Town-Crier Newspaper April 19,2024

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Warm, Welcoming Environment For Pets

At Puppy Cuts Pet Spa

Nestled in the heart of the western communities is Puppy Cuts Pet Spa, a grooming salon owned and operated by Debra Hornfeldt and Denise Catalano. With a combined history of grooming expertise spanning more than three decades, Hornfeldt and Catalano have cultivated a warm and welcoming environment for pets and their owners. Page 7

Wellington Garden Club Hosts A Tour Of Five Local Horse Farms

The Wellington Garden Club hosted a self-guided tour of five unique horse stable locations on Saturday, April 6. The locations taking part in the tour were Mida Farms, Helgstrand Dressage USA, the Santa Rita Polo Farm, River Run Farm and Eagle Tree Farm. Guests enjoyed refreshments, vendors, self-guided tours and a raffle. The raffle included a carriage ride at Mida Farms with champion Clydesdale horses. Proceeds will go to support the club’s projects. Page 16

Reconfigured Wellington Village Council Hears Report

From Local State Legislators

Village Council learned on Tuesday, April 9.

“It’s disheartening to hear that,” Mayor Michael Napoleone said about the homeowners’ insurance issue. He noted that when residents complain about insurance hikes up to 45 percent, he responds that local governments have little power on that issue, and they need to talk to folks who serve in Tallahassee. State Sen. Lori Berman (D-District 26), whose district includes

Wellington, said the $117 billion state budget includes $500,000 for a sheriff’s substation in the village. It is one of many budget components that will not be finalized until the governor has reviewed them with a veto pen that could cross out pieces of it. One regret she cited in the session that ended in March was that lawmakers took no substantial action on double-digit rate increases in property insurance bills, with leadership arguing that enough has been done in the past. “We’ll see,” Berman said. “They said things are getting better, and they think it will level out, but leveling out is different than going down.”

State Rep. Katherine Waldron (D-District 93) expressed concern about a bill that further rolls back municipal and county regulations on vacation rentals, by nullifying local rules enacted in the last decade in favor of statewide codes. Opponents fear it weakens attempts to curb abuses at rentals that disturb neighborhoods and are urging a veto by the governor. “There has been a lot of drama

District Officials: New Elementary School Near Arden To Open In 2025

begin in May, said Roby DeReuil of Moss & Associates Construction, which is handling the project. Plans call for walls to start going up in August and the roof to go on in December.

There will be a separate construction entrance for the project off Southern Blvd./State Road 80 west of the main entrance to Arden, he said.

While the timeline is aggressive, the school district’s familiarity with Moss, which has done several recent school projects for the district, gives leadership confidence that it can be achieved, said David Dolan, chief of facilities management for the school district.

Senior Vice President John Carter said during a wide-ranging discussion about the city his company created in 2016 out of a struggling orange grove.

“Every community I’ve ever worked in, the transportation system always was a concern,” said Carter, who grew up in Palm Beach County but previously handled projects in California and Texas. “There’s not enough or too much.”

It was first reported by the TownCrier in January that Minto was in talks with Palm Beach County about constructing a 60th Street North extension from 140th Avenue

cross Pierson Road to get to and from show events, said Gary Schatz, urban program and project leader for TJKM Transportation Consultants. His group is working with Wellington to present trafficsafety options to the Wellington Village Council in May and June.

“You’ve got riders who are mounted, who are dismounted, who are on motorcycles or electric scooters or a golf cart,” Schatz said. “They’re a whole mix out there.”

No car versus horse crashes were recorded in official data for Wellington from 2013 through 2022, he said. But plenty of other collisions involving vehicles,

county are ongoing. He characterized them as “a discussion more than a negotiation” centering around the possibility that construction costs could be deducted from some $30 million that Minto owes as part of a $52 million proportional share agreement signed with the county in 2014. “There’s no time limit that we’re under,” he said. “The county is being mindful and thoughtful about the issue… [but Minto] may be See CARTER, page 4

cyclists and pedestrians claimed the lives of 36 people and left 295 seriously injured on village roads. Dialing that down to zero may seem difficult or virtually impossible, officials acknowledge, but they argue it is a more defensible goal than shrugging and allowing some “acceptable” number of deaths or injuries.

Official crash numbers don’t always capture everything that happens, Schatz said. They do not include incidents that for one reason or another were never documented in, say, a formal sheriff’s office report, or near misses, or times when people avoided harm but sensed troubling risk.

set next fall,

told those gathered in the Binks Forest cafeteria.

“We’re pushing forward for [construction] to happen as soon as possible,” said Campbell, noting that school officials have reshuffled construction priorities due to overcrowding at the Wellington school. Binks Forest was built in 1999 with a capacity for 1,206 students. Current enrollment is 1,238, Campbell said, and without relief is projected to top 1,400 in the next several years.

“This is going to be absolutely marvelous,” District 6 School Board Member Marcia Andrews said of the new school. “The teachers and principal will be the best and the brightest.” Construction is expected to

The building will be three stories, 95,900 square feet and include multiple playgrounds, said Juan Socorro, project manager for the Miami-based Zyscovich, an international master planning, architecture and interior design firm. The school will feature a central administration suite, a dining and multipurpose performance space, an arts suite with an art lab, a music lab, a media center with a computing center, state-of-the-art classrooms, a faculty lounge, lesson planning areas and 175 parking places, according to a brochure provided by the district.

One of the school’s most important aspects will be its security features, which include fencing around the perimeter of the 15.6acre property funneling to a single point of entry, Socorro said.

“This will be one of the most secure schools in the district,” he said. “There’ll be cameras everywhere.”

Zyscovich, which also has offices in West Palm Beach and has designed other projects for

“That’s what we need to hear about,” Schatz said. Traffic safety worries of all kinds, and possible suggestions to fix them, can be conveyed through the project’s web site at, he said.

Options for horse and pedestrian crossings can include a pushbutton box that leads to flashing yellow lights, or a strobe light similar to what some emergency vehicles use, or even a full-stop red light. Each comes with tradeoffs, such as the effect on vehicular traffic flow.

There’s also the matter of balancing costs against hoped-for safety benefits. The full-stop red lights, sometimes called pedestrian

The village’s final action plan is likely to include a combination of education and awareness efforts paired with specific proposed changes at certain roads and intersections, closely coordinated with applications for federal or state grants. Potential moves can include roundabouts instead of traffic signals, adjusted speed limits, narrowed lanes, new or enhanced signs or flashing lights, widened trails or added fences, or other barriers to keep horses and other multi-modal traffic away from cars.

Volume 45, Number 8 April 19 - May 2, 2024 Your Community Newspaper Serving Palms West Since 1980 TOWN-CRIER THE WELLINGTON • ROYAL PALM BEACH • LOXAHATCHEE • THE ACRE AGE INSIDE DEPARTMENT INDEX NEWS 3 - 18 NEWS BRIEFS 7 SPORTS 21 - 24 PEOPLE 25 SCHOOLS 26 BUSINESS 27 COLUMNS 28 CLASSIFIEDS 29 - 30 Visit Us On The Web At WWW.GOTOWNCRIER.COM By Louis Hillary Park Town-Crier Staff Report Some 175 parents met Monday, April 8 at Binks Forest Elementary School in Wellington to hear about the fast-moving plans for a new school adjacent to the Arden neighborhood off Southern Blvd. near 20-Mile Bend. The school is scheduled to open in August 2025 with room for up to 971 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, said James Campbell, director of construction and principal liaison for the School District of Palm Beach County. Most of the 550 students who live in Arden and now travel four miles to attend Binks Forest will be relocated to the new school, district officials said, although students entering fifth grade will be allowed to finish at their cur
rent school. The exact boundaries for what is presently being
Area Elementary School” will
“West Acreage
WHS INTERACT CLUB HOSTS SPRING FESTIVAL By Louis Hillary Park Town-Crier Staff Report Some see the possible expansion and extension of 60th Street North through The Acreage and into the City of Westlake as a godsend. Others claim it is a Hail Mary by Minto Communities USA, the city’s largest property owner and developer, to avoid paying millions in penalties for not establishing an east-west traffic outlet for the fast-growing community. Even within Westlake, residents near the proposed construction route are expressing concerns about everything from light pollution to road noise to decreased property values. None of this is a surprise, Minto Minto’s Carter Not Surprised By Bumps In Westlake’s Road See NEW SCHOOL, page 4 Seminole Ridge Boys Volleyball Squad Is Soaring With Success The Seminole Ridge High School boys varsity volleyball team has had a terrific regular season, and head coach Scott Barnwell is optimistic that his squad will have a deep postseason run in the upcoming Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) state playoffs next month. Page 21 Equestrian Board Learns About Vision Zero Project By Charles Elmore Town-Crier Staff Report A plan to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on Wellington roads by 2030 might sound ambitious enough, but it comes with complications not every place faces — like a thriving equestrian industry bounding beside or across some of its thoroughfares. Updates on the Vision Zero project presented to Wellington’s Equestrian Preserve Committee on Wednesday, April 3 emphasized not just documented crashes in the past but also situations where people see future problems waiting to happen. Take a spot where many horses The Wellington High School Interact Club hosted the Youth of Spring Arts Festival on Saturday, April 13 at the Wellington Amphitheater. The day was filled with performances by Wellington High School students. Students also had the opportunity to showcase their talents with sidewalk chalk art. Proceeds from the event will go to the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County. Shown above is Interact Club President Andrea Bustillo on stage. MORE PHOTOS, PAGE 18 PHOTO BY FRANK KOESTER/TOWN-CRIER Acreage-Area Truckers Sue The County Over Big-Rig Parking Two Loxahatchee-area residents filed suit Friday, April 12 against Palm Beach County in hopes of overturning a Palm Beach County Commission decision to disallow residential tractor-trailer parking in a large swath of the western communities overseen by the Indian Trail Improvement District. Page 4 GPL EVENT AT PATAGONES POLO CLUB
2024 Lexus International Gay Polo Tournament, presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate, was held Saturday, April 6 at the Patagones Polo Club in Wellington. This year’s tournament beneficiary was the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Shown here, Cameron Gaynor and Adam Glick of the Elton John AIDS Foundation accept a $100,000 donation from Margaret Duprey and Chip McKenney. MORE PHOTOS, PAGE 5 PHOTO BY JOSHUA MANNING/TOWN-CRIER
Elmore Town-Crier Staff Report From the recent state legislative session in Tallahassee, Wellington could gain a sheriff’s substation but lose oversight over vacation rentals, while homeowners will see little help for soaring insurance bills, the newly reconfigured Wellington
NEW COUNCIL, page 14 See VISION ZERO, page 14
North in The Acreage, two miles along Westlake’s northern edge to Seminole Pratt Whitney Road. Seminole Pratt, which runs north and south between Northlake and Southern boulevards, currently provides the only major access to Westlake. Carter said Wednesday that talks with the
New Wellington Council — (L-R) Councilwoman Amanda Silvestri, Councilwoman Tanya Siskind, Mayor Michael Napoleone, Councilwoman Maria Antuña and Vice Mayor John McGovern. PHOTO COURTESY THE VILLAGE OF WELLINGTON
2024 Pages 24 thru 26

RPBHS To Celebrate Class Of 2024 On May 15 At The Fairgrounds

Principal Michelle Fleming along with the students, staff and families at Royal Palm Beach High School are preparing for the Class of 2024’s graduation ceremony at the South Florida Fairgrounds Expo Center on Wednesday, May 15 at 1 p.m. The ceremony will also be streamed live online by the School District of Palm Beach County.

“I’m just really proud,” Fleming said of the Class of 2024. “This is my third year here, and I’ve been their principal since they were sophomores. So, they are near and dear to me. It’s just a really exciting time planning for all their senior activities.”

At the time, Fleming was attending senior night at the baseball field. “The families and community are what make this such a fun place to be,” she said.

Leading the 584 graduates who will walk the stage next month will be valedictorian Ashley Weyer Liranzo. She has a final weighted GPA of 5.54 and is excited to attend the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University to major in biology while pursuing a premed track.

“My dream has always been to go into the medical field and help children who

have a disease or are suffering from a medical condition similar to how doctors saved my brother,” Liranzo said. Her brother was diagnosed with the rare chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) and went through a bone marrow transplant.

During that time, she found herself struggling to stay motivated. “So often, schoolwork and extracurricular activities felt like a chore,” Liranzo said. “Luckily, my brother’s transplant went perfectly. He no longer suffers from CGD, and we are all together and thriving.”

During her high school career, Liranzo published two books — a fantasy novel titled Tainted Fate and a poetry book called Love and Malice: Short Poetry Collection. She serves as the historian for the History National Honor Society, is a member of the Caribbean Honor Society and a founding member of BB4C, an organization that raises money to support cancer patients by making and selling bracelets. “Not only that, I participated in the regional science fair, where I placed third in Environmental Sciences. I also received recognition and an award from Florida Atlantic University for my conservation research,” said Liranzo, whose third book, Blank Canvas, will hopefully be finished this summer. “I’m filled with enthusiasm,

and I cannot wait to start this journey ahead of me.” Her advice for her fellow RPBHS graduates and future students?

“Come in with a mindset that you will succeed, and it will happen,” she said. “The only thing that can limit a person’s success is their inability to believe in themselves. I doubted myself often, and it was one of my biggest mistakes ever. So, to my fellow graduates, you are more than enough, and I believe all of you are capable of completing your future endeavors.”

A friend of Liranzo’s will also be on stage as the salutatorian, Alexis C. Dunkley. A future fellow scientist and FAU owl, she plans to pursue a degree in biochemistry. Dunkley’s final weighted GPA was 5.44.

“I was in several extracurricular activities, like Teen Coalition in Action, Peace Jam and the Math Academic Games, but the main ones were the Caribbean club, Interact and the Math National Honor Society. They all gave me unique opportunities, like a job, which leads to my first advice of being involved because this can lead to new experiences,” she said. Dunkley also participated in the science fair and the Pathfinders program. “Both events were fun, stressful and

interesting to me,” she said. “Pathfinders was especially special to me because it focused on a part of my life often overshadowed by academics: art. This leads to my second piece of advice, which is to not limit yourself. At the end of the day, it is better to try and not get anything than to not try anything at all.”

Dunkley admits that balancing academics and life is a challenge, and she is look-

ing forward to taking some time this summer to just explore and visit cool places. RPBHS has some serious girl power in this year’s class, with nine of the top 10 students being female.

“As I prepare my graduation speech, it just comes to mind the resiliency of the Class of 2024. These kids started their first year of high school during COVID-19, so

May 17 Ceremony Will Honor 2024 Palm Beach Central Graduates

Palm Beach Central High School’s Class of 2024 will be celebrated at the South Florida Fairgrounds Expo Center on Friday, May 17, starting at 8 a.m. This will be the first PBCHS graduation ceremony under the guidance of Principal Reginald Myers, who is looking forward to celebrating each student as they cross the stage and walk into their futures.

“This is the proudest moment of being a high school principal, as it is what we have been working toward since their first day of school,” Myers said.

The school year went exceptionally well, he said, thanks to a team of educators and staff who are dedicated to ensuring students’ success and a positive high school experience. “The Class of 2024 consists of some of the brightest and most talented students in Palm Beach County, and that is something to get excited about,” Myers said. “This class not only cares about their academics, but they care about each other, and their community.” He found their commitment to academic excellence, camaraderie and community inspiring, and their school spirit — shown through events such as Homecoming, BSU Spirit Week, Dance Marathon and Inclusion Day — unmatched.

The end of the school year for graduating seniors, he added, is always challenging, whether the focus is on college deadlines, balancing school and work, or preparing for final exams.

“What has been most impressive about the Class of 2024 is their determination to meet every one of those challenges head on,” Myers said. The students have enjoyed school spirit activities, along with prom, grad bash and other special events, remaining focused and determined.

In less than a month, these Palm Beach Central students will walk across the graduation stage as they embark on the next phase of their lives.

“Our primary goal at Palm Beach Central High School on this day is to make sure we give our students, their families and our school community the best possible graduation ceremony that we can because they deserve that,” Myers said.

Leading the Class of 2024 will be valedictorian Ryan Snider and salutatorian Adam Ahmad.

Snider is looking forward to attending the United States Air Force Academy, where he plans on studying aeronautical and mechanical engineering, though he is considering astronautical engineering. Among his many accolades, Snider has

published his first book, served as editorin-chief of the literacy magazine, was the Class of 2024 National Honor Society vice president, spent two years on the varsity volleyball team, received Palm Beach Central’s Pathfinder for literature and earned a coveted appointment to the United States Air Force Academy.

When Snider started high school, he set the personal goal of being in the top 20 of the class. Snider and his twin brother, Reid, both set high academic goals for themselves. Reid will be attending the United States Military Academy at West Point.

“I had never really had any goal or intention of being valedictorian,” he said. “I just focused on work and focused on getting good grades and getting into a good college, but it never crossed my mind that I would be valedictorian.”

Their parents were thrilled that the brothers met their goals, surpassing all expectations. Snider encourages other students to stay focused, but also balanced. Many of his classmates, he said, would stay up late and not get enough sleep, but his approach is to concentrate on the task at hand and not be shaken by distractions. Writing, he said, has been a big help.

“I’ve been a writer since elementary school,” he said. “It has just been an out-

let… it has really helped me tell my story and build worlds and characters.”

As Snider prepares for graduation, he offers the following advice to students: “No matter how hard it gets, no matter what life throws at you, you can always keep moving forward,” he said. “Probably the most important thing is to have a solid foundation and to have a good group of friends around you who can support you

TaKe Action to KeepYour Colon Healthy

Are you at risk?

If you have a history of colon polyps, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease or a family history of colon/rectal cancer, you may be at increased risk. Diets high in red meat or processed meats, low-fiber diets, lack of exercise, obesity, smoking and heavy alcohol use can also contribute to the chance of developing colon cancer.

Know the symptoms Early colon cancer usually has no symptoms, which is why screening is very important. However, as the tumor grows, symptoms may include:

• Abdominal pain

• Change in bowel habits

• Weight loss

Who should be screened?

• Abdominal distention

• Nausea and vomiting

• Most patients should get their screening colonoscopy when they turn 45. However, because African Americans have a 20 percent higher incidence rate, initial screening is recommended at age 40.

• If you have a family history of colon cancer in first-degree relatives, it is recommended to start 10 years younger than the age of diagnosis or age 35, whichever is earlier.

• People who are in good health and with a life expectancy of more than 10 years should continue regular colorectal cancer screening through the age of 75.

• For people ages 76 through 85, the decision to be screened should be based on a person’s preferences, life expectancy, overall health and prior screening history.

and lift you up. Even when you can’t do it yourself, they will be there to support you. And I feel like that’s something that everyone needs.”

Before heading off to the Air Force Academy, Snider is looking forward to spending time with his family and friends before writing the next story of his life. Always interested in airplanes, Snider See PBCHS GRAD, page 14

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third-most-common cancer in both men and women in the United States, and the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths. It was expected to cause more than 52,000 deaths in 2023.

To schedule an appointment with a physician, visit

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com April 19 - May 2, 2024 Page 3 NEWS
Valedictorian Ashley Weyer Liranzo Salutatorian Alexis C. Dunkley Valedictorian Ryan Snider Salutatorian Adam Ahmad
Care Can Count On
See RPBHS GRAD, page 7
Physicians are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Wellington Regional Medical Center. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians. For language assistance, disability accommodations and the nondiscrimination notice, visit our website. 242028553-2089026 2/24
Source: American Cancer Society

Acreage-Area Truckers Sue The County Over Big-Rig Parking

Two Loxahatchee-area residents filed suit Friday, April 12 against Palm Beach County in hopes of overturning a Palm Beach County Commission decision to disallow residential tractor-trailer parking in a large swath of the western communities overseen by the Indian Trail Improvement District.

West Palm Beach attorney Christopher Mills filed the suit on behalf of Jorge Alfaro of Prestwich Drive and Clare Dougal of Tangerine Blvd. Alfaro drives a car carrier rig, and Dougal drives a semi hauling sod and building materials. Dougal has been parking her truck at her residence since 2002, according to the suit. Neither plaintiff could be reached for comment.

New School Breaking Ground Soon

continued from page 1

“Nobody wants to jump into a lawsuit. These people certainly don’t,” Mills said this week. “But they don’t have any other options.”

On Feb. 22, the board rejected a plan by District 6 Commissioner Sara Baxter to allow two semitrucks on any residential lot in The Acreage. Trucker homeowners were given until July 1 to find parking elsewhere for their rigs. Mills said the county’s action amounted to an “eviction order.”

“Property rights are an American value… they’re sacred,” Mills said. “The county can’t just take someone’s property without going through the proper legal steps and compensating people. That hasn’t been done here.”

Baxter, who represents the area, has championed the truckers’

cause with the county. “I told my fellow commissioners when we rejected this, we were opening ourselves up to a lawsuit,” she said Wednesday.

Either way, a lawsuit likely was in offing over the issue.

“We knew this was probably coming,” ITID President Elizabeth Accomando said Wednesday. “So, I’m not surprised.”

ITID oversees roads, drainage and parks for some 27,000 acres west of State Road 7 and north of Southern Blvd./State Road 80.

The district gets no federal, state or county money for its roads.

ITID Executive Director Burgess Hanson has said that it could cost ITID residents some $200,000 annually in extra road maintenance assessments if the estimated 1,000

to 1,500 trucks already in the district are allowed to remain. If ITID becomes the only residential area in South Florida where big-rigs are allowed — a “trucker haven” — the cost to upgrade roads to handle thousands of tractor-trailer rigs could be as much as $2 billion, according to Hanson.

At the core of the truckers’ lawsuit is the contention that tractor-trailers always had been allowed in the area under county code, Mills said. He said a confusing change to the code was made in 2019, followed by aggressive enforcement during the pandemic, when wealthy individuals and families from out of state moved into the area in large numbers.

“My clients were there doing what they’d always been allowed

to do,” he said. “Then there was a paradigm change for whatever reason… I think the evidence will show that there was a strategy involved in this.”

Some supporters of the “Save Our Truckers” movement organized by Acreage resident Natalia Melian have suggested that the changes were an effort to gentrify the area as home prices soared.

ITID’s Accomando has previously disputed the contention that tractor-trailers have been permitted by code in The Acreage. “It hasn’t been allowed since 1992,” she said in February.

Despite that, Accomando said, the number of residents with tractor-trailer rigs has been increasing in The Acreage since officials began pushing truckers out of Mi-

ami-Dade and Broward counties a few years ago.

When the county commission rejected Baxter’s two-trucks-perresidence proposal, Commissioner Mack Bernard asked staff to seek a way to resolve the issue before July 1 when truckers would have to move their rigs out of The Acreage or continue to face large fines. Mills said his clients are open to settling the issue out of court through “any solution that works.”

“At a minimum, the truckers who are there now should be grandfathered in,” said Baxter, adding that she could not state as fact that behind-the-scenes gentrification efforts sparked the code change but “that’s what it feels like. We’ll wait and see what the courts say.”

the school district, is using Blue Lake Elementary School in Boca Raton as the prototype for the new school near Arden, Socorro said. However, architectural and classroom features will be used to capture the “agrihood” nature of the nearby community, including an indoor-outdoor agriculture lab with hydroponic gardens, planting beds and rainwater cisterns, he explained. Zyscovich’s strategy “is to find out what is unique about the community and build around it,” he said. “The school will feature a great deal of natural lighting… and the latest technology.”

Access to the school will be via Cane Field Trail. Parents pointed out that Arden is a “golf cart community,” and urged school officials to find a way to include them in their plans. Andrews said a survey will be conducted in the community to see how parents view the school, student needs and what types of choice programs might be implemented. Students will be asked “what they envision the school to be about” and the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) also will have a voice, she said. School officials said there is

room on the property to add classrooms or an additional building. There is a possibility that the school could someday be expanded to include through eighth grade, but that decision is far in the future, they said.

Centered around a five-acre farm, ground was broken for Arden in 2017 with some 2,000 homes approved for its 1,209 acres.

More schools are also planned in the western communities over the next several years, including a new high school to relieve Seminole Ridge High School and Wellington High School. A new elementary school also is planned for the City of Westlake, which remains one of the fastest-growing communities in Florida.

Carter Road Issues Are Not A Surprise

continued from page 1 able to deliver the infrastructure sooner, faster. We’re open to that.”

Whether the extension, if built, is two, three or five lanes and how it is landscaped is completely up to the county, Carter said. “Some people seem to be under the impression that I have some say in that, and I do not,” he said.

While conveying that he understands the concerns of homeowners on the north side of The Pines, The Woodlands, The Meadows and The Hammocks developments, Carter said that plans for a road running next to the M Canal are clearly spelled out in homeowners’ association and master plan documents. The talks about a connection to 60th Street North at 140th Avenue North began last summer, Carter said.

the community has at least 3,000 residential units. Westlake was approved by the county for 4,554 homes and currently has some 2,500 units, City Manager Kenneth Cassel said this week, noting that the city adds an average of 40 units per month.

At that pace, the 3,000 plateau could be reached within 13 months, but even then, there’s no deadline for connections, Carter said.

As far as the overall health of the development, Carter said Westlake continues to greatly outpace original projections of residential buildout in about 20 years.

“Westlake targets affordability… attracting families and civil servants,” he said. “Without doubt, that’s our secret sauce. But we also have some large estate homes worth over a million.”

Some residents and council members have expressed frustration with the speed and type of commercial development coming in, citing the lack of a mid-priced, sit-down restaurant.

(i.e. manufacturers), the vehicle would be back on the road the same day. Now, in addition to the added cost, the customer’s car is out of commission for three to four weeks. Dealers show no inclination to assist, leading many shops to believe that the negatives outweigh the positives,

prompting them to cease working on certain car brands. This leaves car owners with one option for repairs — the dealership. Consequently, dealers have increasing control over parts, software and repairs, enabling them to charge exorbitant prices… This must stop. Vehicle owners need a federal right-to-repair law that will ensure they can choose where and how they get their car repaired, that will prevent automakers from holding patents on common parts for unreasonably long periods — which would allow aftermarket parts makers to compete — and that would give car owners more control over access to their car’s data and software needed to fix problems. This will spur competition, keep repair prices down and end automakers’ increasing control over your car and its data.

Vehicle owners have begun to assert their rights at the state level, and that’s where automakers have been lobbying against vehicle right-to-repair legislation. They argue that only authorized dealerships can be trusted to fix

cars properly. They also say that right-to-repair laws would violate their intellectual property rights and hurt their innovation.

These arguments are false and self-serving. Right-to-repair laws would not force automakers to reveal any trade secrets or proprietary information, but only the same information that they already share with their dealerships. Rightto-repair laws would not affect vehicle warranties or recalls, which are regulated by federal law…

Further, the automakers are acting hypocritically. On the one hand, they oppose letting vehicle owners and independent repair shops have access to that data so that owners can repair their cars, but they boast of the value created for their companies by driver data…

And yet, independent repair shops like ours are already not able to access some repair data we need — or we are forced to pay astronomical sums to automakers to regularly buy it. This double standard is why consumers need a national vehicle right-to-repair law, and why it’s important that

Congress pass the REPAIR Act and SMART Act.

The REPAIR Act would guarantee that vehicle owners can get the parts, tools and information they need to choose aftermarket parts while ensuring cybersecurity is prioritized. The SMART Act would reduce automaker patents on collision repair parts from 14 to 2.5 years, which would allow aftermarket parts makers to make and test parts during the newly defined patent period. These bills are common-sense measures that would ensure that consumers have more options and transparency when it comes to repairing and protecting their cars. They would also create a level playing field for independent repair shops, which employ Americans and support local economies...

It’s time to end the automakers’ control over our vehicles and how they are repaired. Consumers need a national vehicle right-to-repair law, and Congress must pass the REPAIR Act and SMART Act.

County Commissioner Sara Baxter, District 6

In October, a judge issued a partial ruling against Minto and the Seminole improvement District, which provides most of the infrastructure for Westlake, in their effort to connect to Indian Trail Improvement District roads at 140th Avenue near Persimmon Blvd. However, 60th Street is a county road that runs next to the M Canal all the way to State Road 7, and thus is not under ITID’s control.

Another hearing was held April 1. The judge’s final ruling is expected any day. Whichever way it goes, the losing party is expected to appeal.

Minto’s discussions with the county about 60th Street and the judge’s ruling are “completely unrelated,” Carter said.

The extension and expansion of 60th Street, which is two lanes and still dirt in places, is now seen by many as the best hope for moving east-west traffic in the area. It has gained support from County Commissioner Sara Baxter, who represents the area, and from ITID officials, who strongly opposed it when the idea came before the Palm Beach County Commission in 2018. Westlake Councilman Gary Werner said earlier this year that the 60th Street extension is “absolutely imperative.”

As for facing a possible $18 million penalty due to a separate agreement inked with the county in 2014 stating that Westlake must have two east-west road connections, Carter said that is a non-issue for now because the agreement does not kick in until

Werner, among others, has questioned whether the right sort of commercial development is coming in to create the community they believe they were promised.

Werner, a retired city planner, said in March that residents have expressed to him concerns that Westlake “is becoming a drivethrough and not a destination… [with] little reason for people to visit and spend money here.”

“I understand that residents get very anxious about commercial development,” Carter said, “but it’s important to put things in perspective… Don’t lose sight of the fact that the pandemic caused an across-the-board lockdown of commercial development for almost a year, and it took every bit of another year to get momentum again for commercial projects.” Carter pointed out that the county allotted 2.2 million square feet of commercial space to Westlake and already 650,000 square feet have been sold despite the twoyear pandemic hiatus.

“That’s nothing short of remarkable and speaks for itself,” he said.

Carter pointed to success in bringing in a Publix supermarket, Starbucks, Marco’s Pizza, Taco Bell and KFC. A large self-storage facility, James Business Park, a branch of Christ Fellowship Church and a branch office of the Palm Beach County Tax Collector also are part of the Westlake landscape. Carter, a Westlake resident, said he continues to work “all day, every day, 12 hours a day” to bring in diverse businesses that will add zest to community, but “I’d rather get it right than get it done fast.”

Page 4 April 19 - May 2, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier NEWS Your Community Newspaper Serving The Palms West Communities For 44 Years 12794 West Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 33 The Original Wellington Mall Wellington, Florida 33414 Phone: (561) 793-7606 Classified Ads: (561) 793-3576 Web: E-Mail: EDITORIAL STAFF/ Erin Davisson • Denise Fleischman • Frank Koester Melanie Kopacz • Mike May • Louis Hillary Park • Callie Sharkey • Julie Unger CONTRIBUTORS/ Leonard Wechsler • Deborah Welky ADVERTISING/ Betty Buglio • Evie Edwards • Joetta Palumbo STAFF/ Yolanda Cernicky • Shanta Daibee • Jill Kaskel • Carol Lieberman POSTAL STATEMENT The Town-Crier (USPS #021547) is currently published every other week on Fridays by Newspaper Publishers Inc., 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 33, Wellington, FL 334144758. Periodicals Postage Paid at West Palm Beach, FL. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: The Town-Crier, c/o Newspaper Publishers Inc., 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 33, Wellington, FL 33414-4758. TOWN-CRIERTHE Founded In 1980 By Bob Markey Sr. Copyright 2024, Newspaper Publishers Inc. The publisher reserves the right to refuse advertising. MEMBER OF The Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce The Wellington Chamber of Commerce STEPHANIE RODRIGUEZ Art & Production Manager BARRY S. MANNING Publisher DAWN RIVERA General Manager JOSHUA I. MANNING Executive Editor Sara Baxter: National Right-To-Repair Legislation Needed To Put Vehicle Owners, Not Car Companies, In The Driver’s Seat TOWN-CRIER OPINION PIECE SUBMISSION POLICY The Town-Crier accepts opinion pieces on topics of interest to the western communities. Please keep opinion pieces brief (300 words suggested; no more than 500 words). Submit opinion pieces, with contact name, address and telephone number (anonymous submissions will not be published) via e-mail to OPINION As the owners of an independent automotive repair shop, my husband Brian and I are accustomed to solving complex and unexpected challenges. We always strive to work with our customers to provide efficient, cost-effective service. We understand that for many of our customers, their car is their lifeline to work, school and daily life. Unfortunately, repair restrictions imposed by auto manufacturers are driving up costs and negatively impacting our ability to serve our customers and their ability to get back on the road. What’s needed is national right-to-repair legislation to ensure that vehicle owners, not corporations, are in the driver’s seat when it comes to vehicle repair. In the past, before certain auto parts could only be purchased from vehicle dealers
A rendering of the planned “West Acreage Area Elementary School.” James Campbell, director of construction and principal liaison for the School District of Palm Beach County, with School Board Member Marcia Andrews. Juan Socorro, project manager for Miami-based Zyscovich, the master planning, architecture and interior design firm that is in charge of the project.
Goshen Hill team won the Founder’s Cup.
2024 Lexus International Gay Polo Tournament,
by Douglas Elliman Real Estate, was held Saturday, April 6 at the Patagones Polo Club in Wellington. At the signature event of the Gay Polo League, the Senator’s Cup winner was Cherry Knoll Farm, while the Founder’s Cup winner was Goshen Hill. Cherry Knoll’s Gus Larrosa was named MVP. Tournament beneficiary the Elton John AIDS Foundation received a $100,000 donation. Tailgate winners were Douglas Elliman for Best in Show, the McEnhoes for Best Food, Billy Vitucci’s Peacocks for Best Dressed, Willy Wonka for Best Theme, the Village of Wellington for Best Corporate Tailgate and an Honorable Mention for the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida. John Foxx, Rebecca Frey and Ernest Olivas at the Emerald Elite Care tailgate. John Greene, Marcus Greene, Haile Pegues and Danielle Gershberg.
Oliver, Marilyn Sherman and Mickey Render at the USTA tailgate.
John and Justine Rossi at the RBC Wealth Management tailgate. Kim Gibbons and Cindy Collins at the Village of Wellington tailgate. Mark Rolfe and Dana Susi. Sally Ollarvide and Michelle Ward.
Any Vancea and Haley Marguerite. The Willy Wonka tailgate won for Best Theme.
The Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida performs.
Billy Vitucci’s peacock-themed tailgate won for Best
Scott Powers, Frederick Hay and Michael Powers enjoy the divot stomp.
of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council with Abby Louis of the Supervisor of Elections Office. Christine DiRocco and Jennifer Martinez. The McEnhoes tailgate won for Best Food. The patriotic-themed tailgate hosted by the Log Cabin Republicans. The Douglas Elliman tailgate won for Best in Show. Brad Jackson with Jim, Kim and Devyn Barnes. Adam Glick of the Elton John AIDS Foundation with GLP founder Chip McKenney. Gus Larrosa won the MVP award for the tournament. The Cherry Knoll Farm team won the Senator’s Cup. Wellington Community Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) corporation and contributions are deductible to the extent of federal law; Tax ID# 26-4778984. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION # 31031 AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. Hosted by SATURDAY | MAY 4 | 5:00 PM DIAMANTE FARMS DRESSAGE 11223 Acme Road Wellington, FL 33414 Join us in celebrating Wellington’s Inaugural Derby Party extravaganza! Prepare to be whisked away on a journey of thrilling races, genteel revelry, and gourmet delights. As you don your finest hats, get ready to cheer on your favorite derby horse in true Southern style. It’s not just a party; it’s a fundraiser for a cause close to our hearts - the Wellington Community Foundation. So, come out and show your support while indulging in a full delicacy of culinary delights prepared by the renowned chef, Gardo Vincken. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be immersed in the spirit of the Derby, with mint juleps flowing and the excitement of the races palpable in the air. Whether you’re a seasoned equestrian enthusiast or just looking for a fun-filled evening, this event promises to be unforgettable. So, mark your calendars and saddle up for an evening of glamour, gastronomy, and giving back. Let’s make this Derby Party extravaganza a roaring success while supporting our community. Get ready to gallop into a night of pure delight! Tickets: $200 per person TICKETS ON SALE NOW Don’t miss this unforgettable event! WELLINGTON COMMUNITY FOUNDATION INVITES YOU TO SADDLE UP FOR WELLINGTON’S INAUGURAL DERBY PARTY THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS For more information visit Scan QR Code To Buy Your Tickets Today! WELLINGTON ORTHOPEDIC INSTITUTE JOIN US FOR MINT JULEPS BEST HAT CONTEST “BuildingAStrongerCommunity” SATURDAY | MAY 4 | 5:00 PM INAUGURAL WELLINGTON DERBY PARTY HostedBy DIAMANTE FARMS DRESSAGE 11223 Acme Road Wellington, FL 33414 For more information visit WWW.WELLINGTONCOMMUNITYFOUNDATION.ORG SADDLE UP FOR WELLINGTON’S INAUGURAL DERBY PARTY Ticketentitlesonepersonfullaccesstothe WellingtonDerbyPartyevent.Thisisaprivate event.Ticketmustbepresentedatpointofentry. COMPLIMENTARY VALET ADMIT ONE “Building A Stronger Community” SATURDAY | MAY 4 | 5:00 INAUGURAL WELLINGTON DERBY PARTY Hosted By DIAMANTE FARMS DRESSAGE 11223 Acme Road Wellington, FL 33414 For more information visit WWW.WELLINGTONCOMMUNITYFOUNDATION.ORG SADDLE UP FOR WELLINGTON’S INAUGURAL DERBY PARTY Ticket entitles one person full access to the Wellington Derby Party event. This is a private event. Ticket must be presented at point of entry. COMPLIMENTARY VALET ADMIT ONE SILENT AUCTION AND MORE! PICK YOUR FAVORITE HORSE DERBY RACE SPONSOR
Rhonda Williams and Meredith Ockman Tache


Rectal cancer diagnosis a little less scary

Rectal cancer survival rates have been climbing in recent years. That is especially good news for individuals diagnosed with early-stage disease, where the 5-year survival rate has reached 90%, according to the American Cancer Society.

“Late-stage disease is harder to treat, but even patients with these advanced cancers are benefitting from the progress we’ve made,” says renowned colorectal surgeon Marylise Boutros, MD.

Dr. Boutros specializes in minimally invasive surgery for colon and rectal cancer and has a special interest in recovery and function after rectal cancer treatment.

She also serves as Director of Research for Cleveland Clinic’s Digestive Disease Institute in Florida.

She is encouraged by the newer approaches used to care for patients with rectal cancer that are improving overall survival and quality of life. “Physicians are making better use of neoadjuvant therapies, performing better surgeries, and engaging in better decision-making,” says Dr. Boutros, who sees patients at Cleveland Clinic Weston Hospital.

Tumor-shrinking therapies

Neoadjuvant therapies include chemotherapies, immunotherapies and radiation treatments given to shrink tumors prior to surgery.

“Research by my colleagues here at Cleveland Clinic Weston Hospital found there has been a significant increase in the use of all these treatments over the last two decades,” explains Dr. Boutros.

In particular, more patients are undergoing radiation therapy before surgery rather than after. “That means we are more likely to remove radiated tissue while leaving healthy tissue intact. This results in better functional outcomes for patients,” says Dr Boutros.

Some patients with locally advanced rectal cancer that has spread to nearby tissues now can be treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy in place of preoperative chemoradiotherapy with similar results. With more options, patients have the ability to weigh treatment side effects and determine what’s best for them.

Surgical advancements

The growing use of minimally invasive surgical approaches is another treatment advancement, one that is allowing more patients to avoid traditional open surgery. According to the Cleveland Clinic study, there was a 50% reduction in open surgery within the study period from 2004 and 2019.


“More patients are undergoing laparoscopic and robotic surgery, which means much smaller incisions, shorter hospital stays, and a faster recovery,” says Dr. Boutros. “We also use advanced techniques that allow us to preserve more tissue and retain normal bowel function in more patients.”

Overall, there is a general shift to less surgery. “This is not unexpected in light of the increased use of preoperative therapies where a complete response can eliminate the need for surgery for some patients, allowing us to use a watchful waiting approach,” adds Dr. Boutros.

Better decision-making

Dr. Boutros points out that more patients are benefitting from the involvement of multidisciplinary tumor boards, like the one established at Cleveland Clinic Weston Hospital, the first program in Florida and second in the nation to earn accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer.

“Rectal cancer management requires an expert team approach,” says Dr. Boutros. “We have specialists in medical and radiation oncology, colorectal surgery, pathology and radiology working together to develop a treatment plan that is uniquely tailored to each patient.”

Despite an increase in the diagnosis of later-stage disease in recent years, advances in rectal cancer management have improved patient outcomes and increased overall survival.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Boutros or another Cleveland Clinic colorectal specialist, call 877.463.2010 or visit to learn more. Marylise


Page 6 April 19 - May 2, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier
Boutros, MD

Warm, Welcoming Environment For Pets At Puppy Cuts Pet Spa

Nestled in the heart of the western communities is Puppy Cuts Pet Spa, a grooming salon owned and operated by Debra Hornfeldt and Denise Catalano. With a combined history of grooming expertise spanning more than three decades, Hornfeldt and Catalano have cultivated a warm and welcoming environment for pets and their owners.

Hornfeldt’s journey in the grooming industry began many years ago, serving communities throughout Palm Beach County

including Wellington, Royal Palm Beach and the Acreage/Loxahatchee area.

If her name and face seem familiar to pet owners in the western communities, it is because she recently broadened her horizon after decades at another local grooming salon, and ventured into opening her own establishment, where she could put her years of expertise to work in an atmosphere that she feels all animals deserve.

Alongside her is Catalano, whose passion for pet care and grooming shines through in every aspect of the Puppy Cuts opera-

tion. With their combined years of experience and attention to detail, joined by the entire team at Puppy Cuts, they offer what they believe is the best pet experience in town.

Puppy Cuts Pet Spa offers a comprehensive range of grooming services, from dematting and shedding fur to luxurious medicated baths. Their commitment to excellence extends to their handling of even the most challenging of pets, with a focus on gentle techniques and personalized care protocols.

At Puppy Cuts, the well-being of every pet is paramount. With meticulous mindfulness and dedication to safety, the staff ensures that each grooming session is a stress-free and enjoyable experience for pets of all breeds and sizes.

“We treat every pet as if they were our own,” Catalano said. “It’s all about creating a positive and enjoyable experience for both the pet and their owner.”

“We want it to also be fun for the pets as well,” Hornfeldt added.

Puppy Cuts Pet Spa also aims to serve as a beacon of community engagement. They believe in giving back within the industry and caring for pets that may not have the same opportunities. They have begun forging independent relationships with local nonprofit organizations dedicated to the well-being of rescues and look forward to partnering with them for the betterment of the animals, Catalano said.

Along with their willingness to

help those in need, a commitment to clients and their furry companions is evident in every aspect of the business, from personalized grooming consultations to their meticulous grooming process.

“We’re not just in it for the money,” Hornfeldt said. “We genuinely love what we do, and it shows in the care and attention we provide to each and every pet.”

Puppy Cuts’ services are tailored to meet the individual needs of each pet. From full grooming packages to specialized treatments for sensitive skin, the team at Puppy Cuts Pet Spa goes above and beyond to ensure client satisfaction.

This has led to a loyal following of satisfied customers and glowing testimonials. “We were so happy to find our favorite groomer Denise,” noted one client. “Puppy Cuts Pet Spa is the only groomer I will go to from now on.”

When asked about what age new pet owners should consider introducing their puppies to the grooming experience, they recommend anywhere from 12 to 14 weeks. By the way, the store can also groom cats.

“Just come by, let them see, smell and hear the salon background noise, say hello to the staff and schedule their appointment,” Hornfeldt said. “We offer free consultations and can talk over any issues or concerns your pet may have and put together a strategic approach to personalize the experience for your pet.”

The day of your pet’s appointment, they will go over the plan again, then off to the open area to get a brush out, clean pads, nails and ears, and then off to the bath. They check skin thoroughly, sometimes recommending using argan oil products for skin and coat. Warm towels are used to give the pet spa feel and begin the drying process before using the blowers. They offer a softer approach for pets that may have a fear of the motor blowers, using a softer one before the groomer begins the clipping process. During this time, they provide ample water and even potty breaks, so your pet feels comfortable during the process. Along with every grooming, Puppy Cuts offers their signature gentle approach and often uses two groomers to work as a team to ensure proper handling of all animals. As a special for new customers, Puppy Cuts Pet Spa is offering a $10 discount on your puppy’s (under six months old) first grooming service.

Dinosaur Revolution Exhibit To Open April 26 At The Science Center

WHS Band Concerts This Month

The Wellington High School band will present two special programs at the end of April. Surround Sound 12.0 will take place Friday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the Wellington High School Theater at 2101 Greenview Shores Blvd. This free concert will feature a wide array of instrumental ensembles. Jazz Under the Stars 2024, featuring Wellington High School’s jazz bands, will take place Tuesday, April 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Wellington Amphitheater, located at 12100 W. Forest Hill Blvd. This performance will feature the Wellington Landings Middle School jazz ensemble as special guests.

Divine Wine & High Tea Event April 27

The Vivian and Adrienne Ferrin Memorial Scholarship Fund will host its annual Divine Wine & High Tea “Floral English Garden” on Saturday, April 27 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Wellington Community Center, located at 12150 W. Forest Hill Blvd. in Wellington. Wear your best tea party attire. For ladies, think hats, fascinators, pearl necklaces and gloves. For gentlemen, think hats and bow ties. The event will include a fashion show, hat contest, live entertainment, Chinese auction and more, along with a selection of teas and wines. The event will benefit the scholarship fund. For more information, or reservations, contact Genieve (561) 876-4161 or Rhonda at (561) 685-9836.

Long Run Band To Perform At Amphitheater

The Village of Wellington will host a free Eagles music tribute concert featuring the Long Run Band on Saturday, April 27 at the Wellington Amphitheater, starting at 7:30 p.m. Guests are invited to bring their own blankets and chairs for seating. Limited food trucks will be available on site. The Wellington Amphitheater is located at 12100 W. Forest Hill Blvd. Learn more at events.

Register Today For Wellington Camps And Academies

The Wellington Parks & Recreation Department is offering a variety of summer camps and academies to help keep kids happy, healthy and active this summer.

Village Park (1700 Pierson Road) is hosting a variety of athletic camps, including a Basketball Academy for ages 7 to 15; Cheer, Dance and Tumble Camp for ages 5 to 15; a Fishing Academy for ages 6 to 13; an Indoor/Outdoor Volleyball Academy for ages 9 to 15; and a Tumble Camp for ages 5 to 15. For younger children, ages 3 to 5, Tumblekids Kamp offers a safe environment where “kampers” will enjoy gymnastics, sports, musical fun and more.

At Greenview Shores Park (2163 Greenview Shores Blvd.), campers can participate in a Boys & Girls Soccer Academy for ages 5 to 14; Speed & Agility Training Camp for ages 9 to 18;

The wait is nearing extinction for the Cox Science Center’s Dinosaur Revolution exhibit. On Friday, April 26, guests are invited to come back for another bite of dinosaur mania with a summer exhibit that allows visitors to live as prehistoric creatures once lived.

Until Sept. 29, travel through time and get a dinosaur’s eye view and return to the present day with your paleontology credentials at the Cox Science Center & Aquarium, located at 4801 Dreher Trail North in West Palm Beach.

“Our center’s track record shows that we have a fierce love for dinosaurs and everything they’ve revealed in a 150-millionyear timespan,” said Kate Arrizza,

or World Cup Soccer Camp for ages 6 to 18.

For more information on summer programs and how to register, visit or call the Parks & Recreation Department at (561) 791-4005.

The Wellington Tennis Center (3100 Lyons Road) is also offering Summer Break Tennis Camps for ages 5 to 18. For more information on tennis programs and camps, visit

Cultural Diversity Day

May 11 In RPB

CAFCI and the Village of Royal Palm Beach will present Cultural Diversity Day on Saturday, May 11 from 1 p.m. to sundown at Veterans Park, located at 1036 Royal Palm Beach Blvd. The day will include a diverse array of live entertainment showcasing a variety of cultural performances. There will also be food vendors, creative displays, prizes and more. Bring your chairs, blankets and tents for a free, fun-filled day. For more information, contact Jeanette Sharp-Paul at (728) 201-2623 or Paul Baker at (561) 385-0737.


April 27-28

At Mounts

The Friends of the Mounts Botanical Garden will host the always popular Plant-A-Palooza Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28.

“The annual Spring Plant Sale at Mounts is a favorite, not-to-bemissed weekend event for both members and visitors, and this year will be bigger and better than

president and CEO of the Cox Science Center & Aquarium. “One of the best methods for our young visitors to learn is through role play and tactile experiences, and Dinosaur Revolution delivers just that.”

Through many interactions, everyone can get in on the action. Visitors can make their own dinosaur tracks in the Triassic, examine the authenticity of a fossil in a mystery fossil dig, serve as a defense attorney for a t-rex in “Claw & Order” upon reviewing evidence reports and much more.

The vast information that dinosaurs hold is endless. The exhibit presented by Minotaur Mazes gives visitors an exciting, in-depth

ever, including several special horticultural presentations and workshops throughout the weekend by experts in their fields,” said Misty Stoller, interim co-director at the garden.

Whether one is an avid gardener or a budding beginner, the Mounts Spring Plant Sale offers something for everyone from 70-plus soughtafter growers and vendors. Visitors can shop for a wide variety of ornamentals, orchids, succulents, aroids, cactus, bonsai, butterfly/ native plants, hoyas, shrubs, fruit and flowering trees, herbs, garden accessories, and more.

In addition, visitors can learn about South Florida’s plant culture by speaking directly with growers, additional horticultural “musthaves” and unique treasures for the home and garden are available in the garden’s nursery and vintage thrift shop, and food and dessert trucks will be at Mounts both days. Mounts will also be offering a 20-percent-off discount on gift shop merchandise on April 27- 28.

Saturday, April 27 will begin with a members-only preview from 8 to 9 a.m. Then the event will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (last entry at 3:30 p.m.). The hours on Sunday, April 28 will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (last entry at 2:30 p.m.)

The event is free for Mounts members; $20 for adult nonmembers; $18 for seniors over 65, college students and military with ID; $13 for ages 6 to 17; and free for children under age 6 and AHS Reciprocal Admission Program members. Tickets are non-refundable. Admission is by credit/debit card only. To purchase Plant-APalooza tickets in advance, visit

look at fascinating topics while giving the opportunity to puzzle and problem solve. Each engagement will spark thought-provoking questions sure enough to educate even the most proficient prehistoric experts. The Cox Science Center & Aquarium’s current indoor/outdoor venue features more than 100 hands-on educational exhibits, a 10,000-gallon fresh and saltwater aquarium, a digital planetarium, a pre-K focused Discovery Center, an 18-hole conservation-themed mini-golf course and a quartermile-long outdoor science trail.

One of its celebrated displays includes “Journey Through the Human Brain,” a permanent exhibit that features the most advanced neuroscience research in the world. The Cox Amphitheater hosts daily live science shows, seasonal laser shows and special event programming. General admission for adults is $24, $20 for children ages 3 to 12, $22 for seniors ages 60 and older, and free for children under 3 years of age and CSCA members. For more information on the spring events and programming, visit

p.m. Attendees should make sure to have their tickets in hand when the doors open promptly at noon. All graduation ceremonies will be broadcast live on The Education Network (TEN) and streamed online.

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com April 19 - May 2, 2024 Page 7 NEWS NEWS
Puppy Cuts Pet Spa owners Debra Hornfeldt and Denise Catalano. PHOTOS BY CHRISTINA CHARLES AND FRANK KOESTER/TOWN-CRIER Debbie Hornfeldt grooms Rara. Puppy Cuts Pet Spa is at the northwest corner of Southern and Crestwood boulevards. Owners Debbie Hornfeldt and Denise Catalano work with a four-legged client.
Puppy Cuts Pet Spa is located at 12041 Southern Blvd., Unit 1, at the northwest corner of
and Crestwood Blvd. Call (561) 619-8250 for more information. To learn more about all the services they have to
or to book an appointment online, visit or follow Puppy Cuts on Facebook @puppycutspetspa. RPBHS Grad May 15 At Fairgrounds continued from page 3 they started high school remotely,” Fleming said. “Last year’s class earned more than $2 million in scholarships with all the AICE diplomas. This crew increased their AICE diploma rate by nearly 30 percent! That’s just more Bright Futures. And our IB graduates — they earned both an IB and an AICE diploma. They are really setting the bar.” Fleming continued to express her overall pride for the students. Her future goal is a full 100 per-
graduation rate between the ceremony in May and the summer graduation program that concludes in July. “Our tag line is ‘We do things the Royal Way.’ We’ve got a crown on our Wildcat. It’s been a really nice culture boost for us. So, it has just been great to see,” Fleming said. Tickets to
are limited
Lillian and Ashley Sands give special care to an adorable client.
Southern Blvd.
the graduation ceremony
and the doors
at 12:50
The entrance to the Dinosaur Revolution exhibit. Young paleontologists examine the evidence in “Claw & Order.”


Spring is here, and the Wellington Historical Society invites the community to attend its Spring Mixer on Thursday, May 9 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. This casual evening of music, drinks and light bites will be held at Village Music Café, located at 10410 W. Forest Hill Blvd. in Wellington. Come meet members, friends and neighbors involved in the Wellington Historical Society, a notfor-profit charitable organization dedicated to gathering, preserving and sharing Wellington’s past for the benefit of generations to come.

The organization is working to capture and preserve Wellington’s history through stories and archives. Notable initiatives include its Oral History project, in which founding and longtime residents share their memories in videos, and its document and photo archives, which contain pictures of some of Wellington’s earliest activities. Tickets are $25 and include two drink tickets and light hors d’oeuvres. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.

Page 8 April 19 - May 2, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier NEWS SUGAR SUGAR HAIR REMOVAL SALON OPENS IN WELLINGTON TOWN CENTER New hair removal salon Sugar Sugar hosted its grand opening in Wellington on Thursday, April 4. Owner Lynette Meglio cut the ribbon with Wellington Chamber of Commerce members and village officials in attendance. Guests also enjoyed local vendors, a photo booth, food and beverages, and demonstrations given by Sugar Sugar’s staff. Sugar Sugar is located in the Wellington Town Center plaza at 11924 W. Forest Hill Blvd. To learn more, call (561) 217-8427 or visit PHOTOS BY FRANK KOESTER/TOWN-CRIER
Owner Lynette Meglio and her husband Patrick cut the ribbon during the grand opening event.
Jordana Schwartz gets some skin art and tattoos from Giavanna Fioravanti. Morgan Ohlen does a demo sugar wax on Adam Haas. Cheyenne Graham of Hawaii Fluid Art (left) gives a demo to Layne Pazzaglia and Christy Brown. Maddi Schuett demonstrates the Sugar Sugar process on Gabby and Meredith Schneider. Sugar Sugar staff members Maddi Schuett, Nancy Roth, owner Lynette Meglio, Morgan Ohlen and Diane Devorin. Mayor Anne Gerwig with Lynette and Patrick Meglio. Owner Lynette Meglio cuts a cake to celebrate the grand opening. Councilwoman-Elect Amanda Silvestri, Sugar Sugar owner Lynette Meglio and Councilwoman-Elect Maria Antuña. The Acreage Pines Natural Area Boardwalk was dedicated to the late Michelle Gurlides Damone on Friday, April 5. Damone served on the Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors for more than 14 years and was instrumental in bringing the park to the western communities. The dedication was officiated by Palm Beach County Mayor Maria Sachs, for whom Damone served as her chief of staff. ITID officials, community leaders, friends and family gathered to pay homage to Damone, who passed away last year. Damone will be remembered as a passionate park advocate and influential leader who helped shape the future of The Acreage.
Wellington Historical Society To Host Spring Mixer May 9 At Village Music
A dental office designed specifically for serving the needs of the family. Established in 1983 Wellington’s first full-time, full service dental practice. Wellington’s Premier Center for Dental Health. Become part of the family! Dr. Michael Starr Contact us to arrange an appointment to discreetly discuss your dental needs. (Financial arrangements available) (561) 798-0100 Conveniently located in the heart of Wellington 1200 Corporate Center Way, Suite 103 | Wellington, Florida 33414 VISIT OUR WEBSITE: Welcome to Starr Family Dentistry in Wellington Dog Pack 1 Rabies 5 in 1 Bordetella Heartworm Test $95.00 Dog Pack 2 Dog Pack 3 Rabies 5 in 1 Bordetella $75.00 Puppy Pack 5 in 1 Bordetella Deworming $70.00 Cat Pack 1 Rabies 4 in 1 Leukemia FeLV test $95.00 Cat Pack 2 Rabies 4 in 1 Leukemia $70.00 Kitten Pack 2 4 in 1 Leukemia Deworming FeLV test $90.00 Kitten Pack 1 4 in 1 Leukemia Deworming $65.00 Low Cost Vaccinations Sunday May 7th, 2024 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. DOG STUFF CAT STUFF Please have all dogs on leashes and cats in carriers Services Provided by: Attending Veterinarian: Virginia Sayre, D.V.M. 561-236-7365 USE YOUR LOCAL VACCINATION CLINIC COUNTY LICENSE & TAG AVAILABLE ON SITE. FLEA PRODUCTS AND HEARTWORM PREVENTIVE AVAILABLE FOR SALE. 5 in 1 Bordetella Heartworm Test $80.00 Pet Supplies Plus 11051 Southern Blvd. Unit 160 Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411 NEW LOCATION! NEW LOCATION! Wellington Resident 561-614-1122 We offer coverage for: Homes, Rental Homes, Farms, Barns, Equine Liability, Commercial, Flood and Auto We have access to more carriers than any other insurance agency in Wellington. More Realtors and mortgage lenders call us for our speed and proficiency. Quality of service of matters. Contact me to insure your peace of mind. Bill Thomas Agency Owner, Having your taxes prepared should not be a painful experience With all the new confusing tax laws, have your taxes prepared by an experienced professional who will take the time to answer all your questions and concerns. Arthur M. Lichtman, P.A. CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT 12773 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 203 Wellington Plaza • Wellington 561-792-2008 FREE Electronic Filing Credits Cards Accepted Arthur M. Lichtman, C.P.A. Licensed in Florida and New York SERVING THE WESTERN COMMUNITIES FOR OVER 25 YEARS 10% off for all new clients with ad QUALITY SERVICE AT AFFORDABLE PRICES
(Above) A marker honors Michelle Damone for her service to the community. (Left) Palm Beach County and ITID officials, community leaders, friends and family at the dedication ceremony.
The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com April 19 - May 2, 2024 Page 9 561.784.1776 Limited Spots Available Are you looking for a nurturing learning environment for your young student? Innovative and challenging curriculum includes character education, computer skills, art, and fun-filled trip excursions. NOW ENROLLING Grades K-8 “We made a perfect decision by placing her at WCA” 12794 West Forest Hill Boulevard, Wellington, FL 33414 in The “Original” Wellington Mall (On the Corner of Forest Hill Blvd. & Wellington Trace)
Page 10 April 19 - May 2, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier The Conveniently Located at the Corner of CHILDREN’S PRE-SCHOOL Children’s House of Wellington 561-790-3748 DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING COMPANY Advanced Imaging Specialists 800-354-6868 PRIVATE SCHOOL (GRADES 1 -12) #1 Education Place 561-753-6563 ORAL & MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY Dr. Michael Harris 561-204-3242 PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY Children’s Pediatric Dentistry 561-793-7515 MORTGAGE BROKER Sunvest Mortgage Group 561-337-4848 EQUINE INSURANCE Marshall & Sterling Insurance 561-318-5604 U.S. POST OFFICE United States Post Office SYNAGOGUE Temple B’nai Jacob 561-793-4347 SURVEYOR JDC Development 561-790-4471 WELLINGTON COMMUNITY FOUNDATION 561-333-9843 WWW.WELLINGTONCOMMUNITYFOUNDATION.ORG GENERAL INSURANCE Chris Barker Insurance 561-242-3603 ENGINEERING SERVICES RJ Behar & Company 561-333-7201 BOOT & SHOE REPAIR Woody’s of Wellington 561-798-1440 PC Pros of Wellington 561-420-0554 COMPUTER SERVICE & REPAIR CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS Barron & Kogan, CPAs 561-795-4448 MEN & LADIES ALTERATIONS Nutinfits 561-795-3278 RESTAURANT Raja Indian Cuisine 561-855-2765 MED SPA, REJUVENATION & SEXUAL WELLNESS CENTER Calla Genics 561-252-5398 BARBERSHOP Arturo Fashion Cuts 561-328-7176 CAREGIVER SERVICES True Angel Care Services Inc. 954-326-8551 LITIGATORS Florida Litigators 561-463-8444 Wellington Leasing Information Call Chris
The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com April 19 - May 2, 2024 Page 11 of Forest Hill Blvd. and Wellington Trace. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce 561-790-6200 MARTIAL ARTS Villari’s Studios of Self Defense 561-792-1100 VETERINARIAN Animal Medical Clinic 561-798-2900 BICYCLE SALES & REPAIR Cycle Fit Studio 561-795-3038 GENERAL DENTISTRY Dr. Steven Miller, DDS 561-798-8023 ENGINEERING SERVICES Alan Gerwig & Associates, Inc. 561-792-9000 NAIL SALON Glamorous Nail Spa 561-422-8882 NEWSPAPER & MAGAZINE PUBLISHERS Town-Crier Newspaper Wellington The Magazine / Royal Palm The Magazine 561-793-7606 CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS Spillane & Zahul, CPAs 561-790-1488 PRIVATE SCHOOL Wellington Collegiate Academy 561-784-1776 PSYCHOTHERAPIST Andrea Rusher, LCSW 561-444-7230 PEDIATRICIAN Dr. Rosa Fernandez, M.D. 561-793-3232 FINANCIAL CONSULTANT Dunamis Capital Consulting 561-313-0535 TITLE INSURANCE South Shore Title, Inc. 561-798-9092 CUSTOM BOOTS & SHOES La Mundial 561-459-1629 CHIROPRACTOR Taylor Chiropractic Center 561-793-5050 AEROSPACE COMPONENT SALES AeroGear Telemetry 561-223-2590 REAL ESTATE The Fabbri Group Concierge Properties 561-468-7653 HAIR SALON Star Salon 561-784-9994 GENERAL INSURANCE BRIGHTWAY INSURANCE 561-331-6652 MAKE & TAKE ART STUDIO WOOD • PAPER •GLASS 561-557-9583 Wellington Mall Center Court TUTORING AND TEST PREP Sapneil Tutoring 305-968-6364 Chris Santamaria 561-793-4500
Page 12 April 19 - May 2, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier Scan the QR code or call 844.855.0217 to make your appointment. Schedule Your Mammogram Stronger Together. For You. • 3D Digital Screening & Diagnostic Mammography • Stereotactic, Ultrasound-guided, and MRI-guided breast biopsies • On-site Radiologists Fellowship trained in Breast Imaging • Same-day Mammogram Results (available upon request) • Genetic Counseling and Testing Good Samaritan Medical Center Outpatient Imaging 2529 Burns Rd. • Palm Beach Gardens 440 N. State Road 7 • Royal Palm Beach NORMA E. AND MILES M. ZISSON Comprehensive Breast Center of the Palm Beaches Good Samaritan Medical Center 1309 N. Flagler Dr. • West Palm Beach BOYNTON BEACH 1717 W. WOOLBRIGHT ROAD BOYNTON BEACH, FL 33436 WEST BOYNTON BEACH 9868 S. STATE ROAD 7, STE 240 BOYNTON BEACH, FL 33472 BOCA RATON 9980 CENTRAL PARK BLVD, STE 204 BOCA RATON, FL 33428 WELLINGTON 2575 S. STATE ROAD 7 WELLINGTON, FL 33414 (561) 737-5500 Se Habla Español EYE CARE for the Entire Family Lee Friedman, M.D. Randy Katz, M.D. Barry Schechter, M.D., F.A.A.O. Jonathan Criss, M.D. Megan Rowlands, M.D., M.P.H. Steven Naids, M.D. Jonathan Lam, M.D, M.B.A. James Walsh, O.D. • General Eye Care • Laser Cataract Surgery • Laser Vision Correction/LASIK • Medical & Surgical Retina (Macular Degeneration/Diabetic Retinopathy) • Diabetic Eye Exams • Corneal Transplantation, Tumors & Lesions of the External Eye • Medical & Surgical Glaucoma • Advanced Dry Eye Care & Treatment • Pediatric Ophthalmology & Adult Strabismus • Eye Allergy Treatments Doctors who make you feel heard, not hurried See how it feels to get 50% more one-on-one time with your doctor.1 For Medicare members Schedule your tour now 561-782-9154 We’re Medicare-friendly! We accept Medicare plans from many providers, including Aetna, AvMed, CarePlus, Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealthcare and Wellcare. 1Comparison based on a study by American Public Health Association published in January 2021 that shows that the average primary care exam was 18 minutes. Conviva does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability, age or religion in their programs and activities, including in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, their programs and activities. Same-day appointments 24/7 access to the care team Doctors who listen and care Senior-focused primary care

Casey Cares Hosts Benefit Event At Wellington Tennis Center

The Casey Cares Foundation Love-All Tennis Tournament was held at the Wellington Tennis Center on Saturday, April 6. The tournament included men’s and women’s doubles teams, who received giveaway items and had the opportunity to win exciting prizes. The proceeds supported Casey Cares programs and activities for critically ill children and their families.

It was a sunny day with a soldout crowd of more than 100 participants. The event was organized and run by Casey Cares Board Member Kristina Bostwick and was attended by Miss Miami 2024 Annie McGrath. Casey Cares founder Casey Baynes kicked off the tournament by thanking sponsors, donors and participants. Casey Cares child Ryder Jefferson, 8, diagnosed with short bowel syndrome, and his family were scheduled to speak at the event but could not because Ryder had a medical emergency. Baynes read the speech they prepared, thanking the Casey Cares Foundation for helping to give Ryder experiences that he will never forget, including a recent visit to a Mets game. Winners of the flights (matches) were: Martina Flight - Jill Giocli and Melissa Angel-Johnson;

St. Peter’s Child Enrichment Center Holds Annual Spring Fair

The St. Peter’s Child Enrichment Center in Wellington held its 35th annual Spring Fair on Saturday, April 6. The event was put together by the Parent Staff Fellowship group, which raises funds to improve the education, school grounds and experiences of students.

Parent Staff Fellowship chairs

Jen Zappier and Jessica Idone, with the help of many parents, raised $20,000 from the silent auction, sponsors, bake sale and more. The preschool chose to partner with Arts for Smiles, a Wellington nonprofit organization that strives to bring the joy of art to children facing adversity. The sale of cotton candy went to help fund upcoming events for this organization. The event was a tremendous

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com April 19 - May 2, 2024 Page 13 NEWS
Casey Cares child Ryder Jefferson (center) attends a New York Mets spring training game with his family. Event coordinator Kristina Bostwick with founder Casey Baynes. Founder Casey Baynes addresses attendees at the benefit. Mackenzie Baynes with Miss Miami 2024 Annie McGrath.
- Mike DiMayo
Michael DiMayo; and Rafa
Thad Millsap and Stephen Jochnau.
visit CEC parents and staff worked together to put together the successful event. Nonprofit Arts for Smiles raised money by selling cotton candy. A young attendee gets to try out a tractor. Children enjoy playing on a bounce house. success
families, local community support, youth
and staff at the
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Chrissy Flight - Laura Maher and Tracy Carter; Serena FlightWendie Unger and Kristi Bomar; Billy Jean Flight - Paula Diaz and Debbie DeDea; Andre FlightGary Harmon and Dean Barrett; Roger Flight
Flight -
To learn more about
thanks to the many CEC
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St. Peter’s Child Enrichment

New Council Visit From Legislators

continued from page 1 and conflict over this bill,” Waldron said.

Wellington recently adopted measures designed to toughen village enforcement of violations concerning noise, parking and other issues for rentals under 30 days at a time, often arranged through online platforms.

“The short-term rentals have been problematic for most municipalities,” Napoleone said. “We spent a lot of time trying to draft a new ordinance that would help protect our residents from bad renters. A lot of effort and a lot of collaboration went into putting something together that we think is a good mix that benefits everyone. Now that’s kind of going to be thrown out with the bathwater… I know we wrote to the governor asking him to veto it.”

Berman said local governments still will be able to require homeowners to register and submit to inspections and charge fees for that if the bill becomes law. Everything else is left to the state, including how many people can stay in how many bedrooms, she said.

On another topic, Waldron said she supported HB3, signed into law by the governor, that prohibits children under 14 from having certain social media accounts and requiring parental permission for those 14 and 15 years old.

She noted that the law, which would go into effect Jan. 1, could face challenges in court on freespeech grounds. She viewed it as a worthwhile effort designed to make it harder to target children with addictive online features that

Vision Zero Equestrian Meeting

continued from page 1 hybrid beacons, could cost about $200,000 each, Village Engineer Jonathan Reinsvold said. Traffic counts are underway to help decide whether such costs could be justified, either by conventional industry benchmarks or by applying engineering judgment that it is needed in particular sites, officials said. Committee members discussed whether the full-stop system might be worth it, at least in a limited

can affect body image, self-esteem and more.

Vice Mayor John McGovern asked if anything can be done about the fact that large South Florida counties like Palm Beach often see themselves as “donor” counties, contributing more to state revenues than they necessarily get back in funding.

Berman acknowledged there have been projects such as a Wellington water plan that were vetoed in recent years, but she maintained that Palm Beach County’s bipartisan delegation has tried to work well together to advocate for such improvements. She said she proposed about 50 projects, more than usual, and some 30 of them were included in the budget bill that passed.

The April 9 gathering marked the first meeting of Wellington’s council after elections that determined three of its five seats.

“I want to say thank you for the opportunity you’ve given me to continue to serve as your mayor,” said Napoleone, an attorney who assumed the mayoral role with an election victory following eight years on the council. “It’s an exciting time. It’s a challenging time.”

Maria Antuña has become the first Latina member of the council in village history. She enters the post after a banking career, leadership roles in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County and vice chair of the village’s Architectural Review Board. “I’ve been in Wellington for 45 years, so this is really a proud moment for me,” she said.

Antuña is joined by another council newcomer, Amanda Silvestri, whose family runs an insurance agency. That gives Wellington’s governing body a female majority for the first time.

number of places, such as the Pierson crossing. “We can still say, hey, we think there’s a need for it,” Committee Vice Chair Haakon Gangnes said.

Certainly Wellington’s distinctive blend of suburban and pastoral features, encompassing everything from horses to golf carts to high-density traffic on arteries like State Road 7, throws some wrinkles into planning for safety. Auto-equestrian crashes that have happened in other places reveal not only high risk of injury or death to riders and mounts, but the dynamics of the collision often mean a horse’s high center of gravity is going to send it through a

“I just appreciate all the people who supported me,” Silvestri said. In other business:

• The council unanimously approved a measure aimed at bringing some resolution to whether a proposed sports training facility led by NFL linebacker and Wellington native Jon Bostic moves to a new home.

Neighboring communities at the initial site for the facility, Wellington Community Park land on South Shore Blvd., originally pledged $4 million or more to help accommodate a relocation to Village Park near its 120th Avenue South entrance, according to village officials. That number has since been scaled back to $2.5 million.

Concerned that not all financial pledges from neighbors have been forthcoming, council members urged speedy resolution of written agreements and receipt of funds by May 13, or the Wellington Athletics LLC project could revert to its original location.

A Friday, April 12 at 5 p.m. deadline to secure written agreements was met, according to Deputy Village Manager Tanya Quickel.

• Emergency response times in Wellington decreased almost 10 seconds in 2023 to an average of 6 minutes, 39 seconds, with overall calls falling somewhat coming out of the pandemic, said Amanda Vomero, the local district chief for Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue. She presented the council with highlights of the district’s annual report on fire and emergency medical calls.

• Palm Beach County Appraiser Dorothy Jacks told the council that the market value of Wellington properties rose 18 percent to $19.7 billion in 2023, and taxable

car’s windshield, Schatz said. That very much endangers drivers and passengers, too.

Trying to head off such problems is something the village is rightly pursuing, Committee Chair Glen Fleischer said.

“The Vision Zero concept, both the equestrian component and the overall component, is something that’s very exciting for the village,” he said.

Panel members asked Schatz what he thinks the biggest hurdle will be.

“The biggest challenge to me is getting people to buy into the concept that zero is achievable,” Schatz said.


Attention!!!!!....Scout Groups .... Home Schoolers .... 4-H Groups .... Service Organizations … Residents and Friends … Anyone and everyone who is interested in participating in the National Great American Cleanup helping to keep Royal Palm Beach beautiful!

The Village of Royal Palm Beach will participate in the Great American Cleanup on Saturday, April 20, 2024. Registration will take place from 7 a.m. - 8 a.m. at the Recreation Center located at 100 Sweet Bay Lane where participants will be equipped with bags and gloves for the cleanup. Refreshments and lunch for participants will follow the cleanup! Contact Michael Cheatham at 561-790-5199 for details.

value after exemptions rose 11.5 percent to $11.5 billion, which she described as “incredibly healthy.” Still, there are signs that the boom is cooling a bit, which isn’t all bad in terms of affordability, Jacks said. The median home sale price in Wellington declined to $718,000 in the first quarter of 2024 from $749,000 in the last quarter of 2023. Higher interest rates have helped lower the number of transactions, she said. • The council unanimously

PBCHS Grad Scheduled For May 17

continued from page 3 offers one of his favorite quotes from Henry Ford to inspire other students: “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

Ahmad, the salutatorian, is looking forward to attending the University of Florida, where he will be studying biochemistry. Among many accolades, Ahmad has earned straight A grades and honor roll for his entire educational career, has taken 15 college-level courses, passed eight-dual

enrollment classes, provided more than 100 hours of math tutoring, participated and led in Dance Marathon, earned his black belt in taekwondo, and has received certifications in Autodesk Fusion 360 CAD Modeling and Autodesk Revit.

“I just wanted to do my best, and I’m glad that it has gotten me to where I am,” he said, adding that his parents were very excited when he shared the news of being named salutatorian with them.

For students who hope to achieve top grades in their class, Ahmad suggests they try their best, because things will work out.

“You just want to have that confidence in yourself, but at the same time, you don’t want to be

overconfident and not study or go into something not prepared,” he said. “You just want to be happy with yourself knowing that, however it comes out, you tried your best.” After a 10th grade chemistry class, Ahmad knew that was his passion, and if he chooses, will set him on a strong path for medical school.

As for his fellow students, Ahmad is glad to have met everyone, stressing the importance of friends and a great support system, and, of course, his favorite quote from Steve Jobs: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.”

Rotary is looking to add a few good spokes to our Rotary Wheel.

Join us at one of our weekly meetings

Wellington Rotary

Meets Thursdays - 12:15 p.m.

The Wanderer’s Club

For additional information

call Scott Armand 561-635-0002

Royal Palm Beach Rotary

Meets Tuesdays - 7:30 a.m. Hilary’s

For additional information

call Chris Durham 561-971-9679

Make lasting friendships. Enjoy good fellowship.

NEWS Page 14 April 19 - May 2, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier
restaurant into medical
the west side of State Road 7, about a mile north of Forest Hill Blvd. • The council also
at the Marjory
Everglades Habitat.
the village’s western side devoted to flood control and cleaning runoff water from Wellington,
with rec
reational trails and an observation tower. The moves involve contracts to H&J Contracting Inc. for $3.9 million and Mock Roos & Associates for $321,100, paid with a combination of outside grants and village funds. Village officials hope to start work adapting the new property in June, with completion in about a year.
approved master-plan amendments that make
possible for
Medical Associates to convert the
offices on
approved steps to incorporate the 45-acre Moncado
into the
Environmental Preserve
Stoneman Douglas
an area on
(Clockwise from top left) Outgoing Mayor Anne Gerwig hands the gavel to incoming Mayor Michael Napoleone; Councilwoman Maria Antuña takes the oath of office; Mayor Michael Napoleone takes the oath of office; and Councilwoman Amanda Silvestri takes the oath of office. PHOTOS COURTESY THE VILLAGE OF WELLINGTON
The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com April 19 - May 2, 2024 Page 15 After a Crash, Call for a Free Consultation 9200 Belvedere Road Ste 102 | Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411-3621 Car Accidents • Wrongful Death • Pedestrian Accidents • Truck Accidents • Motorcycle Accidents • Bicycle Accidents • Victim of DUI • Slip and Fall Accidents • Premise Liability Accidents Services — The McGovern Gerardi team has almost 35 years of combined experience in Litigation/Trial Advocacy Personal Injury cases. At McGovern Gerardi Law, PA we provide advice and counsel for accident victims and seek justice in their lives. John McGovern Partner The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. Injured? Not your fault? We can help. At McGovern Gerardi, from Day 1, you will work directly with an attorney (NOT a paralegal) who truly cares about you, your case, and most of all, your physical AND financial recovery! Kristina Gerardi Partner 561-619-7200 “You deserve the best hometown attorneys working on your behalf. You deserve to be treated like a family member. We are honored by past and present clients, colleagues, and individuals in our community that continually refer us to their friends and family.” — Attorneys John McGovern and Kristina Gerardi Dedicated to the Injured. Dedicated to our Community.
Page 16 April 19 - May 2, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier NEWS THE WELLINGTON GARDEN CLUB HOSTS A TOUR OF FIVE LOCAL HORSE FARMS The Wellington Garden Club hosted a self-guided tour of five unique horse stable locations on Saturday, April 6. The locations taking part in the tour were Mida Farms, Helgstrand Dressage USA, the Santa Rita Polo Farm, River Run Farm and Eagle Tree Farm. Guests enjoyed refreshments, vendors, self-guided tours and a raffle. The raffle included a carriage ride at Mida Farms with champion Clydesdale horses. Proceeds will go to support the club’s college scholarships and youth summer environmental camps, civic beautification projects, youth garden clubs and other community projects. PHOTOS BY FRANK KOESTER/TOWN-CRIER Guests stop to visit with horses at the Santa Rita Polo Farm. Mida Farms owner Victoria McCullough with Summit. Dan and Ellyn Cohen with Paul and Laura Fever at Mida Farms. Helgstrand Dressage USA specializes in dressage and show jumping.
Garden Club
and Carol Dima.
members Tara
Linda Messina, Kristi Westrup, Carol Ralph, Jan Seagrave,
Candice Klee, one of the vendors at Helgstrand, with orchids.
Visitors got to see riders in action at Helgstrand Dressage USA. Terrianne Tuskes gets a kiss from one of the Clydesdales at Wellington’s Mida Farms.
Santa Rita Polo Farm were able to enjoy a self-guided walk through. Horses graze at the Santa Rita Polo Farm.
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‘Ears’ All You Need To Know About The 24th Annual Sweet Corn Fiesta

held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

more sweet corn than any other county in the United States. Local farmers cultivate more than 27,000 acres annually. That’s cause for celebration, the impetus behind the fiesta, letting residents know the importance of this crop. The event will feature live music by two bands — Andrew Morris Band and the Krystal River Band — along with a green market, children’s games, and corn-shucking and corn-eating contests.

“This year we have a surprise for the kids, but they’ll have to attend the event to see what that is,” said Ann Holt, who founded the Sweet Corn Fiesta. The event culminates with the National Sweet Corn Eating Championship presented and sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eaters Inc.

During this grueling-yet-quick competition, major league eaters from across the country challenge themselves by consuming Florida sweet corn ears for 12 minutes to split a total prize purse of $6,100.

For those who can’t attend the Sweet Corn Fiesta, boxes of sweet corn will be available just outside of the entry gates for $25. One box holds about 48 ears. Attendees may purchase the same size box for $20. Learn more at www.

Yesteryear Village is a living history park nestled on 10 acres at the South Florida Fairgrounds. The park showcases early, original and replicated buildings and artifacts from days gone by.

Last year marked the rise of a new corn queen, Miki Sudo, consuming a jaw-dropping total of 52 ears of corn in just 12 minutes. She dethroned the 2022 champion, Gideon Oji, by just half an ear of corn. Carmen Cincotti holds the world record of 61.75 ears. Admission to the Sweet Corn Fiesta is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 12, and free to children 5 years old and younger. Parking is free. Proceeds benefit agriculture education and advocacy programs, as well as Glades area food banks.

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com April 19 - May 2, 2024 Page 17 NEWS
The Women of the Western Communities met Thursday, April 4 at the Wellington National Golf Club. The guest speaker was beekeeper Al Salopek of Creamed Honey Comp. Donations were gathered for Forgotten Soldiers Outreach. PHOTOS BY DENISE FLEISCHMAN/TOWN-CRIER Sherrie Rhoads and her mother Mary Rowe with raffle tickets. Maggie Zeller, Faye Ford and Michelle Haines. Beekeeper Al Salapek of Creamed Honey Company with Sabrina Zeller. Joan Imperatore, Maureen Gross and Allyson Samiljan. Joanna Maud, Kristi Knight-Sandner and Linda Rosbrough. Herta Suess and Paula Castro. (Front row) Geri Catena and her daughter Christine Vocaturo; and (back row) Peggy McClelland and Harlene Kennedy. Mair Armand introduces guest speaker Al Salopek. Maureen Gross, Maggie Zeller and Allyson Samiljan. Freshly harvested corn, grown locally and prepared hot and buttery, is what the Sweet Corn Fiesta is all about. Now in its 24th year, the one-day-only event will be on Sunday, April 28 in Yesteryear Village at the South Florida Fairgrounds, located at 9067 Southern Blvd. Palm Beach County grows
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(Left) Miki Sudo ate 52 ears of corn in 12 minutes and was crowned winner of the 2023 National Sweet Corn Eating Championship. (Right) The Sweet Corn Fiesta’s mascot champions the event each year.
Page 18 April 19 - May 2, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier NEWS INTERACT CLUB HOSTS YOUTH OF SPRING ARTS FESTIVAL AT AMPHITHEATER The Wellington High School Interact Club hosted the Youth of Spring Arts Festival on Saturday, April 13 at the Wellington Amphitheater. The day was filled with performances by Wellington High School students, and included dance, band, theater, singing, American Sign Language, baton twirling and a fashion show. Students also had the opportunity to showcase their talents with sidewalk chalk art. Proceeds from the event will go to the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County. PHOTOS BY FRANK KOESTER/TOWN-CRIER The Wellington High School Interact Club hosted the festival to support the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County. Mackenzy Kane with her sidewalk chalk art. Children enjoy the bounce house. Dylan Garcia with Alexandra and big sister Carla Caba make chalk art. WHS students Faith DiMaria, Tracen Touchet, Allison Locker and Isabella Mariani help out at the bounce house. Homeless Coalition Executive Assistant Aaliyah Lopez, CEO Dr. Tomara Mays and Director of Development Celissa Stringer. Dr. Tomara Mays of the Homeless Coalition addresses the crowd. Audrey DellaVecchia enjoys sidewalk chalk art. Kristen Benitez performs in American Sign Language. Interact Club President Andrea Bustillo on stage. Sisters Alisha and Ayanna Quashie with their sidewalk chalk art. Members of the Wellington High School jazz band perform. The Wellington High School dance team performs. WHS theater students perform on stage. The Wellington High School majorettes on stage. Members of Wellington High School BLAST (Black Leadership and Achievement Student Team). Members of the Wellington High School Chamber Chorus perform. Family Owned & Operated Since 1996 Lic.#CAC057272 • Ins. SPECIALIZING IN TROUBLESHOOTING & REPAIR Schedule Your A/C Checkup Today! over OF SERVICE Service & Repair • New Equipment • Sell All Brands Friendly and reliable service. Your pets are family here. Highly qualified team of bathers and groomers We are a team of dedicated animal lovers who have been experienced in the well-being of your furry family members for over 30 years. 12041 Southern Blvd., Unit 1, Loxahatchee (561) 619-8250 Boynton Financial Group, Inc. is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. CFP Board owns the CFP® marks in the United States. Investment Advisory Services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. It’s not simply about portfolio holdings and account balances. It’s about your complete life. You should have a wealth management partner who understands that. Who cares about your personal goals for your family, your business, your future. Who can give you comfort in making decisions that not only support your financial objectives, but that help ensure you have time to do things you enjoy with those you love.
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Wellington High School Girls Softball Enjoying Thrill Of Victory

The Wellington High School girls varsity softball team is continuing its winning ways, largely due to the team’s strong overall attitude and the pitching prowess of junior hurler Tori Payne, who is having a banner season inside the circle this spring.

“This year’s team is filled with great teammates, everybody gets along, they are fun to watch, and

it’s a very tight group,” said head coach Mark Boretti, now in his 15th year leading Wellington High School’s softball team. “We seem to have a new hero in every game.”

After Wellington’s first 16 games, the Wolverines have posted a 14-2 record. In those 14 victories, Payne has been the winning pitcher in 11 of them. Her record is 11-1.

Payne’s pitching statistics this year are impressive. Her earned run average is a stingy 1.34. To date, she has pitched 83 and 2/3 innings, recorded 108 strikeouts, and allowed just 16 earned runs.

According to Boretti, Payne had a strong season last year, but she is a better and more dominant pitcher this year.

“At the beginning of the season, we knew we were going to be a tough team to beat with Tori on the mound,” Boretti said. “Tori has been awesome inside the circle. She’s kind of quiet and reserved off the field, but when she steps on the field, she’s a competitor. I call her bulldog.”

One of the keys to Payne’s suc-

cess is command of many types of pitches. “Tori can throw four or five different types of pitches,” Boretti said. “When she has control of her change-up, it can be very effective.”

When Payne is not pitching, Yanaira Andrade has established herself as the main No. 2 pitcher. Meanwhile, Payne can play elsewhere.

“Tori can play anywhere on the field,” Boretti noted. Not only is Payne leading by example as her team’s top pitcher, but she is also helping her team score runs. Statistically, she is tied for the team lead with 11 RBIs, and she is second on the team in doubles with four.

In addition to Payne’s presence on the mound, another key to Wellington’s success has been the play of the three seniors — Angelina Mangini, Kelsie Riggan and Ava Matrascia.

“My three seniors have great attitudes and lead by example in practices and in games,” Boretti said.

According to Boretti, these se-

niors always do what is necessary for the team to succeed.

For instance, junior Kaylee Riles, the team’s starting catcher, was just recently injured, so Boretti asked Matrascia to play catcher until Riles returns from her injury.

“Ava has done a great job playing catcher,” Boretti said. “Our team didn’t miss a beat.”

Of the girls who are regulars in the starting lineup, Mangini is the team’s leading hitter with a .400 average. She also has the best onbase percentage at .529. Riggan, meanwhile, is the team’s top outfielder. She patrols centerfield with speed and confidence. She has also slugged two home runs and has stolen four bases so far this season.

One of the contributing newcomers to the team this year is freshman Gabi de los Reyes.

“When Gabi gets an opportunity to contribute to the team’s success, she has taken advantage of it throughout the season,” Boretti said.

Wellington’s key statistical leaders include Riles, who is the team’s home run leader with three.

Pitching ace Tori Payne at bat for the Wolverines.

Mangini is Wellington’s hits leader with 16, while sophomore D’Yami Meredith has the most stolen bases with six and the most runs scored with 16. Eleven players on last year’s team are back on this year’s team, and seven of them are starters.

“That will be a great way to end the regular season with a game against one of the top teams in Florida,” Boretti said.

This year’s team is focused on returning to the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Class 7A Final Four in Clermont on May 24-25, where the team hopes to win the first state softball title in school history.

Wellington concludes its regular season on Friday, April 26, when Wellington hosts longtime softball powerhouse Doral Academy in a game scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Seminole Ridge Boys Volleyball Squad Soaring With Success

The Seminole Ridge High School boys varsity volleyball team has had a terrific regular season, and head coach Scott Barnwell is optimistic that his squad will have a deep postseason run in the upcoming Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) state playoffs next month. “This is, by far, my best-ever [boys volleyball] team while coaching at Seminole Ridge,” Barnwell said. “As I look at my roster, nobody is a weak link.”

The Hawks have completed their regular season with a 19-6 record. One of the big keys to the squad’s success is the overall positive mental attitude of all the players on the roster and the veteran leadership from the team’s seven seniors. “I have a great group of players who love playing the sport of volleyball and enjoy playing volleyball with one another,” said Barnwell, now in his sixth season coaching boys volleyball at Seminole Ridge. Seniors Owen Holowecky,

Michael Molina and Jonathan Benitez are leading by example. Holowecky, the team’s captain and a Long Island University commit, is leading the team in kills, kills per set, hitting percentage, serving aces and aces per set. Molina is the team’s top performer in digs and digs per set. Benitez has accumulated the team’s most assists. In the digs and digs per set categories, the top three players are all seniors — Molina, Benitez and Holowecky. In the hitting percentage category, the top three players are also all seniors — Holowecky,

The Seminole Ridge High School 2024 boys varsity volleyball team.

Brandon Burke and David Brevik.

In the assists category, the top three performers are seniors as well — Benitez, Holowecky and Trevor Block. Finally, in the serving aces and aces per set categories, the top three statistical leaders are yet again seniors — Holowecky, Benitez and Molina. Another one of Seminole Ridge’s strengths is its height.

“My two middle blockers — Brandon Burke and Carson Kramer — are tall and talented,” Barnwell said. “Brandon is 6-foot7, and Carson is 6-foot-3.”

According to Barnwell, Holowecky, who stands 6-foot-4, is one of the top setters in the state, who has great vision and anticipation skills.

“Owen sees things happening on the volleyball court before they actually happen, and he knows how to respond,” Barnwell explained.

The local district tournament gets underway on Monday, April 29. How well the Hawks play in that district tournament will determine their seeding in the FHSAA regional playoffs that start Tuesday, May 7.

The goal for every boys high school volleyball program in Florida is to reach the FHSAA’s state championships, which will feature the final eight high school boys volleyball teams in Florida. Those state championship games will be held May 17-18 at Polk State College’s Winter Haven Health Center.

SRHS Defeats Wellington To Win Flag Football District Title

For the 15th time in school history, the Seminole Ridge High School flag football team has won another district tournament championship.

On Thursday, April 11, Seminole Ridge and Wellington High School met in the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Class 2A, District 21 championship game held at Palm Beach Central High School. This year’s Seminole RidgeWellington game was a rematch of last year’s district championship game, which was won by Wellington. This year, Seminole

Ridge turned the tables, winning 12-0. After a scoreless first half, Seminole Ridge broke open the scoring in the third quarter when freshman quarterback Aubrey Fogel connected with junior teammate Lola Agosto for a touchdown pass to put the Hawks ahead, 6-0. The PAT attempt was unsuccessful. Seminole Ridge completed the scoring in the fourth quarter when Fogel made another touchdown pass to Agosto to make the score 12-0. Again, the PAT attempt was unsuccessful. In the game, Fogel completed 24 of 35 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns. Agosto caught

six passes for 45 yards. Junior receiver Dakota Parks had eight catches for 54 yards.

Seminole Ridge head coach Scott O’Hara was delighted with the play of his squad, especially the defense, which secured its 10th shutout of the season.

“Our team had to really communicate well defensively to compete, and we were fortunate enough to be led by rusher Angelina Sanchez and cornerback Victoria Ayllon,

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com April 19 - May 2, 2024 Page 21 SPORTS & RECREATION SPORTS & REC, PAGES 21-24 • PEOPLE, PAGE 25 • SCHOOLS, PAGE 26 • BUSINESS, PAGE 27 • COLUMNS, PAGE 28 • CLASSIFIEDS, PAGES 29-30
Seminole Ridge’s Owen Holowecky goes for the kill at the net. PHOTOS BY RICHARD AREYZAGA JR. Softball seniors (L-R) Ava Matrascia, Kelsie Riggan and Angelina Mangini. PHOTO BY JACK BARTLETT
who both played incredible football,” O’Hara noted. With the win, Seminole Ridge improved its record this season to See GIRLS FLAG, page 23 Seminole Ridge quarterback Aubrey Fogel (left) and Lola Agosto (right) in action for the Hawks. PHOTOS BY RICHARD AREYZAGA JR. Modern, Elegant & High-Quality Comfort Welcome to Pioneer Inn Pioneer Inn is the right choice for visitors who are searching for a combination of charm and a convenient position from where to explore surroundings. For better rates please call us at 561-855-6055 9121 Southern Blvd., Royal Palm Beach • HD channels with high-speed internet • Centrally located in Palm Beach County • Walking distance from South Florida Fairgrounds • Conveniently located near many restaurants and Wellington Mall • Close to Lion Country Safari Florida Turnpike, I-95 Palm Beach International Airport Wellington Polo Club • Short drive from Dreher Park Zoo • Close to Shark Wake Park SOUTH FLORIDA FAIRGROUNDS 9067 Southern Blvd. West Palm Beach I-95 Exit 68 (Southern Blvd.) then West 7 miles • Turnpike Exit 97 then 1 1/2 miles West, then right on Fairgrounds Rd. - OVER 200 DEALERSFLORIDA’S LARGEST MONTHLY ANTIQUE EVENT EMAIL:INFO@WPBAF.COM • (941) 697-7475 GENERAL ADMISSION EARLY BUYER FRIDAY 9 AM - 12 PM — $25 VINTAGE DECORATIVE ARTS WWW.WPBAF.COM 2 DAY ADMISSION — $15 FRI. MAY 5TH 12 PM - 5 PM — $12 SAT. MAY 6TH 9 AM - 5 PM — $12 SUN. MAY 7TH 10 AM - 4 PM — $12 SENIOR GENERAL ADMISSION $11 3rd, 4th & 5th Premium Ice Cream Premium Price WEEKLY SPECIALS 44 Flavors of Hard-Packed Ice Cream, Pro-biotic Yogurt, Sorbet, Sherbet, Soft Serve, and More! With this coupon. Not Valid on daily specials or with other offers. Expires 04/30/24 $5 OFF Any Purchase of $25 or more TC Sunday - Thursday 12pm - 10pm Friday - Saturday 11:30am - 10:30pm 11328 Okeechobee Blvd., Suite 6 Royal Palm Beach (Next to Little Caesars in Royal Plaza) (561) 268-2979 $1OFF With this coupon. Not Valid on daily specials or with other offers. Expires 04/30/24 TC Any Item WE CATER... Birthday Parties, Special Events! Monday ~ $6 Medium Ice Cream Tuesday ~ $6 Banana Splits Wednesday $6 Medium Shake Thursday ~ $6 Medium Sundaes NEW
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Memorable Memories Of The Masters

If you ever get a chance to attend the Masters Tournament, which is held each year in early to midApril at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, accept the invitation — whether you play golf or not. The experience will generate memories that will last a lifetime.

Just ask longtime Wellington resident Nicky Rodgers, who attended the Masters this year for

Girls Flag Local Teams Advance

continued from page 21 12-2. Wellington fell to 11-3 on the season. Seminole Ridge automatically advanced to the FHSAA’s Class 2A state playoff series and is the No. 1 seed in the lower half of Region 3. Seminole Ridge’s first opponent was eighth-seeded Royal Palm Beach High School, which received an at-large bid based on its strong regular season record. That game was played on Thursday, April 18 at Seminole Ridge. The results were not available at press time. Based on its strong regular season record, Wellington also received an at-large bid to the Class 2A state playoff series. Wellington was seeded third in the lower half of Region 3. The Wolverines played their first-round playoff game on April 18, at home against Deerfield Beach High School. That result was also not available at press time.

the first time, alongside her father Bob Rodgers, also of Wellington. “This was a bucket-list experience,” Nicky Rodgers said. “I’m still in a daze from my trip to the Masters. It is true that TV does not do justice to that golf course, which is in immaculate condition and hilly. We had perfect weather with the best company. It was a memory that I will cherish forever.” This year, I had the chance to attend the practice round on Wednesday, April 10, which is also when the annual Par 3 Tournament is held. It was my fourth trip to the Masters, and one of my more memorable visits.

When you walk around the golf course, it will tax your endurance, since the course was built on a rather hilly terrain. It was a nursery before being transformed into a golf course in the early 1930s. At the Masters, it’s important to understand the terminology.

For instance, the pass that gets you through either the North Gate or the South Gate is called a badge and not a ticket. Those in the gallery are called patrons and not fans or spectators.

At the Masters, holes 1 through 9 are referred to as the “first nine” and not the front nine. As you would expect, holes 10 to 18 are referred to as the “second nine” and not the back nine.

Meanwhile, if you want to buy a Masters souvenir, keepsake or memorabilia, such as a hat, polo shirt, T-shirt, pullover, socks or golf balls, you must visit the Golf Shop, where everything is cashless, so don’t forget your credit card. And by the way, you are not allowed to bring your cell phone onto the grounds of the course, so you must leave your phone at home or in your car. Nicky Rodgers enjoyed her spending spree in the Golf Shop.

“The Golf Shop was awesome. It had so many great items to choose from and purchase,” she said. “I loved how they allowed us to check in our items for the day for free.”

In addition to being a stern test for the world’s greatest golfers, Augusta National is also a

Seminole Ridge’s Dakota Parks

In order to advance to the Class 2A state finals in Tampa on May 10-11, Seminole Ridge, Wellington or Royal Palm Beach must win three Class 2A, Region 3 games on April 18, 23 and 30, and then win an FHSAA Class 2A state quarterfinal on May 3. There’s a chance that Welling-

ton and Seminole Ridge could meet again in the playoffs. If both teams win their first two regional playoff games on April 18 and April 23, they will play one another in the final of the lower half of Region 3 on April 30, in a game which would then be played at Seminole Ridge High School.

beautiful place to visit, featuring more than 80,000 plants in more than 350 varieties that have been planted on the property. Among them are more than 30 varieties of azaleas in various colors.

In light of the fact that the property is a former nursery, it’s not a surprise that each hole at Augusta National is adorned with a plant, bush or shrub for which that hole is named. The golf course starts with Tea Olive (the first hole) and concludes with Holly (the 18th hole). Two of the more memorable holes for television viewers are the 12th (Golden Bell) and 13th (Azalea) holes.

Finally, when you attend the Masters, parking is free and concession costs are very reasonable. The prices for pimento cheese sandwiches and egg salad sandwiches were just $1.50 each. Masters-branded potato chips were $1.50, and Masters-branded bottles of water were only $2. And the peach pie ice cream sandwiches were $3. If you do get a badge to enjoy the Masters as a patron in 2025, be sure you enjoy a pimento cheese sandwich. Just like attending the Masters, it’s better than advertised.

Local Nonprofit Takes Action To Reduce The Risk Of Autism-Related Drownings

Children with autism face a staggering statistic: They are 160 times more likely to drown than their neurotypical peers, according to the Autism Society of Florida.

In response to this critical issue, the Connections Education Center of the Palm Beaches, a nonprofit school in West Palm Beach dedicated to serving children with autism, is stepping up during Autism Awareness Month in April to reduce the risk.

The majority of Connections’ students live below the poverty line and come from minority families, and they often lack access to critical services. Recognizing the unique challenges that these children and others with autism face, the school includes adaptive swim lessons in the curriculum for all students.

“Water safety skills must be a priority for children with autism. It’s common for children with autism to ‘elope’ or wander from where they’re safe, and they’re

often drawn to water out of curiosity,” explained Debra Johnson, executive director and principal at Connections. “This can create a dangerous situation.”

That’s why students at Connections attend weekly, adaptive swim lessons with specially trained instructors. “Children with autism often learn to swim differently than other children,” Johnson said. “Our adaptive swim lessons enable students to acquire swim skills in a flexible order, in a sensory-friendly environment, with instructors who lean heavily on visual cues rather than verbal instruction.”

The school’s swim program has proven highly effective and has been shared as a model at a statewide educators’ conference. However, public funding falls short of covering its costs. In response, Connections has launched the “Draw the Line on Drowning” campaign. This initiative aims to raise awareness and funds to sustain the school’s vital swim

program. To learn more, or to contribute, visit DLDautism. All donations made by April 30 will be matched by a donor up to $50,000.

In addition to fundraising, Connections is sharing essential water safety tips for children with autism on its web site at

To showcase student progress, Connections’ students will demonstrate their swim skills April 30 through May 3 at the Lake Lytal Park pool between 9:45 a.m. and 1:20 p.m. daily. Each class will compete in an aquatic obstacle course, fostering friendly competition while highlighting the importance of water safety. Spectators are welcome with advanced reservations made by calling the school at (561) 328-6044. Classes are also competing to see which can raise the most funds during the Draw the Line on Drowning campaign.

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com April 19 - May 2, 2024 Page 23 SPORTS & RECREATION
Bob Rodgers and Nicky Rodgers with their Masters badges. with the ball. PHOTO BY RICHARD AREYZAGA JR. Nicky Rodgers with her new Masters hat.

Grand Champions Hosts Successful Royal Salute Polo Challenge

In a star-studded event featuring Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, Grand Champions Polo Club hosted the Royal Salute Polo Challenge in support of Sentebale.

Sentebale was co-founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho in southern Africa 2006, in honor of their shared love for the country and their late mothers. Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, was among the many esteemed guests in attendance, including tennis star Serena Williams. The Duchess presented the trophy to the winning team.

“Me,” smiled Prince Harry as his wife walked toward him with the trophy and a sweet celebratory kiss. The pro-am polo charity match at Grand Champions and postgame dinner for 280 invited guests hosted by Marc and Melissa Ganzi at the Santa Rita Polo Farm highlighted the importance of the programs in Lesotho and Botswana affected by issues of health, unemployment, inequity and climate change, and how the sport of polo can help promote the charity’s vital work.

social challenges they face, including high unemployment, poverty and the impact of HIV/AIDS.”

The organization’s name, “Sentebale,” meaning “forget-me-not” in Sesotho, reflects its dedication to ensuring that no child is overlooked or forgotten.

thrill of competition, the speed with which the game is played and the adrenaline,” Figueras said. “We love and respect the beauty of these animals and the amazing ingredients that this sport offers.”

Royal Salute Sentebale (Dana Barnes, the Duke of Sussex, Adolfo Cambiaso and Malcolm Borwick) won the round robin 3-1, over Grand Champions (Louis Devaleix, Grant Ganzi, Nacho Figueras and Hilario Figueras) and Mesaru (Steve Cox, Ivan Rubinich, Pablo MacDonough and Mohawed Julien Ndao) with the Duke of Sussex scoring a goal. Steve Cox was named Most Valuable Player. Nacho Figueras’ bay mare Yatay Sara Jessica was named Best Playing Pony.

After the match, Prince Harry said in a statement, “Bringing together the polo community that has long supported the work of Sentebale is always a great experience. Today, we raised funds to support our local teams on the ground deliver life-changing programs. The Sentebale team’s commitment plays an essential role in the lives of children and young people across Lesotho and Botswana, offering them hope, education and the means to combat the complex

“We are grateful to all of the guests, sponsors and partners who came together today to support this important work, and, of course, a huge thank you to all the players for making today’s game possible,” Prince Harry’s added.

The polo match, in combination with other events from the week, including a dinner and panel at Zaytinya in South Beach, and a Sotheby’s benefit auction, raised a total of $1 million for the organization.

The Duke of Sussex had fun playing against longtime friend and Sentebale ambassador Nacho Figueras, who he usually plays with.

“What an incredible day at the Grand Champions Polo Club,” Figueras said. “It was a day not just of sport, but of significant purpose. I’m so proud to have shared this experience with my very good friend, Prince Harry. We came together to support Sentebale, a charity close to our hearts... It’s always an honor to ride alongside Prince Harry, whose commitment to making a difference is truly inspiring.”

Figueras first met Prince Harry at a 2007 charity match benefiting Sentebale. They bonded over their love of horses and the sport.

“We both love horses, polo, the

Later, on his Instagram account, Figueras shared photos of the royal couple with the caption, “Thank you Grand Champions Polo Club, Melissa Ganzi and Marc for this great night celebrating Sentebale.” The polo game was kept under wraps and not publicized for security reasons.

Grand Champions’ sister club

Aspen Valley Polo Club in Colorado has hosted two Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cups in 2021 and 2022. Marc Ganzi played in the 2013 Sentebale event in Greenwich, Connecticut; Marc and Melissa Ganzi played in the 2016 event at Valiente in Wellington; and Riley Ganzi played in the 2018 event in Windsor, England.

2024 Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Challenge Champions Dana Barnes; Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, with Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex; Adolfo Cambiaso; and Malcolm Borwick during the trophy presentation at the Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington.

Congratulations to the Woodlands Middle School girls basketball team on an undefeated season and winning the 2024 Palm Beach County Girls Basketball Championship. It is the school’s first county championship in basketball. The girls won the south-central division title and went on to defeat Eagles Landing Middle School, Boca Raton Middle School and Watson B. Duncan Middle School in the playoffs and championship game.

Junior campers

have fun with themed projects inspired by culture, history and art mediums. Teen intensive workshops help students develop portfolio-ready artwork to reach their next level. Teens can choose from a robust choice of studio classes and develop in an atmosphere free of judgment and full of encouragement. Camps are taught by professional art educators and teaching artists. The Armory Art Center is located at 811 Park Place in West Palm Beach. For more information, call (561) 832-1776 or register online at www.

Keep your skills sharp this summer at Education Place in Wellington, which is offering an educational and fun summer. Your elementary scholar will both enforce existing skills and learn new ones while having fun with the arts and science. Combat the summer slide in a safe and nurturing, air-conditioned environment. For more information, call (561) 753-6563. Education Place is located in the original Wellington Mall at 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 23.

The Florida Rowing Center’s Summer Rowing Camp is now in its sixth year. The program is designed for both boys and girls who want to learn to row, as well as experienced rowers looking to improve their sculling technique and fitness. Come have fun on the water. The program rows on Lake Wellington, a fresh water, protected, 2,000-meter-long lake. Registration is limited to allow individual, personalized coaching and instruction. The summer program is open to students age 12 and up led by head coach Doug Cody. For 35 years, the Florida Rowing Center has attracted and trained elite level competitors from North America and Europe. Register and learn more at

SPORTS & RECREATION Page 24 April 19 - May 2, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier
They defeated each team by at least 20 points. The team was led by eighth graders Hanna Merzius and Victoria Francisco, while seventh graders Nyla Leger, Jasmine Modric and Taylor Downing, and sixth grader Autumn Shackleton, contributed on offense and defense all season long. Coach Trotta is extremely proud of the girls’ hard work and dedication and looks forward to another successful season next year.
The Wellington Shootout 2024 took place on Sunday, March 24, and Team Boca Boys White (shown above) won in the Boys U-14 category. (Right) Player Sebastian Osorio celebrates the victory. PHOTO BY JASON KOERNER/GETTY IMAGES
2024 $275/Week Weekly June 3 through August 9, 2024 ~Reasonable Swimming Skills Required. Mon-Fri 8am - 10am or 10:30am - 12:30pm SUMMER ART CAMP June 3 - August 2 Junior Ages 5.5-8 and 9-12 Teens Ages 13-17 Junior campers will have fun with themed projects inspired by culture, history, and art mediums. Teen intensive workshops help students develop portfolio-ready artwork to reach their next level. Teens can choose from a robust choice of studio classes, and develop in an atmosphere free of judgement and full of encouragement. Camps are taught by professional art educators and teaching artists. Learn more and register online at West Palm Beach, FL 33401 (561) 832-1776 SUMMER ART CAMP June 3 - August 2 Junior Ages 5.5-8 and 9-12 Teens Ages 13-17 Junior campers will have fun with themed projects inspired by culture, history, and art mediums. Teen intensive workshops help students develop portfolio-ready artwork to reach their next level. Teens can choose from a robust choice of studio classes, and develop in an atmosphere free of judgement and full of encouragement. Camps are taught by professional art Learn more and register online at 811 Park Place West Palm Beach, FL 33401 (561) 832-1776 14990 Palm Beach Point Blvd, Wellington, FL 33414 OUR PROGRAMS JR. ZOOKEEPER Learn all about what it takes to be a zookeeper! HANDS-ON experience with our animals, with days focusing on zoology, feeding and cleaning, veterinary procedures, grooming, training, and enrichment! WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST Do you have a little wildlife biologist at home? Let them come and learn all about what it takes to preserve our planet for years to come! We’ll take a look at the endangered species list, ecosystems, environmental problems, poaching and pet trade, and dinosaurs and extinction! And of course HANDS-ON time with the animals that are affected most! OUR ANIMALS Each day will take an in-depth look at one of our many species at the farm! Sloth Day, Lemur Day, Anteater Day, Wallaby Day and Capybara Day! Featuring up close encounters with each day’s guest of honor! TO REGISTER CALL COLE 203-206-9932 This camp is an all-access pass to animal fun for the summer! Become a Jr. Zookeeper, learn about conservation, or even just focus on some of our animals at the farm! There are three unique programs that are sure to interest kids of all ages! NOW TAKING RESERVATIONS FOR CHILDREN AGES 8-14 FOR THE SUMMER MONTHS! MONTESSORI SUMMER CAMP Daily Educational Enrichment Arts And Crafts STEM Activities & More Ages Rising K Through Rising 6th 561-753-6563 12794 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 23 Wellington, Florida 33414 June 10 - June 14 June - 17 - June 21 June 24 - June 28 July 8 - July 12 JUNE/JULY DATES ACTIVITIES Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m Tuition $250/week Discount for second child Summer Art Camp at the Armory Art Center runs from June 3
Aug. 2. The camp is designed for
to 8 and 9 to
Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, of Royal Salute Sentebale hooks Pablo MacDonough of Mesaru as he tries to hit the ball. PHOTO BY CANDACE FERREIRA
12, and teens ages 13 to 17.

Bret Mahr, a New York Citybased actor hailing from Royal Palm Beach, recently made an appearance on the now-streaming television show Feud: Capote vs. The Swans Mahr’s performance has drawn praise from viewers and industry insiders

Scout Pack 125 and Troop

Wellington recently spent a morning visiting the newly established wildflower meadow made possible through a grant given by the Florida Wildflower Foundation.

meadow is in Greenbriar Park and is a partnership between the Wellington Garden Club and the Village of Wellington.

The scouts, parents and leaders were led on a private tour of the meadow by Wellington Garden Club Wildflower Meadow Chair Lisa Ferrano. Some of the native plants that the scouts learned about were black-eyed Susan, wild petunia, dune sunflower, coontie and more. These grasses and wildflowers provide habitat for insects, birds and small mammals.

After the tour of the meadow, the energetic scouts, along with their parents and leaders, also spent the beautiful Good Friday morning weeding, tidying up and spreading fresh new mulch at the adjacent native plant/butterfly garden, which was first established by the Wellington Garden Club in 2010, in partnership with the Village of Wellington. It has grown and flourished to be a beautiful native plant garden and host to different South Florida butterflies, such as the Monarch and Atala. The community is welcome to visit both the wildflower meadow and butterfly garden to learn more about the beauty of nature. The Wellington Garden Club thanks the local scouts and the Village of Wellington for their support.

On Wednesday, April 10, local author Bruce Maltzman discussed his book Be Inspired! with an enthusiastic group at Brie’s Book Club at Starbucks in Royal Palm Beach. Brie’s Book Club is hosted by barista Brianna Strickland and meets at the Starbucks in Southern Palm Crossing, located at 11081 Southern Blvd., every other Wednesday. The next meeting is scheduled for April 24.

Be Inspired! is an inspirational book filled with powerful thoughts and ideas from some of the greatest minds who ever lived, like Einstein, Lincoln, Bill Gates, J.C. Penney and Steve Jobs. Included are profiles of eight giants in the field of self-development, like Dale Carnegie, Richard Carlson, Dr. Wayne Dyer and Stephen

Covey. There are also life lessons from influential celebrities, such as Walt Disney and Oprah, as well as legendary athletes like Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan.

Maltzman’s presentation focused on Elaine St. James and how to simplify your life, and on Dale Carnegie and some of his valuable life lessons, including, “True happiness does not depend on any external conditions. It is governed by our mental attitude.”

Maltzman concluded the presentation by reading a short selection entitled “The Starfish Story” from his book, which emphasizes the responsibility to make a difference in the world. Be Inspired! is available on Amazon, and Maltzman can be contacted for group presentations at

Know an aspiring scientist? The Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Junior Marine Biologist Summer Camp gives children ages 6 to 13 the amazing opportunity to explore Florida’s coastal ecosystems, enjoy hands-on science activities and so much more. Campers will also learn about fun ways to protect the oceans. Sessions include Sea Turtle Savers, Ocean Adventures and Conservation Kids. Camps run Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Late pickup at 5 p.m. is available for an additional fee. For more information, and to register, visit

The Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center Summer Horsemanship Camp is an inclusionary camp for riders of all abilities ages 8 to 16. No horse experience is necessary. Learn equestrian skills and horse care, build confidence and independence while caring for horses and enjoying time at the farm. Group sizes are limited with riders divided into groups based on their experience and ability. Weekly sessions run June 3 through Aug. 2 from 9 a.m. to noon. Register your child today at Visit or call (561) 792-9900 for more info. Vinceremos is located at 13300 6th Court North in Loxahatchee Groves.

For those exotic animal lovers interested in an exciting summer program, the Wellington Conservation Center is now taking reservations for children ages 8 to 14 for the summer months. This camp is an all-access pass to animal fun for the summer. Become a junior zookeeper, learn about conservation or even just focus on some of the animals at the farm. There are three unique programs, with each week full of hands-on learning experiences sure to excite the interest of kids of all ages. Camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with before and after care available. The cost is $300 per week, per child. To register, call Cole at (203) 206-9932. Learn more at

PALMS WEST PEOPLE The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com April 15 - May 2, 2024 Page 25
125 of The
have been part of such a talented cast, and I’m excited for future projects,” Mahr said. Feud: Capote vs. The Swans can be streamed on Hulu/FX.
alike. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work on the
Murphy production. “Working on Feud: Capote vs. The Swans was a fantastic experience. It’s an honor to
Scouts Tour New Wildflower Meadow And Clean Up Local Butterfly Garden
with the visiting scouts. Wildflower Meadow Chair Lisa Ferrano leads the scouts on their tour. Actor Bret Mahr Author Bruce Maltzman Speaks At RPB Book Club Author Bruce Maltzman speaks at Brie’s Book Club in Royal Palm Beach. RPB Native Bret Mahr Impresses In Guest Role POST 390’S JAMES SPARROW GETS SURPRISE WELCOME HOME FROM HONOR FLIGHT AT PBIA Robert Toussaint,
Sparrow, Tina Schaffer, John Shwiner, Laz Sed and Ernie Zimmerman. With American Legion Post 390 Sergeant-at-Arms James Sparrow being the only Wellington post member on the recent landmark 50th flight by Southeast Florida Honor Flight, the Post 390 Welcoming Committee, along with Cub Scout Pack 125 of Wellington, was at Palm Beach International Airport to celebrate Sparrow on his return. Honor Flight takes World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans to spend a day visiting memorial monuments in Washington, D.C.
Youth Garden Club Chair Kathy Siena
2024 all for more details 792 9900 com/vinceremostrc •Inclusionarycamp,forridersof allabilitiesaged8-16•Nohorse experiencenecessary •Riderswillbedividedintosmall •groupsbasedontheirexperience&ability Learnequestrianskillsandhorse care•Buildconfidenceandindependence whilecaringforhorsesandenjoyingtimeatthefarm••Groupssizesarelimited PATHcertifiedinstructors
Colton King, ET Hafner, Xavier Harpel, Brandon Webb, Jacob Webb and Andy Cohan of Pack 125.
Summer Horsemanship Camp

Pierce Hammock Elementary School recently announced the remarkable victory of its Odyssey of the Mind team, which came in fourth place in the recent state competition. The team’s exceptional performance follows a first-place win at the regional competition in Port Saint Lucie in February.

In a display of creativity, teamwork and ingenuity, the talented students from Pierce Hammock showcased their brilliance and problem-solving skills, earning accolades and admiration from judges and spectators. Their dedication and countless hours of preparation truly paid off, accomplishing unprecedented achievements as first-year competitors for Palm Beach County.

The Florida League of Mayors (FLM), an organization for Florida’s mayors, founded and developed by Florida’s mayors, recently announced the 2023-24 “If I Were Elected Mayor” essay contest winners. The contest, hosted annually, is sponsored by FLM and the Florida League of Cities. Among the winners was Marialucia Hernandez of Emerald Cove Middle School in Wellington, who took second place.

Other winners were Andrew Johnson of Gulf Coast Classical Academy in Clearwater and Aayushi Kamdar of Coral Springs Middle School, who both took first place, as well as Maya Morrison of Coral Springs Middle School, who took third place.

“We are overjoyed by the outstanding achievement of our Odyssey of the Mind team,” Principal Dianne Rivelli-Schreiber said. “Their victory is a testament to their hard work, collaboration and innovative spirit. We couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishment and representation as Palm Beach County students.” On

Three Wellington High School Debaters Headed To Nationals

Three members of the Wellington High School speech and debate team will be representing the school at the 2024 National Speech & Debate Association National Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa, to be held June 15-22.

The students headed to nationals are Ahna Guillaume in Program Oral Interpretation, Izzy Parissos in Humorous Interpretation, and Ewa Tryniszewski as part of a hybrid Florida Oceanfront NSDA District World Schools Debate team.

In addition, Melody Pratz is second alternate in United States Extemporaneous Speaking, Paula Currea Mahacha is second alternate in International Extemporaneous Speaking, Olivia Winton third alternate in Original Oratory and Patrick McDermott a finalist in Congressional Debate.

The contest required participants to write a 250-word essay describing how they would make a difference in their community if they were elected mayor, and how home rule, the ability of local

governments to address local problems with local solutions, helps make their community a great place to live. All middle school students in the state were invited to participate. More than 1,000 essays were submitted.

“I would prioritize public transportation,” Hernandez wrote in her essay. “Public transportation can aid many citizens, especially elderly people who can’t drive, and minors under the age of 16, who can’t get a driver’s license yet. Public transportation can additionally help better the local economy, since one dollar invested in public transportation is estimated to generate five economic dollars back. Public transportation would be advantageous for essentially everyone.” Hernandez added that she would also concentrate on affordable housing.

“To conclude, if I were to be elected mayor, I would focus on improving the quality of life, fos-

tering community growth and promoting economic development. I vow to lead the community with integrity and utilize Home Rule to meet civilian needs,” she wrote. Johnson’s winning essay explained that, as mayor, his goals would be to address the city’s population increase and lower the crime rate by employing more police officers. Kamdar also wrote that his focus would be on policing in the community and placed an emphasis on sustainability.

All four contest winners will be recognized by their mayors during meetings of their local governments. They will be presented with a joint resolution from the Florida League of Cities and the Florida League of Mayors, and their essays will be published on the Florida League of Mayors web site and recognized by FLC’s Quality Cities magazine.

Visit to learn more about the Florida League of Mayors.

ECMS Places Well In Math Competition

Stallion Summer Camp at Western Academy Charter School is sure to be a summer filled with fun and learning. Your child will experience learning activities like Passport to STEM and field trips to Lion Country Safari, Palm Beach Skate Zone and more. Weekly sessions run June 3 through July 22. The cost is $230 per week, per child with a one-time $50 registration fee, which includes two shirts. Register and view the full calendar of summer camp activities at www., or call (561) 792-4123 to learn more. Western Academy is located at 12031 Southern Blvd.

SCHOOL NEWS Page 26 April 19 - May 2, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier
Thursday, March 28, three teams of students represented Emerald Cove Middle School at the 62nd annual Palm Beach County Council of Teachers of Mathematics (PBCCTM) Middle School Math Competition held at Dr. Joaquín García High School.
Ahna Guillaume, Assistant Coach Kristen Taylor and Izzy Parissos.
Cove Student Among Florida League Of Mayors Essay Winners
Odyssey of the Mind students Michela Cariseo (third grade), Amir Talib (third grade), Noah Talib (third grade), Narayan Girdhari (fourth grade), Catalina Caballero (fifth grade), Savannah Conaway (fifth grade) and Ava Schouwink (fifth grade). Student Adithya Dondapati with his award.
Pierce Hammock Elementary Odyssey Of The Mind Team Places Fourth In State
The Odyssey of the Mind program encourages students to think outside the box, fostering creativity, critical thinking and teamwork. Competing in various long-form and spontaneous problem-solving challenges, participants explore solutions that are as diverse as they are imaginative. The Emerald Cove math competition team. Emerald Cove was one of nine Palm Beach County schools to compete. Each grade-level team first participated in a digital escape room that contained five levels to unlock. The second half of the competition was an individual test, in which students had 45 minutes to complete 30 questions. Emerald Cove students had a great time working together and then on their own in this exciting and high-level competition, placing in the team competition at each grade level. Sixth grade took third place, seventh grade took second place and eighth grade took third place. In addition, Emerald Cove student Adithya Dondapati placed third in the individual competition. 2024
is a terrible thing to waste! Call (561) 793-7606 And Ask About Our Special Advertising Packages!

National Pickleball Celebrity Visits Wellington Bay Residents

In what’s a bit of a flip-flop, seniors are the trendsetters while younger generations follow closely behind at the Wellington Bay senior living community.

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the United States, with an estimated 4.8 million players. The game, which is a combination of badminton, ping-pong and tennis, was, in earlier years, predominantly played among older adults. It is a game increasingly attracting younger generations because of its social aspect, accessibility, inclusivity, ease of learning and just pure fun.

Wellington Bay first opened its doors a year ago. With an appreciation for the popularity of the sport, two pickleball courts were built. They are among the most popular amenities, which also include bocce ball courts, a zero-entry outdoor pool, an indoor pool, a 65,000-square-foot-clubhouse, a library, an art room and more. Residents of Wellington

Donald P. Dufresne of Wellington was recently welcomed as a shareholder in the Real Estate and Government Law & Lobbying Practice areas at Becker, a leading multi-practice commercial law firm with attorneys, lobbyists and other professionals throughout the United States. He will be based in the West Palm Beach office.

“I look forward to contributing to Becker’s legacy of excellence and working alongside a talented team to continue to serve our clients’ needs,” Dufresne said.

Bay can, through the senior living community’s arrangement, have free access to golf at Wellington National Golf Club.

Early on, Wellington Bay residents decided to launch a pickleball club as one of the many resident-driving programs in the community.

The club’s president is resident Artie Lynnworth, who is passionate about the game. Recently, national pickleball star Alex Pop-Moldovan came to provide pickleball instruction to the residents.

“I have taken lessons from Alex at PGA National,” Lynnworth said. “Alex is a nationally ranked player, a bronze medalist in the U.S. Pickleball Open, and a coach to one of the USA’s best pickleball teams. He really knows how to make learning a productive and entertaining experience.” Pop-Moldovan came to Wellington Bay to hold two clinics for the residents: one for begin-

ners and another for intermediate players.

“He helped residents learn key skills for success on the court, held drills and ended the day with a round-robin match,” Lynnworth said.

As a result of witnessing the residents’ enjoyment of pickleball, as well as their growing skills, some of the staff members at Wellington Bay expressed interest in learning how to play.

“The residents have volunteered to coach the staff,” Lynnworth said. “We already have great camaraderie, and playing pickleball together will further enhance the wonderful spirit and atmosphere of living here at beautiful Wellington Bay.”

Wellness Director Melissa Clark was thrilled with the opportunity to learn the game.

“I can tell you that our residents are great pickleball players,” she said. “They are teaching us the rules of the game and also the

Dufresne has more than three decades of experience in advising both domestic and foreign clients on a broad range of real property matters, including acquisition, development, sale, construction, leasing and financing. He has a particular focus on equine law and matters involving the equestrian industry.

Dufresne is also a certified circuit court mediator and has extensive experience in land use, zoning, code enforcement and other regulatory matters, including real property tax appeals and agricultural tax classifications.

Dufresne’s clientele is diverse, extending to both domestic and international clients. His portfolio includes assisting American buyers and sellers of real property transactions spanning across the Bahamas and Europe. Dufresne is involved in many community, civic and charitable organizations. He serves on the board of the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council and is a trustee for both the South Florida Fair and Palm Beach County’s BizPac. He previously served as a member of the Palm Beach County Planning & Zoning Commission,

as well as the Palm Beach County Consumer Affairs Hearing Board. He is the former chair of Wellington’s Equestrian Preserve Committee and past president of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.

“Don’s extensive legal experience and active engagement within our communities make him an excellent addition to Becker,” Managing Shareholder and CEO Gary C. Rosen said.

Real estate law has been a cornerstone of Becker’s practice since its establishment in 1973. The firm’s attorneys have been instrumental in shaping local landscapes, representing developers, business owners and financial institutions across a spectrum of transactions. Becker has also been pivotal in crafting and adapting land use and zoning classifications to support clients’ development projects statewide.

Drawing from expertise in real estate, local governmental law, lobbying and construction law, Becker offers unparalleled counsel for planning, development and construction endeavors. Learn more at

nuances like how to be safe, how to be in the right place at the right time, and the best ways to hit and place the ball. I can speak for myself when I say that I personally have a long way to go, and I truly appreciate their guidance in the court.”

Concierge Director Dominique McDonald agreed. “I truly enjoy interacting with the residents. I am new at the game and can see why so many people love it. When we play, and the residents give us lessons, it makes me feel safe and at ease,” she said.

Some staff members are beginning to try out pickleball without the residents formally training them but offering the gracious recipients unsolicited guidance. After watching some of Wellington Bay’s dining servers “pickle around,” Artie said, “I did send them some links to pickleball tips

that they can watch online and be better prepared for self-improvement,” he said. Wellington Bay is a rental retire-

ment community featuring luxury apartments on a palm tree-shaded campus in Wellington. Learn more at

PulteGroup Closes On Land For New DiVosta Community

PulteGroup has purchased 36.5 acres in west-central Palm Beach County for Antica, a new DiVosta community. Plans call for 108 single-family homes with prices starting in the $700,000s.

PulteGroup bought the former farmland on the south side of Lake Worth Road just east of State Road 7 in unincorporated Palm Beach County.

“Antica will be an intimate community ideal for families and individuals seeking a single-family home in a prime location of Palm Beach County,” said Brent Baker, division president for PulteGroup in South Florida. “You will have easy access to Florida’s Turnpike, which is a few miles to the east, and the Mall at Wellington Green, just a short distance to the west.” Homeowners will enjoy amenities such as a resort-style pool and cabana. They will not be charged community development district fees. Home designs will be announced at a later date.

DiVosta Homes, PulteGroup’s luxury brand known for its high-quality construction and attention to detail, will have modern one- and two-story home designs that can be tailored to homeowners’ personal tastes and needs. This is PulteGroup’s third land acquisition in six months in the suburban Lake Worth/Wellington

www.pultegroup. com.

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com April 19 - May 2, 2024 Page 27 BUSINESS NEWS
with Wellington Bay residents.
Pickleball star Alex
A rendering of one of the possible home designs at Antica.
Donald P. Dufresne area. In December, PulteGroup bought 43.6 acres for Greyhawk, a DiVosta community near the Lyons and Hypoluxo roads intersection with 131 single-family home sites. Two months earlier, the company acquired 27 acres near the Military Trail and Hypoluxo Road intersection for Everton. It will have 210 upscale townhomes by Pulte Homes. “We are committed to finding good development sites in Palm Beach County for both single-family and townhome communities,” Baker said. “We are extremely bullish on the market.” For more information about Antica, or to schedule an appointment, call (561) 556-4448. PulteGroup Inc., based in Atlanta, is one of America’s largest homebuilding companies with operations in more than 45 markets throughout the country. Its brand portfolio includes Centex, Pulte Homes, Del Webb, DiVosta Homes, American West and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods. Learn more at
Becker Law Firm Welcomes Donald P. Dufresne Of Wellington As Shareholder
Courtyard Shops at Wellington 13920 Wellington Trace #200 Wellington, FL 33414 Andrew Burr Broker Associate 561-324-8914 ANNOUNCING The Keyes Family of Companies - Keyes, Platinum Properties, and Illustrated Properties - are now the EXCLUSIVE members of the Forbes Global Properties network for all of Southeast Florida - Martin County, Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County. This network provides substantial value and access to the wealthiest individuals in the world in an environment that already draws attention. With Luxury Portfolio International & Forbes Global Properties, no other broker in South Florida has the level of reach that Keyes offers the affluent consumer. Andrew Burr Group At Keyes Company Andrew Burr, Broker Associate Maria Fernanda Cruz, Realtor Associate The Pfeiffers, Leslie & Randy, Realtor Associates Jenilee Guilbert, Realtor Dawn Rivera, Realtor Amber Rose, Executive Assistant Andrew Burr Group is NOW an Exclusive Provider of Forbes Global Properties Syndication TOP 5  BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE IN PALM BEACH COUNTY KEYES Award Recipient 2024 • Exceptional Global Brand representing quality, Innovation, influence, and success • Connection to 150 million unique visitors on Forbes’ digital platforms • Unsurpassed Listing Exposure • Residential listings priced $2,000,000+ will syndicate automatically to Please make online donations at: The Retired Firefighters of Palm Beach County and the Professional Firefighters/Paramedics of Palm Beach County Local 2928, I.A.F.F. Inc have partnered to create the Fallen Firefighter Memorial Park at Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Headquarters Your contribution will honor the members of our department and the fire service who have given so much to the community. The Fallen Firefighter Memorial Project will fund the Fallen Firefighter statue and provide assistance for fallen firefighter families to attend national and state ceremonies honoring their hero. Honor $10,000 Name listed on donor plaque near statue* Logo on fundraising events for memorial statue Plaque of appreciation Logo and hyperlinks on website and social media Respect $5,000 Name listed on donor plaque near statue* Logo on fundraising events for memorial statue Logo and hyperlinks on website and social media Loyalty $2,500 Name listed on donor plaque near statue* Logo on fundraising events for memorial statue Logo and hyperlinks on website and social media Pride $1,000 Name listed on donor plaque near statue* Logo on fundraising events for memorial statue Logo on website and social media Hero $500 Company/Name on fundraising events Company/Name on website and social media Company/Name listed on inaugural brochure Valor $250 Certificate of appreciation Company/Name listed on inaugural brochure Courage $50 - $250 Our deepest appreciation *Donation level will be represented in larger to smaller font HELP FUND THE FALLEN FIREFIGHTER STATUE

The Joys Of Retail: Early Morning Break-In Has Me On Edge

My northern antiques store was broken into, effectively putting the “misery” in “Missouri.” I have invested hundreds of dollars into security devices and pay $25 per month per camera to ward off criminals, but it doesn’t matter. Why work when you can just help yourself to the possessions of those who are working?

It happened at 7:50 a.m., which worries me because sometimes I go in at 7:50 a.m. to rearrange things or do paperwork, even though we don’t open the doors until 10 a.m. Could I have walked in on the thief?

Two days prior, the alarm went off at about 11 p.m. because “someone” (my guess is the perpetrator) threw a chunk of concrete through one of my windows.

He couldn’t get in, though, because the remaining shards of glass would’ve sliced him in two upon entering. But at least the alarm went off, and I was able to go down there and block the hole so that raccoons didn’t take over.

When the police came to write up their report, they said that there was a hole in

the chain link fence around the back of the building that I should get fixed. I walked out back and looked at it, and it was a little doorway, 3 feet by 2 feet, with edges carefully curled back so the crook didn’t hurt himself while using it. Ask me how sympathetic I feel about this.

Chain link repair estimate: $980.

Window replacement cost: $2,054.06.

When the crook finally got in, he used the back door — a metal door with a metal pipe crossbar across the center of it. He bashed in the doorknob with a hammer, but that didn’t work because of the crossbar, so he peeled back the door itself with a crowbar and creeped in like the vermin he is.

Unfortunately for me, the top of the

door was still secure, so the alarm sensor wasn’t disturbed and didn’t go off. He got to take his time stealing $8,000 of rare coins, our drawer bank, our petty cash and whatever else he felt like grabbing. Ironically, the $8,000-plus wasn’t enough for him. He had to reach up and steal the framed “first dollar bill I ever made” from the wall behind the checkout. That last bit of greed caught him on camera, however — a nice full face shot — and it is that photo, along with the security video, that will be his doom. Because insurance may cover the rest (if they don’t cancel me) but stealing my first dollar hurt me enough emotionally so that I don’t feel bad at all about sending him up the river to Leavenworth.

Another thing that hurt me emotionally is that I suspect it was an “inside job.” Even though none of my clerks are on the video, one of them left town just as this happened, paying off a bunch of expenses she hadn’t had the money for just a

Despite The Negative Press, Cruising Remains A Great Vacation

There have been a group of recent stories about the fun and disasters of doing cruises these days. And, yes, we can agree there are real issues. Trying to work out some of the “specials,” like what fluids are counted in some of the programs, might require computers and a few scholars. Who could know that an “all soft drinks” buy would not cover bottled water? It’s real fun when you want to go ashore at some place where the temperatures climb and water safety is insecure. And then you find out a bottle of water which might cost a half dollar at the store, and which you assumed would cost you nothing because you put down your money early, will cost you $5?


on a day tour of Florence. For those who have not been there, you land at La Spezia, a port about two hours away by highway and travel in. And the two hours works if there is relatively little traffic.

Now there are some real issues. Many of you may have read about passengers left behind by a cruise ship at an island off the coast of Africa. They were late getting back to the ship and wound up on a seven-country rush to catch up with the ship. Added to that, there was a medical problem. There is a real way around that. When you cruise, you can take tours run by the ship. Yes, I know you’ll tell me that those are a bit vanilla, that they generally just go to main tourist sites and cost more than the guys with taxis waiting down by the pier. But on tours like that, the ships wait for you.

A few years ago, my wife and I went

After a hot, busy day visiting a museum or two and a couple of churches, we piled in and hit a real traffic jam. We were two hours away when we broke out of it, and the ship was due to leave an hour and a half later. In other words, we could miss the ship by at least a half hour. And there was a busload of us! But our guide told us to relax; the ship would wait. And it did! We got to the pier and were allowed to drive right up to the gangway at 7:10 p.m. We had been set for an early dinner, so we hit the buffet and made the show. I did need a strong drink. But they made sure we were aboard. Then there are the ridiculous critiques. A guy named Gary Shteyngart wrote “Crying Myself to Sleep on the Biggest Cruise Ship Ever” for The Atlantic. It was clear he, and the magazine, were there for a hatchet job. First of all, they took a $19,000 suite for one person, a suite that he (mistakenly) said had no view of the ocean. And then he tried to be cute as he looked around for victims (normal people who were passengers). To set himself apart he wore a “Daddy’s Little Meatball” T-shirt.

Cruise ships are for fun, and most are designed for middle class fun. Some aim more at families, others at folks whose families are grown and want to see more of the world. Yes, some ships can be confusing. But in general, if you want to have a really good time, they are good fun. In advance, check out YouTube, which often has videos dedicated to different ships and cruise lines. They can give useful tips in terms of first choosing where you want to go and then advise you on ways to avoid problems once onboard.

So bon voyage. And forget the fool and his meatball.

And, boy, did he suffer. He had no real interest in talking to regular people; he went searching for a few drunks, a few people who were not all that happy. He hated the food. He seemed to criticize the water show for being wet. He described the ice show as a celebration of the periodic table. And since the big show was the Wizard of Oz, he got a chance to be the characters without a brain or heart. Yes, you would not see the kinds of shows on a cruise ship as you go through some of the off-off-Broadway shows by people so witty most of us never heard of them. After all, there’s a show for them in London that warns that some cast members eat oranges on stage. Frankly, I’d rather be in Kansas.

Page 28 April 19 - May 2, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier FEATURES
She called from “halfway to Florida”
and state conspicuously absent
her conversation) to say she would not be able to work for me anymore.
that right.) Cost of changing the locks,
So the joys
of people
the scenes.
of course.
for listening. Deborah Welky is The Sonic BOOMER GET YOUR FREE MAILED SUBSCRIPTION If you are not getting your FREE subscription to this newspaper... what are you waiting for? The Town-Crier offers free home delivery to all who request it! By filling out this form, you can sign up for your FREE MAILED SUBSCRIPTION. SIGN UP TODAY! CLIP AND MAIL TO: The Town-Crier Newspaper 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 33, Wellington, FL 33414 Yes, please enter my FREE subscription to The Town-Crier Newspaper!  Name: ____________________________________________ Address: __________________________________________ City/State/Zip: ____________________________________ E-mail (optional): Signature: _________________________________________ Date: _____________________________________________ PLEASE PRINT NEATLY
Applicants must possess the ability to troubleshoot and repair simple mechanical/electrical systems and keep accurate records of those tasks.
Assemble, maintain, and repair portable tanks, pumps, motors, power generating, and hydraulic equipment. * Assist maintenance mechanic with all duties, i.e., changing engine oil, fluids and repair of flat tires, etc. * Perform basic preventative maintenance functions on fleet equipment. * Maintain inventory of tools and supplies as needed for daily tasks. * Possess a clean CDL Class B license.
Hazmat endorsement is preferred.
Able to safely operate multiple vehicles and most heavy mobile equipment.
Physically able to climb ladders and lift heavy objects routinely.
Willing to travel between the various branches and job sites throughout South Florida as needed.
Detail-oriented, team player with strong communications skills.
Motivated to lean and willing to work weekends as needed and flexible with schedule.
An energetic, motivated, eager, positive-minded individual that desires to be part of a growing operations.
Must be willing to complete a background and drug screening.
you have
offer a competitive compensation package:
Paid holidays
Vacation and Sick time
Health, Dental, Vision, and a 401K for your retirement with a match.
Paid orientation
Paid renewal on Medical Cards - yearly
Pay is according to experience Let’s get you started ASAP! SSI Petroleum Located in Belle Glade, Florida. SSI is looking for a GENERAL SERVICE TECHNICIAN
(She got
just in
continue, with hordes
loving that
and no one knowing what I go through
them behind
Qualifications/Responsibilities: If
these qualifications and are interested in joining out team, please submit your resume to or contact
at 863-508-1406. We
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The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com April 19 - May 2, 2024 Page 31 By calling this number, you agree to speak with an independent health insurance agent about Medicare Advantage products. Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information. This is an advertisement. Let’s talk about it! Maggie Zeller Office (561) 517-8048 (TTY: 711) Mobile (561) 715-9262 “Your healthcare is a potentially overwhelming, complex decision. I can help you navigate through your available options!” Medicare Maggie Health Insurance Solutions 12794 Forest Hill Blvd. • Suite 18E Wellington, FL 33414 Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. By Appointment Only If you’ve got questions, I’ve got answers. Becoming eligible for Medicare at age 65 can be overwhelming and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be! I can explain all of your available options. Medicare Advantage Plans VS. Medicare Supplement? Medicare Solutions Made Simple I can help, call me today! Family AutoFest FamilyAutoFest Independently Judged Contest — $20 Show Vehicle $10 Spectators — Free Separate Parking WELLINGTON FAMILY AUTOFEST CHARITY CAR SHOW AN D FAMILY OUTING 8:30 A.M. To Noon SUNDAY MORNING BY THE LAKE MAY 5 JOIN US FOR A CHILL OF A LIFETIME WELLINGTON TOWN CENTER 12100 FOREST HILL BLVD. COOL CARS • GREAT PEOPLE • MUSIC • FOOD PLAYGROUNDS • LAKESIDE • PET FRIENDLY





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