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WELLINGTON JULY 2021

Bringing You The Best Of Wellington Since 2004

THE MAGAZINE

Health & Wellness

Wellington Master’s Swim Team JUST KEEP SWIMMING

Plus

Wellington Takes Home Third Let’s Move Championship Every Second Counts In The ER At Wellington Regional Big Milestone For Award-Winning Wellington Florist Enjoy Tasty Colombian Street Food At Los Quesudos


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Don’t assume you’re too young for rectal cancer Rectal cancer typically affects people later in life; however, physicians are noticing a puzzling trend of rectal cancer in younger patients. The median age for diagnosis has dropped from 67 years old to around 63 years old. And, an increasing number of young people – in their 30s and 40s – are being diagnosed with rectal cancer. Steven D. Wexner, MD, Chair of Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Department of Colorectal Surgery and Chair of the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer answers three key questions. What factors are contributing to this increase in younger patients?

Steven D. Wexner, MD

There are a few possible reasons but currently no definite answers. The theory is that rectal cancer comes from an accumulation of mutations which may become cancerous over time, and so we expect cancer risk to increase with age. The increased incidence in younger patients is not due to screening, as screening is not recommended until age 50. We also know that younger people with genetic risk factors, inflammatory bowel disease or ulcerative colitis have a higher risk. But those higher-risk groups are already factored in, so they aren’t contributing to the new trend. Our concern is the growing number of middle-aged adults with rectal cancer who don’t have these risk factors. “Unfortunately, younger patients and their healthcare providers ignore symptoms because of age. If there is a change in bowel habits – abdominal pain, rectal bleeding – ask your provider about a colonoscopy,” advises Dr. Wexner.

What are the warning signs, especially for people under 50? Adults of any age should see a primary care provider if they notice any rectal bleeding; a digital rectal exam or sigmoidoscopy may be performed in the office. A colonoscopy screens for both colon and rectal cancer. The American College of Gastroenterology recommends a first colonoscopy at age 50, or sooner if you have a family history of colon or rectal cancer, precancerous polyps or inflammatory bowel disease. African-American patients are advised to begin average risk screening at age 45. “With the prevalence of colorectal cancer in the US, the conversation is changing to now recommend screening at age 45 for all standard risk patients,” shares Dr. Wexner. What is the prognosis? The earlier it is diagnosed, the better. At Stage 1 or 2, if the cancer is limited to the wall of the bowel and has not spread to the lymph nodes, more than 90 percent of patients can be cured. If it progresses to Stage 3, it has spread to the lymph nodes, and the cure rate drops to about 67 percent. At Stage 4, the cancer has spread to the liver or lungs; only about 10 percent of these people are still alive in five years Regular colonoscopies can detect colon cancer early on. It’s important to follow your physician’s screening recommendations. To schedule a colonoscopy today, call 800.639.DOCTOR.

For an appointment with Dr. Wexner or with Dr. Lester Rosen at Cleveland Clinic Florida’s West Palm Beach location, visit ClevelandClinicFlorida.org/ColonCancer or call 800.639.DOCTOR.

A national leader in digestive care. Ranked among the top 25 programs in the U.S. ClevelandClinicFlorida.org/Rankings 877.7WE.CARE


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A-mazing Wellington Regional Medical Center earned an ‘A’ in The Leapfrog Group’s Spring 2021 Hospital Safety Grade

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July 2021

contents

Features

22

WELLINGTON TAKES HOME ITS THIRD COUNTYWIDE LET’S MOVE CHAMPIONSHIP Not even a global pandemic could stop Wellington residents from winning their third Let’s Move challenge, besting 378 teams from across Palm Beach County in the highly competitive countywide competition presented by the Palm Health Foundation and Digital Vibez by logging an impressive 26 million minutes of physical activity during March 2021. BY MELANIE OTERO

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WRMC EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT STANDS READY TO REACT AT A MOMENT’S NOTICE Dr.Adam Bromberg, medical director of the Wellington Regional Medical Center Emergency Department, stood outside of the hospital’s emergency room and watched as an emergency medical services (EMS) truck approached with its siren blaring and its lights rapidly flashing in an effort to clear the road and shave a few more precious seconds from the hospital arrival time of a critical patient.

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CLEVELAND CLINIC OFFERS SPECIALIZED CARE FOR YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM’S HEALTH Cleveland Clinic Florida is home to many experts in digestive health, which relies on a large, complex system of organs, including the liver, gallbladder and pancreas, to turn the food we eat into the nutrients and energy our bodies need to survive. These three organs are key accessories to digestive health. They do not move food through our bodies, yet their role in digestion is vital.

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NANCY TILLES HONORS BELOVED HEART SURGEON WITH COMMISSIONED PORTRAIT The late Dr. Malcolm Dorman, a beloved cardiac surgeon, was honored last month at a special reception at JFK Medical Center in Atlantis. Local artist Nancy Tilles was commissioned to paint a portrait of Dorman, which was unveiled June 15. Dorman was a world-renowned heart surgeon known for his research and pioneering work in repairing mitral valves.

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AWARD-WINNING WELLINGTON FLORIST CELEBRATES 30 YEARS IN THE COMMUNITY J.P.Varvarigos was born and raised in the floral business.As an adult, he runs Wellington Florist, recently voted the best florist in Palm Beach County.The store was opened 30 years ago by his parents, Dean and Melinda Varvarigos, and Wellington Florist has since grown into a community institution. BY M. DENNIS TAYLOR

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53

MOORCROFT CONSERVATION FOUNDATION IS BRIDGING AN EDUCATIONAL GAP When Charlie Moorcroft arrives home from his job as an equestrian trainer, his work for the day is not over. As he swings open the gate to his backyard, Moorcroft is greeted by the sounds of animals meowing, chirping, squealing and the low hum of temperature regulating lights. GEORGIE HAMMOND

on the cover Wellington Swim Club member Lenore Phillips. The club is featured in this month’s issue.

Departments

WELLINGTON SOCIAL SCENE

12 14 16 18 20

The Class Of 2021 Graduates From Wellington High School Palm Beach Central High School Celebrates The Class Of 2021 Garden Club Unveils Marker On Memorial Day In Wellington Wellington Art Society Hosts Board Installation Ceremony Wellington Comes Together To Honor Life Of Mason Phelps

53 WELLINGTON TABLE If you’re looking to discover the unique tastes of true Colombian street food, there is nowhere better than Los Quesudos. The Gutierrez family opened the restaurant with a goal to bring these unique Colombian flavors to the general public. BY CALLIE SHARKEY

56 WELLINGTON REAL ESTATE Presented by Sophie Ghedin, this month’s Wellington Real Estate feature visits a unique, 10-acre equestrian property on Collecting Canal Road in Loxahatchee Groves.

61 CELEBRATE WELLINGTON The Wellington Swim Club, home of the Wellington Marlins Master’s Swim Team, is a collection of swimmers of varying abilities that show how fitness can create a community. BY LENORE PHILLIPS

wellington the magazine | july 2021 9


from the

publisher DIVE INTO YOUR HEALTH & WELLNESS As we have learned over the past year, our health should be our top priority. Staying safe, healthy and well should be everyone’s goal.This issue, we explore different areas of health throughout our community. First, we congratulate the Village of Wellington and all its residents for winning the Let’s Move Challenge, besting 378 teams from across Palm Beach County in the countywide competition organized by the Palm Health Foundation. It was the third time that Wellington has won the title since 2018 — and it took a full community effort.We also visit the Wellington Aquatics Complex to see how the Wellington Swim Club has been helping its many adult members get and stay in shape. Checking in with area hospitals, we visit the Wellington Regional Medical Center Emergency Department, which uses a team effort to react at a moment’s notice. Recently named a Comprehensive Stroke Center,WRMC knows that seconds count when trying to save lives.There are now more options for cancer care in Palm Beach County thanks to Baptist Health South Florida’s integration of its programs at the Lynn Cancer Institute here in Palm Beach County and the Miami Cancer Institute. We also look at how Cleveland Clinic Florida offers specialized care for your digestive health. Next, we learn how local artist Nancy Tilles used her unique skill to honor the late cardiac surgeon Dr. Malcolm Dorman at JFK Medical Center. Also this month, we visit with J.P.Varvarigos and his mother, Melinda Varvarigos, of Wellington Florist. This award-winning community business recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. Meanwhile, Charlie Moorcroft is known as an equestrian trainer, but when he arrives home, he spends time with an entirely different menagerie of animals. This issue, we learn how the Moorcroft Conservation Foundation is bridging an educational gap. Finally, Wellington Table samples the tasty Colombian street food creations at Los Quesudos, while Wellington Real Estate visits a unique property with great potential as an equestrian facility. We hope you enjoy reading our annual Health & Wellness issue. As life returns to a familiar normalcy and our routines become reinstated, we remind you to stay vigilant in the new health habits you have developed during this pandemic to ensure that you and your family stay well. As we prepared to go to press with this issue, Wellington The Magazine learned of the passing of one of Wellington’s most generous business leaders, Neil Hirsch. He will be remembered for many things, but one for sure is his legacy and generosity that will continue to care for many children in our community under the roof of the Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington for many years to come. To all of our readers and advertisers, we wish you a summer of Health & Wellness!

Dawn Rivera

Dawn Rivera, Publisher

10 july 2021 | wellington the magazine

volume 18, number 7 JULY 2021

executive editor Joshua I. Manning

publisher

Dawn Rivera

senior graphic designer Stephanie Rodriguez

graphic designers Nancy Pobiak Yolanda Cernicky

account managers Betty Buglio Evie Edwards Joetta Palumbo

bookkeeping

Jill Kaskel Carol Lieberman

photography Abner Pedraza

contributors

Matthew Auerbach Meredith Burow Erin Davisson Denise Fleischman Georgie Hammond Melanie Kopacz Mike May Melanie Otero Lenore Phillips Callie Sharkey M. Dennis Taylor Deborah Welky

WELLINGTON Bringing You The Best Of Wellington Since 2004

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Barry S. Manning Wellington The Magazine is published monthly in Wellington, Florida. Copyright 2021, all rights reserved by Wellington The Magazine, LLC. Contents may not be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to refuse advertising. The publisher accepts no responsibility for advertisement errors beyond the cost of the portion of the advertisement occupied by the error within the advertisement itself. The publisher accepts no responsibility for submitted materials. All submitted materials subject to editing.


Put your care in our care

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wellington | social scene

PHOTOS BY DENISE FLEISCHMAN

THE CLASS OF 2021 GRADUATES FROM WELLINGTON HIGH SCHOOL

(Left) Senior Class President Sawyer Kuvin, Salutatorian Kieran Abesamis, Valedictorian Logan Castellanos and SGA President Zoe Leitner. (Right) VIPs Karen Whetsell, Michael Napoleone, Jay Webber, Tanya Siskind, Marcia Andrews, John McGovern, Carlene Millen and Valerie Haines on stage.

Wellington High School’s Class of 2021 graduated on Monday, June 7 during an in-person ceremony held at the South Florida Fairgrounds. Although modified to allow for social distancing, the ceremony included all the hallmarks of a traditional commencement. Led by Principal Cara Hayden and Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy II, it included speeches by valedictorian Logan Castellanos and salutatorian Kieran Abesamis.

(Left to right) Principal Cara Hayden and Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy II lead the procession; students march in during the processional; SGA President Zoe Leitner at the podium; Principal Cara Hayden addresses the graduates; Salutatorian Kieran Abesamis gives his address; and Valedictorian Logan Castellanos speaks to the graduates.

(Left to right) Senior Class President Sawyer Kuvin at the podium; Jack, Tanya and Scarlet Siskind; Alyssa Rigsby, Pat Salzano and Amber Rigsby with Maria Rigsby and Richard Gonzalez; Elizabeth Shelby-Davis and Takyra Porter celebrate the special day; and future Marine Jacob Perez with Marine Sgt. Joseph Isajiw.

(Left to right) Alejandro Castellon, Leslio Castellon, Mariana Echeverry, Alexandra Perez and Ivan Echeverry; Luis Lopez, Belcarel Gutierrez, Victoria Andueza, Roberto and Miranda Andueza, and Florangel Vera; Tayler, Jordan, Bryanna, Elaine and Howard Fallen celebrate after the ceremony; and Kyla Chamberlin with Angela Page-Camacho.

(Left to right) Makayla Bissaillon, Michael Kravecz, Trace Phillips, Ryan Bowling, Cruz Caro and Jarod Raghuraj; Arianna Merejo, Jacob Fink and Sydney Bennett; Alina, Travis, Vivi and Tony Nguyen; and new graduates Julia Croteau, Jolie Jacobs and Natalie Vitek.

12 july 2021 | wellington the magazine


wellington | social scene

PHOTOS BY CALLIE SHARKEY

PALM BEACH CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL CELEBRATES THE CLASS OF 2021

(Left) Students and faculty sit socially distanced in a space separate from guests. (Right) Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy II commends the resilience of the Class of 2021.

The students, faculty and families of Palm Beach Central High School came together on Tuesday, June 15 at the South Florida Fairgrounds to celebrate the Class of 2021. More than 700 seniors proudly wore their Palm Beach Central masks in addition to the typical caps and gowns. “This class is truly special,” Principal Darren Edgecomb said. “The strength and perseverance you showed truly prepared you to finish strong. This class has left us with an amazing legacy.”

(Left to right) Valedictorian Asha Patel gives her speech; Principal Darren Edgecomb with salutatorian Logan Rohack; Senior Class President Sonya Smith-Tembe led the class in the ceremony of the tassel; Principal Darren Edgecomb with Diego Mora on stage; and Matthew Lehman and Victoria Cannata both graduated in the top 20 in their class.

(Left to right) Graduates Alyssa Leong, Paola Soto, Coleen Peggs, Szander Brenner and Jack Berman; Denny Blanco celebrates with his family; Principal Darren Edgecomb presents Paola Soto with her diploma; and Valedictorian Asha Patel and Victoria Cannata with their diplomas.

(Left to right) Cassandra Colme with her mother Iterna and brother Richardson; Emily Vargas with her mother Eileen; graduate Abraham Gordon with Jadin Holmberg and Antoni Lutchman; Britney Nguyen with her parents Bau and Taylor; and Joshua Hanumansingh with his mother Dhammatie and brother Nicholas.

(Left to right) Curtis and Mary Etienne congratulate their daughter Shyla; Payton Gandrey, Michael and Ali Rosenberg with their son Tate, and Isabel Rauch; graduates Alexander Otarolla and Terrell Dyer; Angel Merlos, Miguel Pizano and Carlos Mayo; and Melanie Castro with David and Denton Comrie.

14 july 2021 | wellington the magazine


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Ryan Homes | Lennar D.R. Horton | Kenco Communities Materials are protected by copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property laws. All rights in these materials are reserved. All products and company names marked as trademarked (™) or registered (®) are trademarks of their respective holders. Copying, reproduction and distribution of materials without prior written consent of Freehold Communities is strictly prohibited. All information, plans, and pricing are subject to change without notice. This information does not represent a specific offer of sale or solicitation to purchase property within Arden. Models do not reflect racial preference.


wellington | social scene

PHOTOS BY CALLIE SHARKEY

GARDEN CLUB UNVEILS MARKER ON MEMORIAL DAY IN WELLINGTON

After a year off due to the pandemic, the Village of Wellington hosted its traditional Memorial Day observance on Monday, May 31 at the Wellington Veterans Memorial. In addition to the placing of wreaths honoring lost service members, the Wellington Garden Club unveiled a new permanent Gold Star Memorial marker, as a tribute to Gold Star families, whose loved ones paid the ultimate price defending the United States.

(Left to right) Veterans in attendance gather at the end of the ceremony; Garden Club representatives Carol Coleman and Barbara May unveil the Gold Star Memorial; and Councilwoman Tanya Siskind, Councilman Michael Drahos, Mayor Anne Gerwig, Vice Mayor John McGovern and Councilman Michael Napoleone with Wellington Garden Club President Maria Wolfe and Past President Jan Seagrave.

(Left to right) Adrianna Siena, a former Wellington Idol winner, sings the national anthem; Post 390 Commander Bill Bartels addresses those in attendance; Palm Beach County Clerk & Comptroller Joseph Abruzzo shares his thoughts on Memorial Day; Jim Napoli and Mayor Anne Gerwig place a wreath to honor the U.S. Army; the POW-MIA wreath is placed by Bill Bartels, Councilman Michael Drahos and his daughter Julia; and Councilwoman Tanya Siskind and veteran Henry Tocci pay their respects to the U.S. Marine Corps.

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The Addington at Wellington Green Post-Acute Rehab is a state-of-the-art Rehabilitation Center, with 120 private rooms available and one of Palm Beach County’s leading innovators in the development of coordinated rehabilitative services and recovery care management. We have a team of highly trained nurses and therapists that are dedicated in helping patients reach their highest level of function and independence. The Addington offers a long-list of Post-Acute Programs such as; Joint Replacement Therapy, Neurological Rehabilitation, COPD Management, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Arthritis Management, Stroke (CVA) Recovery and more. Assisted

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wellington | social scene

PHOTOS BY DENISE FLEISCHMAN

WELLINGTON ART SOCIETY HOSTS BOARD INSTALLATION CEREMONY

The Wellington Art Society’s installation dinner was held Friday, June 11 at Hurricane Dockside Grill with a tropical theme. The new board includes President Laura Jaffe, First Vice President Susan Mosely, Second Vice President Leslie Pfeiffer, Recording Secretary Marcia Greene, Corresponding Secretary Charles Moses,Treasurer Susan Oakes, and directors Lisa Karsai, Faye Ford, Sally Laub and Elaine Webber. Learn more about the organization at www.wellingtonartsociety.org.

(Left to right) Sandy Axelrod installs the incoming board members Faye Ford, Liza Karsai, Leslie Pfeiffer, Marcia Greene, Laura Jaffe, Sally Laub and Elaine Webber; incoming President Laura Jaffe with orchids for outgoing board members; Erica Kyle and Carolina King; and outgoing board members (L-R) Faye Ford, Carolina King, Erica Kyle, Laura Jaffe and Leslie Pfeiffer receive orchids.

(Left to right) Laura Jaffe was given a gift card from the members; Laura Jaffe gives Lynn Doyal an orchid; Liza Karsai, Leslie Pfeiffer and Sandy Axelrod; Faye Ford receives a gift of original artwork; and centerpiece winners Jean Howard and Sally Laub.

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18 july 2021 | wellington the magazine


wellington | social scene

PHOTOS COURTESY PHELPS MEDIA GROUP

WELLINGTON COMES TOGETHER TO HONOR LIFE OF MASON PHELPS

The staff of Phelps Media Group gather to salute the company’s founder.

Bonnie Jenkins, Tim Bolton and Julie Tannehill.

Ariel Weisman, Andrew Tripp and Kalin Payne with a cutout of Mason Phelps.

Charlie Moorcroft and Carrie Scharbo.

20 july 2021 | wellington the magazine

Lenore Phillips addresses the crowd.

On Tuesday, June 15, more than 175 people gathered, with another 1,500-plus joining via Facebook Live, to celebrate the life of Mason Phelps. Family and friends came together at the Golf House in the Palm Beach Polo & Country Club to share their individual memories and experiences with Phelps, a longtime leader in the equestrian community. The venue was beautifully decorated with photos and memorabilia of his many accomplishments, both riding and business ventures. There were some tears, but mostly smiles and laughter as everyone fondly acknowledged his influence and impact on their life. To learn more about the life of Mason Phelps, or donate to a charity he supported, visit www.masonphelpsjr.com.

Mason’s sister Evans Phelps (center) with Fred Taylor and family.

Phelps Media Group staff members Olivia Airhart, Emma Miller, Annan Hepner and Lauren Baker.

Irma Saenz and Hilda Porro.

Michael Taylor remembers his friend Mason Phelps.

Linda Ulma, Teddy Nuttall, Vivienne Munden and Stacie Simpkins with a cutout of Mason Phelps.


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WELLINGTON’S WINNING MOVES The Village Has Taken Home Its Third Let’s Move Championship From The Palm Health Foundation BY MELANIE OTERO

Not even a global pandemic could stop Wellington residents from winning their third Let’s Move challenge, besting 378 teams from across Palm Beach County in the highly competitive countywide competition by logging an impressive 26 million minutes of physical activity during March 2021. Presented by the Palm Health Foun-

dation and Digital Vibez Inc., Let’s Move invites residents to form teams and commit to exercising at least 30 minutes a day during the month of March. The highly competitive campaign has teams from municipalities, county organizations and other groups all vying for top prizes, which were awarded at a ceremony on April 16.

Hosted by the KVJ Show’s Virginia Sinicki at a live presentation at the South Florida Science Center & Aquarium, the Village of Wellington was named the winning 2021 Let’s Move team with the highest number of physical activity minutes. Wellington residents logged more than 40 percent of the total 59,472,053 minutes logged for the entire county

Gus Ponce, Ian Williams, Wellington Vice Mayor John McGovern, Markus Lockhart, Wil Romelus and Michelle Garvey at the Let’s Move awards ceremony.

22

july 2021 | wellington the magazine


— a record for the highest number of physical activity minutes in Let’s Move’s nine-year history. Wellington is no stranger to winning Let’s Move, taking home the championship title in 2018 and 2019.What’s even more remarkable is that the number of minutes in 2021 were more than twice the number of minutes logged in either of the previous years. “It took the whole community to win the award,” said Michelle Garvey, the village’s assistant director of community services.“To have so many people come together shows how important our residents believe it is to have a healthy community.We really appreciate them.” Building a culture of health was exactly the idea behind Let’s Move when it was first launched in 2012 by the Palm Health Foundation, Palm Beach County’s leading community foundation for issues relating to health. Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2010 Let’s Move national program to decrease childhood obesity, the foundation created the local challenge for adults and children to improve a variety of health issues through regular physical activity. The challenge promotes daily exercise as a way to combat illnesses like diabetes and heart disease, and strengthen brain health and life expectancy, among other benefits. “Let’s Move is about taking charge of our health as a community by integrating physical activity, nutrition and healthy behaviors into our daily lives, and having fun while doing it,” said Patrick McNamara, president and CEO of the Palm Health Foundation. “This is the campaign’s ninth year, and we could not be prouder of the amazing results,” added Wilford Romelus, founder of Digital Vibez. “This past year was full of unexpected challenges for everyone, but we came back stronger than ever.” With the pandemic limiting in-person events, Garvey and her team under

the direction of Community Services Director Paulette Edwards had to get creative to get — and keep — people motivated. The village’s instructors offered free classes, including aerobics, Zumba and dance classes through Zoom, giving everyone the ability to participate, from Wellington’s own 300 employees to seniors and youth. Community organizations and businesses from sports teams to private schools to LA Fitness joined in to rally members and contribute. For kids, the village partnered with the Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington to introduce new activities like Frisbee and teach football and soccer. A huge March Madness basketball competition brought kids out to the courts, and a dance club brought to the Wellington Amphitheater by Digital Vibez kept kids moving to the latest beat. To get as many young residents as possible participating in Let’s Move, Garvey’s team knew they couldn’t just wait for the kids to come to them.They needed to take fun activities out into the neighborhoods. Program coordinators Ian Williams and Gus Ponce were just the guys to do it through their “Super Fridays” program. Super Fridays began about three years ago as a way for Wellington to connect with youth by bringing activities to kids in their own neighborhoods. “When Ian and Gus show up, it’s time to come out of the house, put the electronics down and have fun,” Garvey said. For Let’s Move, it was a way to be sure all kids had access to the campaign and to continue opening doors to create relationships.

“It took the whole community to win this award.” — Michelle Garvey wellington the magazine | july 2021 23


(Above and below) The Village of Wellington used a variety of methods to make sure the entire community got involved in the Let’s Move challenge.

This lets them understand youth needs that the village could fulfill, such as tutoring, mentorships and scholarships to participate in programming. “We make an impact on the kids, and the kids make an impact on us,”Williams said.“Some of the youth we reach are caring for younger siblings and just need to know we’re there for them. That’s what it’s all about, giving them something to look forward to every day.” Another way the village cares for the community contributed to the Let’s Move championship. Every Tuesday during the month of March, 25 volunteers gathered at the Mall at Wellington Green to give away food to those in need, working with Feeding South Florida. The activity required quite a bit of physical activity, with volunteers running bags of groceries to more than 800 cars for the food distribution drive-through each week. “Between athletic programs and community service, we try our best to deliver on our health and wellness goals for village residents,” Garvey said. Giving the credit to residents for bringing home the Let’s Move trophy, Williams added,“We really want to thank 24 july 2021 | wellington the magazine

the community for being so willing.” The 2021 Let’s Move campaign was sponsored by the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Health Specialty Center, Valley

Bank, Wisehaupt, Bray Asset Management and the Quantum Foundation. For more info., visit www.letsmovepbc. org.


Wellington Regional was recently named a Comprehensive Stroke Center with the most advanced technology available to treat a stroke.

EVERY SECOND COUNTS

Dr. Adam Bromberg

Wellington Regional’s Emergency Department Stands Ready To React At A Moment’s Notice

Dr.Adam Bromberg, medical director of the Wellington Regional Medical Center Emergency Department, stood outside of the hospital’s emergency room and watched as an emergency medical services (EMS) truck approached with its siren blaring and its lights rapidly flashing in an effort to clear the road and shave a few more precious seconds from the hospital arrival time of a critical patient. Like a red blur, the truck pulled into the ambulance bay as first responders spilled out of the truck and shuttled the

patient through the doors to the waiting ER team inside.The hospital is full of specialized equipment and staff to provide emergent care for nearly any patient who arrives at the ER, but that is often the key word… arrives. Emergency care extends to the site of the patient, and EMS crews are seen as an extension of a hospital’s ER by extending lifesaving care from the doors and hallways of Wellington Regional Medical Center to the actual location of a critically sick or injured patient.These emergency providers walk into poten-

tially dangerous situations with a singular mission in mind — quickly find the patient, start lifesaving treatments and swiftly transfer the patient to the ER. Time. In an emergency, it is perhaps the most critical element.There is an ER expression, “time is brain.” The shorter the time from incident to medical intervention, the better the chance of a positive outcome. According to the American Heart Association, 1.9 million neurons can die per minute when a patient is having a stroke. That is 32,000 brain cells per second. wellington the magazine | july 2021 27


Stroke survivor Lucille Arcano with her tennis friends. (L-R) Anita Rizzo, Lucille Arcano, Shelly Danziger and Norma Scotland.

Irreversible damage to heart muscle can start as quickly as 30 minutes from the blockage of blood flow. Cells and tissue lost due to stroke can’t be replaced and do not recover. “Wellington Regional cares for emergency patients with a team approach,” Bromberg said. “It begins with the EMS team notifying the hospital of a life-threatening emergency patient en route, so our multidisciplinary team can assemble and be ready from the moment the patient enters the ER.Working collaboratively allows our medical team to be prepared for any circumstance and react rapidly to provide appropriate care for the patient. The faster we can begin appropriate treatment, the better the outcome for patients.” The announcement blares three times over the internal public address system: “Stroke Alert Emergency Room 28 july 2021 | wellington the magazine

Via Rescue.”Translation? There is an ambulance on its way with a suspected stoke patient. When the announcement goes out, staff from multiple specialties inside Wellington Regional, which was recently named a Comprehensive Stroke Center, immediately rush to the ER and await the patient. Since time can be so critical, the goal is to confirm the diagnosis as quickly as possible and transfer the patient to the appropriate unit inside the hospital for specialized care. “Our goal is to verify the stroke through a medical assessment, CT scan and an evaluation by neurology with the objective of beginning treatment as fast as possible,” Bromberg said.“It is critical to have the team waiting for the patient’s arrival, so we can begin the evaluation immediately and time is not lost.” One of the last thoughts Lucille Arcano remembered is moving to return

a serve in one of her standing Thursday doubles tennis matches. Suddenly, it felt like the racket was pulled from her hand, and then blackness as she crashed down on the court. She vaguely remembers one of her playing partners asking if she was OK, but she could not respond. Still unable to see her friends, she recalls one of them saying,“I think she had a stroke.” But Arcano remained silent. She had not been feeling very well for several days leading up to the doubles match. In fact, just the day before, her vision was a little impaired and she was dizzy, but she blamed it on something else. “I had been experiencing double vision the day before and was dizzy,” Arcano said. “I thought something was wrong with my sunglasses and that was causing the vision problems. I thought the dizziness was caused by my paroxysmal vertigo.”


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Arcano, who recently turned 74, said she still felt a little off on the day of her tennis match, but her vision had returned to normal. Because she was no longer seeing double, she decided to keep the tennis appointment with her friends.The avid athlete warmed up with no issues and then set up in her part of the court. The first ball of the match headed her way toward her forehand. Her memory is spotty after that… the brown color of her friend’s tennis outfit… an EMT asking her name… the Wellington Regional Interventional Radiology (IR) team getting her ready for her procedure… someone taking off her earrings in preparation for surgery. “The next thing I remember was when I woke up and saw that beautiful Dr. [Emilio] Lopez with his mask on and his twinkling eyes looking down on me,” Arcano said through tears. “I will never forget that face and those eyes.” Arcano had suffered a stroke. Specifically, she had a blockage of the left middle cerebral artery, the vessel that is primarily responsible for delivering blood to the left side of the brain.A clot in this area of the brain is potentially devastating. After the blockage was confirmed, she was sent to IR, where she had the clot removed by Lopez through a minimally invasive procedure. She was discharged from the hospital a few days later. “Her exceptional response has been remarkable,” Lopez said. “To go from a possibly debilitating stroke to playing tennis is phenomenal. It was a team effort, from the ER, IR, post-op and her care on the floor — everyone played a part in her outcome.” Since going home, Arcano has completed a few weeks of rehab to strengthen her right arm and leg and to work on her balance. After a loop recorder was installed to monitor her heart activity for atrial fibrillation, she was released with 30 july 2021 | wellington the magazine

Lucille Arcano is back to playing tennis, thanks to the team of experts at Wellington Regional.

“The next thing I remember was when I woke up and saw that beautiful Dr. [Emilio] Lopez with his mask on and his twinkling eyes looking down on me. I will never forget that face and those eyes.” — Lucille Arcano no restrictions. In fact, she returned to the tennis court about two months after her stroke and is actively playing tennis again, as well as playing golf, walking and working out in the gym. Arcano admits that she was a little nervous in her first tennis match after her stroke, but that is to be expected. She lost that match, but honestly, the outcome was irrelevant. Her return to the courts was enough of a victory for a woman who not that long before had lost her vision and could not respond to questions while lying on those very same courts. Her life is almost totally back to normal with the exception some difficulty writing, but she is practicing it every day, and her handwriting is getting better.

As a former dialysis nurse in Brooklyn, N.Y.,Arcano has had quite the life — a life that was saved by the multi-disciplinary team at Wellington Regional and the EMS crew who worked frantically to deliver her from the tennis court to the ER. Once she arrived at the hospital, her care team was made up of several medical specialties working together with the singular goal of saving Arcano’s life. “Dr. [Christopher] Hawk, one of the doctors involved in implanting the loop recorder, said,‘My hat’s off to Dr. Lopez. I can save a heart, but he saved your soul,’”Arcano added. Learn more about emergency services available at Wellington Regional Medical Center by visiting www. wellingtonregional.com/er.


We are happy to announce Former Chief Deputy of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office Michael Gauger has joined our firm as a senior paralegal/investigator. On behalf of our entire team, welcome!

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The Eugene M. & Christine E. Lynn Cancer Institute and the Miami Cancer Institute have joined forces to create one of the largest cancer programs in South Florida.

Cancer Care In Palm Beach County

JUST GOT BETTER The Lynn Cancer Institute and the Miami Cancer Institute are integrating programs as the key element of a further expansion of Baptist Health South Florida’s cancer care services. Joining forces, the combined program creates one of the largest cancer programs in South Florida. Together, both organizations make a powerful team, offering patients personalized treatment options with a multidisciplinary approach based on physicians’ clinical expertise, advanced technology and innovative clinical trials. The Lynn Cancer Institute is the largest provider of cancer care in Palm Beach County and one of the largest in Florida. The Miami Cancer Institute is Baptist Health’s cancer care anchor, of-

fering a full array of services, and is Florida’s only member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance — an alliance that encompasses collaboration in clinical trials and standards of care. The integration of the Lynn Cancer Institute and the Miami Cancer Institute will also allow for greater support of the planned expansion of the Lynn Cancer Institute, including new technology and the recent addition of cancer services at Bethesda Health City in Boynton Beach. With this expansion of services, Baptist Health is paving the way for new and better treatments that can help even more patients conquer and survive cancer. Cancer does not stop for COVID-19, and for that reason, the Lynn Cancer Institute and the Miami Cancer

Institute encourage patients to stay up to date with their cancer screenings. The new integrated programing is just one of Baptist Health South Florida’s recent expansions in services for cancer patients. The Lynn Cancer Institute also recently announced the opening of its newest outpatient radiation oncology location in Bethesda Health City. From the moment a patient receives a cancer diagnosis, Baptist Health South Florida experts are by your side, treating you with compassionate, individualized care.The team of physicians at Lynn Cancer Institute Radiation Oncology at Health City have more than 54 years of collective experience and will develop a targeted treatment plan that is best for you. wellington the magazine | july 2021 33


The Boynton Beach location now offers many of the same radiation oncology services and treatments found at other Baptist Health South Florida cancer care locations, including: IMRT/IGRT, 3D conformational therapy with RapidArc, CT stimulation, diagnostic imaging including PET and CT scans, electron therapy, high-dose

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rate brachytherapy, lung screening, nutrition and psychosocial services, and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). The Lynn Cancer Institute has several conveniently located radiation oncology centers, including at the Sandler Pavilion in Boca Raton at 701 NW 13th Street, Boca Raton (561-955-5966); Ra-

diation Oncology at Delray Beach at 16313 S. Military Trail, Delray Beach (561-955-7200); and the new Lynn Cancer Institute Radiation Oncology at Health City in Boynton Beach at 10301 Hagen Ranch Road, Suite A-960, Boynton Beach (561-374-5440). Learn more about the Lynn Cancer Institute at www.brrh.com.

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Cleveland Clinic Florida’s locations in Weston (left) and Wellington (right).

PROTECTING YOUR DIGESTION Cleveland Clinic Florida Offers Specialized Care For Your Digestive System’s Health Digestive health relies on a large, complex system of organs, including the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas, to turn the food we eat into the nutrients and energy our bodies need to survive. “When any one element of this intricate system fails, it can have major health consequences,” explained Dr. Conrad H. Simpfendorfer, director of The liver’s role in digestion is vital.

liver and pancreas surgery at Cleveland Clinic Florida. These three organs are key accessories to digestive health. The liver, gallbladder and pancreas do not move food through our bodies, yet their role in digestion is vital. The liver takes the raw materials absorbed by the intestine to make chemicals the body needs to function and detoxify potentially harmful chemicals that are ingested. The gallbladder stores bile produced by the liver and then releases it through bile ducts into the small intestine to help process fats. The pancreas secretes juices used to break down protein, fats and carbohydrates, as well as hormones to regulate blood sugar. Some of the most common digestive disorders involve this organ trio. More than four million Americans are diagnosed each year with liver disease, including cirrhosis and viral hep-

In addition to secreting hormones to regulate blood sugar, the pancreas produces enzymes to break down protein, fats and carbohydrates.

atitis. Another 20 million are affected by gallstones and other biliary diseases. Meanwhile, pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancers, will claim an estimated 47,000 lives in the United States this year. “Because of their tremendous impact on overall health, liver, biliary and pancreatic diseases require immediate and expert medical care,” Simpfendorfer cautioned. This is where the experts at Cleveland Clinic Florida come in. wellington the magazine | july 2021 37


The digestive health specialists at Cleveland Clinic Florida are highly skilled in treating a full range of common to complex liver, pancreatic and biliary diseases. This expertise recently earned Cleveland Clinic Florida the Center of Excellence designation from the National Pancreas Foundation for the care of patients with pancreatic cancer, a high standard of care met by only four centers statewide. “We have a multidisciplinary team of specialists at Cleveland Clinic focused on treating the whole patient,” said Dr. Mayank Roy, a board-certified general surgeon specializing in liver and pancreas surgery.“Our tumor board, for example, brings together experts from a number of specialties to collaborate on treatment plans for patients with cancer designed to achieve the best outcomes.” As a high-volume center for minimally invasive hepato-pancreato-biliary surgeries, the fellowship-trained surgeons at Cleveland Clinic Florida have tremendous experience in advanced surgical techniques. “Today we can perform many challenging surgeries laparoscopically, using small incisions instead of traditional open surgery, which greatly benefits our patients,” explained Roy, who works closely with colleagues at Cleveland Clinic Martin Health and Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital to offer Treasure Coast patients access to this innovative care.“And we are one of the few centers in the state using robotic-assisted surgery to treat digestive diseases.” Cleveland Clinic is a leader in fluorescence-guided surgery, using a fluorescent dye during procedures to better see anatomic structures. 38 july 2021 | wellington the magazine

“Because of their tremendous impact on overall health, liver, biliary and pancreatic diseases require immediate and expert medical care.” — Dr. Conrad Simpfendorfer, Director of Liver and Pancreas Surgery Cleveland Clinic Florida Dr. Conrad H. Simpfendorfer


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Welcome Home to Wellington Escape the crowds in our Great Hometown Pristine parks and horse trails lead to endless adventures Events & Entertainment move you to a unique rhythm Top-rated schools, safe neighborhoods, and family-oriented values offer an unsurpassed quality of life

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“We have a multidisciplinary team of specialists at Cleveland Clinic focused on treating the whole patient. Our tumor board, for example, brings together experts from a number of specialties to collaborate on treatment plans for patients designed to achieve the best outcomes.” — Dr. Mayank Roy, Board-Certified General Surgeon Specializing in Liver and Pancreas Surgery

Dr. Mayank Roy

“This advanced imaging technique allows surgeons to remove diseased tissue more precisely and preserve healthy tissue,” Simpfendorfer said. “It can dramatically reduce the risk of complications associated with minimally in-

vasive gallbladder removal, one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States.” Cleveland Clinic Florida has an office in Wellington at 2789 S. State Road 7. To schedule an appointment

with a digestive health specialist at Cleveland Clinic Florida, including Dr. Mayank Roy, who sees patients in Palm Beach County, call (877) 463-2010 or visit www.clevelandclinicflorida.org/ digestive.

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A PAINTING WITH HEART Local Artist Nancy Tilles Honors Beloved Heart Surgeon With Commissioned Portrait The late Dr. Malcolm Dorman, a beloved cardiac surgeon, was honored last month at a special reception at JFK Medical Center in Atlantis. Local artist Nancy Tilles was commissioned to paint a portrait of Dorman, which was unveiled at the event on June 15. Dorman was a world-renowned heart surgeon, adored by his peers and patients alike. As the medical director of cardiac surgery, he founded and directed the Valvular Heart Institute at JFK Medical Center. He was known for his research and pioneering work in repairing mitral valves using minimally invasive techniques. Besides his innovative techniques and educational dedication, Dorman also was recognized for his compassion for his patients and earned numerous awards and accolades over the years. Dorman considered the Patient’s Choice Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2014, as well as the Compassionate Doctor Recognition Award in 2013 and 2014, to be among his greatest achievements. Dorman, who passed away March 26, was dedicated to ensuring that his patients received the best care possible, often staying in a patient’s room long after performing an exhausting surgery, in case he was needed. Despite

Artist Nancy Tilles with her completed portrait of the late Dr. Malcolm Dorman. The portrait was unveiled last month and hangs in the cardiac wing of the hospital.

his incredible talent for saving lives, he remained a humble man who said that it was God who used his hands to work medical miracles. Tilles, a longtime member of the Wellington Art Society, presented her commissioned oil painting of Dorman

at the June reception hosted by the hospital. “I enjoyed painting Dr. Dorman,” she said.“His kind spirit is what I most wanted to capture.” Tilles took care to present Dorman in a way that showed his unique personality. wellington the magazine | july 2021 41


“I enjoyed painting Dr. Dorman. His kind spirit is what I most wanted to capture. The photograph was chosen by his coworkers for the way it highlighted his personality. I isolated him and painted a light blue background reminiscent of the sky with hints of gold to create glow. I am honored that the painting will hang at the cardiac wing of the hospital.” — Nancy Tilles

“The original picture I received was a group shot taken in an operating room with the large industrial lights behind them,” Tilles said. “The photograph was chosen by his coworkers for the way it highlighted his personality. I isolated him and painted a light blue background reminiscent of the sky with hints of gold to create glow. I am honored that the painting will hang at the cardiac wing of the hospital.” Tilles is known for her oils and portraits, which hang in public and private collections throughout the country. She exhibits her work in nationally recognized art shows across Florida.Along with her portrait work, Tilles has created bodies of work representing flowers, underwater scenes and tropical art in mural-sized triptychs. “I learned how to draw and paint by watching my father sketch,” she said.“I have always had a need to create a likeness of a person at their best. Besides

painting people, I am presently deciphering patterns in nature and playing with the idea of how we see human form in so many different subjects.” Tilles is presently teaching painting to adults at Easel Art Supply and will be teaching at the City of Palm Beach Gardens in the future. She is passionate about sharing her love of painting. Tilles is also an active member of the Wellington Art Society, whose members consist of dedicated professional artists, up and coming artists, art lovers and supporters. The nonprofit charitable organization is open to artists of all mediums and patrons of the arts, allowing both local and regional artists to display their artwork in local galleries, interact with other artists and serve the community through their art. Learn more about Nancy Tilles at www.nancytilles.com. For more information on the Wellington Art Society, visit www.wellingtonartsociety.org.

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BUSINESS IS BLOOMING Award-Winning Wellington Florist Celebrates 30 Years In The Community BY M. DENNIS TAYLOR

J.P. Varvarigos was born and raised in the floral business. As an adult, he runs Wellington Florist, recently voted the best florist in Palm Beach County. The third generation in the business, his grandfather was a florist in Queens, N.Y. His parents, Dean and Melinda Varvarigos, met as young adults in Fort Lauderdale while working for Buning the Florist. After their marriage, they ran their own shop for a decade before moving up to Palm Beach County. The couple opened a small shop in Wellington 30 years ago, and Wellington Florist has since grown into a community institution. “We moved to Wellington when there were still cows in open fields,” Melinda recalled. “When my husband came up to look at the property, he saw someone ride their horse up to the Burger King to get lunch.” They were excited to learn more about the fledging community. “We knew immediately that this was where we wanted to be,” she said. “It has grown so much over the years.” Melinda, who has earned the highest accreditation a florist can achieve from the American Institute of Floral Designers, is semi-retired nowadays and chooses to work only during very busy rush periods. Dean, one of the founders of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, passed away in 2017.

Wellington Florist owner J.P. Varvarigos with a European hand-tied bouquet. wellington the magazine | july 2021 45


The award-winning staff at Wellington Florist brings a “can-do” attitude that puts serving the customers first.

Yet that small floral business they established has continued to grow. “We have doubled in size and volume about every five years,” said J.P. Varvarigos, who has been running the shop for the last decade. “Today, we have more square footage devoted to coolers than

the entire size of that first shop.” Those coolers hold the supplies of favorites and exotic flowers the shop has standing orders for each week, replenishing and maintaining an extensive and reliable inventory. With meticulous care given to the

reception and handling of the stable inventory, they also expect to accommodate large, last-minute orders and can fill them with incredibly short notice. What might take a smaller competitor days to source, Wellington Florist is likely to have in stock.

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“We take the temperature of all the flowers when they are received to ensure they have not been mishandled and gotten hot, and we are known for rejecting and sending back any substandard flowers,” Varvarigos said. “Our vendors appreciate that we have standing orders all year round, so we get their best supplies first.They know they can’t get away with sending us anything but the best. In last year’s shortage of flowers, we were not even affected.The vendors supplied us first.” Varvarigos said that the freshest inventory is handled by an expert staff with “can-do attitudes,” as the business offers great careers with a positive work/life balance — not just jobs to its 14 employees. “You get what you pay for. We ‘share the wealth’ so to speak, even for entry level positions… Our personnel are happy and not looking for something else. That equals retention,” he explained. The thing that really sets Wellington Florist apart is its seven-day guarantee. “There are no questions asked, no chiding that you must not have changed the water, or queries about how close to the sunlight the arrangement was placed. Just zero liability, never any buyer’s remorse,” Varvarigos said. “Even if they were surprised that they didn’t like the smell or the yellow wasn’t the shade they were expecting. The staff loves it because all they have to do is say, ‘We are sending a replacement.’And it is a policy that is so worth it for customer and employee satisfaction.” Nevertheless, the number of replacements going out represent just a tiny fraction of orders. The business has always been active with charitable donations and supportive of area seniors.“We like to give back to the community with birthday arrangements and donations,” Varvarigos said.

The business has corporate standing orders for funeral homes, law firms, doctor’s offices and well-heeled, sometimes celebrity clients. It takes a special pride in every floral arrangement the designers create. “Every arrangement — even a standard order — has a premium flower in it that sets it off,” Varvarigos said. Varvarigos added that now that the pandemic has waned, he expects to be doing many events that were canceled last year. “We took the time to completely revamp our web presence and to upgrade our storefront online,” he said. “We try to have a huge selection of up to 200 products available online for same day delivery.” The excellent products, reliable service and unswerving dedication to customer satisfaction all blend to explain why Wellington Florist recently earned the business of the year award in the floral niche by the readers of the Palm Beach Post. “We are constantly sourcing flowers, getting better all the time,” Varvarigos said. With future plans to expand the size of the facility, Varvarigos is also working to get a liquor license so their arrangements can include a bottle of champagne. Wellington Florist is located at 13889 Wellington Trace in the Wellington Marketplace shopping plaza. For more info., call (561) 333-4441 or visit www.wellingtonflorist.com.

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IT STARTS WITH A CONVERSATION The Moorcroft Conservation Foundation Is Bridging An Educational Gap In Wellington STORY AND PHOTOS BY GEORGIE HAMMOND

When Charlie Moorcroft arrives home from his job as an equestrian trainer, his work for the day is not over.As he swings open the gate to his beautiful backyard, Moorcroft is greeted by the sounds of animals meowing, chirping, squealing and the low hum of temperature regulating lights. To visitors, the sight of the massive animal enclosures set upon his lush grass is enough to make your jaw drop, but for Moorcroft, it’s just another day of doing what he loves from the comfort of his home — all right in the heart of Wellington. Moorcroft’s journey with animals began as a child, growing up riding at a local stable where he learned the ins and outs of taking care of and riding horses. Beyond horses, his innate interest in all animals was apparent from the start, often visiting local livestock shows as a child. He would pick out ducks, geese, pheasants, rabbits and other animals to keep at his neighbor’s farm, where he worked for them to live because of his mother’s “no-animals-in-the-house” policy. However, Moorcroft never imagined that his love for animals would one day be echoed across the world with the help of his own nonprofit organization, the Moorcroft Conservation Foundation.

Charlie Moorcroft of the Moorcroft Conservation Foundation examines a pancake tortoise.

“I have had animals on and off my entire life. But being in the equestrian industry, my job never let me be in one place long enough to really give them the life they deserve. In 2006, my business changed in a way that allowed me to move to Wellington full time, and so I was able to start slowly, adding more animals back into my life,” Moorcroft said. “Today, I have more than 16 species of

turtles, tortoises, skunks, birds, maras, cats and rabbits, all in my backyard as a part of my own collection of exotic, critically endangered and protected species.” Moorcroft’s wide array of animals that once only fulfilled his personal passion are now gaining even more importance under his care, serving as educational ambassadors for the Moorcroft Conservation Foundation. wellington the magazine | july 2021 49


(Below) Charlie Moorcroft teaches a riding lesson at his farm in Wellington.

Charlie Moorcroft and Louise Serio share information about the turtles with visitors.

Established in November 2020 with a mission of introducing children and adults to global conservation issues, the nonprofit organization is inspiring people, many of whom have had the pleasure of meeting Moorcroft’s animals, to make a difference and assist in raising funds to support collaborative organizations. “We started the foundation just as a way to bring awareness and real-life experiences to people within and beyond our community here in Wellington,” Moorcroft said. “Our goal is really to bridge the gap between kids and education, and also bring funds to other organizations that we trust so that they can also provide opportunities for kids Charlie Moorcroft comforts a skunk.

50 july 2021 | wellington the magazine

to be involved on a local, national and global level.” As an extension of the foundation, Moorcroft’s diverse collection of animals provides people the opportunity to learn more about the meaning and importance of conservation through hands-on experiences and Moorcroft’s knowledge. Four large, outdoor enclosures, set within the confines of his spacious backyard, make for the perfect up-close encounter with larger animals, such as the cherry head red-footed tortoise, which loves to be fed bananas and hibiscus flowers. In a temperature-regulated room off the house, Moorcroft keeps a variety of turtles and tortoises in environments that best suit their needs, and there’s even an incubation system for the eggs they lay. As children and adults interact with and hold each animal, Moorcroft rattles off his knowledge of the species, never missing a detail and keeping his audience engaged as they watch and learn from both the animals and Moorcroft. “We really like when people come and visit, talk about the animals, meet them and talk about conservation. We want people to understand that these animals need our help,” Moorcroft said.

“We work full time, and this is our home, so it’s not a public facility and there is no admission, but we do accept donations for the foundation and other organizations that we work closely with. But whenever possible, we love having people over to meet the animals and create conversation.” Through Moorcroft and the foundation’s two other Wellington-based board members, Louise Serio and Holly Caristo, and Executive Director Geoff Teall, the Moorcroft Conservation Foundation has raised and donated funds to conservation organizations around the world, such as the TurtleRoom, the Cloud Foundation, Refuge des Tortues, the Equus Survival Trust, the Wolf Conservation Center and Florida Skunk Rescue, fulfilling the foundation’s mission on a global scale, while Moorcroft continues to love, care for and share his animals with those who visit his home. “It all starts with a conversation. If you can’t talk about it, then you can’t do anything about it. So, my hope is to really just get the conversation started about conservation,” Moorcroft said. “Whether you come and meet my animals, or if you simply hear about us online, my wish is that it inspires you to dig deeper, do some research and see how you can help animals in your local community and beyond.” To learn more about the Moorcroft Conservation Foundation, visit www. moorcroftconservationfoundation. org.


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COLOMBIAN STREET FOOD

wellington | table

New Baby Back Rib Burger The Latest Colombian Creation At Los Quesudos

STORY AND PHOTOS BY CALLIE SHARKEY

The true passion of any foodie is the desire to find authentic and original flavors. And if you’re looking to discover the unique tastes of true Colombian street food, there is nowhere better than Los Quesudos in Royal Palm Beach. With the wide range of backgrounds and cultures in the area, Los Quesudos stands alone with its focus on popular Colombian street foods. The Gutierrez family opened the restaurant with a goal to bring these unique Colombian flavors to the general public. Want to really eat like a local? Then order something not on the regular menu! Just last month, the team at Los Quesudos introduced the Costi Quesuda — the baby back rib burger. This hardy, satisfying burger will change the way you view street food forever. The tender, boneless baby back ribs are smothered in cheese and combined with coleslaw and cooked onions, on a bed of crunchy potato strings and a slice of green tomato. Bringing forth such a unique combination was a hard sell to the family, according to restaurant owner and Costi Quesuda creator Ivan Gutierrez. “It was a fight with my family about that dish, because I was pushing to get it out, and they wouldn’t let me,” Gutierrez recalled. “So, one day I just decided to sneak out, get the ribs and make one anyway.We tried it and everybody liked it. They really loved it because the ribs are so good.”

(Clockwise from top left) The Veggie Quesuda is a plant-based burger smothered in cheese on a bed of freshly made coleslaw, grilled onions, sauces and a slice of green tomato topped with crunchy shredded potatoes; the Mixto Especial features chopped beef and chicken, bacon, lettuce, corn, shredded potato chips, cheese, Colombian sauces and a quail egg; the Costi Quesuda features tender, boneless baby back ribs smothered in cheese and combined with coleslaw and cooked onions, on a bed of crunchy potato strings and a slice of green tomato; the Cebolludo is a small hot dog with lot of onions and diced green tomatoes; the Doble Quesuda Mix is a beef burger paired with a fillet of white meat chicken, cheese, bacon, coleslaw, a slice of green tomato, grilled onions, special sauces and shredded potato chips; and the Quesudo is a foot-long hot dog covered in cheese, bacon, coleslaw, shredded potato chips, grilled onions, topped with a perfect little quail egg and colorful sauces. wellington the magazine | july 2021 53


The Los Quesudos team with owner Ivan Gutierrez and his family members.

Gutierrez sees the restaurant and its accompanying food truck business as the realization of a dream to bring something unique and different to his customers. With this latest dish, he knew people liked ribs and wanted to incorporate the Colombian flavors.

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“All those flavors together is amazing, and since we launched the burger, it has been kind of crazy,” Gutierrez said. His daughter Camila wasn’t so sure the baby back rib burger would be successful, but she gives credit to her father’s creativity and tenacity.

“We thought it was going to be this huge and messy thing, and he kind of went off on his own and built it,” she said.“He made his idea come to life.” Gutierrez’s wife Juliana wasn’t sure about the concept for the Costi Quesuda being worth the work, considering there are so many components to the dish, but head chef Camilo Muñoz has found a way to execute it in a way that still works as original, hand-held street food. “I recommend the Costi Quesuda with fries or bananas,” Juliana said.“It’s a lot of work, but it is so good, and people love it. Like our other dishes, it comes with four bonus flavors on the side — a pink sauce, a cilantro sauce, a pineapple sauce and a garlic sauce.” Los Quesudos takes pride in its ingredients being fresh and light, which keeps the baby back rib burger from being too heavy for a daytime meal. “Everything is local. We have a good

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wellington | table relationship with distributors. We bring the ideas from Colombia and make everything here in house.The coleslaw, we don’t buy it, we make the coleslaw here in the kitchen,”Gutierrez said.“We do everything from scratch, start to finish.The salsas, the pink sauce, the cilantros, the garlic sauce — we do everything here. When you come here, and want a burger, you know that it’s not precooked. Everything is made fresh.Always.” Los Quesudos offers a wide variety of Colombian street food ranging from burgers and hot dogs to maicitos and desgranados (corn-based dishes popular in Colombia).There are also vegetarian options and Colombian desserts, so no one goes home hungry. The restaurant is open seven days a week, Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.The Los Quesudos food truck can also be found at many local events and the upcoming

The restaurant serves up several traditional Colombian desserts.

green markets in West Palm Beach. Catering services are also available. There is a dine-in option at the restaurant, or you can order your street food to go through delivery services such as Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash and Postmates. Carryout is available by

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ordering online. Keep an eye out for the Los Quesudos app coming soon. Los Quesudos is located at 9864 Southern Blvd. in the plaza with Home Depot. For more info., call (561) 3318114 or visit www.losquesudosusa. com.

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Four-Stall Barn: Included is an existing four-stall barn, along with an adjacent tack room and small riding arena nearby. However, there is plenty of land to add additional equestrian amenities.

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Riding Arena: The unique property includes this small riding ring, along with the existing four-stall barn with a tack room.


wellington | real estate

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Just Minutes From WEF & AGDF, This Property Has Great Potential As An Equestrian Facility PHOTOS COURTESY SOPHIE GHEDIN

Just minutes from the heart of Wellington’s equestrian community, this unique equestrian property on Collecting Canal Road in Loxahatchee Groves is almost 10 acres, divided into four lots with three houses of about 990 square feet each — perfect for the grooms and barn manager. Presently, all three are rented and make great investment properties.The back of the property features easy access with a private entrance. It includes a large field and a four-stall barn, with a tack room and a small ring. Beyond that, the property has almost six acres of flat land with a pond, allowing potential new owners to build their own barn and ring for dressage or show jumping — or even both!

Aerial View: This 10-acre property is divided into four lots, with three 990-squarefoot houses and a field complete with a four-stall barn, tack room and small ring. Beyond that are six acres of flat land with a pond, ready to build.

Living Room: This comfortable living room is in one of the three existing houses. One of Three Houses: One of the three small houses on the 10-acre property. All three are It’s a perfect living room for a groom or barn manager to come home to.

currently rented and provide great investment income. wellington the magazine | july 2021 57


wellington | real estate

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JUST KEEP SWIMMING

Members of Wellington Swim Club with founding coach Patrick Billingsley.

Wellington Master’s Swim Team Provides Opportunity For Adults To Gather And Thrive BY LENORE PHILLIPS

One of the perks of living in Florida is the ability to be outside and active all 12 months of the year. Activities range from lounging at the beach to being an athlete at any age. Many residents of Wellington are members of a local running club, cycling club, softball teams and volleyball teams. Another team that is lesser known, but equally thriving for adult participants is the Wellington Swim Club (WSC), home of the Wellington Marlins Master’s Swim Team. This team of swimmers of varying abilities and goals is representative of the power of fitness to create a strong community with outstanding opportunities.

The Wellington Master’s Swim team has been a part of the Wellington Aquatics Complex since 2015. The program was established as an affiliate of the United States Masters Swimming Association and is geared toward the adult swimmer. The Wellington Marlins are just one of hundreds of such programs across the United States, with two teams in Palm Beach County alone. While the word “masters” may sound intimidating, it should not. Many of these groups, WSC included, offer introductory programs for adults who are learning to swim for the first time, as well as swimmers who have been

competing at a high level from childhood. The program offers coached workouts six days a week from head coach Lina Bot, and an array of assistant coaches. Over the years, the Wellington Swim Club has gone through several iterations. The Marlins team was organized in 2019 by coach Patrick Billingsley. With the motto “Show Up, Swim, Have Fun,” WSC built its community with a strong mixture of top competitive swimmers, triathletes, open water swimmers and non-swimmers looking for a way to expand their fitness horizons. wellington the magazine | july 2021

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celebrate | wellington

(Left) Wellington Swim Club teammates practicing during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Right) The program allows adult swimmers to socialize and stay fit.

“I had been a swim and triathlon coach for the better part of a decade when I decided to start a master’s team in Wellington,” said Billingsley, now the team’s former head coach. “I knew that we had some very competitive swimmers in the area, and we had a topnotch facility at the Wellington Aquatics Complex, so I decided to establish a team and see what would happen.” Almost immediately, it became a vibrant program. The team would prac-

tice from 5 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, and eventually added a weekend practice day, as well as lunchtime practices for those not interested in being up before the sun. The team continued its steady growth and morphed into a recognizable player in the local athletic community, as well as a force to be reckoned with on the state and national competitive scenes. During the COVD-19 pandemic, the program was forced to hit the pause

button. The swimmers stayed in touch with one another on a private Facebook group dedicated to the team and even shared exercise plans so that collectively, they could stay in shape until the pool could safely re-open. Through hard work by the coaching staff and the strict safety measures put in place by the Village of Wellington and the management of the aquatics complex, swimmers were able to return to the pool deck in May 2020.

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The strength of the return came as a surprise to many on the team as new faces emerged in their community. After the forced confinement due to the pandemic, many people were looking for a safe, outdoor activity that also allowed them to be around other people. “Swimming is a unique sport because you are always competing against yourself first and your teammates second, but you also act as a team because you are working out closely with people who are similar in speed and stamina to you,” Billingsley said. “The camaraderie that emerges in a swim team is so special because everyone feels like they are struggling in training and succeeding in improving their fitness together. It creates a completely unique and very tight bond. The pandemic only strengthened that in our team. It was really uplifting, considering the stress everyone was experiencing at the time.” Besides the changes as a result of the new normal created by the pandemic, there were also changes in the coaching staff. Billingsley decided to step back from the program so that he could focus more time on his growing family, and Bot took over the role as head coach. She has spent the better part of the last 16 years teaching the fundamentals of swimming to age group swimmers as part of the Wellington Aquatics 64 july 2021 | wellington the magazine

Complex staff and has been teaching competitive swimming for the last two years. Assuming the role of head coach of the master’s program was a change of pace for her professionally but one that she was eager to grow into. “I love being a part of the swimmers’ progress and helping them to reach their individual goals,” Bot said. “What drew me to working with the master’s team is how inclusive it is. The team acts as a family, and everyone is so positive in how they push one another. This support system is especially meaningful during COVID-19 times. It also makes coming to the pool deck every day very positive and inspiring.” In 2021, the team is focused on expanding its membership to include more swimmers and returning to competition. Through Bot’s directive, the team has expanded the number of coached workouts and opportunities for competition in Florida. There is hope that with Olympic competition coverage set to begin this month, the triumphs in the pool on the international stage will inspire even more new swimmers to follow the team’s guiding principles of “Show Up, Swim, Have Fun!” If you are interested in becoming involved with the Wellington Marlins Master’s Swim Team, visit www. wellingtonswimclub.com.


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WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE – July 2021  

July 2021 ON THE COVER Wellington Swim Club member Lenore Phillips. The club is featured in this month’s issue. | Wellington Takes Home Its...

WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE – July 2021  

July 2021 ON THE COVER Wellington Swim Club member Lenore Phillips. The club is featured in this month’s issue. | Wellington Takes Home Its...

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