Winter Park Magazine Winter 2019

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Lake Berry Bananas Cynthia Edmonds



A Rare Lakefront Opportunity In Winter Park CHARLES CLAYTON




Winter Park’s



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FEATURES 24 | LIFE’S A BUFFET For Golden Corral’s Eric Holm, success means working hard, working smart and giving back. By Randy Noles 34 | CIRCULAR LOGIC The author’s friend Scott Wallace makes sense of the world by depicting it as he sees it. By Tom Nowicki 40 | UP TO THE HIGHEST HEIGHTS It all started with a Disney medley about flying. Now Jamey Ray and Voctave are soaring. By Michael McLeod 46 | MIXED MEDIA Winter fashion is in focus at Winter Park’s Alfond Inn. Photography by Rafael Tongol, styling by Marianne Ilunga, makeup and hair by Elsie Knab 60 | BECAUSE OF THEE How a love poem changed history in Winter Park. By Eduard Gfeller with Randy Noles 84 | ANNUAL PEACOCK BALL Winter Park Magazine editor and publisher Randy Noles was the honoree at the 12th annual Peacock Ball, held by the Winter Park History Museum at the Interlachen Country Club.

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PROFILE 14 | HEMINGWAY WAS HERE No, not that Hemingway. Papa’s little sister had a tumultuous term at Rollins College, and a professor uncovered her story. Truth can, indeed, be stranger than fiction. By Randy Noles, photography by Rafael Tongol DINING 54 | HAMILTON’S, REIMAGINED Already a local favorite, the Alfond Inn’s restaurant is retaining what it does best while looking for “the next newest, coolest thing” that will delight locals and visitors alike. By Rona Gindin, photography by Rafael Tongol


WHOLENESS. FITNESS. MEDICINE. In Winter Park, healthy living is about to take physical form with the grand opening of the 79,000-square-foot Center for Health & Wellbeing, which will bring wellness, fitness and medicine together in a one-of-a-kind building designed to stir mind, body and soul. By Randy Noles and Mike Boslet



866 VIA LUGANO | $7,895,000 | MLS O5750241

581 SYLVAN DRIVE | $2,795,000 | MLS O5749556

1260 NORTH PARK AVENUE | $2,695,000 | MLS O5751270

1550 BRYAN AVENUE | $1,895,000 | MLS O5751347

1401 GREEN COVE ROAD | $1,675,000 | MLS O5749543

922 BONITA DRIVE | $1,595,000 | MLS O5749944

1940 VIA CONTESSA | $1,195,000 | MLS O5749541

We are pleased to announce our new partnership with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. As the leaders in Winter Park/Orlando’s luxury and waterfront market, we look forward to elevating our service with the resources and reputation of a time-honored brand.

Mick Night

John Pinel

Mick Night | John Pinel Contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation. | 407.629.4446 Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity. Property information herein is derived from various sources including but not limited to county records and the multiple listing service, and may include approximations. All information is deemed accurate.





y family’s first night in Winter Park, 52 years ago this summer, was at a Holiday Inn at the corner of Lee Road and U.S. 17-92. The furniture for our house in Dommerich Estates hadn’t arrive yet, so we checked in and dined at Lum’s, a hot dog chain across the street, where Boston Market now stands. The three-year-old Winter Park Mall — only the fourth air-conditioned indoor mall in Florida, anchored by J.C. Penny’s and Ivey’s — was across the street. Even more than a half-century ago, I don’t recall that stretch of U.S. 17-92 being called the Million-Dollar Mile very often. But in the 1930s and 1940s, middle-class families were flocking to more modest accommodations — including dozens of tourist cottages — along the stretch of highway that now boasts Trader Joe’s and dozens of other upscale shopping centers, some of which back up to a well-hidden Lake Killarney. And by the 1950s, Winter Park was home to the swank and swinging Langford Resort Hotel, where the Empire Room supper club epitomized Rat Pack culture. So it was a stroll down Memory Lane, if not the Million-Dollar Mile, when I visited the Winter Park History Museum to conduct interviews for an indepth story on its current exhibition, Wish You Were Here: The Hotels & Motels of Winter Park. It runs through March of 2020, and the story runs in the next issue of Winter Park Magazine. The cozy museum space, tucked into the old depot where the Farmers’ Market is now held — is packed with sometimes-kitschy ephemera from the city’s classic motels — including a re-created 1950s-style guest room using authentic furnishings, right down to the matchbooks and the Gideon Bible in the endtable drawer. Also examined are the luxurious resort hotels that attracted monied Northerners to Winter Park in the late 1880s. There’s even a re-imagined Victorian-era children’s playroom of the sort where guests of the posh Seminole Hotel or Alabama Hotel might have stashed their youngsters while they were out boating. A nostalgic highlight of the exhibition is the original piano from the Empire Room as well as the hotel’s poolside bar from which untold gallons of tropical drinks were served. And take time to read the wall panels, which are dense with vintage photographs and meticulously researched descriptions.

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Linda Kulmann, the museum’s archivist and past board president, wrote the panels, which range from histories of early boarding houses to a locator map of mom-and-pop motels once located along the Million-Dollar Mile. “There was a lively cultural and arts scene that seemed to attract people here,” says Kulmann when asked why visitors would choose a small inland city instead of heading to the beach. “But also, families from up north built longterm relationships with the motel owners and just kept coming back. Some of it was probably familiarity.” Susan Skolfield, the museum’s executive director, says artifacts on display for the exhibition were donated or loaned. The Langford piano, for example, was loaned by the family that purchased it at auction when the hotel closed. “Because our space is small, every item must mean something,” adds Skolfield, who says more than 20 volunteers began scouting for materials a year in advance of the exhibition’s opening. “We’re always creating as we go along.” Kudos all around. The exhibition is wonderful and reinforces my impression that the Winter Park History Museum does more with fewer resources — the considerable talents of Skolfield and the museum’s legion of volunteers notwithstanding — than just about any organization in town. Individually owned motels became cookie-cutter corporate properties designed to resemble downtown hotels. Holiday Inn, where we stayed decades ago, was an early example of such a franchise. Quality standards may have become more predictable, but the quirky charm of motel architecture from the 1920s through the 1950s was lost forever. The Langford, located at the corner of New England and Interlachen avenues, was closed in 2000 and demolished in 2003. The upscale Alfond Inn, developed by Rollins College, now occupies this choice real estate. These developments, along with the construction of Interstate 4 and the arrival of Disney World — which spurred construction of countless hotels on and around the attraction — led to the decline and, by the 1990s, the demise of motor courts along U.S. Highway 17-92. “The small, family-owned motels, where friends meet on vacations and return year after year to the same kitchenettes and swimming pools, may soon go the way of downtown grocery stores and 35-cent gas,” wrote the Orlando Sentinel in 1979. “For the remaining ‘ma and pa’ motels along U.S. Highway 17-92 in Winter Park, the future appears bleak.” When the iconic Mount Vernon Inn (110 South Orlando Avenue) was razed in 2015, Winter Park lost the last remnant of motel culture along the Million-Dollar Mile. Today, the seven-figure moniker is more appropriate, although the dollar amount would need to increase by orders of magnitude to remain accurate. But Wish You Were Here does what the museum does best — it picks important but often-overlooked aspects of the city’s history and tells it like it was. For a place that bills itself as the City of Culture and Heritage, the City of Winter Park’s support of the “heritage” part of the equation is minimal. Luckily, we have visionary people — we’ve always had people like that — who make certain we remember that Winter Park has always been special. Although growth and change are inevitable, reminders of days gone by, like Wish You Were Here, are reminders that it’s up to us to keep it that way.

Randy Noles, CEO/Editor/Publisher


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RANDY NOLES | Editor and Publisher THERESA SWANSON | Group Publisher/Director of Sales JODI HELLER | Director of Administration KATHY BYRD | Associate Publisher/Senior Account Executive HEATHER STARK | Associate Publisher/Account Executive CAROLYN EDMUNDS | Art Director MYRON CARDEN | Distribution Manager RAFAEL TONGOL | Photographer WILL SETZER | Digital Artist DANA SUMMERS | Illustrator RONA GINDIN | Dining Editor MARIANNE ILUNGA | Fashion Editor MARIANNE POPKINS, NED POPKINS, HARRY WESSEL | Contributing Editors MIKE BOSLET, EDUARD GFELLER, MICHAEL MCLEOD, TOM NOWICKI | Contributing Writers

JE S LE E N A H LUWAL IA, M. D. Board-Certified Dermatologist Specializing in Medical and Cosmetic Dermatology Dr. Ahluwalia is pleased to open her dermatology practice in Winter Park after practicing in Manhattan for the past six years.

WINTER PARK PUBLISHING COMPANY LLC RANDY NOLES | Chief Executive Officer ALLAN E. KEEN | Co-Chairman, Board of Managers JANE HAMES | Co-Chairman, Board of Managers THERESA SWANSON | Vice Chairman, Board of Managers MICHAEL OKATY, ESQ. | General Counsel, Foley & Lardner LLP


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Copyright 2019 by Winter Park Publishing Company LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holder. Winter Park Magazine is published four times yearly by Winter Park Publishing Company LLC, 201 West Canton Avenue, Suite 125B, Winter Park, Florida 32789.

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Cynthia Edmonds, who lives in the Winter Park house where she grew up, says that plein-air painting “inspires me in a profound way, and observing nature helps me to understand the shape, form and infinite colors of my subjects.”


ward-winning plein-air painter Cynthia Edmonds discovered her passion for art while taking classes at Rollins College as a child growing up in Winter Park. Her love of art led her to high-school art camp at Florida State University, where she returned to earn a bachelor’s degree in fashion illustration. Edmonds worked for many years as an advertising illustrator for local fashion retailers, including Ivey’s, Jordan Marsh and Hattie Frederick. She later earned a master’s degree in fine art from the University of Florida and moved to Washington, D.C., and later Seattle. There she worked as a photo art director and catalogue designer for Nordstrom while simultaneously discovering the wonder of oil painting. “Each day painting en plein air was an exciting

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challenge to capture the ever-changing light and shadow,” she says. “Working on location inspires me in a profound way, and observing nature helps me to understand the shape, form and infinite colors of my subjects.” Edmonds, who returned to Florida in 2001 to devote her time to painting its colorful landscapes, now lives in the Winter Park house where she was raised. A signature member of the American Impressionist Society and Plein Air Florida, she participates in plein-air exhibitions throughout the U.S. — including the annual Paint Out Winter Park, sponsored by the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. The cover image on this issue of Winter Park Magazine, “Lake Berry Bananas,” was painted during the Polasek’s invitation-only event, when

artists fan out across the city looking for intriguing subjects. Edmonds found this tranquil setting along Lake Berry, near the Windsong neighborhood. Edmonds’ paintings can be found in collections at the University of Central Florida and the Maitland Art Center. Her paintings are also included in the St. Joe Company’s Forgotten Coast Collection and the Shands Arts in Medicine Collection at the Venice (Florida) Regional Medical Center. Aficionados of Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival memorabilia will recall that Edmonds’ image of Greeneda Court on Park Avenue adorned the official festival poster back in 2007. Edmonds loves to paint in her certified wildlife habitat garden, but also finds inspiration in France, Italy and Maine. More of Edmonds’ work can be seen at — Randy Noles



Gail Sinclair, a noted scholar on the works of Ernest Hemingway, uncovered the previously untold story of Hemingway’s youngest sister, who caused a stir at Rollins College in the early 1930s.


HEMINGWAY WAS HERE No, not that Hemingway. Papa’s little sister had a tumultuous term at Rollins, and a professor uncovered her story. Truth can, indeed, be stranger than fiction. BY RANDY NOLES

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f Gail Sinclair and Ernest Hemingway had been contemporaries, it’s doubtful that the pair would have hung out much together. Sinclair, executive director of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College, is a sweet-natured, soft-spoken scholar who loves analyzing literature and contemplating nature. Hemingway, of course, was a hard-driving, hard-drinking, larger-than-life alpha male who hunted big game on the savannah, cheered toreadors as they slaughtered bulls, rushed to war zones and pummeled opponents senseless in boxing matches. But Papa’s internal demons won the final bout in 1961, when the writer of The Sun Also Rises.(1926), A Farewell to Arms (1929), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) and The Old Man and the Sea (1951) blew his brains out with a doublebarreled shotgun. Sinclair is among the most respected Hemingway experts in the U.S., having notched seemingly countless publications and presentations about the iconic author. She’s also a longtime officer in the Ernest Hemingway Society and Foundation and is on the editorial board of The Hemingway Review. You can imagine, then, Sinclair’s excitement when she discovered that Carol Hemingway, Ernest’s youngest sister, had attended Rollins from 1930 through 1932. Sinclair learned about the connection at a 2002 Hemingway Society conference in Stresa, Italy, where she sat in on a presentation by Donald Junkins from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Junkins showed a videotaped interview with Carol Hemingway Gardner — who at age 91 was the author’s only surviving sibling. “During the interview she mentioned Rollins twice,” recalls Sinclair, who had been a visiting assistant professor of literature at the college for two years. “As soon as I got back, I got her address from the alumni office and wrote her, asking if we could speak.” Sinclair heard back from Gardner’s daughter, who said that her mother was willing to be interviewed. Within two weeks, Sinclair boarded a flight to Hartford, Connecticut — the nearest city with an airport — and drove for an hour and a half to historic Sheffield, Massachusetts, in Berkshire County. “I called Mrs. Gardner’s home and told her who I was and that I wanted to confirm our meeting,” recalls Sinclair. “She was very polite and said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t possibly meet with you. I already have an appointment.’ For a minute I thought the trip had been for naught. But I realized that the appointment she was referring to was with me.” Sinclair spent several hours with Gardner — who had not seen or spoken to her famous brother since a nasty falling out in 1932 — and found the retired schoolteacher to be hospitable but content to live outside the spotlight. Few in Sheffield even knew that Gardner’s maiden name was Hemingway.

Carol Hemingway was a free spirit who as a student cohabitated with her boyfriend and wrote a story for the campus literary magazine that hinted at a same-sex romance.

“She did have very fond memories of Rollins,” says Sinclair, who gave Gardner a book about the college’s history. Shortly following the interview, Gardner broke a hip and her health declined rapidly. She died just weeks later. Sinclair later filled in the details about young Carol’s tumultuous time at Rollins — and her irrevocable split with Ernest — through private correspondence and archival records.



Carol attended college in Winter Park so she could more easily visit Ernest, who had a home in Key West. Ernest, 12 years Carol’s senior, had become her legal guardian following the suicide of their father, a physician, in Oak Park, Illinois. A free spirit not unlike her brother, Carol’s unconventional behavior apparently raised eyebrows right away. Sympathetic English professor Kathleen Sproul was concerned enough to write President Hamilton Holt, who was traveling at the time. Sproul — whose detective novels included Death and the Professors — lamented to Holt that “certain influential people” considered Carol to be an undesirable sort of student. “Colleges for many years have done their best to strangle the creative mind and to set up taboos about the individual who can’t help being different from the run of society,” she wrote. “That difference is precious! Rollins, which can be a very great college, ought to try to conserve the greatness of her students.” Replied Holt: “Don’t worry about Carol Hemingway. It is good that we have clashes of opinion at Rollins provided it does not lead to factional animosities. I like the girl, and if you find that some people are trying to depress her, do your share to express her, or get her to express herself, which is better.” What prompted Sproul’s adamant defense is unknown. But Carol would soon give the campus plenty to have clashes of opinion about. In 1931 she wrote “The Girls” for The Flamingo, a student literary magazine. The 600-word short story — deftly told using the terse but multilayered language popularized by her brother — seemed to imply a same-sex romantic relationship between two androgynously named friends, Lou and Glen. However, it was Carol’s torrid relationship with John “Jack” Fentress Gardner, who had transferred to Rollins from Princeton, that rankled college officials and caused her famous older brother — no shrinking violet — to become uncharacteristically prudish. Complicating matters, Carol and Jack appear to have cohabitated in Lakeside Cottage, a campus W INTE R 2 0 1 9 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


PROFILE dormitory. When this transgression became known in late 1932, Carol left Winter Park for Vienna, Austria, where Jack joined her in early 1933.


Ernest despised Jack — though he may well have despised any suitor — and sent his sister scathing and hurtful letters, one of which accused her, without evidence, of saving money for an abortion. That Hemingway behaved like a jackass isn’t shocking — he was often cruel to those closest to him — but the depth of his vitriol toward his cherished youngest sister remains jarring today. The siblings never again communicated. Jack and Carol were married in 1933 and tried to re-enroll at Rollins as a couple. But Holt — who positioned himself as a progressive but often behaved as a patriarch — was having none of it. In a memo to Dean Winslow Anderson he wrote: “I don’t think we should let Jack Gardner and Carol come back even if they pay the full tuition. … I think the thing to do is write Carol and her husband why we cannot take them back, namely, that we had direct evidence that they were living together in Lakeside [a college dormatory] before they left.” Nevertheless, despite Holt and Hemingway, love prevailed over long odds. Jack became an author and educator who wrote about spiritualism, transcendentalism and anthroposophy (a philosophy based upon Austrian esotericist Rudolf Steiner’s belief that an objective, intellectually comprehensible spiritual world exists.) He was the longtime headmaster of the Waldorf School of Garden City on New York’s Long Island. Waldorf schools — which use curricula based upon Steiner’s theories of child development — seek to develop intellectual, artistic and practical skills while cultivating imagination and creativity. John “Jack” Fentress Gardner died in 1998. He and Carol Hemingway Gardner — who didn’t attend her brother’s funeral and, sadly given her obvious aptitude, never wrote for publication again — were married for 65 years. Quite a story, all right. It might have been written as a work of fiction by Hemingway or perhaps F. Scott Fitzgerald, another Lost Generation icon about whom Sinclair has academic expertise. She serves on the board of directors of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society.


Hemingway and Fitzgerald make rarified company for a girl born in rural Wisconsin to parents who didn’t graduate from high school. But Sinclair, always a voracious learner, earned an undergraduate degree in education and a master’s degree in English from the University of Missouri Kansas City.

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The Flamingo, the literary magazine of Rollins College, can — in a manner of speaking — claim the original publication of a Hemingway short story. But the Hemingway is Carol, Ernest’s youngest sister, who was a student at Rollins from 1930 to 1932. The piece, “Two Girls,” shows that Carol had a flair not unlike that of her famous brother. This story, and one other also in The Flamingo, are her only published works.


hey sat on the third-floor fire escape of the dormitory and let their legs hang over the edge. Lou, slim-shouldered, hunched over her cigarette, and Glen leaned on one elbow and swung first one leg then the other with a slow rhythm. With large shallow eyes she watched Lou. “The way you smoke is killing,” she said. You’re pretending to inhale. Don’t just hold the smoke in your mouth; draw some in and then let it out slowly,” Lou still stared at the lake, puffed with a violent intake of breath, and started coughing. Glen didn’t laugh. “I don’t care if I do look silly. Inhaling is bad for you anyway.” “Listen. How do you ever expect to enjoy smoking if you don’t do it properly? You’re always talking about enjoying life. You’re a funny one. I’m not trying to kill you.” Lou obediently tried again. “I do want to enjoy things,” she said. “I want to enjoy everything in the whole world. I’ve been enjoying the lake.” She looked out over the water. “This morning there was a faint mist on it like the delicate film left by breath on a mirror. This afternoon I loved it. The steady sun made it look warm as a silent friendly companion. Last night it was —” “Gosh, don’t start raving about the lake last night. I was out canoeing with that beast. There was just too damn much of your lake last night. I didn’t think I’d ever get home.” Glen lay back, pulled her knees up, and braced her heels against the edge of the platform. “But Glen, didn’t you notice last night how the lake seemed to leer. It was repulsive as a cesspool. The

stars were cool and disinterested, and there was a languid, insulting-sort-of breeze. I guess I just imagined a lot of things, sitting here by myself. I felt so very much alone.” “You sweet kid. But for hell sake don’t get pensive. I’m not in the mood for pensiveness. Lighting another cigarette, she said “I wish I had a horse down here. I’d like to take him out in a gallop down all the long straight roads I could find.” She stood up, looked down at Lou, and then far past her. There was a silence. “Listen,” she stated with decision. “I’ve heard people say there’s something funny between us. It’s not good to have stories like that going around.” She looked down at Lou. “Because there isn’t anything, is there?” Lou looked up at her cigarette and then continued to gaze at the water. She flicked her cigarette away. “I wish I could see where the falling stars land,” she said, looking at the bright tip glowing on the ground. “I’m so tired. I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep. I’m going to stay here. You can go in if you want to,” She was still watching the ground. She quivered slightly. “It’s funny the way you can’t get away from yourself in the dark,” she went on. “It’s much easier to hide in the light. In the dark real fears take advantage.” “Look out. You’ll be quoting in a minute.” There was a violent convulsion of Lou’s body. Glen grabbed her around the waist. “Say, you came near falling off,” Glen said. “I’m a little dizzy, I guess.” She relaxed a little in Glen’s strong circle of arms. “Poor little kid,” said Glen. “I’ll carry you in to bed.”

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John and Gail Sinclair are a power couple in the cultural community. John is chair of the department of music at Rollins and artistic director of the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park. Gail is executive director of the college’s Winter Park Institute and runs its popular speaker series.

In 1977 she married her high-school sweetheart, an ambitious young conductor named John Sinclair. “My first date with John was a blind date,” she recalls. “I remember thinking, ‘This guy is going to go places, and I want to go, too.’” Luckily, they didn’t have to go too many places before putting down roots in Winter Park. In 1985, after a stop at East Texas Baptist University, John was named chair of the department of music at Rollins. In 1990 he also became artistic director of the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park. The Sinclairs share a fierce Midwestern work ethic. While John became one of the region’s most high-profile arts personalities, Gail taught American literature at Boone High School and earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of South Florida in Tampa. She commuted to classes — a 180-mile round trip. “That was before cellphones,” she says. “I considered that drive to be my night off.” In 2007, after years as an adjunct and a visiting assistant professor, she was named executive director of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College, which runs a popular speaker series. She also teaches in the college’s Master of Liberal Studies program. Sinclair — whose favorite books are To Kill a Mockingbird and The Great Gatsby — has a professorial demeanor but is also self-deprecating and wryly funny. She’s proud of her Ph.D. but recog-

nizes that great literature and classical music are thought by some to be superfluous — and even a bit snooty. The couple’s young niece, for example, once told her teacher that her aunt and uncle were doctors and might be able talk about their work with the class during Career Day. Recalls Sinclair: “The teacher asked what kind of doctors we were, and after thinking about it for a moment, our niece replied, ‘I don’t know, but I don’t think they’re the kind that help anybody.’” It’s true, Sinclair says, that reading a good book isn’t likely to cure cancer. But that doesn’t mean literature — and, of course, music — isn’t crucial to societal health. Adds Sinclair: “John and I comfort ourselves by educating young men and women, many of whom will be significant in concrete ways — the change makers and helpers, as Fred Rogers would say.” (The Sinclairs were close to the beloved Rogers, a 1953 Rollins graduate known worldwide for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.) “But we also know that the arts are a necessary influence in history’s great civilizations — and music and literature are key elements in that realm,” she adds. “This may be an exalted way of justifying what we do for a living. But like medicine’s creed, we at least do no harm, and hopefully we provide some benefit.”


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Eric Holm now has just about everything he could want. But he started his career as busboy at a Sonny’s BBQ, and has never forgotten what it’s like to struggle. That’s one reason why he and his wife Diane rank among the region’s most generous givers.

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BUFFET For Golden Corral’s Eric Holm, success means working hard, working smart and giving back. By Randy Noles Photgraphy by Rafael Tongol



The Holm residence on Lake Virginia has been the site of numerous galas benefiting charitable organizations. The home is filled with custom details, including an inset near the entryway showing the tree under which Eric and Diane Holm repeated their wedding vows more than 30 years ago when, according to Diane Holm, “we didn’t have two nickels to rub together.”


hen Eric Holm makes the short commute from his lavish estate overlooking Lake Virginia to his two-story office building on West Morse Boulevard, he drives a Rolls Royce. When he conducts a site visit to a far-flung Golden Corral restaurant, he flies on a private Challenger 350 business jet. But Holm — who now seemingly has everything — says he’ll never forget what it was like to have nothing. The youngest of five children, Holm and his siblings were raised by a single mother who was a waitress at the original Sonny’s BBQ in Gainesville.

As a teenager Holm worked alongside his mother, bussing tables, washing dishes and cutting meat. He studied the operation and noticed that owners Sonny and Lucille Tillman both drove new Lincoln Continentals. Recalls Holm: “I thought to myself, ‘Self, you could probably do this.’” He clung to that belief through tough times. After moving to Fort Myers, the Holm family received the fixings for several Thanksgiving dinners from the Salvation Army. “We needed the food,” says Holm, who adds that having holiday meals together offered his family not only nourishment but a heaping helping of hope. Through good times and lean times, he has been paying it forward for the past 26 years. Each Thanksgiving, a program Holm originated called “Helpings from the Heart” serves hearty turkey dinners to more than 20,000 people at the Salvation Army’s gymnasium on Colonial Drive. More than 1,000 volunteers and an assortment of corporate partners participate. “No one should ever be hungry on Thanksgiving,” states Holm, with the authority of someone who knows how it feels. “I’m humbled by the opportunity to serve others.” Holm, who serves on the Salvation Army’s national advisory board, was

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also humbled in 2014 when he became a recipient of the faith-based service organization’s Evangeline Booth Award. The first Booth Award went to Rev. Billy Graham in 1999. That’s good company indeed. But the honor was well deserved, says Ken Chapman, who with his wife Jessie captains the Salvation Army’s Orlando Area Command. “I believe that early on God planted a seed inside Eric Holm,” adds Chapman, a fourth-generation Salvationist who came to Orlando in 2018 from Jackson, Mississippi. “He has a deep passion for those who are suffering. And he’s a very humble man who never seeks the spotlight.” Holm, 62, is down-to-earth in a way that self-made millionaires can sometimes appear to be. But with Holm, say those who know him, the regular-guy persona isn’t an act. “Eric Holm is the epitome of the American dream,” says Atlanta-based Chris Priest, director of communications for the Salvation Army’s Southern Territory. Adds Orlando-based Rick Walsh, a retired Darden Restaurants executive and chairman and CEO of the Knob Hill Companies: “I wish our community had a lot more like him.”

Eric and Diane Holm spend quality time with Boo, perhaps the world’s most pampered English bulldog, who has his own room and a custom-created, carousel-style doggie bed.






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Eric and Diane Holm met more than 30 years ago. Diane Holm now runs the family business’s charitable and community involvement initiatives.

“I believe that early on God planted a seed inside Eric Holm. He has a deep passion for those who are suffering. And he’s a very humble man who never seeks the spotlight.” — Ken Chapman, captain, Salvation Army Orlando Area Command


For Holm, success is about working hard, giving back and “never forgetting where you come from.” It’s also about being a hands-on owner. Franchising, he says, “is an operator’s opportunity, not an investor’s opportunity.” Through his various companies, Holm now owns 33 Golden Corral restaurants in Florida and Georgia — he’s the chain’s largest franchisee — as well as four Krispy Kreme stores in Jacksonville and a Fairfield Inn & Suites in Celebration. He plans to branch out with Jersey Mike’s, a sub shop franchise, and has developed his own concept, Colt’s Pig Stand (formerly Daytona Pig Stand), a fast-casual barbecue eatery in Daytona Beach. “I’m kind of going back to my roots with that one,” he says. Last year, Holm’s various enterprises grossed

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$170 million and employed 3,000 people. “It seems like the harder we work, the luckier we get,” muses Holm, a linebacker-sized man whose slight twang is appropriate for a self-described “country boy who did good.” But Holm is just as likely to talk about his failures as his successes. That’s in part because he believes failure — which, he notes, is inevitable for entrepreneurs — should be embraced as a learning experience. “I have a working man’s Ph.D.,” says Holm. “If I bump my head, I try not to bump it in the same place twice. I’ve been broke before and it was no fun. But I’m proof that you can work your way out of it. You have to figure out where you want to go and who you want to be — and then move on.” Holm enrolled early in the school of hard knocks. He spent three years in the U.S. Army,

mostly at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, then worked as a store manager at a McDonald’s and then at a Wendy’s. His first foray into franchising — four Dairy Queens in Jacksonville — ended in failure. “I just spent too much money,” recalls Holm, who was then 21. “I needed to get a job.” In the late 1970s Holm worked for the colorful Asher “Jerry” Sullivan, whose Gainesvillebased Skeeter’s restaurant was renowned for its oversized biscuits and two-fisted burgers. (There was a Skeeter’s on Lee Road.) Holm later became director of development for Kansas City-based Po‘ Folks — a down-home restaurant chain named for country singer Whisperin’ Bill Anderson’s 1961 chart-topper — which had 160 locations at its peak in 1982. (There was a Po‘ Folks on Semoran Boulevard.) For several years Holm was an independent restaurateur, operating Legend’s Dining and Dancing in Gainesville and Beachnutt’s Beach Bar and Grill in Gainesville, Ocala and Leesburg. “That experience taught me not to fall in love with a business,” recalls Holm, who says he turned down five offers to buy Beachnutt’s only to see the Gainesville location swallowed by a





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Diane Holm says she met her future husband at an Altamonte Springs nightspot, where he asked her for a date. “I said OK,” she recalls. And the following Tuesday he sent me lavender roses. He said, ‘You know, you’re going to marry me.’”

Helpings from the Heart proved Holm to be a compassionate giver. But as a businessperson, he was soon to face major challenges — and seize new opportunities. Angel’s — billed as “a bad place for a diet” and renowned for its hefty portions — was a success. So much so that in 1993 Holm sold the rights to develop the concept outside Florida to Denver-based Vicorp Restaurants, a publicly held company that owns the Village Inn and Baker’s Square brands. But that same year Holm closed the Angel’s location at S.R. 436 and Aloma Avenue when road construction constricted traffic. The landlord sued and won a large judgment, which resulted in Holm filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 1994. One of Holm’s backers was James Maynard, founder of Golden Corral, who suggested that Holm — who at the time also owned Bakely’s Restaurant and Bake Shop on Fairbanks Avenue — take control of four struggling Golden Corral outlets in Orlando. He took Maynard’s advice and sold the Angel’s chain in 1997. (Ironically, in 1998 Holm bought eight Atlanta-area Sonny’s BBQ outlets and happened to meet founder Tillman, who referred to him as “somebody who used to work for me.” Holm — who was for a time the largest Sonny’s franchisee — sold the barbecue restaurants in 2006.)


sinkhole. “It turned out to be a total loss.” Holm sold Legends and the remaining pair of Beachnutt’s and moved to Orlando, where he opened Angel’s Diner and Bakery in 1988. The nostalgia-themed eatery’s first location was on Lee Road. Within a few years there were seven local Angel’s outlets. Holm started Helpings from the

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Heart in 1992, feeding people from the parking lots of his retro restaurants. The following year he consolidated the effort at his West Colonial Drive location, near the Salvation Army’s gymnasium and administrative offices. “The Salvation Army asked if they could send their guests to us,” says Holm. “That’s how the partnership began.”

The Golden Corral turnaround project is when everything really began to click for Holm, who has described aspects of his career as “failing forward.” “We followed the manuals and procedures, then the business took off,” Holm says. “Golden Corral has a great system if you follow it.” He even posted his home phone number in the restaurants, asking people to call him with “the good, the bad and the ugly.” Mostly, the calls were good. Golden Corral is a well-loved brand that has grown and prospered while other buffet restaurants have lost their luster. The chain posted 3.7 percent sales growth last year even as its competitors experienced declines, bankruptcies and closures. In part, that’s because the Raleigh, North Carolina-based parent company has been privately owned since it was founded in 1973 and operates on a “100-year plan” that encourages reinvestment. “We elevate the buffet experience,” says Holm.

Golden Corral certainly offers good food and plenty of it at a family friendly price, with more than 150 items from which to choose. At dinner, it’s all you can eat — comfort food, mostly — for just $13.99 ($15.99 in tourist areas). Brunch is also available. Calorie-counters are welcome — there are plenty of soups and salads — but it takes a mighty act of will to avoid the desserts. The chocolate tower, for example, is all but irresistible, as are the dozens of varieties of pies, cakes and puddings. And no one — except, perhaps, your physician — will chastise you for returning a second time to the frozen custard machine. Holm’s personal favorite restaurants — apart from Golden Corral, of course — are Agave Azul, Cocina 214, Chevy’s Fresh-Mex, Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster, Hillstone, Luma on Park, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar and Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Holm enjoys cooking — short ribs are his specialty — while Diane loves to prepare Italian dishes. Life is indeed good for the Holmses, who frequently open their 13,000-square-foot home to not-for-profits, such as Camp Boggy Creek, for fundraising events. Diane Holm, vice president of the family business, manages its corporate events and philanthropic activities. She recounts meeting her future husband more than 30 years ago at Coconuts, a popular nightspot in Altamonte Springs. “I was with some people on my birthday and Eric came up and asked me to dinner,” she says. “I said OK. And the following Tuesday he sent me lavender roses. He said, ‘You know, you’re going to marry me.’” Diane Holm smiles when she recalls the days “when we didn’t have two nickels to rub together.” Today, in large part because they’ve experienced tough financial times, the couple cherishes the ability to give back. Daughters Danielle, Erin and Erica are grown with families of their own. So the Holmses share space with a pampered English bulldog named Boo, who has his own room complete with a doggie shower and a handcrafted carousel in which to sleep. Although Holm seems laid back, no one accomplishes what he has accomplished — or overcomes what he has overcome — without being driven to succeed regardless of the circumstances. Just ask him about retiring or even slowing down and you’ll find that his competitive fire still burns hotter than the barbecue pit at Sonny’s during the lunch-hour rush. “Nope,” says Holm, who continues to open new restaurants and investigate new franchise opportunities. “We’re running with our foot on the gas, not on the brake.”

Fast Facts

NAME: Eric Holm AGE: 62

Thanks to Eric Holm, every year more than 20,000 people in need enjoy an over-the-top Thanksgiving meal at the Salvation Army’s downtown Orlando gymnasium.

TITLE: Owner/Manager COMPANIES: Metro Corral, Holm Donuts, Holm Hotels, Holm Subs, Colt’s Pig Stand PROPERTIES: 33 Golden Corrals, four Krispy Kremes, one Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites. In addition, Holm has recently assumed ownership of Keller Lawn Maintenance. FAMILY: Wife Diane; daughters Danielle, Erin and Erica; grandsons Kyle, Eric and Walker KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Having a successful marriage and raising our daughters. BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: James Maynard, founder of Golden Corral and a business partner of mine when I was an independent restaurant owner, told me I should never run out of cash. GUILTY PLEASURE: Riding in my Challenger 350 jet. FAVORITE BOOK: The Bible FAVORITE MOVIE: It’s a Wonderful Life. COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES: Eric Holm is on the board of directors of the Catholic Foundation of Central Florida and the advisory board of the Salvation Army Orlando Area Command. He also serves on the national advisory board of the Salvation Army. Eric and Diane Holm are members of the Winter Park Memorial Hospital (Now AdventHealth Winter Park) Family Board, while the hospital’s NCIU Unit — where their grandson, Eric, was born — is named the “Holm Dreamery” in recognition of their support. The Holmses also are sponsors of the 2019 Wishmaker’s Ball, which benefits the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and the 3rd Annual Heart of Fashion Show, held in conjunction with Nemours Children’s Hospital to benefit Camp Boggy Creek in Lake County. Diane Holm, who chairs the event’s organizing committee, is on the Camp Boggy Creek board of directors. She was recently presented the Catholic Foundation of Central Florida’s Outstanding Philanthropist Award. PHILOSOPHY OF BUSINESS: “There is no finish line.” W INTE R 2 0 1 9 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


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LOGIC My friend Scott makes sense of the world by depicting it as he sees it. BY TOM NOWICKI


t was late one summer night in 1973, a few months after graduation, when my friend Scott appeared outside my window wearing a tall beaver-skin top hat. He had just returned from a solo trip to Africa, where he had traded with a villager for the hat, because, he said, it had magic in it. We sat in the moonlight, sharing a bottle of Stolichnaya, as he told me the tale — part Joseph Conrad, part Hunter S. Thompson — of his mad adventures in Kenya.

If underground comics had a Sistine Chapel, Scott Wallace could have done its ceiling.



I know almost nothing about art, but it seems to me that beyond the feel-good story and my personal interest in seeing a friend’s work recognized, there’s something extraordinary in what Scott has created. — Tom Nowicki At Winter Park High School, Scott Wallace was an enigma: tall, ascetic, nearly silent in public, he was the genius kid who spent half the day at FTU because he’d exhausted all the science and math courses WPHS offered; the kid who was reading Dostoyevsky in Russian and working through the Upanishads in the original Sanskrit. His tenure as student council chaplain abruptly ended when faculty complained that too many quotes from Nietzsche and Wavy Gravy had turned up in the morning announcements. But to us, his close friends, he was a rebel visionary, the creator of wild and intricate pen-and-ink drawings that covered panel after panel of posterboard and featured fantastical figures engaged in epic struggles for other-worldly survival — a kind of techno-Hieronymus Bosch. If underground comics had a Sistine Chapel, Scott could have done its ceiling. We were in awe of his imagination and wondered often where these creatures came from. An answer, at least part of one, came soon enough. After a year at Purdue, studying engineering, Scott was on his way to Northern California to enter a Buddhist monastery when he suffered a psychotic break and the schizophrenia he had struggled with privately took hold of his life. For years, he lived in the worlds he had been drawing, worlds that had become the landscapes of Hell. Scott was fortunate in that he was not abandoned. A few friends and family hung in

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there with him, when he’d let them, most notably his sister Julia and John Sheehan, his high-school Russian teacher who remained his mentor and confidant. They kept encouraging Scott to draw again and eventually he did, beginning with mandalas — elaborate mystical designs that he created with a completely free hand, using no compass, tool or straight-edge. In a very short time, he was producing quiet masterpieces layered with exquisitely detailed figures working together in perfect harmony and balance. These works transported the viewer into a state of meditative wonder. As Scott’s confidence grew in his work, so did his sense of his place in the world. He showed his mandalas publicly at a Third Thursday exhibit at the Orlando Museum of Art; no other artist had anything remotely like them and for many, their brilliant detail and vivid color made them the hit of the show (although he refused to sell any, being willing only to part with them as gifts). More recently, Scott has been exploring surrealistic landscapes created in fluorescent paints, building fanciful mountains and trees and animals with thin layers of color. The paintings can appear crude in simple daylight, but when exposed to a blacklight source new dimensions open in the work that give it an entirely new meaning and quality. Much like the artist himself, the paintings ask that you forget the surface and explore what lives

beneath it, which can only be found in a different light, with a different way of seeing. Decades later, Scott still struggles with schizophrenia, and now and then he struggles a lot. In 2014, John Sheehan passed away, taking a good part of Scott’s lifeline with him, although he seems to be painting even more now as he has withdrawn further. I know almost nothing about art, but it seems to me that beyond the feel-good story and my personal interest in seeing a friend’s work recognized, there’s something extraordinary in what Scott has created. Like William Blake and Vincent van Gogh, Scott does not distort the world to create meaning; rather he creates meaning by depicting the world more or less as he sees it. And for all of us, there is real value in taking the time to see the world that way — through the talents of a brilliant and different mind.

Tom Nowicki is a Winter Park-based actor who has appeared in numerous stage productions, television programs and theatrical films. His most recent project is Lodge 49, a series that airs on AMC.

Wallace’s mandalas are quiet masterpieces layered with exquisitely detailed figures working together in perfect harmony and balance. He primarily uses colored pens and pencils, and more recently has added a variety of textures to his works. The mandalas shown in this story look different when exposed to a black-light source. W INTE R 2 0 1 9 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E





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Jamey Ray has become a rock star in the a capella world through Voctave, a group he formed using primarily singers from Disney World. Voctave’s performances of Ray’s arrangements have become viral sensations on YouTube and other social-media platforms.

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Ray, an assistant professor of music, theory and technology at Rollins College, is a demanding taskmaster as an instructor. But his students, who are as likely to call him “Jamey” as “Professor Ray,” seem to want nothing more than to please him.

The group’s Winter Park appearance comes as Voctave is hotter than ever after the 2016 release of “Disney Love Medley,” which also uses Ray’s arrangements of songs from Disney films: “I See the Light” from Tangled, “You’ll Be in My Heart” from Tarzan and “Go the Distance” from Hercules.



t was lucky for Jamey Ray that he brought along a borrowed video camera that fateful spring evening in 2014. He can thank that camera for what happened next. Well, he can thank that camera plus Dumbo, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins and a handful of moonlighting Walt Disney World singers. Ray, an assistant professor of music, theory and technology at Rollins College, assembled the 12-member group to record The Magic of Voices, a CD that would include a flight-themed medley of songs from classic Disney films: “When I See an Elephant Fly,” “You Can Fly” and “Let’s Go Fly a Kite.” Luckily, Ray remembered the camera and recorded a slightly grainy video of what came to be known as “Disney Fly Medley.” He posted the three-minute, 47-second video on YouTube just to see what would happen — and the rest is a cappella history. “That video just went crazy,” says Ray, who couldn’t be seen because he was also the impromptu cinematographer. “Disney Fly Medley” has garnered more than 1.3 million views and counting. Comments beneath the video provide a clue as

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to its appeal. Some are from sentimental Disney fans (it made them cry) while others are from harder-to-impress fellow professionals (it also made them cry). More importantly, reaction to “Disney Fly Medley” encouraged Ray to form Voctave — a familyfriendly a capella ensemble unrelated to the theme park but renowned for its soaring arrangements of Disney-related songs as well as pop music, show tunes, holiday favorites and even a goosebumpraising rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Across all platforms, Voctave’s videos have been viewed hundreds of millions of times worldwide. In the a capella world — and increasingly beyond it — its members are rock stars. You can hear what all the fuss is about for yourself on February 16 and 17 when Voctave will perform both a cappella and — for the first time — with orchestral accompaniment as part of the 84th annual Bach Festival at the college’s Knowles Memorial Chapel. On the program will be “Disney Fly Medley,” “Something’s Coming” from West Side Story and “The Impossible Dream” — a certain showstopper — from Man of La Mancha.

Posted two weeks before Valentine’s Day in 2016, “Disney Love Medley” is not technically a Voctave video. It’s a duet featuring Kirstin Maldonado of the Grammy-winning a cappella group Pentatonix and her then-boyfriend Jeremy Michael Lewis. Ray’s newly reconfigured group — which had only recently begun billing itself as Voctave — provides background vocals. “I reached out to Kirsten and she saw ‘Disney Fly Medley,’” says Ray. “She was anxious to come to Orlando and record with us. ‘Disney Love Medley’ exploded instantly, literally the next day. That’s what really got us noticed.” Adds music director Tony De Rosa: “We started to think, ‘Well, maybe we’ve really got something here.’” (De Rosa, a veteran performer and producer, also serves as music director for Disney’s Voices of Liberty and its Dapper Dans barbershop quartet.) Although many viewers likely were drawn to the video because of Maldonado — who has sold more than 6 million albums with Pentatonix — it ended up earning Voctave legions of new fans. “Disney Love Medley” has notched more than 20 million views on YouTube alone. “Voctave is what makes this recording truly special,” raved WomansDay. “Without using any instruments, the group manages to achieve a sound so impeccable that we have to do a double take to make sure there’s not a drum set or guitar hidden anywhere.” Today Voctave consists of 11 members: Ray and De Rosa as well as E.J. Cardona, Tiffany Coburn, Ashley Espinoza, J.C. Fullerton, Chrystal Johnson, Kate Lott, Kurt von Schmittou and Sarah Whittemore. All are, or have been, members of Voices of Liberty — which always consists of first-rate performers. (If you’ve ever been to Epcot, you’ve seen some iteration of the Voices of Liberty. Their patriotic repertoire has enthralled visitors to the American Adventure pavilion ever since the

internationally themed attraction opened in 1982.) Voctave recently signed with prestigious Opus 3 Artists, a New York-based management company that also represents, among others, pianist Krystian Zimerman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. But no one is talking about quitting their day jobs, says Ray. “The agency will be great about arranging bookings for us when we’re available,” he adds. “Mostly now we’re doing special events and weekend things. We all have jobs and families. We just view this as a logical next step.” In addition to select concerts, Voctave is also stepping up its recording activity. In 2017 the group released an album, The Corner of Broadway & Main Street, which features guest artist Sandi Patty on “Beauty and the Beast” as well as “Disney Love Medley” with Maldonado and Lewis. They also released a Christmas album, Snow, which offers sacred and secular holiday favorites. (The group’s albums are available for download on iTunes and other streaming services.) The Bach Festival will likely conjure up good memories for Voctave members since their first concert was at Rollins in 2016. Although they

were already stars in cyberspace, they hadn’t yet performed together before a live audience. “We walked out on stage in complete darkness. We hadn’t said a thing or sung a note. And people began applauding,” says Ray. “We stood there in pitch black for a good minute and a half until finally it stopped. It still blows my mind.”

Although Voctave has recently signed with a prestigious New York-based management company, the group’s members plan to play only select concerts — including February’s Bach Festival in Winter Park. They’ve stepped up their recording schedule, however, and recently released The Corner of Broadway & Main Street.


Ray was a student at St. Petersburg’s Northside Christian School when he was recruited to come to Rollins by John V. Sinclair, chair of the college’s department of music. He enrolled in 2002, double majoring in music — with a specialization in voice and piano — and computer science. He developed a reputation for being a young man in a hurry. “I just remember every semester getting a call telling me that Jamey had taken too many classes,” says Sinclair. It wasn’t remarkable that Ray — a tenor and a onetime member of the prestigious Florida Boychoir — would be an excellent singer. But it was remarkable that he would also be an excellent pianist. Because of a birth defect, his left arm ends at the elbow. W INTE R 2 0 1 9 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


Posted just before Valentine’s Day in 2016, “Disney Love Medley” is not technically a Voctave video. It’s a duet featuring Kirstin Maldonado of the Grammy-winning a cappella group Pentatonix and her then-boyfriend Jeremy Michael Lewis.

Gloria Cook, who was Ray’s piano professor, remembers the adjustments both had to make. She bought sheet music that been written after World War I specifically for people who had lost a hand or an arm in combat. Though Ray was a quick study and remarkably nimble at the keyboard — he can press a single note with the elbow of his left arm — it didn’t take long for Cook to see where his true talent lay. “I remember a time when Jamey played his version of ‘Happy Birthday’ for me in eight-part harmony,” she says. “I could see he was becoming a very good arranger. I told him: ‘Your disability has become your ability.’” Adds Sinclair: “Jamey has an amazing ear. You can hear it reflected in the tight harmonies and the tuning of chords in Voctave, and in how he mixes recordings as a sound engineer.”

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After graduating from Rollins, Ray enrolled at New York University to get a master’s degree in music technology. While living in Manhattan and attending school he wound up assisting the late Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line, The Way We Were), who had won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards as well as a Pulitzer Prize. “It was just grunt work,” says Ray, whose job included recording and revising the notes as Hamlisch composed on a piano in his studio. Still, being around someone of Hamlisch’s caliber — and watching his creative process unfold — was a priceless experience. “[Hamlisch] had an incredible energy,” recalls Ray. “He was someone who, when he walked into a room, was the one everybody looked at. But he was also down-to-earth.” In 2010, Sinclair brought Ray back to join the faculty. He subsequently developed a reputation among students as a tough but fair taskmaster. “He’s brutally honest, a bit sassy at times, but so talented — and he pushes students to excellence,” says vocal major Shanna Murphy. “He’s a great teacher and I love learning all that I’ve learned,

and can learn, from him.” Ray, 33, enjoys an easy rapport with students in part because he isn’t that far removed from them in age. Even undergraduates tend to call him “Jamey,” not “Professor Ray,” and his exacting critiques are leavened by dry humor. When he’s teaching theory or directing the Rollins Singers — a vocal jazz ensemble — his pupils seem to want nothing more than to please him. And it doesn’t hurt that Voctave’s success has given him some celebrity panache. Ray — whose arrangements have been adopted by 30 Rock’s Cheyenne Jackson and American Idol’s Diana DeGarmo and RJ Helton as well as Broadway performers Rachel Potter and Christiane Noll — is still thrilled most when he hears his work performed by the group he assembled. Because of Voctave, he’s in the enviable position of creating a cappella masterpieces for highly skilled singers whose voices are as familiar to him as the path he takes from his office to his classrooms. “That’s the joy of it,” Ray says. “I write for these exact people. I write for that person to sing that note.”











Each office is independently owned and operated.

Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity. Property information herein is derived from various sources including, but not limited to, county records and multiple listing services, and may include approximations. All information is deemed accurate.


MEDIA OILS AND ACRYLICS MEET FABRICS, PEARLS, LEATHERS, FEATHERS AND FAUX FURS. PHOTOGRAPHY BY RAFAEL TONGOL STYLING BY MARIANNE ILUNGA | MAKEUP AND HAIR BY ELSIE KNAB MODEL: ELAINE FROM MODEL MUSE LOCATION: THE ALFOND INN Winter fashion is in focus at Winter Park’s Alfond Inn, an award-winning boutique hotel owned by Rollins College. Among the Alfond’s many charms are thought-provoking works from the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, culled from the college’s Cornell Fine Arts Museum. It’s a multicultural collection with a point of view that encourages critical thinking and an expansive worldview. The collection is on view all the time, but guided Happy Hour Tours are offered at 5:30 p.m. on the first Wednesdays of most months.

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Elaine wears a black cable knit beanie hat with fur pompom ($68), cropped plaid pants with scalloped trim ($198), a black tweed jacket with fringe trim ($298) and a black knit long-sleeve jersey with petal trim detail ($128), all from Sara Campbell Winter Park. She also wears a long-beaded necklace ($68), a black-and-white tweed cross-body bag ($158) and a black and white double-strand necklace ($78), all from Sara Campbell Winter Park. Her leather ankle boots with silver stud detailing ($399) by Robert Zur are from Shooz On Park Avenue. The artwork is Numbers and Trees, Central Park Series 1: Tree #1, Ben (2015), by Charles Gaines.



Elaine wears soft gold sneakers ($138) by Naked Feet, metallic wide-leg pants ($118) by Cobblestone Living, a white T-shirt with bell sleeves ($68) by English Factory, a fuzzy cream-color cape ($88) by Cobblestone Living, a statement necklace with pearl and fringe details ($345) by ZeZe, an oversized pearl ring ($128) by Alex Enterprise, a light grey druzy ring ($68) by Shiver + Duke and pair of silver-tone drop earrings ($72) by Deepa Gurnani, all from Arabella in Winter Park. The artwork is Amanda and Kyle (2016) by Alex Katz.

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Elaine wears a black studded cowboy hat ($120) by Brooklyn Hat Co. from Tuni Winter Park, a faux fur jacket ($216) by Lavender Brown, black suede booties ($150) by Seychelles, a camouflage sequined miniskirt ($149) by Lavender Brown and a black long-sleeve turtleneck ($40) by Free People, all from Charyli in Winter Park. She also wears a pair of feather earrings ($98) by Chakarr, a silver cuff bracelet ($196) by Beje and a mother-of-pearl statement ring by Alex Enterprise ($128), all from Arabella in Winter Park. The artwork is Text: U.S. Government Document (2012) by Jenny Holzer.



Elaine wears a faux leopard fur coat ($88) by Cotton Candy LA and black suede booties ($150) by Seychelles. She also wears gold-tone coin earrings ($28), a goldtone coin drop necklace ($98), a gold round CZ choker necklace ($78) and a gold-tone pavĂŠ choker ($78), all by Joy Dravecky and all from Charyli in Winter Park. Her cheetah print clutch ($168) is by Elizabeth Ackerman. She also wears a pair of silk pajama pants ($90) by Scandal and a black jersey top with sheer sleeves ($138) by Cobblestone Living, all from Arabella in Winter Park. The artwork is Projections (2015) by Tala Madani.

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Elaine wears a shoulder silver slip dress ($395) by Allen Schwartz, a silver gray faux fur bomber jacket ($595) and silver drop-chain earrings ($75) by Jaybird. She carries a silver mesh belt bag ($185) by Whiting & Davis. All clothing and accessories from Tuni Winter Park. The artwork is E Stamp IV (Five Spirals for Al Loving) (2007) by Jack Whitten.



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The Macallan 12-year butterscotch pudding with salted toffee brittle and whipped cream has been a house specialty since Hamilton’s Kitchen opened five years ago.

HAMILTON’S, REIMAGINED Already a local favorite, the Alfond Inn’s restaurant is retaining what it does best while looking for ‘the next newest, coolest thing’ that will delight locals and visitors alike. BY RONA GINDIN PHOTOGRAPHS BY RAFAEL TONGOL

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ost of us begin having “who am I?” moments during adolescence. We determine what sort of people we aspire to become, then adapt our appearances, hobbies, vocations and habits accordingly. At five years old, Hamilton’s Kitchen is at a similar crossroads. The restaurant debuted along with the award-winning Alfond Inn, the art-filled boutique hotel in which it’s located. Rollins College owns the much-lauded Alfond, which was recently ranked No. 2 in Florida during the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. Not long after, in an article entitled “The Soul of the Swanky South,” Winter Park Magazine described Hamilton’s Kitchen as “Modern Southern” and reported on the chef’s goal of making the indoor-outdoor space with an open kitchen appealing not only to lodgers but to the entire community. The restaurant remains a Winter Park favorite. The décor is hearty and warm — call it polished-rustic — although the artwork in the lobby and behind the restaurant’s reception stand is different because the college’s Cornell Fine Arts Museum swaps pieces periodically. Certain classics remain on the Hamilton’s Kitchen menu, and the Modern-Southern ambiance continues to permeate. Still, today’s culinary team is in the process of redefining the restaurant without losing its core competencies. Chef Stephen Doyle, who joined Hamilton’s in July 2017, and Assistant General Manager Christopher Giannone, who has been with the hotel since its opening in August 2013, are the masterminds. You may have enjoyed Doyle’s food before. His resumé includes lengthy stints at Healthy Chef Creations, Church Street Station and the historic Tap Room at Dubsdread. “We’re still going for a Southern-Florida-Caribbean vibe,” Doyle says, describing tweaks to the menu. “We’re also moving toward lighter foods, so diners won’t feel sluggish after eating.” Still, the first new dish he describes sounds mighty hearty. It’s a braised Moroccan lamb shank with a chickpea stew that takes 36 hours to prepare from start to finish. The substantial entrée is most certainly not Southern, Floridian nor Caribbean. Sounds tasty, though. I can personally attest to the veal porterhouse with a porcini-cabernet sauce. The veal, a lovely slab of meat — Hamilton’s Kitchen is one of only a handful of places where you can get veal for dinner in this town — is served over just-tender baby carrots. Alongside is a curly whipped mound of Colcannon mashed potatoes, an Irish specialty laced with kale, bacon and onion. Did I eat every bit of it? Oh, yes. And did I quibble that the dish wasn’t particularly reminiscent of the South, the Caribbean or the Sunshine State – or low in fat? Oh, no. Carnivores will be pleased to learn that Doyle and Giannone are excited about their ventures into “more unique

Chef Stephen Doyle (left), who joined the culinary team in July 2017, and Assistant General Manager Christopher Giannone (right), who has been with the hotel since its opening in August 2013, are tweaking the Hamilton’s Kitchen menu, adding new items and keeping old favorites.




Starters include cranberry-walnut-goat cheese truffles atop a smear of black garlic (above left), and tuna tartare with avocado and soy glaze accompanied by a “chip” of fried salmon skin (above right).

meats,” including beef aged on the premises for one to two months, and Kurobuta pork. They’re also always on the lookout for what Doyle calls “the next newest coolest thing.” An example is Maple Blis — technically Blis bourbonbarrel-aged maple syrup — which is so much better than maple syrup that it’s an injustice to refer to it by its generic name, they say. Maple Blis is added sparingly to select dishes. “We want to cook with the right ingredients, serve them on a beautiful plate, allow the natural colors to do the work and not add much in terms of sauce painting,” Doyle notes. Let’s not focus on culinary boundaries, particularly since Doyle doesn’t. Let’s instead take Hamilton’s Kitchen for what it is — an eclec-

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tic restaurant that doesn’t fit neatly into a single niche — and then talk about what’s coming up. I’d say, overall, that it’s an inviting place with a menu that’s familiar enough to appeal to timid eaters and sufficiently creative to attract culinary adventurers. Most appetizers are on the familiar side: a cheese board, a shrimp cocktail and a Caesar salad — albeit with brioche croutons — and a housemade dressing. Being daring, though, we opted for a trio of cranberry-walnut-goat cheese truffles atop a smear of black garlic, and an order of tuna tartare. The chopped raw tuna, with its avocado accompaniment and soy glaze, was a fresh, flavorful starter adorned with a “chip” of fried salmon skin. Dinner entrèes encompass a little of everything. Those wishing to play it safe with old favorites might order Italian meatballs, a pork rib-eye or Scottish salmon with a citrus-coconut sauce. (Hey, it may sound exotic but it’s salmon, for heaven’s sake.)

Besides the veal porterhouse, my dining companion and I opted for the lemon-sage chicken butternut gnocchi. The orbs themselves are made in the kitchen from potatoes and squash — which must be quite a labor-intensive job. The gnocchi is tossed with heirloom tomatoes, portobello mushrooms and petite spinach, then topped with tender lemony skin-on chicken and laced in an herb-butter sauce. Walnut-crusted halibut, cashew-crusted grouper and crispy duck with a blackberry element are among the other offerings. At my table, we added an asiago risotto with asparagus just so we could try it. After sprinkling on a dash of salt, we enjoyed the creamy, cheesy taste. The desserts looked exceptional, but most were seasonal. I prefer to write about foods my readers can order, even if they don’t visit for six months. What a burden! (Not.) That left me with the Macallan 12-year butterscotch pudding, which has been a house specialty since Hamilton’s Kitchen opened. I remember the dessert looking more impressive than the pale con-

Love Every Moment T H EG L A S SK N I F E .C O M


DINING Carnivores will be excited by the meat entrées, including veal porterhouse with pan seared fingerling potatoes, collard greens and a chipotle cranberry sauce.

fection in a mason jar that showed up at our table. Still, the creamy, spirited pudding with salted toffee brittle and whipped cream wows me every time I indulge. No wonder it remains on the menu no matter who’s running the kitchen. “I’d die in a bathtub of that pudding,” Doyle says. So obviously it’s not going anywhere under his watch. A restaurant isn’t only about food, of course. Which brings us to wine. At Hamilton’s Kitchen, the wine list focuses on small-batch and family wineries in Sonoma County and the Russian River Valley, with a strong emphasis on fine French and Italian wines. “We use a lot of wines that you may not see at the grocery store,” Giannone notes, adding that wines from Napa Valley, South Africa and South America are also available. Plans are in the works to add a device in the bar, located adjacent to the restaurant, that would allow an opened bottle of wine to remain fresh for three months. Giannone plans to stock it with splurge wines that might retail for $250 to $350 a bottle. “That way, guests can buy a glass for $40 to $60 and give it a whirl” without committing to a huge expense, he says. Exceptional service is another goal. “We’re hospitality-forward, meaning we care about the whole experience, not just great food,” Giannone notes. Toward that goal, he and Doyle may bring back tableside elements, perhaps delivering fish cooked in parchment “papillote” then slicing the paper open at the table so guests are treated to the aroma as the scented steam floats above the plate. The pair have several additional surprises in the works. Among them are chef ’s nightly specials, more frequent live music in the lounge or dining room, day-of-the-week specials (such as prime ribs every Tuesday) and happy hour specials in the bar on “Shake It Off Thursday.” If you live nearby and need a go-to place, check out Hamilton’s Kitchen again if you haven’t been lately. The same suggestion applies if you’re seeking a special occasion destination. Since the menu is varied and the ambiance relaxed, plus outdoor tables are on a patio secluded from traffic, this restaurant has a lot to offer — even now as it seeks to redefine itself.

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HAMILTON’S KITCHEN 300 East New England Avenue 407-998-8089


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Mertie Laura Graham married Edwin Osgood Grover, the man who would become the professor of books at Rollins College, in 1900. (On the facing page, they're shown on their honeymoon.) A love poem written by Edwin to Mertie would, ultimately, have a profound impact on Winter Park.

Because of





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Mertie Laura Graham, 12. In 1884, Edwin and Mertie enrolled at St. Johnsbury Academy in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, and graduated together in 1890. But, as is often the case with young love, the sweethearts were compelled to go their separate ways when it came time to attend college. Mertie enrolled in Mount Holyoke Seminary and College — now Mount Holyoke College — in Mount Hadley, Massachusetts. She then attended Hartford Theological Seminary — now Hartford Seminary — in Hartford, Connecticut. Edwin, meanwhile, enrolled at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Upon graduation, Mertie worked for the American Missionary Association, which was founded as an anti-slavery society in 1846. She taught literature at Tillotson College in Austin, Texas, and served as principal of the Beach Institute in Savannah, Georgia. Both were colleges for AfricanAmericans, reflecting Mertie’s commitment to racial justice. Grover, meanwhile, became a salesman for the textbook publisher Ginn and Company and lived in Minneapolis. He and Mertie kept in contact, however, and were married in 1900. Unfortunately, no letters between the two have survived. An able entrepreneur, Grover formed his own Chicago-based publishing company in 1906 but sold his interest six years later to take over the Prang Company. The Grover family — which now included two daughters with a son yet to come — moved to New York City and then to a suburb in New Jersey. Still a fan of The Independent, Grover contacted Holt — a progressive kindred spirit — and the two met for lunch on Coney Island. Grover must have reminded Holt that he had failed to publish “Because of Thee,” which had by then been anthologized several times. It was a fateful friendship for Winter Park. In 1925, Holt was hired as W INTE R 2 0 1 9 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E




dwin Osgood Grover, Rollins College’s first and only professor of books, is one of Winter Park’s most significant — if least-remembered — historical figures. There would have been no Mead Botanical Garden, for example, had it not been for Grover’s tenacity. Grover also mentored Zora Neal Hurston, started the city’s first bookstore and was instrumental in founding what would become the Hannibal Square Day Nursery and the Gardens at DePugh Nursing Center. As “publisher” of the college’s Animated Magazine he helped bring internationally known speakers to Winter Park. But none of it would have happened had the taciturn New Englander not been a raging romantic at heart. A love poem he wrote in 1897 for his betrothed, Mertie Graham, earned the admiration of Hamilton Holt, then editor of a liberal opinion journal called The Independent. When Grover submitted “Because of Thee” to The Independent, Holt — who would become president of the struggling liberal arts college in 1925 — quickly wrote back to say that he planned to publish the poem in an upcoming edition. There’s no evidence that he ever actually did so. Decades later, Holt hired Grover — by now retired as president of the Prang Company, a maker of crayons, watercolors and school supplies — to become the college’s professor of books and later its vice president and director of what was then called the Carnegie Library. But, we digress. This is a story about a love poem timed to coincide with Valentine’s Day — so let’s stick with “Because of Thee.” First, though, some background about the poet and the woman who inspired him to wax rhapsodic. In 1883, the Grover family relocated from Bethel, Maine, to Colebrook, New Hampshire. Edwin, 13, attended school with pretty and precocious

president of Rollins College and Grover, who had retired “after serving a sentence of 30 years in the publishing industry,” paid him a visit. Holt’s wife, Alexandria Crawford Smith, was a vivacious hostess and the dinner at the spacious Holt home on North Interlachen Drive was congenial. Their appetites sated, the friends talked by the fireplace until the wee hours. Among the topics of conversation: Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 1856 essay, “Books,” in which the Sage of Concord noted that “the colleges, while they furnish us with libraries, furnish no professor of books, and I think no chair is so much wanted.” Holt, brimming with ideas and eager to innovate, decided that Rollins should have a professor of books. He offered the job on the spot to Grover — who likely had just such an outcome in mind. By the following year Edwin, Mertie and their children were settled into a lively home on Osceola Avenue. Tragically, Mertie was struck by a car and killed in 1936 while trying to cross Osceola Avenue. Grover asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Mertie’s memory to start the Hannibal Square Library for black children on the city’s west side. He called it “the library that flowers built.” Ironically, Mertie’s death came just a day after that of Holt’s wife, Alexandria, plunging the campus — indeed, the entire community — into grief and prompting cancellation of the 10th annual Animated Magazine. More heartbreak was to come. The Grovers’ son, Graham, was killed four years later when he stepped into the path of an oncoming train at the railroad crossing at South Denning Drive.

But the legacy of Edwin and Mertie Grover lives on — through a day care center and a nursing home that still thrive, a botanical garden that still delights and a speaker series that still brings notables to campus through the Winter Park Institute. During Grover’s long second career at Rollins — he retired from the faculty in 1947 and died in 1965 — he barnstormed the country, giving speeches, flattering donors, and securing bequests and endowments. He started a small press, Angel Alley, which published the work of students and faculty. In addition, he recruited promising students, sometimes arranging personally for scholarships; secured rare books for the library, donating 3,000 volumes from his own collection; and, not insignificantly, persuaded the Congregational Board of Home Missions to forgive a $31,000 mortgage it held on the campus. And it all started with “Because of Thee,” a love poem that ultimately made a far greater difference than its author could have anticipated. Eduard Gfeller is a retired psychiatrist who has written a biography and made a film about Edwin Osgood Grover. The book, Edwin Osgood Grover: The Business of Making Good, is available at the Rollins College Bookstore, 200 West Fairbanks Avenue, or the Winter Park History Museum, 200 West New England Avenue. The DVD, Grover: America’s First Professor of Books, is also available at both locations.

Because of Thee to M.L.G.

No hint of bird songs in the hedge, Or from leaf-barren boughs, Yet I can hark a silver throat That sets my heart arouse: “Love! Love! Love!” It sings And love the live-long hours, ’Till all my happy heart is brimmed As beauty brims the flowers.

No glimpse of green upon the hills, No promise in the sky, Yet Spring is buoyant in my heart For love has loitered by. “Love! Love! Love!” it sings, And “Love” throbs all my heart. The lilacs buds in ecstasy! And hark, the daisies start!

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Chill doth blow the Winter’s breath, Bitter the biting cold, Yet snug to leeward of wind and rain, The balmy breezes hold. Love, Love, Love they bear, Love-laden from Who Knows? No hand but thine, Dear, sets the sails From Southlands to my snows.

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Winter Park Health Foundation, Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and the Center for Health and Wellbeing. Our efficient and reliable energy will provide hot water when and where it’s needed, high-performance cooking and comfortable space heating. We look forward to many well-conditioned years together. Thank you for rating us #1, 6 times. Ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Midsize Residential Natural Gas Service in the South, 6 years in a row.” For J.D. Power 2018 award information, visit



One-of-a-kind center will offer a holistic approach to health.



n Winter Park, healthy living is about to take physical form with the grand opening of the 79,000-square-foot Center for Health & Wellbeing, which will bring wellness, fitness and medicine together in a one-of-a-kind building designed to stir mind, body and soul. The $42 million center, created through a partnership between the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) and AdventHealth Winter Park — the new name for Winter Park Memorial Hospital — is slated to open in February on 4.2 acres near Ward Park and Showalter Field, where the original Peggy & Philip B. Crosby Wellness Center opened in 1989 and operated until 2017. The two organizations — whose core principles about the nature of whole-person health are in hale and hearty alignment — say the joint project appears to be unique in the U.S. It will seamlessly combine health-related disciplines in one state-of-the-art facility where the only goal will be to improve the community’s quality of life. “We found individual components of wellness, fitness and medicine in other places,” says Patty Maddox, WPHF’s president and CEO. “But no place had everything co-existing under one roof — and no place had coordination across all platforms.” The center’s completion will mark the culmination of an idea hatched six years ago by WPHF, led by Maddox since its inception in 1994, and the hospital, then led by administrator Ken Bradley — who also served as mayor of Winter Park from 2009 to 2015. In 2016, when Bradley became administrator of Florida Hospital Celebration Health and senior executive officer for Florida Hospital’s South/West market, his Winter Park post was filled by Jennifer Wandersleben, who had been administrator of Florida Hospital Apopka since 2011. “Early discussions identified a need in the community,” says Wandersleben. “We asked, ‘What can we collectively do to prevent chronic disease? Has anyone tried anything like this before?’ We looked at the best of the best all over the country.” Adds Maddox: “This concept, in the case of both the foundation and the hospital, linked back to our core missions. We decided that we could do something significant together.” Such a partnership made sense. After all, the two organizations were not only joined philosophically — they even shared the same DNA.


“We found individual components of wellness, fitness and medicine in other places,” says Patty Maddox, president and CEO of the Winter Park Health Foundation. “But no place had everything co-existing under one roof — and no place had coordination across all platforms.”

Need to get your bearings? Check out this aerial view of the Center for Health & Wellbeing (above) and a site plan that shows how its 4.2 acres are configured. A portion of Mizell Avenue was rerouted and renamed Crosby Way in honor of Peggy and Philip B. Crosby, whose $1 million gift in 1989 jump-started construction of the original Peggy & Philip B. Crosby Wellness Center.

AdventHealth Winter Park





The Welcome Garden (above) will be one of several distinct gardens surrounding the center. Next to the main entrance will be an outdoor terrace with seating for Nourish Coffee Bar + Kitchen. Jennifer Wandersleben (right), administrator of AdventHealth Winter Park, says the center will offer a new model for healthcare that reflects the core missions of both the hospital and the foundation.



Both WPHF and AdventHealth Winter Park can track their beginnings to 1951, when a group of community leaders, frustrated at having to drive to Orlando for care, bought 15 acres on what had been the golf course of the long-defunct Aloma Country Club. The group, known as the Winter Park Memorial Hospital Association, raised more than $850,000 from 2,500 individual donors. Ground was broken in 1953 and the hospital — serving a city of about 12,000 residents — opened its doors in 1955. There were 58 beds, two operating rooms, a fracture room and a delivery room. During its first year, the “hospital with a heart” served 2,000 patients and delivered 200 babies. (Last year, there were more than 64,000 outpatient visits and more


than 3,200 babies delivered.) For nearly 40 years, Winter Park Memorial was owned and operated by the association. In 1994, however, the association entered into a partnership with Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation, which assumed management responsibility. The association then became a private foundation. With Maddox at the helm, WPHF initially focused on operating the original Peggy & Philip B. Crosby Wellness Center and opening the nearby Elinor & T. William Miller Jr. Center for Older Adult Services, a day-services facility for adults with disabilities or dementia-related disorders. In 2000, when Adventist Health System — now AdventHealth — bought the hospital, WPHF sold its remaining interest and shifted its focus to making Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville — with a combined population of more than 60,000 — happier and healthier places. Toward that goal, WPHF quietly funded community health programs — from fighting diabetes to placing nurses and counselors in public schools — through grants and partnerships. It has invested about $100 million in such efforts since it began operating independently, according to Maddox. In the meantime, the hospital grew along with the city, which today has more than 30,000 residents within its corporate limits. In addition to Winter Park, the burgeoning facility’s primary service area includes portions of northeastern Orange County and southeastern Seminole County. Ongoing expansion projects reflect the hospital’s headway. Currently nearing completion is the $85 million Nicholson Pavilion, which will add 140 all-private patient rooms as well as a new main lobby. When the five-story pavilion opens, most of the hospital’s existing 320 beds will become private. Even the name has changed. As of January, all AdventHealth hospitals and care sites — including Winter Park Memorial — adopted the AdventHealth name and logo as part of a systemwide rebranding initiative. Headquartered in Altamonte Springs, AdventHealth has more than 50 hospitals and an extensive network of physician practices and outpatient services across nearly a dozen states.


At the heart of the Center for Health & Wellbeing will be the Commons, a light-filled, twostory space for activities and casual socializing. Flanking the Commons on the first floor will be the Community Conference Center — two adjoining meeting rooms that can be combined to accommodate 250 people.

The heart of the Center for Health & Wellbeing will be the Commons (above), a light-filled space with an indoor walking track encircling the second floor. The adjacent Community Conference Center (below) will have two adjoining meeting rooms that can be combined to seat up to 250 people for meetings, educational programs and other special events.





Nourish Coffee Bar + Kitchen and its adjoining Nutrition Theater as well as clinical offices will also be located on the first floor. A nearby space dubbed the Healthy Living Experience will feature an exhibition area with interactive displays of new personal medical technology, such as apps and wearable devices that track health measures and wellness activities. The Wellbeing Network — WPHF’s partnership with Growing Bolder — will have a studio within the Healthy Living Experience. There, educational and inspirational videos related to the center’s Seven Dimensions of Wellbeing will be shot and disseminated online. The Growing Bolder team — with longtime colleagues Marc Middleton and Bill Shafer in front of the camera — also produces a TV show that’s seen nationally on PBS and publishes a magazine containing stories about “ordinary people living extraordinary lives” regardless of age. “Growing Bolder has been a fantastic partner,” says Diana Silvey, vice president for programming for the center who’ll also oversee its array of offerings. “From the start, they’ve shared our vision.” Members of the Peggy & Philip B. Crosby Wellness Center will be able to drop their youngsters off at the Kids’ Corner before seeing a clinician, attending a lecture or working out. (Nonmembers can make a reservation to use the Kids’ Corner.) The 30,781-square-foot Crosby Center — which will span two floors and have a first-floor entrance — is expected to earn Medical Fitness Association (MFA) certification following a year of operation. It will be helmed by Chicago-based Power Wellness, which runs 14 MFA-certified facilities around the U.S. On the center’s second floor will be more clinical offices and, around the upper reaches of the Commons, an indoor walking track open to the public (12.5 laps equals one mile). Outdoors, circling the perimeter of the site, will be multiple gardens around which will loop a walking trail (2.5 laps equals one mile). There’ll be free parking in a five-level garage. Obviously, the center will be a busy place — and determining how to take full advantage of its services might seem a bit overwhelming. That’s why WPHF will station “wellbeing guides” in first-floor offices close to the welcome desk. The guides, based on feedback received through brief assessments, will help visitors identify and meet their wellbeing goals. Physicians will also steer patients toward one or more of the center’s services as part of overall treatment plans. “If you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic condition, such as diabetes, the simplest things can


agree more. She notes that the center’s impact will be magnified because its service area is so specific. Before relocating to Winter Park, she was director of community outreach for the St. Louis-based Sisters of Mercy Health System with responsibility for seven states. “I was traveling around a lot,” Silvey says. “I always thought that focusing on a specific population would be more impactful. With WPHF, our geography is so concise that we can see and measure the ways in which we make a difference.”


Diana Silvey, vice president of programming for the center, will oversee its array of offerings. Silvey, who joined WPHF in 2007, says that focusing on a specific geographic area will magnify the center’s impact on community health.

often make the greatest difference,” says Wandersleben. “Regular exercise and eating a healthy diet can help you manage your symptoms and improve your overall health. Even though these sound simple, they can be challenging or intimidating for some people to implement.” At least one challenge — access to information and services — will be eliminated when the center debuts. At a single location, you’ll be able to visit a physician, receive laboratory tests, fill a prescription at a retail pharmacy, go to a rehab session while recovering from an injury or learn to implement lifestyle modifications that can help prevent medical issues as you grow older. “If your physician wants you to start walking, see a physical therapist or meet with a nutritionist, we’ll have all these experts in a convenient setting,” adds Wandersleben, who touts the center as a new model for healthcare. “The best part is, everyone will be working collaboratively to improve the health of not just the individual, but the greater community.” Silvey, who joined WPHF in 2007, couldn’t

The building itself might even offer a wellbeing benefit. The project’s architect, Turan Duda of Duda | Paine in Durham, North Carolina, has emphasized what he calls “the healing power of nature and gardens.” A half-dozen gardens surrounding the building will have various purposes — one for contemplation, for example, and another for aroma. Inside, the Commons will offer warm shades of wood, while the thoughtful placing of furniture will create more intimate areas within a massive space. WPHF representatives were wowed by Duda | Paine’s earlier design of the Duke Integrative Medicine building at Duke University, says Maddox. The group had visited other wellnessoriented centers where the programs were interesting but the facilities — not so much. The Duke building, however, exuded warmth and serenity, partly through its use of wood, stone and plants. “We all had the same response — the building was speaking to us,” recalls Maddox, who was surprised to find that the architect was headquartered in Durham. “We all felt this calming influence.” Already, there are ripple effects on property adjacent to the center. City-owned Ward Park is getting an upgrade, thanks in part to a $25,000 WPHF grant. An unused corner of the 66-acre, sports-focused park will boast a new trail as well as a lawn for croquet and bocce ball. “Projects like the Center for Health & Wellbeing help make us a world-class city,” says City Manager Randy Knight, noting that health is specifically referenced in the city’s vision statement: “Winter Park is the city of arts and culture, cherishing its traditional scale and charm while building a healthy and sustainable future for all generations.” For more information about the Center for Health & Wellbeing, visit For more information about the Peggy & Philip B. Crosby Wellness center, visit

AdventHealth Winter Park will have numerous medical offices (above) at the center as well as facilities for sports medicine and rehabilitation (below). At a single location, you’ll be able to see a physician, receive laboratory tests, fill a prescription and learn about lifestyle changes that may prevent illness as you grow older.






DIMENSIONS OF WELLBEING Wellness means a lot more than just checking your blood pressure now and then and skipping that second slice of pie. In conceptualizing the Center for Health & Wellbeing, the Winter Park Health Foundation was guided by the Seven Dimensions of Wellbeing adopted by the International Council on Active Aging.

Physical Wellbeing

Physical wellbeing consists of building physical strength, flexibility and endurance. It involves personal responsibility, disease prevention and personal safety. It is about nutritious eating and abstaining from harmful habits such as drug and alcohol abuse. It means taking care of yourself so that you not only add years to your life but enhance the enjoyment and quality of those years. Move More. Eat Better.

Intellectual Wellbeing

Intellectual wellbeing encourages creative, stimulating activities. It means having an active mind and one open to learning new things. It involves listening, studying, thinking and choosing activities that keep your brain cell connectors active and happy. Boost Your Brain.

Environmental Wellbeing

Environmental wellbeing is an awareness of the effects your daily habits have on the environment around you. It involves being socially responsible in protecting the environment and being aware of your footprint where you live, in the community and on the earth. Love the Earth.

Vocational Wellbeing

Vocational wellbeing is all about developing and sharing your gifts, skills and talents, which in turn enriches your life. It means finding satisfaction and meaning at work or when volunteering and projecting a positive attitude about what you are doing. Live with Purpose.


Social Wellbeing

Social wellbeing refers to your ability to interact successfully with others. It includes showing respect for others and yourself. It includes possessing good communication skills, developing deeper friendships and creating a network of support of family and friends. Connect with Others.

Emotional Wellbeing

Emotional wellbeing encompasses optimism, self-esteem, self-acceptance and inner peace. It involves having and expressing human emotions such as happiness, sadness and anger. It means having the capacity to love and be loved, coping with life’s challenges, practicing mindfulness and working toward a feeling of self-fulfillment in life. Practice Gratitude.

Spiritual Wellbeing

Spiritual wellbeing involves possessing a set of spiritual beliefs or values that help direct your life. It means developing and nurturing a high level of faith, hope and commitment to your core values. It is a willingness to seek meaning and purpose in human existence and to appreciate things that cannot be readily explained or understood. Nourish Your Soul.

A BUILDING WITH A POINT OF VIEW Architect Turan Duda’s welcoming design creates a setting for healing and bonding. Patty Maddox says the 2012 site visit to Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, was meant to be purely exploratory. It turned out, however, to be nothing short of revelatory. Maddox, president and CEO of the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF), was with a group of foundation representatives and healthcare professionals to check out the Duke Integrative Medicine program and to gather ideas for the planned Center for Health & Wellbeing. While touring the Duke facility, Maddox recalls, a surgeon in her group was nearly moved to tears. Everyone on the tour, in fact, was enthralled with the building — which seemed as much a thing of beauty as it was a place of health and healing. The architecture of the structure — and the carefully tended grounds surrounding it — had connected with the group on a personal level. It was exactly the kind of reaction that WPHF stakeholders wanted for the yet-tobe-built center in Winter Park. Maddox and the team made it a point to talk to the building’s architect, Durham-based Turan Duda. Following a national search, they determined that Duda, a founding principal of Duda I Paine Architects, was the ideal choice to design a building that embodied the center’s foundational Seven Dimensions of Wellbeing. Those Seven Dimensions — physical, intellectual, environmental, vocational, social, emotional and spiritual — are well represented throughout Duda’s portfolio of work for academic and corporate clients. On the Duke campus alone are seven Duda | Paine projects — all but two of which encompass health components. Beyond his resumé, Duda is a passionate believer in integrative medicine — a holistic approach to care that defines the center. He believes that such a philosophy helped save his wife’s life after she was stricken with leukemia more than 20 years ago. But despite his passion for the project and its principles, Duda still had to compete for the contract to design it. He sealed the deal during 2014 interviews with finalists, when he was told that WPHF had decided to build a larger center than first anticipated. Some architects were rattled when asked to present on-the-spot design ideas based on some new assumptions. Not Duda. “Turan’s response was, ‘Wow, this is going be fun,’” says Maddox, describing the moment. “He pulled out some paper and started to quickly draw things. He’s clearly someone who seizes opportunities to be more creative.” Adds Maddox: “There was real synergy there in terms of what he wanted to do with the design and what we wanted to do with the design. So, when it came down to the finalists, it was very clear that Duda | Paine was the one.” Designing the Center for Health & Wellbeing offered Duda the chance to work on a project that encompassed all aspects of health — wholeness, fitness and medicine. “I would say that the team in Winter Park is way ahead of the curve in that regard,” says Duda. “They’re doing things no one else is doing right now. The center is far more inclusive than my other projects — none of which had child development and fitness components.”

Beyond his architecture resumé, Turan Duda is a passionate believer in integrative medicine — a holistic approach to care that defines the center he was chosen to design.

In 2016, before the Peggy & Philip B. Crosby Wellness Center was demolished to make room for construction, Duda visited the facility to get a feel for the neighborhood. The “Crosby Y,” which had been operated by the YMCA of Central Florida since 1999, boasted more than 1,700 members. “There was a vibrant community surrounding the place,” says Duda, who during his first visit made a mental note of five older women having coffee and playing cards. That gathering, combined with a friendly ambiance all around, confirmed to Duda that the new center — despite its increased size — should feel warm and welcoming. “What I sensed was that people went to the wellness center for reasons other than physical activity,” he says. “I wanted the design to keep that spirit of comradery.” From the center’s seven gardens — each related to one of the Seven Dimensions — and the walking path on the site’s grounds to the airy interior common space encased in towering walls of glass, Duda sought to create supportive settings for healing and bonding. That’s the experiential aspect of architecture, he says. “I’m a believer in how space can shape our emotions and our feelings, and even create a sense of community,” he says. “At the center, we made it a point to create not just large spaces, but small spaces — little nooks and crannies where you can go and be with just a few other people.” Maddox says the finished product will be “a destination.” People will visit to take advantage of the services, of course. But they’ll also want to show it off to friends — just as they now proudly point to the city’s parks, lakes and museums. “I think it’s going to be a real jewel for Winter Park,” Maddox adds. “And it’s going to have a positive effect on families visiting AdventHealth Winter Park. There’ll be places to walk, sit down and even get a nourishing but tasty meal.” Duda, who earned his master’s degree from the Yale School of Architecture, has hopes for the center that are more personal. If his architecture speaks to people, he says, then he has done his job. “I believe there’s a narrative that goes with every building we design,” he adds. “Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than when people who occupy the building sense or understand that aspect of it.” — Mike Boslet C E NTE R FOR H EALT H




COMFORT FOOD THAT’S HEALTHY Nourish will be a café that proves that tasty meals and snacks can be good for you. “Food as medicine.” That’s how chef Collette Haw describes the menu she created for Nourish Coffee Bar + Kitchen inside the Center for Health & Wellbeing. But this sort of medicine may have you coming back for seconds. Haw has seen to it that Nourish will live up to the spirit if not the literal definition of its name — dreaming up selections of foods and beverages that complement the center’s holistic approach to caring for mind, body and soul. From kale and mango smoothies to vegan broccoli cheddar soup to grain bowls, paninis and wraps, Nourish will serve health-minded snacks and meals meant to make customers feel good about their healthy eating choices. “Everything will be made from scratch with mostly locally sourced produce and protein,” says Haw, who will run the restaurant with staff augmented by interns from Second Harvest Food Bank’s culinary training program. “A majority of the menu items will be reminiscent of some type of comfort food,” she adds. “But with a healthy approach to preparation.” To be sure, you won’t be able to order a Coke and a cheeseburger in this restaurant — a fact that should be abundantly obvious the second you spot the “living wall” of hydroponic lettuce. What you will be able to order are nutritional breakfasts, lunches and baked goods; smoothies made without sugary additives; and organically grown, Amrita coffees sourced from small South American farms. Also look for such menu items as “Not Your Grandma’s Chicken Salad,” turkey sausage breakfast sandwiches, feta and dill scones, and dark chocolate and almond flour brownies — all of which reflect Haw’s culinary philosophy that healthy food, richly seasoned and beautifully presented, can also be delicious. “I believe when people think about healthy eating, they think, ‘I have to eat salad for the rest of my life,’” says Haw. “That’s not necessarily the truth. There are so many other nutrient-dense foods people can eat that aren’t raw kale, that aren’t Swiss chard.” Set in a building designed with LEED Silver certification aspirations, Nourish will channel sustainability in everything from the food it serves to the biodegradable containers and cutlery it uses for to-go meals. Outdoors, beyond the café’s glass walls, will be culinary gardens growing spices and herbs for the café’s use. As an educational component, there’ll be recipe cards for the taking in Nourish, and cooking classes in the adjacent Nutrition Theater — a chef’s table concept with overhead video cameras to record programs for sharing with the community. “I don’t think there’s anything like this in the area,” says Haw, who trained at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. She owns Longwood-based Collette’s Clean Eats, once a gourmet meal delivery service and now a restaurant management company. “I really love the vision of this café.” Nourish will be open Monday–Friday, 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., for full menu service. Coffee, smoothies and grab-and-go meals will be available from 2:30 to 6 p.m. — Mike Boslet


Collette Haw (top), who will run the center’s Nourish Coffee Bar + Kitchen, says that healthy food can also be delicious. Haw, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, intends to offer a creative menu featuring many items reminiscent of old-fashioned comfort food.

A FITTING OUTCOME Welcome to the new Crosby Wellness Center, where exercise is just what the doctor ordered. Peggy Crosby wants to make one thing perfectly clear about the facility named for her and her late husband, Philip B. Crosby: “It’s not a gym; it’s a wellness center.” Set inside the 79,000-square-foot Center for Health & Wellbeing, the Peggy & Philip B. Crosby Wellness Center may resemble a gym — or, more accurately, a state-of-the-art health club — but its purpose is to facilitate medical fitness. The Crosby Center, which debuted in 1989, will be open to members and nonmembers alike. Nonmembers must be referred by physicians and other healthcare professionals for prescribed eight-week fitness programs. Mary Cox, the Crosby’s Center’s director, says the facility’s staff will be qualified to administer everything from functional fitness to a pre-surgery program called “Fit for Surgery.” High-intensity workout routines that temporarily soothe the effects of Parkinson’s disease will also be offered. Assuming all goes according to plan, the Crosby Center, which is owned by the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF), will gain certification from the Medical Fitness Association (MFA) after its first year of operation. The MFA seal of approval would validate the facility as a medically integrated fitness center — a designation preferred by healthcare professionals referring patients for exercise programs. “An MFA-certified facility uses a member’s unique health profile as a baseline,” says Cox. “This enables medical fitness professionals to design a dynamic, safe and medically supervised program to achieve optimal health — and to pre-

The Peggy & Philip B. Crosby Wellness Center will offer state-of-the-art equipment for cardiovascular and strength training. The Crosby Center expects to earn certification from the Medical Fitness Association.

vent and treat disease through the incorporation of exercise-based therapies.” Last year, WPHF selected Chicago-based Power Wellness to manage the Crosby Center, which had been operated by the YMCA of Central Florida since 1999. Power Wellness currently manages more than 30 wellness facilities — 14 of which are MFA-certified — across the U.S. “Power Wellness is an industry pioneer with a mission to improve life by delivering excellence in health, fitness and wellness management,” says Patty Maddox, WPHF’s president and CEO. “We share the belief that health and wellness programs are an essential part of the healthcare continuum.” The Crosby Center — aptly abutting Crosby Way, a newly configured portion of Mizell Avenue — will take up two floors overlooking gardens and an 8-foot-wide walking track encircling the Center for Health & Wellbeing. On the ground floor will be two pools — one for swimming laps, the other with warmer water for “aquacise” classes and physical therapy. There’ll also be men’s and women’s locker rooms, each with saunas. A bonus feature on this level will be the Kids’ Corner, a space where, for an additional fee, children from ages 6 to 12 can spend up to two hours participating in a youth-focused wellness curriculum while their parents or guardians work out. Upstairs will be the fitness floor, with a fitness studio for cycling and other high-intensity exercise programs. There’ll also be a mind-body studio for group classes, the latest Precor and Life Fitness cardio machines and, for traditionalists, tried-and-true free weights. Feel up to trying something entirely different? Then check out a new fitness machine called Jacob’s Ladder — an apparatus to which you’re tethered while climbing a steep incline on all fours. But before you even break a sweat in the Crosby Center, you must either complete a free health assessment or sign a release, says Cox, who holds C E NTE R FOR H EALT H




degrees in public health (Ph.D., West Virginia University), exercise physiology (M.S., West Virginia University), health education and nutrition (B.S., Marshall University) and therapeutic recreation (B.S., West Virginia State University). Crosby 2.0 will encompass 30,781 square feet — about 3,000 square feet more than the freestanding facility that was demolished in 2017. But square footage alone doesn’t tell the whole story. “Previously, it was basically a workout center, but a good one,” says Peggy Crosby. “Now it’s part of a complex that addresses all aspects of wellbeing.” Crosby 2.0 promises to meet WPHF’s original vision of having a leading-edge wellness center that’s accessible and where everyone — regardless of their physical condition — feels safe and welcome. Cox says the Crosby Center was built to include best practices and equipment found in medical fitness facilities across the country. “There are bits and pieces similar to what we’re going to have,” says Cox. “But there’s no place like this, surrounded by all the services and amenities offered by the Center for Health & Wellbeing.” — Mike Boslet

Peggy Crosby reviews plans for the Crosby Center with director Mary Cox. The original facility, funded in part by a donation from Peggy and Philip B. Crosby, opened in 1989.

Members will access the Crosby Center via its main entrance located off the Commons (above). The facility will include two swimming pools (below left) for lap swimming and aquatics fitness classes, and two group fitness rooms (below right) for high-intensity exercise such as spinning.


WHO WAS PHILIP B. CROSBY? You could say that the late Philip B. Crosby was a do-it-right-the-first-time kind of guy. In fact, he built a career as an internationally known consultant and guru of quality management on that seemingly simple premise. Crosby parlayed his early career as a quality-control manager with Orlando defense contractor Martin Co. (later renamed Martin Marietta) in the 1960s and later corporate vice president and director of quality at ITT Corp. into a global management consulting business, Philip Crosby Associates and the Quality College, based in Winter Park. Philip B. Crosby was an internationally known guru of But he’s perhaps best remembered for advocating the philosophy of “zero defects” quality management whose prevention mantra was equally applicable to personal health. and writing several books about how to define and achieve quality in every sort of business setting — not just manufacturing. Quality Is Free, published in 1979, became a bestseller and remains a manifesto of management. Crosby’s mantra that business problems are best prevented from the get-go may explain his relationship with a wellness center where the same approach is applied to personal health. Crosby, who had heart surgery in his late 50s, became an advocate of healthy living and donated $1 million to jump-start the facility. Asked what her late husband would think of the new and improved Peggy & Philip B. Crosby Wellness Center, the cornerstone of the Center for Health & Wellbeing, Peggy Crosby is effusive in her reply: “He would say, ‘Wow, this is my dream.’” Philip Crosby died in 2001 at age 75, but his legacy lives on through improved operations in thousands of companies worldwide — and healthier residents in the city he called home. — Mike Boslet

We are grateful to Winter Park Health Foundation for the gift of this healthcentered facility to our community. CDS is the proud provider of furnishings for the beautiful Center for Health & Wellbeing.





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12th Annual


Winter Park Magazine editor and publisher Randy Noles was the honoree at the 12th annual Peacock Ball, held by the Winter Park History Museum at the Interlachen Country Club. The October event, which had sold out weeks in advance, recognized Noles for strengthening community bonds through the magazine, which spotlights the city’s arts, culture, history and, most important, its people. Growing Bolder’s Marc Middleton introduced Noles, calling him “probably the city’s best brand ambassador” through the now-iconic magazine and its stories and recognition programs. There was also a silent auction while Michael Andrew and Swingerhead provided music for dancing. The Peacock Ball is the primary fundraiser for the Winter Park History Museum. If you couldn’t get a ticket — or if you were there and want to relive some memories — check out the photos on the following pages.

Ann Murrah

Jennifer Anderson

Betty and Marty Wanielista; Sandy and Jack Giacalone

84 W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | WI N TER 2019

Betsy Smith

Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy

Ellen and Marty Prague with Penelope, Princess of the Peacocks (Aja Grooms)

Randy and Pat Robertson

Steve Goldman and Melanie Love

Doug and Joann Marks, Ann and Rick Higbie, Diana Tennis, Michael Cybrynski, Lyzette SanGermain and Larry Glover

Lizzy Clearly, museum board member and Peacock Ball co-chair, and Chris Cleary

Carolina and Paul Anthony with Penelope

David and Heather Odahowski with Penelope

Jack and Peggy Rogers with Penelope

Ginsburg Foundation (top row): Larry Goff, Terry Toadvine, Chris Toadvine, Sharilyn McMurrin and Marc McMurrin; (bottom row): Terri Goff, Jamila Millette and Chad Turnbull

Grant and Peg Cornwell with Randy Noles W INTE R 2 0 1 9 W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


Jeff and Phyllis Corkum

Janne and Jack Lane

Anna Eskamani and Micki Meyer

Jana and Frank Ricci with Penelope

Maureen Holasek and Mark Heilman

Michael Galletta and Betsy Gwinn with Penelope

86 W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | WI N TER 2019

Michael Andrew and Swingerhead

Shawn and Kathy Garvey

Shane Clark and Lisa Tillman

Michelle Heatherly, Michael Lewis, Mary Demetree and Sara Brady

Denise Sudler and Mike McLeod

Harold and Libby Ward

Parkinson Association of Central Florida (standing): Russ and Anissa Mitchell, Todd Stewart, Michelle Guido, Jennifer and Ramon Rodriquez; (seated): Roger and Debra Snow

Linda and Charles Kulmann

Rita Bornstein, Susan Skolfield, Socky and Susan O’Sullivan


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Sarah Grafton, museum board member and Peacock Ball co-chair, and Jason Siegel

Teresa Palmano and Jane Hames

Laura and Larry Zirbel

The Rolllins Singers, directed by Jamey Ray

Patty Schoene, museum board member, and Stephen Schoene with Penelope

Marc and Jill Middleton

Betsy Owens, museum board member, and Paul Owens with Penelope

Ivan Lys-Dobradin, museum board member, and Katie McNees

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After accepting his award at the Peacock Ball ceremony, Randy Noles read a poem he composed called “A Central Park History Lesson.” He warned attendees in advance that if they wished to hear good poetry, they should consider honoring Billy Collins — a Winter Park resident and former two-term U.S. poet laureate. Still, the lighthearted verse — packed with sometimesobscure Winter Park references — was apparently well appreciated. Because of several requests, it is published here.

A CENTRAL PARK HISTORY LESSON I was strolling along Park Avenue North, On a bench, an old man was holding forth. I said, “Looks like you’ve got a mighty tony city.” He said, “Don’t call us tony, just call us pretty.” I said, “Those brick streets cause my shocks to show wear.” He said, “That’s so you’ll drive with extraordinary care.” Then he said, “Have a seat,” and I sat down. “Is this the first time you’ve been to our little town?” I said, “I think it is.” He said, “I don’t quite know where to start, But we’re kind of proud of our city of culture and art.” “You see, we got on the map after Chapman and Chase, Said, ‘Come on down, Yankees, there’s plenty of space.’ And the college was founded when Rollins and Lyman, Said, ‘Let’s put in a bid. We might as well try, man.’ We weren’t very tony after the freeze, When Morse bought the whole place, despite the dead trees. “Soon families came down, not all of them wealthy, And businesses boomed, their profits were healthy. Depressions, recessions — we weathered them well, Ensconced at the bar of the Langford Hotel. Then a natural disaster made us quite sorry, When the ground opened up and consumed a Ferrari.

“Land prices soared, and before you could sneeze, They even tried bulldozing Casa Feliz. Yard signs popped up when folks got incensed, About new development being too dense. “Oh, we’ve had disagreements, our arguments honed, Over tree preservation and the way lots are zoned. And sometimes on Facebook we make ourselves weary, Debunking the latest conspiracy theory. “But there’s one thing on which we all can agree: There’s no place on earth where we’d rather be. How to stay special? It’s really no mystery. We’ll be fine, just as long as we honor our history. After all, we can’t go too far astray, If always we ask, ‘What would Harold Ward say?’ So we’ll sing in the park when it’s Christmas, With Tiffany glass ’neath the stars. We’ll pretend we don’t see Paul McCartney, And cheer for the Wildcats and Tars. “Oh, my gosh, will you look at the time? I’m golfing with Billy Collins, And his poems don’t have to rhyme. So I’ll leave you this: I guess I do know where to start: ’Cause I’m mighty proud of our city of culture and art.




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Pottery: It’s Earthen American Art Winter Park’s Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is known worldwide for its collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, starting with his famed leaded-glass windows and lamps. But the Morse is much more than a Tiffany museum. The internationally renowned North Park Avenue facility houses a treasure trove of U.S. decorative art from the mid-19th to the early 20th centuries. Of particular interest: the Morse’s extensive art-pottery collection, one of the largest in the country and now the focus of a major new exhibition called Earth into Art – The Flowering of American Art Pottery. The display, which fills one of the museum’s larger galleries, explores the origins of an industry that by the turn of the 20th century was producing work that earned widespread acclaim both domestically and abroad. “American art pottery is one of the country’s great artistic successes,” says Laurence J. Ruggiero, director of the Morse. “Beginning in the late 19th century, potters in the U.S. began to produce ceramics that rivaled those of the highly creative European firms that had dominated the field for centuries.” American art pottery was in peak demand for roughly four decades starting in about 1876 — when French and Asian ceramics at Philadelphia’s Centennial International Exhibition helped ignite a craze among U.S. women for painting blank pieces of porcelain — and lasting until about 1915. The artists who created these ceramics shared many of the values of the Arts and Crafts movement, which was a broader response at the time to a perceived decline in decorative standards due to industrialization and mass production. Many of America’s art-pottery pioneers were women — and no two were more important to the genre than Mary Louise McLaughlin (1847 –1939) and Maria Longworth Nichols Storer (1849 –1932), accomplished china painters both born in Cincinnati. McLaughlin discovered a way to re-create the French underglaze that had so impressed her at the Centennial International Exhibition; that technique and the books she wrote on the subject laid the foundation for the American industry. Storer, who briefly shared a kiln at a pottery shop

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A new exhibition at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art celebrates art pottery, which was popular from the 1870s through the early 1900s. Rookwood jugs, although made using the same industrial mold, could look quite different from one another depending upon the decorator and the clay from which they were molded.

with McLaughlin, soon founded Rookwood Pottery, which became one of the largest and arguably best known of America’s art potteries. Storer’s team of professional designers refined McLaughlin’s techniques, producing pottery celebrated at world’s fairs and sought by consumers everywhere. The two rivals’ talent, business acumen and vision established Cincinnati as the center of the nation’s artpottery industry. Consequently, the Morse exhibition focuses on pieces produced in the Ohio city. The Morse’s collection of American art pottery totals almost 1,000 pieces, from which 100 were chosen to display. The museum acquired a few pieces for the exhibition, such as two ceramic tiles likely decorated by McLaughlin that illustrate the artist’s underglaze technique. It also acquired three little Rookwood jugs shaped exactly like one it already owns — in part because the jugs are decorated differently and are made of different clays, illustrating how ceramic artists could create original works even when working with a single shape from an industrial mold. Earth into Art — The Flowering of American Art

Pottery is the first major exhibition of the Morse’s American art-pottery collection since a comprehensive display at the Orlando Museum of Art in 1995. It’s also the first such show at the Morse, which opened its North Park Avenue facility that same year. “The fact that American art pottery played such an important role in the development of the country artistically, and that its production was such a significant and positive part of the lives of so many Americans — including those outside of the privileged classes — make it especially attractive today,” Ruggiero notes. To provide added context for the exhibition, which continues through September 2020, the Morse has revamped two adjacent galleries with relevant objects from both its Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau collections. The museum has also organized its 2019 winterspring lecture series around the exhibition. The four free lectures take place on select Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. in the Jeannette G. and Hugh F. McKean Pavilion, just behind the museum at 161 West Canton Avenue. Dates and programs include “American Art Pottery and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: The Early Years,” with Nonie Gadsden, the museum’s senior curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture (January 30); and “A Most Exquisite Display: European Ceramics at the Centennial Exhibition,” with Donna Corbin, an independent curator from Philadelphia (February 13). Other dates and programs include “Adelaide Alsop Robineau, America’s Finest Ceramist,” with Martin Eidelberg, professor emeritus of art history at Rutgers University in New Jersey (March 6); and “American Art Pottery: The Robert A. Ellison Jr. Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art,” with Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, a Met curator of American Decorative Arts in New York (April 3). — Michael McLeod

What: Earth into Art — The Flowering of American Art Pottery Where: The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art Address: 445 North Park Avenue, Winter Park When: February 12 through September 2020 Notes: An exhibition of 100 pieces of American art pottery plus two adjacent galleries with relevant objects from both the museum’s Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau collections. The museum’s winter-spring lecture series features subject-matter experts. For More: 407-645-5311 •

A glazed clay vase made in 1882 by Rookwood Pottery in Cincinnati is among more than 100 art pottery pieces on display at the Morse. W INTE R 2 0 1 9 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


EVENTS VISUAL ARTS Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. This lakeside museum, open since 1961, is dedicated to preserving the works of the famed Czech sculptor for whom it was both home and studio for more than a decade. Ongoing through April 14 is Lay of the Land: The Art of Florida’s Cattle Culture, a collaboration with the Florida Cattlemen’s Association that showcases five centuries of art by cowboys and so-called “crackers” as well as art by Native Americans. The exhibition includes a related presentation on January 22 at 7 p.m., Five Centuries of Florida Cattlemen History, by folklorist and exhibiting artist Bob Stone; an informal walkthrough tour of the gallery follows his program. The museum also offers tours of Polasek’s home Tuesdays through Saturdays. And it offers tours of the adjacent Capen-Showalter House three times weekly: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:30 a.m., and Saturdays at 10:15 a.m. The Capen-Showalter House, built in 1885, was saved from demolition several years ago and floated across Lake Osceola to its current location on the Polasek’s grounds. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $3 for students and free for children. 633 Osceola Avenue, Winter Park. 407-647-6294. Art & History Museums — Maitland. The Maitland Art Center, one of five museums anchoring the city’s Cultural Corridor, was founded as an art colony in 1937 by visionary American artist and architect J. André Smith. The center, located at 231 West Packwood Avenue, Maitland, is the Orlando area’s only National Historic Landmark and one of the few surviving examples of Mayan Revival architecture in the Southeast. Opening January 24 is a large exhibition that spans both the art center and the historical museum. Continuing through May 12 is Maitland and AfricanAmerican Experiences, which combines the words of folklorist Zora Neale Hurston, who as a young girl lived in Eatonville, with the art of J. André Smith, who painted vivid images of Eatonville in the 1930s. Meanwhile, on display through March 31, in a field between the art center and Lake Sybelia, is Indigo Waves, an interactive public-art project based upon agriculture. Artists-turned-gardeners Tory Tepp, Jill Altamore and Kim Reighter built sustainable irrigation and electrical systems so that, as the plants mature, they’re harvested and processed to make dyes, inks, pigments and fibers used to create tapestries and lattices in combination with recycled denim. As those natural-fiber creations break down from exposure to the elements, they’re composted back into the soil and replaced with new patches of “fresh art.” Admission to the art center’s galleries is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students (ages 5 to 17) and free for children age 4 and under. Maitland residents receive a $1 discount. The Cultural Corridor also includes the Telephone Museum, located with the historical museum at 221 West Packwood Avenue, Maitland, and the Carpentry Shop Museum, located with the Waterhouse Residence at 820 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland. 407-539-2181.

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Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. With more than 19,000 square feet of gallery and public space, the Morse houses the world’s most important collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany creations, including jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass and an entire chapel interior originally designed and built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The museum opened its 2018-19 season in October with a major exhibition, Earth into Art — The Flowering of American Art Pottery (see page 92) The displayed objects, which date from the 1870s to the early 1900s, are drawn from the museum’s collection of American art pottery — one of the largest such collections in the U.S. The exhibition will continue through September 2020. Continuing through January 27 is 19th-Century American Landscapes, which elucidates the affinity between artists from the French Barbizon School and American painters of the late 1800s, including Otto Heinigke, William Louis Sonntag and George Inness. Opening on February 12 is Iridescence in Glass and Pottery: A Celebration, examines how, during the second half of the 19th century, the premier decorative art studios in Europe and America — including Tiffany’s — developed iridescent glass and glazes that mimic the natural “shimmering” of seashells, butterfly wings and peacock feathers. A smaller related “vignette,” Charles Hosmer Morse’s Arts and Crafts Study at Osceola Lodge, features some of the Arts-and-Crafts-style furnishings with which Morse refitted Winter Park’s now-historic Osceola Lodge after buying the home in 1904. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $1 for students and free for children younger than age 12, although free admission is offered during extended hours on Fridays, from 4 to 8 p.m., through April 26. The museum is also suspending entrance fees for free, all-day open houses on February 15 through 17 during Winter Park’s annual Weekend of the Arts celebration and again on March 15 through 17 for the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. 445 North Park Avenue, Winter Park. 407-645-5311. Cornell Fine Arts Museum. Located on the campus of Rollins College, the Cornell houses one of the oldest and most eclectic collections of fine art in Florida. Free tours take place at 1 p.m. on Saturdays at the oncampus facility, and at 1 p.m. on Sundays at the nearby Alfond Inn, which displays dozens of works from the museum’s Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art. Happy Hour tours of the Alfond Collection are also conducted on the first Wednesday of most months at 5:30 p.m. If you prefer historic works, Throwback Thursday tours are offered at the museum from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of most months. On January 17, the museum debuts four exhibitions: De La Torre Brothers: Rococolab, the collaborative work of artists-brothers Einar and Jamex de la Torre, whose complex baroque-inspired sculptures and “lenticulars” — those accordion-pleated pictures that show different images when viewed from the left or the right — are a product of their bicultural existence in Mexico and Southern California (through May 12); The Place

as Metaphor: Collection Conversations, works from the permanent collection that illustrate the notion of “place” in its varied definitions, from geographic locations to historical moments (through May 12); José A. Figueroa: A Transitional Generation, featuring photographs by the Havana-born artist that chronicle daily life in Cuba since the Cuban Revolution (through April 7); and Body Snatchers: Death in Culture, which tells through art the story of the shifting meanings attached to dead bodies, from religious reverence to medical research (through April 7). A long-term exhibition through which works periodically rotate — Ruptures and Remnants: Selections from the Permanent Collection — offers material manifestations, from antiquity to the present day, of ruptures ranging from personal crises to nation-state upheavals. It continues through December 31, 2020. Admission is free, courtesy of PNC Financial Services Group. 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park. 407-646-2526. Crealdé School of Art. Established in 1975, this notfor-profit arts organization on Winter Park’s east side offers year-round visual-arts classes for all ages taught by more than 40 working artists. Admission to the school’s galleries is free, although there are fees for art classes. Continuing through January 12 is Vibrant Vision: African Diaspora and African-American Artists, a joint exhibition with the Hannibal Square Heritage Center that features works from the Collection of Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman, the core of which encompasses art created by Works Progress Administration (WPA) artists in the 1930s and 1940s. 600 Saint Andrews Boulevard, Winter Park. 407-671-1886. Hannibal Square Heritage Center. Established in 2007 by the Crealdé School of Art in partnership with residents of Hannibal Square and the City of Winter Park, the center celebrates the city’s historically AfricanAmerican west side with archival photographs, original artwork and oral histories from longtime residents that are together known as the Heritage Collection. Admission is free. Continuing through January 12 is Vibrant Vision: African Diaspora and African-American Artists, a joint exhibition with Winter Park’s Crealdé School of Art that features works from the Collection of Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman (see the description in the Crealdé listing above). Also ongoing is the Hannibal Square Timeline, which documents significant local and national events in African-American history since the Emancipation Proclamation. The center offers a walking tour of Hannibal Square, Now and Then, with Fairolyn Livingston, the center’s chief historian. The tour, offered the third Saturday of each month from 10 to 11:30 a.m., requires reservations; the cost is $10, or $5 for those with student IDs. Historic sites include Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, the Welbourne Avenue Nursery & Kindergarten and the Masonic Lodge, all built in the 1920s. 642 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. 407-539-2680.



Baffled by love? Who better to explain things than a poet? Billy Collins, a former two-term U.S. poet laureate, will reveal What Poets Talk About When They Talk About Love during a reading on Sunday, February 17 at Tiedtke Concert Hall on the campus of Rollins College. Collins is a rare poet whose collections scale the New York Times bestseller list and whose appearances attract packed houses. His presentation is part of the popular speaker series presented by the college’s Winter Park Institute. A Winter Park resident since 2008, Collins is without question the most important writer of any genre ever to have a 32789 zip code. The genial Manhattan native has thus far published 13 volumes of poetry, including 2017’s The Rain in Portugal. He has appeared regularly on A Prairie Home Companion — the first time in 1998 — and on other NPR programs, including Fresh Air with Terry Gross. On the first anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Collins was asked to write a poem commemorating the victims and to read it before a joint session of Congress held in New York City. “The Names,” which alphabetically incorporated the surnames of those who had been killed, struck precisely the right tone with its quiet humanity. Still, Collins is best known for his playful and poignant observations about everyday life. “The Lanyard,” about a child’s gift to his mother, is arguably his most-loved work. And a TED Talk in which he recites two poems about the inner thoughts of dogs has garnered more than 1.6 million views. Accolades for Collins include the Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry as well as fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1992, he was chosen by the New York Public Library as a Literary Lion. Last year, Collins was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an honor society of the country’s 250 leading architects, artists, composers and writers. His proudest achievements: The Poetry 180 program for high schools, in which he chose and published one poem for each day of the school year, and making a birdie on the 12th hole at Augusta National. Tickets for Collins’s talk are $25. Call 407-6462145 or visit Billy Collins, a former two-term U.S. poet laureate, will give a reading as part of the speaker series presented by the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College.



EVENTS PERFORMING ARTS Annie Russell Theatre. “The Annie,” in continuous operation on the campus of Rollins College since 1932, continues its 2018-19 season on February 15 with a new play. Yes, that’s the working title of a piece by playwright Kimberly Belflower commissioned by The Farm Theater of New York in partnership with three colleges, Rollins among them. The project allows students to work alongside Belflower on the world premiere of a work inspired by the Me Too movement, which has exposed systemic issues of sexual violence and harassment. Curtain time for the show, which runs for eight performances through February 23, is 8 p.m., 4 p.m. or 2 p.m., depending upon the day of the week. Tickets are $20. The theater’s Second Stage Series — located on the second floor of 203 East Lyman Avenue during construction of Rollins’ new Theatre & Dance Complex — features student-produced and studentdirected plays. Upcoming is Grass Grows, a staged reading written and directed by Amanda Grace, in which a dancer whose world is colored by mental illness finds the courage to overcome the barriers that keep people apart. The single performance is February 9 at 8 p.m. Admission to Second Stage shows is free to the public, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park. 407-646-2145. rollins. edu/annie-russell-theatre. Winter Park Playhouse. Winter Park’s only professional, not-for-profit theater continues its 2018-19 mainstage season with Ain’t Misbehavin’ – The Fats Waller Musical Show, which opens January 25 and continues through February 23. This song-and-dance revue evokes the humor and infectious spirit of Waller, a jazz pianist/composer/singer and an American original. It features 30 songs he made famous, including “This Joint Is Jumpin’” and “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love.” Next up is What a Glorious Feeling – The Story of Singin’ in the Rain, which opens March 15 and continues through April 13. This Southeastern U.S. premiere brings to life through song and dance the little-known story of the love triangle between Hollywood dancing legend Gene Kelly, legendary director and choreographer Stanley Donen and their studio assistant Jeanne Coyne during the filming of the iconic movie musical. Performances of both shows are Thursday through Sunday, with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. and matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets range in price from $15 for students to $42 for evening shows. Meanwhile, the theater’s Spotlight Cabaret Series continues select Wednesdays and Thursdays with Lindsay Nantz and Kate Zaloumes on January 16 and 17, and Kevin Kelly on February 20 and 21. General admission is $20 plus a one-drink minimum (with $10 standing-room-only tickets available once general seating is sold out). 711 Orange Avenue, Winter Park. 407-645-0145.

FESTIVALS Pookie’s RescueFest. This annual pet-adoption day

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and fundraiser for local not-for-profit animal-rescue groups returns for its 10th year to Lake Lily Park in Maitland. The event, slated January 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., attracts dozens of rescue groups and thousands of pet lovers. In addition to adoptions, there’s a wealth of information offered by a variety of pet-oriented vendors, including trainers, sitters, boarders and veterinarians. 900 South Orlando Ave., Maitland. 321-2870390. Unity Heritage Festival. This year’s 17th annual festival takes place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and promotes family history while raising funds for programs assisting economically disadvantaged youth. The January 21 event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Winter Park’s Hannibal Square neighborhood, starts with a special program at 10 a.m. in Shady Park and continues through the day with live music, food concessions and various activities. Admission is free. 721 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. 407-5993334. Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. Among the oldest, largest and most prestigious juried outdoor art festivals in the U.S., the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival celebrates its 60th year on March 15 through 17. The festival, which features more than 200 artists selected from more than 1,000 applicants, draws more than 300,000 visitors to Central Park on Park Avenue downtown. Participating artists compete for dozens of awards with tens of thousands of dollars in prize money at stake. In addition to works in a variety of media — painting, sculpture, photography, graphics, fiber, leather, wood, glass and jewelry — there are kid-friendly activities in the Children’s Workshop Village and an exhibition of student art from Orange County public and private schools. There are also dozens of food and drink concessions and live entertainment. Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. The nearby Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is offering free admission to its galleries on all three days. 407-644-7207. Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities. This popular, weeklong series of events and exhibitions, now in its 30th year, takes place mostly in Eatonville, where the namesake author and folklorist spent much of her childhood. But there are also events in neighboring Winter Park, Maitland and Orlando. Running January 26 to February 3, the festival includes companion exhibitions at the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts in Eatonville and the Arts & History Museums – Maitland, a two-day conference at Rollins College, two programs at Orange Technical College in south Orlando, several other programs in Eatonville — all leading to the Outdoor Festival of the Arts, a three-day street party in the heart of Eatonville. Many events are free and open to the public. Zora Neale Hurston National Museum, 227 East Kennedy Boulevard, Eatonville. 407-647-3188.

FILM Enzian. This cozy, nonprofit alternative cinema offers a plethora of film series. Tickets are usually $12 for regular admission; $10 for matinees, students, seniors and military (with ID); and $9.50 for Enzian Film Society members. But children under age 12 are admitted free to Peanut Butter Matinee Family Films, shown the fourth Sunday of each month at noon. School of Rock (January 27) and *Batteries Not Included (February 24) are coming up next. Upcoming Saturday Matinee Classics, shown the second Saturday of each month at noon, include Fargo (January 12) and Battleship Potemkin (February 9). Upcoming Cult Classics, shown the second and last Tuesday of each month at 9:30 p.m., include Gremlins (January 8), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (January 29), Clash of the Titans (March 12) and Deep Blue Sea (March 26). FilmSlam, which spotlights Florida-made short films, takes place most months on the first or second Sunday at 1 p.m.; the next scheduled dates are January 13 and March 10. Music Mondays present new and classic concertmusic documentaries and music-focused films, usually on the third Monday of each month at 9:30 p.m. Midnight Movies is an ongoing series of envelope-pushing classic and cutting-edge films that start at 11:59 p.m. Other upcoming special showings include the Reel Representation: Diversity in Film showcase, scheduled for February 16 and 17. 1300 South Orlando Avenue, Maitland. 407-629-0054 (information line), 407-6291088 (theater offices). Popcorn Flicks in the Park. The City of Winter Park and Enzian collaborate to offer classic, family-friendly films free in Central Park on Park Avenue. These outdoor screenings are usually on the second Thursday of each month and start whenever it gets dark. Upcoming films include Iron Man (January 10, 7 p.m.), Roman Holiday (February 7, 7 p.m.) and Smokey and the Bandit (March 14, 8 p.m.). Bring a snack plus a blanket or chairs. 407-629-1088. Screen on the Green. The City of Maitland offers free outdoor movies each fall and spring on the field at Maitland Middle School. Bring a snack plus a blanket or chairs. 1901 Choctaw Trail, Maitland. 407-539-0042. Friday Brown Bag Matinees. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art presents three film series each year on topics related to the museum’s collection as well as art in general. Admission is free to these lunchtime screenings, which span the noon hour on select Fridays in the Jeannette G. and Hugh F. McKean Pavilion on Canton Avenue, just behind the Morse. Attendees are invited to bring their own lunches; the museum provides soft drinks and themed refreshments. The four-part Winter Series, City Solutions, examines skyscrapers, urban planning and city parks. It kicks off February 1 and February 8 with Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture, a two-part film about the man considered to


Enjoy creative chili dishes from Winter Park area restaurants and caterers, plus beer and wine.

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EVENTS be the father of the skyscraper. Up next on February 15 is Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City, about the architect and urban planner who was director of works for Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. The final film in the series on February 22 is Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America, which examines the career of the iconic landscape architect who designed New York City’s Central Park and was the inspiration for Winter Park’s Central Park. 161 West Canton Avenue. 407-645-5311.


Chili for Charity, held at the downtown Farmers’ Market on West New England Avenue, is the largest fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Winter Park, which uses the proceeds to support dozens of local worthy causes.

CHOW DOWN ON CHILI, HELP LOCAL CHARITIES Dine on some of the most creative chili imaginable, enjoy live entertainment and hobnob with friends and neighbors — all while helping local not-for-profits. It must be Chili for Charity time in Winter Park, when the Rotary Club of Winter Park turns the downtown Farmers’ Market on West New England Avenue into a culinary carnival featuring savory stews from a who’s who of local restauranteurs. The event — the local Rotary chapter’s largest fundraiser — is slated for Wednesday, February 27, from 5 to 8 p.m. and everyone’s invited. Some of the more adventurous entrants may stretch the definition of what qualifies as chili, but it’s all delicious. Tickets are $35 each, or four for $100. VIP tickets are $75 each, or four for $125. Funds raised are reinvested right in our own backyard. Since its inception more than eight years ago, Chili for Charity has returned more than $400,000 to organizations that provide cultural, health, educational and recreational services to Winter Parkers. Over the past 25 years, those same organizations have received more than $800,000 from the local Rotary chapter. Past grant recipients have included A Gift for Teaching, the Adult Literacy League, the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center, the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida and the Boy Scouts of America: Central Florida Chapter. Also, the Center for Independent Living, the Christian Service Center, the Crealdé School of Art, the Easter Bunny Foundation, Easter Seals of Florida, Family Promise of Greater Orlando, Foundation for Foster Children, the Give Hope Foundation, the Hemophilia Foundation of Greater Florida, I-Dignity and Impower. Also, the Jobs Partnership of Florida, Killarney Elementary School, Lighthouse Central Florida, The Gardens at DePugh Nursing Center, Mead Botanical Garden, Michelee Puppets, New Hope for Kids, the Welbourne Avenue Day Nursery, the Winter Park Day Nursery, Winter Park High School, the Winter Park History Museum, the Winter Park Public Library, Winter Park Memorial Hospital (now AdventHealth Winter Park) and Winter Park Playhouse. To buy Chili for Charity tickets, visit

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Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum. This stunningly restored Spanish farmhouse-style home, designed by acclaimed architect James Gamble Rogers II, is now a community center and museum. Free open houses are hosted by docents on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Also, live music is featured in the large downstairs parlor on Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. (see “Music”). 656 North Park Avenue (adjacent to the Winter Park Golf Course), Winter Park. 407628-8200. Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida. The center is dedicated to combating antiSemitism, racism and prejudice, with the goal of developing a moral and just community through educational and cultural programs. It houses permanent and temporary exhibitions, archives and a research library. The museum’s ongoing exhibition, Tribute to the Holocaust, is a presentation of artifacts, videos, text, photographs and other works of art. Admission to the center is free. 851 North Maitland Avenue, Maitland. 407-628-0555. Winter Park History Museum. Ongoing displays include artifacts dating from the city’s beginnings as a New England-style resort in the 1880s. Its current exhibition is Wish You Were Here: The Hotels & Motels of Winter Park. Admission is free. 200 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-2330. Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts. Eatonville is strongly associated with Harlem Renaissance writer and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston, who lived there as a girl and recorded her childhood memories in her classic autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road. The museum that bears her name provides information about the historic city; it also sponsors exhibitions featuring the works of African-American artists and is an integral part of the annual, weeklong Zora! Festival each January. Open since September is Zora Neale Hurston’s “Native Village:” Historic Eatonville Remembered – Autobiography, Folklore, Literature. Admission is free, though group tours require a reservation and are charged a fee. 227 East Kennedy Boulevard, Eatonville. 407-647-3188., zorafestival. org,

HOLIDAYS Martin Luther King Jr. Parade. Eatonville, arguably the oldest incorporated African-American municipality in the U.S., begins its 42st annual parade on January 19 at 2 p.m. along Kennedy Boulevard, just east of Wymore Road and Interstate 4. 407-623-8900.


St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Central Florida’s only St. Patrick’s Day parade is always held the first Sunday in March. This year’s 41st annual parade is slated for March 3 at 2 p.m., with more than 75 marching units starting by the Winter Park Country Club and heading south along Park Avenue through the city’s signature shopping district to Lyman Avenue. 407-599-3334.

Now Open Selections from the Morse collection that provide a window onto American achievements in art pottery in the late 19th century, including the industry’s roots in Ohio and the key contributions of women.

LECTURES Gladdening Light Symposium 2019. Matthew Fox, an activist and theologian, and Ilia Delio, a Villanova University professor and authority on the integration of science and religion, are the featured lecturers at this year’s three-day symposium, organized by GladdeningLight, a Winter Park-based nonprofit that explores the intersection of art and spirituality. The February 1 to 3 event, which takes place at a half-dozen venues on the Rollins College campus, also includes Irish spiritual singer and Christian scholar Nóirín Ní Riain and her two singer-songwriter sons, Owen and Moley Ó Súilleabháin. This year’s theme is The Science of Love: Divine Imagination, Evolving Universe. Tickets range from $25 (for Saturday evening’s forum only) to $220 (for an all-access pass that includes every event. 407-647-3963. Winter Park Institute at Rollins College. Each year, the institute presents lectures, readings and seminars by thought leaders in an array of disciplines. The third lecture of the 2018-19 season, on January 23, features movie director Sean Baker, best known for independent feature films such as The Florida Project, about a 6-yearold and her mother struggling to survive hard times while living in the shadow of Walt Disney World near Orlando. The program, A Conversation with an American Filmmaker, starts at 7:30 p.m. in Bush Auditorium. The season’s fourth lecture, What Poets Talk About When They Talk About Love, will be given by Billy Collins, a former two-term U.S. poet laureate and the Winter Park Institute’s Distinguished Senior Fellow. Collins’ February 17 program starts at 2 p.m. in Rollins’ Tiedtke Concert Hall. Tickets for either lecture are $25. 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park. 407-646-2145. Winter with the Writers. Sponsored by the Rollins College Department of English and open to the public, this annual series dates to 1927, when it featured such luminaries as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ogden Nash and Carl Sandburg. This year’s series opens on February 6 with a 5:30 p.m. screening of the film Don’t Think Twice in Bush Auditorium, followed by a conversation

445 north park avenue winter park, florida 32789 (407) 645-5311 just a 5-minute walk from the sunrail station • follow us on

WINTER PARK INSTITUTE Speaker Series 2019 Spring Line-up


Sean Baker

Billy Collins



A Conversation with an American Filmmaker

What Poets Talk About When They Talk About Love

Dr. M. Sanjayan

Stories from the Natural World




EVENTS via Skype with writer/director/star Mike Birbiglia and the film’s consulting producer Jen Hope Stein. The series continues February 7 at 4 p.m. with Liz Allen: Improv Class, during which the improv veteran will teach a class in Rollins’ SunTrust Auditorium. Next up, on February 14, is Brian Turner, a poet and seven-year Army veteran whose recent memoir, My Life as a Foreign Country, has been called “achingly, disturbingly, shockingly beautiful.” His reading starts at 7:30 p.m. in Bush Auditorium. On February 21 at 7:30 p.m. is a reading by Barbara Hamby, who teaches at Florida State University and is the author of six books of poetry, the most recent of which is Bird Odyssey. Her reading starts at 7:30 p.m. in Bush Auditorium. On February 28, author Jennifer Clement, the first woman elected president of PEN International, a worldwide association of writers founded in London nearly a century ago, will teach a master class in SunTrust Auditorium at 2 p.m. and have a joint reading at 7:30 p.m. in Bush Auditorium with an as-yet unannounced finalist for the 2018 National Book Awards. Clement’s recent novel Gun Love is an Oprah Book Club Selection and a National Book Award finalist. 407-646-2666. University Club of Winter Park. Nestled among the oaks and palms at the north end of Park Avenue’s downtown shopping district — a block beyond Casa Feliz — is another historic James Gamble Rogers II building, this one home to the University Club of Winter Park. Members are dedicated to the enjoyment of intellectual activities and socializing with one another. The club’s various activities, including lectures, are open to the public, although nonmembers are asked to donate a $5 activity fee each time they attend. (Some events include a buffet lunch for an added fee.) Check the club’s website for the next lecture or special event. 841 North Park Avenue. 407-644-6149.

MARKETS Maitland Farmers’ Market. This year-round, open-air market — held each Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — features fresh produce, seafood, breads and cheeses as well as plants, all-natural skin-care products and live music by Performing Arts of Maitland. The setting on Lake Lily boasts a boardwalk, jogging trails, a playground and picnic areas. 701 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland. Winter Park Farmers’ Market. The region’s busiest and arguably most popular farmers’ market is held every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the old railroad depot, which also houses the Winter Park History Museum. The open-air market offers baked goods, produce, plants, honey, cheese, meat, flowers, crafts and other specialty items. After shopping, make a morning of it with a stroll along nearby Park Avenue. Dogs are welcome to bring their people. 200 West New England Avenue, Winter Park.

MUSIC Bach Festival. The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park

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celebrates its 84th season with another jam-packed festival in February and early March. This year the annual series of concerts begins on February 10 with performances at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. by the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra, under the direction of John V. Sinclair, of Spiritual Spaces: A Musical Retreat, a program of relaxing and meditative music. On February 15 at 7:30 p.m. is a free organ recital by virtuoso Paul Jacobs, the only organist to have won a Grammy Award. On February 16, the well-known a cappella group Voctave makes its orchestral debut in a program with the Bach Festival Orchestra that includes the group’s version of “Disney Fly Medley.” The performance is at 7:30 p.m. (See page 40). Voctave performs again on February 17 at 3 p.m. On February 22 and 23, in an unusual take on music that celebrates the seasons of the year, the Bach Festival Orchestra and several instrumental soloists perform an amalgamation of four seasonal pieces — each written by a different composer from a different country about a different season. Concertos by Candlelight: Four Seasons Around the Globe starts at 7:30 p.m. on both nights. Also on the program: J.S. Bach’s Harpsichord Concerto No. 3 and Michael Haydn’s Double Horn Concerto in E flat Major. On February 24, Israeli violinist Itamar Zorman, winner of the 2011 Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition, performs a 3 p.m. recital program that had yet to be announced at press time. The Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra, plus soloists, close out the festival on March 2 and 3 with back-to-back days of music: a Saturday evening program at 7:30 titled Mozart Times Two, featuring his Symphony No. 40 in G minor and the composer’s Great Mass in C minor; and a Sunday afternoon performance at 3 p.m. of J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion. All performances are in Knowles Memorial Chapel on the Rollins College campus, except the Itamar Zorman recital, which is in the college’s Tiedtke Concert Hall. Tickets range in price from free to $79 each, depending upon the performance and the seating. 407-646-2182. Bach Festival Society Insights & Sounds Series. On January 24, the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra and four soloists, under the direction of John V. Sinclair, perform Antonio Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans, the only surviving oratorio of the four Vivaldi is known to have composed. The Insights & Sounds concerts, at 7:30 p.m., combine great music with discussion of the works being performed; the programs are designed both for connoisseurs and classical music novices. Tickets range in price from $20 to $45. Tiedtke Concert Hall, Rollins College campus, Winter Park. 407-646-2182. Bach Festival Society Visiting Artist Series. On March 16, the society hosts the Scharoun Ensemble Berlin in Tiedtke Concert Hall on the Rollins College campus. The ensemble was founded in 1983 by members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. The program, which starts at 7:30 p.m., had yet to be announced at press time. Tickets range in price from $25 to $69. 407-646-2182.

Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts. This eclectic venue is part concert hall, part recording studio and part art gallery. It offers live performances most evenings, with an emphasis on jazz, classical and world music — although theater, dance and spoken-word presentations are sometimes on the schedule. Admission generally ranges from free to $25. Upcoming musical performances include: Mile Twelve (January 19, 8 p.m., $25); Svetlana & The Delancey Five (February 14 and 15, 8 p.m., $25); Sportiello, Parrott & Metz (February 17, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., $25); Alexis Cole (March 3, 8 p.m., $25); Jump, Jive & Wail – The Music of Louis Prima (March 6, 8 p.m., $25); and the Nordic Fiddlers Bloc (March 29, 7 p.m., $25). 1905 Kentucky Avenue, Winter Park. 407-636-9951. Central Florida Folk. This Winter Park-based not-forprofit is dedicated to promoting and preserving live folk music, primarily through concerts usually held on the last Sunday of each month (unless a holiday intervenes). The group’s primary venue is the Winter Park Public Library, 460 East New England Avenue, Winter Park. The next two library concerts are: Danika Holmes, plus Lee Kelly (February 24); and Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen, plus The Squirrel Hillbillies (March 31). Performances start at 2 p.m. A donation of $15 for nonmembers is suggested. 407-679-6426. Dexter’s of Winter Park. This well-known restaurant in Winter Park’s Hannibal Square district occasionally has live musical acts, with no cover charge. Upcoming performances include The Franchise Players (January 5, March 22 and March 23, 8:30 p.m.), and Eden Lane (February 16, 8:30 p.m.). 558 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. 407-6291150. Music at the Casa. The Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum presents free acoustic-instrument performances most Sunday afternoons from noon to 3 p.m. in the museum’s cozy main parlor. Upcoming performances include: USA Dance (January 6), Beautiful Music (January 13), Don Soledad Duo (January 20), Victoria Schultz (January 27), Shirley Wang (February 17), Lisa Ferrigno (February 24), Beautiful Music (March 10), Alborea Dances (March 24) and Luis Garcia (March 31). 656 North Park Avenue (adjacent to the Winter Park Golf Course), Winter Park. 407-6288200. Opera Orlando at the Casa. Experience Rossini’s The Barber of Seville as never before, as the audience moves about the Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum with the characters as they act and sing (in English) this classic comic opera during performances that start January 31 and continue through February 10. Food and drink are served during the 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. performances. Opera Orlando’s Gabriel Preisser stars as Figaro, the dashing baritone, supported by a cast of Opera Orlando favorites including mezzo-soprano Sarah Nordin as Rosina, bass-baritone Nathan Stark




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EVENTS as Bartolo and bass-baritone Tyler Putnam as Basilio. Tickets for this unique, site-specific production are $75 (with special pricing for the Sunday “brunch” matinees). 656 North Park Avenue, Winter Park. 407-512-1900. Yonetani Concert. The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens’ annual chamber concert, now in its 12th year, features internationally acclaimed violin/ viola soloist Ayako Yonetani. This year’s performance, with a variety of guest instrumentalists, is on March 10 at 2 p.m. in the Capen-Showalter House on the museum’s grounds. Yonetani, who holds three degrees from the Juilliard School, is a professor of violin/viola at the University of Central Florida, but she also travels the world as a guest soloist and in Japan is a member of that country’s premier chamber ensemble in Tokyo. The Polasek concert, with seating limited to 45 people, is followed by a private reception. Ticket information was not available at press time. 633 Osceola Avenue. 407-647-6294. Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions/ Vocal Competition. On January 19, as many as 40 young, classically trained singers from across Florida assemble at Trinity Preparatory School to compete for an opportunity to sing onstage at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. This district competition, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is free and open to the public; the winners advance to a Regional Final, the last hurdle before New York. 5700 Trinity Prep Lane, Winter Park. 407-922-4688.

CELEBRATIONS Weekend of the Arts. This annual event, first organized in 2018 by the City of Winter Park’s Public Art Advisory Board and its Arts & Culture Subcommittee, draws upon the resources of more than 20 local arts and cultural organizations to present four days of free, live performances and special exhibitions around the city Friday through Monday, February 15-18. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, for example, offers free admission to its galleries the entire weekend (although it is closed as usual on Monday). 407-599-3428. Metro Cup Regatta. The oldest dual-crew meet in Florida is fueled by a crosstown rivalry between teams from the University of Central Florida and Rollins College as well as teams from longtime scholastic foes Winter Park and Edgewater high schools. On March 2, eight- and four-rower boats race across Lake Maitland starting at 8 a.m. The competition is best viewed from the southeast shore at Kraft Azalea Garden on Alabama Drive or, better yet, from a boat on Lake Maitland. The event is a fundraiser by the Rotary Club of Orange County East-Winter Park, which sells refreshments and operates a shuttle bus between the parking lot at Lakemont Elementary School and the garden’s viewing area. Admission is

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free, but a donation is requested. Parking is very limited near the garden.

GARDENING Winter Park Garden Club. The club’s general membership meetings always offer something intriguing for lovers of gardening and the great outdoors. Its January 16 meeting, which starts at 10 a.m., will feature a presentation on growing spectacular camellias presented by Jim Hunter, a master gardener and owner of South Seminole Farm and Nursery. Its February 13 meeting, which also starts at 10 a.m., will include a private tour of Mead Botanical Garden, a 47-acre urban oasis aptly dubbed “Winter Park’s Natural Place.” Its February 27 meeting, which starts at 9:30 a.m., will be the ever-popular Games Day (bridge, mahjong and more), which encompasses a silent auction and includes a continental breakfast with mimosas and lunch. Games Day, which benefits the club’s UCF Endowed Scholarship Fund and other projects, usually sells out quickly so make your reservations today. The cost is $25. Its March 13 meeting, which starts at 10 a.m., hosts Janice Banks, executive director of Edible Education Experience, a not-for-profit organization that operates the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Kitchen House & Culinary Garden in College Park. Banks’ topic will be Seed-to-Table Learning Experiences for Children. All events are at the club’s headquarters at 1300 South Denning Drive. To make reservations for Games Day or to get additional information about the club, which was founded in 1922, call 407-6445770 or email

WRITING Florida Writers Association. The Orlando/Winter Park-Area Chapter meets the first Wednesday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for guest speakers and discussions organized by author Rik Feeney. Upcoming events are slated for January 2, February 6 and March 6 at the University Club of Winter Park, 841 North Park Avenue, Winter Park. Another chapter, the Maitland Writers Group, meets the second Thursday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for speakers and discussions organized by author Nylda Dieppa-Aldarondo. Upcoming events are slated for January 10, February 14 and March 14 at the Maitland Public Library. 501 South Maitland Avenue, Maitland. Wednesday Open Words. One of the area’s longest-running open-mic poetry nights happens every Wednesday at 9 p.m. at Austin’s Coffee, 929 West Fairbanks Avenue, Winter Park. The free readings are hosted by Curtis Meyer. 407-975-3364. Work in Progress: A Group for Writers. This monthly discussion group is for writers in any genre who offer and receive feedback from their peers. Guest speakers are often invited to meetings, which are the first Saturday of each month. Upcoming dates include

January 5, February 2 and March 2, each from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Those planning to read their works aloud should register with organizer and host Gerald Schiffhorst, a University of Central Florida professor emeritus of English, by emailing Conference Room, Winter Park Public Library, 460 East New England Avenue, Winter Park. Writers of Central Florida or Thereabouts. This group offers various free programs that attract writers of all stripes. Short Attention Span Storytelling Hour ... or Thereabouts, a literary open-mic night, meets the second Wednesday of most months at 7 p.m. at Stardust Video & Coffee; it’s for authors, poets, filmmakers, comedians, musicians, bloggers and others. Upcoming meet-ups include January 10, February 14 and March 14. 1842 Winter Park Road, Winter Park. Orlando WordLab, a new program that combines the old Writers Roundtable and So You Think You Can Funny?, meets the fourth Monday of each month at the Winter Park Public Library starting at 7 p.m.; upcoming dates include January 22, February 26 and March 26. 460 East New England Avenue, Winter Park. writers-of-central-florida-or-thereabouts,,

RACES Park Avenue 5K. This fourth race in the Track Shack Running Series, slated January 19, starts and finishes on Park Avenue. In between, it winds its way for 3.1 miles through beautiful neighborhoods surrounding downtown Winter Park. The 5K race starts at 7:30 a.m., while the Kids’ Run starts at 8:45 a.m. Runners and spectators are advised to arrive early because race-related road closures snarl traffic near Central Park. Registration is $33 through January 5, $38-$45 after that. 407896-1160. Run 4 Love 4 Mile. This February 9 run is for those in love with running or walking — or perhaps with one another. The 4-mile run or walk starts at 7:30 a.m. followed by a Kids’ Run at 9 a.m. and a costume contest and awards presentations. Registration for this, the fifth race in the Track Shack Running Series, is $33 through January 26, $36-$40 after that date. Showalter Field, 2525 Cady Way, Winter Park. 42nd Winter Park Road Race. This March 23 event, the final race of the annual Track Shack Running Series, includes a 10K (6.2-mile) race at 7:30 a.m. as well as a 2-mile race at 7 a.m. and a Kids’ Run at 9:30 a.m. Registration for the 10K is $40 through March 9, $45-$50 after that. Central Park, 251 S. Park Ave., Winter Park.

BUSINESS Good Morning Winter Park. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these monthly gatherings attract business- and civic-minded locals who enjoy coffee and conversation about community issues. Scheduled for the second Friday of most months,

upcoming dates include January 11, February 8 and March 8. Networking begins at 8 a.m., followed by a 45-minute program at 8:30 a.m. Admission, which includes a complimentary continental breakfast, is free. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 West Lyman Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-8281. Winter Park Executive Women. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these gatherings — held the first Monday of most months from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. — feature guest speakers and provide networking opportunities for women business owners. Topics revolve around leadership development, business growth and local initiatives of special interest to women. Upcoming dates include January 7, February 4 and March 4. Tickets, which include lunch, are $25 for members and $50 for nonmembers. Reservations are required. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 West Lyman Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-8281.

CAUSES 8th Annual Chili for Charity. The Rotary Club of Winter Park’s chili cook-off, which sparks the creativity of top local caterers and restaurants, is slated February 27 from 5-8 p.m. at the Winter Park Farmers’ Market. Participants in the fundraiser compete for awards and undergo the scrutiny of a select panel of judges. In addition to the savory chili, there are drinks, a silent auction and live music. Net proceeds benefit the Rotary Club of Winter Park Foundation, which provides grants to more than 30 local charities. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Patron packages, which include four tickets and program recognition, are $250. 200 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. Woodstock Winter Park 2019: A Groovy Garden Affair. Mead Botanical Garden’s signature fundraising event is an evening of peace, love and groovy sounds from the ’60s. The event — which takes place at the garden — starts at 6 p.m. with food at various stations followed by a live concert at 8 p.m. courtesy of Central Florida Community Arts. Tickets are $125. 1300 South Denning Drive, Winter Park. 407-5992800. Lakes Berry and Spier Watershed Cleanup. Volunteers who help the City of Winter Park collect litter from around lakes Berry and Spier — Berry is directly behind Westminster Winter Park at 1111 South Lakemont Avenue, while Spier is at the southwest corner of Lakemont and Glenridge Way— receive breakfast, a T-shirt, a snack and a water bottle. Kayakers and paddle boarders are welcome to participate. Volunteers meet January 5 at 8 a.m. at 1111 South Lake Avenue (Westminster Winter Park’s parking area). Gloves, bags and other supplies will be provided. 407-599-3364.

Authors Matthew Fox (above left) and IIia Delio (above right) will be the keynote presenters for the eighth annual GladdeningLight Symposium of the Spiritual Arts. This year’s theme: The Science of Love: Divine Imagination, Evolving Universe.

EXPLORING SCIENCE, SPIRITUALITY, LOVE GladdeningLight, a local nonprofit that holds an annual three-day symposium concerning the intersection of spirituality and the arts, has announced the keynote presenters for its 2019 event, slated February 1-3 at Rollins College. And it’s not too early to register, since some symposium activities usually sell out in advance. Featured will be Matthew Fox, an activist and theologian who ignited the revolutionary Creation Spirituality movement, and Ilia Delio, a Villanova University professor whose scholarship concerns the integration of science and religion. The theme of the eighth annual GladdeningLight Symposium of the Spiritual Arts is The Science of Love: Divine Imagination, Evolving Universe. “Leading-edge science supports a new understanding of love as the fundamental energy of evolution,” says Randall B. Robertson, the organization’s founding director. “We’re fortunate to host two beacons of the modern Creation Spirituality movement, in dialogue together for the first time.” Creation Spirituality integrates the wisdom of indigenous, Eastern and Western mysticism with the revelations of modern science to promote social, racial, gender and environmental justice. Past GladdeningLight symposia have welcomed visitors from 33 states and around the world. The 2018 symposium was the first hosted by Rollins. The arts play a prominent role in every GladdeningLight symposium, and next year is no different, showcasing the talents of Nóirín Ní Riain and Owen and Moley Ó Súilleabháin. The Ó Súilleabháins, troubadours in the ancient Irish a cappella tradition, delighted local audiences two years ago. In 2019, they’ll bring their unique brand of musical magic to Knowles Memorial Chapel, where they’ll commemorate the feast day of Irish patron St. Brigid. The February 1 performance will also include a candlelit processional. To help set the mood, GladdeningLight has engaged a guild of local iconographers to paint Celtic icons around the chapel. In addition to performing, the three singers will also offer lectures throughout the weekend. Delio, a Franciscan nun as well as a professor, has recently written a national bestseller, The Unbearable Wholeness of Being. Fox, a symposium keynoter in 2013, has written such perennial bestsellers as Original Blessing. He heads the Fox Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Cost to attend the entire weekend is $220, which allows access to all symposium events. There’ll be $25 single tickets available to hear Fox and Delio in dialogue on February 2. Rollins students, staffers and faculty members are granted free, all-access admission with pre-registration and valid ID. Call 407-647-3963 or visit for more information. W INTE R 2 0 1 9 | W INTER PARK MAGAZ IN E




Steve Goldman has spent the past two years recruiting a board of teachers, writers, civic leaders and environmentalists to form the Winter Park Land Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “Keeping the ‘Park’ in Winter Park.”



s a writer I’m usually the one asking the questions, which is my excuse for being so flat-footed when local philanthropist Steve Goldman flipped the tables last time I saw him, wondering: “If you wanted to have a picnic in Winter Park, where would you go?” My half-hearted answer — “Maybe find a spot at Rollins College?” — only served to make his point: Winter Park, aside from Mead Garden, doesn’t have enough natural places for a picnic basket, a couple of folding chairs, and a measure of peace and quiet for thee and me. It’s a vacuum Goldman means to address. I’ll be surprised if he isn’t successful. I’ve written so many stories about Goldman’s philanthropic efforts on behalf of arts, science and education that we’ve become friends. An inventor at heart, he made his fortune designing technology that accelerates disc drives. In 2000 he sold his company and began devoting his time to addressing worthy causes. The annual National Young Composers Challenge he created brings teenaged prodigies from all over the country to Orlando to glean feedback about their creative efforts and hear their compositions played by a professional orchestra. The more than 100 free “Why U” animated on-line tutorials he scripted help students around the world develop a deeper understanding of math and science.

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Now he’s turning his attention to wide-open spaces — or, rather, their dearth. Goldman has spent the past two years recruiting a board — to which I belong — of teachers, writers, civic leaders and environmentalists to form the Winter Park Land Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “Keeping the ‘Park’ in Winter Park.” A kickoff party for both members and anyone who’s interested in the effort will be held at the Winter Park Farmers’ Market on February 28 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Public land trusts help to identify, acquire and preserve land for the common good. The notion of forming one in Winter Park has been germinating in Goldman’s mind for quite some time now. Blame San Francisco. Goldman lived there for years and developed a love affair with the city’s sprawling Golden Gate Park — which, at roughly three miles long and a half-mile wide, is even bigger than New York City’s Central Park. The peace and quiet the park offered — the enrichment of the area’s quality of life — made an indelible impression on him. I need to recalibrate my own mental disc drive pretty much every time I have a conversation with Goldman, as I did when this land trust idea first started coming up and he was suddenly talking about how great it would be if Orlando Executive Airport could be turned into a park. I’m thinking like that will ever happen while he’s calmly explaining that as the city continues

to grow there may well be a time when three miles east of downtown Orlando is no longer an optimum location for an airport. Combined with other city-owned properties in the area it could give way to a 1,200-acre park — larger than either Golden Gate or Central Park. Imagine it. “That’s one of the reasons you need a land trust,” says Goldman. “It’s to get people thinking long-term. If you have a long enough horizon, you can accomplish a lot.” He continues: “There aren’t a lot of land trusts in Florida. There are a lot of conservation efforts in the state based on scientific arguments about protecting the environment. You can make those arguments pretty easily. But no one ever seems to focus on quality of life. That’s something you can’t put a number on.” It is, however, something you can start talking about. And there’s some land in Winter Park that Goldman would like to bring into the conversation right away. It’s a rambling swath surrounding Howell Creek just north of Howell Branch Road, where the city is in the process of buying sections of wetlands, clearing debris and rehabilitating the ecosystem. Goldman sees potential for linking adjacent stretches to expand 10.4-acre Howell Branch Preserve. Apart from providing a forum to discuss possibilities such as that, he says a land trust can provide peace of mind to private citizens who would like to bequeath property for park space to the community: “Sometimes people are hesitant to leave their property to the city because priorities can change. That’s where a land trust comes in. That’s what that word means — trust.’’ Something else you can’t put a number on. Plan to come to the kickoff event and check out for more information. Michael McLeod is a contributing writer for Winter Park Magazine and an adjunct instructor in the English department at Rollins College.

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