Town-Crier Newspaper May 17, 2024

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Bike Safety An Issue In Wellington, And A Focus In Essay Contest Wellington High School junior Lucas Saenz said he learned the hard way the consequences of not wearing a helmet while riding on a bicycle. While in the country of Colombia in 2017, he wound up in a hospital unable to remember precisely what put him there after biking helmetless with friends, he wrote in an essay. Saenz’s essay was honored by the Wellington Village

Small Increase Is Likely In Wellington’s Solid Waste Fees

Wellington residents are likely facing a $20 bump in annual costs for having their solid waste and recycling picked up at the curb, which, if not a cause for enthusiasm exactly, still beats some other recent hikes, village officials said. Page 7

Wellington Seniors Celebrate Cinco De Mayo With Luncheon

The Village of Wellington hosted a Cinco de Mayo-themed luncheon for seniors on Thursday, May 2 at the Wellington Community Center. The band Mariachi Real 2000 performed Mexican music to go along with the event’s theme. Page 16

Seminole Ridge Boys Volleyball Team Heads To State Tourney

In the month of May, the boys varsity volleyball team from Seminole Ridge High School has been ignoring the seedings for the state volleyball tournament. Instead of playing like a lower-seeded team and losing on the road to a higher-seeded team, the Hawks have focused on executing the basic fundamentals of volleyball and have kept winning. Page 21


ITID Wins Court Battle With Minto; An Appeal Is Likely

Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Richard L. Oftedal issued a final ruling Tuesday, May 14 in favor of the Indian Trail Improvement District in its multi-year legal battle with Minto, the largest landowner and developer in the City of Westlake. The questions have been: Are ITID’s roads public? And if so, should Minto and the Seminole Improvement District (SID), which provides most of Westlake’s infrastructure, be able to freely connect to those roads?

Oftedal ruled “no” on both questions.

“Of course, we’re very happy with the outcome,” ITID President Elizabeth Accomando said Wednesday. “We appreciate the judge taking his time and giving careful thought and consideration to the issues involved.”

ITID Supervisor Betty Argue, who has been an aggressive ad-

vocate for the district in its case against Minto, called Oftedal’s decision “a vindication.”

“All I ever did was fight for the rights of the community,” said Argue, who was ITID president when the decision was made to take on Minto and SID.

“We see it as a victory for all forty-some-odd thousand residents in ITID’s jurisdiction,” said West Palm Beach attorney Bernard Lebedeker, who was among the attorneys who handled the case for ITID.

Minto PBLH LLC and SID sued ITID in 2020 for the right to connect to 140th Avenue North via what is presently a dirt lane across a narrow canal south of Western Pines Middle School.

Were the connection to be allowed, it would create east-west access for Westlake’s 5,500 residents, and growing, along twolane Persimmon Blvd., all the way to State Road 7.

ITID countersued, pointing out

that construction and maintenance of its roads is exclusively paid for by ITID residents — receiving no federal, state or county funds for district roadways.

ITID’s countersuit further claimed that the use of its roads by thousands of Westlake residents and many construction vehicles would put excessive stress on those roads, forcing ITID residents to bear an unfair burden in maintaining and/or expanding the roads, especially Persimmon.

“The idea that this little dirt path across the canal should be converted into a divided four-lane road, funneling traffic across it onto ITID’s roads, was ludicrous to begin with,” Lebedeker said.

Oftedal issued a preliminary opinion in October that also sided with ITID. A final hearing was held April 1.

Minto Senior Vice President John Carter, who is in charge of the Westlake project, said Wednesday,

See LAWSUIT, page 4

Wellington And RPB To Host Memorial Day Observances

Wellington and Royal Palm Beach will each observe the solemn holiday of Memorial Day on Monday, May 27 with free public events in the morning.

Wellington will host its annual Memorial Day Parade from Village Hall, located at 12300 W. Forest Hill Blvd., to the Wellington Veterans Memorial at the corner of Forest Hill Blvd. and South Shore Blvd.

Veterans and community groups are invited to walk in the parade, which begins at 8:15 a.m. There is no need to register in advance. The public is encouraged to gather and show their support. The parade will be followed by a ceremony at the Wellington Veterans Memorial. Each year, the ceremony welcomes around 300 attendees.

“We feel this is such an important event for the community to honor our veterans. We want to

show that we support and appreciate the sacrifices made not only by those who served, but also by their families and loved ones,” Assistant Community Events Director Michelle Garvey said.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Krissy Robbs of American Legion Post 390. Attendees are invited to register veterans for recognition during the ceremony at the Wellington tent on the morning of the event, or they can call Garvey in advance at (561) 791-4082.

In Royal Palm Beach, the annual Memorial Day Observance will be held at the Veterans Park Amphitheater at 1036 Royal Palm Beach Blvd.

The morning begins at 9 a.m. with a free public breakfast. The ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. and will last approximately one hour. Guests do not need to register in advance to attend.

“As the new parks and recreation director for the Village of

Royal Palm Beach, it is a pleasure to see that time is dedicated to remembering those who lost their lives while in service during peace and war times,” Parks & Recreation Director Mark Pawlowski said.

Royal Palm Beach Mayor Fred Pinto will share opening and closing remarks, and members of American Legion Post 367 will be present to speak. The ceremony includes laying a wreath to honor the military men and women who have lost their lives in service to the nation, a gun salute and the playing of “Taps.”

In addition, names of those lost are read aloud during the Fallen Soldiers Tribute, and there will be a Battle Cross presentation. During the flag-folding ceremony, an American flag will be presented to a family member who has lost a loved one in the line of duty.

To submit a name for recognition during the Royal Palm Beach ceremony, call (561) 790-5196.




said that the PBSO has notified the town of a proposed four percent increase in the contract.

“The sheriff’s office would like to meet with each one of you to talk about their progress, and an informational meeting on why they propose an increase in the contract,” she said. “I will set those meetings up between now and June 4.”

However, Councilwoman

Phillis Maniglia did not think individual meetings are appropriate.

“I think the sheriff should come here and tell the town people what he does for us. I don’t want to


ITID Seeks A Way To Replace Carol Street Culvert

Santa Rosa Groves residents packed the Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors meeting Wednesday, May 15 to express their concern over the recent removal of a culvert at the south end of Carol Street.

The removal of the culvert cuts access to 60th Street / 59th Lane North and leaves residents of the rural tier neighborhood with only one way in and out — via Louise Street to 70th Road North.

Initially, there were no plans to replace the crumbling culvert, which was owned by the Cypress Grove Community Development District, but placed on land owned by ITID more than a decade ago. ITID Attorney Mary Viator said there currently is no legal funding mechanism for the district to pay for the project, or even assess

Santa Rosa Groves residents for the cost of replacing the culvert, which is not within the Santa Rosa Groves neighborhood, also known as ITID Unit 20. However, Supervisor Betty Argue suggested there might be ways around the prohibition. ITID staff has estimated the replacement cost at $334,000. If Santa Rosa Groves landowners were

WHS Band Director Mary Oser Retiring After 33 Years

After more than three decades on the job, Wellington High School Band Director Mary Oser is retiring at the end of this school year, leaving behind a legacy that includes building one of the strongest, most respected high school band programs in South Florida. Over

toward music and the young people she trains has solidified her legacy.

“Ms. Oser’s influence is felt not just in the notes played or the performances given, but in the lasting bonds she has forged with her students. She has been a source of inspiration, encouragement and support, guiding them through challenges and celebrating their successes with pride,” WHS Principal Cara Hayden said. “The impact on her students has been profound. Through her unwavering commitment to excellence, she has instilled in them not only a love for music but also a sense of discipline, teamwork and per-

severance. Her mentorship has not only honed musical talent but has also nurtured character, fostering a spirit of creativity and passion that extends far beyond the classroom.”

Music has always been an important part of Oser’s life. She learned to play the piano at age four, and by five years old, she knew she wanted to become a teacher. With both parents being educators, after graduating from Florida State University, she also became a teacher in 1988 as the assistant band director at Palm Beach Gardens High School. In 1991, she took the helm at WHS and embraced her role as band director.

“It was always a highlight to

perform for Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Music was one way we could honor and thank the people who have devoted their lives to serving our country, and patriotic music is always great to perform,” Oser recalled. “Our annual ‘Surround Sound’ spring concerts have also been my favorite events, since they included a wide variety of music and ensembles, and the band students here have been so creative in arranging and performing their own favorite pieces for these concerts.”

Oser is an accomplished musician, primarily playing the piano and bassoon, but she also loves the

Volume 45, Number 10 May 17 - May 30, 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
The Loxahatchee Groves Town Council approved an ordinance Tuesday, May 7 designed to serve as a backstop should negotiations over a new contract with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office prove unsuccessful. The town currently has a longstanding agreement for law enforcement services with the PBSO, but some previous renewal negotiations have been rocky. The new ordinance proposes that in the event there is no contract for law enforcement services in effect between the town and the PBSO, the law enforcement services in the town will be “the standard law enforcement services by the PBSO.” “This was an ordinance that was before the council once before in 2019,” Town Manager Francine Ramaglia said. “The reason this is
Renewal Pending, Groves
OKs Backstop Ordinance here is because we plan to put the sheriff’s contract renewal on the June 4 agenda, and so if there was a desire to make sure that we have a backup plan, the second reading of this ordinance would be at the same time.” Ramaglia
See LOX COUNCIL, page 4
the past 33 years, Oser
instructed thousands of talented student musicians. She has conducted student performances from Pearl Harbor at the 2004 National WWII Memorial Dedication to the 2023 London New Year’s Day Parade.
Oser’s dedication and
Mohammed and Taylar Brooks celebrate after the ceremony. MORE PHOTOS, PAGE 3 PHOTO BY MEREDITH BUROW/TOWN-CRIER
Family, friends and faculty erupted in applause as the Royal Palm Beach High School Class of 2024 turned its tassels Wednesday, May 15 at the South Florida Fairgrounds Expo Center. More than 500 smiling Wildcats traded their paws for parchments as they stalked across the stage to receive their diplomas. Shown above, graduates Tahylor
Council on Tuesday, May 14 among other 2024 Public Safety Art
Essay Contest Winners. Page 4
The inaugural Wellington Derby Party, hosted by Diamante Farms
Dressage on
Saturday, May
exceeded all expectations, marking a
in philanthropy and community support. The sold-out event, benefiting the Wellington Community Foundation, garnered exceptional generosity from attendees sponsors alike. Shown above, the “Best Hat” contest was won by the presenting sponsor team at the Wellington Orthopedic Institute, pictured with Dr. Michael Mikolajczak and WCF Board Member Maggie Zeller. MORE PHOTOS, PAGE 5 PHOTO BY FRANK KOESTER/TOWN-CRIER
See OSER, page 7
High School Band Director Mary Oser.
Retiring Wellington
assessed for the cost, each would have to chip in approximately $3,300.
to direct ITID President Elizabeth Accomando
district staff to engage with the Cypress Grove CDD, Palm Beach County and GL Homes, which owns much of the land in the area, “regarding the installation and associated costs to install a new culvert.” Argue, who made the motion See CULVERT, page 4
Supervisors voted 3-2


Family, friends and faculty erupted in applause as the Royal Palm Beach High School Class of 2024 turned its tassels Wednesday, May 15 at the South Florida Fairgrounds Expo Center. More than 500 smiling Wildcats traded their paws for parchments as they stalked across the stage to receive their diplomas. Best of luck to the new RPBHS graduates. To quote Principal Michelle Fleming, “Go forth, and make your mark on this world.”

Award-Winning Stroke Care …

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 17 - May 30, 2024 Page 3 NEWS
Students march in holding RPBHS academy banners. VIPs gather on stage around Superintendent Michael Burke and Principal Michelle Fleming. Student council senior officers Talen Ferguson, K’La Clark, Jasmine Webster, Sheldon Gunning, Rylee Manuel, Dhestini Wallen, Connor Morley, Lucia Canedo, Jennifer Larsen and Oscar Gonzalez. Salutatorian Alexis Dunkley and Valedictorian Ashley Weyer Liranzo. Jayden Wells, Imari Webley and Ja’Quan Watts. Jeremy Bonilla, Leilah Boigris and Milie Angele Brutus. Dynali Sanchez, Danay Sandoval and Joshua Santiago. Isaiah McKelvin with his niece, Kali. Natalia Sanan Gomez, Mireyda Sanchez Mendoza and Samantha Tapia-Noguera. Jaxon Gelb and John Montgomery. Andrew Svaighert and Julia Garrett. Victoria Robinson, Aubin Robinson and Trishanna Gifford. Michael Tijero celebrates after the ceremony. Dahenson Bureau, Jordan Bockwoldt, Noah Cabrera, Collin Bock, Moises Caldera, Carlos Canales, Riley Bobo and Shawn Cancia. Gardith Beauplan and Bertinie Esterlin. Ashley Brown, Farrah Stanley, Nikole Bailey, Johnny Bailey, Keyerrah Stanley, Jayda Bailey, Nia Bailey, Carlos Scott, Amaia Bailey and Patricia Curry. Graduate Joanne Guillaume with siblings Linda and Cliford Guillaume and niece, Brielle. Raeshun Davis with her diploma. Paula, Makayla and Everett Guthrie.
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. 242028553-089066 4/24 At Risk for a Stroke? Find Out with an ONLINE STROKE RISK ASSESSMENT This quick health profiler can help you discover important information about your health and the risk factors that increase your chance of a stroke. To take the assessment, scan the QR code. The results will be sent to you through email. To find a doctor, contact our free physician referral service at 561-798-9880. Our Comprehensive Stroke Center is here for you when you need us. We have earned numerous certifications, designations and awards for advanced stroke care.
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Bike Safety An Issue In Wellington, And A Focus In Essay Contest

Wellington High School junior Lucas Saenz said he learned the hard way the consequences of not wearing a helmet while riding on a bicycle. While in the country of Colombia in 2017, he wound up in a hospital unable to remember precisely what put him there after biking helmetless with friends, he wrote in an essay. Saenz’s essay was honored by the Wellington Village Council on Tuesday, May 14 among other 2024 Public Safety Art and Essay Contest Winners.

“I don’t know exactly how it happened because I hit my head and forgot most of the events from that day,” Saenz wrote. “While at the hospital, I would wake up confused, asking my parents questions such as: ‘What happened to me?’ or ‘Why am I at the hospital?’”

He recovered, but not everyone has been so fortunate when it comes to cycling within the boundaries of Wellington itself.

Pedestrians and bicycles were involved in 21 of Wellington’s 132

collisions resulting in death or incapacitating injury in the 10 years ending in 2022, according to an analysis by consultants working on the village’s Vision Zero project. That’s about one in six.

“We really need to focus on that,” said Ruta Jariwala, a principal with California-based TJKM Transportation Consultants, at an April 18 workshop with Wellington Village Council members.

The goal of Vision Zero is to have zero traffic deaths or serious injuries in Wellington by 2030.

Project organizers expect to present the council with recommendations in the coming weeks, from education programs to specific road or crosswalk improvements, with many tied to planned applications for grants from agencies or groups outside the village.

Bicycles, in particular, were part of almost one in 10 fatal or incapacitating-injury crashes in the village, records show. Bicyclists span a larger age range than car or motorcycle drivers, from younger children to adults to senior citizens.

The issue comes up when peo-

ple in Wellington are asked about what kinds of crashes worry them and need addressing. Nearly 40 percent of residents’ comments on a program web site concerned pedestrians and bicycles, behind motor vehicles with 62 percent.

Saenz, the first-place winner in the high school essay category, noted that wearing a helmet does not guarantee a bicyclist will escape harm, but cited research showing it tends to spread the impact of a hit over a large area and “can be the difference between life and death in some instances.”

Another Wellington High School junior, Ryan Ranjiv Balliram, called helmets the “main priority” in his second-place essay.

He wrote, “Biking is the most enjoyable mode of transportation, as it is eco-friendly, and has become an integral part of many urban landscapes, including Wellington.”

Still, navigating bustling roads requires a “commitment to safety,” he said.

Motorists can play an important role themselves, by maintaining a

safe following distance, allowing room to maneuver, and remaining mindful of cyclists in the area when parked and opening car

Camila Diaz, a third grader at Binks Forest Elementary School, drew a picture of a young bicyclist near a crossing guard and speech balloons saying, “Did you know

helmets save more than 1,800 lives a

That won first place in


included Scarlett Kirk, in the seventh grade at Western Academy, and Ethan Barrett in the eighth grade at Emerald

ITID Board Holds The Line On Assessments In FY 2025 Budget


Supervisors passed their fiscal year 2025 budget Wednesday, May 15 with no increase in assessments for most area property owners. The per-acre fee will remain at $946.95 to fund the district’s $25 million budget. Some units will see a small decrease. Only three units will see substantial changes. Dellwood and Los Flores Ranchos property owners will get an $85.38 decrease ($358.89 down


continued from page 1 have a private meeting with him,” she said.

Councilman Robert Shorr wanted to add a sentence that would guarantee added services to maintain the current level of service, but Mayor Anita Kane did not agree.

“This is to protect the town in the event that we can’t come to an agreement,” she said. “It is not to complicate matters further.”

Kane said that the ordinance does not prevent the town from

Culvert Access To Santa Rosa Groves

continued from page 1 to remove the culvert at meeting April 17, made a motion Wednesday night that she be the board member to spearhead the effort to find funding to replace the culvert. Her motion died for lack of a second.

During a sometimes-emotional meeting, a number of residents expressed frustration, not so much with the culvert’s removal, but with the lack of notice given prior to its disinterment, and that there were no plans to replace it. Speaking to supervisors during public comments, Santa Rosa Groves residents William Derks and his wife Young Derks echoed the concerns of many about there now being only one way in and


Final Ruling For ITID; Appeal Expected

continued from page 1

“We are completely unsurprised by this ruling, and now have greater confidence regarding the next steps that we will be pursuing. This lawsuit is far from being over or settled.”

Kenneth Cassel, manager of both SID and the City of Westlake,

to $273.50), while residents of Stonewall-Bay Hill be paying $122.09 more ($317.63 up to $439.72).

ITID’s per-acre assessments have risen steadily over the last four years, going up from $560.99 in fiscal year 2021 to more than $900 for the average ITID property owner in 2024.

The district’s overall budget is $25.7 million, which includes reserves and projects already funded, such as R3 road construction plan and the Unit 20/Santa Rosa Groves improvement project. ITID’s operating budget for the

negotiating a new contract with the PBSO.

Shorr said his addition is intended to continue the services that the residents are used to.

“If we don’t have a contract, it’s going to be emergency services only. We won’t have speed control on Okeechobee,” he said. Kane, however, did not believe that would be the case. “We pay the same amount people in unincorporated areas pay, and we are entitled to the same services,” she said.

Kane explained that while the town would negotiate a contract in good faith, the ordinance would protect the town should a new contract not be agreed to.

“We revert back to county ser-

out of the neighborhood. They, and others, suggested that could create access issues for Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue vehicles and trap residents during major flooding events.

However, ITID Executive Director Burgess Hanson said this week that after the district engineer and others inspected the deteriorated pipe, they had no choice.

“It needed to be removed for safety reasons,” he said before Wednesday’s meeting. “It could have collapsed tomorrow or two years from now. But we can’t leave in place anything that is potentially dangerous to the public.”

The Derks provided a copy of their prepared remarks to the Town-Crier prior to the meeting. In it, Young Derks questioned the legitimacy of the safety concerns.

“There are many dirt roads and bridges in ITID… Where was the evidence of the ‘imminent catastrophic failure’ or ‘failing?” After digging in the internal [ITID] doc-

said, “We’ll have to read the final ruling, then decide next steps. Interconnectivity is still an issue for everyone.”

Westlake, which was incorporated in 2016, has been one of the fastest-growing communities in Florida and the nation over the last few years. However, the only major access to the community is north-south via Seminole Pratt Whitney Road between Southern and Northlake boulevards. During the permitting process with the county, Minto promised two eastwest access points. So far, none exist.

Cassel said, “We’ll see,” when


upcoming year is $19,844,438, down more than $150,000 from the 2024 operating budget of $20,005,334, according to information presented Wednesday by district staff.

ITID Executive Director Burgess Hanson has said the major reason the district can hold the line on assessments this fiscal year is because major improvements to the area’s infrastructure, long put off, are mostly caught up. However, the work is always ongoing and must be properly funded if the district is to keep pace, he has said.

vices just like the people in ITID do,” she said.

Shorr said that the town should then use the $640,000 the town is not paying to the PBSO to augment those services. Kane said that could be part of contract discussions, but not part of the proposed ordinance.

Councilwoman Laura Danowski asked when the contract is set to renew, and Town Attorney Glen Torcivia said it renews at the end of September. Danowski then asked if the ordinance would create a problem with the charter, and Torcivia said a referendum vote is only needed to start a town police department, which is not called for in the ordinance.

uments, the work was done purely under the presumption.”

Derks also suggested that Accomando, a Carol Street resident, benefited from the closure because there would be less traffic and fewer rogue ATV riders going by her property.

Accomando vigorously denied that she had any ulterior motive in notifying district staff that the culvert appeared to be deteriorated and was possibly dangerous.

“The idea that I benefit is absurd,” she said this week. “I have nothing to gain from this. I would be neglectful of my duties had I not done something about this… Saying ‘when it fails, I’ll take it out’ is not an option.”

Supervisor Patricia Farrell put the question in starker terms asking, “If a family was crossing that culvert, and it collapsed and they couldn’t be rescued [from the canal], how would you feel? We did this because we didn’t want to see anyone get hurt.”

asked whether SID will remain a party to the suit if Minto launches an expected appeal.

If the Seminole Improvement District were to drop out, Lebedeker said, “It’s hard to see how the suit could move forward.”

Lebedeker said that Palm Beach County never should have approved plans for Westlake based on the assumption that east-west traffic could be channeled onto ITID roads.

“Routing all that traffic through rural neighborhoods is crazy,” he said. “A little common sense 10 years ago would have saved all this litigation.”

For instance, to carry out road and canal maintenance and other tasks, $1,245,000 has been included in the budget for equipment purchases.

Two areas where ITID is budgeting much lower this year are litigation costs ($100,000 in 2025 vs. $500,000 in 2024) and capital expenditures ($2,578,064 vs. last year’s $3,021,154), for a total savings of some $843,000. Other areas of major savings include short-term equipment rental, down $276,750 to $199,500, and workers’ comp, down $118,743 to $179,256.

Torcivia said the question is what happens if the ordinance is adopted and then the contract is not renewed.

“That’s the $64,000 question,” he said. “There is an argument that they should provide the same level of service that they provide to unincorporated Palm Beach County residents. I don’t think that has been the sheriff’s position in the past. I don’t want to speak for the sheriff, but I think their position is that you might not get that same level of service.”

Torcivia said it remains to be seen what happens in the contract negotiations.

“This ordinance says, ‘the standard law enforcement services provided by PBSO.’ It’s

One area of projected increase is in personnel, which includes merit and cost-of-living raises totaling $217,006 and representing a three-percent increase. Personnel costs account for $8,272,902 in the proposed budget. While merit raises can be as much as five percent under the 2025 budget, they are not to be considered automatic, Supervisor Betty Argue made clear Wednesday night. Hanson told her that staff would present a detailed list of proposed merit raises in September. The 2025 fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

an interesting dilemma because the PBSO has to enforce the law countywide, and the law in Loxahatchee Groves will say they have to provide the same level of services,” he said.

Torcivia said he hopes that the question doesn’t come down to a court case.

“A court case on this would be intellectually very challenging, but it wouldn’t be in anybody’s best interest,” he said.

He agreed, however, that the ordinance does give the town an additional option if there is no agreement.

Shorr asked about the timeline on the contract.

Ramaglia said that the PBSO informed the town of the four


age/Loxahatchee area. Within its 95 square miles, ITID maintains 96 miles of paved roads, 272 miles of dirt roads, 63 miles of sidewalks, 164 miles of canals, 380 major culverts equaling about 8.5 miles, four pump stations, 18 control structures and 983

percent increase before the March 31 deadline to do so, but a specific contract has not yet been presented.

“I anticipate that we will have the new contract from them to be able to put on the June 4 agenda,” she said, adding that PBSO representatives will be at that meeting to discuss the contract. Shorr said that the same ordinance could be enacted in September should the contract negotiations fail.

“I don’t think doing it now helps matters,” he said.

Maniglia made a motion to approve the first reading of the ordinance, seconded by Vice Mayor Marge Herzog. It passed 4-1 with Shorr dissenting.

Palm Beach County Water Utilities Receives

$5.7 Million

In State Grant Funding For Water Reuse Projects

Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department (PBCWUD) has been awarded $5.7 million in grant funding from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for two transformational water reuse projects. The Alternative Water Supply program awarded a total of $60 million statewide.

PBCWUD received $2.7 million for the south Palm Beach County reclaimed water pipeline

project. A grant of $3 million was awarded to the Green Cay Wetlands Surficial Aquifer System, a critical component of the Green Cay Phase II project, which includes the Reclamation Education & Center for Advanced Purification (RECAP) and a public park, both slated to open in late 2026. In early April, construction began on the project, the first of its kind in Florida to implement state-of-the-art reuse technology to produce purified water to potable standards. The transformational project will recharge groundwater supplies to meet future demands as the county’s population continues to grow, while the RECAP center will educate visitors of all ages on the importance of protecting water resources now and for future generations.

Page 4 May 17 - May 30, 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.
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Town-Crier Staff Report By a unanimous vote, the Indian Trail Improvement District of
miles of swale, which are an integral part of the district’s drainage system. ITID does approximately 5,000 miles of road grading each year, staff noted.
oversees roads, drainage and parks for some 45,000
dents on 27,000
Lox Council
The winners of the 2024 Public Safety Art and Essay Contest were honored by the Wellington Village Council on Tuesday, May 14. PHOTO COURTESY THE VILLAGE OF WELLINGTON doors. year? Bravo!” the elementary school art category. Luciana Vivas Sanchez, in the fifth grade at Binks Forest, took second. winners Cove Middle School in the middle school category. For high school art, 11th grader Danielle Baig took first and Malle Manriquez claimed second, both from Wellington High School. More than 250 submissions were made for the various contests. Winners were chosen by Wellington’s Public Safety Committee. The deteriorated culvert removed from the south end of Carol Street.

The inaugural Wellington Derby Party, hosted by Diamante Farms Dressage on Saturday, May 4, exceeded all expectations, marking a historic milestone in philanthropy and community support. The soldout event, benefiting the Wellington Community Foundation, garnered exceptional generosity from attendees and sponsors alike.

The evening unfolded at Diamante Farms Dressage, enveloping guests in the traditions of the Kentucky Derby combined with Wellington’s equestrian elegance and timeless southern charm. From thrilling races to genteel revelry, the event provided an unforgettable experience for all in attendance.

The highlight of the evening was not only the celebration of an exhilarating run of the 150th Kentucky Derby but also the unwaver-

ing support shown for the Wellington Community Foundation, which serves Wellington seniors, veterans and children in need. Thanks to the generosity of attendees and sponsors, the event raised record-breaking funds, ensuring that vital assistance and resources continue to reach those who need it most within the Wellington community.

A significant factor contributing to the success of the inaugural Wellington Derby Party was the strong support of sponsors, including the Wellington Orthopedic Institute, Lisa Seger Insurance, Michael Gauger for Sheriff, Wellington Regional Medical Center, Jasmine Velez at Douglas Elliman Realty, Red Clover Farm & Nursery, Katie Edwards-Walpole P.A. and Star Wine & Spirits. The fun photo booth was sponsored by LA Medical Associates. The sponsors played in-

strumental roles in making this event a resounding success. Their commitment to the community exemplifies the spirit of generosity and unity that defines Wellington.

Guests were treated to an exquisite culinary experience, curated by renowned chef Gardo Vincken of the Piaffe Lounge, with delicacies that tantalized the taste buds and perfectly complemented the evening’s festivities. From the moment attendees arrived, they were immersed in the spirit of the Derby, with mint juleps flowing and the excitement of the race palpable in the air.

The Wellington Derby event proved to be more than just a party; it was a testament to the power of the community coming together for a meaningful cause. Whether seasoned equestrian enthusiasts or newcomers to the sport, attendees reveled in the glamour, gastronomy and spirit of giving that defined the evening.

In addition to the excitement of this inaugural Wellington event, guests also eagerly anticipated the live viewing of the 150th Kentucky Derby on a theater-sized screen. The 2024 Kentucky Derby crowned Mystik Dan in first place by a nose, inching out second place winner Sierra Leone and third place winner Forever Young. However, all three made it possible for three lucky attendees to receive more than $1,700 in dining gift certificates generously donated by top Palm Beach County restaurants. All attendees celebrated the triumph of the winners and the thrilling spectacle of the Kentucky Derby as the party continued into the night.

As they hang up their hats on this inaugural Derby event, the Wellington Community Foundation extends its heartfelt gratitude to all who contributed to the event’s tremendous success. Together, they galloped into a night of pure delight while making a tangible difference in the lives of those in need within the Wellington community — all while creating a new tradition, and a not-to-be-missed, end-of-season event.

The foundation is happy to announce that it will be holding the 2025 Wellington Derby Party at the incomparable Diamante Farms Dressage venue next year, where another first-class event is anticipated. So, keep an eye out for the coolest bow tie or fascinator and be sure to mark your calendars to attend next year on Saturday, May 3, 2025. For more information about the Wellington Community Foundation or how you can become involved in helping your neighbors in need, visit

PHOTOS BY FRANK KOESTER/TOWN-CRIER AND JOEL OQUENDO Ben and Joanna Boynton along with the Boynton Financial Group team. The inaugural Wellington Derby Party sponsors were presented with tokens of appreciation for jumping on board to support the Wellington Community Foundation. Winners of the “Best Hat” contest went to the presenting sponsor team at Wellington Orthopedic Institute, pictured with Dr. Michael Mikolajczak and WCF Director Maggie Zeller. Barry Rivera assists first-place winner Carol DiConza to her car with her gorgeous red rose arrangement prepared by Wellington Florist. Dorothy DeMartino, Hope Barron and Mair Armand. George and Coco Swilyk and Alexandra Lavine, with event sponsors Jasmine Velez-Lavine and Stephen Lavine. Wellington Community Foundation board members James Seder, Herta Suess, Dr. Gordon Johnson, Maggie Zeller, Barry Manning, Terri Kane, Michael Gauger, Jim Sackett, Pam Tahan, Hope Barron, Joanna Boynton and Don Gross.
www gotowncrier com May 17 - May 30, 2024 Page 5
Michelle Noel, Devon Kane, Terri Kane and Katie Riley. The Town-Crier Jeremy Ring and Pam Tahan. Don and Maureen Gross. Candyce Lewis brought a friend. Volunteer Betty Buglio with WCF Executive Director Dawn Rivera. Mary Ann David and Sue Bierer. Dr. Kristy Lund Terri Kane and Susan Todd. Mary Braly, Jane Cleveland and Katie Edwards-Walpole. Frank and Herta Suess. Devon Kane, Travis Laas and Terri Kane. Dr. Mauricio Cruz and Maria Fernanda Cruz. Christine and Mark Hubinger. Jim Mantrozos and Samantha Hill. Christina Devine and Rachel Franks. Ann and Steve Feiertag. Rosemary Limes-Zeiger with her son Josh. Phyllis and Michael Gauger. WCF Chair Barry Manning Second-place winners Stuart and Jenn Robinson.
Page 6 May 17 - May 30, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier If you don’t have a referring physician or medical professional to write a prescription for you, call 786-596-2464. Any abnormal findings will be sent to your referring physician. Special pricing is available for patients without health insurance. No further services will be discounted. If further care is necessary, you can count on Baptist Health Cancer Care to provide you with the most comprehensive care. For additional information, please visit May 2024 Welcome to the Proactive Side of Care. Schedule your mammogram today. To schedule yours: 833-596-2473 A prescription and appoinment are required.

Werner Presses Minto Attorney On Westlake Development Plans

Westlake Councilman Gary Werner is again pushing for more disclosure about the future uses of privately owned property being platted within the community.

The parcel in question is a 57.5acre tract on the west side of Seminole Pratt Whitney Road between

Town Center Parkway North and South. The area is located north of Westlake Plaza Phase II and James Business Park.

“Why are we looking at it at this time?” asked Werner at the Tuesday, May 7 meeting of the Westlake City Council. “It seems to me that the developer might be further along in planning,

designing or negotiating. Is that possible?”

Attorney Kathryn Rossmell, representing Minto Communities USA, told the council, “We’re not empowered to speak to you tonight about our client’s plans.”

City Attorney Donald Doody said that under Florida law, there is no requirement for landowners

Small Increase Is Likely In Wellington’s Solid Waste Fees

Wellington residents are likely facing a $20 bump in annual costs for having their solid waste and recycling picked up at the curb, which, if not a cause for enthusiasm exactly, still beats some other recent hikes, village officials said.

That translates to a $310 bill per residential user for fiscal year 2025, or a little less than a seven percent increase, according to preliminary numbers approved unanimously by the Wellington Village Council on Tuesday, May 14.

“Those are substantially lower than increases we’ve had in the past two years,” Deputy Village Manager Tanya Quickel told village leaders at a workshop the day before.

Rising costs of equipment, labor and other expenses have affected a

Oser Retiring As WHS Band Director

continued from page 1 French horn and played bass drum in the marching band.

“Ms. Oser’s retirement is a significant moment for our school community, one filled with a mix of gratitude, nostalgia and admiration,” Hayden said. “Her 33 years of dedicated service have left an indelible mark on our school, staff and students, shaping the very fabric of our music program and enriching countless lives along the way.”

Oser said that after catching up on sleep and taking a dream trip to Scotland and Ireland, she is looking forward to continuing her work with area bands and as a mentor for young band directors.

“I will miss these students tremendously,” she said. “They made my decision to retire very dif-

range of village services, and the service in this case is tied into a system coordinated with the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County, officials said.

She said bills in Wellington would increase about $5 for container service to $230 per unit. Container service is associated primarily with commercial and other users without curbside service.

Residents are not facing an increase in Wellington’s municipal tax rate, but they are looking at various kinds of higher costs, including the second of three annual 10 percent increases in Wellington’s fee for water and sewer service.

That is to cover water system improvements and inflation in the cost of chemicals and materials, according to village staff.

The waste fee resolution ap-

ficult. But I look forward to hearing about their future musical achievements under the leadership of their new director Mr. [Nickolaus] Hofmann. I know they will continue the great legacy of the Mighty Wolverine Sound.”

Hofmann, a Palm Beach County native who graduated from the University of Central Florida, is currently the band director at Seminole Ridge High School. He has taught band for eight years and is excited and inspired to follow in Oser’s footsteps.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to grow, and push myself by going to WHS. I want to have the chance to continue the legacy that Ms. Oser has set,” Hofmann said. “She helped me be the best band director at Seminole Ridge High School that I could be. She’s going to be a fantastic resource for all the directors in the area to up their game.”

Hofmann explained that in the niche community of band directors across Florida, everyone knows that Oser is perhaps the best to ever work in their field. She is

proved by the council is not quite a final amount, but represents a maximum increase to help plan budgets. Still, it might wind up pretty close to the mark.

“This is the cap, but it’s probably the number?” Mayor Michael Napoleone asked.

“That is correct,” Village Manager Jim Barnes replied.

Vice Mayor John McGovern asked if the $20 and $5 increases were set in stone.

“Do we have some flexibility in that we could pick different numbers?” he asked.

Quickel said not so much, unless the village transferred money from its general fund, which she did not recommend.

A final vote on the curbside and container rates applied to Wellington residents is expected on Aug. 13.

so respected that the Palm Beach County Band Director’s Association chose her to conduct the ninth and tenth grade all-county band performance at the Kravis Center this year.

“All successful teachers owe thanks to every teacher and principal mentor they’ve encountered in their lives,” Oser said. “I am so grateful to all the Wellington band parents over the past 33 years who volunteered many hours to make sure that the WHS band had everything it needed to be a great band.”

Hayden said that Oser will be more than missed, but also cherished by generations of musicians.

“Overall, Ms. Oser’s contributions to our school community cannot be overstated,” Hayden said. “Her dedication, talent and compassion have left an enduring legacy that will continue to resonate for years to come. As she embarks on this new chapter in her life, we extend our heartfelt gratitude and best wishes for a joyful and fulfilling retirement.”

to disclose future uses of property at this stage.

“A preliminary plat in Florida is just that — preliminary,” Doody said. “Further review will come before the city if [there are] subdivided lots, identified parcels or identified infrastructure.”

If a proposed plat meets code requirements, “we don’t have the right to impose conditions or even to deny it,” Doody said.

According to the staff report, “Two reviews of the plat occurred, which resulted in an acceptable plat. The review was done for compliance with… Florida Statutes, and the City of Westlake’s codes and ordinances. All comments have been adequately addressed, and the plat is in compliance. We, therefore, recommend that the plat be approved for recording.”

Councilman Julian Martinez made a motion to approve the plat, which was seconded by Councilwoman Charlotte Leonard. Werner attempted to abstain but was told by Doody that he had to vote yes or no. He voted no. The motion carried 4-1.

“I think it’s premature without knowing what’s going to happen there,” said Werner, a retired city planner from California.

City Manager Kenneth Cassel encouraged interested residents to visit the city’s web site at www. to view a map of the land use plan as shown in Westlake’s 2018 Comprehensive

Plan. The parcel in question was zoned for mixed use. Mixed use includes “all types of commercial, light industrial and mixed residential,” Cassel explained. “There’s a combination of what can be there… to allow flexibility as the market demands.”

So far, the market in Westlake remains good, Cassel said. He reported to the council that 394 building permits were issued within the community between Jan. 1 and April 1. That’s slightly below the number issued during the first quarter of 2023. “But we’re still tracking between 1,400 to 1600 [permits] every year,” Cassel said.

In 2023, 1,474 building permits were issued. If the current pace remains steady, the city will issue 1,576 permits. Aside from homes and businesses, permits include such things as construction of fences and pools. Cassel said there now are more than 2,500 homes in Westlake with a current population of approximately 5,500 residents, including 3,093 registered voters.

This week, Cassel also noted that the KFC restaurant is expected to open this month in the Westlake Landings shopping center and that Planet Fitness is breaking ground. He said a Starbucks, Taco Bell and Tractor Supply also are coming soon.

In other business, the council heard that Feb. 1, 2025, has been

set as the date for the second annual Westlake 5K Run/Walk to promote wellness and community spirit.

Martinez, who promoted the walk, said that the inaugural March 16 event raised approximately $2,000, which is being donated to the city’s Education & Youth Advisory Board.

Vice Mayor Greg Langowski reported that the revamped board recently met and chose Anita Kaplan, a retired dean of Palm Beach State College’s bachelor’s degree programs, as its chair.

The board was formed by the council in June 2020 to facilitate communication and coordinate activities between Westlake and the School District of Palm Beach County; to promote awareness of programs, opportunities and initiatives at local schools; to recognize and promote accomplishments of students and administrators; and to monitor school district activities and report back on anything impacting Westlake. However, the board gained a reputation for lethargy, meeting only nine times in three years. The board was nearly dissolved in September, but a public outcry and a recommendation from Langowski, who serves as the council’s liaison to the board, saved it.

The reconstituted board “was very active” during the recent meeting, Langowski said. “They had lots of ideas,” he added.

The Mall At Wellington Green Hosts ‘All About Moms’ Fashion Show

The Mall at Wellington Green hosted its seventh annual All About Moms Fashion Show and Event on Thursday, May 9. It was a community event centered around honoring mothers and inviting local moms to be part of the fashion show. A total of 18 local moms — Realtors, teachers, business owners and more — came to model mall retailers, such as Chico’s, Dillard’s, Macy’s and Tommy Bahama. Many of the mothers invited

RPB Citizen

Summit 2024

The Village of Royal Palm Beach will hold its Citizen Summit 2024 on Monday, May 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center, located at 151 Civic Center Way. Royal Palm Beach residents are invited to take part in this annual event. Village officials hope that it will increase citizen awareness about the Village of Royal Palm Beach and the issues and challenges facing the village government and community. It also offers citizen input on the desired direction and goals for the village, looking out five years and beyond, as well as specific issues targeted for action over the next two years. Finally, it will provide a dialogue between residents and the Royal Palm Beach Village Council on key issues and opportunities.

Interested participants are asked to call (561) 790-5100 or (561) 790-5103 to RSVP. Learn more at

RPB Senior Citizen Prom

Set For May 24

The Village of Royal Palm beach will host its Young at Heart

Senior Citizen Prom Night on Friday, May 24 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center, located at 151 Civic Center Way. The evening will include dinner, dancing, raffles, a photo booth, and the crowning of prom king and queen. Event sponsors include the Capstone at Royal Palm Beach, Aetna, Wellington Regional Medical Center and Premier Family Health. Tickets are $30 for YAH members and $35 for non-members. For more information, and to register, call (561) 790-5124.

TAP Announces Summer Shows

Theatre Arts Productions (TAP) and the Village of Wellington are excited to announce their summer shows. Mean Girls will be performed at the Wellington Amphitheater, while Heathers will be performed at the Rinker Playhouse at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. Auditions will be held at the Wellington Community Center, located at 12150 W. Forest Hill Blvd. Mean Girls auditions will be held Friday, May 17 from 4 to 8 p.m. for actors ages 5 to 15. There will be a performance fee for participants in this production. Payment plans and a limited number of scholarships are available.

their children to walk the runway with them and have a great time answering fun questions about moms for a chance to win $10 Starbucks gift cards.

The mall gave away $100 gift cards throughout the event, give-

aways from the B12 Store and Eyes of Wellington. Guests got to enjoy hair curling from the Hair Doctor, lite bites and coffee samples from Starbucks, and getting fun gift ideas from other retailers and participants.

Heathers auditions will be held Friday, May 24 from 4 to 8 p.m. for actors age 18 and older. For more information, contact Theatre Arts Productions (TAP) at or (561) 568-8659. Learn more at www.tapstars. org/shows.

Garden Club To Honor PBC Tax Collector’s Office May 20

The Wellington Garden Club, in conjunction with the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs District X, recognizes and encourages well-designed and maintained plantings in the public and private sectors.

These awards are called the Unsolicited Landscape Design Awards and are awarded annually. These awards are “unsolicited” in that they are not requested or nominated by the owners of the locations. Any garden club member in the district can submit a nomination.

This year’s winner in the Public Facility category is the Westlake Service Center of the Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s Office.

On Monday, May 20 at 10 a.m., Palm Beach County Tax Collector Anne Gannon will be receiving

the award on behalf of the office.

Also in attendance will be Westlake Mayor JohnPaul O’Connor, District X Director Maria Wolfe, Wellington Garden Club President Carol Ralph and District X Unsolicited Landscape Design Chair Stormi Bivin.

The Westlake Service Center of the Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s Office is located at 16440 Town Center Parkway South in Westlake. The public is invited to attend.

The Florida Federation of Garden Clubs District X and the Wellington Garden Club are nonprofit organizations.

CAFCI’s Picnic

In The Park

CAFCI’s annual Picnic in the Park will be held Saturday, May 25 from 1 p.m. until sunset at Royal Palm Beach Commons Park, located at 11600 Poinciana Blvd. It will be a day of fun food and celebrating friendships. The picnic will include jerk chicken, jerk pork, barbecue chicken, fish and more. There will also be games, raffles, music and entertainment. Meals start at $20. For tickets, or more information, call Audrey Smith at (561) 601-8856 or Yvonne Wright at (203) 733-5542. Advanced ticket reservations are recommended.

The crowds enjoyed the entertainment from DJ Lexey with her music and electric violin, and the opening entertainment from local performer Jdesir.

Marketing Director Rachelle Crain asks a child from the audience, “What is your mom’s favorite part about being a mom?”

The Wellington Garden Club awarded $1,000 scholarships to five worthy local students at the group’s annual luncheon held Monday, May 6 in the Grande Ballroom at the Wellington Community Center. One of the requirements to receive the scholarship is that the student must be majoring in fields related to horticulture, botany or environmental studies. The winners were chosen based on their academic proficiency and need. The Scholarship Committee was proud to present scholarships


Since the inception

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 17 - May 30, 2024 Page 7 NEWS NEWS BRIEFS
Club, visit
Students With Scholarships
to following students: Michelle Redfern (Palm Beach State College), Lisbet Roa (Palm Beach State College), Delia Hartley (University of Florida), LeMarria Battle (University of Florida) and Cory Evans (Palm Beach State College).
of scholarship awards, the Wellington Garden Club has given about $50,000 in scholarships. Fundraisers help support this program. For more information about the Wellington Garden Wellington Garden Club Honors Local
The Wellington High School band marches in the 2023 London New Year’s Day Parade.
The Mall
Wellington Green
located at 10300
Forest Hill Blvd.
more information, call
visit www.
Local mothers and their children model clothing from Macy’s General Manager Elizabeth Sands of Starbucks inside the Mall at Wellington Green gives out iced coffee and pastry samples. Moms modeling for Tommy Bahama with the Tommy Bahama team. Kids take to the runway hoping to win a Starbucks gift card.


The Wellington Art Society held its annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, May 8 at the Wellington Community Center. The 2024 honorees were Lea Abito of Jupiter High School, Lili-Rose Leonard of West Boca Raton High School and Isabella Sanchez of Wellington High School. Each recipient received $1,500.

Wellington Regional Medical Center is proud to announce the acquisition of an innovative, new robotic-assisted technology, the Ion Endoluminal System. This system represents a significant breakthrough in minimally invasive bronchoscopy procedures, enabling doctors to diagnose and treat lung cancer at earlier stages than previously possible.

Developed by Intuitive, the maker of da Vinci, the Ion system empowers physicians to navigate deep into the peripheral lung with unparalleled stability and precision.

By providing enhanced capabilities for biopsy procedures, the Ion system offers a critical advantage in detecting and addressing lung nodules, ultimately leading to

earlier diagnosis and intervention for lung cancer patients.

Dr. Mark Meyer, a thoracic surgeon at Wellington Regional Medical Center, expressed excitement about the potential impact of the Ion Endoluminal System.

“The acquisition of the Ion system marks a significant milestone in our ability to diagnose and treat lung cancer,” Meyer said. “With its advanced robotic-assisted technology, we can now reach and treat biopsy nodules in the peripheral lung with remarkable accuracy, allowing for earlier detection and intervention.”

WRMC CEO Pam Tahan echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the hospital’s commitment to advancing patient care through modern technology.

“At Wellington Regional Medical Center, we are dedicated to investing in innovative solutions that improve patient outcomes,” Tahan said. “The addition of the Ion Endoluminal System underscores our commitment to early detection and treatment of lung cancer, ultimately saving lives and improving quality of life for our patients.”

The introduction of the Ion Endoluminal System at Wellington Regional Medical Center represents a significant leap forward in the fight against lung cancer. By offering minimally invasive bronchoscopy procedures with enhanced precision and efficiency, the hospital is poised to revolutionize the standard of care for lung cancer patients in the region.

Wellington Regional Medical Center is a 235-bed acute care hospital accredited by the Joint Commission. Celebrating more than 30 years of treating residents in Wellington and the surrounding communities, the hospital offers a wide range of healthcare services, including comprehensive stroke care, a comprehensive lung program, minimally invasive services, cardiac services, a birthing center and a Level

Page 8 May 17 - May 30, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier NEWS
PHOTOS BY DENISE FLEISCHMAN/TOWN-CRIER Scholarship Committee members with recipients. (L-R) Jan Gmitter, Isabella Sanchez, Lea Abito, Kim DiGiacamo, Elaine Weber, Marcia Greene and Susan Oakes. Jan Gmitter with Lili-Rose Leonard’s certificate. Leonard attended the event virtually. Lea Abito of Jupiter High School with “Synthesis,” digital manipulated photography. Isabella Sanchez of Wellington High School with “Creations of an Author,” charcoal and gold ink. Wellington Art Society President Heather Bergstrom. Recipients Lea Abito and Isabella Sanchez with Jan Gmitter, chair of the Scholarship Committee. Last year’s scholarship recipient Stella Martinelli studies computer animation at the Ringling College of Art & Design. Aria Sanchez, recipient Isabella Sanchez, Lourdes Sanchez and Jan Gmitter.
III NICU, a comprehensive women’s center, hepatobiliary surgical procedures, intraoperative radiation therapy, interventional procedures, and a wellness and weight loss center.
learn more about Wellington Regional Medical Center, visit WRMC Acquires New Robotic Tool In Fight Against Lung Cancer WRMC celebrates the arrival of the new Ion Endoluminal System. Celebrating over 36 Years in the Practice of Law • ESTATES AND PROBATE • GUARDIANSHIP • WILL AND TRUST LITIGATION • ELDER LAW • MEDICAID PLANNING • POWERS OF ATTORNEY • ESTATE PLANNING 561-795-9590 The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide ask for free written information about my qualifications and experience. 14611 Southern Blvd. Unit 1250 Loxahatchee, Fl 33470 JoAnn Abrams ATTORNEY AT LAW EVENING HOURS BY APPOINTMENT New Location Service You Deserve From People You Trust Donald Gross 561-723-8461 Maureen Gross 561-714-0887 “I Wish Mommy & Daddy Could Buy A NEW HOME With A BIG BACKYARD, So I Could Go Out And Play All Day” LOOKING FOR A NEW HOME CALL THE “REAL” REAL ESTATE ADVISORS, DONALD & MAUREEN GROSS 9112 Forest Hill Blvd | In Kobosko’s Crossing (561) 793-7373 Visit us at our Wellington location Celebrating 50 Years in Wellington!
The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 17 - May 30, 2024 Page 9
Page 10 May 17 - May 30, 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 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 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 HAIR SALON Star Salon 561-784-9994 Wellington TUTORING AND TEST PREP Sapneil Tutoring 305-968-6364
The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 17 - May 30, 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 GM2 Engineering Associates 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 WELLINGTON COMMUNITY FOUNDATION 561-333-9843 WWW.WELLINGTONCOMMUNITYFOUNDATION.ORG 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 AEROSPACE COMPONENT SALES AeroGear Telemetry 561-223-2590 REAL ESTATE The Fabbri Group Concierge Properties 561-468-7653 GENERAL INSURANCE BRIGHTWAY INSURANCE 561-331-6652 MAKE & TAKE ART STUDIO WOOD • PAPER •GLASS 561-557-9583 Wellington Mall Center Court Leasing Information Call Chris Santamaria 561-793-4500


What is multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and optic nerves). It is an autoimmune disease that causes your immune cells to mistakenly attack your healthy nerve cells. These attacks lead to inflammation and damage to the myelin sheath that covers and protects your nerve cells. This damage causes neurological symptoms — such as loss of balance, vision problems and muscle weakness. Several effective treatments exist for MS. These medications reduce relapses and help slow the progression of the disease. Most people with MS are able to manage their symptoms and lead full, active lives.

There are four types of multiple sclerosis:

• Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS): When someone has a first episode of MS symptoms, healthcare providers often categorize it as CIS. Not everyone who has CIS goes on to develop multiple sclerosis.

• Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS): This is the most common form of multiple sclerosis. People with RRMS have flare-ups — also called relapse or exacerbation — of new or worsening symptoms. Periods of remission follow (when symptoms stabilize or go away).

• Primary progressive MS (PPMS): People diagnosed with PPMS have symptoms that slowly and gradually worsen without any periods of relapse or remission.

• Secondary progressive MS (SPMS): In many cases, people originally diagnosed with RRMS eventually progress to SPMS. With secondaryprogressive multiple sclerosis, you continue to accumulate nerve damage. Your symptoms progressively worsen. While you may still experience some relapses or flares (when symptoms increase), you no longer have periods of remission afterward (when symptoms stabilize or go away).

How common is multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Nearly 1 million adults in the U.S. are living with multiple sclerosis. MS commonly affects more women than men. Most people with MS receive a diagnosis between the ages of 20 and 40.

What are the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

Vision problems, such as optic neuritis (blurriness and pain in one eye), are often one of the first signs of multiple sclerosis. Other common symptoms include:

• Changes in gait

• Fatigue

• Loss of balance or coordination

• Muscle spasms

• Muscle weakness

• Tingling or numbness, especially in your legs or arms

How is multiple sclerosis (MS) managed or treated?

Treatment focuses on managing symptoms, reducing relapses (periods when symptoms worsen) and slowing the disease’s progression. Your comprehensive treatment plan may include:

• Disease-modifying therapies (DMTs): Several medications have FDA approval for long-term MS treatment. These drugs help reduce relapses (also called flare-ups or attacks). They slow down the disease’s progression. And they can prevent new lesions from forming on the brain and spinal cord.

• Relapse management medications: If you have a severe attack, your neurologist may recommend a high dose of corticosteroids. The medication can quickly reduce inflammation. They slow damage to the myelin sheath surrounding your nerve cells.

• Physical rehabilitation: Multiple sclerosis can affect your physical function. Staying physically fit and strong will help you maintain your mobility.

• Mental health counseling: Coping with a chronic condition can be emotionally challenging. And MS can sometimes affect your mood and memory. Working with a neuropsychologist or getting other emotional support is an essential part of managing the disease.

What is the outlook for people with multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Thanks to advances in treatment, most people with MS will continue to lead full, active and productive lives. Taking steps to manage your health and lifestyle can help improve your long-term outcome.

Page 12 May 17 - May 30, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier
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Caribbean-Americans for

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 17 - May 30, 2024 Page 13 NEWS
Community Involvement (CAFCI)
the Village of Royal Palm Beach hosted the annual Cultural Diversity
Royal Palm Beach Veterans Park on Saturday, May 11 featuring a wide array of cultural performances. The event included
public filled with different cultural foods for attendees to enjoy. There was also a diverse array of live entertainment, such as a mariachi band, a Latin band, solo performances and more.
Day event at
a variety of stands
to the
PHOTOS BY ERIN DAVISSON/TOWN-CRIER Vice Mayor Jeff Hmara, Mayor Fred Pinto, Councilman Richard Valuntas and Councilwoman Jan Rodusky. A Mexican mariachi band performs. Delcie Clarke, president of Jamaicans of the Palm Beaches, with Denise Brown and Heather Clarke. The Rio Cana Latin band on stage. Singer Samara Lewis performs.
Elet Cyris
WELLINGTON OFFICIALS BREAK GROUND ON BRAND-NEW AQUATICS CENTER Wellington officials take part in the groundbreaking
A sign shows the plan for the new aquatics complex. Wellington Mayor Michael Napoleone welcomes attendees to the ceremony. PHOTOS COURTESY THE VILLAGE OF WELLINGTON The Wellington Village Council, joined by dozens of other village representatives and the local swim community, held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday, May 11 for the new Wellington Aquatics Center, which will be built near Village Park’s back entrance off 120th Avenue South. The facility, which will include separate swimming areas for recreation and competitive swimming, is expected to open in late 2025. Bill Thomas Agency Owner, 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. 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 Financial Assistance for HOUSING REHAB For More Information | 561-791-4000 • Assistance for Wellington residents only • Homeowners must meet program income eligibility requirements • Homeowners must be current on all mortgages, property taxes, and home insurance • Funding assistance is limited Sample eligible repairs include: Roof replacement, Replace failing HVAC Systems, Handicapped accessibility improvements ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS June 3RD @ 8AM Thru September 3RD @ 5PM
The Hummingbird of Grace band on stage.
Morrison and
at the


On Thursday, May 9, Keller Williams Realty Wellington held its annual Red Day fundraiser at the Wellington Amphitheater. Every year on the second Thursday of May, all Keller Williams offices around the country close to hold fundraisers. This year, the local office decided to fundraise and donate blood with OneBlood’s Big Red Bus. Dozens of Realtors from Keller Williams attended the event, which also included face painting, balloons and petting zoos for families. A variety of food

needed a snack.

Earning the title of United States Marine is a profound achievement.

However, for Gage Barbieri, it was also a bridge to greater feats.

Cpl. Barbieri, an automotive maintenance technician with Truck Company, Headquarters Battalion (HQBN), 2d Marine Division (MARDIV), is being recognized by the leaders of 2d MARDIV for using his skills, knowledge and training on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) to refine its official technical manuals across the entire Department of Defense. Barbieri, a Loxahatchee native, grew up with little to no experience as a mechanic but always had an interest in mechanical engineering. Having graduated from Seminole Ridge High School at 16 years old, he enlisted in the Marine Corps a year later and earned the title United States Marine. He established

his credibility in the Marine Corps early on by being named an honor graduate for the Automotive Maintenance Technician Basic Course as part of his military occupational specialty (MOS) training. Following this training, Barbieri received orders to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in 2021.

“Within a few weeks, it was evident that his level of understanding and mechanical knowledge was well above that of a newly trained technician,” said Master Sgt. Daryl Cannon, Barbieri’s former staff noncommissioned officer in charge. “He quickly surpassed his peers and many of the Marines who had been in the MOS for significantly longer than he had been.”

Distinguishing himself among his peers, Barbieri began working on the newly implemented JLTV

system and identifying gaps in technical manuals. Barbieri was able to repair more than 75 principal trucks and equipment, sustaining overall readiness above 90 percent throughout the battalion. Additionally, Barbieri ordered more than $200,000 in repair parts to facilitate maintenance efforts within 2d MARDIV.

“Barbieri’s accomplishments at work allowed him to directly affect the battalion’s ability to support the 2d MARDIV in logistical support,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Casey Watson, Barbieri’s former maintenance officer.

At 19 years old, Barbieri was hand-selected by his command for his capabilities and quick problem-solving skills to represent the Marine Corps and make recommendations to the JLTV technical manual at Oshkosh Defense for

the JLTV validation, verification.

“He is a technically savvy, well-rounded Marine,” said Master Sgt. Kenneth Byxbee Jr., Barbieri’s former motor transport maintenance chief. “He could diagnose issues that most Marines couldn’t find and was able to make the repairs that civilian engineers from external organizations couldn’t. He was an asset to have down here as far as troubleshooting and improving maintenance proficiency.”

Barbieri’s recommendations would save the Department of Defense more than 900,000 man hours of maintenance production time and a total cost savings of more than $140 million throughout the entire life cycle of the JLTV platform.

“He identified flaws in the training manual drawings and came up with new illustrations that would

prevent catastrophic failure,”

former Marine Corps Systems Command civilian Jason Wolfe said. “This was one hell of a catch by this young Marine. His work on this could possibly prevent loss of life.”

Barbieri’s recommendations and impact led him to be accepted for the Meritorious Service Medal. The MSM is presented to service members who distinguish themselves with outstanding service.

Moving forward, Barbieri plans to continue teaching young noncommissioned officers as a corporals course instructor, hoping to continue making an impact in the Marine Corps. He has since found a passion in mechanical engineering and will further his personal education by working toward a degree in mechanical engineering.

Page 14 May 17 - May 30, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier NEWS
were parked nearby for anyone who
There was a petting zoo with many animals, including these mini horses. Cookie makes balloon animals for children. There were plenty of food trucks at the event. Agents from Keller Williams Realty Wellington. Realtor Shannon Burrows, Jussara Menchise and broker Michael Menchise. The Big Red Bus was on hand for blood donations.
Marine Corps Corporal From Loxahatchee Awarded Meritorious Service Medal
PFC. MICAH THOMPSON STORY BY CPL. MEGAN OZAKI 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 Rotary is looking to add a few good spokes to our Rotary Wheel. 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. Join us at one of our weekly meetings Medicare Supplements Advantage Plans Prescription Drug Plans Individual & Group Life, Health, Dental Disability Long-Term Care Serving South Florida For Over 27 Years! Hollans Group Insurance For a virtual or in-home appointment Call 954-347-3142 email:
U.S. Marine Corps Col. Damon K. Burrows (left) with Cpl. Gage Barbieri (right) following an award ceremony at Camp Lejeune on May 10.
The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 17 - May 30, 2024 Page 15 Benefiting The Wellington Community Foundation’s Efforts In “Building A Stronger Community” Barry Manning CHAIR Jim Sackett VICE CHAIR Hope Barron TREASURER Terri Kane SECRETARY Joanna Boynton DIRECTOR Michael Gauger DIRECTOR Donald Gross DIRECTOR Dr. Gordon Johnson DIRECTOR Robert Margolis DIRECTOR James Seder DIRECTOR Herta Suess DIRECTOR Pam Tahan DIRECTOR Maggie Zeller DIRECTOR WELLINGTON COMMUNITY FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS Agliolio Aqua Café Palm Beach Bimini Twist Bistro Devine Bar Boarderie Carmine’s Italian Carolina Herrera Palm Beach Chic Esthetique Duffy’s Sports Grill Jake’s Bath House Jake’s Pet Supply Kaluz La Masseria On Course Consignment Pizza Al Fresco Rain Dancer Steakhouse Renato’s Palm Beach Seminole Coconut Creek The Colony Hotel Palm Beach The Tackeria, INC The Wanderers Club Round Trader Joes Tub Tim Thai Resturant Van Dell Jewelwers Wellington European Day Spa Wellington National Golf Club Whit’s Frozen Custard Zona Blu
NEWS WELLINGTON SENIORS CELEBRATE CINCO DE MAYO WITH FESTIVE LUNCHEON The Village of Wellington hosted a Cinco de Mayo-themed luncheon for seniors on Thursday, May 2 at the Wellington Community Center. The band Mariachi Real 2000 performed Mexican music to go along with the event’s theme. PHOTOS BY DENISE FLEISCHMAN/TOWN-CRIER Page 16 May 17 - May 30, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier
The group Mariachi Real 2000 performs. Maryann Murray, Deputy Casey Lussier, Sandra Anderson, Maryann Boomhower, Deputy Brad Shouse, Norma Heelan and Yolanda Ruiz with Ian Williams in front. Monica Cagnet, Diana Gafford, Dee Feles and Paula Brownson. Wellington staff serves lunch to the seniors. Anita Rizzo, Esther Gambaro and her daughter Monique, Annie Inzerillo and Marisa Giardina. Mary Smith, Leanor Appleton and Careema Balgobin. Angel Rivera of Conviva gives a goody bag to birthday girl Esther Gambaro. Gilberto and Maria Franco, John and Rosa Norton, and Susan and Jeff Weinstein. Kyle Ostroff, Deputy Brad Shouse, Jenifer Brito, Deputy Casey Lussier and Ian Williams. Kyle Ostroff and Ian Williams sing a Mother’s Day original rap song. Violeta Loaiza, Ronnie Castiglia, Beverly Apfel, Maria Anatra, Judith Lauro, Delia Usher, Roberta Jacobs, Carol Okin and Mena Anafi.
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Royal Palm Beach’s Young at Heart Club hosted a luncheon on Friday, May 3 at the Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center. Seniors enjoyed food, dance and entertainment from the musical group Jozay and Patti (José Davila and Patricia Davila) singing oldies.

Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation Seeks Volunteers To Help Cancer Patients In Need

The Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation has many opportunities for local residents to provide support to patients undergoing cancer treatment. Volunteers are welcomed as part of the team at the Florida Cancer Specialists clinic in Wellington as a patient support volunteer.

Patient support volunteers provide non-medical assistance to patients in the treatment area; provide comfort and companionship, a listening ear, a smile, light refreshments, and blanket and pillows to patients; and assist nursing staff with non-medical tasks. Requirements include com -

pleting and submitting the online application at Potential volunteers will then need to complete a phone interview; complete a criminal history check and drug/nicotine screening; complete a health screening including tuberculosis (TB) testing and measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B and varicella immunities proof. An influenza vaccine is required annually (Aug. 1 through March 31). Volunteers must be able to commit to a minimum of three hours per week for at least six months and must be age 18 or older with a valid driver’s license. The Florida Cancer Specialists

Foundation is not able to accommodate patients who are actively being treated for cancer or on court-ordered community service. The Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation is a nonprofit organization that helps patients who need financial assistance while undergoing treatment. The foundation allows those fighting cancer to concentrate on recovery rather than their overdue rent, mortgage, electric or water bill. Interested in volunteering? Call (941) 677-7191, e-mail or apply online at

Robotics Night At Palms West Hospital Offers Hands-On Opportunity Tuesday, May 21

is hosting its second annual Robotics Night on Tuesday, May 21 from 6 to 8 p.m., inviting the community to learn about the technology and the benefits of robotic-assisted surgery. The evening will include a panel discussion by surgeons who specialize in robotic surgery in general surgery, gynecology, thoracic, urology, surgical oncology, orthopedics and robotic-assisted bronchoscopies. There will also be breakout sessions on the advancements in robotic gynecologic and gynecologic oncology surgery, and Palms West Hospital’s newest

service line, bariatrics. Additionally, attendees will have an opportunity to try their hand at robotics surgery with a hands-on experience at the robotic console.

In 2022, Palms West Hospital became the first hospital in Palm Beach County to be accredited by Surgical Review Corporation (SRC) as Center of Excellence in Robotic Surgery based on rigorous standards of high-quality care and patient safety.

With 22 robotically trained surgeons using six robotic platforms, Palms West Hospital takes a robotics-first commitment for

its patients with the goal of better patient outcomes. Because of that approach, more than 1,200 robotic surgeries are performed each year and more than 20,000 robotic surgeries have been performed at the hospital. All ages are welcome at the May 21 Robotics Night. Students are encouraged. To register, visit and select Classes and Events. HCA Florida Palms West Hospital is a 204-bed, acute care facility that has been providing high-quality healthcare in Palm Beach County for more than 30 years.

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 17 - May 30, 2024 Page 17 NEWS
PHOTOS BY DENISE FLEISCHMAN/TOWN-CRIER Maria Gonzalez, Ellie Rosenshein and Susan Vogt. Francisco and Josepha Ramos with Carol Gabriel. The musical group Jozay and Patti (José Davila and Patricia Davila) perform. Jem Foster and Primrose Graham. Monique Lananna and Andres Palacio. Yolanda Baron and Marina Joly. Shakeera Thomas with Vice Mayor Jeff and Carolyn Hmara. Susan Vogt, Pat Lavalley, Barbara Searles and Carol Gabriel on the dance floor. Senior Programs Supervisor Shakeera Thomas with Young at Heart board members Sandy Rubin, Barbara Patterson, Lorna Pearson and Dolly Hughes. HCA Florida Palms West Hospital
Promoting and encouraging local community participation in an organization to provide, promote and encourage goodwill within the western communities of Palm Beach County and established for educational, charitable and social purposes. Visit Us Today at TO ATTEND A MEETING AS A GUEST, JOIN AS A MEMBER, OR FOR ANY OTHER QUESTIONS, PLEASE CONTACT Mair Armand 561-635-0011 FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR EMERGENCY REPAIRS For More Information | 561-791-4000 • Assistance for Wellington residents only • Homeowners must meet program income eligibility requirements • Homeowners must be current on all mortgages, property taxes, and home insurance • Funding assistance is limited • Funding up to $15,000 Sample eligible repairs include: Broken Water Heater, Failing HVAC Systems, Plumbing Leaks, Minor Roof Leaks ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS


On Thursday, May 9, the Wellington Historical Society hosted its annual Spring Mixer at Village Music Café.

attendance, including several members of the Wellington Village Council. Attendees enjoyed drinks and

an auction and music. Learn more at

Scouts From Pack 125 Collect Food To Support Palm Beach Harvest

Scouts from Cub Scout Pack 125, sponsored by the Wellington Rotary Club, were given a challenge this year from their Cubmaster Stephanie King — a

CAFCI will host its annual Student Assistance Award ceremony on Saturday, June 8 at 4:30 p.m. at the original Wellington Mall. The evening will feature an inspiring speech from Summer Hill, congratulatory messages from past recipients, a dedication performance from the talented and accomplished Samara Lewis, as well as the presentation to this year’s eight recipients, who will be going on to the university or college of their choice to pursue

with him for over 20 years. Wellington Orthopedic Institute (WOI) provides compassionate orthopedic care with boutique service to patients in Wellington and surrounding communities. The WOI team takes pride in finding the very best possible solutions for patients’ orthopedic needs.

their future goals and aspirations. This year’s recipients are: Rachelle Alcin (Florida International University), Nirvani Balkaran (Florida State University), Kellie Cargill (Florida International University), Karlye Drake (Fisk University), Tyson Elliott (Florida State University), Jamir Hutchinson (the University of Central Florida), Anne Osme (Palm Beach State College) and Brianna Ulysse (Alabama A&M University) For the past 31 years, CAFCI

has provided awards to deserving, graduating high school students who have been accepted to a college or university. Requirements for the award include a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher, an official transcript, a letter of acceptance from the college of their choice, evidence of school and community involvement, two letters of recommendation, an essay to demonstrate interest in and knowledge of Caribbean culture and affairs, and the extent of their financial needs. Students meeting these requirements are invited for an interview, after which the selection for awards is made. The funds are raised by generous donations from CAFCI members, businesses, community partners and proceeds generated from CAFCI’s annual Friendship Ball. CAFCI was formed to encourage volunteerism and diversity in the community. For more information, visit or call (561) 790-4002.

Bariatric and General Surgery

At the Palm Beach Digital Surgery Institute, Dr. Eduardo Parra-Davila, Dr. Abraham Betancourt and their medical team are highly trained and experienced in robotic-assisted bariatric (weight loss) surgery, as well as the diagnosis and surgical management of a broad spectrum of conditions including abdominal wall hernias, gallbladder disease, endocrine surgery, benign and malignant conditions.

Treatments Include:

• Bariatric SurgeryGastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy

• Lap-Band® Management and Removal

• Revision Bariatric Surgery

• Hernia / Abdominal Wall Reconstruction

• Colorectal Cancer / Diverticulitis / Rectal Prolapse

• Endometriosis / Incontinence

• Hemorrhoids

• Gallbladder Disease

• Gastroesophageal Reflux

• Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery

To make an appointment call 888-213-6743 or scan the QR code

Page 18 May 17 - May 30, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier NEWS
About 40 people were
a 50/50
PHOTOS BY FRANK KOESTER/TOWN-CRIER Harriet Offerman, Carol O’Brien, Karen Nowatoski, Laurie Cohen and Danny Sneade. Wellington Historical Society board members Chuck Edgar, Angie Francalancia, Sue Bierer, Paula Sackett, Alyson Samiljan and Maureen Gross. Vice Mayor John McGovern draws a ticket for the 50/50 raffle with Paula Sackett. Kendall Bierer and Chris Wendel. Guests mingle during the Wellington Historical Society mixer. Denise and Robert O’Sullivan with Wellington Historical Society Vice President Maureen Gross. Father Steven Thomas, Erin Thomas and Jim Richardson. Chris Wendel (right) won the auction for the necklace that artist Norman Gitzen (left) donated. He gave it to his mother-in-law Sue Bierer (center). Jim and Sherry Richardson with Susan Basham.
“Year of Giving.” She tasked her scouts to find a charity to support
as a means of giving back. For the month of April, first graders in Tiger Den 4, led by Mike Webb, chose to support Palm Beach Harvest, a nonprofit, community-based organization of volunteers who collect and transport surplus food to distribution centers throughout Palm Beach County. Palm Beach Harvest utilizes volunteers who donate their time to rescue more than seven million pounds of food every year. Community gardens are set up to proScouts
Xavier Harpel show off their donations with co-leader Adrienne Aronson. vide additional produce to create the opportunity for the community to learn how to grow additional food for themselves. Where hungry adults and children find food and shelter, Palm Beach Harvest provides nutritious, hot meals, feeding people with acquired surplus, as well as food grown or sold at wholesale or retail. Palm Beach Harvest is not only a food bank, but they also deliver food directly to the homes of those who are food insecure. In addition, they serve as the county’s “bread basket,” supporting several other food banks throughout Florida and in storm-ravaged areas. Learn more at www.palmbeachharvest. org. The scouts were very proud to have collected a total of 116 individual items or six full boxes of food to help their community. CAFCI To Present Student Assistance Awards June 8 OPEN MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY 8:30am-5:00pm Explore Our Services... WELLINGTON ORTHOPEDIC INSTITUTE Call Today For An Appointment 561-670-2010 Come Visit Our New Location: 10115 Forest Hill Blvd. Suite 102, Wellington, Fl 33414 • General Orthopedic Care • Shoulder And Elbow • Hand And Wrist • Hip And Knee • Fracture Care • Tru-Match Total Knees • Reverse Total Shoulders • Anterior Approach Total Hips • Foot And Ankle Injuries • Neck/Back Non-surgical • Workers Compensation/Auto Dr. Michael Mikolajczak, DO Leah Saporito, PA-C Dr. Michael Mikolajczak is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon who has been practicing conservative and surgical orthopedics for over 25 years in the western communities in Florida. He is blessed to be taking care of multiple generations of families. He practices comprehensive value based compassionate care. He specializes in conservative non-surgical care including the latest techniques in regenerative medicine. PRP/A2MG/STEM CELL in office procedures. He does the latest technology Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty, Anterior Approach total hip arthroplasty. Tru-Match total knee arthroplasty. Dr Mike is active in the hospital and community. He has served multiple leadership roles throughout his nure. Dr Mike has a dedicated team who has been
Hunter Aronson and
LOCATION Palm Beach Digital Surgery Institute 1411 N. Flagler Dr., Ste. 8900 West Palm Beach
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The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 17 - May 30, 2024 Page 19 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 Orthopedic Care. Stronger Together. For You. Let us help you smile for miles with less knee pain. When knee pain postpones a walk with friends or halts a perfect serve, recruit our orthopedic physicians, surgeons and physical therapists to join your team. Take the first step in understanding your knee pain with a brief quiz. Your greatest comeback starts at Good Samaritan Medical Center. Take our knee pain quiz TODAY at Bimini Twist... where good friends meet and new friends are made! Starting June 1st, our AWARD WINNING EARLY BIRD MENU will be EXTENDED to 6:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday 8480 Okeechobee Blvd | West Palm Beach, FL 33411 | 561.784.2660 Welcome To Summer FREE FRIED CALAMARI with purchase of 2 Entrees Take $2000 OFF $10000 Cannot be combined with Early Bird or any other discounts. Sunday - Wednesday Only. Expires 9/30/24 Cannot be combined with Early Bird or any other discounts. Sunday - Wednesday Only. Expires 9/30/24
Page 20 May 17 - May 30, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier 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.

WHS Flag Football Squad Falls In The State Semifinals In Tampa

This year’s Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) flag football state championships in Tampa held May 10-11 was as much about the venue as it was about the teams — four in Class 1A and four in Class 2A — that advanced to play in their respective competitions. As it turned out, one of the teams in the Class 2A bracket was Wellington High School, which defeated Fort Pierce Central High School in the Class 2A state quarterfinal, 12-7, on Friday, May 3 to earn a spot in Tampa. Historically, the FHSAA flag football championships have been held on a high school campus in Florida, but this year, the event experienced a major upgrade. The venue for this year’s FHSAA championship flag football event was the expansive AdventHealth Training Center, which is the indoor practice facility for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The colossal structure is a welllit, indoor, air-conditioned environment with an artificial turf playing surface, where the Buccaneers’ logo adorns the middle of the field, while one of the walls is filled with a series of massive banners highlighting the Buccaneers’ many successes — including two Super Bowl wins in 2003 and 2021 — since their entry into the NFL in 1976.

As for Wellington’s girls varsity flag football team, the Wolverines

faced the Longhorns from Lennard High School in Ruskin in the Class 2A semifinal on Friday, May 10. The kickoff was originally set for 7 p.m., but the game started late because the two previous Class 1A semifinal games ran longer than expected.

With Lennard as its opponent, Wellington faced a team that was a virtual twin of itself. Both teams had talented, strong-armed quarterbacks; both teams had an athletic corps of sure-handed receivers; both teams had aggressive, ball-hawking defenses; both teams had players who could rush the quarterback; and both teams were hungry to win. Of all the semifinal games, the Wellington-Lennard game was expected to be the most competitive, and it didn’t disappoint.

As expected, both quarterbacks — Wellington’s Keelin Coleman and Lennard’s Abby Elwell — rose to the occasion and led by example. Coleman completed 19 of 28 passes for 259 yards, while Elwell completed 19 of 26 passes for 192 yards.

Also, the receivers made a series of incredible and, at times, acrobatic receptions, the defenses were defiant, and the pass rushers never stopped pursuing Coleman and Elwell.

For Wellington, Coleman led her team inside the red zone on two occasions in the first half, and into Lennard’s half of the field on three occasions in the second half. For the entire game, Lennard’s

defense was defiant and kept the Wolverines out of the end zone.

As for Wellington’s defense, it was strong and determined, with the exception of one play. At the 9:28 mark of the second quarter, Elwell connected with teammate Kate Keith on a 17-yard touchdown pass. The one-point PAT attempt was successful, which gave the Longhorns a 7-0 lead, which they would never relinquish. That turned out to be the only touchdown of the game, with Lennard eventually winning, 7-0.

It’s ironic that Keith scored Lennard’s lone touchdown because she was the one who prevented Wellington from scoring a touchdown on its first drive of the game when she picked off a Coleman pass at the goal line to end what turned out to be Wellington’s most promising drive of the game.

“It was an incredible experience in Tampa,” said Robert Callovi, Wellington High School’s head flag football coach. “The Tampa Bay Bucs really support girls flag football better than anybody else. In the game, our girls gave their best effort, and they kept fighting to the very end. We didn’t give up and kept playing. We really loved the overall experience.”

Looking back, the Wolverines (15-4) had a memorable and historic season this spring. Under Callovi, Wellington recorded a series of significant first-time accomplishments, such as winning its first-ever regional championship (12-6 against Seminole Ridge

High School on April 30), winning its first-ever state quarterfinal (12-7 against Fort Pierce Central on May 3), and advancing to the flag football state finals for the first time.

As for the Lennard Longhorns, which advanced to the Class 2A Championship Game on Saturday, May 11 against the Panthers from Miami’s Palmetto High School, it was possibly the most exciting game in the history of this FHSAA event, as the game featured many lead changes. In the end, Palmetto came from behind and defeated Lennard 26-25, scoring its winning touchdown on a 15-yard run with less than 10 seconds left in the game. Then, Lennard made a valiant attempt to win the game on the game’s final play, when the Longhorns had to go the length of the field with one catch and a series of laterals, only to be denied by a sideline flag pull deep in Palmetto’s half of the field.

“That Class 2A championship game was better than advertised and was possibly the most exciting high school flag football game that I have ever seen,” said Newsome High School head flag football coach Anthony Silvestri, who served as the color commentator for the NFHS Network’s livestream broadcast of the game.

In the Class 1A championship final, the Knights from Tampa’s Robinson High School won their eighth-straight Class 1A state title by defeating Pembroke Pines Charter School, 27-6.

Seminole Ridge Boys Volleyball Team Advances To State Tourney

In the month of May, the boys varsity volleyball team from Seminole Ridge High School has been ignoring the seedings for the state volleyball tournament. Instead of playing like a lower-seeded team and losing on the road to a higher-seeded team, the Hawks

have focused on executing the basic fundamentals of volleyball and have kept winning. On May 10, Seminole Ridge, ranked No. 6 in Section 2, traveled to play Park Vista High School, which was seeded No. 2. After playing Park Vista during the regular season on March 28 and losing 2-0 (25-10, 25-17), Seminole

Ridge was the clear underdog in the regional semifinal game. However, Seminole Ridge came out stronger and more together. As a result, they prevailed against Park Vista, 3-0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-18) to advance to the Section 2 final on Tuesday, May 14. Again, Seminole Ridge was required to hit the road and travel

to the King’s Academy to face the top-ranked Lions. The game was another rematch of a regular season encounter on May 2 when TKA prevailed 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-14) against Seminole Ridge.

On May 14, the Hawks turned the tables on the Lions and triumphed 3-0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-18). This win against TKA gave Seminole Ridge the Section 2 championship. Now, with an overall record of 23-7 and winners of five out of their last six matches, Seminole Ridge has qualified for this year’s Florida High School Athletic Association boys volleyball state finals, which will be held May 17-18 on the campus of Polk State College in Winter Haven.

The next opponent for Seminole Ridge will be another team that will be the clear favorite. It will be Winter Park High School, which is sporting an undefeated record of 27-0. The Seminole Ridge vs. Winter Park match is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 17. If Seminole Ridge defeats Winter Park, then the Hawks will advance to the FHSAA state semifinals.

The King’s Academy boys volleyball team finished with a record of 24-6.

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 17 - May 30, 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
Sydney Lopez of Wellington pulls the flag of Lennard quarterback Abby Elwell. Wellington High School quarterback Keelin Coleman looks for an open receiver in the game against Lennard High School. PHOTOS BY MICHAEL GALLAGHER Wellington’s Jordan Fernandez runs after a catch. Wellington’s Avery Schroeder pulls the flag on Lennard’s Sydney Elizondo. (Above) Addison Corey of Seminole Ridge hits a dink over the TKA defenders in the regional final. (Below) Hawk David Brevik soars for the kill.
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The Seminole Ridge High School boys varsity volleyball team after winning the Section 2 championship. PHOTOS

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TKA, WHS Softball Teams End Seasons With Regional Losses

While the King’s Academy girls varsity softball team may have concluded its overall season on a three-game losing streak, it doesn’t detract from what was a winning and memorable season.

The Lions had a regular season record of 15-2. Despite losing 3-2 to local rival Cardinal Newman High School on May 1 in the semifinals of the Class 3A, District 13 tournament and then falling 11-1 to Westminster Christian School of Miami in the regional quarterfinal game on May 8, head coach Kim Needle was delighted with her team’s overall play this spring.

“We had a great season, and some illness and injuries that defi-

nitely played a factor toward the end of the season,” Needle said. “These girls worked extremely hard to pull it together and give their all.” The team owes much of its success to the play of three specific freshmen — Gracyn Needle, Lily Stone and Caroline Duncan. On defense, Gracyn Needle played either shortstop or catcher. During the season, she only had one error and helped her team turn five double plays. On offense, she had an on-base percentage of .655, batted .574, drove in 29 runs, scored 28 runs, slugged nine doubles and hit three home runs with only one strikeout during the entire season. In the postseason, she went 7-for-9 with four doubles.

Defensively, Stone played second base or shortstop, where she had 35 putouts and committed only two errors. On offense, she batted .545, had 32 RBIs, hit five triples and slugged four doubles. Duncan was the team’s top pitcher. During the season, she had a win-loss record of 13-4. Her earned run average was a stingy 1.56. She held opponents to a .180 batting average. Offensively, Duncan was a big contributor to the team’s overall success, hitting .298 with a pair of home runs. Other players for TKA’s softball team who had strong performances included sophomore centerfielder Kiersten Zimmerman, who hit .460, scored 30 runs, had 16 RBIs and stroked five doubles. Sixth-

grader Emma Thornton hit .420 while playing as the team’s catcher or second baseman. Eighth-grader Caitlyn Valley hit .304 while splitting her time between left field and the pitcher’s mound. Freshman right fielder Sarai Brabham batted .298 and had an impressive on-base percentage of .483, while junior first baseman Hailey Adkins hit .300 with an on-base percentage of .469.

“Hailey was voted the team’s most improved player, as it was her first time playing softball since she was in middle school,” Needle said.

With the 2024 season complete, it’s now time for TKA’s players and coaches to focus on 2025 and beyond.

“The season is now over, but the training and focus on next year is in all of our hearts and minds,” added Needle, whose team had no seniors on the roster this spring.

“Our mission: let’s continue to get stronger and fine-tune the small things to be even better next year.”

WHS Softball Falls in Regional Semifinals — The Wellington High School varsity softball team’s plans of returning to the Florida High School Athletic Association’s state finals in Clermont were derailed by Jupiter High School on Tuesday, May 14 in the Class 7A, Region 3 semifinal.

Jupiter scored the game’s only two runs in the sixth inning to win,

2-0. Despite the fact that

Breakthru Athletic League Hosts Spring Super Bowl Games

The Breakthru Athletic League’s boys and girls flag football program held its end-of-season Super Bowl Tournament on Saturday, May 4 at Samuel Friedland Park. This was the league’s fourth season. All the teams in the league participated in the final Super Bowl Tournament, and each team played shortened games in order to see which ones would make it to the final game for their division. In all, there were a total of 38 games played across all divisions on that championship Saturday. During the official pre-game ceremony, the flags were presented by the Seminole Ridge High School JROTC, while the national anthem was sung by Jazmyne YarnoldMattei.

All the players — more than 380 ranging in age from 4 to 17 — in this spring’s league received a medal and a shirt for participating in the league this spring. There were a total of 47 teams in the league. Prior to each age-group game, each player on every participating team was allowed to run through the tunnel, and players were announced before each Super Bowl game. All champions won a Breakthru Athletic League Super Bowl championship ring. Super Bowl champions by division were: Boys Peewee - Broncos, Boys Freshmen - Buccaneers, Boys Junior Varsity - Dolphins, Boys Varsity - Dolphins, Coed High School - Dolphins, Girls Peewee - Buccaneers, Girls Freshmen - Lions, Girls Junior Varsity - Patriots and Girls Varsity - Eagles.

“The Super Bowls were very exciting to play and to watch, and we had two of them go into overtime to determine the champions,” said Matt Green, the league’s director of communications. “It was a great

day out at the fields, and while it is always bittersweet to end a season, we’re already looking forward to and planning our fall season of NFL flag football. We had a record number of early registrations dur-

ing our Super Bowl weekend registration event, so we know we’re going to have another big season.”

In June and July, the Breakthru Athletic League flag football program will be hosting eight flag

football skills camp events, which will be free for anyone who would like to participate. Registration is open now. Find more information at www.breakthruathleticleague. com.

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 17 - May 30, 2024 Page 23 SPORTS & RECREATION
(Above) Wellington High School’s girls softball team after winning the district championship. (Below) Wellington’s Gabi de Los Reyes in the game against Jupiter. PHOTOS BY JACK BARLETT AND MIKE MAY (Above) TKA’s girls varsity softball team. (Left) Caroline Duncan on the pitching mound for TKA. PHOTOS BY DEREK CHIRCH AND BRAD PERSON Coach Kristen Cavanagh strategizing with her JV Boys Jaguars. PHOTOS BY ALLYSON GOOLSBY/412 MEDIA (Left) Fallon Howell of the JV Girls Packers. (Right) Avaree Brant of the High School Coed Dolphins goes vertical to make a catch.
Wellington was the top seed in Region 3 and the top-ranked Class 7A team in Florida, the game was expected to be close based on the regular season game played between both teams back on March 6, when Wellington won, 2-1. Wellington head coach Mark Boretti was proud of his team’s overall play this spring, but sorry to see the season come to an unexpected end. “It was a long season that involved some tough times, but we stayed together as a team,” Boretti said. “A record of 20-4 is pretty good, but not what we played the season for. We played to get back to states, so it’s disappointing.” The highlight of the season for Wellington was a victory against longtime cross-county rival Palm Beach Gardens High School in the Class 7A, District 12 tournament on May 2, when the Wolverines prevailed 7-6. It was Wellington’s eighth district tournament title during Boretti’s 15 years as the head coach.

Tennis Pro Dick Stockton Recalls His French Open Experiences

As tennis fans look forward to the playing of the French Open tennis tournament in Paris, which starts Monday, May 20, you might be surprised to learn that a Wellington resident actually played in the French Open on four occasions.

Dick Stockton had a long and successful career in the 1970s and early 1980s on the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Tour.

Of the four Grand Slam tournaments (the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open), Stockton had memorable experiences in three

of them: the French Open in Paris, Wimbledon in London and the U.S. Open in New York City.

His memories of his four visits to Paris to play in the French Open are strong and vivid, though it has been 40 years since his last visit to Stade Roland Garros, the site of the French Open. When Stockton arrived in Paris, he was all business and was totally focused on serving aces, executing crisp volleys and hitting winners with his backhand and forehand.

“When at a tournament like the French Open, there isn’t much time for sightseeing,” said Stockton, now 73. “I saw the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and

Notre Dame while driving through Paris, but never had a chance to really visit any of them. But, as I recall, during my first experience at the French Open in 1973, I went with a friend to visit the Louvre, but it was closed.”

Stockton would only stay in Paris for as long as he remained alive in the men’s singles, men’s doubles or mixed doubles competitions.

“As great a city as Paris is, one didn’t hang around after being eliminated because it was always a quick transition to the grass courts in England and the Wimbledon tournament, so it was paramount to get there as quickly as possible in order to prepare for the grass-court season,” Stockton explained.

Stockton’s best performances in the French Open took place in 1978, 1979 and 1984.

“In 1978, I played the defending champion, Guillermo Vilas, one of the best clay court players of that era, in the semifinal. He beat me in three straight sets. It wasn’t very close,” Stockton recalled. “Also in 1978, I reached the quarterfinals of the men’s doubles with Erik van Dillen. In 1979, I reached the semifinals of the men’s doubles with Arthur Ashe. And I won the mixed doubles at the French Open with Anne Smith in 1984.”

Over the years, many American men’s tennis pros have struggled to succeed at the French Open because of the difficulty of adapting to the European red-clay tennis courts used there.

“I didn’t mind European red clay,” Stockton said. “After all, I did reach the semifinals of the singles once, the semifinals of the doubles once and won the mixed doubles once. I was always more concerned with Wimbledon and preferred spending more time preparing on grass. In those days, it was difficult to spend upward of eight weeks in Europe. Not only was it a long time over there, but, because it was so expensive, it could be difficult to make ends meet. For example, when my partner [Anne Smith] and I won the French Open mixed doubles in 1984, I stayed around Paris for 10 days after being eliminated from the men’s doubles, and we each received $900 for winning. That isn’t a typo!”

When Stockton would visit Paris to play in the French Open, he never stayed in the same place twice.

“There were several different ‘official hotels’ each year, and I usually stayed wherever most of my friends were staying,” Stockton recalled.

While Stockton won’t be in Paris this year, he will be following the action. His choices to win the women’s and men’s singles are Iga Świątek and Jannik Sinner, respectively.

In his career on the ATP Tour, Stockton won 13 doubles titles and eight singles titles. His highest world ranking in singles was eighth, and his best world ranking in doubles was 13th.

The Village of Wellington is currently seeking a talented and knowledgeable independent contractor to conduct year-round water aerobics classes at the Wellington Aquatics Complex.

Interested individuals and/or organizations may submit proposals, in writing, to Aquatics Supervisor Ryan Harris at or 12072 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington, FL 33414, no later than Tuesday, May 21.

Proposal requirements must include the organization and/or instructor name; the minimum/ maximum number of participants to be accommodated; the program mission, goals, objectives and scope; the class time and day availability; a fee structure; the professional background of the instructor and/or organization; referrals; and insurance information. The selected applicant will be required to comply with all independent contractor rules, regulations and guidelines. Independent contractors are not employees of the Village of Wellington. For additional information about the

Aquatics Complex, visit www.wellingtonfl. gov/aquatics.

Cresswind Releases Data On EGYM Use Among Active Adult Users

Cresswind, a collection of active adult communities developed by Kolter Homes, is sharing compelling results from its integration of EGYM, an innovative fitness technology, in its Georgia and Florida communities.

The data highlights that more than 800 Cresswind residents using EGYM have seen their biological age decrease by 10 years and their strength increase by more than 25 percent, demonstrating the substantial health advantages offered by the technology.

Locally, residents at Cresswind Palm Beach at Westlake saw similarly impressive gains, mirroring the national numbers, with EGYM users there shedding more than nine years off their biological age while boosting their strength

by more than 20 percent.

The smart fitness system simplifies and gamifies the workout experience, providing personalized routines offering measurable improvements across four key pillars: strength, cardio, flexibility and metabolism.

“EGYM has revolutionized how our residents approach fitness,” said Mark LaClaire, director of lifestyle at Kolter Homes. “They’re not only embracing cutting-edge technology; they’re experiencing fantastic improvements in their health and overall well-being.”

With nine varied training programs that make fitness more intuitive, EGYM is accessible to users at all fitness levels.

“I’m a huge advocate of

EGYM,” said Marisa Vincelli, a Cresswind Palm Beach at Westlake resident who signed on to the program after it launched just over a year ago. “Having explored other gyms, I find myself constantly recommending EGYM to friends and family. It’s incredibly motivating; we always look forward to our gym sessions. My husband and I have made significant progress and are proud of our accomplishments.”

This success underscores the broader potential of technology to improve the quality of life, particularly for the 55-plus demographic, which has traditionally been slower to adopt new technologies.

The American College of Sports Medicine named wearable tech as the top fitness trend for 2024, with an AARP survey revealing

that 79 percent of older adults who own wearables use them every day. This indicates a strong trend toward digital solutions for enhancing health and wellness among older adults, with Cresswind communities at the forefront of this movement.

“These tools are not just supporting individual health — they’re enriching our communities by fostering greater social interaction and promoting an active lifestyle,” LaClaire said.

Kolter’s Cresswind communities across the southeast offer active adults new homes and activities designed for the way they live today and into the future. This award-winning concept empowers Cresswind residents to “Set Yourself FREE” based on the cornerstones of fitness, relationships, education and entertainment. For more information, visit

Summer Art Camp at the Armory Art Center runs from June 3 through Aug. 2. The camp is designed for juniors ages 5.5 to 8 and 9 to 12, and teens ages 13 to 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 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 May 17 - May 30, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier
Cresswind residents use the EGYM program.
Dick Stockton (right) with the legendary Arthur Ashe and Jackie Onassis in 1977. Dick Stockton competed at the French Open four times.
Wellington Seeks Water Aerobics Instructor For Aquatics Complex 2024 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 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

Human-Animal Alliance Sponsors Rescue Ponies At Tomorrow’s Rainbow

Wellington-based charity the Human-Animal Alliance recently announced its sponsorship of two mini rescue ponies, Rocky and River, at Tomorrow’s Rainbow, a place for children, teens and families healing from the death of a loved one.

“Sponsorship such as this is vital for the care of our horses, such as River and Rocky. These ponies were recently rescued and are now taking part in therapeutic activities for children both on and off site,” said Abby Mosher, founder and executive director of

Tomorrow’s Rainbow, based in Coconut Creek. “We are grateful to the Human-Animal Alliance, whose core mission aligns with ours in realizing the value of equine therapy in helping people to heal from grief and trauma.” River and Rocky are a bonded pair that were rescued to be a part of the mobile programs, Grief on the Go and Tomorrow’s Rainbow Coping Academy. The entire herd of equine, big and small, at Tomorrow’s Rainbow is rescued — an important part of the nonprofit’s values.

Jesenia Orozco To Compete For Miss Florida USA 2024

Jesenia Orozco became a mother at a very early age, during her second year of high school. Her dedication to not settling for less, her charisma, her character and everything she has to offer has earned her the title of Miss Wellington Florida USA 2024. She will compete for the title of Miss Florida USA 2024 on July 5-7 at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts in Coral Springs.

Orozco has dedicated her life to encouraging young women to continue to work hard to accomplish their dreams no matter the challenges they may encounter. Her daughter is now 19. She graduated from Park Vista High School and serves at her local church.

Orozco is the former Miss Global Colombia 2022. She got the opportunity to travel to Indonesia and represent her parents’ country. She participated in Nuestra Belleza Latina and multiple other big events in South Florida and around the world. Orozco has also worked for several companies as a print and TV commercial model. She has also worked in television telenovelas and TV shows.

Orozco always dreamed of being a part of the Miss Universe family. This dream was not possible because Miss Universe did not accept women with children. She was an advocate for these women, and in her pageant career, she spoke about her story and why a strong woman who decided to take care of her daughter doesn’t have the right to dream big. Now the opportunity for Miss Florida/ Miss USA has arrived.

Orozco is an advocate for victims of sexual abuse and dreams of her own organization named Break Your Silence, with a mission to help victims of sexual abuse overcome all the trouble that comes from these bad experiences. She is the owner/founder of Less4Legal LLC, a Florida company that focuses on assisting low-income families go through family law cases successfully by offering legal document preparation. Not only does Orozco own her business, but she also works as a litigation paralegal at a West Palm Beach law firm.

Orozco loves the outdoors. She has a passion for horses and you might just see her at the equestrian center getting lessons or volunteering in different events around the Wellington area.

The sponsorship program at Tomorrow’s Rainbow provides funding for the care of the therapy horses, plus grief support groups, equine-assisted psychotherapy, and mobile programs supporting grief, loss and adversity.

“Tomorrow’s Rainbow is a safe place where children feel, often for the first time, understood,” Mosher said.

A team of EAGALA-certified professionals at Tomorrow’s Rainbow provide equine-assisted psychotherapy for those struggling with an array of mental health challenges, including trauma, PTSD, anxiety and depression.

“Equine-assisted therapy is recognized globally for its profound impact on physical, emotional and psychological well-being,” said Wellington resident Jackie Ducci, founder of the Human-Animal Alliance.

Ducci recently visited Tomorrow’s Rainbow to meet Rocky and River and see them settled in their new home. “Horses are deeply intuitive and have a remarkable ability to help humans heal.

Organizations like Tomorrow’s Rainbow epitomize the power of human-animal connection in the services they provide, and we are honored to support their program again this year,” Ducci said.

Ducci personally covers the Human-Animal Alliance’s overheads to ensure that every dollar donated goes directly to the charitable projects it selects for grants. Every project is researched and evaluated before being selected as a grant recipient.

The Human-Animal Alliance provides grants to exceptional, yet often overlooked, nonprofit organizations that support and enhance the human-animal connection.

Cub Scout Pack 125 Helps In Efforts To Beautify Wellington

Scouts from Cub Scout Pack 125, sponsored by the Wellington Rotary Club, have once again showcased their dedication to community betterment through the successful completion of a transformative service project aimed at enhancing the local environment. Inspired by the leadership of Cubmaster Stephanie King, the Year of Giving initiative continues its streak of success, this time partnering with the Village of Wellington to make a tangible difference.

Under the dedicated guidance of Erica Wilcox of the Lion Den, comprising kindergarten-aged

scouts, they were selected to assist with the Village of Wellington’s Great American Cleanup and Arbor Day celebrations.

As part of the Great American Cleanup initiative, the young scouts took on the task of cleaning up Olympia Park, leaving it refreshed and free from litter. With enthusiasm and dedication, the scouts meticulously combed the park, collecting trash and debris, ensuring that the environment remained clean and inviting for all residents to enjoy. Their efforts were bolstered by the support of the community and deputies from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s

Office assigned to the Village of Wellington.

Recognizing the importance of environmental preservation, Cub Scout Pack 125 took the opportunity to contribute to the community’s greenery by planting more than 100 trees joined by more than 30 scouts, leaders and parents. This act of environmental stewardship not only beautified the area but will also provide a lasting impact for future generations. The scouts demonstrated their dedication to sustainability and their understanding of the valuable role trees play in creating a healthier planet. Adding a touch of natural won-

der to their service project, the scouts released butterflies into the wild. This act not only captivated the imagination of the young scouts but also served as a valuable lesson in the importance of biodiversity and the delicate balance of nature. By releasing these beautiful creatures, the scouts actively contributed to the preservation of local ecosystems. The successful culmination of this service project was made possible through a partnership with the Village of Wellington, the leadership of Cubmaster Stephanie King and the guidance of Lion Den Leader Erica Wilcox.

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

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 17 - May 30, 2024 Page 25 PALMS WEST PEOPLE
Miss Wellington Florida USA 2024 Jesenia Orozco. Scouts from Cub Scout Pack 125 take part in cleanup and beautification efforts at Olympia Park. Abby Mosher of Tomorrow’s Rainbow with Jackie Ducci of the Human-Animal Alliance. Programs receiving funding are identified nationwide through an extensive sourcing and screening process. The alliance also supports relevant legislative policy initia-
the importance of human animal connection. For more information, visit or call (561) 485-0445. 2024
tives and educates the public on
$275/Week Weekly June 3 through August 2, 2024 Reasonable Swimming Skills Required ~Monday thru Friday 9am - Noon 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!

RPBHS Dancers Perform ‘Dancing In The Movies’

On Thursday, May 2, the Wildcat Dancers, the RPB Dancers and the National Dance Team, under the artistic direction of master choreographer Michele Blecher, performed their spring dance show, “Dancing in the Movies,” in the Royal Palm Beach High School auditorium.

The audience could not stop clapping and cheering as the dancers performed 18 dance routines. The music selections were all selected from movies. The styles of dance performed included tap, high kick, jazz, ribbon, musical theatre and contemporary. Many of the dance routines include the

use of a variety of props and incorporated intricate higher-level techniques, such as jumps, leaps, turns and movement combinations. During the grand bow, fouryear honor students received their honors chords to be worn during Royal Palm Beach High School’s graduation.


Emerald Cove Middle School’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) members recently attended the state conference and competition during spring break. Students participated in business etiquette workshops and competed in several categories. Five Emerald Cove students are headed to the national FBLA competition this summer. Congratulations to Gabby Palma, Nicholas Fonseca, Zachary Greene, Shrina Surve and Shree Virgoja, who won at the state level.


WLMS Students Honored At PBC Academic Games

Several Wellington Landings Middle School students recently participated in the Palm Beach County Academic Games League districtwide social studies tournament and placed as follows: Cruz Alvarez took eighth place overall and Andrew DellaVecchia took second place in Current Events/ Theme and fifth place in Presidents. At the state tournament, the 38th annual Battle at the Beach, DellaVecchia placed in the following games: Linguishtik, second place; Current Events/ Theme, third place and Propaganda, fourth 4th place. Also, the performance of WLMS students DellaVecchia and Eli Grave de Peralta in the tournaments held during the school year earned them an invitation to represent Palm Beach County

Summer Horsemanship Camp

SCHOOL NEWS Page 26 May 17 - May 30, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier
Students Zachary Greene and Nicholas Fonseca. Emerald Cove FBLA students at the state competition. Students Gabby Palma, Shree Virgoja and Shrina Surve. The dancers from “Dancing in the Movies” at Royal Palm Beach High School.
at the Academic Games League of America (AGLOA) national tournament in Atlanta. The Palm Beach County Academic Games League was founded in 1973 and is the local level of the AGLOA. The league features top-performing students from elementary, middle
high schools
across Palm Beach County
in tournament-style
Teacher and Academic Games coach Ms. Weinstein with the WLMS team at the Palm Beach County Academic Games final social studies tournament.
On Thursday, April 18, Wellington Elementary School participated in a spirit night at Culver’s on Southern Blvd. The restaurant donated a portion of proceeds to the school. The restaurant was packed during the event. Everyone enjoyed the evening, seeing their teachers, getting together with families and eating a delicious meal.
WLMS students Eli Grave de Peralta and Andrew DellaVecchia at the 38th annual Battle at the Beach. Culver’s presents a check for a portion of the proceeds. Cathy Eckstein with Susanna Johnston and Melissa Deda.
2024 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. Imagination is a terrible thing to waste! Call (561) 793-7606 And Ask About Our Special Advertising Packages! all for more details 792 9900 com/vinceremostrc •Inclusionarycamp,forridersof allabilitiesaged8-16•Nohorse experiencenecessary •Riderswillbedividedintosmall •groupsbasedontheirexperience&ability Learnequestrianskillsandhorse care•Buildconfidenceandindependence whilecaringforhorsesandenjoyingtimeatthefarm••Groupssizesarelimited PATHcertifiedinstructors
The Endres and King children with the school mascot.

Wellington Bay Senior Living Community Supports Literacy Coalition

Law Firm Named Finalist For National Award

Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith

recently announced that the local law firm is a finalist in the Visual Storytelling category of Ragan Communications and PR Daily’s 2024 Social Media & Digital Awards.

In October, the firm submitted the video Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith: Nearly a Century of Service for the award as part of an effort to create brand awareness through a visual narrative that tells the story of a third-generation personal injury law firm and its impact on clients and the community. The submission is one of five finalists for the Visual Storytelling award, and the winner will be announced during a luncheon in New York City on Aug. 1.

“This is an incredible honor for our team and a testament to their hard work on this important project for our firm,” Managing Partner Gary S. Lesser said. “We have focused on client results and communication and service to our community for over 95 years.”

The three-minute video, produced by Soap Tree Media, tells the story of the firm’s roots, the vision that propels it forward and the passion of people who breathe life into the brand every day.

PR Daily is the preeminent brand for public relations professionals, delivering news, resources and benchmarking via, awards, training and more. View the video at

A passion for reading and sharing books runs deep in the Wellington Bay senior living community. In order to honor the importance of reading for National Library Week, Wellington Bay’s resident library committee recently organized a new book drive to benefit the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County. The residents of Wellington Bay graciously donated 175 books. These will be distributed through

the children’s and family literacy programs, reaching 55,967 adults, children and families over the course of a year. Since 1989, the Literacy Coalition has been the leading advocate for literacy in Palm Beach County, working to improve the quality of life in the community by promoting literacy.

“As a retired librarian, it was important to me to do something special for children during National Library Week,” said resident

Caroll Raskin, head of the Wellington Bay library committee.

After researching ways to have a positive impact on the most children, the work of the Literacy Coalition stood out.

“I felt confident that we would not only be helping those in the Village of Wellington but many that are less fortunate as well,” she said. “The residents of Wellington Bay always like to give back to the community, and so this seemed like a perfect fit. We were totally amazed at how many children the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County reaches. We hope to make this an annual event. Our residents were thrilled and had lots of fun shopping for the books.” Wellington Bay is a rental retirement community featuring luxury apartments on a palm tree-shaded campus in Wellington. To learn more about Wellington Bay, visit

Local HCA Hospitals Honored By School District

HCA Florida Healthcare has been honored by the School District of Palm Beach County as a finalist for the Florida Department of Education Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards and the winner of the district’s inaugural Business Partner Pacesetter Award.

HCA Florida was recognized by the school district for its “steadfast support of the district” over the past three years, including the sponsorship of the district’s Thank a Teacher program, which recognizes an outstanding teacher each week and provides a $250 cash award. HCA Florida has also donated $20,000 to 12 district high schools and middle schools to fund activities for student enrichment or incentives to recognize staff. Corporate leaders and HCA employees from HCA Florida JFK Hospital, HCA Florida Palms West Hospital and HCA Florida JFK North Hospital have also attended career fairs, literacy events and

DiVosta, the luxury-home brand offered by PulteGroup, has unveiled plans for Amara, a single-family, estate-home community in suburban Lake Worth that features lots of up to three acres. Prices will start at over $1 million.

DiVosta plans to build one-story and two-story homes with modern farmhouse designs. They will sit on quarter-acre, half-acre, oneacre and three-acre lots, some of which can accommodate casitas. Sales are scheduled to begin in mid-2025. The community will be unique in that none of the lots will be zero-lot-line lots.

“Amara will offer the kind of privacy and feeling of open space

campus beautifications.

HCA Florida has donated resources and supplies to multiple high schools, middle schools and elementary schools, including books, school supplies, fresh fruit and snacks, and supplies for sporting events and concession stands. Through a vendor partnership, HCA facilitated the donations of three ultrasound machines for students and staff in the medical programs at Royal Palm Beach and John I. Leonard high schools and the West Technical Education Center, and HCA professional medical staff have spent countless hours interacting with medical academy students.

According to the Florida Department of Education, the Commissioners Business Recognition Awards recognize “businesses throughout Florida for their innovative partnerships and exemplary support of public education.” The state winners will be announced in late May.

that has become rare in Palm Beach County,” said Brent Baker, division president for PulteGroup in South Florida. “With only 145 lots, we expect strong demand from local and out-of-state buyers.”

Amara will be built on former agricultural and polo farm land on the west side of State Road 7, south of Hypoluxo Road.

DiVosta Homes, known for its high-quality construction and attention to detail, will personalize designs to homeowners’ tastes. Residents will enjoy the quiet of western Palm Beach County, easy access to Florida’s Turnpike, and amenities such as a clubhouse with

a state-of-the-art fitness center, a resort-style pool with cabanas and pickleball courts. Amara is the fourth DiVosta community in western Palm Beach County to be announced in the past eight months. In March, parent company PulteGroup purchased 36.5 acres in west-central Palm Beach County for Hendrix Reserve. Its plans call for 117 homesites on the south side of Lake Worth Road just east of State Road 7. In December, PulteGroup bought 43.6 acres for Greyhawk Landing, a 131-home community near the intersection of Lyons Road and Hypoluxo Road, just

east of Amara. In October, the company acquired 27 acres near the intersection of Military Trail and Hypoluxo Road for Everton, a Pulte Homes branded community. It will have 210 upscale townhomes.

PulteGroup will have 10 active new home communities in Palm Beach County in 2025-26, offering homebuyers a variety of locations and price points to meet their needs. PulteGroup will release more information about Amara in the coming months. For more information about Amara, sign

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 17 - May 30, 2024 Page 27 BUSINESS NEWS
Anthony Terranova, executive resident at JFK Hospital; School Board Chair Karen Brill; Narupa Baldeosingh, communications director at JFK North Hospital; Kathryn Walton, communications director at JFK Hospital; Superintendent Mike Burke; Jason Kimbrell, CEO at Palms West Hospital; Celina Holson, COO at JFK North Hospital; School Board Member Marcia Andrews; Ellice Martinez, assistant vice president of community engagement for HCA Healthcare East Florida Division; and Julie Houston Trieste, communications director at Palms West Hospital. The legal group at Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith. (L-R) Carol Bell, Wellington Bay Campus Executive Director Jay Mikosch, Arline Kaye, Library Committee Chair Caroll Raskin, Helen Greschel, Sascha Baron, Director of Life Enrichment Julie Ann Smolansky and Jeanne Siccone of the Literacy Coalition.
up as a VIP at or call/text (561) 786-1600. DiVosta Announces Plans For Amara, An Estate-Home Community With Acre-Plus Lots In Palm Beach County 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 1149 Royal Palm Beach Blvd. | Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411 CALL 561-685-3648 Join The Pope Taekwondo Academy Family Today! WWW.POPETAEKWONDOACADEMY.COM $49.99 SIGN UP TODAY! SPECIAL One Introductory Class 4 Weeks Of Unlimited Classes PLUS FREE OFFICIAL UNIFORM INCLUDES

I’ve Started Talking To Myself... Should I Be Worried About It?

I’ve begun talking to myself. Out loud. Shamelessly. I mean, I always used to mumble in frustration or giggle at something one of the kids did, but now I let myself carry on whole conversations. I argue with myself. Sometimes I even win. This started in earnest while my husband Mark was on his Big Boating Adventure. As the months slipped by, I missed having someone to talk to. Then I thought, “Why does it have to be him? Especially when I’m right here?” So I started being more free and open about it. I let it “all hang out,” to use one of the more colorful phrases from the 1960s.

I would go through my day in relative silence, except for the occasional musing...

“Why am I still using a vacuum cleaner that needs bags?”

“Am I out of milk already? I thought I just bought some on Thursday!”

And the universally popular, “Where the heck is that remote?!”

It was as I was remarking aloud to my mailbox (“Why is it they can put a man on the moon but they can’t make you rain-proof!?”) that I realized I should probably keep my new hobby away from the neighbors. I’ve already got prying eyes next door using binoculars to see if the grass in my backyard has been mowed. I can only imagine what they’d surmise if they heard me talking to someone with Mark out of town.

Maybe I’ll get some ear buds, make it look like I’m on the phone. Yeah, that’s it. Back when I was a kid watching The

Jetsons on TV, we all assumed we’d be riding in flying cars by the year 2000. But even George Jetson used a TV-like videophone to call his wife, not a handheld computer that could take pictures and play music as well. Worse, his videophone sat on a desk, had a cord and antennae! What was this, The Flintstones? George Jetson would’ve killed for ear buds. Actually, Mark’s boat tour ended a while ago, and he’s back home, so I’m trying to stifle myself. (And good for you if you recognized my Archie Bunker reference! Long live television!)

As I was saying, I’ll start up a sentence, realize I’m talking out loud, and hastily

try to turn it into a song. (“Where is my... flowers gonnnnne, lonnnng time pa-asssing... Where have all the flowers gonnnne, long time ago?”)

So this is our lives now — me talking to myself and him thinking I was starting to say something but “realizing” I’m only singing. Interesting. Oh, and here’s an update for persistent readers: The police found the guy who broke into my antiques shop. A few weeks later, he broke into another business a couple of blocks away where the owner surprised him — with a gun. “Unfortunately, I won’t be able to interview him,” the detective told me. ’Nuff said.

New Film ‘The Fall Guy’ Is A Funny Movie About Making Movies

Some movies are made for prestige; others for fun. The Fall Guy, based on an early 1980s comedy, is strictly fun. The hero, Colt Seavers (Ryan Gosling), plays a more or less down at his luck stunt man. His real issue is that he is crazy about Jody (Emily Blunt), a really ambitious camerawoman turned director who will risk the life and limb of Colt in order to get ahead. Although we have learned from Barbie that he is missing a key part, he has plenty of heart.

Normally, on the more or less chaotic set, that would start off a wild bit of fun, but director David Leitch spends enjoyable time setting the scene. We seldom see many scenes of films being made. More time is spent in setting up than actually shooting, and there are constant complications.

Leitch keeps all of these front and center. We don’t really care very much what will wind up on the screen in the




film; we will never really see it. But the interactions between the folks is where we will find our fun. This is a movie about making movies, so the reality level is very low.

Jody is horrified to discover that Colt is on set: there was a bit of an issue when a stunt she set up crippled him for a while at the start of a previous project and he, for a variety of very male reasons, disappeared from her life.

Meanwhile, there’s the big boss, tightly wound Gail Meyer (Hannah Wadding-

ton). She had told Colt that Jody needed him. And her choice of the lead, Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), has disappeared. And guess who is expected to find him? All the while being assigned dangerous tasks by the director who wants him dead! Come on, this is the movies we’re talking about. You should be keeping up!

There are also some really good performers in smaller parts. Winton Duke as Dan Tucker, Colt’s best friend and confidant, is the one person who cares about him. Stephanie Hsu, as Ryder’s assistant, comes off an Oscar nomination and is a real bit of fun.

The key complication is that Ryder is not really a victim. He is a very bad boy who is constantly in trouble. The film itself is a typical cowboy meets alien movie and is being shot in the backwoods of Australia, far from any useful resources. On top of everything else, everyone

has a different agenda. And that’s how the fun really begins. Gail claims Ryder must have been kidnapped. But she’s a bit too determined to prove that, and there are far too many gangsters hanging around.

The film is lucky to glory in its cast.

Gosling is one of our best physical comedians, attractive even when being silly. He handles silly bits and then does spectacular stunts. He is able to let his feelings show, even when not reciprocated. And Blunt knows how to do a slow burn and do it really well. Hers is the more difficult part. She has to play nasty for a while before falling gracefully. It may take a while, and setting Cole on fire a few times, before you realize she’s back in the love game.

But it doesn’t stop there. Ryder is a major problem, as Cole finds out, but Gail will go a long way to protect him. That leads to one of the funniest kidnaps sequences ever, where Cole, a very well-

trained attack dog and Hsu’s very petite assistant character take on three thugs in a huge truck. And still the plot goes on. Remember, this is an ode to stunt workers. So the games go on. Even after the crimes have been solved, the stunt workers must prove it to the world. As Cole drives off with Ryder fastened down, he scares him with a few jumps and rollovers before saying, “And now we have Thelma and Louise,” with Ryder demanding “Don’t they both die?”

You’ll have to see the rest. But it is a lot of fun. The romance, for a change, is between adults, and the scripts are well-written. The stunts are often shown in full, which makes them more fun, since they last longer, and we get to see how they are done.

This is a fine movie to see if you like both action and some romance. One of the better movies so far this year.


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Page 28 May 17 - May 30, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier FEATURES
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