Town-Crier Newspaper May 3, 2024

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ITID Equestrian Panel Gets Reprieve And New Leadership The Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors nearly put its Equestrian Trails Advisory Committee out to pasture Wednesday, April 17, but a last-minute restructuring of

and vice chair of the committee.

Wellington Hosts Earth Day And Arbor Day Event At Amphitheater

The Village of Wellington hosted its Earth Day and Arbor Day event Saturday, April 20 at the Wellington Amphitheater. The free event included vendors and educational tents hosted by local businesses and nonprofits, as well as the planting of a red maple tree by the Wellington Village Council. The annual FLOWER Award went to Wellington Garden Club member Lisa Ferrano. Page 5 Loxahatchee Groves Elementary School

Hosts Spring Carnival On Friday, April 19, Loxahatchee Groves Elementary School held its spring carnival to help raise funds for student activities. Many vendors were on hand to give out prizes and offer interactive activities. Games and bounce houses filled the field, providing lots of fun things for the students to do. The carnival has been held for more than 20 years and is the school’s largest fundraiser. Page 16

Divided RPB Council Rejects Change To Allow Private School At Tuttle Royale

The main controversy at the Royal Palm Beach Village Council meeting on Thursday, April 18 involved a private school looking to enter the Tuttle Royale project.

The council heard an application on behalf of EDX Royale Properties LLC regarding their request for a master plan site modification at the Tuttle Royale project’s Pod 7, currently designated on the site map as a “public charter school.”

The applicant wanted it changed to read “public and private academic institution,” so BASIS Independent Schools, a national network of private schools, could develop the space.

Attorney Brian Seymour of the Gunster Law Firm was in attendance to present on behalf of the applicant and was joined by Sean Powell and LaNette Hodge of BASIS. His main evidence to support the request came from a traffic study and the verbiage in the village code.

“This really is a very simple thing. This is to identify the use that is in your code, which is the

only use that your code provides relative to schools at all,” Seymour said. “The problem is that the [word] charter doesn’t exist in your code. So, what we’re asking is to use the language that is directly in your code, which is to say ‘public or private academic institution.’ That is all. The impacts don’t change. Everything that was approved for the site design is the same.”

Seymour went on to share statistics about BASIS, along with the K-12 institution’s impressive academic outcomes, college acceptance rates and the promise of bringing more than 100 jobs to the area for teachers and administrators at the school.

However, the site’s neighbors do not support the change. Planning & Zoning Director Bradford O’Brien included a letter in his presentation from the owners of pods 2, 3, 4 and 6 opposing the request.

“Tuttle Royale was never designed and planned with a highend private school where the affluent residents from Wellington and downtown West Palm Beach

could bring their kids into each day and leave them. It was designed for the people of Royal Palm Beach,” the letter stated. “One of the main attractions of the Tuttle Royale master plan was the centrally located charter school where residents could walk to school and walk home. This change drives a stake into the heart of the live, work, play community for the parents who want to walk their kids to school, who want to live next to the school, and who want to stay in the area so their kids can remain in the school over multiple years.”

During public comments, former State Rep. Ralph Arza, who grew up in Miami and is now an advocate for school choice, implored the council to support the request, stating that the recently expanded voucher system would assist families in covering tuition costs.

Attorney John Fumero of Nason, Yeager, Gerson & Fumero, on behalf of the landowner Royale Properties, also addressed the issue.

“What we are trying to avoid

Staff: Land Sales Not Required To Balance Wellington Budget

On Tuesday, April 30, the Wolverines traveled to Seminole Ridge High School to play the Hawks in the FHSAA’s Class 2A, Region 3 final. Page 21

Wellington has the money to pay for big-ticket projects like a $28 million aquatic center already in its budget, and it does not have to sell assets like the K-Park land to cover those, village staff members assured the Wellington Village Council at workshop sessions held Thursday, April 18 and Friday, April 19. New projects? That would be a different topic.

“We’re certainly still fine, but there is not funding available for other big projects,” Deputy Village Manager Tanya Quickel said. The discussions arose as Wellington considers development offers on village-owned land such

as the 70-acre K-Park property south of the Mall at Wellington Green, with one such offer coming in at $54 million and talks ongoing with others.

The village has reached an $11 million deal to sell another 10 acres near the mall to original mall developer Brefrank Inc., settling a lawsuit. That land has development rights for 220 residential units, if the terms and conditions of the agreement are met.

Mayor Michael Napoleone said he wanted to dispel any notions that the village needs the money to complete projects already approved and in the pipeline.

“I think it’s important to note from this discussion that when we talk about selling the 10-acre

site, or we talk about what to do with K-Park, none of those decisions are based upon, ‘We’re out of money. We have to sell them to do something,’” Napoleone said. “Correct,” Quickel said.

The land sales are considered on their own merits, Napoleone explained.

Wellington acquired the K-Park property in 2003 for about $8.5 million from the Kahlert family, Village Manager Jim Barnes noted in a review for the benefit of new council members. Known then as the Kahlert property, it was originally purchased for a future park. That is the source of the KPark name.

Village utility fees paid for the

See LAND SALE, page 4

Mall’s Managers Have Big Plans For The Future Of Wellington Green

Despite popular assumptions that regional shopping malls are going away, managers at the Mall at Wellington Green say key tenants are reinvesting, new ones are arriving and an unconventional redevelopment plan just might rev up its retail mojo for years to come.

Still, the idea to put hotels and residences on former store space might have to overcome a “collective scream,” in the words of Wellington’s mayor at a workshop Thursday, April 18. That would be coming from skeptics wary that the village is going a bit heavy on smaller housing units in recent projects.

Here is the concept pitched at the workshop: Demolish the vacant Nordstrom anchor store. On its lot and vast, mostly empty parking area, build hotel rooms and residences for hundreds of people, maybe 1,000. Also included is creating community green space, with touches like pickleball or holiday tree lighting.

This would produce a group of visitors and residents who don’t have to drive to the mall. They’re already there.

“Malls aren’t going away, but what is going away are bad malls that aren’t evolving,” explained Carmen Spinoso, chair of the Spinoso Real Estate Group, which operates Wellington’s mall and about 50 others around the country. Similar infusions of new uses, often replacing vacant anchor stores or an oversupply of parking spaces, have recharged retail operations in malls such as Tysons Corner Center in northern Virginia, he said. Sometimes that can mean offices. The concept floated in

Wellington is for residences and hotels.

The Wellington Village Council would have to approve masterplan changes to allow hotels, condos or apartments on the central mall property. They were only discussing a concept so far, not voting on a formal application. One question that came up was whether all of this could evolve into too much multi-family housing, given what else is happening in the village.

Mayor Michael Napoleone said he could envision a “collective scream from some people who are watching this and saying, ‘Oh my gosh, don’t build anything else.’” After all, there is plenty going on near the mall already, he noted. There is new housing, some of it one-bedroom apartments, coming at the nearby Lotis Wellington development, with more residences under consideration south of the mall at K-Park, or rolling out at the Tuttle Royale development just up State Road 7 in Royal Palm Beach. The mayor asked if not approving the concept would hurt the mall.

“If it’s just like, ‘Hey, we’re going to do these other projects, and we’re not going to let the mall do anything,’ I think that would be a very negative impact on the mall,” Spinoso said. “It would be looked at as old and outmoded and nothing happening. We have all this attention go somewhere else, and the biggest taxpayer in the market is further impaired.”

Vice Mayor John McGovern inquired, “Your ask is a hotel and 1,000 units?” Spinoso answered, “The ask is residential and hospitality. Could


ITID Assessment Increase Unlikely In 2025 Budget

Most residents in the Indian Trail Improvement District are unlikely to see an assessment increase for fiscal year 2025, which begins Oct. 1. During a recent workshop, district staff told the ITID Board of Supervisors that it would be possible to stand pat at an average of $946 per acre after several years of increases.

“Everyone is in a lot of pain with inflation,” ITID President Elizabeth Accomando said this week. “I live here, too, and I don’t want to see anyone’s taxes go up… The consensus [among

the board] is to leave it steady.”

A final decision on the budget is expected at the board’s meeting on Wednesday, May 15.

ITID’s operating budget for the upcoming year is planned at $19,819,438. The 2024 operating budget is $19,505,334.

The district’s overall proposed budget is $25,732,256, which includes reserves and projects already funded, such as R3 road construction plan and the Unit 20/ Santa Rosa Groves improvement project.

ITID assessments have risen steadily over the last four years, going up from an average of $560.99 in fiscal year 2021. Han-

son said the increases were necessary because infrastructure repairs and upgrades had gone undone for a number of years.

“All of this infrastructure work that we’ve been doing the last few years, should have started 10 years ago,” he said. “In this current and the last fiscal year, we’re getting operations to a level where it needs to be.”

ITID oversees roads, drainage and parks for some 45,000 residents on 27,000 acres in the Acreage/Loxahatchee area. The district gets no federal, state or county money for its roads.

Accomando said the main reason that ITID can hold the line on

assessments next year is because the major district projects are already funded and in progress.

“We’re not starting any [significant] new projects,” she said. Two areas where the district 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 saving of some $843,000.

Other areas of major savings include short-term equipment rental down $276,750 to $199,500, and workman’s comp down $118,743 to $179,256.

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. “We’re not going to slight our staff,” Accomando said. “We’re going to take care of the ones who take care of us.”

One area of savings that has accrued over the last several years has been in the area of road maintenance costs as the district has added millings to an increasing number of roads,

See MALL, page 14 Wellington Flag Football Squad Wins First-Ever Regional Title For the first time in program history, Wellington High School’s flag football team has captured a Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) regional title.
The Women of the Wellington Chamber hosted its
goal is to clear
to strut their stuff in the hopes of finding a loving family. Shown above are Christina Nicholson and Kaela Genovese. MORE PHOTOS, PAGE 18 PHOTO BY FRANK KOESTER/TOWN-CRIER
Page 4
annual Pooches, Pearls & Prosecco fashion show on
April 23 at the Mall at Wellington Green. The fundraiser’s
the county’s shelter of dogs in need of
forever home. About
dogs joined models and took to the runway
leadership saved the group for now. ITID Vice President Patricia Farrell and Supervisor Keith Jordano agreed to become nonvoting chair
Greater West Palm Beach Women’s Club, part of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC), hosted its annual fashion show fundraiser at the Fountains Country Club on Saturday, April 27. More than 200 members attended the popular event. A total of 42 baskets were donated for the raffle, and 12 items were up for the silent auction. Guests enjoyed a fashion show put on by Chico’s. Shown above are fashion models Mickey Poceous, Debbie Holland, Peggy Breen, Mona Orr, Meg America, Sue Brongiel and Karen Leach. MORE PHOTOS, PAGE 13 PHOTO BY FRANK KOESTER/TOWN-CRIER
See SCHOOL, page 4 See ITID BUDGET, page 14
according to district staff at an April 17 presentation. It costs $113,000 to put down 2024 Pages 24 thru 26 MEET THE VALEDICTORIANS & SALUTATORIANS FROM WELLINGTON AND SEMINOLE RIDGE HIGH SCHOOLS – SEE STORIES, PAGE 3

WHS To Celebrate 659 In Class Of 2024 At Graduation May 20

At 8 a.m. on Monday, May 20, Welling-

ton High School’s Class of 2024 will filter into their seats at the South Florida Fairgrounds for their graduation ceremony, as they prepare to cross the stage and leave their high school careers behind.

“I am looking forward to celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2024 and witnessing their transition to the next chapter of their lives,” Principal Cara Hayden said. “It will be a moment of pride and joy for our entire school community.”

Hayden, who has her own twins graduating this year, has been impressed by the students. “The Class of 2024 is special to me because of their tenacity and determination,” she said. “They have navigated through unprecedented circumstances with grace and maturity, showcasing their potential for future success.”

The students and staff, she said, have overcome various obstacles, overcoming many challenges.

“Our students and staff have demonstrated remarkable resilience, professionalism and adaptability,” Hayden said. “I am proud to say that I truly do work at the best school in Palm Beach County, with

incredible support from the community.”

The growth and perseverance that she has seen from the Class of 2024 has been inspiring; they’ve thrived through remote learning, social disruption and personal hardships, growing and strengthening friendships along the way.

Valedictorian Sarah Lizarazo Baez and Salutatorian Ewa Tryniszewski will lead the class through graduation, sharing insightful thoughts with their fellow students.

“We are so excited that Sarah and Ewa are our valedictorian and salutatorian,” Hayden said. “They are both amazing scholars and have balanced extracurriculars with their academics. They both have Bright Futures, and we are incredibly proud to have them represent Wellington High School.”

Lizarazo Baez, while excited to be first in the class, wasn’t surprised; she had maintained the same rank since her sophomore year. “It wasn’t something that I was intending on having happen, but then it did,” she said. “So, I just wanted to keep that going and see if I was actually able to finish high school with that.”

When Hayden and others came into her classroom to share the news, Lizarazo

Baez was caught off guard, proud and excited. Her parents were also proud of her dedication and hard work.

“I would say to other students, if that’s something they really want, then by all means go for it,” she said. “But I don’t think that it’s the most important thing. I don’t think that they should drain themselves in trying to pursue a high rank, because if they’re looking to go to a good college, that’s not all you need. And it can be very stressful, and there’s so much pressure to have in your head.”

Lizarazo Baez wanted to get good grades to set herself up for success in the future, but she did not want to become overly stressed about grades.

At the University of Florida, she will be studying psychology in the behavioral and cognitive neuroscience track, with the eventual goal of attending medical school. Her inspiration comes from the kind doctors she encountered as a young child in Puerto Rico. “I just remember feeling safe when I went there,” she said. “I want to be that person who provides that safe space for other children.”

Over the next few months, Lizarazo Baez is looking forward to getting ready for school, learning about internship op-

portunities, and forging her path forward toward medical school.

One of her favorite quotes, which she keeps in mind and hopes will inspire others, is from Taylor Swift: “No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.”

Resilient Hawks Ready To Fly At SRHS Graduation On May 23

The 560 members of the Class of 2024 will be remembered as one of the most academically accomplished and perhaps the most focused in the 19-year history of Seminole Ridge High School, according to Principal Robert Hatcher.

Noting that they have bounced back from the distractions of a worldwide pandemic occurring their freshman year, Hatcher said this week, “Resilient is the best word I can think of to describe this class. They’ve had a level of focus that is just extraordinary. It has been a remarkable year.”

As many as 125 seniors will graduate with Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) diplomas from Cambridge University, practically guaranteeing them full scholarships through Florida’s Bright Futures program. Thirtythree will graduate with their associate degree from Palm Beach State College.

This year’s senior AICE and PBSC graduates far exceed those for previous senior classes, said Sharina Gilbert, assistant principal for the 12th grade.

“They had to overcome a lot of challenges,” Gibert said. “They had to be really dedicated to graduate on time.”

This year’s graduation ceremony will be held Thursday, May 23 at 1 p.m. in the Expo Center at the South Florida Fair-

grounds on Southern Blvd. Doors open at noon and close at 12:50 p.m.

Leading the way for the Hawks will be valedictorian Kyla Cartwright and salutatorian Caitlyn Tripician, both 18 and bound for the University of Florida.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our valedictorian and salutatorian,” said Hatcher, who oversees some 2,300-plus students at the school. “I remember Caitlyn from my time [as principal] of Western Pines Middle School. Both are remarkable individuals.”

Cartwright spent her early years in Plantation, Florida. She began her studies at Seminole Ridge when she moved to the western communities in 2020 with her parents, Christopher and Tammy Cartwright, and younger sister Maya.

Coming out of middle school, Cartwright said she knew she had good grades but was surprised how good — and what that might mean in terms of academic honors. “I realized that I needed to get going to make sure my grades stay that way,” she said.

However, it was only in the last few months that she was told it was likely she would be valedictorian with her 5.5833 grade point average.

Aside from excellent academics, Cartwright is a member of the Future Educators of America, the National Honor Society, volunteers as a healthcare assistant

at Bethesda Hospital, tutors other students in math, and is captain of the speech and debate team. In fact, Cartwright will be practically walking off the stage and onto a plane to compete in the National Catholic Forensic League Speech & Debate Grand Nationals in Chicago, set for May 25-26.

Cartwright said she prefers the speech portion of the competition because there’s acting involved, and it gives her the chance to create her own storylines while learning about issues from multiple perspectives.

Though her first choice was Duke University, Cartwright said she’s happy to be heading to Gainesville, where she plans to study in the neuroscience field with an eye toward earning a medical degree and becoming a psychiatrist.

When not busy with school-related pursuits, Cartwright enjoys the beach, writing and reading. She said her two favorite books are the young-adult classic The Little Prince and Scythe, a science-fiction work about the dark side of immortality.

Tripician was born in Boca Raton but has spent almost all her life in the Acreage/ Loxahatchee area with her mother Celeste, father Jan and little brother Tyler.

“It’s cool to be in a community so long and to see it grow and develop,” Tripician said. “It’s a nice community.”

Tripician said she has always loved statistics and seeing how the data fits together in real-world applications. That’s why she

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wants to eventually use her skills in the area of environmental science.

“I want to do something that helps the world,” she said. It’s not all numbers and spreadsheets, though, for Tripician. She has a creative side as well, eagerly sharing about a movie tease she created for a kidnapping mystery for one of her classes.

“I’ve always thought UF was the best school in Florida, especially for my major,” she said.

Outside of the classroom, Tripician works 20 hours a week in the Royal Palm Beach branch of the Palm Beach County Library System. She enjoys crocheting, playing video games and having dinner with her family.

Once Tripician graduates from Seminole Ridge with a 5.5087 GPA, she’ll soon have her associate degree from Palm Beach State College, having completed her college prerequisites. Then she’ll be off to Gainesville, too.

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 3 - May 16, 2024 Page 3 NEWS
Valedictorian Sarah Lizarazo Baez Salutatorian Ewa Tryniszewski
much about their class rank. “Obviously people care about that but
Tryniszewski and her family were excited and proud to learn that she had secured the title of salutatorian for the Class of 2024. Her advice for other highachieving students is to not worry too Valedictorian Kyla Cartwright Salutatorian Caitlyn Tripician
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ITID Equestrian Committee Gets Reprieve, New Leadership

The Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors nearly put its Equestrian Trails Advisory Committee out to pasture at its Wednesday, April 17 meeting, but a last-minute restructuring of leadership saved the group for now.

ITID Vice President Patricia Farrell and Supervisor Keith Jordano agreed to become non-voting chair and vice chair of the committee. Supervisor Betty Argue’s motion to dissolve the committee then failed on a 3-2 vote.

“I think the committee needs more organization and to have the meetings run more smoothly… to keep everyone on track and on focus,” Farrell said this week.

“I was against abolishing it because we’ve put money and a lot of effort into it,” added Jordano, who has been attending its monthly meetings. “The meetings need to have a little more decorum and be run more efficiently.” Argue was the prime mover be-

hind the creation of the committee in May 2023. She explained this week that she continues to believe it is important for ITID to gather advice from local riders regarding equestrian-related issues but feels they are being hamstrung by Florida’s strict Sunshine Law, mainly that members cannot talk with each other about issues outside of a formal meeting.

“I think [committee members] would like to have the freedom go out, talk among themselves in a less formal way and come back with recommendations,” Argue said, adding that the restructuring “runs contrary to the whole objective of having a citizens committee not controlled or directed by the board.”

ITID Executive Director Burgess Hanson said, however, that it is important for the board to maintain the committee as a district entity.

“When we apply for [equestrian-related] grants, it makes a difference that the advisory

committee is part of the district,” he said.

Hanson said Argue’s original idea to create a committee focused on enhancing and expanding the district’s trail system was a good one, and he was glad the group was not eliminated.

“There are some very good, very dedicated individuals on the committee,” he said. “They can do a lot of good things in future.”

Historically, most of the equestrian trails in the Acreage/Loxahatchee area have been along dirt roads and in swales, but with population growth and increased traffic, that has become more dangerous.

Jordano said it’s clear that the area’s equestrian trails need to be redone, and that falls under the district’s mandate to oversee drainage, roads, parks and recreation.

“Some of the trails are next to some very busy roads… Cars, trucks and horses don’t mix,” he said, while adding that there is an economic component to improving the trails that is often overlooked.

“We have a very dedicated and vocal horse community,” Jordano said. “If we can come up with a good trail system, it will bring in more equestrians who’ll invest in the community.”

Also at the April 17 meeting, the supervisors reached a compromise between the Acreage Athletic League and Breakthru Athletics regarding the use of Acreage Community Park for flag football practices.

Breakthru will be allowed to use the park fields for its travel team practice on Saturday afternoons, while most Breakthru activities will be shifted to Citrus Grove Park at 8501 Avocado Blvd. through December, ITID President Elizabeth Accomando said.

Some refurbishing of the fields at Citrus Grove will be done, and temporary lighting will be installed, Hanson said.

This was the latest flair up in a clash between the AAL, which has held a service provider agreement (SPA) with ITID for some 30

years, and the breakaway Breakthru league, which began flag football operations in 2022. The AAL runs multiple sports leagues, including soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, and girls and co-ed flag football.

AAL President Wendy Rojas said Wednesday that her group also is looking to start a 5-on-5 boys flag football program and an “extreme adult league” for women over 18.

“We understand that [the park] is a community park, and we all want to use it,” she said, but added that between practices, games, field maintenance and necessary field down time, it’s hard to see how sharing the fields could work.

“It would be problematic.”

Alex Tirado, who coaches an AAL basketball team, told supervisors, “A competing league coming into Acreage Community Park will create confusion and conflict that is not necessary.”

“People have put many, many years of their life into [the AAL],” resident Ron Flores told the super-

visors. “I don’t ask for a pat on the back, but I don’t like a slap in the face either.”

Jordano said the focus needs to remain on the young athletes. “They are the ones who need to be put first. I’d like to see everyone work together,” he said. Farrell, who has been critical of the AAL’s operating procedures, noted Wednesday that there will be a workshop July 15 at 6 p.m. to discuss with AAL representatives the future of the organization’s service provider agreement. The SPA was recently extended to Nov. 15. Also at the meeting, the board approved revisions to the 54-page Parks & Recreation Facility Use & Rental Policies manual. “The purpose of the Facility Use & Rental Policy revision is to ensure that park service capacity is allocated in a fair and equitable manner,” staff explained. “Fees charged for the use of district facilities and parks are intended to partially recoup ongoing maintenance and operation costs.”

Plan For Public Art At RPB Village Hall Is All About Community

The Royal Palm Beach Planning & Zoning Commission received a detailed presentation Tuesday, April 23 on the newly commissioned work of public art to be displayed at the new Royal Palm Beach Village Hall.

First, the commissioners had to support the relocation of the piece, which was intended to be installed in the middle of a water feature. They unanimously supported the new location for artist Beth Nybeck’s “Rooted” sculpture, which will be at the north end of the reflection pool and not directly in the water.

This change helped preserve the budget for public art, while also addressing the challenges installation and maintenance would bring for this specific project.

Village Public Art Professional Mario Lopez-Pisani had the artist online to give a presentation about her work and answer questions about the planned piece.

“I create large-scale metal sculptures for cities, universities, airports and in public spaces across the country. Part of the history and brainstorming that went into this piece, I had the opportunity to interview all of the members

School Council

Rejects Change

continued from page 1 here, with all due respect, is a matter of policy trying to distinguish between a Starbucks and a Dunkin’ Donuts,” he said. “That’s not what should be done this evening. What should be done is based on the code and the zoning. The charter school notion was a little designation on a map, whether purposeful

of the Royal Palm Beach Village Council,” Nybeck said. “It was really insightful. Within those interviews, there were common themes. The first was parks, how important parks are to your community.”

She went on to explain that other common themes included nature, family and a sense of home.

“Rooted” is a three-dimensional structure similar to a tree, with large panels inspired by the water pathways through a leaf. Within the sculpture, there will be 50 spaces designated to hold the responses of community members to various questions asked by the artist.

“A huge part of my work is community engagement. I will go into a community, and the artwork will reflect a certain story,” Nybeck said. “One of the things I found interesting about your community is there are a lot of transplants, people who have come here from somewhere else and have found this home. I want to ask your community, ‘When did this place start to feel like home to you? When did you feel rooted, a sense of belonging?’”

The purpose of the structure is to engage, inspire and connect the community. This is why the location for the artwork is in a

or not, it is just a designation on the map.”

Lauren Hollander, chair of the Florida Charter School Alliance, noted that the charter school environment has become a challenge due to construction and land costs. Mark Rodberg, the contract buyer for the property over the last eight years, also asked the council to support the request. He argued that the two charter schools he was originally working with to move into the space have gone elsewhere, and that he does not have another school lined up outside of BASIS.

highly pedestrian-trafficked area, with benches nearby. The concept is that the words within the piece will encourage interaction and conversation.

“[Nybeck] will come to the village, perhaps for an event that is well attended. She will ask the residents questions, and that will inform the phrasing and letters that will be inside the sculpture,” Lopez-Pisani said.

Commissioner Kara Dery voiced a concern about the project.

“I think the artwork is beautiful. I think it’s a really cool concept in general. My only concern is, are there certain things we’re not allowing to be said? How are we making sure there is not something possibly controversial in the words? Words do hold meaning, whereas art is more subjective,” Dery said.

Lopez-Pisani and Village Attorney Mitty Barnard assured her that staff involvement and the village code would guide the process of choosing verbiage for the sculpture.

“We won’t want anything that’s not affirming, or life giving or reflective of people’s hearts,” Nybeck said. “That’s the reason I love to include communities’ words and their stories. One of the

However, developer Brian Tuttle, creator of the Tuttle Royale project, had a very different outlook.

“This is just genuinely a difference of opinion, and it’s up to the council to decide which way to go,” he said. “This is a great school. This is a great asset for Palm Beach County, but this is not what we worked eight to 10 years to do. This is not what the design of the community was. To think that we put the word ‘charter’ on the master plan was an oversight — we sat in meetings for years debating what we were building


things I’ve found is that people are really excited to be asked to be a part of something, and they have ownership. I’m cutting these things out of metal. To change once it’s installed is doable but a nightmare.”

The aluminum piece is 11 feet tall, 11.5 feet wide and 11.5 feet deep. The artist proposed installation on a six-inch pad of concrete to raise the structure, and the exterior will measure 13 feet in diameter overall. Four lights are included to illuminate the piece after dark. The laser-cut sections of the sculpture will ensure all edges are smooth and not a risk to patrons who choose to touch the piece.

Staff, and the commissioners, recommended approval under the condition that the artist provide the engineered wind loads required to put up the piece for permitting purposes and safety. “Rooted” will be constructed in Kansas City, where Nybeck is located, and then transported in pieces to Royal Palm Beach. The village plans to install the sculpture in-house.

In other business:

• The commissioners chose Lauren McClellan to serve as chair and Kamar Williams to serve as vice chair over the next year.

here. Every word was reviewed.”

What really impacted the discussion was tuition costs. The tuition at BASIS is more than $30,000 a year. The school is willing to offer 10 partial scholarships, and if the $8,000 state voucher is also applied, it could bring the tuition down to the range of $20,000 per school year. When added to the expected rental rates within the project, some council members found that the price did not support the intent for the community.

After nearly two hours of discussion, Vice Mayor Jeff Hmara made a motion to deny the request, which was supported by Mayor Fred Pinto and Councilwoman Jan Rodusky. While Councilman Richard Valuntas and Councilwoman Selena Samios agreed that affordability was a concern, they did not feel it qualified denial of the request. The change was rejected on a 3-2 vote.

“We appreciate the testimony. This is not about whether or not you have a quality product. This is about this particular location that we’ve decided,” explained Pinto,

Land Sale Wellington’s K-Park


continued from page 1 land, and part of the property was also considered for use in storing or treating water, Barnes explained.

Over time, proposed uses have included everything from senior living to a sports complex, a horse park, a light-industrial park, a college campus and a host of others. Some proposals, such as the recreational courts or fields first envisioned for the land, have since

• Meeting as the Local Planning Agency, the board expressed concerns over a change to the definition to the term “engineering permit” in the village code.

“This is an ordinance that has come in tandem from the Community Development Department and the Engineering Department to address a couple of things. This is essentially the practice that the village is already utilizing, it just isn’t codified,” Barnard explained. “There are some provisions that are not currently in that Community Development has had a hard time with, not having support in the code to enforce certain things. I’ll give you an example — restriping parking lots. There is not clean language in the code to give code enforcement latitude, because that technically applies to new development. Once the development is built, it becomes the violation of a development order, which is harder to enforce.”

McClellan and Dery expressed concerns over inconsistency in the new language, citing “construction of a driveway for one- or two-family dwelling units is exempted from this engineering permit if a permit is obtained” was in some sections but not others.

who said there were other potential locations in Royal Palm Beach and elsewhere, and he encouraged them to pursue other sites.

In other business:

• The meeting started on a positive note, when Hmara was highlighted for his recent award by the Florida League of Cities. He received the 2024 Home Rule Hero Award for outstanding advocacy during the 2024 legislative session.

“There are a lot of things that go on in Tallahassee every year, where they seem to be driven to take away the local responsibility of cities or villages, and it’s called the battle for home rule,” Mayor Fred Pinto said, adding that there are more than 400 cities in the State of Florida. “For the Florida League of Cities to acknowledge his contribution to this important issue I think is outstanding.”

• The final updated language to an ordinance amending the village code to allow artificial turf installation was approved. At the first reading, concerns about blade length were raised, and the

been achieved at other village park sites.

Some community groups have argued for a park or botanical garden there. Before this spring’s municipal elections, some council members said a new 55-acre park off Forest Hill Blvd. created as part of the recent equestrian development deal effectively meets village needs for a substantial park area.

In February, the former council voted 3-2 to continue discussions with the Related Companies for a mixed-use development at K-Park, possibly paired with a private school.

The village’s 2023-24 fiscal year budget totaled about $138 million.

Barnard suggested that the item be moved forward with a note that the language be added to the other sections. She agreed to confirm the needed language with Village Engineer Chris Marsh before the first council reading.

• The Wells Fargo Bank at 11707 Okeechobee Blvd. was given approval to change its signage along with the national company’s rebranding. The colors are changing from yellow letters with a red outline to red letters on a plain background, or white letters against a red backdrop.

• Novudentics, located at 11551 Southern Blvd., was previously an urgent care facility. The request by Signarama to change to a new logo was supported by both village staff and the commissioners.

• La-La Land, a family-oriented indoor playground facility, located at 10109 Southern Blvd., has been working for over a year to install signage at the property. With code requirements recently changed, staff recommended denial. After the commissioners learned that the owners are in the process of getting their logo trademarked — which would allow them to have a multi-colored sign — they approved the request unanimously.

minimum standard was changed to allow more artificial turf businesses and their products to qualify. • Village Manager Ray Liggins received a 5-percent merit raise along with his sixth employment agreement. Liggins is also preparing an extensive succession plan that will be provided to the council in May.

• The council also approved new terms for members of advisory boards.

Nancy Pennea and Jennifer Sullivan were reappointed to regular seats on the Education Advisory Board, set to expire in 2026. Sergio Herrera was reappointed to an alternate seat, which also expires in 2026. Lauren McClellan and Kara Dery’s seats on the Planning & Zoning Commission, which expired in 2024, were renewed through 2027. Five residents on the Recreation Advisory Board — Sandy Rubin, Sean Fitzpatrick, Denis Seibert, John Riordan and Robert Birch — were reappointed to their seats, which expire in 2026.

For now, village officials do not foresee the need to raise the tax rate for residents, though property owners will face the second of three 10 percent annual increases in village-run water utility charges. The budget has enough money to cover projects like the aquatic center, funded by a mix of village funds and a countywide sales surtax that ends next year, and the public-private Wellington Athletics facility that could be built next to it in Village Park, officials said. The capital budget also includes planned road repaving, ballfield maintenance and other longstanding functions that Quickel called the “backbone” of what the village offers.

Page 4 May 3 - May 16, 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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Home Rule Hero — Vice Mayor Jeff Hmara is honored for his 2024 Home Rule Hero Award from the Florida League of Cities. (L-R) Councilwoman Selena Samios, Councilman Richard Valuntas, Mayor Fred Pinto, Vice Mayor Jeff Hmara and Councilwoman Jan Rodusky. PHOTO OF


The Village of Wellington hosted its Earth Day and Arbor Day event on Saturday, April 20 at the Wellington Amphitheater. The free event included vendors and educational tents hosted by local businesses and nonprofits, as well as the planting of a red maple tree by the newly reconfigured Wellington Village Council. The annual FLOWER Award went to Wellington Garden Club member Lisa Ferrano. Local scouts participated in the Great American Cleanup and also planted 100 trees in Olympia Park prior to the celebration. The event included several plant giveaways. PHOTOS BY CALLIE SHARKEY/TOWN-CRIER

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 3 - May 16, 2024 Page 5
Audubon Everglades President Scott Zucker and Board Member Mary Young share information about local birds. Local scout groups celebrate after planting more than 100 trees in Olympia Park. Wellington’s Augustine Vargas, Landscape Superintendent Will Gurney and Sam Ramos give away seedlings. Wellington Village Council members Vice Mayor John McGovern, Councilwoman Maria Antuña, Mayor Michael Napoleone, Councilwoman Amanda Silvestri and Councilwoman Tanya Siskind plant a red maple tree. The Wellington Village Council with Smokey Bear. Councilwoman Maria Antuña with children during the butterfly release. Wellington’s Geneeka Morris provides refreshments to volunteers. Parks & Recreation Director Eric Juckett and Program Coordinator Rick Febles. Michelle Garvey and Debbie Liquori. Lisa Ferrano is awarded the Fabulous Landscapes of Wellington Earning Recognition (FLOWER) Award by Will Gurney. Fallon Sands shows off her butterfly artwork. Jackson Silvestri gets his reps in. Wellington Art Society members Jan Gmitter and Kim DiGiacomo. Esteban Rodriguez and Zombie Girlll artist Rebecca Villalona.
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Artist Susan Oakes of the Wellington Art Society.
Page 6 May 3 - May 16, 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!
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Lox Council Reviews Plans For Upcoming Road Paving Projects

At a workshop on Tuesday, April 16, the Loxahatchee Groves Town Council heard an update on planned road improvement projects from Public Works Director Richard Gallant and Project Coordinator Jeff Kurtz.

The council gave their input into the design of certain roads and expressed preferences for which ones they would prioritize, but they agreed to leave the final decision on the construction order to Gallant from among the approved list of roads.

Gallant said he would prioritize roads where the necessary drainage work is complete, the roads have been prepped by his staff, and all the necessary easements are in place.

Kurtz noted that a bid has been awarded to Atlantic Southern Paving for work during fiscal year 2024 in the amount of $1.7 million to do up to 13 road segments. There is an additional $400,000 in the budget for road rock, bringing the current year’s roadway plan to approximately $2.1 million. Kurtz said the focus of this year’s list is “subdivision roads,” where there are dedicated easements for road purposes associated with most of the areas under consideration for paving.

Previously, the focus had been on the main “letter” roads, and most of them have been completed, except for a handful of locations where a lack of easements has led to a holdup. Several residents were on hand to advocate to get South A Road in the southwest corner of the town on the paving plan. It dropped off because the necessary easements were not in place.

Resident Vince Burkhardt said he has been working with his neighbors to get the easements

in place. “We’ve been waiting 38 years for this, so we are certainly ready to see it happen,” Burkhardt said.

The council agreed that they would like to see South A Road paved but thought the most likely scenario would be to make it the first road up on the next set of approved roads.

“A Road is the first road on the plan for next fiscal year,” Gallant said. “The idea is to have it done by the end of the calendar year.”

Kurtz added that the roadway is already listed on the 2025 proposal. “We do hope to have a bid out and ready to award in the October timeframe,” he said.

Mayor Anita Kane supported moving forward with South A Road as soon as possible.

“People were promised that all Level 1 roads would be done by the end of the year, and that is why I am looking to take a vote on this now,” she said.

Town Manager Francine Ramaglia warned against making significant changes to the road list approved for Atlantic Southern, although the bid allows the town to direct the order of the roads and remove roads that are not ready for paving.

Councilman Robert Shorr said that the main letter roads are the only ones that don’t have subdivision easements, and that is why the A Road project has been held up.

“While they are the top road to pave due to traffic, they are the most difficult to pave because you need the easements,” Shorr said, predicting that A Road and Collecting Canal will get a lot more traffic once that area is paved.

Vice Mayor Marge Herzog noted that the size of the canal is another problem in that area.

Gallant then went over the planned road segments one by one, starting with 161st Terrace

North, where the deed shows an easement, and the town is already doing drainage work in the area to make it ready for paving. A recreational trail will go on the side.

Prep work is also underway on Casey Road, which will be a 20-foot road with striping, along with a trail.

Kerry Lane connects to several other roads and may move down on the list.

East Citrus Drive runs along the north side of Loxahatchee Groves Park between E Road and F Road.

The town is trying to work with Palm Beach County to get a larger easement from the park. That will be paved at 20 feet, striped and sloped to the north.

The area of 147th Avenue North has serious drainage issues that need to be fixed. It will be a 16foot roadway that is crowned in the middle.

West C Road, similar to Kerry Lane, connects to several roads and may move down on the list. It will be 16 feet wide and sloped to the west.

24th Court, east of F Road and west of F Road, are both contingent on the completion of necessary culvert repairs. They are planned to be crowned and 16 feet wide.

Gruber Road has already been prepared for work and will be 18 feet, plus a trail. Drainage needed to be fixed in the area and several large Australian pines that blocked proper drainage were removed.

“We are trying to reestablish proper drainage on these side roads to our major canals, so the properties will actually start draining properly and not flood,” Gallant said.

This road will include a horse trail to satisfy equestrians in the area who are worried about a paved road.

West D Road paving will be

located within the D Road Canal right of way. The paving is scheduled to be 16 feet wide, sloped to the west. There has been discussion about only doing part of this segment and maybe including Tangerine Drive in that area, which has more traffic.

Shorr said that the goal has not been to pave the dead-end finger roads, only the larger through roads. “If that has changed, we need to clarify our philosophy here,” he said.

While Herzog agreed that highdensity, high-use roads should be prioritized, she said, “I think, if there are funds available, every resident in this town deserves a decent road.”

Global Trail in the northwest portion of the town will likely be toward the end of the paving cycle. Gallant suggested paving the finger roads there, since they are small, and it would eliminate a whole section of the town for grading.

The last two roads on the list, B Road North and North Road between B Road to C Road, are contingent sections, based on the adjacent property owner (the Miami Dolphins sod farm) helping get additional money for the work.

Kurtz said that these roads are part of the capital improvements plan but would be moved up from future years should the extra funding come through. The agreement is not set up as a quid pro quo, but the town would try to accommodate it if a broader agreement with the major landowner is reached, since the work is needed.

The town and the sod farm are discussing the resolution of a number of issues, including seeking the donation of a conservation easement to be a receiver site for a tree mitigation area.

Kane was very concerned that

fiscal year 2024 is half over and the road work has not yet started. “Are we going to get to all of these in 2024 if we haven’t started yet?” she asked. Gallant said that he will soon give notice to proceed on the first eight, which are nearly ready, but the others still have preparation work needed. By June, the goal is to have all the roads ready for the current round, and then immediately shift to preparing roads on the 2025 paving plan.

Once the road work is all prepared, those employees will move on to more drainage work. “There is so much drainage

WHS Grad

May 20 At


continued from page 3 be more worried about the actual academics of it all, and learning and taking in that knowledge, because it is very competitive, and the difference between the top 10 is so small that as long as you’re doing well, and you’re doing it for the right reasons, you will rank high,” Tryniszewski said. “As long as you care about learning and getting good grades because you genuinely enjoy learning these subjects, and you’re curious, and you have an academic hunger, then you will do well no matter what. And I think that’s my best tip for getting success and ranking high, because if you’re just doing it for the rank, you won’t succeed, because that’s all the motivation there is to it.”

Instead, she suggests students ask themselves where they’re planning on going to school.

Tryniszewski will be attending Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., to study inter-

work that needs to be done in this town that I can keep my nine employees busy for the next 10 years just doing drainage work alone,” Gallant said. The proposed major drainage and canal improvements on the 2024 plan include: B Road Bridge Culvert ($125,700), 11th Terrace and D Road Bridge Culvert ($126,000), F Road and Collecting Canal Bridge Culverts ($436,300), 12th Place North Bridge Culvert ($136,700) and Canal Bank Collecting Canal ($198,000). All told, there are about $1.6 million in drainage projects in the current year’s budget.

national political economy, which combines her interests seamlessly, providing the best of both international relations and economics. Over the next few months, she’s looking forward to attending the speech and debate nationals, visiting family in Poland, and then starting the next chapter in her life.

Tryniszewski’s high school accomplishments include: National Congressional Debate Champion in CDI league; two-time state qualifier in Public Forum Debate; AICE diploma; WHS Pathfinder Nominee in Forensics; and earning 300-plus community service hours.

Her favorite quote for students to reflect upon? “It is what it is.”

For the parents, friends and family who can’t attend the graduation ceremony, it will be streaming live at

“I would like to extend my gratitude to the students, parents, teachers and staff who have contributed to the success of the Class of 2024,” Hayden said. “Their collective efforts have made this academic year memorable and impactful.”

State Rep. John Snyder To Be Keynote Speaker At PBSC Spring Commencement

Palm Beach State College will welcome Florida State Rep. John Snyder (R-District 86) as the keynote speaker during the college’s 2024 spring commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 7 at Cacti Park, formerly the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, in West Palm Beach. During the ceremony, which will be livestreamed on PBSC’s web site, the college will award degrees and certificates to more than 1,800 graduates, including more than 950 graduates of the associate in arts degree program and more than 850 graduates of the associate in science, bachelor’s of applied science and bachelor’s of science degree programs, and the certificate programs. The top five majors, not including the associate in arts degree, are: the associate in science degree in nursing, emergency medical technician college credit certificate, facials specialty career certificate program, the bachelor’s of science degree in supervision and management with a concentration in general management, and the bachelor’s of science degree in nursing.

Wellington To Celebrate AAPI

Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, recognizing the rich heritage and cultural contributions of individuals and groups of Asian and Pacific Islander descent.

On Friday, May 10, Wellington invites the public to attend a special evening at the Wellington Amphitheater (12100 W. Forest Hill Boulevard) in celebration of this vibrant community.

Starting at 7:30 p.m., join the Aloha Islanders on a journey through Polynesia with pulsating drums, hula dancers and a Samoan fire knife dance. This Polynesian show features an action-packed, nonstop revue of dances from Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa and New Zealand.

Immediately following the performance, enjoy a free showing of Lilo & Stitch (PG) at 8 p.m. A limited selection of food trucks will be available. Guests should bring their own blankets and chairs for seating. To learn more about Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, visit

Housing Rehab Grant Opportunities

Wellington will accept applications for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program (SHIP) through the online Neighborly portal from Monday, June 3 at 8 a.m. to Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 5 p.m. These housing rehabilitation programs assist low- to moderateincome Wellington homeowners with eligible home repairs. Applicants will be ranked for assistance based on a first-qualified, firstserved basis. For those applicants applying for the SHIP program, priorities will be given in the order of special needs, essential services personnel and income groups, subject to funding availability. Visit grants to review the eligibility requirements, approved projects and the grant application. Those interested in applying must have homeowners’ insurance and live within the Village of Wellington municipal boundaries. For questions, e-mail grants@wellingtonfl. gov.


The types of assistance are for owner-occupied rehabilitation and emergency replacement. Grant assistance is given in a forgivable loan in the form of a lien that is placed on the property for a fiveyear term. The maximum amount of assistance an applicant can receive is $50,000 in eligible repairs. This amount is determined through the winning bid amount.

Kids To Parks Day May 18 In Wellington

Lace-up your sneakers, head outside and join the Village of Wellington for a free day of family fun and activities celebrating the 14th anniversary of Kids to Parks Day, a national day of outdoor play celebrated annually on the third Saturday in May.

Wellington invites the community to a free Kids to Parks Day event for all ages in combination with a Bicycle Rodeo for ages 5 to 13 on Saturday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Wellington Amphitheater (12100 W. Forest Hill Blvd.).

Activities will include: bounce houses and inflatables, character entertainment, crazy games, face painting and glitter tattoos, lawn games, music and dancing with Digital Vibez, laser tag, a rock wall, sports activities, vendors and more.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to get to know local first responders with Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, and explore vehicles from their fleet. The event is sponsored by Florida Blue.

Wellington is hosting a Bicycle Rodeo for ages 5 to 13 in combination with the Kids to Parks Day event to encourage and promote safe bicycling in the community. The rodeo will be located in the parking lot adjacent to the amphitheater, near Ken Adams Way. Water and snacks will be available for participants and attendees, and a limited number of bicycles and helmets will be available. Bring your own helmet and bicycle in order to participate. Pre-registration is required through Eventbrite at https:// wellingtonbicyclerodeo-2024.

Registered Bicycle Rodeo participants will also be entered into a free drawing for raffle prizes, taking place at 11:30 a.m. Event sponsors include the

PBSO, the Safe Kids Program/ Community Partners of South Florida and CycleFit. For more information on both events, visit www.wellingtonfl. gov/kidstoparksday.

Genealogical Society Meeting Set For May 4

The Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County will present Ruth Campbell on how to organize your DNA matches, understand possible relationships and help you find more information on a match. The program will be held Saturday, May 4 at 2 p.m. at the Palm Beach County Main Library on Summit Blvd. Everyone is welcome, and the event is free to all. For more information, visit www.

Rare & Unique Native Plant Auction May 11

The Palm Beach County Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, dedicated to promoting the preservation, conservation and restoration of native plants and native plant communities of Florida, is hosting its annual Rare & Unique Native Plant Auction on Saturday, May 11. This year’s theme is, “If you plant them, they will come!”

The popular event will be held from 12:30 to 5 p.m. in the auditorium at the Mounts Botanical Garden, located at 53 N. Military Trail in West Palm Beach. The silent auction will begin promptly at 12:45 p.m., with the live auction starting promptly at 1:45 p.m. All proceeds will support the FNPS mission.

“Native plants are the gateway to sustainability,” said Lucy Keshavarz with the local FNPS chapter. “Bring sustainability to your own yard and workplace by planting natives.”

This year’s auction will feature hard-to-find and special plants that provide food and shelter for native butterflies, bees and birds. In addition to native plants, gardeningrelated items, gardening services, native plant books and novelty items will also be up for bid.

“Local experts will describe each grouping of plants, explaining why they are important to the environment and beneficial to soil, wildlife and human life,” Keshavarz said. “And back by

Snyder is a member of the Florida House of Representatives, elected in 2020. The 86th district covers portions of Palm Beach and Martin counties. Born and raised in Martin County, Snyder attended Indiana Wesleyan University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He honorably served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2015, Snyder founded ESI Works, a recruiting and payroll company that specializes in healthcare and education staffing. He is the current deputy majority leader and serves on five committees, including the Civil Justice Subcommittee (vice chair), the Judiciary Committee, the Health & Human Services Committee and the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee. Snyder currently resides in Stuart with his wife Brittany and their two daughters.

popular demand is auctioneer Andrew Burr, who always keeps things lively.”

Established in 1981, the Palm Beach County Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society is a not-for-profit organization. Monthly meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at the Mounts Botanical Garden. Individual membership is $35 yearly. For more information, visit http:// and

Horse Art Show In Palm Beach

An Equestrian Art Show will open on Thursday, May 9 at the Jennifer Balcos Gallery Palm Beach at 292 S. County Road, Palm Beach.

An opening night reception benefiting the Equestrian Aid Foundation (EAF) will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on May 9. The event is free to attend, and derby dress is optional.

Participating artists include: Steve Wrubel, Rob Brinson, Marty Martin, Miguel Rodez, Dawne Raulet, Stephen Wilson, Kelly Breedlove, Sean Rush, Kyle Lucks, Dora Frost, Srinjoy, Jo Baskerville and more. Learn more @jenniferbalcosgallery.

‘The Murph’ May 27 At Okeeheelee

The Call On Me (COM) Foundation will host “The Murph” Memorial Day Weekend event on Monday, May 27 at 8 a.m. at Okeeheelee Park, located at 7715 Forest Hill Blvd. The event will start at the Micanopy Pavilion.

“The Murph” includes a onemile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups, 300 body weight squats and a one-mile run.

The event is for ages 10 and up. Standard registration is $65. Free parking is available within close proximity to the pavilion.

The event will benefit the COM Foundation’s mission to raise money to provide short-term financial relief to families of veterans who have lost their lives unexpectedly. The tax-exempt charitable organization also works to unite veterans and their community, and to share information about treatment options for struggling veterans. Learn more at www.

Learn more about PBSC’s graduation at www.palmbeachstate. edu/graduation.

The Wellington Art Society will present its annual Art Scholarship Awards at a special event, open to the public, on Wednesday, May 8, at 5:30 p.m. at the Wellington Community Center, located at 12150 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington.

For more information, contact

After a brief meeting, the highlight of the evening will be the scholarship awards presentation.

The jury’s selection, based on artistic and creative excellence, was made from entries submitted by students from Palm Beach County schools. All entries demonstrated dedication, talent and hard work. The award recipients for 2024 are: Lea Abito of Jupiter High School, Lili-Rose Leonard of West Boca Raton High School and Isabella Sanchez of Wellington High School. The 2024 scholarship award was generously donated by Dr.

Vincent Apicella and Premier Family Health. The scholarship program was established in 2001 to provide scholarships to talented young artists for art-related college and university expenses and tuition costs. Over the past 22 years, the

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 3 - May 16, 2024 Page 7 NEWS
To support the scholarship program, the group relies solely upon money raised from donations, membership dues, monthly raffles, artist exhibitions, municipal art shows and commissions. Help support the Wellington Art Society scholarship program with a tax-deductible donation at www. Wellington Art Society Announces Winners Of Annual Art Scholarships The Wellington Community Foundation held an Adopt-A-Street cleanup team event on Saturday, April 20. The cleanup was held the same day as the Great American Cleanup, as well as the Village of Wellington’s celebration of Earth Day and Arbor Day. The WCF group cleaned up along Forest Hill Blvd. between Stribling Way and South Shore Blvd. Shown above are WCF Chair Barry Manning with board members Don Gross, James Seder and Dr. Gordon Johnson. WCF ADOPT-A-STREET CLEANUP EVENT
Wellington Art Society has awarded more than $120,000 in scholarships to some of the brightest and most creative students within the community. Past recipients have gone on to become educators, illustrators, authors, curators, artistic directors, professional artists and art advocates.
State Rep. John Snyder


The Wellington Art Society hosted an art show reception on Tuesday, April 16 at Wellington Village Hall and the Wellington Community Center. Seventy pieces of art were on display created by 19 artists. The works of art included photography, mixed-media, painting, sculptures and more. Guests enjoyed door prizes and refreshments. To conclude the night, two artists, Emily Bergstrom and Dinah Mirson, were chosen for the People’s Choice awards. Learn more at

Wellington Celebrates Launch Of New Senior Transportation Program

celebrate the launch of a new transportation service for Wellington senior citizens in partnership with Freebee.

Freebee, a free, unlimited doorto-door, on-demand shuttle service, is now available to Wellington residents aged 55 and older.

The service officially began on Wednesday, May 1.

“We are thrilled to offer this service, breaking down transportation barriers and ensuring our seniors can reach their destinations conveniently and affordably,”

Wellington Village Manager Jim Barnes said. “With more than 100 seniors already re-registered, we’re already seeing that this is needed and appreciated in our community.”

The new service includes a fleet featuring Tesla electric vehi-

cles and eliminates the previous requirement of a 24-hour notice for scheduling rides. Rides can now be scheduled for same-day service with an average wait time of 15 minutes. Commuters can also schedule rides up to five days in advance, providing flexibility and reliability.

The service area includes anywhere within the Wellington municipal boundaries, as well as HCA Florida Palms West Hospital and its surrounding medical offices, and along State Road 7 from Southern Blvd. to Lake Worth Road.

Registration for the service is currently open to village residents age 55 or over. Residents can sign up by visiting the Wellington Community Center for a one-time registration. Bring a photo ID and/

or a water or utility bill to confirm residency. Information can also be provided via e-mail to rides@

For additional information about the Freebee transportation service, visit www.wellingtonfl. gov/rides.

Parent Volunteers Plan Palm Beach Central’s Project Graduation 2024

Palm Beach Central High School parent volunteers are planning for the Class of 2024 to spend graduation night at Project Graduation, this year held at Wellington’s Village Park on Friday, May 17 from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. This event provides a safe, alcohol-and-drugfree environment for the graduates to celebrate.

Parents have spent all year raising money, getting donations and planning the event. The committee is looking to raise $25,000 for the event, and are continuing to accept

donations of sponsor funding, food and prizes. “We are really counting on the support of the parents, school administration and staff, as well as the business community to help us continue this special tradition,” Event Chair Danielle Williams said. “Every dollar donated leads us closer to gifting our graduates a safe night to celebrate their success.”

To provide financial support, donate goods or services, e-mail or call Williams at (561) 531-1973.

Page 8 May 3 - May 16, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier NEWS
PHOTOS BY FRANK KOESTER/TOWN-CRIER Wellington Art Society members Vasantha Siva, Kim DiGiacomo, Leslie Pfeiffer, Dinah Mirson, Maureen May, Susan Mosely and Marion Roberts. Artist Susan Oakes with her work. Artist Marion Roberts with her work. Artist Jan Gmitter with her work. Mixed-media artist Kris Hilles with his work. Artist Cynthia George with her work. Raffle winners Vasantha Siva, Meryl Gatton, Kris Hilles and Olga Skupa. People’s Choice award winner Dinah Mirson. The artwork of People’s Choice award winner Emily Bergstrom. Senior Rides — (L-R) Seth Brown of Freebee, Councilwoman Amanda Silvestri, Vice Mayor John McGovern, Councilwoman Maria Antuña, Mayor Michael Napoleone and Claudia Miro of Freebee. On Saturday, April 27, the Wellington Village Council, joined by community leaders and residents, gathered to cut the ribbon and
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The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 3 - May 16, 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

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Page 12 May 3 - May 16, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier
The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 3 - May 16, 2024 Page 13 NEWS
ANNUAL FASHION SHOW The Greater West Palm Beach Women’s Club, part of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC), hosted its annual fashion show fundraiser at the Fountains Country Club on Saturday, April 27. More than 200 members attended the popular event. A total of 42 baskets were donated for the raffle, and 12 items were up for the silent auction. Guests enjoyed a fashion show put on by Chico’s, along with an open brunch buffet.
Phyllis Gauger, Donna Cohen, Janet Carlson, Sharon Bounds, Club President Jean Allen, Cathy Hopkins, Event Chair JeffAnne Pike, Gay Alexin, Linda Walker and Liz Bloeser. Fashion models Mickey Poceous, Debbie Holland, Peggy Breen, Mona Orr, Meg America, Sue Brongiel and Karen Leach. Peggy Breen shows off the latest styles. Mona Orr makes her way around the room. Debbie Holland during the fashion show. Karen Leach shows off the latest styles. Linda Walker looks over the raffle baskets. Miss South Florida Fair Hannah Michaels and Miss Miami Annie McGrath. Phyllis Gauger welcomes everyone to the fundraiser fashion show. Donna Cohen sells raffle tickets for someone to win the hat of scratch-off tickets. Chico’s Manager Cheryl Nowack announces the fashion show models. Meg America makes her way around the room. Maria Nickler (left), shown with her daughter Kristina Bergman (right), made this quilt up for auction. Roxanne Lane, Sue Kunda and Janet Oliver. Cheryl Nowack announces as Sue Brongiel takes part in the fashion show. Event Chair JeffAnne Pike and Sara Dessureau.
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 Having your taxes prepared should not be a painful experience With all the new confusing tax laws, have your taxes prepared by an experienced professional who will take the time to answer all your questions and concerns. Arthur M. Lichtman, P.A. CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT 12773 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 203 Wellington Plaza • Wellington 561-792-2008 FREE Electronic Filing Credits Cards Accepted Arthur M. Lichtman, C.P.A. Licensed in Florida and New York SERVING THE WESTERN COMMUNITIES FOR OVER 25 YEARS 10% off for all new clients with ad QUALITY SERVICE AT AFFORDABLE PRICES 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 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.
Sharon Bounds and JeffAnne Pike are presented thank-you awards by Phyllis Gauger.

Mall Wellington Green Discussion

continued from page 1

be two hotels. It could be 600 units. It could be 1,000. You could fit 1,000 there. We don’t have a specific ask yet.”

Spinoso calls itself the largest privately held operator of enclosed shopping malls in the country. Its chairman said it is critical to

create a sense that the mall is moving ahead with new ideas and investment.

“It’s not an overnight thing, but I think announcements of big developments here are a big jump start, kind of like putting paddles on, shock it,” he said, gesturing with his hands in a way doctors might apply an electrical charge to restart a patient’s heart.

Councilwoman Amanda Silvestri said she liked the idea of redeveloping space rather than building on green areas, though she expressed worries about school

impacts, and multi-family housing in general changing the village’s overall quality of life.

“That’s my biggest concern,” she said.

When it opened in the fall of 2001, the Mall at Wellington Green stood as a symbol of the village’s booming prosperity. When the doors opened, it became Wellington’s largest taxpayer overnight.

But its taxable value, once in the hundreds of millions of dollars, tumbled to less than $100 million during an era when regional malls

Philanthropy Tank Summit Sparks Passion And Purpose In PBC Youth

Philanthropy Tank, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering youth to enact positive change in their communities, successfully hosted its inaugural CHANGEmakers Summit on April 6 at Keiser University in West Palm Beach.

More than 100 students in grades 8 to 12 gathered for the transformative day that provided a platform for inspiration and learning.

“We are thrilled by the overwhelming response to our first-ever CHANGEmakers Summit,” said Amy Brand, CEO of Philanthropy Tank. “It was inspiring to see students from across Palm Beach County come together to learn, connect and explore ways to positively impact their communities.”

Philanthropy Tank, now in its ninth year, stands out as a unique platform that empowers and inspires the next generation of CHANGEMakers. By providing them with the resources and support to implement sustainable solutions to community problems, Philanthropy Tank offers a one-ofa-kind opportunity for students to make a real difference. Through one-to-one mentoring and funding from philanthropist investors, students are equipped to execute initiatives that drive meaningful change.

Brand kicked off the event by welcoming all attendees and introducing motivational speaker Eugene Spann, who emphasized the importance of trust and teamwork in creating change. Attendees then gained invaluable insights and skills through engaging breakout sessions led by industry experts

Program leaders share their experience on stage during the CHANGEmakers Summit.

from Bank of America, Manatee Lagoon, NCCI and UnitedHealthcare. These sessions covered a range of topics, including financial literacy, environmental conservation, STEM and technology, and mental well-being. Following the breakout sessions, students had the opportunity to share lunch with business leaders in small groups based on their interests, including entrepreneurship, networking, community service, time management and conflict resolution.

Philanthropy Tank students Nate Goldin and Erica Frishberg shared insights into their programs, “Sharing the Arts” and “Hearing for a Change,” respectively, giving attendees a deeper understanding

of the process involved in making their initiatives successful.

A panel of current Philanthropy Tank CHANGEmakers further inspired students by sharing their experiences and offering guidance on how to get involved. Sponsors for the event included Bank of America, Leadership Palm Beach County, NCCI, Manatee Lagoon, Publix Supermarket Charities, The Palm Beach Post and UnitedHealthcare. Applications are now open for local students to become CHANGEmakers through Philanthropy Tank. Palm Beach County students in grades 8 to 11 can learn more and apply at www.philanthropytank. org.

all over the nation felt an economic squeeze. Consumers have more choices than ever before, not only among brick-and-mortar stores, but also through online shopping and delivery. The pandemic only intensified the pinch for some retailers.

Large department-store anchors in particular have not always weathered the storms, with Nordstrom leaving the Wellington site in 2019. Well before that, chain closings or mergers removed other names from the mall, such as Lord & Taylor (now the site of City Furniture and a movie theater) and Burdines (which was rebranded as Macy’s).

Starwood Capital Group bought the mall from its original owners, the Taubman Group, for $341 million in 2014, reported at the time as the largest property sale ever in Palm Beach County.

But the high-flying trajectory ran into turbulence. After the owners defaulted on a loan affecting multiple mall properties, Wellington’s mall went into receivership. Spinoso was eventually brought in to manage operations, leasing and promotion.

“The mall itself performs very well, and it operates profitably,” Spinoso said.

McGovern asked, “To us who are trying to plan for the future, what does that mean?”

Spinoso said that Wellington Green is successful in the sense that most of the tenants, meaning the stores and restaurants and others, have strong sales volumes compared to their chain averages, and they are profitable, and the foot traffic remains strong enough to support that.

That does not mean that every store thrives or stays forever, and it is normal to have some turnover, he said.

If assigned letter grades, malls in Aventura and Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Raton are generally regarded as A malls, Spinoso agreed

ITID Budget Assessment Increase


continued from page 1 a mile of millings, while the cost is $151,000 for rock construction, staff reported, adding that overall, ITID has saved $2 million since 2021 thanks to its millings pro-

in response to a question from McGovern.

“I would call Wellington B to B-plus,” Spinoso said.

All acknowledged there is no single objective formula to hand out such grades, but perception matters a lot, Napoleone said.

Marketing is going to be a big issue, he added.

“I think if you ask anyone, and I know because I talk to people, they don’t view the Wellington mall as just a notch below Gardens and Boca and those other malls,” Napoleone said. “Is it a perception problem or a reality problem?”

The goal is to improve both the perception and the reality, Spinoso said.

Among the first steps, his company has endeavored to keep good tenants, he said. He cited clothing retailer H&M’s decision not only to renew a lease, but renovate its store, a process completed in February.

National chains such as Apple and Victoria’s Secret have extended leases, and Arcade Time, a food and games provider, is investing in formerly vacant space across the walkway from the food court, he said.

McGovern said he hears rumors some prestigious tenants are not paying any rent because their presence is so critical to keep the mall going.

“That’s 100 percent not true,” Spinoso said. “They pay market rent and strong market rent.”

Sometimes lease agreements provide for a base payment, and then a percentage of sales above a certain threshold that means a store is doing particularly well, mall officials explained.

For example, the Bath & Body Works store in the Mall at Wellington Green performs at a level that places it in the chain’s top three stores in South Florida, said Asad Sadiq, the mall’s general manager. Success at stabilizing good

gram. Nearly 70 miles of ITID roads now have millings.

Among the goals listed in the presentation for 2025 were adding millings to another 20 miles of roads and paving 89th Place North, east of Hall Blvd., at an in-house cost of $400,000, as opposed to $900,000 if contracted out.

tenants sets the stage for attracting new ventures, Spinoso said.

Among the new arrivals is Canadian apparel retailer Boathouse. Kid’s Empire, a playground and entertainment venue, is building in space that raises the normal ceiling heights.

“We’re confident that with the right catalyst, that can convince people that this mall is truly evolving, that we’ll be very successful in bringing a long list of top-quality tenants,” Spinoso said. The mission is to “get this to an A mall,” he said. Any projects like hotels or condos will need not only village approval but also consensus among the trust that controls much of the mall property and department stores, such as Macy’s, Dillard’s and JCPenney, which own their store space and parking areas.

Council members asked whether they should make a deal with Spinoso’s firm when it is not the mall owner, and it could be let go or a new owner could emerge at some point. Spinoso acknowledged those possibilities, but said he anticipated that his firm would be around to execute any approved plans.

The future of the mall won’t be entirely about big national chains, Spinoso noted. He said a ribbon-cutting event is coming soon for Lifetime Kitchen, a husband-and-wife team that offers gourmet cooking supplies. The store is already open but some sort of champagne ceremony is the kind of event that helps signal good momentum at the mall. The death of malls has been predicted for decades, supposedly done in by culprits from big-box retailers to the internet to pandemics, Spinoso said. But good ones manage to adapt and succeed.

“The headline news has been for a long time that malls are going out of business, but you know what, people are starting to realize no, that’s not the case at all,” he said.

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 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. To carry out road and canal maintenance and other tasks, $1,245,000 has been included in the proposed budget for equipment purchases. email:

NEWS Page 14 May 3 - May 16, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier
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
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

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NEWS FUN TIME AT LOXAHATCHEE GROVES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SPRING CARNIVAL On Friday, April 19, Loxahatchee Groves Elementary School held its annual spring carnival to help raise funds for student activities. Many vendors were on hand to give out prizes and offer interactive activities. Games and bounce houses filled the field, providing lots of fun things for the students to do. The carnival has been held for more than 20 years and is the school’s largest fundraiser. Music, food and the silent auction offered something for everyone to enjoy. PHOTOS BY FRANK KOESTER/TOWN-CRIER Page 16 May 3 - May 16, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier
Jackson Money, Nora Jarmakas, Alyssa Boykin and Sadi Jarmakas enjoy the sand art from Wood Paper Glass. Megan Lukins and Lizbeth Ayala on the bounce house slide. Guests check out the items at the silent auction. Jazmine Maldonado and Gabriel Posas plant seeds. Megan Lukins, Ryan Johnson and Sarah Shepherd explore the PBSO tools available. Students enjoy some time with the PBSO mounted unit. PTO members Adilia Roberts, Michelle Enos, Kristi Moynihan, Kat Kloiber and Kerri Chavez. Many teachers spent time helping out at the carnival. Jasmine Williams shows off her singing talents.
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Samira Gareeva is all dressed up for her performance. Deysy Martinez, Youf El Khatib and Maya El Khatib with the PBSO Mounted Unit.
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The Vivian and Adrienne Ferrin Memorial Scholarship Fund held its annual Divine Wine & High Tea event with the theme “Floral English Garden” on Saturday, April 27 at the Wellington Community Center. The late afternoon event featured guests in their best tea party attire and included a fashion show, hat contest, live entertainment, auction and more, along with a selection of teas and wines. The event supported the scholarship fund.

Read It Write It Book & Writing Festival To Celebrate Its Third Year Of Literary Excellence In Wellington

Read It Write It Book & Writing Festival is set to ignite the literary scene in Wellington on Saturday, June 15. Held at the Mall at Wellington Green, located at 10300 W. Forest Hill Blvd., this event promises a day filled with literary delights from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This vibrant festival brings together more than 30 award-winning, independent authors, two prominent publishers, and numerous esteemed literary organizations under one roof.

Attendees can expect to immerse themselves in a rich tapestry of literature, engage with authors, participate in book signings, and explore the diverse of-

ferings from the world of writing and publishing.

“We are thrilled to host the Read It Write It Book & Writing Festival in Wellington for the third year,” said Heidi Hess, promoter and head of the organizing committee. “This event celebrates the passion for reading and writing while providing a platform for both established and emerging authors to showcase their work and connect with readers.”

The festival promises something for everyone, whether they are avid readers, aspiring writers or simply looking for an enriching cultural experience. From captivating panel discussions and insightful workshops to ex-

citing book launches and author meet-and-greets, there will be no shortage of literary inspiration and entertainment throughout the day.

“We are committed to fostering a vibrant literary community in Wellington and beyond,” Hess added. “The Read It Write It Festival serves as a testament to the power of storytelling and the profound impact it has on our lives.”

Admission to the Read It Write It Book & Writing Festival is free, offering the community an accessible opportunity to celebrate the written word and engage with the literary community.

For more information about

the festival, including a list of participating authors and schedule of events, visit www.heidicreates. net/events or contact Heidi Hess at

Heidi Creates was established in 2018 by author Heidi Hess. Since its inception, Heidi Creates has been committed to showcasing the literary and arts community.

The annual Read It Write It Book & Writing Festival was established in 2022 to celebrate the written and spoken word, and to encourage a love of reading and writing for people of all ages and from all walks of life.

For more information, visit

Make lasting friendships. Enjoy good fellowship. Join

Wellington Rotary

Meets Thursdays - 12:15 p.m.

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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

The Wellington Wahoos Swim Team will host a Long Course Spring Invitational at the Wellington Aquatics Complex from Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5. The entire pool will be closed to accommodate the swim meet schedule.

Adjusted facility hours are as follows: On Friday, May 3, the pool will close to the public at 3 p.m. On Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5, the pool will remain closed. On Monday, May 6, the pool will remain closed according to its regular hours of operation, re-opening to the public for regular hours of operation on Tuesday, May 7. The Wellington Aquatics Com-

facility’s regular hours are Tuesdays through


The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 3 - May 16, 2024 Page 17 NEWS
Dawn Kelly, Zulema Grieser, Emily Schlick Baker and Abigail Estevez enjoy the tea party. Poet Anndi Writes addresses the gathering. Models from Elsie Stephenson’s boutique Modern Girl Trend. Deidre Spencer during the fashion show. Woodarlie Tot walks the runway. Port Commissioner Wayne Richards and Mistress of Ceremonies Leonie Escoffery. Diego Waters with the inspirational poet Anndi Writes. Youth volunteers Ryan Goldberger, Noah Cabrera, Jackson Doren, Harpoon Almasoodi, Jonathan Jerez, William Hicks, Mohammad Almasoodi and Kiel Greiser. The
plex is located at 12072 W. Forest Hill Blvd. in the area
Wellington Town Center.
$5 for adults ages 18 to 54, and $2 for seniors ages 55 and older. Wellington also offers discounted splash passes, annual passes
water aerobics passes.
more information about aquatics programs, contact the Wellington Aquatics Complex at (561) 791-4770
visit www. Wellington Aquatics Complex Alters Schedule For Swim Meet
is looking to add a few good spokes to our Rotary Wheel.
Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m., through May 26. Daily admission is free for children ages 2 and under, $3 for children ages 3 to 17,
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The Women of the Wellington Chamber hosted its annual Pooches, Pearls & Prosecco fashion show on Tuesday, April 23 at the Mall at Wellington Green. The fundraiser’s goal is to clear the county’s shelter of dogs in need of a forever home. About 15 dogs joined models and took to the runway to strut their stuff in the hopes of finding a loving family. Before the show, guests had time to mingle, network, enjoy prosecco and light appetizers, and, of course, interact with all the dogs up for adoption.


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Page 18 May 3 - May 16, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier
Veronica Mena and Emma Silverman of Olive U. Kaela Genovese with 10-week-old Ringo. Horacio Ochoa gives treats to Bellini. Janell Harris walks on the runway. Josephine Petrolo makes her way down the runway. Jenn Cohen and Sherron Permashwar enjoy prosecco. Kristen Mariani cuddles with one of the available puppies. Christina Nicholson and Michelle Sens with Mia. The crowd watches Gabi Baszton on the runway. Members of the Women of the Wellington Chamber leadership team. Kristen Mager makes her way down the runway. Yleana Arias gives a pup cup to Aussie, one of several dogs available for adoption. Daniela Brink during the fashion show. Jackie Ducci walks the runway. Kaela Genovese with Mall at Wellington Green General Manager Asad Sadiq.
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Page 20 May 3 - May 16, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier 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 Flag Football Squad Wins First-Ever Regional Title

For the first time in program

history, Wellington High School’s flag football team has captured a Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) regional title.

On Tuesday, April 30, the Wolverines traveled to Seminole Ridge High School to play the Hawks in the FHSAA’s Class 2A, Region 3 final. The game was a rematch of this year’s district championship game on April 11, which Seminole Ridge won, 12-0. In the April 30 rematch, Wellington prevailed 126. The Wolverines took an early lead and held on to win. Wellington scored its two touchdowns on its first two possessions to take a 12-0 lead, which it never relinquished.

The Wellington squad set the tone on the first play of the game, when senior quarterback Keelin Coleman connected with freshman

receiver Mia Ciezak on a 35-yard pass, which immediately put Wellington in Seminole Ridge territory. It was a play that Wellington had been rehearsing in the days leading up to the game. “It was a simple slant-and-go, which we have been working on in practice,” Wellington head coach Robert Callovi said. “Once Mia got open down the sidelines, I knew she would catch the ball. Mia is a freshman who has been playing well, and we moved her up to varsity.”

Three plays later, Coleman connected with teammate Jordan Fernandez on a one-yard touchdown pass to give Wellington the early lead. The extra point attempt failed, putting Wellington up 6-0.

After being unable to respond, Seminole Ridge was forced to punt, which gave the ball back to the Wolverines. A key defensive play by Wellington during

Seminole Ridge’s first drive was a third-down flag pull/sack by Wellington’s Sydney Lopez. It was one of three big flag pulls by Lopez in the game, all coming at key points, which stymied Seminole Ridge’s efforts in the matchup.

Soon after fielding the Seminole Ridge punt, Wellington drove down the field and scored again on a 15-yard strike from Coleman to Fernandez. Fernandez’s catch drew words of praise from Callovi.

“Jordan’s second touchdown catch was unbelievable,” Callovi said. “She jumped up and grabbed the ball in traffic.”

After another unsuccessful PAT, Wellington led 12-0, which was also the score at the end of the first half.

On the opening drive of the second half, Seminole Ridge drove down the field, eventually scoring on a one-yard run by senior Angelina Sanchez at the 3:20

mark of the third quarter. On the play before Sanchez’s scoring run, Seminole Ridge freshman quarterback Aubrey Fogel kept the drive alive with a key fourth-down pass to fellow freshman Chachi Saunders. Seminole Ridge was unable to convert its PAT, but Wellington’s lead was cut in half, 12-6.

Despite getting the ball on two more occasions, the Hawks were unable to score a game-tying touchdown.

Seminole Ridge head coach Scott O’Hara was proud of his team’s strong effort.

“It was a great game — and hats off to Wellington for a game well played,” he said. “I was proud of my team. We gave it everything we had. There was no give-up in any of my players.”

Winning Wellington quarterback Coleman said her team played with a unified spirit.

“We had some intense days of

practice,” she said. “Our mentality was to not let the pressure get to us. This game was simply a way for us to the next level.”

Seminole Ridge finished its season with a 14-3 record.

With the victory, Wellington (14-3) advanced to the FHSAA’s Class 2A state quarterfinal on Fri-

A New Royal Palm Tradition: Coaches Vs. Referees Soccer Game

On Friday, April 26, the Katz Soccer Complex in Royal Palm Beach was the venue for a new annual athletic tradition in the western communities — the second annual Coaches vs. Referees soccer game, organized by the Royal Palm Beach Strikers and Royal Palm Beach Soccer Inc.

A crowd of more than 400 younger players, friends, fans, family members, fellow coaches

and other referees were in attendance to watch both teams compete. A total of 39 participants — 24 coaches and 15 referees — competed in the game. The head coach for the Coaches team was Mal Hasan, who is also the head coach of the boys varsity soccer team at Royal Palm Beach High School and the coaching coordinator for the Royal Palm Beach Strikers program. The Referee squad was headed by longtime local referee Fernando

Casal, who is a member of the Soccer Referees of Palm Beach County.

For the second-straight year, the Coaches won the game. This year’s score was 2-0. The two goals for the Coaches were scored by Micah Santiago and Matthew Cruz.

According to Hasan, the game symbolizes the positive camaraderie that exists in the Royal Palm Beach Strikers soccer program.

“The game was started to culti-

vate fun and appreciation for our coaches, referees and fans,” Hasan said. “This is just another event that exemplifies the family culture of our soccer program.”

The Coaches won last year’s game, too, 5-3.




referees for the match were Richard Miller and Karl Ferguson.

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 3 - May 16, 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
Wellington quarterback Keelin Coleman looks for her pass. PHOTO BY RICHARD AREYZAGA JR. day, May 3 in Fort Pierce against Fort Pierce Central High School. It will be a rematch of a regular season game on March 8, when Wellington prevailed, 15-12. With a victory in
Fort Pierce, Wellington will advance to the FHSAA’s Class 2A state finals in Tampa on May 10-11.
Seminole Ridge’s Dakota Parks tries to evade two Wellington defenders. PHOTO BY RICHARD AREYZAGA JR. Wellington’s Samantha Ellis and Jordan Fernandez celebrate the opening touchdown catch by Fernandez. PHOTO BY RYLEE MOORE The Seminole Ridge team huddles during a time out in the regional final. PHOTO BY RYLEE MOORE
this year’s game, members of the Royal Palm Beach High School band played the national anthem.
The Coaches team gathers for a group photo. The Referees team gathers for a group photo. The Royal Palm Beach High School band performs. Team coaches Mal Hasan and Fernando Casal.
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Diego Cappella, goal keeper for the Referees team. Blake Hylton of the Coaches squad.
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SRHS, TKA And WHS Girls Softball Making Post-Season Plans

The Seminole Ridge High School girls softball team has advanced to the district final.

In Class 6A, District 12, the district semifinal game on Tuesday,

April 30 between Seminole Ridge and Forest Hill High School was moved to an earlier start in order to avoid inclement weather headed to the western communities.

Seminole Ridge (16-7) defeated Forest Hill (9-10), 15-0. Due to the

high score, the game was declared final after three innings. Seminole Ridge head coach Candace Navarro was delighted with her team’s play.

“Grace Rawn, Hailey Vassalotti, Hailey Goode and Haven Berryhill all hit 1.000 in the game, and pitcher Bella Martinez threw the three-inning run rule on only 35 pitches,” Navarro said.

With its victory, Seminole Ridge advanced to the Class 5A district championship game against either William T. Dwyer High School or Martin County High School, which was scheduled to be played on Thursday, May 2 at 7 p.m. at Seminole Ridge.

Chances are strong that, regardless of the team’s performance in the district final, Seminole Ridge will receive a bid to play in the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Class 5A state playoff series, which begins on Thursday, May 9.

TKA District Semifinal Delayed — The Class 3A, District 13 semifinal game between the King’s Academy (15-2) and Cardinal

Newman High School (14-4), was played at TKA on Tuesday, April 30. In the bottom of the third inning, the game was halted due to lightning and was set to resume the following day (Wednesday, May 1) with the score tied, 0-0. The game’s final score was not available at press time. With a victory, TKA, the top seed in its district, would advance to the Class 3A, District 13 championship game against Lincoln Park Academy, set to be played on either Thursday, May 2 or Friday, May 3. Chances are strong that, regardless of the team’s performance in the district tournament, TKA will receive a bid to play in the Class 3A state playoff series, which begins Wednesday, May 8. Wellington Favored for Regional Bid — In the Class 7A, District 12 semifinal game between Wellington High School (17-3) and Palm Beach Central High School (11-9), the game was scheduled to be played at Wellington on Tuesday, April 30, but was postponed due to heavy rain and lightning in the area. The game

Crestwood Boys Track Team Aims To Defend Its County Title

repeat the performance by last year’s team, which won the Palm Beach County Middle School Track & Field Championship last May. This year’s championship will be held in late May. According to Crestwood Middle School track and field head coach Marque Drummond, he is cautiously optimistic that this year’s

team will put up a staunch defense of its 2023 county title. “I have 19 athletes on the team and six returnees,” Drummond said. Of the six returnees, one of them actually won a Palm Beach County title last year — Alphonzo Carter in the 110-meter hurdles.

Brandon Pendergrass, one of the members of last year’s 800-meter medley relay, is the only one returning from that unit, as the other three runners from

last spring have all transitioned into high school. In addition to Carter running in the 110-meter hurdles, he will also be competing in the long jump and the 800-meter run. Other members of the team who are expected to make big contributions to the team’s overall success this spring will be Pendergrass in the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash; Ashton Davis in the shot put and 100-meter dash; Jayden Espino in the 400-meter run; Micah Baker in 200-meters dash; Michal Baker in the


The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 3 - May 16, 2024 Page 23 SPORTS & RECREATION
The King’s Academy girls varsity softball team. PHOTO BY DEREK CHIRCH
set to
played the following day, Wednesday, May 1, but the final score was not available at press time. The two teams met on the opening day of the season, where Wellington prevailed, 8-1. With a victory, WHS would advance to the Class 7A,
12 cham-
either Jupiter High School
Palm Beach Gardens High School, set for either Thursday, May 2 or Friday, May 3. Since Wellington is currently the No. 1 team in Florida in Class 7A, the Wolverines are a virtual lock to receive a bid to play in the Class 7A state playoff series, which begins on Thursday, May 9, regardless of how they do in the local district tournament.
The Seminole Ridge High School girls varsity softball team.
pionship game against
The Crestwood Middle School boys track and field team is looking to
one-mile run; Rajon Fleurima, who will compete in the 4x100-meter relay and 800-meter medley relay. The team began its warmup to the Palm Beach County Middle School Track & Field Champion- ship by competing in its first track meet of the spring season at Polo Park Middle School on Wednesday, May 1.
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
Reigning Palm Beach County champion in the 110-meter hurdles Alphonzo Carter leads a group of Crestwood track and field runners. PHOTOS BY MARQUE DRUMMOND (Left) Crestwood runner Ahmari Ryner. (Right) Runners Ashton Davis and Micah Baker.

La Dolfina Conquers First American Season With U.S. Open Win

Concluding the most prestigious polo tournament in the United States, the U.S. Open Polo Championship, fans and polo enthusiasts filled a sold-out stadium at the National Polo Center-Wellington’s U.S. Polo Assn. Field One on Sunday, April 21. Reaching the apex of the Florida high-goal season, La Dolfina (Alejandro Aznar, Rufino Merlos, Poroto Cambiaso and Tomas Panelo) and Valiente (Adolfo Cambiaso, Mariano “Peke” Gonzalez Jr., Paco de Narvaez Jr. and Joaquin “Pelo” Vilgre La Madrid) met in the third consecutive final to determine season supremacy.

Splitting the first two legs in the Gauntlet of Polo, Valiente’s veteran leadership led to the storied organization’s sixth C.V. Whitney Cup title, while the second clash of the Cambiasos saw La Dolfina power their way to USPA Gold Cup victory. In a fitting finale to an impressive first season, the dynamic duo of Poroto Cambiaso and Tomas Panelo contributed nine goals, dominating the pivotal sixth chukker to secure La Dolfina’s historic U.S. Open triumph 10-7 and $100,000 in prize money. In a rematch of the C.V. Whitney Cup semifinals, La Dolfina eliminated Coca-Cola to carry a dominant 5-0 record into the final. The second semifinal featured vet-

eran 10-goalers Adolfo Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres meeting for their first contest of the season. Valiente managed to edge Pilot to continue their bid for a third U.S. Open title. Entering the finale with a tournament-leading 30 goals, Panelo wasted no time getting La Dolfina on the scoreboard. Wearing the No. 1 jersey in a heartfelt tribute to injured team owner Bob Jornayvaz, Adolfo Cambiaso sent a soaring Penalty 4 through the posts to seize Valiente’s first lead of the match early in the second chukker. Masterfully navigating traffic, Panelo would briefly tie the tight contest once more. Following back-to-back goals from Valiente, Poroto Cambiaso hit his first of the match to bring La Dolfina back within one. Gaining momentum in the third chukker, La Dolfina held Valiente to just one off the mallet of Gonzalez Jr., as a Poroto Cambiaso cutshot ended the high-flying first half deadlocked 5-5.

Displaying standout defense from both sides, a Penalty 2 from de Narvaez Jr. stood as the lone goal of the fourth chukker. La Dolfina’s formidable pair of Panelo and Poroto Cambiaso took control, ending the fifth chukker on a breakaway from Cambiaso to take a 7-6 lead into the final chukker.

Tied in the early stages of the sixth, the remainder of the chukker belonged to La Dolfina. Working in tandem to put Valiente on their heels, Poroto Cambiaso found an unmarked Panelo driving to goal. Flashing his own display of horsepower, Merlos added his name to the scoreboard on a brilliant pass from Poroto Cambiaso. “In the semifinals and today she really impressed me — Pony Cuñada, the one I scored the goal on,” Merlos said.

Holding a two-goal lead with less than two minutes remaining, a breakaway allowed Panelo to escort the ball across the line, capping-off a phenomenal threegoal run to seal La Dolfina’s 10-7 triumph.

Earning his first U.S. Open title at just 17-years-old, an elated Merlos said, “It’s something [I’ve] been dreaming about with my father [Agustin “Tincho” Merlos] for a really long time, putting the horses together and getting the opportunity to play, and it happened! Getting to play with Tomy, Poroto and Alejandro is definitely a dream come true.”

Leading Valiente with four conversions in the final, Paco de Narvaez Jr. showcased remarkable composure under pressure, earning the Seymour H. Knox Most Valu-

able Player Award. In recognition of his stellar performance, he was presented with a vintage 1990 Rolex Datejust Reference 16234, presented by Eric and Christine Wind of Wind Vintage.

Antu Walung Chavetita, a 9-year-old mare played and owned by de Narvaez Jr. in the second and sixth chukkers was awarded the Willis Hartman Trophy Best Playing Pony, presented by Palm Beach Equine. Additionally, de Narvaez Jr. took home Best Playing String in the National Polo Center’s End of Season Horse Excellence Awards five days prior. The award recognizes an outstanding performance of an entire string throughout the Gauntlet.

Awarding a Best Playing Pony for each game of the U.S. Open for the third year in a row, the two organizations combined to earn seven ribbons prior to the final. Collecting three awards, La Dolfina’s selections included Baysur Lapita played by Poroto Cambiaso and Dolfina Cucumelo, and Dolfina Texas, played by Tomas Panelo. Collecting four recognitions, Valiente’s honors went to Carpacho and Tan Primadonna, played by Mariano “Peke” Gonzalez Jr., alongside Dolfina Maria and J5 Arg Auna, played by Adolfo Cambiaso. In partnership with USPA Glob-

selected a charity of their choice to receive a $3,500 donation, with La Dolfina contributing to the Polo Players Support Group and Valiente selecting St. Mary’s Medical Center. Raising the U.S. Open Polo Championship trophy for the first time in his career, Panelo said, “[I’m] very

Park Place Captures World Polo League’s Triple Crown Of Polo

thrilling 12-11 victory over defending champion and previously undefeated Audi (Marc Ganzi, Nacho Figueras, Jeta Castagnola and Pablo MacDonough). It was the second World Polo League tournament title for the Park Place team, making its 26goal WPL season debut. Park

Place also won the Founders Cup.

Other tournament winners in the most competitive WPL season in the league’s six-year history were Audi in the All-Star Challenge and Casablanca in the Palm Beach Open.

Joaquin Panelo, the team’s unsung hero, was named Most Valuable Player.

Three Best Playing Pony blankets were awarded. Senora Queen, played by Ulloa, was the Argentino BPP. Chalo Netflix, played by Castagnola, was the American Polo Horse Association BPP. Delta, played and owned by Borodin, was the World Polo League BPP. Borodin was also given the Winning Patron Award by Reto Gaudenzi, the godfather of snow polo. Gaudenzi presented him with a five-day stay in St. Moritz, home of the world’s only high-goal tournament on snow.

The championship final lived up to expectations as one of the best finals in World Polo League

history with the lead changing hands 12 times.

Like a prizefight, both physical teams played consistently well with punches and counter punches. Park Place opened with a 2-1 opening chukker lead, including one handicap goal. Audi bounced back with a 2-1 second chukker for a 3-3 tie. With three goals from Ulloa, Park Place had a big 3-1 third chukker and led at halftime, 6-4.

Audi had its big 3-1 chukker in the fourth behind two Castagnola goals and one Ganzi goal to tie again 7-7. Playing its best horses, Park Place outscored Audi, 4-2, in the fifth chukker to take an 11-9 lead.

As expected, the game came down to the sixth chukker, where Audi shut out Park Place, 2-0, but fell short of rallying to send the game into overtime. Audi ended up outscoring Park Place 7-5 in the second half.

Audi had one final scoring op-

portunity in the closing 57 seconds of regulation time but had a 30yard penalty conversion bounced off the post. Audi had one final possession with six seconds left but ran out of time.

Ulloa scored a team-high six goals. Panelo had four and Britos added one. The team was awarded one goal on handicap.

Castagnola scored a game-high 10 goals for Audi. He finished as the tournament’s leading scorer with 34 goals. Ganzi added one goal.

Lake Worth-based Team Fastrax professional skydiving team made an impressive entrance with the American and World Polo League flags to open the pre-game festivities, which included tandem-diving with WPL co-founder and Grand Champions Polo Club

President Melissa Ganzi landing perfectly at mid-field.

“That was a pretty cool entrance,” Nic Roldan said.

Latina rock star Galxara gave

a stirring rendition of the national anthem.

Before the opening throw-in, a moment of silence was held for Hall of Famer Glen Holden, a former American polo player and U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica, who died Friday, April 19. He would have been 97 in July. In the semifinals, Audi advanced with a 10-9 win over Travieso (Teo Calle, Mackie Weisz, Nic Roldan and Juan Martin Zubia), 10-9. Park Place defeated Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Hilario Figueras, Rufino Bensadon and Sapo Caset,), 11-8. The crown jewel and fourth and final 26-goal tournament of the season attracted eight teams for the two-week tournament. The Triple Crown of Polo trophy is comprised of three separate trophies that fit perfectly together to create an entire polo scene that is breathtaking in sterling silver. As WPL tournament winners, Park Place players’ names will be inscribed on the trophy.

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

POLO & EQUESTRIAN Page 24 May 3 - May 16, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier
this possible.
have a lot of people behind [me] that make my play comfortable.” Keeping Jornayvaz and the bond shared between La Dolfina and Valiente at the forefront of his thoughts, Panelo continued, “This trophy is for him — he put his team in the final, and he has a lot of horses that our team has. They did something amazing with Adolfito, and I’m happy to be a part of it.” In an emotionally charged game, Park Place won its first World Polo League Triple Crown
Saturday, April 20
Champions Polo Club in Wellington. Park
U.S. Open Polo Championship winners Rufino Merlos, Alejandro Aznar, Tomas Panelo and Poroto Cambiaso of La Dolfina. PHOTO BY DAVID LOMINSKA al Licensing, both finalists
happy for all the people who help make
Grooms, farriers, all the people who [are] working behind the scenes — my family, my dad, my mom, my brothers, my girlfriend. I
at the Grand
Place (Andrey Borodin, Juan Britos, Hilario Ulloa and Joaquin Panelo) held on for a
Triple Crown of Polo champion Park Place players Andrey Borodin, Hilario Ulloa, Juan Britos and Joaquin Panelo. PHOTO BY CANDACE FERREIRA


Palm Beach Symphony Announces Todd Barron Instrument Donation Fund

The Palm Beach Symphony has named its impactful instrument donation program in honor of the late Todd Barron, a Wellington resident and longtime symphony supporter. He was the founder and first president of the Young Friends of Palm Beach Symphony.

“Todd was one of the first people who approached me when I joined the symphony 10 years ago asking what he could do to help,” Palm Beach Symphony CEO David McClymont said. “I asked if he would start a support group of young professionals. The Young Friends now has nearly 100 members, and that is a small part of Todd’s impact on our organization. When we made the announcement at our recent golf tournament that the program would be renamed in his honor, people immediately donated $16,000 in his memory and to

make this program a permanent legacy.”

The symphony has donated 659 instruments and 1,200 accessories since the program began in 2016. The symphony accepts donated instruments that are new or gently used from the community. After completing any necessary repairs to ensure they meet performance standards, they provide these instruments, along with any accessories such as bows, reeds and mouth pieces, to school music programs in Palm Beach County, as well as underserved individual students from pre-kindergarten through high school.

“This season thus far, we have donated a record 189 instruments and 827 accessories,” McClymont said. “We realized that as the program grows, we need the resources to properly repair the instruments. Funds raised for the Todd Barron

Asphalt Angels Donates Its Coffers To CROS Ministries

On Tuesday, March 26, the Asphalt Angels Car Club of Palm Beach County made a generous donation to CROS Ministries for their hunger programs.

The Asphalt Angels, a classic car enthusiast club, is disbanding after 68 years. Over the years, many of its car shows and events have been held in Wellington. Retiring President Sharon Morlock and Treasurer & Secretary Linda Grist are Wellington residents. With a membership once thriving at 312 strong, the club brought together enthusiasts who shared a common love for classic automobiles. Throughout its remarkable 68year history, they also supported numerous local charities, enriching the community through their car shows and philanthropy. While sad about the club’s closing, its members would like to acknowledge an end to an era, and they are grateful for the club’s lasting impact in the community, including this donation to CROS Ministries, which meet the needs of the growing number of people struggling with food insecurity.

United Methodist Church in Wellington are Jerry Grist, Asphalt Angels Treasurer & Secretary Linda Grist, President Sharon Morlock, CROS Ministries Executive Director Ruth Mageria, Director of Development & Community Relations Gibby Nauman, Linda and Jerry Gash, and Marianne and Mark Forrest.

Instrument Donation Fund will go directly toward putting musical instruments into the hands of promising young musicians.”

In addition to refurbishing instruments, the fund will also enable the symphony to purchase new instruments and accessories on an as-needed basis, as well as the upper-level instruments and accessories for the symphony’s

Wellington-based nonprofit the Human-Animal Alliance has granted Pawsitive Beginnings $10,000 to fund construction of the organization’s new Human-Animal Alliance Healing Den in Key Largo. The space is scheduled to be completed this summer at the fox sanctuary.

“We’re so appreciative of the help and support from the Human-Animal Alliance,” Pawsitive Beginnings CEO Nicole Navarro said. “The purpose of the Human-Animal Alliance Healing Den is to allow therapists and counselors a unique space to hold off-site private sessions with their clients within our fox sanctuary.”

Construction is set to begin on this dedicated space to offer animal-assisted therapy involving foxes saved from the fur trade to at-risk youth and adults who are in various stages of their healing journey.

“Our animal-assisted therapy program was born out of the idea that sharing stories of survival — from the fox’s perspective — has

annual Lisa Bruna B-Major Award for high school seniors who will pursue music as their major in college.

Barron passed away Jan. 25 after a long battle with Ewing sarcoma, a rare bone and soft tissue cancer. He was extremely active in the community and held the position of board president of the Boys & Girls Club of Wellington, where

the power to help heal those who may be struggling with trauma, PTSD or circumstances beyond one’s control, that have placed them in emotional imbalance,” Navarro said. “Each and every one of our foxes has a story to tell, and when we share those stories, they have the power to heal and inspire hope.”

The Human-Animal Alliance directly supports programs that share a belief in the power and value of human-animal connection.

“Pawsitive Beginnings provides a truly unique healing opportunity to people through its remarkable foxes, and we are honored to play a role in advancing the program even further,” said Jackie Ducci, who founded the Human-Animal Alliance two years ago in Wellington.

Ducci personally covers the organization’s overhead costs to ensure that every dollar donated goes directly to the charitable projects it selects for grants.

“We meticulously research and carefully select the very best

he worked tirelessly to bring music into the lives of the club members and lead the creation of a choral program. He also volunteered his time and skill as an auctioneer to help raise millions of dollars for local charities, including the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, Goodwill Industries, the Transplant Foundation, Mike Schmidt’s

Paws 4 Liberty Gets Admirals Cove Foundation Donation

Paws 4 Liberty thanks the Admirals Cove Foundation for its generous 2024 donation to assist with program support for local veterans in need.

Paws 4 Liberty’s mission is to help veterans with disabilities regain their independence and confidence through the assistance of professionally trained service dogs. At no cost to the recipient, Paws 4 Liberty screens and trains service dogs for veterans suffering from service-related post-traumatic stress (PTSD), including military sexual trauma (MST) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Learn more at

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

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

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

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 3 - May 16, 2024 Page 25
Standing in front of the CROS Ministries box truck at St. Peter’s
The Wellington-Based Human-Animal Alliance Awards $10,000 Grant To Pawsitive Beginnings
Beginnings’ CEO Nicole Navarro
Human-Animal Alliance founder and Wellington resident
Admirals Cove Foundation grant recipients at the Annual
Celebration on March 25.
Jackie Ducci.
4 Liberty
dog Zara and Admirals Cove Foundation Executive Director Rebecca Divine. programs nationwide to receive our support. Pawsitive Beginnings’ innovative work reflects our deep-rooted belief that the magic of human-animal connection is real,” Ducci said. “Everyone deserves the opportunity to feel and know its life-changing benefits.” Since its inception in 2022, The Human-Animal Alliance has distributed 11 grants to similar projects focusing on the power and value of human-animal connection. Funds are raised through exclusive events and private donations. For more information, visit or call (561) 485-0445.
Mycaela McCorry with service
Winner’s Circle Charities and the Sarcoma Foundation of America. Those interested in donating an instrument should visit the music programs page at
(561) 655-2657
a monetary dona-
Todd Baron Instrument Donation Fund
visit https://
or call
to learn
Those wishing to make
tion to the
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 $275/Week Weekly June 3 through August 9, 2024 Reasonable Swimming Skills Required. Monday thru Friday 9am - Noon SUMMER ART CAMP June 3 - August 2 Junior Ages 5.5-8 and 9-12 Teens Ages 13-17 Junior campers will have fun with themed projects inspired by culture, history, and art mediums. Teen intensive workshops help students develop portfolio-ready artwork to reach their next level. Teens can choose from a robust choice of studio classes, and develop in an atmosphere free of judgement and full of encouragement. Camps are taught by professional art educators and teaching artists. Learn more and register online at West Palm Beach, FL 33401 (561) 832-1776 SUMMER ART CAMP June 3 - August 2 Junior Ages 5.5-8 and 9-12 Teens Ages 13-17 Junior campers will have fun with themed projects inspired by culture, history, and art mediums. Teen intensive workshops help students develop portfolio-ready artwork to reach their next level. Teens can choose from a robust choice of studio classes, and develop in an atmosphere free of judgement and full of encouragement. Camps are taught by professional art Learn more and register online at 811 Park Place West Palm Beach, FL 33401 (561) 832-1776 14990 Palm Beach Point Blvd, Wellington, FL 33414 OUR PROGRAMS JR. ZOOKEEPER Learn all about what it takes to be a zookeeper! HANDS-ON experience with our animals, with days focusing on zoology, feeding and cleaning, veterinary procedures, grooming, training, and enrichment! WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST Do you have a little wildlife biologist at home? Let them come and learn all about what it takes to preserve our planet for years to come! We’ll take a look at the endangered species list, ecosystems, environmental problems, poaching and pet trade, and dinosaurs and extinction! And of course HANDS-ON time with the animals that are affected most! OUR ANIMALS Each day will take an in-depth look at one of our many species at the farm! Sloth Day, Lemur Day, Anteater Day, Wallaby Day and Capybara Day! Featuring up close encounters with each day’s guest of honor! TO REGISTER CALL COLE 203-206-9932 This camp is an all-access pass to animal fun for the summer! Become a Jr. Zookeeper, learn about conservation, or even just focus on some of our animals at the farm! There are three unique programs that are sure to interest kids of all ages! NOW TAKING RESERVATIONS FOR CHILDREN AGES 8-14 FOR THE SUMMER MONTHS!

Seminole Ridge Teacher Marisa Santos Wins Prestigious Cambridge Award

Marisa Medvetz Santos, an

AICE English language teacher at Seminole Ridge High School, has been recognized by Cambridge University as the regional winner for North America in the 2024 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards.

Santos was chosen out of 15,000 nominations from 141 countries. She is now one of nine finalists around the globe competing for the top spot. You can cast your vote between now and May 6 at https://

Santos has taught at Seminole Ridge since 2011, and according to nomination, “Mrs. Santos has been a dedicated AICE English language teacher since 2015.

During COVID-19, not only was she, like many teachers, forced to adapt and find ways to reach students electronically, but being a resident of Florida, she was one of the first educators sent back into classrooms. She was pregnant at the time and struggling through a high-risk pregnancy in the midst of a pandemic. Even so, she went above and beyond for her students in hybrid learning. She spent time out of the classroom making engaging instructional videos to reach students learning from home, and she kept the energy and excitement alive for students in the classroom. Each year, students hope to be placed in her class because they know they will get the instruction

and support to be successful on their AICE exam and beyond.”

The Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards are a global competition in which people can nominate a current primary or secondary teacher for something wonderful they have done. A selected panel of judges decide on regional winners, who will all appear on a thank-you page at the beginning of new Cambridge University Press & Assessment international education books. They will also win a class set of books of their choice, as well as promotion throughout the year. The public then votes for the overall winner of the Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards.

A number of students from Crestwood Middle School had their artwork selected and displayed at the school district office for the 2024 Spring Art Dazzle Art Show. Art teacher Patricia Duebber thanks Amanda Keisel, mother of Isabella Keisel, who helped hang the artwork.

The student artists are: Eighth graders Bella Bowonthamachakr, Brooke Ferguson, Jamal Haywood, Zarah Lee and Jessica Rey-Diaz; seventh graders Lodzaida Annoual, Isabella Caceres, Julianna Cox, Nora Leonard, Valentina Munoz, Caitlyn Panse, Cloie Richie and Annalysa Roman; and sixth graders Aniyah Bonner, Nashka Dumergeant, Chloe McCourt, Desmin Negron, Maylon Rodrguez and Amy Urena.

These outstanding young artists were recently recognized at a reception held at the Palm Beach

Henry Honeycutt and Colin Sullivan, both eighth-grade students at Polo Park Middle School, were chosen to compete at Florida’s State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF).

Sullivan earned the fourthplace award in the chemistry category for his experiment titled “Explosive Sweets.” Sullivan’s experiment was designed to test the explosive potential of sugar particles, as many small particles, under the right conditions, can become explosive.

Created in 1957, the Florida Foundation for Future Scientists is a statewide nonprofit organization tasked with encouraging future scientists to pursue STEM careers. One of the ways this is accomplished is by conducting the State Science and Engineering Fair, which took place from April 2 through April 4 this year.

The journey to this competition is a long one. Florida students must design and conduct an experiment according to specific protocols, document their results and present those results to judges at their school. Winners at the school level then proceed to the Palm Beach Regional Science and Engineering Fair. Regional winners are then selected to represent their

SCHOOL NEWS Page 26 May 3 - May 16, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier
at an upcoming meeting. Congratulations to Western Pines Middle School eighth grader Lucas Mierzwa, who participated in the Academic Games League National Tournament held April 19-22 in Atlanta. Mierzwa placed fourth individually in Current Events, and his team placed second. Mierzwa also competed in Equations, Presidents and Propaganda. In all of his events, he scored in the top half or top third of the students. There were 850 students from across the country in the competition. Of those, 57 students represented Palm Beach County. WESTERN PINES STUDENT SHINES AT ACADEMIC GAMES WELLINGTON EL ARTISTS WIN VILLAGE CONTEST
Wellington Elementary School artists Angelina Wolfson (left) and Elena Amador (right), shown with art teacher Erica Bordonaro, had their amazing artwork chosen in this
year’s Drop
Conservation Poster Contest run by the Village of Wellington. Amador came in first place and Wolfson came in third in their division. Giant posters of their artwork will be on display at Wellington Village Hall and they, along with other winners, will be honored
Polo Park Student Earns Fourth Place At State Science Fair Polo Park Middle School student Colin Sullivan with his science fair project. Crestwood Students Dazzle At Art Show County School District office. The art will be displayed through May 3. schools and Palm Beach County at the statewide event. “The SSEF was very well-organized, and everyone was very kind and accommodating. I enjoyed having the opportunity to talk to other students about their projects and would encourage future students to participate because the opportunity could lead to other positive things,” Sullivan said.
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
Marisa Medvetz Santos
Keisel with the students’ artwork.
Summer Horsemanship Camp

Area Residents Win X-Factor Awards At Global Dressage Festival

For the past decade, Wellington-based local business owners and sisters Sarah and Katie Hoog have been transforming their passion for horses into what has become one of the equestrian businesses that contributed to a record GDP increase for Palm Beach County.

Every year, they turn their 35plus years of combined experience into encouragement of dressage riders through the presentation of the X-Factor Awards presented by their C U at X Tack Shop, a longstanding on-site partner at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington.

X-Factor Awards presented by C U at X Tack Shop recognize equestrians who go “above and beyond” in presenting their horse and horsemanship at their best while embodying that ineffable attribute that makes them stand out or excel in the dressage arena.

When selecting X-Factor recipients, the sisters look for well-appointed riding wear and equally well turned out, well-fitted tack on the horse.

“It’s not just about looks. Proper fitting equipment and riding apparel are important to the entire

showing and training experience, to get the best results out of every ride,” Katie explained. “Every horse deserves this, and so does every rider.”

“For riders,” Sarah added, “the goal is to do their best when riding or caring for their horse friends.”

In addition to offering encouragement and recognition through these unique awards, their goal is to offer the best affordable tack and apparel, imported and quality-tested by them, so riders can focus on doing and giving their best.

Seven riders merited X-Factor Awards during the past three months, including adult amateur Lori Carol Sack and Drakkar Noir 3, the pair that set the standard at AGDF 1; followed by international Grand Prix veteran Micah Deligdish riding Santos; trainer and former model Mary Bahniuk Lauritsen and Impression; Jessie Steiner, daughter of World Equestrian Games veteran Betsy Steiner, on Zjackomoas; multitime national champion Endel Ots of Loxahatchee debuting Bohemian; USDF gold medalist Hannah Bressler Jaques; and former polocrosser and Wellington local Caleb Scroggins with Villanelle.

Loxahatchee resident Endel Ots on Olympic hopeful Bohemian, winners of a 2024 X-Factor Award, with Jenny Wattereau presenting.

“I feel like our many years of having dressage horses gives us an edge,” Sarah said about recognizing potential and encouraging it.

Both sisters ride and show dressage horses to the highest level of the sport.

“Being turned out perfectly in

PBOI Completes First Case Using X-Twist Fixation System

The Palm Beach Orthopedic Institute recently announced that Dr. John Hinson has made a significant advancement in orthopedic surgery by completing his first procedure using the X-Twist Fixation System with biocomposite anchors.

Hinson, a board-certified specialist in orthopedic care, will now be able to offer patients tissue-to-bone repairs that rely on a clinically proven, non-permanent suture anchor, which provides early repair strength as well as safe resorption and replacement with new bone over time.

The X-Twist Fixation System with biocomposite suture anchor represents a leap forward in shoulder preservation. Hinson’s successful procedure showcases the system’s versatile applications, which include advanced techniques from single or double-row repairs to knotless and fully knotted constructs for soft tissue to bone repairs.

“It is important to embrace innovation in orthopedics to provide our patients with the best possible outcomes,” Hinson said. “Utilizing the X-Twist Fixation System allows us to perform at an advanced level of care. I am committed to learning the latest in orthopedic medicine and solutions, especially if it will offer my patients an improved quality of life and a swift return to their daily activities.”

Celebrated for his expertise in the complex conditions of the shoulder and elbow, Hinson understands the physical demands that professional athletes, such as golfers and baseball players, place on their bodies and the repetitive movements of people every day. His approach to treatment combines state-of-the-art technology with comprehensive care.

Beyond his clinical practice, Hinson is recognized for his contributions to orthopedic literature. He has been published on various orthopedic topics. Patients under

his care can expect treatment informed by the latest technological advancements and proficiency in academic and clinical experience.

To learn more about Dr. John Hinson and the X-Twist Fixation System, visit

the arena instills confidence in a rider, and horses pick up on that confidence,” Katie explained. “You can’t control everything about a ride, but you can start out looking and feeling professional, and hopefully the ride goes better since you don’t have to think about your equipment or clothing

Minto Communities USA has been recognized with nine 2024 Eliant HomeBuyers’ Choice Awards. The awards are presented annually to home builders judged by their own home buyers to have provided the best customer experience.

The 29th annual HomeBuyers’ Choice Awards were held in Newport Beach, California, on April 11 and also celebrated Eliant’s 40th anniversary. Award-winning builders were selected based on results from 190,000 surveys administered by Eliant to all of the recent homeowners of more than 225 major home builders throughout the United States.

Minto received the second place HomeBuyers’ Choice Award in the category of First Year Quality: High-Volume Builders. The award recipient is selected based on the key survey measure of “Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of my home.” Minto also received the honorable mention fifth-place award for Overall Home Purchase

and Ownership Experience, which reflects a combination of the Move-In, Mid-Year and Year-End key survey measures.

Minto construction representatives received five Construction Representative of the Year awards. Tim Bland received a first-place award, Asa Fayne received a second-place award and Alex Bellamy received an honorable mention fifth-place award in the High-Volume Survey Responses category. Ryan Blaine and Brian Freeman tied for the first-place award in the Medium-Volume Survey Responses category.

Minto design specialists received two Design Representative of the Year awards. Elena Koshechko received a third-place award, and Savannah Foster received an honorable mention fifth-place award in the High-Volume Responses category. “We are thrilled to honor these exemplary builders and representatives who have achieved

outstanding levels of customer satisfaction,” Eliant President Fernanda Luick said. “Consumers have so many choices when selecting a home builder — it is important to recognize those who demonstrate excellence in customer experience.”

Eliant has long been recognized as the nation’s leading provider of customer experience management services for U.S., Canadian and Middle East building firms. Eliant’s customer experience monitoring, training and consulting services are considered to be the industry gold standard. Minto Communities USA, headquartered in Florida since 1978, builds master-planned communities and homes in Florida and South Carolina, including Westlake in Palm Beach County. Minto recently announced plans to expand into Texas with the Latitude Margaritaville brand. For information on Minto Communities, visit www.mintousa. com.

The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 3 - May 16, 2024 Page 27 BUSINESS NEWS
Wellington resident Caleb Scroggins on Grand Prix mare Villanelle, winners of a 2024 X-Factor Award.
and can focus on the riding.” C U at X Tack offers in-store shopping in Wellington from their location at 3460 Fairlane Farms Road, Suite 9, plus pop-ups and boutique-style booths at such dressage cornerstones as the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, the U.S. Dressage Federation National Championships in Kentucky and the Festival of Champions at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Illinois. For more information about C U at X Tack, visit them in person at the store in Wellington or at the shows, or virtually at www.
Minto Receives Nine 2024 Eliant HomeBuyers’ Choice Awards By calling this number, you agree to speak with an independent health insurance agent about Medicare Advantage products. Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information. This is an advertisement. Let’s talk about it! Maggie Zeller Office (561) 517-8048 (TTY: 711) Mobile (561) 715-9262 “Your healthcare is a potentially overwhelming, complex decision. I can help you navigate through your available options!” Medicare Maggie Health Insurance Solutions 12794 Forest Hill Blvd. • Suite 18E Wellington, FL 33414 Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. By Appointment Only If you’ve got questions, I’ve got answers. Becoming eligible for Medicare at age 65 can be overwhelming and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be! I can explain all of your available options. Medicare Advantage Plans VS. Medicare Supplement? Medicare Solutions Made Simple I can help, call me today!

Mom Keeps Busy With Food, Games, Puzzles And Chocolate

People wonder how my mom is doing since she moved to an assisted living place in the little town of Cedarburg, Wisconsin. She didn’t need to go, but my dad did, and she understandably wanted to be near him. Because dad needed more care, they were in separate buildings, but mom would trek over there several times a week, lugging a heavy satchel of books and newspapers. Then dad, an avid reader, would delve into the printed material, virtually ignoring mom. Old age is a perplexing thing.

“He says he wants to see me, but when I’m there, he just reads the paper,” she complained.

“But that’s his comfort zone, mom,”

I tried to explain. “How many years did you two sit side-by-side in the den, with you knitting and him reading the paper?”

“I suppose,” she grumbled. Well, dad’s gone now, and mom has embarked into her own comfort zone, a

comfort zone I envy and will absolutely try to emulate someday. Her days revolve around games, puzzles and chocolate. First of all, I must clarify that that is not all mom does. Mom also goes downstairs to eat. The assisted living place is very big on mealtimes. Menu choices are sent out just prior to the beginning of any month, the residents choose their favorites, and then the fun begins. Breakfast is from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Lunch is from noon to 1 p.m. Supper is from 5 to 6 p.m. Because Cedarburg is a suburb of Milwaukee, a drink cart with beer and wine shows up at 4 p.m. on Fridays. If the Packers are playing on Sunday, there is a buffet. Many

of the residents sit outside the dining hall 45 minutes prior to mealtimes so they can claim a certain table. It takes them 15 minutes to get back to their rooms. So, you can see that their days are very full. On the off chance that mom is not eating, going to eat or returning from eating, she delves into puzzles. She was very fortunate to get the apartment directly across from the puzzle table, and it serves as an auxiliary room for her. With very few exceptions, she chooses the puzzle, does the puzzle, decides how long to display the completed puzzle and then chooses the next puzzle, usually based on the time of year. Without thinking, I brought her a toy shop puzzle last January. That will be shelved until next Christmas. If she doesn’t feel like sitting in the “ante-room,” she is back in her apartment, propped up in bed or sitting on her sofa with the day’s crossword puzzle or sudoku in hand. She has pretty much quit watching TV, not that she has to — the sound of nearby TVs blasts into the hallway. “All I do is sit and eat chocolates,” she said. I don’t know if she’s complaining, bragging or angling for more chocolates. She described Easter this year not as a holy day on which I should be sure to go to church, but as “a good day to get candy.” Whatever. She is my hero.

‘Ungentlemanly Warfare’ Is A Fun Film, Loosely Based On Fact

Guy Ritchie’s new movie The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare was a fun romp. Based on at least a bit of historical fact, the director has created a sort of “Dirty Half-Dozen.” The names of the characters are the same as from real life, but based on some real photos at the end of the film, they were not nearly as attractive.

The movie begins early during World War II. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Rory Kinnear) is facing a crisis. German submarine activity is choking Britain, and his top military leaders want him to surrender. Instead, he has Brigadier Gubbins (Cary Elwes) — known as “M” — set up a small-scale mission to destroy the air filters the subs need that are being supplied at an African base. Adding to the fun, he is assisted by Ian Fleming (Freddie Fox), who was the creator of James Bond.

A tough guy, Gus March-Phillipps (Henry Cavill) is released from prison to lead the mission. He demands his own


people. They include Anders Lassen (Alan Ritchson), a one man wrecking crew. He also chooses Irish sailor Henry Hayes (Hero Fiennes Tiffen) and underwater demolition specialist Freddy Alvarez (Henry Golding). Along the way, they will have to rescue expert planner Geoffrey Appleyard (Alex Pettyfer), which is done so easily it seems like a superhero movie. Also part of the group, although set up inside the town, are gambling den owner Richard Heron (Babs Olusanmokun) and actress-singer-deadly sharpshooter agent Marjorie Stewart (Eiza Gonzalez). All

have very good reasons for hating the Nazis.

The group somehow has the magical ability to kill enormous numbers of Nazis without being killed or even badly hurt.

We see the group first dealing with a particularly nasty Nazi officer on a patrol boat, who decides it would be fun to set their boat on fire and see if they want to swim dozens of miles or burn up. Somehow, three of our heroes kill more than a dozen of the Germans, adding a particularly grisly end of the nasty Nazi, while a fourth puts a bomb against the patrol boat.

The scenes on the island of Fernando Po are wonderfully styled. There are a couple of references to the movie Casablanca, a really nasty German officer, Commandant Heinrich Luhr (Til Schweiger) to be seduced, and friends to be won over. Our heroes are occasionally caught but manage to casually kill any bad guys in the way. In the middle of all of this, top British leaders

are doing all they can to stop the mission, one needed for Britain’s survival. As expected, plans are made and then messed up. The target ship is due to leave early. The target ship has had its armor replenished, and it can’t be sunk. Luhr discovers that Stewart is Jewish and plans to torture her. But then things begin to go as expected: explosives go off, bad guys get slaughtered, Lassen manages to kill dozens with a knife until he picks up an ax, and you can figure out the rest. Luhr captures Stewart and has a charming moment telling her about how much punishment she will receive before… well, you’ll have to see the movie. The cast is fine. Most of the parts are not that complex. Golding, who has been playing overly refined people since his breakout in Crazy Rich Asians is properly lower-class scruffy. Ritchson, who is Reacher on the Amazon Prime series, is huge and dominates the screen in the fight scenes. Cavill does a fine job.

I particularly liked Olusanmokun, who seemed simply a wingman for Stewart, working to get along with everyone, turn into a tough killer. But Gonzalez steals much of the film. It is clear she is in the middle of things right from the beginning and manages to brilliantly portray a very smart, tough woman at a time women were not supposed to have those qualities. Add to that, her stunning beauty and a real talent for singing, we could see her again soon. The plotting is a bit sloppy, but director Ritchie knows the important element is to have fun. And the cast seems to have a ball wiping the floor with the enemy and throwing around wisecracks. Ritchie is about style, and this film has plenty of that. How truthful was it? Well, the people were there, including Ian Fleming, who is said to have modeled James Bond on March-Phillipps, who in real life married Stewart. But little of that matters. This is a fun movie.


Located in Belle Glade, Florida. SSI is looking for a GENERAL


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* Assemble, maintain, and repair portable tanks, pumps, motors, power generating, and hydraulic equipment.

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* Perform basic preventative maintenance functions on fleet equipment.

* Maintain inventory of tools and supplies as needed for daily tasks.

* Possess a clean CDL Class B license.

* Hazmat endorsement is preferred.

* Able to safely operate multiple vehicles and most heavy mobile equipment.

* Physically able to climb ladders and lift heavy objects routinely.

* Willing to travel between the various branches and job sites throughout South Florida as needed.

* Detail-oriented, team player with strong communications skills.

* Motivated to lean and willing to work weekends as needed and flexible with schedule.

* An energetic, motivated, eager, positive-minded individual that desires to be part of a growing operations.

* Must be willing to complete a background and drug screening.

We offer a competitive compensation package:

* Paid holidays

* Vacation and Sick time

* Health, Dental, Vision, and a 401K for your retirement with a match.

* Paid orientation

* Paid renewal on Medical Cards - yearly

* Pay is according to experience

If you have these qualifications and are interested in joining out team, please submit your resume to or contact us at 863-508-1406.

Page 28 May 3 - May 16, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier FEATURES
Deborah Welky is The Sonic BOOMER GET YOUR FREE MAILED SUBSCRIPTION If you are not getting your FREE subscription to this newspaper... what are you waiting for? The Town-Crier offers free home delivery to all who request it! By filling out this form, you can sign up for your FREE MAILED SUBSCRIPTION. SIGN UP TODAY! CLIP AND MAIL TO: The Town-Crier Newspaper 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 33, Wellington, FL 33414 Yes, please enter my FREE subscription to The Town-Crier Newspaper!  Name: ____________________________________________ Address: __________________________________________ City/State/Zip: ____________________________________ E-mail (optional): Signature: _________________________________________ Date: _____________________________________________ PLEASE PRINT NEATLY Please make online donations at: The Retired Firefighters of Palm Beach County and the Professional Firefighters/Paramedics of Palm Beach County Local 2928, I.A.F.F. Inc have partnered to create the Fallen Firefighter Memorial Park at Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Headquarters Your contribution will honor the members of our department and the fire service who have given so much to the community. The Fallen Firefighter Memorial Project will fund the Fallen Firefighter statue and provide assistance for fallen firefighter families to attend national and state ceremonies honoring their hero. Honor $10,000 Name listed on donor plaque near statue* Logo on fundraising events for memorial statue Plaque of appreciation Logo and hyperlinks on website and social media Respect $5,000 Name listed on donor plaque near statue* Logo on fundraising events for memorial statue Logo and hyperlinks on website and social media Loyalty $2,500 Name listed on donor plaque near statue* Logo on fundraising events for memorial statue Logo and hyperlinks on website and social media Pride $1,000 Name listed on donor plaque near statue* Logo on fundraising events for memorial statue Logo on website and social media Hero $500 Company/Name on fundraising events Company/Name on website and social media Company/Name listed on inaugural brochure Valor $250 Certificate of appreciation Company/Name listed on inaugural brochure Courage $50 - $250 Our deepest appreciation *Donation level will be represented in larger to smaller font HELP
Let’s get you started ASAP! SSI Petroleum


St. Jude’s Novena

May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, glorified, loved and preserved throughout the world now and forever. Sacred Heart of Jesus, pray for us. St.Jude, worker of miracles, pray for us. St. Jude, help of the hopeless, pray for us. Say this prayer 9 times a day by the 8th day, your prayer will be answered. It has never been known to fail. Publication must be promised. Thank you, St Jude for granting my petition. B.B.

561-574-9288 CLASS ACT ENTERPRISES INC. A Cleaning Service You Can Trust. Lisa Caputo Owner Licensed Insured Top Quality Cleaning at Affordable Rates Reliable • Trustworthy • Professional Call Lisa for FREE ESTIMATE WHITE GLOVES cleaning service Patrycja Jaskolski (561) 657-0420 References, Experience, Professional Service Homes | Apartments | Offices A/C Refrigeration Services JOHN C. HUNTON AIR CONDITIONING & REFRIGERATION, INC.—Service & new installation Lic. CAC 057272 Ins. “We are proud supporters of the Seminole Ridge Hawks” 561-798-3225. Family Owned & Operated since 1996. Credit Cards Accepted Cleaning - Home/Office CLEANING LADY — I can help get your house cleaner than ever! Try me once and you will not be disappointed! 561-657-0420 CLEANING AT IT’S FINEST CALL KATHLEEN Professional Quality Service • Affordable Rates • References Available • Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Monthly, One-Time Cleaning. Serving Riverbridge and surrounding communities. 978-816-6899 CLASS ACT ENTERPRISES INC. — A Cleaning Service you can trust. Top Quality Cleaning at affordable rates. Reliable, trustworthy, professional. Licensed and Insured. Call Lisa for FREE ESTIMATE 561-574-9288. You'll be glad that you did. TOWN-CRIER CLASSIFIEDS CALL 561-793-7606 Electrical Contractor SINGER ELECTRICAL CONTRACTING, INC. Electrical work you can trust at an affordable price, Fully Licensed and Insured. EC#13007941 561-425-5409 Home Improvement ANMAR CO.— James’ All Around Handyman Service. Excellent craftsman Old time values. Once you’ve had me! You’ll have me back! Lic. Ins. Certified Residential Contractor CRC1327426 561-248-8528 Painting JOHN PERGOLIZZI PAINTING INC. — Interior/Exterior - Repaint specialist, pressure cleaning, popcorn ceiling, drywall repair & roof painting. Family owned/ owner operator. Free Est. 798-4964 Lic. #U18473 Pet & House Sitting PET SITTING & HOUSE SITTING - For your pets needs, Visits or Overnight stays. Excellent References. Call Charlene at 561-572-1782 Roofing ROBERT G. HARTMANN ROOFING — Specializing in repairs. Free estimates, Bonded,insured. Lic. #CCC 058317 Ph: 561-790-0763. ROOFING REPAIRS RE-ROOFING ALL TYPES — Pinewood Construction, Inc. Honest and reliable. Serving Palm Beach County for over 20 years. Call Mike 561-309-0134 Lic. Ins. Bonded. CGC-023773 RC-0067207 NEIL O’NEAL JR. ROOFING — Roofing & Reroofing. Family owned and operated. Residential/ Commercial. Wood Replacement, Roof Coatings, Solar Vents, Skylights & Roof Ventilation. 561-6564945 Lic. & Insured CCC1330208.Free Estimates Roof Repair ROOF REPAIR SPECIALIST Remodeling, renovations, Family owned and operated. 30 years experience. Residential and Commercial. Licensed and insured. #CGC1532929 Call 772-212-2733. The Town-Crier www gotowncrier com May 3 - May 16, 2024 Page 29 • Family Owned and Operated • 30 years of experience • Residential and Commercial • Remodeling, Renovations • Licensed and Insured #CGC1532929 Professional Services Employment Opportunities Professional Services Screening JOHN’S SCREEN REPAIR SERVICE — Pool & patio re-screening. Stay tight,wrinkle-free,guaranteed! CRC1329708 call us 798-3132.
YOUR NEWSPAPER � 1��.!r��:!:JEl��!� 561YOUR COMMUNI1Y NEWSPAPER Since 1980 � 1��.!r��:!:JEl��!�
HELP WANTED: DATA ENTRY — answering phones, invoicing, computer knowledge helpful, FT/PT Monday-Friday, occasional weekend, retiree welcome, call 561-722-7103 or email resume to DRIVERS WANTED. WELLINGTON CAB — Wellington Town Car. Clean drivers license a must. Retirees welcome. Full time/part time. 561-718-1818 SOCIAL PHOTOGRAPHER WANTED. Looking for an event photographer to take photos for the Town-Crier newspaper and Wellington The Magazine Must have some photography experience and the ability to take both strong photos and collect accurate, detailed caption information. To apply, contact Joshua Manning at or leave a message at (561) 793-7606. Fucarile WHITE GLOVES Alignment P & M 561-791-9777 HURRICANE IMPACTSalon,Services Looking Permanent Be Your Own Jewelry 561-425-5409 Commercial/Residential 561-662-0045 HOME & Alignment Call 561-793-7606 for Special Rates. PLACE YOUR AD HERE CALL 561-793-7606
B. ELLIS ENTERPRISES, INC. Irrigation Repairs $70.00 1st Hour - $45.00 Hour After Commercial & Residential Ben Ellis President Office 561.798.1477 Mobile 561.722.5424 U2597 CGC015908 8620 Wendy Lane E. West Palm Beach, FL 33411 2nd Generation Master Plumber ED HEBERT PLUMBING Serving the Western Communities for 40 years • Complete Bathrooms • Garbage Disposals • Water Heaters • Plumbing Repairs • Sewer & Drain Cleaning MR. WATER HEATER Licensed & Insured CFC039984 $20 OFF WATER HEATER Cannot Be Combined $10 OFF SERVICE Cannot Be Combined 561-790-7053 Jay Broderick Professional Mobile Auto Detailer 561-346-8114 @JTV_Detailing@JTVDetailing Sliding Door | Window Repairs | Track Replacement 561.587.0186 2069 Tarpon Lake Way West Palm Beach, FL 33411 Robbie Bratcher Licensed Insured Free Estimates Page 30 May 3 - May 16, 2024 www gotowncrier com The Town-Crier ROBERT HELLER 561.250.2776 7100 Fairway Drive Suite 44, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418 Find Out What I Can Do For You Before, During and After the Sale DATTILE PLUMBING, INC. THE BEST IN THE WEST PROUDLY SERVICING WESTERN PALM BEACH COUNTY SINCE 1973 561-793-7484 DOUGLAS DATTILE PRESIDENT, CFC057769 LIKE & FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK Commercial Lic. #U-16274 Bonded Insured Residential W.H. BROWN,LLC PAINTING Knockdown Textures Interior - Exterior Carpentry Repairs Pressure Cleaning (561)313-0409 Drywall Repairs Free Estimates Wallpaper Removal SERVICES: • Electric Panel Upgrades • Generator Installation Thomas McDevitt, Master Electrician LIC# EC13007161 P 561.798.2355 F 561.784.9401 • Landscape Lighting • Recessed Lighting Troubleshooting BRIGHTEN UP YOUR WEEKEND Begin your weekend by making yourself brighter with what’s happening around the Western Communities. (561) 793-7606
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