Avalon Park Orlando Sun-February Edition

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Boasting scenic, small-town charm by day and an electric atmosphere at night, Downtown Avalon Park has everything you need for a fun and romantic experience with your special someone. This February, you can win big by showing your love all month long at Avalon Park! Where to Spread the Love Participating Avalon Park Town Center and Marketplace at Avalon Park businesses include: • Avalon General • BBQ50 • Bowigens Beer Company • Cheese to Share • KBBQ Kitchen • LemonShark Poké • NOLA Avalon Park • Pico de Gallo • Rosso Coffee Bar • Sip ‘n Roll Creamery • Avalon Park YMCA

• The Carvajal Group • Avalon Park Jewelers • Avalon Mail Center • Avalon Championship Martial Arts • Avalon School of Music • Avalon Kitchen • The Flower Bouquet • Brix & Mortar Avalon Park • The Pointy Pencil • Avalon Family Vet

several events in February 2022 that you won’t want to miss.

Please visit the blog online to see a full list of specials, events and give-a-ways!

Thurs., Feb. 24th, 4:30 p.m.–9 p.m. - Feast in the East Mardi Gras 2022 at The Pavilion

Visit and Win! If you visit three places at Avalon Park during the month of February and tag yourself at the participating location on Instagram with #ILOVEAVALONPARK, then you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift card! Know What’s Happening Avalon Park is hosting

Wed., Feb. 9th, 7 p.m. - Be My Valentine Coffee & Dessert Pairing at The Pavilion Sat., Feb. 12th, 5 p.m.–9 p.m. - Avalon Celebrates the Arts: Presented by Night Market

Fri., Feb. 25th, 7 p.m. - Movie Under the Stars at Town Park: “The Little Mermaid” Check out our upcoming events page and sign up for our newsletter for even more reasons to visit and fall in love with Avalon Park.


Coffee Hour with BEAT

I Love Avalon Park In the mid-90s, I moved from Switzerland to the suburbs of Fort Lauderdale in South Florida. It was a BIG change. And yes, I got home sick. Not so much because South Florida had no mountains, but because I was not used to being in a neighborhood with only homes, that all looked more or less the same. I rarely saw anyone I knew when I would leave my home in the morning. There was no sense of community. People just drove into their garages in the evening and out of their garages in the morning. As a matter of fact, I did not really know any of my neighbors. Sometimes I tell people, one the reasons we

developed Avalon Park Orlando was to cure my Switzerland “home sickness.” I love communities where you can live, learn, work and play. Because they remind me of home and how I truly believe we are meant to interact and belong within a community.

There is a lot to love about communities, where you can live, learn, work and play. I am writing this article on a Sunday in my office in Avalon Park. While here, I will head downstairs to the Marketplace for a bite to eat while listening to the live jazz music. This is just one component that I Love about Avalon Park. It’s a bustling town, with a sense of belonging. As we start the month of February, a month charmingly deemed the month of “Love,” I reflect on some of the other reasons that I love Avalon Park. I love the sense of belonging and safety when I am in Avalon Park.

Our business operations are now across the globe, and I often travel to my native Zurich, Switzerland. But every time I return to Avalon Park it is like coming home, back to the roots. I love the double, triple, and quadruple stakeholders. These are the residents who live in Avalon Park, have kids in school in Avalon Park, have a business or work in Avalon Park, are member of a Church, Rotary, Kiwanis, Jet Setters, or other organization and frequent one of our 25 restaurants, stores or other amenities.

family of their own or work in Avalon Park. I love the ability to connect with the entire world from my office and from The 5th Floor in Avalon Park, where many entrepreneurs are taking their first step into the business world. I love how multicultural APG has become, with team members on every continent. And I love that it all started in humble East Orlando more than 20 years ago. In short, you can say I Love Avalon Park. I would love to hear why you Avalon Park. I invite you to send me an email with your story to: Info@ AvalonParkSun. com.

I love to meet young men and women who were born in Avalon Park and now raise a Happy Valentine’s Day!

GET IN TOUCH - Have an inclusion for the Avalon Park Sun? Email: info@AvalonParkSun.com - Editorial Staff: Publisher: Beat Kahli Copy Editor: Stephanie Lerret Graphic & Layout Editor: Kenzie Farrish 407.658.6565 3801 Avalon Park East Blvd. #400 Orlando, FL 32828


From the Desk of Commissioner

Maribel Gomez Cordero Happy February! February is the month of Valentine’s Day, a time when we celebrate those closest to us. Where we come together with our loved ones and show them appreciation. The chilly weather is a perfect combination for a holiday that brings us all together. I would like to inform the Avalon Park community about the County’s redistricting process. Last year, an advisory committee was formed to draft recommendation maps for the Board of County Commissioners. Every ten years, the County must redraw the districts so that they can be of equal population, since not all parts of the County grew equally as fast. The Committee proposed two maps, which can be seen at www. orangecountyfl.net/OpenGovernment/Redistricting2021.aspx. The Board of County Commissioners will vote on which map to implement or whether to redraw the map completely on Tuesday, February 22nd at the County Administration Building in Downtown Orlando

(201 S Rosalind Ave). If you are interested in this process, please come out and speak your opinions so that the Board can draw a map that takes everyone’s feedback into consideration. I would like to remind everyone that the COVID testing/vaccination site at Barnett Park (4801 W Colonial Dr) is still open. In addition, there are three more testing sites open in Orange County. The first is the Econ Soccer complex at 8035 Yates Road, Orlando FL 32807. The second is at South Orange Youth Sports at 11800 South Orange Avenue, Orlando FL 32824 and the last one is at Camping World Stadium at 1 Citrus Bowl Place, Orlando FL 32805. All of these sites are open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm. 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. Blessings and Happy Valentine’s Day!


Valentine Guide

Monday, Feb. 14th at 6:00PM7:30PM (1.5HR) $60/couple (2 people) Enjoy an evening of yoga and fun. Learn to move, breathe and stretch in harmony with your partner. Both yogis will be moving together and assisting each other in complementing poses, with complete body awareness. This class is intended to bring trust, compassion, awareness and fun. Flexibility is not required, bring a spouse, a partner, a friend or a family member and we will breathe and move together. This is an all-levels flow with the added fun of a partner. ** This is NOT an acro-yoga class. ples-yoga-date-night

Register at https://www.sqnaturalhealing.com/



3 Social Media Accounts Every Senior Should Follow or just in hearing one senior’s wise thoughts on aging should follow her. 2. The Red Hat Society If your senior loved one is a member of the Red Hat Society, then they should follow the group on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This famous club provides a fantastic outlet for senior women to socialize in person and also hosts cool virtual events. Following their social media pages will keep you updated on upcoming events and information. Seniors often join social media platforms to reconnect with old friends and acquaintances or stay updated on the goings on of their kids and grandkids. And yet while getting to see pictures and keep up with exciting life updates is great, there is actually an entire social media world for seniors to enjoy that exists outside of their immediate friends and family. If you know a senior who is new to social media or is looking to expand their horizons online, here are a few social media accounts that every senior should follow. Must-Follow Social Media Accounts for Seniors 1. The Accidental Icon Instagram influencers are not all teens and young adults; seniors can be just as popular on social media. One style icon who exemplifies this is Lyn Slater, a 67-year-old who graces the world with her impeccable fashion sense on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest under the name “The Accidental Icon.” Anyone interested in fashion

3. Senior Celebrities Everyone’s favorite Golden Girl, Betty White is a cultural icon and one of the most famous seniors around. She is also on most popular social media platforms, making her one of the best accounts for seniors (or anyone) to follow. Actor Leslie Jordan is another beloved celebrity who gained a large social media following during the pandemic by sharing hilarious and relatable jokes and stories about his Southern upbringing. You can follow them both on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Connect With Seniors Offline at Encore at Avalon Park If your senior family member has become tired of social media and would rather connect with others in person, Encore at Avalon Park has you covered. Our seniors enjoy daily fun and engaging recreational and social activities; however, that is not all that our community has to offer. Our accommodations are comfortable, our location desirable, and our meals delicious. If you are looking for a premium senior living community in the Central Florida area, look no further than Encore at Avalon Park. To schedule a tour, call us today at 407-270-7500.


5 Simple, Yet Elegant Valentine’s Day Desserts You Can Make in Your Apartment

Valentine’s Day can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen making complicated desserts to impress your loved one – or anyone else, for that matter! If you have the desire and a few simple ingredients, you can make these elegant Valentine’s Day desserts in no time at all – and they will be sure to wow whoever you choose to share them with!

rosemary if desired. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for 2-3 days in room temperature (to retain color) or for 1 week in refrigerator. Not only are they delicious, but also healthy because you know exactly what ingredients were used!

5) Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles 1 cup heavy cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3/4 cup dark chocolate until dissolved; then add chocolate chips (I prefer chips 3/4 cup raspberry to cream mixture along dark chocolate), dip your 1) Chocolate Ganache preserves candy molds with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla strawberries in it, and Chocolate ganache is a (optional) Directions: Melt extract and stir until fully let them set in a plate simple dessert that is chocolate and preserves incorporated. Pour into or serving dish at room made with cream and together over a double 6-8 small ramekins or temperature for about 3 chocolate (think of it as a dessert dishes and chill hours (or you can put them boiler (or microwave). Mix cross between fudge and well until smooth. Add for at least 3 hours before in the fridge and eat them frosting). It’s delicious, heavy cream and vanilla serving. Top each panna quicker). Enjoy! versatile and easy to extract; mix thoroughly cotta with a thin slice of make – simply melt until well combined. Use a strawberries and chocolate 4) Peanut Butter Hearts chocolate with heavy curls if desired. If you want All you need is a box of red piping bag to carefully fill cream in a double boiler or something more decadent: velvet cake mix and some your molds with chocolate microwave until smooth. mixture or use your hands top your panna cotta with unsalted peanuts to whip Since it can be served cold whipped cream, chocolate up these simple peanut to form them into balls if or at room temperature, it you don’t have any molds chips and cinnamon. butter hearts. Break apart makes for an ideal no-bake Refrigerate an additional on hand for more rustic a package of red velvet dessert that can be served truffles. Refrigerate for two hour before serving—or cake mix and stir it with on its own or dolloped even better make ahead of two cups of creamy peanut hours or until firm. Serve over cakes. immediately or store in an time and save it for later! butter until completely airtight container in the combined (you can make 2) Strawberry Panna Cotta 3) Chocolate Strawberries refrigerator for up to five as many or as few as you Whip 1 1/2 cups of heavy days. Enjoy! 1 Cup of Chocolate Chips + like at once). Roll into cream with 3 tablespoons 1 Package of Strawberries little balls, sprinkle with sugar and 1/2 cup For more information on = The Perfect Date Night sea salt and then place strawberry puree in a large Treat. Here’s a great leasing at The Flats, contact on a tray. Place in fridge bowl until peaks form. In a dessert for couples that our leasing office at (407) for 10 minutes before separate bowl, stir together takes less than 10 minutes 273-4337. transferring to serving 2 tablespoons gelatin and to make and is sure to dish or individual plates/ 2 tablespoons cold water be devoured! Melt your bowls. Garnish with fresh


Sunshine Ankle & Foot Experts February Health Fact Let your feet take you where you want to go, pain free!

Time spent with loved ones should be cherished. As husband and wife, the physicians at Sunshine Ankle and Foot Experts know that the time together should be filled with love and happiness. This time should not be hindered by pain in your feet/ankles. Board certified in podiatric medicine and surgery, we treat all conditions dealing with the foot and ankle, and we see all ages. Do not let the pain ruin special moments, and don’t let life pass you by. Acute ankle injuries and ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries, accounting for 2 million injuries per year. Also, twenty percent of sports injuries are ankle related. Don’t let an injury slow you down. We are here to help! Sunshine Ankle & Foot Experts can help you! Dr. Kiana Karbasi and Dr. Timothy Miller are currently seeing patients in Suite 225 of the Keith Ewing Medical Building. Please call 407-863-3655 or visit us at www. sunshineankleandfoot.com to schedule an appointment! We love being a part of the Avalon Park Community and look forward to keeping it’s members SAFE and keeping them going!




October 8-9th October 30th November 13th December 4th December 31st

Oktoberfest Spooktacular Fall Craft Fair Avalon Aglow NYE

Movie Under the Stars Food Truck Nights

4th Fridays Monthly (September - April) 3rd Sundays Monthly


How Does a Virtual Office Work? With so many businesses moving towards remote work these days, lofty overhead expenses from running a full-time office may seem like a waste of money. Fortunately, there is a more budget-friendly option. Virtual offices include many of the perks of a full-time office but with less risk and commitment, and as work becomes more virtual, more companies are exploring this new and exciting workplace. What Is a Virtual Office? A virtual office provides business owners with the physical assets and virtual elements needed to maintain a functioning and successful business, but without the financial requirements of renting a full-time office space. Virtual offices are typically located in business centers, districts, and communities that are within walking distance to a variety of trendy cafes, restaurants, and other venues. Virtual Office Benefits In addition to being a more cost-effective way to run a business, especially if you and your team frequently work remotely, virtual offices offer the following benefits: 1. Added flexibility for employees 2. Both onsite and remote receptionist services 3. Both onsite and digital mail services 4. Access to convenient copy and print facilities 5. Physical business address 6. Conference and meeting room access If you’re looking to reduce your Central Florida business’ overhead costs or capitalize on the remote work movement, then look no further than

the accommodating virtual offices and coworking spaces at The 5th Floor Orlando. Affordable Virtual Offices in the Orlando Area Conveniently located above Marketplace at Avalon Park, The 5th Floor Orlando offers workspaces that provide many of the flexible benefits associated with virtual offices. We also offer conciergelevel services and memberships that are completely customized to the specific needs of our tenants. From lockable cubicles, hot desks, and private offices to high-tech conference rooms, quality coworking spaces, and modern virtual offices, The 5th Floor Orlando is truly a one-stop-shop for smart, savvy, and ambitious individuals to collaborate effectively and foster a productive work environment. For more information on our available virtual offices or to reserve one of our coworking spaces, contact us online or give us a call at 407-730-3493 today.




Join us for Dental Health Month

Sabrina Beck, CVT, CVBL

promote great dental health. If you do not have time to spare for daily brushing, there are dental products that have been created to make our lives easier while they work on keeping our pets’ mouths happy and healthy. Ask us about dental chews - we have some that we recommend and give to our own dogs.

Why the stinky breath? Who here loves puppy breath? Yes, there are a few who do not like it but let’s be honest, it is so much better than stinky breath right? Not many of us smell our cats breath but I assure you it does not smell great either - take it from someone whose cat tries How can I get rid of bad breath? to lick her like a dog! Well the most direct way is So why does a pets breath smell to have a dental cleaning performed. Dental cleanings consist bad? Dogs and cats develop tartar just of a full oral exam, dental x-rays, like we do and these guys have ultrasonic scaling, hand scaling hundreds of types of bacteria and polishing. Very similar to our in their mouths, over 600 types own dental cleanings. There are actually while we have about occasions when once the exam 70 different types. This bacteria and x-rays are complete that the loves to live in the tartar which bad breath is coming from more will build-up and turn into than tartar; there can be an infecplaque, this is usually the colored tion or abscess, advanced gingisubstance that can be seen to the vitis or other abnormalities that naked eye. All of this bacterial we would be able to see only bebuild up is one reason your fur- cause your pet is under anesthery friend might have bad breath. sia. This would call for more than *There are other causes for bad a routine cleaning and we would breath as well…we will cover be sure that in the end your pet is comfortable and healthy. that in a minute. Is a dental procedure dangerous for my dog or cat? No, the dental cleaning itself is not dangerous. Yes, we do use general anesthesia so we can clean the teeth; no dog or cat would stay still long enough to do that if they were awake! We do take all precautions prior to anesthesia, during anesthesia and even after. We get current lab work so we know the body is healthy, we monitor everything from heart rate to temperature while they are getting the procedure done and after we make sure they are pain free and wake Can I brush my pets teeth? YES!! It is great if you can brush up warm and comfortable. them daily actually, with a veterinary approved toothpaste. How much do the teeth cleanHuman toothpaste has Xylitol in ings cost? the fluoride portion of the tooth- This is always a complicated paste and should NEVER be question, we would love to be used in our pets. Xylitol is toxic able to give a number that is the to our pets and if they consume same for every patient but that any they should be brought to is just not possible. The cost dethe vet immediately. Brushing pends on the level of tartar and daily though would be the ideal dental disease which determines way to prevent oral diseases and how long the cleaning will take. How old will my pet be when they start getting tartar? This depends on the dog or cat, just like some people get tons of cavities and others get none. All mouths and teeth are different so there is no telling when the plaque or tartar might show up, but it should be taken care of as soon as possible. Plaque forms within a few hours of eating and tartar starts to form within 24 hours. Once adult teeth come in it is important to stay ahead of the tartar.

To get an accurate estimate we invite you to set up a time where we can get you in for a free consultation to assess the oral health of your furry friend and we can get you an accurate estimate for the procedure. Also if the dental cleaning is booked by March 18th 2022 we will give you $50 off the procedure! Please call us if you are interested in scheduling an appointment to see our doctor, no matter if this is a first visit because we have never seen you, free oral assessment consultation or for the dental procedure. We are happy to help and answer any questions you may have. Avalon Family Vet 3520 Avalon Park E Blvd #3 Orlando, FL 32828 407-275-3430








Feast On This! On January 26th the East Orlando Chamber of Commerce recognized six members for their outstanding engagement and support throughout 2021. Our finalists included Avalon Park Group who received the 2021 Most Engaged Member Award for their continued support of the Chamber by hosting events and sponsoring Chamber functions and programs. Lora Miller with CHEP, was recognized as our 2021 Board member of the year. Her commitment on numerous committees including Non-Profit, 75th Anniversary, Golf and more made her the clear candidate for this deserv-

ing award. Our Volunteer Award went to the member who assisted at numerous events and supported the Chamber out in the community. The Llama Mama, Amy Robl of Signarama, was the standout winner of this award. Yesha Patel of Platinum Signs was awarded the Ambassador of the year. Her commitment to serving on the committee and representing the Chamber was above all others. Our Rising Star Award recognized our most engaged first year member. In 2021, Olivia Barakat of Barakat Insurance, jumped in feet first and never looked back, attending events and engaging

Sweet Treat Awards. A few of our participating restaurants include Bonefish Grill, Goodfella’s, NOLA, PDQ, Rosso Specialty Coffee and more. You can find tickIf you haven’t heard, ets and more informaFebruary 24th starting tion at eocc.org. at 4:30PM the East Orlando Chamber is host- For 75 years we have ing Feast in the East at supported our business the Pavilion Commu- members and community Center in Avalon nities in East Orange Park. Reserve your tick- County providing a ets today, for the Cham- voice, opening doors ber’s premier food tast- for success, connecting ing and catering event. members with opporeducational If you’d love food and tunities, beverage, this event is business development for you. Sample food and building profesrelationships. and beverages from sional numerous restaurants Our members support from East Orlando and our mission to advolearn about their cater- cate and help sustain ing and to-go options. a robust economy, fosAttendees receive a tering companies with program and a BINGO employment opportunicard with opportunities ties and merchants who to win fabulous prizes provide the goods and from our restaurants. services our communiAdditional activities ty needs. Additional ininclude a wine pull, a formation available at drawing to win a Big EOCC.org. Green Egg and voting for the Best Savory and with members. Orlando Medical News was recognized as the Chamber Partner of the Year. Please help us recognize these local businesses.












The Avalon Park Burger Guide

Avalon Park offers many great places to get a delicious burger, but it can be difficult to know where you should go if you’re in the mood to eat burgers and fries on a night out with your friends. Don’t worry – we’ve got the list of places that serve the best burgers in Avalon Park just for you! Here are eight places to get a great burger!

Avalon Kitchen One of the newest places to get burgers in Avalon Park is the Avalon Kitchen, a ghost kitchen with online ordering only. They have some pretty delicious choices, like the Mexican Burger, served with guacamole, and the bacon cheeseburger slider, served with homemade dressing. The Colombian Burger is probably my personal favorite. They also have a Gluten-Free bun! Their sides are great too – onion rings and waffle fries are a must-try! Definitely check them out if you’re ever in need of some gourmet burgers! Avalon Neighborhood Tavern & Pizzeria With high-quality fresh and house-made ingredients, there is no limit

to how creative you can get with your half-pound burger from Avalon Neighborhood Tavern. From Applewood bacon to grilled jalapenos, you can pick and choose your favorite toppings or create your own specialty burger. Whether you go with The Classic or customize one of your own creations, the Tavern serves up some great burgers. Opens at 4 pm. Eastside Bistro With over 10 mouthwatering burgers on their menu, the hardest part will be choosing just one. Looking for something different? Try their JamN-Brew burger that is created with Bacon jam, vine ripe tomato, provolone cheese, Applewood smoked bacon, Bistro chips, Fat Tire beer cheese and herb mayo all on a pretzel bun! They also have a turkey burger and a vegan black bean, this friendly neighborhood joint has something for everyone! Game On Avalon Enjoy a crispy meal without the grease at Game on Avalon, located at 12001 Avalon Lake Drive Suite C, Orlando, FL 32828. This place offers

great food, even better drinks, and wonderful service. Watch your favorite game and grab an order of Game On Hamburger Sliders, served on a warm bun with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles.

Mejana Mediterranean Grill Mejana offers fresh cuisine and an inviting atmosphere. If you’re looking for a little extra flavor in your burger, try getting one of their unique creations: Lebanese Cheese Burger 8oz beef patty lettuce, tomato, onions, cheddar and mozzarella cheese with cocktail sauce. They make some amazing middle eastern food, burgers being one of their new specialties. Definitely try them if you are craving Mediterranean flavors. Nuno’s Cafe Choose from an 8 oz Gorgonzola BLT Burger, Classic Hamburger or Nuno’s Cheeseburger. Today, it’s all about their Gorgonzola BLT Burger. The cheese is perfectly melted and you can even add bacon if you want more meat. The bun is soft and fresh and when paired with one of their

burgers, you know you are getting some good eats. NOLA at Avalon Park When it comes to traditional Louisiana flavors look no further than NOLA at Avalon Park to satisfy them with their burger! The Bayou Smashburger is a Scratchmade 1/3 lb. ground beef and andouille sausage patty with choice of toppings and house-made sauces. Made fresh to order! South Philly Steaks South Philly is known for their cheesesteaks, but not too many people know about their burgers. They have a Cheeseburger and Bacon Cheeseburger that you can even get on a Pretzel Bun! Every Wednesday starting at 4 pm all their burgers with fries are only $5 (+tax). Add Bacon at no charge! Do yourself a favor and try one soon and let us know which one is your favorite! Burger images are in order from left to right as they are listed in article.

Coming together to create a healthy community

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7 Days a Week | 24/7 Access | Whole Family Care That’s Primary Care+. • Same day appointments available, or established patients can walk-in and be seen in less than 30 minutes • 24/7 access to care: call and speak with a provider or message your care team via the AdventHealth app • Same-day lab work onsite • Access to virtual mental health counseling


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885 North Alafaya Trail | Orlando, FL 32828 Visit PrimaryCarePlusNow.com to schedule an appointment.


Promoting Happy and Healthy Smiles for National Children’s Dental Health Month

Instilling good dental habits early in life will provide a healthy mouth that will keep your child smiling indefinitely. Here are 11 easy tips that can help your child prevent cavities. 1. Regular brushing and flossing: Brush at least twice a day, floss at least once a day. 2. Don’t share your food and drink: Cavities can actually be contagious! Because the bacteria that causes them can be passed from one user to the next, avoid sharing food and drinks with children. 3. Visit the dentist: It is recommended to bring your child to a dentist after their first tooth arrives. Routine evaluations and cleanings can be performed as early as age 3 in our office. 4. Avoid frequent snacking: Constant snacking, particularly on sweets, provides the perfect environment for cavity-inducing bacteria to do their work. Limit snacking to healthy foods, and if your

children can brush, or use water as a mouthwash after 9. Minimize juice and sports snacking. drinks: It’s best to drink these in moderation. These are 5. Eat crisp, water-dense acidic and sweet, two things fruit: Fruits high in water that are not so good for our help keep your child’s mouth teeth. hydrated, particularly useful during a lunchbox meal. 10. Avoid sticky foods: Items like fruit leathers, cookies and 6. Avoid additional sugar: candies aren’t good choices This is good for the body as for healthy teeth any day of well, and an important rule the week. when it comes to teeth. Soda, chocolate milk and other 11. Consider cheeses and nut sweetened foods and bever- butters: Nuts and cheese have ingredients that help ages should be a rarity. remineralize our teeth. These 7. Consider dental sealants: are good alternatives for the Your dentist can place a pro- lunchbox if your child is not tective sealant on your child’s allergic to these. teeth to prevent decay. This process is simple and can Please call us to schedule your family! save future headaches. 8. Drink a lot of water: Wa- Elite Dentistry ter should be the beverage of 407-658-0103 choice. Bottled water is okay, 13000 Avalon Lake Drive but fluoridated tap water is Suite 201 best. Use a filter if you are Orando, FL 32828 concerned about the quality www.elitedentistry.com of your local tap water.


Four Numbers to Know for Your Heart Health abetes or pre-diabetes, two conditions that can greatly increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association considers diabetes to be one of the major controllable risk factors for heart disease. A normal blood sugar level after fasting is 100 mg/ dL. 4. Body Mass Index (BMI) Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor in many life-threatening diseases, including diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome and heart disease. Your BMI is a calculation based on your height and weight and can indicate whether you are Your heart: It’s the engine that helps your body func- overweight or obese. tion and allows you to enjoy all life has to offer — from favorite activities to relationships with friends People are considered overweight starting at a BMI of and family members. This February, celebrate this 25 and obese at 30 or higher. amazing organ during National Heart Month. 15 Minutes Heart disease affects approximately 84 million Ameri- Fifteen minutes is all it takes to save a life. That’s how cans and is the number one cause of death for men and long it takes to get a simple health screening that gives women every year. Take control of your heart health you the information you need to live a heart healthy by learning about four key numbers — and what you life. Talk to your primary care provider about what can do to keep them where they need to be. preventive measures or screenings are right for you. 1. Blood Pressure High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart failure and stroke. Also called hypertension, high blood pressure can cause blockages in the arteries, reducing the flow of oxygen to the heart and making it work harder. The American Heart Association released new guidelines for blood pressure and treatment. • Normal: Under 120/80 • Elevated: 120-129/80 • Stage 1 Hypertension: 130-139/80-89 • Stage 2 Hypertension: Higher than 140/90 Your doctor will help you understand what these new targets mean for you and if any treatment is necessary. Treatment may include a heart-healthy diet, more physical activity or medication to help control your blood pressure. 2. Cholesterol Cholesterol is a naturally occurring substance that is found in the body and produced in the liver and other cells. It can also come from eating foods that are high in fat. High levels of cholesterol can cause blockages of the arteries, potentially leading to a heart attack. A desirable total cholesterol level is less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). An annual blood test can monitor your levels and help your doctor make recommendations tailored to your health. 3. Blood Sugar High blood sugar levels may indicate that you have di-

Your doctor can also assess your heart health at your annual physical, an important part of managing your whole health. It’s just one of many reasons you should see a doctor in times of both health and wellness.


Change in a Heartbeat On Tuesday, February 7, I watched the love of my life and my best friend be wheeled away to have his heart stopped. And for the next 6 hours, my in-laws and I waited with our stomachs in knots, wondering if we’d ever speak to him again.

“The doctor would like to see you in the consultation “He’s off the pump. The surgeon will be out to speak area.” with you shortly.” Hearing those words at Florida Hospital Orlando made my stomach drop. My husband, Gary, had been in for a routine heart catheterization procedure, but I knew that good news was never delivered behind closed doors. As I sat with my in-laws waiting for the cardiologist to come into the room, my mind raced. What would they tell me? Gary is a young, healthy guy. Surely, there wouldn’t be anything wrong. There couldn’t be anything wrong. “He needs bypass surgery. And we need to do it as soon as possible. If he doesn’t have the surgery, he risks heart failure, which would mean a heart transplant.”

Gary’s heart was back beating on its own. That was the best news I had gotten in years! The “pump” is the cardiopulmonary bypass pump (also known as the heart-lung machine) used to keep the body alive while the heart is stopped during open-heart surgery. A few minutes later, the phenomenally humble surgeon came out to report that Gary’s triple bypass had been a 100% success. He told us a lot of other things too, but honestly, I didn’t hear them. I was sobbing. My best friend was going to be OK.

As Gary improved and was moved from the Cardiovascular ICU to the Cardiovascular Progressive Care Unit, we had time to reflect on the Wow. Not what I was ex- wild ride we’d had in the pecting. But as it turned out, prior week. Gary had blockages in three of his main arteries—100% For the past several months, blockage, 96% blockage, and Gary had been having severe 70% blockage. This was sim- indigestion. We’d switched ply impossible. Gary is only from a vegetarian to a vegan 50, eats a primarily vegetar- diet in an effort to help him ian diet, and exercises ev- feel better. For a while, it ery day. In fact, this heart worked. But then, he started cath was supposed to rule feeling unwell after eating out heart issues so we could the blandest of foods. That’s move on and figure out why when I finally convinced him he’d been having such bad to go get checked out. Guideindigestion. And frankly, he Well Emergency Doctors had didn’t have the risk factors just opened not far from our associated with coronary ar- house. On top of being a preferred Florida Blue provider, tery disease. I knew they had a goal to get Except for one: family histo- patients from the door to the ry. Over the next few days, EKG machine in minutes— we would come to under- just in case his “indigestion” stand from his parents just was something more. Call it how powerful genetics can wifely intuition. be. Gary’s dad had a quadruple bypass at age 55, both of his grandfathers had bypass surgeries in their early 60s and his paternal grandmother had coronary artery disease.

Not long later, the GuideWell doctors and nurses had done an EKG and a chest X-ray and had drawn blood. Everything came back normal, but the doctor was insistent that Gary be seen Genetics overrule lifestyle, it the next day by a cardiologist. “50% of patients with seems. heart disease have a normal

EKG,” she said. “Better safe of that matters. Instead, I am grateful for the doctors, the than sorry.” surgeon, and the nurses that GuideWell Emergency Doc- intervened even when there tors made a cardiology wasn’t definitive evidence to appointment for the next tell them to do so. afternoon, at which Gary received additional tests that Because of them, I have my still were not conclusive. “I best friend—my love—and just don’t like what I’m see- we have a bright and healthy ing on the EKG during your future together. stress test,” the cardiologist told us. “I’m admitting you My lesson in this? Never to the hospital for further ob- discount your symptoms. Unless you’re a doctor, servation.” you’re not a doctor. What For what we thought was we thought were gastroinan overabundance of cau- testinal issues was actually a tion, Gary checked into Flor- ticking time bomb in Gary’s ida Hospital Orlando to be chest. In honor of February monitored until his heart Heart Health Month, if you cath procedure. We were feel something, do someupset, and we were irritat- thing. See your doctor and ed. We missed dinner with find out what’s really going friends, an art festival, and on. a Super Bowl party. Now, of course, I realize that none


Serve to Change Lives

organization helping homeless and impoverished Women and Children turn their lives around. A member of the Rotary Club of College Park, Stephanie truly Serves to Change Lives!

On January 29th our club served to change lives through two service projects on the same day. We sponsored our own Dan Ashby founder of BBQ50 at Fire in the Park Chili Cook Off to Cure. This event raises money for Advent Health for Children Pediatric Oncology. A special shoutout to our own Joe Filice, President of Avalon Insurance Service for putting up prize money for the winning Chili Cook. Thank you to Maria Rodammer of Cypress Bank & Trust for spearheading Forster a Ride supporting the Orange County Legal Aid Society — Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program. This program is gathering gently used bicycles and helmets of all shapes and sizes to donate to those children in need. Currently, there are over 1,300 children in foster care in Orange County alone, ranging in age from infancy to 21 years old. We can all be proud of how our club lives the Serve to Change Lives mantra. Dan, Joe and Maria are all Avalon residents.

Serve to Change Lives is Rotary International’s mantra for 2021/2022. Although January is typically a slow month, the Rotary Club of Avalon Park was busy working behind the scenes for two of our largest Spring fundraising events: Poker Tournament and Craft Beer Festival. Both events are well attended by our local community, so thank you for your ongoing Look for other events sponsored by the Rotary Club, support! such as The Second Chance Foundation Poker Tournament, founded by Avalon resident Bill Umansky If you are interested in Joining Rotary, please join us. (Umansky Law Firm.) THE Craft Beer Festival is alWe meet each Wednesday morning @7:30 at the Pa- ways one of our most popular events, raises funds for vilion at 13401 Tanja King Blvd. Each week we have local charities. I guess you can say that Avalonians local organizations or charities address our club. On also Serve to Change Lives. We look forward to seeJanuary 19th, Stephanie Bowman, Founder of One ing all of you at our upcoming events! Heart for Women and Children addressed our club. What an inspiring story Stephanie shared about her Yours in Rotary Service! life’s struggles and turning her misfortunes into an Jim McQueeney | President


Kiwanis Club Updates

The our our

Kiwanis Club continues its weekly reading program in schools every Thursday morning as well as our work with great service leadership programs in each of our schools.

Teacher of the Month Awards Camelot: Nancy Dale Timber Creek HS: Allison Callahan Stone Lakes: Caroline Driscall Timber Lakes: Karina Salcedo East River HS: Christine Lang

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