County, but the IRS was on the doorstep and money was needed. So, we entered into a purchase agreement that stipulated that the Browns could continue to have their cattle on the land and continue their agricultural operations as long as we did not develop the property or parts of it. Bill was able to farm on the land he sold in 1988 until his passing a few years ago for no charge. This is the perfect example of a WIN/WIN.

These days corporate America is notorious for thinking short term. Wallstreet is focused on the quarter and long-term partnerships do not really count for much in corporate America. However, when your business model is to develop sustainable towns where people can live, learn, work, and play the quarter means nothing. Quite the opposite, it is the decades of partnerships and

worked hand in hand. And when complete, Avalon Park Wesley Chapel will likely be a billion plus asset for Pasco County, with its anticipated property value and estimated 20,000 residents.

Pasco County and APG have proven that there is success when partners think long-term, which results in a WIN/WIN for all. This is the reason why we continue to invest in Pasco County, beyond the town of Avalon Park Wesley Chapel. Besides past developments such as an industrial park and more, we also operate a lime rock mine in Northwest Pasco County. Our goal is to expand this venture, which will provide more jobs and produce materials needed for the construction industry locally.

Our long-term thinking and partnerships continue, not only in Pasco County, but Orange County, Volusia County, Lake County and the several other global locations where we do business….35 years and counting.

Maribel Gomez Cordero From the Desk of Commissioner

Happy August!

August is a vibrant month filled with diverse events and activities. From summer festivals and back-to-school preparations, there’s something for everyone. It’s a time of celebration, vacation, and cultural observances, making August a captivating and dynamic month worldwide.

I would like to inform you of a new program that Orange County is spearheading with funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Orange County was awarded approximately $26 million from this act and will be making available grants to small businesses and gig workers. Small businesses can be eligible for up to $10,000, home-based businesses can be eligible for up to $3,000 and gig workers up to $1,400. I encourage all small business owners and gig workers to apply for this program at ocfl.net/boost. Additionally, on August 3rd at 6:30pm, Orange County Economic Development staff will be hosting an informational session at the National Entrepreneur Center (3201 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803). If

you are interested, please apply at the web address above.

With OCPS reopening its schools in August, now is a good time to start preparing for back to school. On August 5th starting at 10am, I will be hosting a back-to-school event at the Meadow Woods Recreation Center (1751 Rhode Island Woods Cir, Orlando, FL 32824). We will be giving away backpacks, school supplies and other items to prepare students for their return to the classroom. Additionally, the first fifty families to arrive to the event on Saturday will receive groceries courtesy of Second Harvest. If you would like to register your child for this event, please call my office at 407-836-7043 or email us at district4@ocfl.net.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, or if you would like to receive my newsletter, you can email me at district4@ocfl.net or call my office at 407-836-5881. You can also meet me in person at one of my two satellite office locations. On the first Wednesdays of the month, you can meet me at the East Orange

Community Center (12050 E Colonial Dr) or on the Third Wednesdays of the month at the Meadow Woods Recreation Center (1751 Rhode Island Woods Cir). My time at both locations is from 10am to 12pm. Thank you again!

Nonprofit Enthusiasts in Downtown Avalon Park

Can you believe a year has passed since we had the pleasure of holding our grand opening at Absolutely Avalon!

It definitely was a warm welcome into the community and gave us the chance to interact with our business neighbors. We appreciate the fact that there are direct opportunities to connect and learn not only about business but about Orlando itself!

We are Nonprofit Enthusiasts, a consulting agency with more than 40 years of experience at Avalon Park’s Professional Center. We specialize in consulting and supporting nonprofits by giving them the tools and resources needed to serve their communities. Some of the specific services we offer are one-on-one and group coaching services where nonprofit organizations can learn about skills necessary to grow their nonprofits, like graphic design, nonprofit training, marketing, strategic fundraising, and much more!

Our team will work with you to turn your vision into reality, supporting you each step of the way. We hope that throughout our time here, we will continue to connect and grow with Avalon Park and our neighboring businesses.

If you would like to further connect with us, you can by visiting Nonprofitentusiast.com for more information or

click HERE to schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation. Also keep an eye out for our next month’s Avalon Park Sun Newsletter section where we’ll share some free and discounted resources you can take advantage of as a nonprofit organization.

Prepare Your Kids for Back to School

Whether you’ve done it before or not, preparing yourself and your kid to go back to school can be a lot. It’s a new routine for you and your kids, like different bedtimes, knowing what lunches are quick and easy to make, and making sure your kid has all their school supplies ready. As August begins, take time to prepare and go out shopping with your kids to make sure they have everything they need.

Bedtime Routine

A school sleep schedule means getting to bed earlier and getting up early in the morning. This won’t happen overnight, though. A week or so before school starts, start getting your child in the habit to go to bed early, and you as well! You’ll be well-rested to help your child get ready for school, as well as help make their lunches and pack their backpack. To start getting to bed at a reasonable time, shut off electronics early on and do calm activities to settle down for the night.

Getting the Right Supplies

This will take another few weeks of preparation to get your kid ready for school. Start by getting organized. Make sure your child has all the supplies they need, including a backpack, school supplies, and clothes that are appropriate for any kind of weather. Double check your kid’s school supply list to make sure they have everything so you don’t need to shop last minute.

Healthy Habits

Pack a healthy lunch and snacks. This will help your child stay energized throughout the day. Some good, easy lunches to pack your kids are chicken, egg, or tuna salad sandwich, turkey sandwich, taco salad, lunch meat roll ups, etc. It’s important

to pack all tiers of the food pyramid as your kid needs all the nutrients they need throughout the day. Snacks are a great way to help cover this part. You can pack fruits, veggies, hummus with pita chips, and a healthier alternative for one of their favorite desserts.

Celebrate the Beginning of a New School Year

At the end of the day, back to school is an accomplishment! Take the family out for dinner and celebrate the beginning of another school year. It’s also important to talk to your child about their expectations for the school year. Help them set goals and develop a plan for achieving them. Be positive and supportive. Let your child know that you believe in them and that you are there to help them succeed.

Back to school can be a stressful time for both children and parents. By following these tips, you can help make the transition easier for everyone.

Get Ready for Back to School in Avalon Park

Here in Avalon Park, there are many opportunities for your child to grow and succeed.

The distinctive flavor of small-town life and the sophistication of uptown living come together in 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.

For more information on leasing at The Flats please click here or call 407-273-4337.


Safety Tips for Outdoor Senior Activities

As much as we all love to have fun and enjoy summer activities, it’s essential to keep safety in mind, especially for seniors. Seniors are more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, such as dehydration and heatstroke, during the summer months. Here are some safety tips to consider while participating in summer activities:

Summer is a time for fun in the sun and enjoying the great outdoors, but it can also pose some unique challenges for seniors. As we age, our bodies become more sensitive to heat and sun exposure, making it important to take precautions to stay safe during the hottest months of the year.

At Encore at Avalon Park, we understand how important it is that seniors have access to safe, fun and engaging outdoor activities. In addition to comfortable accommodations and delicious meals, our senior living community offers a full schedule of recreational and social activities for our senior residents, many of which are perfectly accessible for seniors in wheelchairs to enjoy.

1. Stay Hydrated:

Seniors should drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after summer activities to avoid dehydration. It’s advisable to carry water bottles with you wherever you go.

2. Dress Appropriately:

Lightweight and loose-fitting clothes in light colors can help seniors stay cool and comfortable during summer activities. It’s also essential to wear hats and sunscreen to avoid sunburn.

3. Time of the Day:

Seniors should try to avoid outdoor activities during peak sunlight hours when it’s hot and humid. It’s advisable to plan activities early in the morning or late in the evening.

4. Be Mindful of Medications:

Some medications may make seniors more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. It’s advisable to check with your doctor if your medications affect your ability to tolerate heat and humidity.

5. Don’t Overdo It:

Seniors should take breaks, sit in the shade or airconditioned places when they feel too hot or tired. It’s important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard.

By keeping these safety tips in mind, seniors can enjoy a fun-filled and healthy summer season with family and friends. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so don’t hesitate to take precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones during summer activities.

Find out more about what makes Encore at Avalon Park the premier senior living community in the Central Florida area by calling 407-270-7500 and scheduling a tour.





Managing Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance has been a main concern for employees in the United States for a while now. It’s important to take time for yourself so you don’t get burnt out or stressed from your job. Finding an equilibrium between your career and personal life can be challenging, but once you find the perfect balance it’ll not only help you mentally and physically, but also advance your career even further.

Request Days Off Early

Planning your vacation days ahead will allow you to maximize your days off throughout the whole year. Knowing when you’ll be away from the office in advance will give you a better idea of when to get work done. Employees often worry that taking time off will disrupt their workflow, but with the correct planning and time management, vacation days won’t disrupt anything. The benefits of taking a vacation outweigh the downside of not. Everyone deserves some time off!

Take a 3-Day Weekend

Sometimes work can be too much and you don’t foresee yourself taking a week to two week vacation during the year. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any time off. Taking a Friday or Monday off to give yourself a threeday weekend will allow you to be ready for the following work week. Take this time to get away from work and only answer emails or phone calls that are important. Spend time with family and do hobbies that you’d normally not have time for during the work week.

Prioritize Self Care

Self-care is taking time for yourself to relax and rejuvenate. This means a lot of different things to people. Some go for a walk, go to the gym, lay outside, get a massage, etc. Long work hours can take a toll on your mental and physical health, so it’s important to know when you need to focus on yourself.

Work Outside the Office

Working in the office is beneficial as you can work better with your coworkers to get ideas flowing and be more efficient in your office with no distractions. However, if you’ve put in long hours throughout the week, it’s never a bad idea to see if you can work from home. After getting permission to take a day to work from home, set up a quiet and comfortable office space for yourself with minimal

distractions. To see how you can still work efficiently from home, visit here for some tips!

Having a Work-Life Balance at The 5th Floor

When looking for a place to start your business and to have a flexible work environment, consider The 5th Floor as the beginning or next step of your business journey.

The 5th Floor Orlando offers modern and high-quality workspaces, concierge-level services that are completely customized to our tenants’ specific needs, and a convenient location above the Marketplace at Avalon Park. Our hot desks and private offices are perfect for ambitious individuals looking for a workspace perfect for facilitating collaboration and fostering productivity. And our high-tech conference rooms are an excellent space to host your workshops, meetings, and events.

For more information about how to get started and to reserve one of our accommodating coworking spaces, contact The 5th Floor Orlando online or call us at 407-7303493.


F45 Training to Open New Location in Avalon Park Orlando

Avalon Park Group is excited to announce that the global fitness community, F45 Training, is opening its newest location in Downtown Avalon Park Orlando. Family owners and operators, Tara Sue Gally and Jon Hamrick, are proud to bring F45 Training to the Avalon Park community, joining their five other locations across Central Florida. The anticipated opening date for the new F45 Avalon Park is October 1, 2023.

F45 Training specializes in innovative, high-intensity group workouts that are fast, fun, and results-driven. By combining functional movements, cutting-edge technology, and a motivating group environment, F45 Training provides a unique fitness experience designed to empower individuals and foster a strong sense of community.

“We knew this vibrant, healthy community was perfect for an F45 and are so excited to find the right location and opportunity,” said Gally and Hamrick. “F45 is more than a gym, our purpose is to provide motivation, innovation and results for our members while becoming part of the greater Avalon Park community!”

F45 Training’s commitment to their mission and vision promises an exciting fitness experience for everyone in Orlando. Residents are eagerly anticipating the arrival of F45 Training and the opportunities it brings for motivation, innovation, and a healthier lifestyle.

Beat Kahli, President and CEO of Avalon Park Group, shares their excitement. “F45 Training’s commitment to

innovation and creating a fitness community aligns perfectly with our values and mission of creating healthy and sustainable communities,” said Kahli. “We are thrilled to have F45 Training as part of Avalon Park and look forward to the positive impact they will have on our residents.”

For more information about F45 Training, visit their website or call 407-454-6323, and follow along on their Instagram @f45_training_avalonpark and Facebook @ F45TrainingAvalonPark.

Downtown Avalon Park, developed and managed by Avalon Park Group, is east Orlando’s premier community to live, learn, work and play. For an up-to-date listing of the 150+ shops, restaurants and professional services, along with a full calendar of events, visit AvalonParkOrlando.com or on social media with the handle @avalonparkorlando.


Job Seekers EOCC

East Side Job Fair Aug. 24th

According to a June 20th article on the Human Resources Director (HRD) website, 26% of employees say that they will potentially change jobs within the next 12 months. The report shows that many of these employees feel overworked and ore underpaid. The survey also reported at 71% of the respondents think that now is a good time to look for a new job.

If you are one who feels the time is right to make a career move, the East Orlando Chamber of Commerce (EOCC) may have the solution for you. The Chamber and OrlandoJobs. com are host our first East Side Job Fair on August 24th from 11AM-2PM at the DoubleTree Orlando Airport Hotel located at 5555 Hazeltine National Drive, Orlando, FL 32812. This event is sponsored by AdventHealth Duke Energy and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. In addition to these sponsors, Brightline, HCA Healthcare, Trustco Bank, Valencia College, Skylight Roofing and more will be available to meet interested Job Seekers. Free Entry, Parking and Headshots when you arrive.

If you have time afterwards, the East Orlando Chamber Business Expo, presented by Walmart Business, will follow the Job Fair starting at 5PM ending at 8PM, Come check out over 135 businesses who will be showcasing their products and services. There is food, beverages, prizes, discounts, givea-ways, and the chance to win a $500 gift card for completing the BINGO Card. Job Fair attendees will also receive a free ticket to the Business Expo, additional tickets can be purchased for $10 and are available at www.EOCC.org, via QR Code to the right or at the door.

Business Expo Event Parking is across from the Hotel in the Lee Vista Prominade Shopping Center near Marlow’s Tavern. Kingdom Car Service will provide event shuttle service, running every 5 minutes getting you safely and securely to and from the Expo. Need more time to interact? Join us afterwards for an after-event wine down at Marlow’s Tavern Lee Vista for food and beverage specials.

The East Orlando Chamber of Commerce supports our local businesses and encourages you to patronize our members who support the East Orlando community. You can find these businesses in our member directory at: https://business.eocc. org/list/. If you’d like more information on the East Orlando Chamber of Commerce or to have your business listed, visit www.EOCC.org and contact us at 407-277-5951 or eocc@eocc. org.

August Calendar of Events

8/1 9a, 10a, 11a, 12p Testimonial Tuesday on Facebook LIVE! 8/1 12:30p EOCC Great Lunch Adventures at Rock N Brews Oviedo 8/3 8:30a Coffee Club East - Bonefish Grill Waterford Lakes 8/7 8:30a Merchant Monday presented by Trustco Bank & East Orlando Chamber 8/8 10:30a Tewes Lending in Partnership with EOCC presents: “What Real Estate Agents Need to Know About Credit Scores” 8/9 5p RESCHEDULED - LinkedIn Posting Party with Deborah Mitchell 8/10 8:30a Coffee Club Downtown 8/14 8:30a Merchant Monday presented by Trustco Bank & East Orlando Chamber 8/16 11:30a Chamber Luncheon: Welcome Aboard Brightline Trains in the City Beautiful 8/16 5p Afterhours Real Estate Connections in partnership with the East Orlando Chamber 8/17 8:30a Coffee Club Nona - Sam’s Club Lake Nona 8/21 8:30a Merchant Monday presented by Trustco Bank & East Orlando Chamber 8/21 8:30a Merchant Monday presented by Trustco Bank & East Orlando Chamber 8/21 4:30p Ribbon Cutting & VIP Event: Fazoli’s 8/24 11a Job Fair 2023: East Orlando Chamber & OrlandoJobs.com 8/24 5p Business Expo 2023 8/28 8:30a Merchant Monday presented by Trustco Bank & East Orlando Chamber 8/29 10:30a Tewes Lending in Partnership with EOCC: “New Construction Loans for Real Estate Agents: 8/30 6p Ribbon Cutting: Orlando Orthopedic Center 8/31 5p Business After Hours: Avalon Park Marketplace | 5th Floor WORK

Back To School with Avalon Mail Center

Even though summer does not officially end until September 23rd, I am sure we are all getting ready for the end of the season and getting ready for everything “back-to-school” related. Say goodbye to weekend beach trips and hello to homeroom projects and science fairs. Well, no matter how painful or hectic the back-to-school season can be, just know that we at the Avalon Mail Center got you covered.

We offer both black and white and color printing at our store. We make it simple! All you have to do is send us whatever you want printed to our email address, your specifications on how you would like it printed, pay, then we take care of the rest!

And for the back-to-school season, Avalon Mail Center is also offering our fabulous tutoring sessions! Whether your child needs help with their studies or you want to learn a new language, we got you covered on that front as well!

Jenny Cruz, our resident Spanish and Grammar

tutor, is wonderful with kids and is a full-time teacher at a local Avalon private school. So you know she’s got the skills to pay the bills! Miss Jenny is great with kids and offers tutoring for older kids and adults as well.

And as always, if you need to stock up on stamps or need to send out a package, come visit us at the Avalon Mail Center at 3564 Avalon Park East Boulevard, Suite 1. We are located at the junction opposite Publix and CVS.


Discover Tranquility and Rejuvenation at Infinite Me Spa

Welcome to Infinite Me Spa, an oasis of serenity and relaxation. Our spa is dedicated to offering a comprehensive range of luxurious services and personalized treatments that will leave you feeling refreshed, renewed, and inspired. Join us on a journey of self-discovery and holistic wellness, where you can escape the stresses of everyday life and embark on a transformative experience for your body, mind, and spirit. At Infinite Me Spa, we believe that self-care is a fundamental necessity for leading a balanced and fulfilling life. Our spa is a harmonious sanctuary, where tranquility meets sophistication, providing an inviting atmosphere that ensures each visit is truly immersive and memorable.Infinite Me Spa offers an extensive menu of services tailored to meet your unique needs and desires. Our dedicated team of professionals is committed to delivering exceptional results. Here are some of the services we provide:

Massage Therapy: Experience the blissful relief of our massages, designed to alleviate muscle tension and promote overall relaxation.

Lash Extensions: Enhance the allure of your eyes with our expertly applied lash extensions, customized to suit your desired style and natural beauty.

Nail Services: Treat your hands and feet to our pampering nail services, from manicures and pedicures to luxurious nail enhancements.

Introducing Letishe Skincare & Beauty, our exclusive product line crafted with the finest ingredients. Complementing our spa treatments, Letishe offers a range of luxurious skincare products. From the Pore Exfoliating Facial Scrub to the Cucumber Infused Eye Gel, Advanced Skin Repair Serum, and our signature Infinite Me Moisturizer, these products nourish, rejuvenate, and enhance your natural beauty.

At Infinite Me Spa, our mission is to create a serene sanctuary where guests can unwind, rejuvenate, and reconnect with themselves. We strive to provide a personalized and transformative experience, guided by our passion for wellness and exceptional service. Our goals include:

Exceeding our guests’ expectations with outstanding spa services that promote relaxation, healing, and self-care.

Creating a nurturing environment where guests feel valued, respected, and pampered throughout their spa journey.

Yoga: Discover balance and serenity through our invigorating yoga classes, guided by experienced instructors in a tranquil setting.

Facial Treatments: Reveal your skin’s radiance with our range of facials, including the European facial, Age-Defying Facial, Microdermabrasion Facial, and Sensitive Skin Facial. Our estheticians tailor each treatment to address your specific skin concerns and restore your natural glow.

Full Body Waxing: Enjoy the smoothness of our professional full body waxing services, providing long-lasting hair removal and impeccably smooth skin.

Fostering a team of dedicated professionals who are passionate about providing exceptional service and fostering a sense of well-being for our guests.

Infinite Me Spa invites you to embark on a profound journey of self-discovery, where tranquility and rejuvenation merge to create an unforgettable experience. Visit us at 13000 Avalon Lake Dr. Suite 100 or Infinitemespa.com and immerse yourself in the transformative world of Infinite Me Spa. Let us guide you on a path of self-care, where infinite possibilities await.




Practical Back to School Shopping Tips

3. Compare prices. I have to admit, this part drives me crazy..I just want to get it over with but, now that most places have apps, I can can compare Walmart, Target and Amazon before heading out the door/ordering online. Publix is also known for doing BOGO on school supplies, so I like to see what they have too.

4. Take advantage of Prime Days and Tax Free Week. Huge savings opportunities are available with both Prime Days and Tax Free Week. By planning ahead and comparing prices (and of course, with that budget), you’ll be able to knock out your supply list in one fell swoop.

It is hard to believe that we are already talking about the kids going back to school. I feel like this summer just began. With school on the horizon and Prime Day and Tax Free Week coming, it is time set a budget and get prepped for back to school shopping. With 4 kids under my belt, I have nailed down some practical Back to School shopping tips for moms with multiple kids in school.

1. Assess what you have.

Assess what you currently have and can re-use before shopping. I like to buy a few extra every year so that when it comes time for back to school shopping, I get a little surprise by already having some stuff on hand.

I always go through their clothes too so that I can toss, keep and hand me down before I go shopping. It helps to know what we have and what we need ahead of time.

2. Budget in advance.

Create a budget based on the number of kids you have in school and what you currently have on hand. Plus, most school supply lists are out by now, making it even easier to know exactly what you need and don’t need.

I have figured now that it is about $100 per kid for supplies (including backpack and lunch box).

5. Don’t buy for appearances.

This is a hard one especially in those tween and teen years, but making a purchase based on the item being practical and functional will beat “fashion” and popularity any day of the week.

That Minecraft lunchbox wasn’t “cool” anymore after the first 2 months of school, so the boys are getting plain black lunch boxes moving forward. No more nonsense there. Plus, I want to get something that will last all school year.

6. Shop Second-Hand.

Once Upon a Child, Goodwill, and Platos Closet are all great places to get good deals on clothes, shoes and back to school accessories. They often times have brand new items as well as gently used. With the rate that these kids grown out of clothes, it is a win win.

Plus, if you have a tween or teen girl, they can get all of the latest “fashion” at a fraction of the price!


July Event Recap!

Fourth of July 2023 Christmas in July Pub Crawl Yoga at the Marketplace with YogaSix Improv Show with Seminole State College Infinite Me Spa Grand Opening Christmas Cookie Decorating at ACC Firecracker 5k Run Pinecrest Reading with Santa



Coming together to create a healthy community


Fun and Fitness: Engaging Activities for the Whole Family

Finding exciting activities that promote fun and fitness for the entire family is a wonderful way to spend quality time together. These activities not only keep everyone active but also create lasting memories and foster strong bonds. In this blog post, we’ll explore some delightful options that offer a range of benefits for the whole family, including swim lessons, youth sports, group exercise, pickleball, and the excitement of summer camps.

Swim Lessons: Splash into the world of swimming! Enrolling your family in swim lessons is a fantastic way to ensure water safety and build confidence in the water. From learning basic strokes to advanced techniques, swim lessons offer valuable skills that your family can enjoy for a lifetime. Not only will you have a blast, but swimming also provides a refreshing full-body workout that improves cardiovascular health, strength, and flexibility.

Youth Sports: Get ready to cheer for your favorite team! Youth sports such as basketball, soccer, and volleyball are an excellent way to promote physical activity and valuable life skills. Whether it’s kicking a soccer ball, shooting hoops, or spiking a volleyball, there’s a sport for everyone to enjoy. Joining local sports leagues or programs allows your family to engage in friendly competition, develop teamwork, and foster sportsmanship. Plus, the joy of scoring a goal or making a basket creates unforgettable family moments.

Group Exercise: Turn up the energy and groove to the beat! Group exercise classes offer a fun and motivating way for the whole family to get moving together. From high-energy dance workouts like Zumba to calming yoga sessions, there’s a class to suit everyone’s interests. With lively music and enthusiastic instructors, these classes make fitness feel like a party. Exercising as a family not only promotes physical fitness but also strengthens bonds and sets a positive example for a healthy lifestyle.

Pickleball: Discover the fun and excitement of pickleball! This engaging sport combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, and it’s perfect for all ages and skill levels. Grab a paddle, rally on a small court, and enjoy some friendly competition as a family. Whether you’re playing doubles or singles, pickleball provides a thrilling experience that enhances hand-eye coordination, agility, and strategic thinking. Get ready for lots of laughter and memorable matches!

Engaging in fun and fitness activities as a family creates bonds that last a lifetime. Swim lessons, youth sports, group exercise classes, pickleball, and the excitement of summer camps offer incredible benefits for the whole family. Whether you’re splashing in the pool, scoring goals, dancing to the beat, rallying on the pickleball court, or embarking on summer camp adventures, these activities provide opportunities for laughter, growth, and unforgettable memories. So, gather your loved ones and embark on a journey of fun and fitness together!



Avalon Arts Center Update

Last Saturday afternoon at the Avalon Arts & Cultural Center (ACC) Avalon Park resident and Seminole State Theatre and Communications Professor Nicole Salamon (pictured in blue t-shirt) and some of her students lead over 20 attendees in fun improv exercises such as keeping a conversation going by only asking the other person questions related to what they were asked. Pizza was provided during the break. Also pictured are Avalon Park Foundation member Stephanie Lerret in black shirt and South Village resident and pickleball medal winner Matt Salamon in white t-shirt.

Next up at the ACC is the free Community and Collaboration artist reception Friday July 28th from 6pm-8pm. The current Artist Imposter exhibit ends July 20th and the Community and Collaboration Art exhibit runs July 21st to August 27th.

The Hispanic Heritage Art exhibit runs from September 1st to October 15th with the free artist reception Friday October 6th from 6-8pm.

The Spooky Scenes Art exhibit runs October 20th - November 19th with the free artist reception Friday evening November 3rd. The White Winter art exhibit runs November 24thJanuary 28th with the free artist reception Friday evening December 8th.

Visit the ACC during their regular hours Fridays 5-8pm, Saturdays 12-5pm and Sundays 1-5pm. Admission is free.

For more information go to AvalonArtsCenter.com & Click on Call To Artists at the top of the page if you have art you would like to be considered for display.



OUC Recognized as ‘Most Trusted’ Nationally for Sixth Year in a Row

Utility Shares Ways to Save, Proposes Second Fuel Rate Decrease for Customers

The Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC—The Reliable One) has been named “Most Trusted Brand” among U.S. energy providers for the sixth consecutive year, according to a national customer survey conducted by the data analytics and advisory firm Escalent. With a score of 747, OUC placed first in the nation among electric utilities included in the 2023 Cogent Syndicated Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™ Residential study.

OUC debuted on the “Most Trusted Brand” index in 2018, and claimed the top score among U.S. electric utilities in the 2020, 2022 and 2023 surveys.

Escalent reports that “Brand Trust among utilities that have continued to highlight savings opportunities, environmental programs, and community support efforts across a variety of channels is 5% higher than the industry average.”

OUC has a long history of providing assistance options for customers, and recently proposed a second fuel pass-through rate decrease for customers.

“We know times are tough for many, and our customers are feeling the strain, which is why we continue to provide and promote important assistance and energy savings programs,” said Linda Ferrone, OUC Chief Customer and Marketing Officer. “At OUC, our customers have trusted us for 100 years to provide them with exceptional value and reliable service, which is why we proposed a second rate decrease in just four months.”

If passed, the price decrease will take effect October 1, 2023, pending board approval in August and review by the Florida Public Service Commission. Combined, the utility’s two most recent fuel rates decreases total a net average savings of $15/month for 1,000 kWh residential customers.

A variety of assistance options are available to OUC customers:

• To learn more, visit www.OUC.com/assistance

• To learn about efficiency programs and ways to use less energy and water, visit www.OUC.com/ waystosave.

• Additionally, OUC’s Project CARE is an assistance program that was established in 1994 to provide emergency relief to those experiencing financial hardships.

• To see how OUC works to provide a valuable connection to customers and community, visit www. OUC.com/connected

About OUC—The Reliable One

In June 2023, OUC—The Reliable One celebrated 100 years of providing exceptional value to its customers and community through the delivery of sustainable and reliable services and solutions. The utility provides electric, water, chilled water, lighting and solar services to more than 400,000 accounts in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of unincorporated Orange and Osceola counties. As OUC prepares for the next century, it remains committed to its goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 while supporting its community with conservation, sustainability and energy efficiency resources. Visit www.ouc.com to learn more.

About Escalent’s Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential study

Escalent conducted surveys among 72,581 residential electric, natural gas and combination utility customers of the 141 largest US utility companies (based on residential customer counts). The sample design uses a combination of quotas and weighting based on US census data to ensure a demographically balanced sample of each evaluated utility’s customers based on age, gender, income, race and ethnicity. Utilities within the same region and of the same type (e.g., electriconly providers) are given equal weight to balance the influence of each utility’s customers on survey results. The Brand Trust Index score is a composite based upon consumer ratings across six factors. Learn more here.

Avalon All-Star Cuts Business of the Week

We are a hair salon with more than 10 years working in Avalon Park. We serve the whole family, children, women and men.

We have a team of professionals with many years of experience, waiting for you to provide you with excellent and quality service, accompanied by a calm and relaxed atmosphere. You can make your appointment online, by text message or by phone. We are always available for you!


Newly Remodeled Orlando Walmart Neighborhood Market Re-Opens with Customer-Centric Features, Following Innovative Store Transformation

Walmart customers in Orlando were welcomed inside the newly transformed Neighborhood Market at 433 Avalon Park South Blvd this morning as the much-anticipated project is now complete. The store’s associates marked the occasion with a ribbon cutting ceremony. In addition, vendors such as Frito Lay, Pepsi, Coke and Arnold’s Bread were on hand to provide samples for customers.

During this morning’s celebration, Walmart store manager Robert Jenkins highlighted the Neighborhood Market’s transformed departments as well as the new interactive features now available to customers, including:

• New signage, fixtures, LED lighting and flooring throughout the entire store for better line of sight and easier navigation

• Refreshed interior, including paint and signage

• Polished concrete floors

• Refreshed bakery and deli areas including new signage

• Refreshed Pharmacy

• Remodeled restrooms

• More self check out lanes for customer convenience

• Complete new energy efficient refrigeration section

convenience of online shopping and allows them to quickly collect their groceries without stepping out of their vehicles. The best part is that Walmart Grocery Pickup is completely free of charge. Furthermore, customers using SNAP in most states have the option to avail themselves of the pickup service as well.

• Delivery - Walmart’s convenient delivery service is also a hit with customers. Even more, Walmart has now made both pickup and delivery contact free. Express delivery – customers now have the option to have their deliveries made in under two hours.

• Walmart Pay – a touch-free way to pay

“Our customers are excited about the new look and feel of our store,” said Walmart Manager, Robert Jenkins. “They love the refreshed and updated shopping experience that includes more spacious aisles and intuitive product placement. ”

To reinforce Walmart’s dedication to the communities it serves, the store manager presented $3,000 in grants to local nonprofit organizations, including:

• Avalon Church ($1,000)

• Adriana’s Attic, Inc. ($500)

• Africans Family & Community Outreach Orlando ($500)

• Avalon YMCA ($1,000)

In addition, Orlando Walmart customers can save time and money by shopping when, where, and how they want. The Orlando Avalon store continues to offer the following innovations:

• Pickup – Walmart’s Pickup option has become a favorite among busy shoppers. It provides the


This membership program is designed to save customers time and money with free, unlimited deliveries, member prices for gas, use of the Scan and Go app, allowing the scanning and payment of products while shopping for quicker checkout and exclusive access to select deals before the general public. Walmart+ costs $98/year ($12.95/month) and includes a 15-day free trial period (Available for signup at walmart.com). Items available for free delivery include groceries, electronics, toys, and household goods. To take advantage of Walmart’s new shopping features, customers can download the Walmart app through Apple Store or Google Play.

About Walmart in Florida

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online and through their mobile devices. In Florida, we serve customers at 387 retail units and online through Walmart Online Grocery, Walmart.com and our family of brands. We are proud to employ 117,206 associates in Florida. Walmart supports local businesses, spending $8.9 billion with Florida suppliers in FYE22 and supporting 90,434 Florida supplier jobs. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. In FYE22, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation contributed more than $131.1 million in cash and in-kind donations to local nonprofits in Florida. Learn more at http://corporate. walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/ walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ walmart


Embrace Families Hosts Caregiver Appreciation Event at Orlando Science Center

Embrace Families recently wrapped up Foster Family Appreciation Month with a special event in their honor. The gathering brought together more than 200 caregivers and the kids they care for at the Orlando Science Center.

On Saturday, June 10, Embrace Families, the lead nonprofit agency overseeing child welfare in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties, used this opportunity to thank foster parents for their compassion and commitment to Central Florida’s most vulnerable children. In addition to an interactive breakfast, families were able to take home a variety of needed items, ranging from backpacks and books to diapers and other personal care products. The Orlando Science Center donated the space and free day passes for the families to explore the exhibits at their own pace.

To learn more about the rewards of fostering, visit www.EmbraceFamilies.org/foster.


Youth Energy Academy at OUC’s Stanton Energy Center

On Thursday morning, several Central Florida middle and high school students learned about a career in the energy industry during the Youth Energy Academy at OUC’s Stanton Energy Center. Photos are available here.

Dressed in hard hats and protective eyewear, the Youth Energy Academy students participated in interactive activities –including a Water Demonstration at OUC’s Water Quality Lab and a tour of OUC’s fuel-diverse, environmentally sound power-generation facility, Stanton Energy Center.

The students were also given a safety presentation and fleet presentation by OUC, and an engineering presentation by Bam Orlando.

Sponsored by the American Association of Blacks in Energy, The Youth Energy Academy is a two-day event of career exploration through interactive activities and engaging discussions designed to expose minority students in grades 8-12 to careers in electric utility industries and related STEM fields. This year’s event runs from July 27-28.

OUC Holds Grand Opening of EV Charging Superhub

The Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC—The Reliable One) hosted a grand opening ceremony for the Robinson Recharge Mobility Hub, one of the largest electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the state, at 10:30 a.m. on July 25, 2023. Located on 129 W. Robinson St. in downtown Orlando, the facility features 20 high-speed EV chargers that can be used for all makes of EVs.

Speakers at the ribbon-cutting ceremony included Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill (District 5), OUC Board President Britta Gross and OUC General Manager & CEO Clint Bullock.

“The Robinson Recharge Mobility Hub marks our single most substantial investment in building robust EV charging infrastructure in Orlando,” said Bullock. “We’re extremely proud of this project, as convenient access to high-speed EV chargers makes EV ownership more attractive, and more EVs on the road will mean a greater reduction in CO2 emissions. The site further complements OUC’s efforts to ensure Central Florida remains a national leader in EV readiness.”

The hub, which is equipped with six 240-kilowatt (kW) and 14 120kW Level 3-rated charging dispensers, is part of OUC’s $45 million commitment to support the transition to transportation electrification. Funds from a $500,000 grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) were used to partially pay for the hub. EV charger manufacturer Power Electronics, the City of Orlando and Orange County helped secure that grant. OUC and Power Electronics covered the remaining project costs and OUC donated property for the hub. CHA Engineering oversaw site engineering while Aireko Construction built the facility. The site utilizes Orlando-based NovaCharge’s ChargeUp application for point-of-sale transaction management.

In 2022, DEP awarded the OUC-led EV hub partnership a second $266,800 grant to build a high-speed EV charging facility at the Orange County Convention Center South Concourse parking lot. Construction is anticipated to begin this fall. The site will initially offer six 240kW Level 3-rated charging dispensers, but could add as many as 12 Level 3 chargers in the future. OUC plans to facilitate the launch of six more charging hubs by 2030.


In a League with Miracles: Avalon Park Rotary Club’s Partnership with the Central Florida Miracle League

In the spirit of service above self, the Rotary Club of Avalon Park has always sought meaningful ways to impact our community. One of our most rewarding activities has been our partnership with the Central Florida Miracle League (CFML), a baseball league for children and young adults with disabilities.

Since 2005, the Central Florida Miracle League has played a major role in our community. As a local chapter of the Miracle League organization based in Conyers, Georgia, the CFML is a nonprofit organization and part of a global network of over 300 organizations across the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia, and Mexico. The League’s mission is to provide opportunities for children and young adults with disabilities aged five and up to engage in baseball, regardless of their abilities. The League is a haven for them to play, learn, and grow. Every spring and fall, the gleeful echoes of baseball games fill Trotters Park with laughter and cheers.

At the Rotary Club of Avalon Park, we have been proud to be part of their support network. During 2022 and 2023, our club members enjoyed volunteering at two Central Florida Miracle League games. Last fall, we rolled up our sleeves and got involved, laughing and connecting with the players and their families. It was great fun to cheer from the sidelines and even join in on some pitches. We heard firsthand about the players’ dreams, determination, and love for baseball.

The second Saturday was an unforgettable experience. We hosted a cookout and a media day and had the pleasure of inviting pitcher Charlee Soto, who was raised in Florida and recently drafted by the MLB to

play for the Minnesota Twins! Soto’s visit added an extra layer of joy and enthusiasm among the players.

However, beyond the joy and companionship lies a challenge. The specially adapted baseball field, which has stood strong for 18 years against its expected 13year lifespan, now calls for replacement. The Rotary Club of Avalon Park, along with other organizations, is rallying to support the CFML’s fundraising efforts for the new field. To us, this isn’t any service project – it’s a testament to our unwavering commitment to the spirit of inclusivity and empowerment.

Central Florida Miracle League President/Board member Mike Houlihan emphasizes, “This is more than just a field. It’s a special place where our players feel safe, have fun, and grow. It’s a space that will continue to create unforgettable memories and miracles.”

Avalon Park Rotary Club members have supported the maintenance of the field and helped meet essential operational needs through donations. These efforts and the funds raised through club activities have made a tangible difference to the League and its wonderful players.

We invite you to join us in this fundraising campaign to support CFML’s new field. To learn more about how you can contribute, please visit the Central Florida Miracle League’s Facebook page or website at http://www.cflmiracleleague.com.

Moreover, the Central Florida Miracle League is organizing a registration event for special needs players in August. Scheduled for August 12th, between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm, the event will take place at Trotters Park in Orlando.

The Rotary Club of Avalon Park, established in 2006, has become a pillar of service and fellowship in the community. Their dedication has been acknowledged through the prestigious Rotary Citation in District 6980, highlighting their commitment to making a positive impact. Throughout the past year, they have completed approximately 40 service projects and fundraisers, particularly on food/hunger projects, which run twice weekly. By organizing signature events like the Rotary Craft Beer Festival, Poker Tournament, and Holiday Wine Walk, the Rotary Club of Avalon Park has raised nearly $65,000 (after expenses) to support designated charities, scholarships, and various club activities.

Together, they are driving meaningful change and fostering a spirit of service.

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