Central Florida Lifestyle November 2021 Lake Nona

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Create a Season of Health and Happiness INSIDE



SIGNATURE KITCHEN www.CentralFloridaLifestyle.com













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+ LETTER From the Associate Publisher

Will You Be My Neighbor? Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, because it is the one holiday that it truly, above all else, a time to gather with friends and family. It is about being together and being grateful for your neighbors and for being a good neighbor in return. And this year more than any year before, I want to be your neighbor. I want to keep holding doors open for people, being patient with the waiting staff at restaurants, letting the car in front of me merge into my lane, saying “hello” to those I walk past, and I will continue to be kind, even especially when no one is watching. Because if we don’t – if we don’t continue to just be kind and be good human beings, what is the point? This issue is special to me, because we highlight how we could all use a little more Mister Rogers in our life, advice on how to create a season of health and happiness from our partners at AdventHealth, a few holiday recipes for everyone in your family from the West Orange Chamber of Commerce, and the Lake Nona Chamber of Commerce highlights how you can bring thankfulness and gratitude to our communities. We also share an article on how to cope with loss during the holidays, because we know that due to the pandemic this holiday season is going to be the first for many without a loved one. We put a lot of extra love and care into this issue, and we hope that even with so much going on in the world right now that you enjoy the read and feel inspired. This year, we wish you good food that fills your table, good health as you work hard, and good times with family and friends. So, what do you say, will you be my neighbor? Happy reading,

Kaitlyn Fusco Associate Publisher

CEO/PUBLISHER Kristi Gomen Kristi@KarstMediaGroup.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Kaitlyn Fusco Kaitlyn@KarstMediaGroup.com ASSISTANT EDITOR Alexis George Alexis@KarstMediaGroup.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Michael Feland Michael Caibio Renee Blair EDITORIAL CONTENT COORDINATOR Gabriella Dedmore INTERN Kendall Beebe WRITERS Tarre Beach, Kendall Beebe, Michael Brehne, Stina D’Uva, Alexa Delgado, Josh Garrick, Nancy Glasgow, Kimbra Hennessy, Chuck Jackson, Kristen Jackson, Don Long, Rich Maladecki




www.CentralFloridaLifestyle.com Lifestyle Publications is comprised of multiple editions, each mailed monthly, directly to homes and businesses throughout Central Florida. Lifestyle Publications is published monthly by Karst Media Group. Copyright 2021. All rights reserved. WINDERMERE LIFESTYLE, DR. PHILLIPS LIFESTYLE, METROWEST LIFESTYLE, WINTER GARDEN LIFESTYLE, CELEBRATION LIFESTYLE, DOWNTOWN ORLANDO LIFESTYLE, WINTER PARK LIFESTYLE, COLLEGE PARK LIFESTYLE, LAKE NONA LIFESTYLE, AVALON PARK LIFESTYLE, WATERFORD LAKES LIFESTYLE, OVIEDO LIFESTYLE, WINTER SPRINGS LIFESTYLE and CENTRAL FLORIDA LIFESTYLE are federally registered trademarks. Reproduction or use in whole or in part of the contents of this magazine or of the trademarks of Lifestyle Publications without written permission of the Publisher is prohibited. Lifestyle Publications makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of content published. Neither the publishers nor advertisers will be held responsible for any errors found herein, and the publishers accept no liability for the accuracy of statements made by advertisers in ads and/or in paid promotional features. June 2021.

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+ WHAT’S Inside

Contents | November 2021 Departments 10


















Features 6



A new sculpture in Winter Park reminds us the importance of being kind and how we could all use a little more Mister Rogers in our life.



Axiom Bank is a community bank that serves the financial needs of its customers through several locations including its Hamlin branch.





You’ve made your list, but have you checked it twice? Here is our list of some of the top gifts of the holiday season.

CREATE A SEASON OF HEALTH AND HAPPINESS The holidays are upon us, and it’s time to celebrate the joys of the season with family and friends. Stay on track this year by following a few simple health tips, so you can make the most out of every moment.



Kristi Karst Gomen shares her voice to tell the story of Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Florida, which much too often goes unnoticed.



Orlando students share their feelings of gratitude this holiday season.



The MetroWest Master Association challenges the community to support Edgewood Children’s Ranch, shares special holiday traditions and recipes, and more.

Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021


Buying a Home That Was Remodeled Without a Permit

Change is Good

Conversations for Your Community

How to Support Yourself or Someone Else Who is Coping with Loss During the Holiday Season

Embrace Forward-Thinking Cooking

The Best Thanksgiving Wine Pairings

Think Before You Drink: Understanding the Consequences of Driving Under the Influence

Helping During the Holidays

The Lake Nona Chamber of Commerce on Bringing Thankfulness and Gratitude to Our Communities


Josh Recommends: For The Holidaze 2021





Dave Krepcho

Web Life Go to CentralFloridaLifestyle.com to see what’s happening near you!



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with nephew Daniel Crozier. In a world filled with angst as we volley through this seemingly never-ending pandemic, a new sculpture located at Rollins College in Winter Park honoring Mister Rogers’ legacy reminds us the importance of being kind and how we could all use a little more Mister Rogers in our life.

By Kaitlyn Fusco

ollins College in Winter Park is pleased to announce the installation of a new bronze sculpture “A Beautiful Day for a Neighbor,” thanks to the British artist Paul Day, which honors beloved alumnus Fred McFeely Rogers. But, perhaps, what is most important is what the deeply thoughtful and expertly crafted sculpture represents – a gentle reminder for all of us to be better people in such a trying and challenging time. Mister Rogers once said, “We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes,” and these words still ring true. In a world plagued by a pandemic that has taken over 727,000 lives, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and conversations of vaccine efficacy, labor shortages, mailing delays, social injustice, political polariza-


Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

tion, racial inequality and economic disruption, the new Mister Rogers sculpture is a welcomed change of scenery. “This inspirational sculpture will be a permanent reminder of the ideals and values modeled by Mister Rogers as he set out to make the world a better place,” says Rollins President Grant Cornwell. “This tribute will reinforce the quest for empathy, acceptance and kindness so needed in our society today.” Mister Rogers created the impactful series “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” which was designed to teach children critical emotional and social skills by talking about difficult topics such as death, bullying and divorce. It taught children that what they felt was ok to feel, whether that be anger, jealously or depression, but that it wasn’t an excuse for bad behavior. It taught children that the most important characteristic of a person was to be kind. Above all else – be kind.

need his influence. Maybe now more than ever.”

Mister Rogers came to Winter Park from Latrobe, Pa., to earn a bachelor’s degree in music from Rollins College in 1951, and he developed his unique worldview and curated his positive attitude while studying on campus.

“Aside from the importance of service, he always saw the good in people and believed being kind could change the world. He used to say that there are three things in human life that are important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind,” says Carbonell. Today, Mister Rogers’ nephew, Daniel Crozier, Theory and Composition Professor at Rollins College, teaches the very subject that his uncle studied in college. “An important part of my job here at Rollins is keeping the legacy of Fred Rogers alive,” says Crozier. “And not just at Rollins, but everywhere. We

"A Beautiful Day for a Neighbor" bronze sculpture by British artist Paul Day honors Rollins College alumnus Fred McFeely Rogers.

“A lot of our closest time was spent together working on compositions or playing piano. Music is my life, it is what I do, and I think we really connected through our love of composition,” says Crozier. “One of my favorite memories of him was just talking to him. About life. About everything. I miss just talking with him. He always thought about things differently than anyone else I knew. He had a different take on situations. He didn’t get into politics much, but he was very much into making right and moral decisions.” The sculpture, which took 23 months of dedication from conception to completion, is located in the Chapel Garden courtyard of Rollins College next to the Annie Russell Theatre. Standing over seven feet tall and weighing more than 3,000

Sculpture artist Paul Day says, “I hope people feel the characters in the sculpture come alive in some way. It was my intent to capture the children as real people with emotions, wit, curiosity and worries – much like how Mister Rogers saw and treated children. And I hope that there is that sense of nostalgia. That the parents of today who were the children of yesterday can enjoy introducing their children to Mister Rogers and his characters. And I hope it serves as a reminder for everyone to be a good neighbor, much like Fred wanted us to be.” Around Winter Park and the College, Rogers is still revered. The Winter Park Boat Tour script includes mention of the house on Osceola Avenue that Rogers and his wife would rent during winters after they became snowbirds in their later years. COURTESY ROLLINS COLLEGE

Crozier and Mister Rogers bonded through their love of music. Mister Rogers spent his summers in Nantucket, Mass., working on scripts and Crozier would be there, too, during the summers.

“He never liked to talk about himself but he always liked to talk about others and how we can help others,” says John Rogers, Mister Rogers’ son.

“There is a plaque here at Rollins that states ‘Life is for Service,’ and service was always ingrained in him as he was involved in many different community organizations and committed to showing the world more kindness and selflessness, but Rollins helped reinforce that for him,” says Gisela Carbonell, Curator at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College.

pounds, the sculpture depicts Mister Rogers in his iconic sweater and sneakers, surrounded by children, hand puppets from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” lyrics from the series’ theme song and the show’s Neighborhood Trolley.


Although Mister Rogers accepted all religious beliefs, as an ordained Presbyterian minister who was of strong Christian faith, he took many of his life lessons taught through his program from scripture, including taking care of the most vulnerable, which could be applied to who are most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic, including children, the elderly and those who are immunocompromised.

Mister Rogers' sneakers.

Rogers would work on scripts for the show, rekindle old friendships and make new ones in the same place that helped launch his career. Beginning October 29, 2021, guests are welcome to explore the neighborhood that shaped Mister Rogers on a self-guided walking tour (maps available at Rollins College) where they will experience the new bronze sculpture, exclusive Mister Rogers memorabilia and artwork, and get a feel for how Mister Rogers has left a lasting impact in the community – and beyond.



Managing Money in a High-Tech World

Axiom Bank is a community bank that serves the financial needs of its customers through several locations including its Hamlin branch. By Jennifer Waddell, VP of Retail Banking, Axiom Bank


ho do you trust for financial advice – friends and family, a personal consultant, or a search online? After a financially stressful year, it’s no surprise that more people have turned to the Internet to find better ways to make and manage money. A 2021 survey by Lexington Law found that approximately one in three Americans say Google is their primary source of advice for budgeting, investing and other big decisions. That’s a mixed blessing. When misinformation can look as credible as good advice – and spending is as easy as a keyboard click away – technology can offer as many pitfalls as advantages. According to a CNBC study, credit cards and online purchases are the chief budget-busters among American households. As the face of consumerism changes, it’s up to us to learn new financial wellness skills, and to pass on good habits to our kids, too. But it can be hard to know where to find reliable advice. At Axiom, we’ve always taken pride in building personal relationships with the customers we serve. Since our founding in 1963 as the first minority-owned banking institution in Florida, we’ve provided education and trustworthy advice for generations of Central Florida families. We don’t believe in a “cookiecutter” approach. After all, no two people are alike, and neither are their


Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

finances. When you choose Axiom, you’ll see the same familiar faces on every visit, and you’ll get to know your banking team as well as they know you. In fact, community banks like Axiom are rated higher for helpfulness, friendliness and service than industry giants – for good reason. Our team lives and works in the same neighborhoods they serve, which means they genuinely care about helping families and businesses access the resources they need to thrive. When it’s time to make decisions about money, there’s no substitute for one-on-one conversations with a trusted expert. With a range of forward-looking tools available, from on-the-go banking to secure accounts for kids and teens, there’s bound to be a perfect fit for your needs. Your finances are too important to leave to chance. That’s why – whether you’re setting aside money for college tuition, launching a new business or planning for retirement – you can visit your local Axiom branch to connect with our team and create a roadmap for your future. AXIOM BANK 16418 New Independence Pkwy, Suite 100 Winter Garden, FL 34787 407-395-8009

+ YOU ASKED We Answered

Buying a Home that was

Remodeled Without a Permit Before you purchase a home, use the below expert advice on searching for any outstanding open or expired permits on the home. By Kristen Jackson and Chuck Jackson, Jackson Law P.A.

Q: A:

I recently bought a home only to learn afterward that the seller made modifications without obtaining a permit. Is this legal and do I have any recourse against the sellers for non-disclosure?

You may.

Concealing defects or failing to disclose them may result in multiple damages to the sellers of a home, vacant land or commercial properties. Buyers may sue for breach of contract due to a seller’s intentional misrepresentation and seek costs for repairs of defects or even recission of the sale. Simply because the sales agreement states the sale is an “As Is” sale doesn’t allow the seller to conceal information that may be harmful to the buyer or public. Concealment or failing to disclose comes in many forms and one that is common in real estate is “Open or Expired Permits.” Such permits are issued by a County or building department but have not been formally finalized within the time allocated or required to obtain a final inspection. Once a permit’s time has lapsed, meaning the issuing department did

not close it; it is referred to as open or expired. Oftentimes, the seller may be unaware of outstanding open or expired permits. It is up to the buyer to request that a title company perform a search for open or expired permits. Even though Florida residential transactions require the seller to do all the work necessary to close open permits at seller’s cost, they are often overlooked. Title companies are not responsible to perform such permit searches, although most in Florida encourage sellers to pay for such searches. Title insurance covers lien searches but not open or expired permits. Then there are those sellers that conceal building modifications made without ever applying for a permit. The seller’s failure to disclose remodeling that required permits can become a buyer’s worst nightmare. Consider the following example. Roger and his wife decided to add a full bath to their home and failed to obtain any permits. Three months following their remodel, they sold their home. The fourth bath

added great value to the selling price and enhanced and accelerated the sale in a community consisting of mostly homes with two-and-a-half or three baths. Thirty days following closing, the buyer’s child was electrocuted caused by a damaged hair dryer cord that fell into a sink full of water. The hair dryer was plugged into a receptacle improperly installed too close to the rim of the sink. She suffered unconsciousness and nearly died. The buyers brought charges against the seller resulting in the sellers buying back the home and paying for injuries to the buyers’ daughter. The sellers ended up paying damages amounting to 45% more than the selling price of their home and were required to tear out the bathroom and rebuild under permit. Before you buy or sell a home, consult with an experienced Real Estate Title and Closing Attorney such as Jackson Law PA who is familiar with rules and regulations regarding open and expired permits or building without any permit whatsoever. Seller disclosure is everything.

Kristen Jackson, the founding partner of Jackson Law P.A., handles all aspects of estate planning and real estate law. Chuck Jackson manages real estate sales and works closely with Kristen at closings as the firm’s real estate title and contracts manager. For more information, visit www.JacksonLawPA.com and www.JacksonFloridaRealtor.com.


Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

+ DANIEL’S Corner

Change is Good Two recipients of the W. Daniel Mills Apprenticeship share how being a part of the program is helping them change for the better.

By Tarre Beach


or dual-enrolled Florida Virtual School and Polk State College student Emma Barker and Osceola County School for the Arts student BJ Granville, the W. Daniel Mills Apprenticeship has given them a supportive environment that allows them to try new things. Barker was already volunteering at the theater’s summer camps when she auditioned for the apprenticeship. Growing up dancing at her mother’s studio and helping run classes, Barker says she became interested in the education-track apprenticeship because it allows her to take part in one of the most diverse roles in all the performing arts—teaching. “I love working with elementary kids. It’s really fun,” Barker says. “I’ve found that there is no better way to sharpen my own skills than by teaching. Plus, I get to see the kids light up and fall in love with performing. It’s something special to be a part of.” While Barker enjoys teaching, she continues to hone her craft by singing, dancing, and acting in Garden Theatre productions. She and Granville recently performed in Encore, a medley of musical theater which featured Tony Award Winner Kelli O’Hara. For Granville, who began as a dancing major at his performing arts school, versatility is equally important. He added a vocal performance minor three years ago to round out his skillset. Working under the tutelage of Garden Theatre’s artistic director Joseph Walsh, Granville says just being able to work with professional performing artists has helped him grow.


Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

“At school they know me but working with a whole new set of directors and performers gives me a fresh start where I can learn more as well as showcase what I can do,” Granville says. Both Granville and Barker have high goals but remain pragmatic. They say they will continue their performing arts studies in college. Barker hopes to move on to the University of Central Florida’s performing arts program after she finishes her associate degree at Polk State. Granville says he will likely begin his college career at a Florida school but has designs on finishing his education at Boston Conservatory or a school in New York City. Barker says she wants to shoot for the stars and takes comfort in the fact that her mother taught her to not let her insecurities stop her. “My mom always says, ‘what have you got to lose? If you go to an audition and you don’t get the part, you’ve at least gotten your name out there, networked and learned something from it. You might have a good cry, but it’s always ‘on to the next audition.’” Granville also plans to chase his dreams and maintain a go-getter attitude. “I know I have to have a plan B and I do: I could do TV or modeling or something else, but I really want to work on Broadway,” Granville says. “My parents have always been supportive of me. I think the most important thing is to not just talk about it, but to get out there and do it.”

+ TALK of the Town

Conversations for Your Community As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, let’s consider incorporating one or more of these Lifestyle® acts of kindness recommendations. Experts claim that supporting and helping others not only benefits them, but it benefits you as well. Remember: To give is to receive.

Turn off your smart phone during meals with family and friends. This may lead to meaningful, thoughtful and enjoyable in-person conversations.

By Rich Maladecki

Start a family tradition on Thanksgiving Day - bake or buy holiday treats and drop off to your local fire station. Remember to offer your personal thanks to those who work holidays.

Pledge to donate blood 4 or 5 times per year (if you haven’t given blood, it’s truly a painless process requiring just 30-45 minutes of time). Remember: blood saves lives.


Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

Offer joy to your favorite neighbor, a special friend or a member of your family by giving a colorful poinsettia plant during this holiday season.

Start addressing your holiday cards now. To add meaning to your cards, add a personal note of thanks or a fond memory for the recipient. This extra gesture will provide smiles when your cards are opened.

If you see a tourist trying to take a group or couple photo, please offer to capture that memory for them. This sincere gesture shows visitors who are looking to experience all Central Florida has to offer that it is home to friendly community members.

As a reminder, teachers need support during each school year. Offer an educator basic classroom supplies (pens, pencils, paper, etc.) during this season of giving.

+ HEALTH & Wellness

How to Support Yourself or Someone Else Who is

Coping with Loss During the Holiday Season Tips for helping yourself, family, friends and loved ones manage grief. By Alexis George


olidays are often referred to as the season of giving. It is a time to show love and appreciation to those around you and that is usually done through gift giving. While gift giving is always a kind gesture, in this season we also want to encourage the gift of offering grace to oneself and offering support to others. For many, this will be the first holiday season spent without a loved one. This can cause what once would have been a festive time to turn into one of sadness. Here are 5 ways to cope and support yourself if you are the person experiencing loss and 5 ways to support someone you know experiencing loss this season.

Give Yourself Time to Grieve

Grief can build up during the holidays as you remember how the season was previously spent with a loved one. The idea of having to be all joy and smiles might feel stressful or wrong and naturally this might cause you to be in even less of a festive spirit. Don’t beat yourself up about it at 16

Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

all. It is OK to allow yourself to feel all the emotions that come along with loosing someone. Remind yourself that feelings of sadness, anger and confusion are normal. Acknowledge and accept them.

Ask for Help

If there is anything you need don’t hesitate to ask. Reach out to a friend or loved one and ask them to spend time with you, to be a shoulder to cry on, to cook a meal or to clean the house. Anything that will help make your life just a little bit easier is worth making the phone call or sending the text message. If you need to you can also ask for assistance from resources such as counseling or support groups to help you cope with loss and keep your mental health in check.

Honor Traditions or Create New Ones

Think about something you and your loved one always did for the holidays and do it this year. While it may remind you of their absence it can also

be a way to keep their memory alive and know that they will always be a part of you. This can include making their favorite holiday dish or playing their favorite holiday song. You can also create a new tradition to honor them if the old tradition causes too much pain. This new tradition can include lighting a candle in their memory, creating remembrance ornaments or stuffing stockings with notes of kindness and encouragement.

Do Something Charitable

Giving back to others doesn’t just help them but it helps you as well. If you aren’t in a mood to celebrate, you can focus on making someone else’s holiday a little brighter. This can include donating to a cause your loved one really cared about or volunteering in their memory.

Make Some Time for Yourself

The holiday season can become quite busy as you plan trips, shop for gifts, prepare holiday meals or take care of kids. This can cause you to feel

overwhelmed as you struggle to find a chance to really take care of your own needs. When you start to feel this way, make it a priority to have some alone time. This might even mean saying say no to holiday festivities altogether if you know it can potentially cause you more stress or sadness. Take the time to unapologetically engage in self-care activities instead.

Understand the Grieving Process

Making a conscious effort to understand the 5 stages of grief can help you assess where someone may be in their journey to processing what they are feeling. Knowing this can give you a better perspective on the dos and don’ts of helping them cope with loss at any given time. Instead of telling them how they should grieve, think of ways to you can support and encourage them during those different stages.

Offer Practical Help

Sometimes we want to support those coping with loss but don’t necessarily know how so we might simply say “let me know if you need anything”. Instead of waiting on them to let you know, which may never happen, take a more proactive approach. Offer to help with tasks such as grocery shopping, cooking dinner or babysitting. These are things they may not even realize they need help with but that end up taking a huge weight off their shoulders.


This starts with speaking less and encouraging your friend or loved one to share more. Show them that with you they have a safe space to express all their thoughts and emotions as it relates to the loss of their loved one. In listening make sure you are making eye contact and watching your body language. You want them to know that you are actively engaged in the conversation.

Be Present

Try to be there physically for the person whenever possible. This can mean simply sitting with them at their home or offering to take them out during the holiday seasons, so they know they truly have someone to lean on.

Don’t Forget

Even once the holiday season passes, remember that there will be plenty of other days when they will be overtaken by grief. Be sure to reach out during birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates of the lost one. This is a way to let them know that you are always thinking of them.



Holiday Gift Guide A

for Everyone On Your List

As you plan to spread the love this holiday season, here are our ideas for some of the top gifts to give. Use the Mozy to stay warm this winter while enjoying activities from walking the dog to watching the sports game! The Mozy is the ultimate cold weather blanket. Created by a thermodynamics engineer, Mozy has been tested and found to be 500% warmer than a traditional stadium blanket thanks to its innovative convective heat loss blocking design, plush, heavyweight fleece interior, and weather-proof outer shell. Mozy, starting at $99 getthemozy.com, Amazon and Skimlinks The Uber Chill Portable Mini Fridge from Uber Appliance is great for your home, bathroom, home gym, office, mancave, garage or even on the go with the built-in handle and 12v car plug. It’s also light and portable - great for long road trips and camping! The fridge is compact yet roomy - fitting up to 6 cans. The mini fridge can be used at work to store healthy snacks & drinks, store natural makeup products, on your next camping trip, & so much more! Uber Appliance Portable Mini Fridge, $60 uberappliance.com, Amazon, Skimlinks & ShareASale

From a Florida and woman-owned small business, this is a great adult party game with new packs for kids coming out just in time for the holidays. SOCIALLY TWISTED™ is a NEW and EPIC party card game and APP. Create a twisted story using story and word cards and get competitive with your friends or family. It’s quick, funny, wacky, competitive, and guaranteed to leave everyone cracking up! Perfect for parties, holidays, and pandemics - players create and share edgy stories from a story card and six words and vote for a “Twisted Winner or Loser,” depending on how you look at it. Ages 17+. Socially Twisted Games, $25 sociallytwistedgames.com

Small Batch is the classic Garrison Brothers expression and the perfect go-to for an everyday, celebrate every occasion whiskey. It’s everything rich and good about bourbon, without the bite. Each year, a brand-new vintage of this 94-proof sipper is released, perfect for collectors or those who are looking to try something new. Every day, Garrison Brothers dedicate themselves to making better bourbon than they day before, which means bourbon drinkers can expect a better bottle of Garrison Brothers each time they buy one. Small Batch, $90.99 shopgarrisonbros.com

Buddha Board is a screen-free way to have a calm moment and get to a healthy state of mindfulness. This unique product will help reset your mental state from overstimulated to calm and peaceful. The Buddha Board is a blank slate where you simply dip your brush in water and create. Buddha Board, $34.95 buddhaboard.com and Amazon


Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

Second Harvest Food Bank’s multi-product signature food line! Treat your friends and family to this wonderful holiday gift box that includes a Spoon Full of Hope apron, a 16 oz. jar of Tomato Basil Soup, a 16 oz. jar of Honey, and a classic shortbread cookie. Items can also be purchased individually online at ASpoonFullofHope.org. To seal the deal, you also have the option to include a holiday card explaining that a donation to hunger relief was made in the recipient’s honor. A Spoon Full of Hope Gift Box, $34.99 ASpoonFullofHope.org

This holiday season ensure you and your loved ones are getting the best sleep EVER with Honeydew Sleep pillows. Between side, travel, and body pillows, they have the comfiest product to rest your melon. From its customizable design to the made in America origin story, this pillow has been meticulously crafted to help you get a better night’s sleep. It even has a copper infused foam fill that has natural antibacterial properties keeping pillows fresh and cool night after night. Honeydew Sleep, $99 honeydewsleep.com, Amazon & Skimlinks

Hanukkah’s alternative to Elf on the Shelf! Celebrate the 8 nights of Hanukkah with The Mensch on a Bench family of products and add more Funukkah to Hanukkah. While teaching the importance of the holiday through a variety of educational and inspiring storybooks, Moshe the Mensch and his family are on a mission to encourage others to be honorable mensches and to bring fun and laughter to your family. HANUKKAH’S, The Mensch on a Bench, $29.99 themenschonabench.com/shop

Click! Connect! Create! With Magformers Backyard Adventure 61Pc Set. Build magnetic houses and invite all your friends to the party! Create houses and build a playground! Add your favorite characters including Max, Maggie and Minibot. Where will your imagination take you!? Includes Idea Booklet. Ages: 3+ Magformers Backyard Adventure Set, $74.99 magformers.com

For more great gift ideas, visit centralfloridalifestyle.com www.CentralFloridaLifestyle.com


True to Food

From the ground up, Signature Kitchen Suite was built on precision and purpose. Whether it’s articulating handles, consistency in our stainless steel grain, Signature Fit™. installation, or engineering considerations that follow your countertop’s lines, our full collection of built-in appliances are designed to please the designer, builder and home chef alike. Carrying over to their respect for food, each appliance is thoughtfully designed to prepare, preserve or clean in the best ways possible. That’s how they stay True to Food™.

Signature Kitchen Suite is now available at Southeast Steel Appliance Warehouse,

explore this new line of luxury in our showroom today.

SOUTHEAST STEEL APPLIANCE WAREHOUSE 63 West Amelia Street, Orlando, FL 32801 (407) 423-7654

Visit SoutheastSteel.net for more information. Copyright ©2021 Signature Kitchen Suite, 111 Sylvan Ave., Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632. All rights reserved. “Signature Kitchen Suite” and the Signature Kitchen Suite logo are trademarks of Signature Kitchen Suite.


Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021



+ IN THE Kitchen

Embrace ForwardThinking Cooking

For those who savor the experience and journey of preparing the freshest and finest ingredients, SIGNATURE KITCHEN SUITE combines its passion for food and innovation in the luxury kitchen appliance category.


he holidays, now more than ever, are centered on the story behind delicious meal preparation and the experience. While family and friends gather, this new luxury brand from global home appliance leader LG Electronics, Signature Kitchen Suite, is embracing a new generation of forward-thinking cooks, Technicureans™, that combine their passion for food with their appreciation for innovation. These appliances help tell your story with memories that last a lifetime. Signature Kitchen Suite has mastered luxury, built-in appliances with state-of-the-art technology that provide flexibility to prepare food in the best possible way. The ability to show respect for food and the art of preparation with the performance, design and precision of their products with appliances that include a first-of-its-kind built-in sous vide range to the industry’s only built-in French door refrigerator with a convertible middle drawer, Signature Kitchen Suite truly embraces a new generation of fine meal preparation and a precise cooking experience. Other significant advancements to the line include: a first-of-its kind built-in undercounter convertible refrigerator/freezer drawers that operate independently and allow homeowners to select from multiple temperature zones depending on their needs, including a freezer option; pro ranges that are available in either dual fuel or all-gas options, induction cooktops, gas rangetops, and a combination wall oven featuring a speed oven over a convection/ steam oven, and a newly available 36-inch pro range with built-in sous vide, induction and gas burners; and a wine refrigerator with Wine Cave Technology™, which minimizes vibration, temperature fluctuations, limits light exposure, and optimizes humidity, protecting collections from wine’s most damaging elements.


Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

To see the new Signature Kitchen Suite display, visit Southeast Steel in downtown Orlando at 63. W. Amelia St. For more info visit southeaststeel.net.

Create a season of health and happiness.


Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021


Put some health in your holidays. The holidays are upon us, and it’s time to celebrate the joys of the season with family and friends. Stay on track this year by following a few simple health tips, so you can make the most out of every moment.

Wash your hands often.

It’s simple and effective. Thorough handwashing with soap and running water for 20 full seconds is one of your best defenses against getting sick or making someone else sick.

Keep stress in check.

If you find yourself on edge or getting overwhelmed, take a quick break. Social interaction, restful sleep and regular exercise can also help.

Get your annual physical and screenings.

Make sure you’re up to date on regular exams and health screenings so you don’t get taken by surprise over the holidays.

Get your flu shot.

Some experts think flu season will be especially harsh this year, so protect yourself and your family by getting your flu vaccine. They’re recommended for everyone six months old and up.

Practice safe food prep.

It’s very important to sanitize hands and surfaces frequently, be sure to cook foods to the right temperature and refrigerate leftovers promptly.

Eat healthy.

Prepare nutritious foods as part of your holiday menu, and make healthy choices like green beans over green bean casserole. Plan to stop eating when you’re full, and focus on salads and veggie platters when you can.

Get moving.

Add exercise to your holiday routine this year. Regular physical activity will give you more energy and boost your spirits. Don’t forget to stretch those muscles before and after.

Make a new tradition.

Take a family walk after dinner, throw a football in the yard or choose another healthy activity to make great holiday memories.

Be cautious with holiday decorations.

Many people are injured each year putting up holiday lights and decorations. Be very careful on ladders and roofs, and always keep a close eye on the kids.

Visit YourCareStartsHere.com to find the nearest AdventHealth ER, Centra Care urgent care, primary care and more. www.CentralFloridaLifestyle.com 21-SYSTEM-09233 - Central Florida Lifestyle Magazine_November Special Edition Staying Healthy Through the Holidays_Acc-F1.indd 2


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How to Feel Better When You're Under the Weather Nobody wants to get sick during the holidays. But, if you do, it’s important to get the right diagnosis right away.

What to Do If You Have Concerning Symptoms

It's hard to distinguish coronavirus from other ailments such as cold, flu or seasonal allergies. Many people with COVID-19 only have mild symptoms. But, they can still infect others who might be more likely to develop serious health complications that can be lifethreatening. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, you should avoid the hospital emergency room except in the event of a true emergency. For mild symptoms, contact your primary care provider or your closest AdventHealth Centra Care. The physician will tell you how best to proceed. Make sure to tell the doctor if you are older than age 65 or have any of the following health conditions. 26





Symptoms Range From Mild to Severe

Gradual Onset of Symptoms

Abrupt Onset of Symptoms













Aches and Pains








Sore Throat




Stuffy Nose








Stomach Ache




Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

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03 PM

If the holidays get you down, we’re here to help you up. Back hurts from carrying the Christmas tree into the house?

We can’t all be as fit as a lumberjack. Seek medical attention to soothe your aching back. (Urgent Care, Family Doctor, Sports Med & Rehab, Virtual Visit)

Asthma triggered while retrieving decorations from the attic?

When you pull those boxes down from the attic, you’re bringing down a lot of dust as well. We've got the relief you need, so you can breathe easy. (Urgent Care, Family Doctor, Emergency Room)

Snake hiding in your lawn decorations?

For eleven months out of the year, your whimsical, holiday yard decor can become a home to real live critters. (Emergency Room)

Placing the tree topper led to a broken arm?

You brought home the tallest tree on the lot. But, putting the angel on top was harder than it looked. We make casts of all shapes and sizes. (Urgent Care, Emergency Room, Sports Med & Rehab, Diagnostic Imaging)

Bumped your head while plugging in lights?

Hiding extension cords is the key to great holiday décor. So, it’s not surprising that you forgot you were under the table when you stood up. We're serious about treating bumps on the noggin. (Family Doctor, Emergency Room, Diagnostic Imaging)

Sliced your finger instead of the turkey?

That new electric knife works better than you expected. We'll get you stitched up in time for dessert. (Urgent Care, Emergency Room)

Burned your hand while trying not to burn the cookies? If you’re new to holiday baking, the first rule of thumb is to remember to wear your baking mitts. If you forget, turn off your oven and get the treatment you need. (Urgent Care, Family Doctor, Emergency Room)

Too much eggnog has you feeling nauseas?

All your favorite foods seem to find their way to your table during the holidays. Don’t try to eat them all in one sitting, or you'll be taking medicine for dessert. (Urgent Care, Family Doctor, Virtual Visit)

Throat sore from too much Christmas caroling?

You’ve been waiting all year to show off your singing voice. But, trying to hit those high notes has the dog howling and your throat hurting. Seek medical help to get you back on pitch. (Urgent Care, Family Doctor)

Old strand of lights give you a shock?

If you’re using the same old holiday lights from your childhood, it might be time to invest in a new strand. A serious shock is no joking matter. (Emergency Room)

Visit YourCareStartsHere.com to find the nearest AdventHealth ER, Centra Care urgent care, primary care and more. www.CentralFloridaLifestyle.com 21-SYSTEM-09233 - Central Florida Lifestyle Magazine_November Special Edition Staying Healthy Through the Holidays_Acc-F1.indd 4


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It Only Takes One Voice By Kristi Gomen


ver the last several years, I have had the chance to learn about and be inspired by Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Florida. Their mission, team members, and what they have done and continue to do for so many in our community much too often goes unnoticed.


Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

As an Advisory Board Member at Devereux, I feel that for my voice to be heard and understood by those that I encounter or that are reading this, I need to educate as many as I can about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Florida. It is my hope that my message and my voice will in turn become your voice too! Devereux began with just one voice.

The brilliant voice of Helena Trafford Devereux. Helena’s passion and desire was to help children with developmental disabilities thrive. Born in Philadelphia in 1885, Helena graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls in 1904. By 1906, she became an educator and started teaching at one of Philadelphia’s most underprivileged communities in South Philadelphia. At the time, children that needed more attention and assistance in school were not being given the help they desperately needed. Helena was far ahead of her time in understanding what these children needed, so she opened her home and her heart. Helena Trafford Devereux dedicated her life to help develop and establish educational programs for children with developmental disabilities like autism. In the early 1900’s, developmental disabilities were a very unfamiliar area but Helena Devereux’s unwavering love and understanding for these children led to the nonprofit, national organization that has helped hundreds of thousands of children and families throughout the country. So now, let’s fast forward to 2021 and talk about youth with autism and more. 1 in 54 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and the challenges these youth have with social, emotional and communication skills as well as developing and maintaining relationships can be extremely difficult. Those difficulties can lead to feelings of isolation and depression. This can be even worse for those with autism that have underlying mental health challenges, that may or may not already be diagnosed. That is where Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Florida saw an enormous need and developed a program to help families, educators and clinicians work with and help those diagnosed with autism AND co-occurring mental health conditions- the Devereux Florida Behavioral Support Program. This support program gives those diagnosed with autism and experiencing mental health issues such as:

anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, and some psychiatric conditions a resource and so much more. The Devereux Florida Behavioral Support Program wraps the family with services that cannot be obtained elsewhere. So now, here is my voice.

My voice wants to really explain the vital importance of this program, especially for our youth between the ages of 12-15. As a mother of three, the middle school years were, for my children, about peer acceptance and the need to fit in with their friends. This is developmentally appropriate at that age, and while not easy on parents it is all a part of growing up. Let’s look at what we as a community, state, and nation have endured over the last 18 plus months. Personally, the emotional roller coaster of life is overwhelming for even the most stable adult these days, much less middle school age children with hormonal surges and emotions that change daily. Now, take a child that has been diagnosed with autism, add in hormones, and couple that with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression or ADD. Where do parents, caretakers, teachers, pediatricians, and guidance counselors turn to get the support and education they need to help these children? If you answered, “Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Florida” and then went on to explain how Devereux now offers a new program called the Devereux Florida Behavioral Support Program for youth with autism facing mental health obstacles, then my voice is being heard! Remember, it only takes one voice, just look at what a difference Helena Trafford Devereux’s voice made.

If you or someone you love is faced with the challenges that autism can bring to a family or have a loved one with autism that seems sad or lonely, there is help. For immediate help, you can reach out directly to FLBehavioralSupport@devereux.org.




+ WINE & Spirits

The Best Thanksgiving Wine Pairings Discover the perfect wine pairing for traditional and non-traditional meals you may find on your table this holiday season! By Alexa Delgado, Lake Nona Wave Hotel Beverage Manager

The Opener: Appetizers

Traditionally, I find that appetizers aren't a part of Thanksgiving dinner plans, but in our home we think of Thanksgiving as a family dinner party. As soon as you walk in the front door, my mom or I will welcome you with a glass of sparkling wine – I prefer a cava or prosecco, and a table full of cheese, charcuterie and assorted dips. ■ Cheese & Charcuterie: When building a cheese and charcuterie board, it's wise to keep in mind white, red and sparkling pairing options; this way guests with various palates can enjoy! Lightto medium-bodied reds and fullbodied whites nicely compliment the most common selections. For guests still enjoying their welcome glass of bubbles, a hard cheese, like Manchego, or a mild charcuterie, such as prosciutto or other dry salami, pair well, as the saltiness in these options soften the acidity in sparkling wine. Guests that prefer to start the evening with a white and will switch to red during the meal, offer a full-bodied Californian Chardonnay to compliment a fatty pate. Lastly, for those com30

Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

mitted red wine lovers, pair fresh cheeses, such as feta and goat, or a soft-ripened cheese, like Brie with a glass of Cabernet Franc because of its high acidity. ■ Spinach & Artichoke Dip: I find that the high acidity and low alcohol of a Chilean Merlot has the right formula to stand up against dishes with strong flavors, making this an ideal pairing, considering the intense "green" flavors of spinach and artichokes.

The Main Attraction: Turkey

As I mentioned, we do some things a little differently in our home for Thanksgiving. My husband and I both come from Cuban-American households, so we see a mix of cultures and cuisines at the dinner table. ■ Turkey: I find that the preparation would determine which pairing is best suited for this entrée: if you smoke your bird, I recommend a bold Pinotage, which typically will carry flavors of raspberry and tobacco; whereas, a crisp, dry Pinot Noir Rosé would perfectly compliment one that is grilled or roasted.

■ Roast Pork or Lechón: To cut through the fat without taking away from the crispy, crackled skin, you want a wine with high acidity and a touch of sweetness. My best pairing for this would be a dry German Riesling.

The Finale: Dessert

■ Pecan Pie: A glass of Madeira elevates a warm slice of of pecan pie – it's even with a drizzle of chocolate! ■ Pumpkin Pie: For this classic Thanksgiving staple, we would want a dessert wine that's sweet, but not too sweet. An Oloroso Sherry would fit the bill. ■ Apple Pie: Friends of mine with dietary restrictions – specifically vegans – typically have a hard time finding things to eat at Thanksgiving, so I try to make sure I have a few options for them. My favorite to make is apple pie. I like to enjoy it with a chilled glass of Moscato d'Asti. Vegan options of this wine can be found in most grocery stores.

• • • • • • Promotional Feature • • • • • •


Think Before You Drink:

Understanding the Consequences of Driving Under the Influence A reminder to not drink and drive, especially during this holiday season. By Michael B. Brehne, Law Offices of Michael B. Brehne, P.A


hink before you drink is not just a slogan; it is good advice. While finding a reason to have a drink with friends or family comes quickly, the same cannot be said for thinking about how to get home afterwards. Driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances is a crime. The offense of DUI occurs when you are found to be in physical control of a vehicle within the state of Florida while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or any chemical or controlled substance when affected to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired; or you have a breath or blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. Being in physical control means you don’t have to be moving to be charged with DUI, but simply be capable of starting the vehicle and making it move. By example, a person passed out behind the wheel of a car, with the key in their possession, sitting in their driveway could result in a conviction for DUI. The crime of DUI in Florida is a misdemeanor. DUI has standardized penalties that are increased upon each conviction, the third of which becomes a felony. In addition, punish-

ments are enhanced if your blood or breath alcohol exceeds .15% BAC or if you are accompanied by a minor at the time of the offense. If convicted of DUI for the first time in Florida, a judge is required to impose the following penalties: Up to six months in jail. Up to twelve months of reporting probation. n Minimum six-month driver license revocation, but up to twelve months. n Minimum fine of $500, but no more than $1,000. n Ten-day impoundment or immobilization of the vehicle used n 50 hours of community service. n Completion of a 12-hour DUI Substance Abuse Course. n Completion of a psychosocial evaluation to determine if Substance Abuse Treatment is required. n Completion of any recommended substance abuse treatment. n n

year license suspension, one year of supervised probation, a hefty fine, attendance at a DUI attack school and 50 hours of community service. After reading the sentence, the judge looked directly into the defendant’s eyes and said the following, “Would have been a lot cheaper just to take a cab, huh?” While that might sound callous to the defendant, it resonated with me. Imagine the impact the decision to drive drunk had on this defendant’s life and that it could have all been avoided by simply calling a cab or today, summoning an Uber or Lyft. This holiday season, please keep the judge’s wise words in mind. Be safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

I recall sitting in a courtroom years ago waiting for my case to be called, when I heard the judge pronounce a sentence on a DUI defendant. The guilty driver’s sentence included a one-

Michael Brehne has dedicated his 24-year career to representing injured people in motorcycle and car accidents, and represents people when their insurance claims have been denied. He has earned a reputation as a tenacious and skilled trial lawyer when representing his clients against large corporate defendants and insurance companies. He is also the author of “Watching Out for Florida Motorcyclists: Legal Rights of Injured Bikers.”


Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021


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Accepting New Patients Evening and Weekend Appointments Available

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Vision Therapy We create customized programs to improve overall functional vision performance. Symptoms may include: • Blurred vision • Headaches • Double vision • Tired eyes • Trouble reading/writing • Poor reading comprehension

Myopia Management These treatments are intended to slow the progression of myopia (nearsightedness). If your child has myopia, most likely they will need stronger eyeglasses year after year. Treatments may include one or a combination of the following: • Eye drops • Multifocal contacts • Ortho-K lenses

Come to us for your everyday eye care needs! Comprehensive eye exams for all ages • Emergency eye care • Award-winning Optical Boutique

BRAND NEW LOCATION 7208 Sand Lake Road, Ste. 202 Orlando, FL 32819 www.CentralFloridaLifestyle.com


What Are You Orlando locals take the time to share their feelings of gratitude this holiday season.

“I am thankful for all the TFA faculty and staff who take their time to get to know every student on a personal level.” Cadence, 9th grade, The First Academy

“ I am thankful for God because he made us and gives us everything in life.” Janae, 5th grade, Princeton Elementary School

For? “I am thankful to be on this planet right now at this time. The reason why I am thankful to be on this planet is because this is a great planet.” Timothy, 4th grade, Princeton Elementary School

“I am thankful for going to the playground.” Jax, Pre-K4, Montverde Academy “I am thankful for Mickey and my friends!” Caden, Pre-K Creation Village “I am thankful for my family’s health.” Hudson, 1st grade, The First Academy


Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

“I am thankful for my friends because I have fun with them and when I need help with spelling, we help each other. I am also thankful for my family because with their help I get to go to Windermere Prep and get a good education.” Tabish, 3rd grade, “I am so very thankful for my Windermere Preparatory family! I am thankful because School they love me and care for me.” Mason, 5th grade, Windermere Preparatory School

“I am most thankful for the uplifting atmosphere I have been able to grow up in as a young adult, filled with undying support and love from my parents and sisters. Continually, this transcends into my school community formed at Windermere Prep and how for the past twelve years, the opportunities I have been given as an individual have fostered my independent growth, sparked inner creative capabilities, and ultimately has built another home where I am able to share these developmental experiences and learn from others.” Danielle, 12th grade Windermere Preparatory School

“My Name is Gavin Funk...Some of the things I am most grateful for...My Family, the school I go to, my friends, and Disney.” Gavin, 5th grade, Windermere Preparatory School “I am most thankful for my family and friends, especially my aunts, uncles, and cousins on the weekends while my parents are working.” Juliana, 4th grade Princeton Elementary School

“I am thankful for my friends and teachers for getting me through the day. I am also thankful for my coaches and teammates for cheering me on and pushing me to be better than the best.” Carine, 7th grade, Montverde Academy

“I am thankful for family, friends, and basketball.” Antonio, 4th Grade, Montverde Academy

“My being able to fly, get on the radio, and all the blessings that God has given me with the opportunities I’ve had.” Steven, 12th grade, The First Academy

“I am thankful for my family and my dog because they are the best!” Lorenzo, Pre-K, Creation Village

“I am thankful for my Landon and my mommy and my dress!” Gabriella, Pre-K, Creation Village



W H A T ’ S


MetroWest Challenges the Community to Support

Edgewood Children's Ranch Through sponsorships and gift card donations, MetroWest can help at-risk children. By Kimbra Hennessy


espite these uncertain times, the community can still help at-risk children and families find hope by supporting the Edgewood Children’s Ranch and participating in the MetroWest Master Association’s 2021 Community Charity Challenge. Now more than ever, Edgewood Children’s Ranch (ECR) is needed to help make a difference in the lives of children across Central Florida. Edgewood Children’s Ranch provides children and their families with a safe environment to change negative behaviors and the direction of their lives. ECR’s residential program allows children to attend school onsite and live with others in a family-style unit emphasizing responsibility, accountability, self-control and self-reliance. Since 2014, the MetroWest Master Association (MWMA) has organized a successful community-wide charity challenge that resulted in a large quantity of food and other important necessities being donated to Edgewood Children’s Ranch at MetroWest’s annual WinterFest event. Due to COVID-19, WinterFest 2021 has been cancelled and the format for this year’s charity challenge will continue with the format created last year to keep participants


Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

Students from Edgewood Children’s Ranch (ECR) learned about personal banking during a lesson taught by Fairwinds Credit Union member service representative Ashley Kowalczik on Oct. 5. Jennifer Waters, Fairwinds Vice President-Branch Manager of the MetroWest branch and MetroWest Master Association Board President, said that the banking class is just one of the learning opportunities the credit union is offering to ECR students.

safe. The new format was incredibly successful in 2020, raising more than $9,000 for ECR. MWMA is seeking donations from residents in the form of gift cards from local businesses that ECR can use for ranch and school supplies, family night events, student recognition and other special needs. Examples of gift cards that would be most useful include Visa or MasterCard, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Publix, McDonalds, Chick-fil-A, Josie’s Pizza, Marco’s Pizza, Pizza Hut or Office Depot. In addition, MWMA is asking local businesses to help sponsor the

Community Charity Challenge. Sponsorships are available in increments of $2,500 and $1,000. So far, FirstService Residential, BrightView Landscape Services, GardaWorld and Critical Intervention Services have committed to sponsorships. MWMA has also donated space in MetroWest Lifestyle to ECR. Donations in any amount will help Edgewood Children’s Ranch continue to provide a safe and loving environment where kids can learn to succeed in life and where families can find healing. ECR relies on community support, sponsors and individual donors to keep the program affordable for families in need.



BizCenter USA

Offers State-of-the-Art Executive Suites in Prime MetroWest Location By Kimbra Hennessy


ince opening in MetroWest in 2019, BizCenter USA has been providing premium, flexible workspace for business owners and professionals. Located at 6000 MetroWest Blvd., BizCenter meets the evolving needs of today’s businesses by offering office space solutions and full-service amenities to sole proprietors as well as larger businesses with multiple employees. Fernando Mariano, BizCenter USA owner and President, has more than 30 years of professional business experience and has carefully selected MetroWest to locate his business. “BizCenter USA boasts a highly desirable address in Orlando and my clients enjoy the prestige and ease of being in MetroWest,” says Mariano. With 24/7 access to furnished private office suites and Class-A conference room rentals, BizCenter USA provides business owners with an office environment that is based on flexibility and comfortability. “Our flexible length membership is our most appreciated option,” says Mariano. “Also, with our upscale clientele in mind, I designed the building with optimum sound reducing materials – every wall, window and ceiling is insulated, creating a quiet and pleasant work environment.” While the past two years have been

difficult for everyone due to the pandemic, Mariano has met the challenge with innovation. “When COVID-19 came along, I wanted to create a safe environment for my customers, so I installed a REME-HALO in-duct air purifier in the building that kills 99.9 percent of coronavirus,” says Mariano. “This is the brand hospitals use and it has been a big selling point.” Also available are conference room rentals for periods of two hours, halfa day or a full-day. Mailbox rentals are also an option featuring a private and credible professional address. Ample complimentary parking offers quick entry to the BizCenter offices. Located on MetroWest Boulevard, BizCenter USA’s prime location boasts easy access to the Millenia shopping area, I-4, downtown Orlando, International Drive, the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center, The Florida Turnpike and the Orlando International Airport. “I live in MetroWest, opened my business here and I love it,” says Mariano. “The community is clean and quiet and has a good neighborhood association with solid vision and execution. The MetroWest Master Association takes tremendous care of the community and has created a safe and beautiful place to both live and work.”


Events By Nancy Glasgow

Upcoming Events Jan. 27: Shred It Event Joins MetroWest Food Truck Connection in January MetroWest Food Truck Connection, which is held every fourth Thursday from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the MetroWest Golf Club, will feature a special shred it/electronics disposal event in conjunction with the Jan. 27 Food Truck Connection. Attendees can bring personal documents to be shredded securely and can safely dispose of electronics and personal computers. OneBlood will also be on hand to take blood donations. Social distancing guidelines will be observed. Each MetroWest Food Truck Connection features a variety of food trucks serving delicious and innovative dishes created by some of Central Florida’s most inventive chefs. MetroWest Food Truck Connection is organized by Food Truck Crazy. MetroWest Golf Club is located at 2100 S. Hiawassee Rd., Orlando, FL 32835.

A Look at Past Events

Madeleine Francois Neighborhood Champion Award MetroWest Master Association (MWMA) board member Madeleine Francois (above right) has received Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s 2021 Neighborhood Champion award. A resident of MetroWest for 26 years and president of the MetroWest Unit 5 (aka Isles of MetroWest) HOA for 15 years, Francois has always worked at building community and creating a sense of cohesiveness amongst her neighbors.



W H A T ’ S


MetroWest Master Association Board and Staff Share

Special Holiday Traditions and Recipes

By Nancy Glasgow


amily holiday traditions take on a greater resonance this year considering the pandemic and the opportunity for more family closeness than last year. MetroWest Master Association board members Stina D’Uva, Madeleine Francois and Julie Sanchez, MWMA General Manager, share some of their most beloved family traditions and a few wonderful recipes.

Stina's Cookies (S ix-Layered Cooki es)

Makes at least se ven

Stina D’Uva

Cookie exchanges started my Christmas tradition. Decades ago, I was invited to a cookie exchange at the home of a fellow mother of twins just before Christmas. I thought it would be fun even though I’m not much of a baker and then I found out I had to have at least six dozen cookies to share. I knew I had to find a single recipe that made lots of cookies. That’s when I remembered my cousin Debbie’s cookies. Debbie shared the recipe and now, at least in the Orlando area, the cookies are known as Stina’s cookies or Six Layered Cookies. Previously, they were known as Neapolitan cookies. Although my heritage is 100 percent Italian, my family does not originate from the Naples region. These cookies are delicious and festive, and you can change the colors for just about any occasion. Enjoy! Buon Natale and Merry Christmas!


Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

dozen cookies.

1 can Solo alm ond filling or 1 package Solo almond paste 1 cup unsalted butter, softened 1 cup sugar 2 cups flour 4 egg yolks (5 if you are using th e paste rather than filling) 4 egg whites (5 if you are using the paste rath er than filling)

Red food colo r Green food co lor Seedless rasp berry jam Apricot preser ves 6 ounces of se mi-sweet chocolat e chips Mini-paper cu ps

1. Mix egg yolks an d sugar until creamy , add paste or filling into small piece . If using paste, brea s. Mix well to remo k up ve clumps. Add flo ur, small portions 2. In another mixin at a time. g bowl, beat egg whites until stiff an d fold into almond 3. Divide the batte batter. r into three even po rtions. Color one with green and portion with red, leave the third porti another on in its original co you can make lor. If you want to ge two portions gree t fancy, n and one portion red, or vice versa 4. Preheat oven . to 350 degrees. Sp ray three cookie sh stick spray. Lin eets with edges wi e each with wax or th nonparchment paper portion of the and spray again. batter and spread Take one evenly on each co edges turn a lig okie sheet. Bake ht brown. Cool sli until the ghtly and remove paper from each. 5. Using one of th e cookie sheets, flip the green layer on top is now the fir to the cookie shee st layer on the cook t so the ie sheet. Spread a on this layer. Ad thin layer of raspbe d the layer with no rry jam color on top of the with a thin layer raspberry and then of apricot preserve sp read . Fin cookie sheet wi ally, add the red lay th plastic wrap an er. Cover the layer d another cookie ed to press the lay sheet. Add someth ers together and ing heavy refrigerate for a fe w hours, or overnig 6. Take out of the ht. fridge and flip the five layers over so on top. that the green lay er is now 7. Melt chocolate chips and spread evenly over the to six layers. Onc p layer so that you e the chocolate co now have ols, slightly trim th cutter. Once yo e uneven edges wi u have a neat rect th a pizza angle of the layer place in mini-cu s, cut into even sq ps to serve. uares and




Events Madeleine Francois

The holidays are always a special time for our family. Since we all live in different states, any time spent together is precious and filled with cherished traditions. A Thanksgiving tradition that started with my daughter and grandchildren consisted of collecting autumn leaves and using them to create place settings for the dinner table. My grandchildren would trace and cut out the leaves on orange, yellow and red construction paper. Then, they used a gold metallic marker to write the name of each family member who would be in attendance. When everyone arrived, they were asked to find their place at the table and inscribe the back of their leaf with four things that they were thankful for. After we finished our meal, we read aloud what each of us was thankful for. It always brought us closer together and kept us ever mindful what this time together really meant to all of us. Happy Thanksgiving!

By Nancy Glasgow

A Look at Past Events Breast Cancer Awareness Month To support Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the MetroWest Master Association (MWMA) placed four giant pink wreaths around the necks of the Quattro Cavalli horses at the entrance to Veranda Park. In addition, goodie bags were delivered to several medical offices within the MetroWest community during October.

Julie Sanchez

Our family traditionally opens one gift on Christmas Eve before Santa visits that night as my family still believes in the miracles of giving, caring and the magic of Christmas. The holidays wouldn’t be the same without my grandmother’s famous homemade spaghetti and meatballs recipe – it is scrumdiddlyumptious! Total cooking time is 5-7 hours.

Grandma's Famous Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs Sauce: 1 32-ounce bottle Campbell’s 1 24-ounce jar Ragu pasta sauce tomato juice 1 tablespoon thyme 1 12-ounce can Hunt’s tomato paste 10-12 bay leaves 1 15-ounce can Hunt’s tomato sauce Cook 3.5 hours before adding meatballs. Meatballs: 1 1/2 to 2 pounds hamburger 1 teaspoon garlic 2 eggs 1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup breadcrumbs 1 cup smashed Saltine crackers 1/2 cup ketchup

1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly and shape into balls. Brown the meatballs in a skillet until golden crispy brown; drain and blot with paper towel. Add to sauce after sauce has simmered on low for 3 1/2 hours. Then cook for another 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. 2. Cook and drain 1-pound spaghetti to serve with the sauce. Also serve with toasted garlic bread and salad.



+ HOW You Can Help

Helping During the Holidays

With the holiday season right around the corner, organizations around Central Florida are looking for volunteers to help bring cheer to those who are less fortunate. By Kendall Beebe


ith the COVID-19 pandemic gearing into its second year, those around Central Florida are still feeling its effects. From those who work in the service industry to the entertainment industry, job security has been a heavy worry on their shoulders. The United Way of Florida distinguishes those who are within the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed threshold (ALICE) as “households with income above the official Federal Poverty Level but below a newly defined basic survival income level.” According to a 2020 study conducted by the United Way of Florida, 6,210 people were living below the ALICE threshold. Of those, 56% of them felt like they would not be able to provide enough food for their families. There are many organizations that are local to the Orlando area that are looking for volunteers to help with a variety of outreach programs. As the holidays are approaching, you may be looking for a way to incorporate giving back to your community to bonding with your family. Hands On Orlando Director of Programs and Development Kyle


Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

Trager says, “Our area has unique challenges and the pandemic showed that all of us can pitch in to help lift our neighbors in difficult times.” The Hands On Orlando group helps match people with volunteer opportunities that will be a good fit. They have volunteer opportunities for families with children of all ages and some opportunities for teens to volunteer on their own. “They can sign up for family friendly volunteer projects and invite their teens to join them. They can also help their teens find opportunities. We recommend parents ask their teens what they care about in the community. A lot of teens like to help animal shelters, participate in environmental activities and serve food in shelters for people experiencing homelessness,” Trager says. As we go through our day-to-day lives, Trager says people can get swept up in their own bubble. He says that volunteering in your community can help broaden your view and help you get to know more people around you. “Serving others, learning about the difficulties people face and meeting other like-minded people on volunteer projects helps provide a more

realistic view of the world we live in. Volunteering also shows that we all can play a part in helping to solve these complex problems in our community,” Trager says. Here is a list of volunteer opportunities and organizations for you to check out: Hands On Orlando: www.handsonorlando.com 407-740-8652 Volunteer@HandsOnOrlando.com Up Orlando www.uporlando.org 407-650-0774 Orlando Cares www.orlando.gov 407.246.3507 orlandocares@orlando.gov Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida www.feedhopenow.org 407-295-1066 info@feedhopenow.org


s t h g i n i l o H N O I T A R B E L CE IGH N T C E L E S





Santa Claus The Mischievous Elves The Holinights Carolers Towering Toy Soldiers Holiday Craft Market, Live Bands, DJs, Car Shows, Street Performers and More!

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+ YOUR Local

Bringing Thankfulness and Gratitude to Our Communities The Lake Nona Regional Chamber of Commerce reminds us what is most important during the holiday season. By Don Long, Lake Nona Regional Chamber of Commerce


s the annual holiday season arrives, Central Florida is blessed this and every year by community organizations, caring businesses and leaders who believe in the spirit of giving while spreading a spirit of thankfulness. A primary focus of this season is thankfulness for the blessings and opportunities enjoyed by those who are fortunate to live in the United States and the Central Florida community. Every November, U.S. citizens give thanks based on an occasion in the year 1621 when Pilgrims and members of a local native nation joined to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Therefore, in anticipation of the happy gatherings centered around Thanksgiving and the holiday season, this quote from President John F. Kennedy will help set the stage. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” The Lake Nona Regional Chamber of Commerce (LNRCC) will express gratitude for a job well done with a contribution to the chamber’s


Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

2021 Charity of Choice, Ronald McDonald House of Central Florida, with proceeds from the 2021 Chamber Swing golf tournament this month. LNRCC is also thankful for the continuing support of its membership, partners and the community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost every chamber of commerce in Orange County is instrumental in sharing the needs and programs offered through the local nonprofit community. In addition, according to www.countyoffice.org/ orange (not a government agency) there are 61 nonprofits registered at their website and operating in Orange County. People interested in researching nonprofits deserving of help and expressions of gratitude can visit this website to find out more. Many generous community efforts are led, managed and planned by the regional nonprofits, businesses and civic organizations including chambers of commerce. The LNRCC specifically includes a Nonprofit Committee. Its chair is Angie Amate of EXP Realty and a member

of the board of directors. According to Amate the LNRCC Nonprofit Committee focuses on providing, “a source of information about community nonprofit organizations while also providing our members volunteer opportunities that will include both manpower and financial support to deserving local charities.” Amate’s committee actively surveys the regional nonprofits (almost 40 are members of LNRCC) to compile lists of contributions needed within their area of influence. Find the LNRCC nonprofit list at https://www. lakenonacc.org/charities/. Those who want to know more about opportunities to give or volunteer are welcome to call LNRCC at (407) 796-2230. The Lake Nona Regional Chamber of Commerce is a membership not-for-profit organization with offices located in Lake Nona at 6555 Sanger Rd, Orlando, FL 32827 not affiliated with, or sponsored by, Lake Nona Property Holdings, LLC, or its affiliated entities. Please email Administration@LakeNonaCC.org for any comments or requests for more information.





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+ ARTS & Entertainment

for the HOLIDAZE 2021

Read on – for those who believe the arts should be a part of their family’s holiday adventures – there are classics for some and new works for others, and NOW is the time to reserve your tickets to become a part of it all! By Josh Garrick

The Dr. Phillips Center presents



We’re beginning the holiday column with the return of the Broadway Series to the Dr. Phillips Center, because having Broadway back in Orlando is the biggest holiday gift I can think of! The series begins with what Rolling Stone calls “musical comedy heaven.” Tootsie is a laugh-a-minute love letter to the theater that tells the story of a talented (but difficult) actor who struggles to find work until one strangely magical moment gives him (or is it her?) the role of a lifetime. It also has a hilarious Tony-winning book by Robert Horn, and I completely agree with Rolling Stone – “In these turbulent times, when the world seems out of balance, we need a place to let the good times roll. Tootsie is it!” Yay! Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org.

This holiday season the Orlando Rep is inviting us all to the ball (even wicked step sisters) with the recent Broadway version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. This outrageously funny, contemporary take on the fairytale classic features songs by two of Broadway’s greatest songwriters – Rodgers & Hammerstein. Cinderella sings “In My Own Little Corner,” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” along with a hilarious (and romantic) libretto. In this version, Cinderella is a “strong woman – woman” who takes charge of her own destiny while the confused but “Handsome Prince” finds his way through the forest to claim his “true love.” You WILL LAUGH – I promise! Call 407.896.7365 or visit orlandorep.com.

Nov. 2–7, 2021


Orlando REP presents

Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

Nov. 12 – Dec. 19, 2021

Winter Park Playhouse presents

Christmas My Way: A Sinatra Holiday Bash Nov. 12 – Dec. 18, 2021

A Sinatra holiday show is PERFECT for those multi-talented folks at the Winter Park Playhouse. No one in Central Florida does the “cabaret format” better. With perfect timing, we’re invited to embrace our holiday spirit with ole “Blue Eyes, “and ring in the holidays with a swinging, “dance in the aisles” musical. Including an amazing 40 pop hits from classic Sinatra tunes to seasonal favorites ‘Rat Pack Style,’ this show includes (of course) “Fly Me to The Moon,” “That¹s Life,” “New York, New York,” “Mistletoe and Holly,” “Silver Bells,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and so many more. Call 407.645,0145 or visit winterparkplayhouse.org.

The Messiah Choral Society presents

The Annual Performance of Handel’s Messiah

Nov. 21 at 3 p.m. – this performance is FREE There is something magical about the annual gift to the community of this performance – especially when the entire audience stands up to join the choir for the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Should you decide to JOIN the chorus this year, there are 10 practices scheduled in local churches with the glorious, PUBLIC performance set for November 21 at Trinity Prep. This FREE performance is one of the beautiful and inclusive ways in which our multi-talented community shares the holiday spirit. Call 407.277.5128 or visit messiahchoralsociety.org.

Dr. Phillips Center presents

Orlando Philharmonic presents

Nov. 17, 2021

Nov. 27 at 3:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Home For The Holidays

Thanks to his gift for being ‘understood,’ (in an amusing and inclusive way), Neil deGrasse Tyson is the recipient of 19 honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal! His contributions to the public appreciation of the cosmos are as limited as space itself. The International Astronomical Union named asteroid 13123 Tyson, and thinking diversity, Mr. Tyson was voted “Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive” by People Magazine in 2000. Probably the most audiencefriendly of the world’s geniuses, in this talk, Mr. Tyson will explore the “mismatch between expectations of where we should be in space and the geopolitical and economic realities that limit it.” Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org.

At Festival Park on East Robinson St. Each holiday season, the Orlando Philharmonic turns to our favorite holiday songs and carols and invites several guest artists to a truly joyful introduction to the season. This year Conductor Mauricio Céspedes Rivero and the Orchestra will perform with the holiday singers, the Opera Orlando Youth Company, and special guests Heather Thorn and Vivacity. Experience Home for the Holidays in the beauty of the Festival Park with the wonderful sounds of the season. It’s the perfect way to kick-off the holiday season with our Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra! Call 407.770.0071 or visit orlandophil.org.

The Garden Theatre presents

Orlando Shakespeare Theatre presents

Nov. 19 – Dec. 19, 2021

Dec. 1–24, 2021

BIG, The Musical

Even if you’re at the age when your friends remind you that your age is “just a number” (grrrr), when you’re 13, you can’t wait to be BIG. In this musical drawn from the beloved Tom Hanks movie of the 80’s, 13-year-old Josh finds himself magically transformed into a 30-year-old man. Clever enough to realize this is the chance to have a great time, Josh “lives” his new life in a grown-up world reminding himself and his new colleagues of the joys of childhood. This fun-filled musical is touched with the fun of Peter Pan’s pixie dust…you don’t have to grow up! Call 407.877.4736 or visit gardentheatre.org.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Certain performances can be counted on each holiday season to create the best of our holiday memories for the whole family. That is certainly true of the heartwarming Christmas classic “A Christmas Carol” about to come to life on-stage in a new adaptation by Shakes Artistic Director Jim Helsinger. The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge greets Christmas with a “bah humbug,” until he is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. This adaptation features Christmas carols and magical special effects to tell the tale of one man’s chance to change for the better. Visit orlandoshakes.org.



The Morse Museum presents

Amway Center presents

Dec. 2, 2021 at 6:15 p.m. – a FREE event

Dec. 19, 2021

Christmas in the Park in Winter Park

Andrea Boccelli’s “Believe” Tour

Each year, on the first Thursday of December, the Morse Museum launches its gift to the holiday season when it creates holiday magic and lights up the Museum’s amazing Tiffany windows in Winter Park’s Central Park. Part of that magic includes the Bach Festival Choir and Brass Ensemble in a FREE concert for the community. Created as a way for the Museum to share their rare Tiffany collection with the public, the Morse Museum and the City of Winter Park co-sponsor the event. The price is FREE, and the event begins at 6:15 p.m. when the lights come on and remain lit till 8:30 p.m. Blankets and lawn chairs may be set up beginning at 4 p.m.

There is only one tenor in the world today whose voice can both thrill and comfort an audience like that of Andrea Bocelli. Now, just in time for Christmas, Bocelli’s “Believe” American Tour, visiting 21-cities, includes a glorious return to Orlando’s Amway Center, and tickets are on sale now! The performance will feature songs from Bocelli’s poignant and uplifting new album “Believe,” a very personal collection of songs celebrating the power of love and forgiveness, along with arias, cross-over hits and love songs. With a voice that brings comfort to people around the world, Bocelli is joining us for Christmas in Orlando. Tickets via ticketmaster.com.

The Orlando Ballet presents

Dr. Phillips Center presents

Dec. 3–19, 2021

Dec. 30, 2021 at 7 p.m. & Dec. 31, 2021 at 7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.

The Nutcracker

Jim Gaffigan – The Fun Tour

Just as “A Christmas Carol” is to theatre and the “Messiah” is to orchestral music, the magic of the ballet, the Nutcracker is a not-to-be-missed holiday tradition. Fortunately, the Orlando Ballet has a beautiful production of this annual favorite. Gorgeous dancing, along with glittering sets and costumes, tells the story of a toy nutcracker. With magic – and a giant Christmas tree – the Nutcracker soldier comes to life and saves young Clara from the Mouse King and his army. Then, traveling through a land of dancing snowflakes, we join Clara in a “sugar plum world” of storybook characters. Call 844.513.2914 or visit orlandoballet.org.

I’m not at all surprised that Jim Gaffigan is one of the Top 5 highest earning comedians in the country. He’s my favorite comedian – ever! Called “the everyman comedian,” he’s known for his love of food, his five children and reasons for NOT going to the gym. One of his kids gave him the inspiration for his 2013 best-selling book called, “Dad is Fat.” Another of his quirks is his “spooky voice” that is known to comment on his performance while it’s happening. Woo hoo – the tour brings him to the Dr. Phillips Center on New Year’s Eve. I’m marking this as “Highly Recommended.” The conjunction of the stars brings one of the funniest persons on the planet to us as we enter a New Year. That’s gotta be a good thing. Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org.

Opera Orlando presents

Orange County Regional History Center presents

The Secret River

A world premiere performance at the Dr. Phillips Center Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. & Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. With music by Stella Sung and a libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Mark Campbell, our adventurous young Opera company is about to present the world premiere of Opera Orlando’s first commissioned opera. Based on a book by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the work will be sung in English. The work is set in Central Florida during the Great Depression and follows the journey of Calpurnia, a young girl with a big imagination as she searches for a secret river to help her family and small town. Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org or operaorlando.org.

Giants, Dragons & Unicorns: The World of Mythic Creatures On exhibit now to Jan. 23, 2022

Originally created by the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Giants, Dragons & Unicorns: The World of Mythic Creatures features unique ‘cultural objects’ that highlight the ways people around the world have envisioned or depicted mythic creatures. The exhibit includes cast fossils of prehistoric animals to investigate how – through fear or simple imagination – fossils may have inspired the legends around these “creatures.” For example, dinosaur fossils were mistaken for the remains of griffins, and tales of mermaids or sea monsters came from exaggerated fisherman’s stories of real creatures such as the giant squid. Fascinating! Call 407.836.8500 or visit thehistorycenter.org.

Josh Garrick has been creating, fundraising and writing about the Arts for all of the 24 years he’s lived in Orlando. In recognition of his service to the Arts, Mayor Buddy Dyer named June 27 as “Josh Garrick Day” in the City of Orlando.


Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021



Nov. 13 - Nov. 21 Festival of Trees

Orlando Museum of Art 2416 N. Mills Ave., Orlando, FL 32803 Starting at $20 407.896.4231 omart.org The Festival of Trees showcases magical displays of designer decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, and gingerbread creations, stunning holiday vignettes, drawings for dazzling tabletop displays through Entertaining by Design, a silent auction, pop up shops, the Toyland Town activity area for children, daily entertainment, and an inviting Festival Café.

Dec.2 A FROZEN Tree Lighting Experience

Nov.19-Jan.16 Asian Lantern Festival

6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens 3755 W. Seminole Blvd Sanford, FL 32771 $18.50 407.323.4450 centralfloridazoo.org Experience the Zoo like you’ve never seen it before! See over 30 different, handconstructed illuminated lanterns displayed around the Zoo on a 3/4-mile path. Celebrate the art, beauty and wonder of traditional Asian lantern festivals.

Nov. 20 - Nov.21 Longwood Arts and Crafts Festival

Nov. 17 Raise A Glass

6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Cork & Olive 1061 South Sun Dr Suite 1009, Lake Mary, FL, 32746 $50 407.878.4124 hearts-hands-hope.org Help support the mission of feeding the 36,000 hungry children and adults in Seminole County. Enjoy an evening benefiting the Heart, Hands and Hope organization. Enjoy food and wine at Cork &Olive.


9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Nov. 20 and 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Nov. 21 Historic Downtown Longwood 175 W. Warren Ave, Longwood, FL 32750 Free 352.217.8390 longwoodfestival.com The 45th annual Longwood Arts and Crafts Festival will feature more than 200 artists and hand craft exhibitors selling unique items, fine jewelry, and seasonal decor just in time for you to get a jump on the holiday shopping season. There will be festival food, beer, wine & music.

Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

Nov. 25 2021 Turkey Trot

7 a.m. - 9 a.m Avalon Town Park 3680 Avalon Park Blvd, Orlando, FL 32828 Start at $25 for adults and $15 for kids 407.658.6565 info@avalonparkfoundation.org Proceeds from this event will help support programs and services that enable us to protect stable neighborhoods and community organizations, as well as aid underprivileged ones in Avalon Park and the surrounding neighborhoods in the area.

Nov. 26 - Jan. 2 Lake Nona’s Oh What Fun! Holiday Festival

Lake Nona Town Center 6855 Lake Nona Boulevard, Orlando, Florida Free Phone Number: 407.888.6500 lakenona.com A Holiday Festival featuring a flurry of festive activities for the whole family. From Nov. 26 to Jan. 2, Lake Nona Town Center will transform into a true winter wonderland with one of Central Florida’s only outdoor, openair skating rinks surrounded by Christmas trees, twinkly lights, a mailbox for letters to Santa and everything we love most about the holiday season.

5 p.m. - 9 p.m. Oviedo Amphitheatre & Cultural Center 357 Center Lake Ln Oviedo, FL 32765 Donations required 407.971.5590 cityofoviedo.net Experience a FROZEN themed Tree Lighting Experience at Center Lake Park in Oviedo, including a special FROZEN themed show after the tree lighting!

Dec.3 Holiday in the Park

6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Central Park 100 N Country Club Rd Lake Mary, FL 32746 Free 407.585.1416 lakemaryfl.com The annual Holiday in the Park lights up downtown Lake Mary with a beautiful holiday tree lighting, thousands of twinkling lights, a dancing light show, “Snow Zone” in Central Park & a visit from Santa & Mrs. Claus!

Dec. 4 - Dec. 5 Holly Jolly Sounds of the Season

Plaza LIVE Orlando 425 N Bumby Ave Orlando, FL Start at $15 407. 896.6700 orlandophil.org Capture the spirit of the season! Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra musicians will play their way through holiday classics, from Frosty the Snowman to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.


Anxiety? It’s normal to experience some anxiety while getting back in the swing of school. New classes, new routines, new responsibilities, and new faces. It can be overwhelming at times! Here are a few tips for calming down when everything is a bit much.

Try the 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique Use your senses to ground you to the present and stop those racing thoughts!

Find 5 things you see around you

sec on for 3

Find 3 things you hear around you



on sec


3 for

ath e



Find 4 things you can touch around you



Try the Breathing Triangle

Find 2 things you can smell around you

Exhale for 3 seconds

Start at the star and follow the lines around the triangle. Deep breathing exercises give your nervous system the “all clear” signal that the danger has passed and it’s okay to rest.

Find 1 thing you can taste around you

Want extra support? Give counseling a try!


Confidence in Self. Courage in Life.

Madi Farrell, LMHC madi@takeheartorlando.com 407-900-1617

+ SOMEONE You Should Know

Mastering the Art of Giving:

A Spotlight on Dave Krepcho

As he prepares to retire, find out how the President and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank has impacted the Central Florida community. By Alexis George


ave Krepcho, President and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank has shown what it truly means to give back to one’s community through his efforts with hunger relief in Central Florida. Over the past 17 years he has managed to fulfill the organization’s mission to “create hope and nourish lives through a powerful hunger relief network, while multiplying the generosity of a caring community.” “I think Dave just has a servant heart. He’s always looking at those in need and just trying to figure out the best way to serve them,” says Jeff Lutes, Chairman of the Board. “I think he takes a lot of pride in being able to do that himself and being able to have a high performing organization that does so as well. It’s just that passion to serve others that motivates him and drives him every day.” Krepcho’s passion for hunger relief dates to the early 1990s when he was first introduced to the idea of food banking. “For me it was a fit, it just made sense,” Krepcho says. “I mention to people that if you can find that intersection in life of your abilities and talents with one of societies great needs that’s when you know you’ve really found your fit.” Chief Development Officer Greg Higgerson says the organization’s “approach to things has changed because of Dave’s vision”, resulting in the creation of a long-term plan to sustain hunger relief efforts. The plan includes services that address issues of health, income, education, transportation, and affordable housing such as the home delivery of food, the distribution of food


Central Florida Lifestyle | November 2021

to kids on weekends and the culinary training and distribution center training programs. Lutes describes this effort as a transformation from an organization that “feeds hungry people to one that delivers hunger solutions.” This is largely due to Krepcho’s belief that “hunger is just a symptom of deeper issues at the root of it.” To address those issues, he encourages and motivates his team to remain innovative. That is how amidst Covid, Second Harvest with the help of the community was able to distribute enough food for 100 million meals. Krepcho said seeing that level of community engagement was one of his proudest moments and he looks forward to remaining active even in retirement. “I have to say that the Central Florida community is a very caring one and generous and I am so thankful for that. You can have the greatest vision in the world but if you don’t have support for that it’s not possible,” Krepcho says. “A huge thank you to this community for supporting Second Harvest Food Bank and I’m looking forward to their continued support after I’m gone.” Bill Collins, Chief Operating Officer, says he hopes the organization will uphold the culture that Krepcho has built. “He was perfect for this organization, he’s perfect for this community and I’m hoping we can continue that without him here,” Collins says. For more information about Second Harvest and how you can become involved visit feedhopenow.org.







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