Heartland LIVING Aug-Sep 2021 Issue

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LIVING August & September 2021

Celebrating 10 Years 2012-2021

Biologist Elysia Dytrych helping

young girls and women realize that there's nothing stopping them from becoming a burn boss.

100 Years, 100 Portraits of Conservation:

The Florida Stewards Project

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10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021


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Celebrity GOLF TOURNAMENT Friday, November 5

8:30 am Shotgun Start | Sun ‘n Lake Golf Club

The AdventHealth Sebring Foundation Board of Directors and Tournament Chair, Thomas ‘Flash’ Gordon, invite you to join us for a Celebrity Golf Tournament, benefitting the construction and implementation of a 25,000+ sq. ft. health and wellness facility, on the grounds of AdventHealth Sebring. To register, learn more, or explore support opportunities AdventHealthSebringFoundation.com 863-402-5525 RSVP by October 18, 2021.

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100 People, 100 Portraits of Conservation: The Florida Stewards Project By Christy Swift


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August & September 2021 Volume 10  Issue 4


Eloping Out West By Brooke Payne


People Helping People Helping People By Grace Hirdes


10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021




August & September 2021 Volume 10  Issue 4


Seeds To Sow By Rebecca Maglischo


16 STEM Toys By Kimberly Blaker


Adding Arts to the STEM By Bridgette Waldau


Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County

Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary By Bridgette Waldau


Summer Brunch Recipes By Cindy S. Adams


10 Letter from the Publisher 16 Behind the Scenes 18 From Our Readers LIVING August & September 2021

Celebrating 10 Years 2012-2021

State Biologist Elysia Dytrych

Biologist Elysia

Dytrych helping young girls and women realize that there's nothing stopping them from becoming a burn boss.

100 8

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COVER Photography by Dustin Angell

100 Years, 100 Portraits of Conservation:

The Florida Stewards Project

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etter fromTHE PUBLISHER I’m happy to share our August & September Issue with you. I keep saying in my publishers notes that Heartland LIVING was created as your lifestyle community magazine and for 10 years now we have listened to all your ideas, read all of your emails and love receiving your responses on social media. I have learned while doing research for the magazine, as well as in my personal life, that every person on this planet has a story to tell, something that makes him or her unique. We are all adding something to the world by sharing our stories with someone. Everyone has a story to tell if we take the time to listen. We are so accustomed to hearing the stories of people in the news that we sometimes lose track of the fact that the random stranger in our community also has a fascinating story about where they came from and how they got to be where they are. The sheer variety of paths taken in this world, from farmers to CEOs to homeless people and to world travelers, is indicative of how much we can learn. Sometimes the shy, quiet person at work has the most amazing life story and the biggest dreams, it is up to us to take the time to find out.

Some people travel a path of wealth and privilege, while others struggle with only themselves to rely on. Each person learns lessons, makes choices, and develops a unique perspective, which only they can claim and share. Even two people who have had very similar lives will have slightly different experiences, leading them to a different point of view. Each person remains a treasure trove waiting to be explored. When we take the time to ask questions and listen, we find that every person has a fascinating story to tell and an utterly unique perspective from which to tell it. Heartland Publications & Marketing is humbled and proud to again be the recipient of two Charlie Awards in the category of Best Custom Publications. The winning publications were the Hardee County Chamber of Commerce Guide 2021 and the AdventHealth 2020 Annual Report - Heart & Vascular Center. Heartland Publications & Marketing continues to bring you the best, not only with our award-winning Heartland LIVING Magazine but also with our other publications and marketing materials. As you go through the pages of this issue we hope you enjoy all the stories our writers are sharing with you, the gorgeous photography on the cover and pages from our amazing photographers. It takes a team to create Heartland LIVING for you and I couldn’t do this without them. Kudos to my Team! Please keep sharing all your ideas, stories and comments with us. Most importantly, please support our advertisers; we couldn’t create this without their support. God Bless,

Cindy Sebring Adams 10

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10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 11

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LIVING August & September 2021

Celebrating 10 Years 2012-2021

LIVING Biologist Elysia

August & September 2021 Volume 10  Issue 4

Celebrating 10 Years 2012- 2021 CEO | Publisher Cindy Sebring Adams

Creative Director Bridgette Waldau

Editor Christy Swift

Photography Director Rafael Pacheco

Feature Writers Kimberly Blaker Grace Hirdes Rebecca Maglischo Brooke Payne Christy Swift Bridgette Waldau

Cover | Feature Photographer

Dytrych helping young girls and women realize that there's nothing stopping them from becoming a burn boss.

100 Years, 100 Portraits of Conservation:

The Florida Stewards Project

Published by

Heartland Publications & Marketing, Inc.

Dustin Angell

Feature Photographers Dustin Angell Charissa Greubel Rebecca Maglischo Brooke Payne

Proud Recipient of 18 Charlie Awards

2014 - 2021

In the Following Categories:

Best Overall Design

Contact: 412 Rest Haven Road, Zolfo Springs, FL 33890 863-781-0344 E-mail


Best Department Design (2) Best Feature Design (4) Cover Photo Illustration Best Traditional Illustration Best Self-Promotional Ad Best Table of Content

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Best Department Design Best Photography Image (3) Best Overall Writing Best Custom Publication (2)

Florida Magazine Association

Heartland Living Magazine is published bi-monthly by Heartland Publications & Marketing, Inc. Copyright 2021, all rights reserved. Reproduction of contents in print or electronic transmission in whole or in part in any language or format must be by expressed written permission of the publisher.

All articles, descriptions and suggestions in this magazine are merely expression of opinions from contributors and advertisers and do not constitute the opinion of the publisher, editor or staff of Heartland Living Magazine, and under no circumstances constitutes assurances or guarantees concerning the quality of any service or product. Heartland Living Magazine specifically disclaims any liability related to these expressions and opinions. Heartland Living Magazine is not responsible for any unsolicited submissions. The advertiser agrees to hold harmless and indemnify the publishers from all liability.


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Florida’s ultimate playground At Sun ’n Lake, playful living is just the beginning of an affordable Florida lifestyle that serves as the foundation of our great community. Our variety of rich amenities offer something for everyone — a recreation complex with a zero entry lagoon pool, 36-holes of championship golf, the Island View Lakefront Restaurant & Pub featuring New Coast cuisine, two excellent schools within the district, hospital and medical facilities at our front entrance, and more!

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Behind the BEHIND THEScenes SCENES Creative Director


graphic and fine artist for over 30 years. She received her A.A. from the Ft. Lauderdale Institute of Art and a Bachelor of Fine Art degree from Stetson University. She moved to Okeechobee in 1994 where she opened her art studio. Bridgette has been creative director for several publications, working with Heartland Publications & Marketing as art director since 2011, winning eleven Florida Magazine Charlie Awards (2015- 2018). She is Arts & Culture Alliance Director (16 years) for Okeechobee Main Street. Bridgette is married to James Waldau, a retired firefighter from the City of Hialeah.

Photography Director

Editor | Writer

CHRISTY SWIFT has been a

freelance writer for over 13 years, working as an award-winning newspaper correspondent, magazine article writer, and web and social media content provider. She is also a soon-to-be published author of Young Adult and Adult fiction. You can find her at www.christyswift.com.


freelance lifestyle and licensed real estate agent. She's also founder and director of KB Creative Digital Services, an Internet marketing agency, at kbcreativedigital.com


and was born on the island of Puerto Rico. My dog thinks I am crazy for locking the door so many times in 10 seconds and my cats think I am made of catnip. Everything I wear is black, gray or blue. If I put on something colorful I must have been in a hurry. Photography is how I have let my artistic visions come to life since the early 90’s. Patience, kindness, sharing, sacrifice, love and not to judge I saw my mother practice these and they stayed within me. We are collective energy and all from the same Source. I don’t see the world through my eyes. I see it through my soul.


GRACE HIRDES is happily married

to her wonderful husband and is a full-time teacher at Winter Haven Christian School. She received her diploma from the Institute of Children’s Literature and has been pursuing her passion as a freelance writer for the past 5 years. She has also published her first children’s book and loves anything outdoors.

Writer | Photographer REBECCA MAGLISCHO is

"Every GREAT design begins with an even BETTER story."


- Lorinda Mamo, designer

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a wife and mother of two boys. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and a Master's Degree in Human Movement with an emphasis on Corrective Modalities. She has completed a two year study in Full Body Systems through the Holistic Nutrition Lab and a certification in Functional Range Condition through the Functional Anatomy Systems. Rebecca opened Haka Fitness in Lakeland, FL.

August & September 2021 Photographer

Writer | Photographer BROOKE PAYNE is a wedding and

portrait photographer. She lives in Sebring with her husband Cale Payne. She is a dreamer who loves to travel and share the beauty and diversity of the world through her photography. She is inspired by the way a photo can stop time and capture authentic life moments that will be passed on through generations and cherished forever.



Owner of Photos by Rissa & Brooke. I’m just a small town hippie hearted girl, that loves to travel, empower and motivate others to be their best self, and be a mama to my 3 little cuties. I’m passionate about my work, in love with my family & dedicated to spreading light. It’s contagious.

DUSTIN ANGELL is an environmental

educator and conservation photographer living and working in the Headwaters of the Florida Everglades. As the Director of Education at Archbold Biological Station in Venus, FL, he builds community relationships and interprets ecological research for audiences of all ages. Dustin’s photography documents the science and conservation challenges of the region and the people trying to solve them. Dustin is the Past President of the League of Environmental Educators in Florida and the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Educator Award from the Florida Chapter of the Wildlife Society.

"Photography HELPS people to SEE."

- Berenice Abbott

Advertising Helps You Get to Where You Want to Go. You can advertise in the most widely distributed and read magazine in the Heartland! Your ad will not only be seen in print but also on our website.

Call or email us if you want to become a part of this fast growing publication

863-781-0344 Cindy@Heartland-Living.com

Heartland LIVING www.HeartlandLivingMagazine.com 10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 17

from our

READERS Heartland LIVING June & July 2021

Heartland LIVING June & July 2021

Celebrating 10 Years 2012-2021

Awesome colorful cover. Your covers are always beautiful and I look forward to picking up and reading each issue!

Jane B. Baker

WOW... Honoring our Veterans was such a great and heartwarming article. What a wonderful thing that the Santangelos are doing for our Veterans. Indeed our Veterans have dedicated their lives to our country and deserved to be recognized for their commitment. Thank You! -Mollie Beates

The article about Selamta was wonderful and educational. Your writer did a beautiful job with this story. Your magazine continues to bring a wonderful diversity to your readers and this story really tugged at the heart strings.

Denise Cambridge

Heartland Living Magazine is amazing and I am so proud of my sister and all of her accomplishments with this magazine. Great job Cindy and her team! -Susie Tucker.

Awesome magazine, the best in Florida

-Peggy Jump

If you would like to share your thoughts, please leave a post on our Facebook page or email us at Cindy@Heartland-Living.com 18

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Join us for our annual event benefiting the AdventHealth Lake Placid and Wauchula Foundations Presented by Brasfield & Gorrie General Contractors

Friday, September 10, 2021 Registration and Continental Breakfast | 8 am OK Corral Gun Club 9449 NE 48th St. | Okeechobee, FL 34972 863-402-5525 | Kirsten.Turner@AdventHealth.com To register visit: AdventHealthSebringFoundation.com Please RSVP by Friday, August 27

10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 21

The 2021 Charlie Awards The Florida Press Association, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida Magazine Association, and the Florida Newspaper Advertising and Marketing Executives came together for the 2021 Florida Media Conference held July 15-16 at the Weston Hotel in Sarasota, FL. Speakers from around the country shared their knowledge and experience with conference attendees and we were offered the opportunity to choose from specialized tracks on revenue-creation, content, and sessions specific to magazines and weekly newspapers, along with combined sessions of interest to the entire industry. On the evening of Friday, July 16, The Florida Magazine Association (FMA) held the 2021 Charlie Awards dinner and Gala honoring winners and special award recipients. Heartland Publications & Marketing is humbled and proud to again be the recipient of two Charlie Awards for Best Custom Publication. The winning publications were the Hardee Chamber of Commerce Guide 2021 (Silver) and the AdventHealth 2020 Annual Report - Heart & Vascular Center (Bronze). Cindy Adams, Publisher and Bridgette Waldau, Art Director.

Cindy S. Adams


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Bridgette Waldau

Heartland Publications & Marketing 2021 FMA Charlie Awards... 2020 Annual Report Heart & Vascular Center AdventHealth Sebring

Hardee Chamber of Commerce Guide 2021 AdventHealth 2020 Annual Report - Heart & Vascular Center



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100 Years, 100 Portraits

of Conservation: By Christy Swift Photography by Dustin Angell

A scrappy-looking research assistant in pigtails stood brandishing a chainsaw, flecks of wood peppering her skin. The celebrative tone of her work combined with the juxtaposition of femininity and fierceness was an aha moment for her photographer husband, Dustin Angell. Thus was born the Florida Stewards project.

10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 27

Since the fall of 2014 when he snapped that photo of Emily Angell (now a fish and wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Dustin has taken over a hundred portraits of individuals linked to conservation in the headwaters region of the Florida Everglades spanning Orange, Osceola, Lake, Highlands, Glades, St. Lucie, Martin, and Polk counties. Many of his subjects are employees or interns at Archbold Biological Station, a research institute in Venus, Florida, where he works as director of education. But he has also photographed conservation workers from across the state, artists, state biologists, a cattle rancher and more. His almost life-sized portraits of these people working in their element have stared out at audiences at Bok Tower Gardens, the Gillespie Museum at Stetson University, the Peter Powell Roberts Museum in Avon Park, and SFSC’s Museum of Florida Arts and Culture, providing a visual celebration of the people protecting the state’s ecology from behind the scenes.

Dustin Angell (Photo by Bill Parken)

“Photographers have done this with many subcultures. After moving to the area in 2012, I found myself incorporated into a community built on science and conservation. And these people made up not just my professional network, but almost my entire social life, too. I felt that because of my photography skill set and access to their world, I had a responsibility to future generations to document their stories," Dustin said. Dustin’s portrait style was inspired by the art you might see in a European history book. “They are modern, secular versions of Renaissance saint depictions,” he explained. The format is consistent: portraits of people looking directly at the camera, holding an item that represents their story. Like in those early portraits, which were not of kings or queens but rather regular folk who did extraordinary things for what they believed in, the Florida Stewards project tells the stories of everyday people doing the work of conservation in Central Florida.


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10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 29


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HERE ARE A FEW OF THOSE STORIES... PIONEERING THE EFFORT: At one of end of the century of conservation work in Florida are folks like Jack and Liz Hailman. Their photos were taken in 2015, just a year before Jack passed away. “That makes it even more special,” Liz said. Jack was a well-respected professor of zoology at the University of Wisconsin. In 1970, as part of his research, he began studying scrub-jays at Archbold. “He just loved the outdoors,” said Liz, who described both her husband and herself as naturalists. In 2000, the couple retired and moved to Florida to more regularly don their binoculars, clipboard, and walkie talkie (the same ones seen in their photos) for the monthly Florida scrub-jay census. “We could get twice as much done because there were two of us, especially when you’re trying to find those birds and identify them by their color bands,” Liz recalled. Jack was always interested in bird behavior and bird communication. He worked with another intelligent bird species up north: the chickadee. But Liz described the scrub-jay census as “the highlight of our lives, in a sense.” “We were working with such a great group of people at Archbold, and we were able to contribute to the body of knowledge.”



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TAKING A RISK: At the other end of the timeline is Alexis “AJ” Jackson, a graduate student and former Archbold intern, whose photo is the 100th in the series. Between Hailman’s efforts that began in 1970 and the time AJ can presumably retire, an entire century of work will be represented. AJ’s energy and personality shine through in her portrait as she sports a compass and field notebook. She is also featured in one of Dustin’s videos on his website, an expansion of the Florida Stewards project, talking about how she got into working with wetlands. “I kind of just took a risk. I knew that I wanted something different, and I wanted to do something that felt like it was important to me. I feel like wetlands were that for me and I feel like research in general was that for me,” AJ said in the video. AJ had to get outside of her comfort zone because she didn’t know a lot of people who were into environmental science or hiking. “If eight-year-old me saw me she would be so confused. Like how did you do this? How did you get here?” “It’s a huge privilege to be the person I needed to see when I was younger,” she added.

10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 33

MAKING LICHEN COOL: Some of Dustin’s subjects are mid-career, people like Seth Raynor, whose black and white photo looks like a vintage shot upon first view. As you look closer, however, you’ll notice the long, curly locks cascading over his shoulder, and the tattoos. The photo was taken near the Avon Park Air Force Range. A lichen specialist, Seth is holding a scraper (to collect samples of the odd fungus/algae lifeform) and a field notebook. Dustin noted that photos like this one help to dispel myths about scientists, who might be stereotyped as boring, “nerdy” folks with their noses constantly behind a microscope. Seth not only helped to expand the lichen species list at Archbold, but when he made an appearance at one Archbold field trip, he was an instant hit with the kids, Dustin recalled. “He made lichen cool.” 34

THE PLANT GUY: With the Carter Creek wetland for his photo’s backdrop, Archbold research assistant and bonafide “plant guy” Scott Ward grasps a handful of wetland plants and carries a plant press under his arm for preserving them. His photo especially stands out for the brilliant blue sky behind him. It’s the kind of sky you can only get in Florida in the afternoon after a storm, and that’s just what happened. “A big rainstorm came in and soaked us. We ran back to our cars,” Dustin chuckled. The shoot would have to wait until after the skies had cleared, but luckily, plants are patient. “Scott is one of the best plant identifiers that we have for this part of Florida,” Dustin said. If you’re looking for someone to identify two different types of grass that most people would need a pocket microscope to tell apart, “he’s that guy.”


PUTTING BACKPACKS ON BIRDS: Young Ha Suh, now a pHD student, is seen in her photo holding a CTT Locator and banding box that she uses to tag and track Florida scrub-jays. Outfitting the tiny birds with an even tinier backpack, Young uses the locator to pick up signals showing where the birds go and who they interact with. This is an experiment she co-designed and is running with fellow Florida Steward, Dr. Reed Bowman, Archbold's Director of the Avian Ecology Research Program. Young’s hope is that her research will help scientists better understand and protect this endangered bird species. Her participation in the photo shoot has a different goal: “Scientists are often viewed in a certain way, I wanted to contribute and show that we are a diverse group of people working on various different topics,” she wrote. 36

BURNING IT DOWN: Originally, state biologist Elysia Dytrych didn’t want to do the photo shoot, but “helping young girls and women realize that there's nothing stopping them from becoming a burn boss has been really gratifying,” she commented. Her portrait features her toting a drip torch (a souped up gas can used for creating prescribed burns) and a shovel. “She had just done a burn,” Dustin recalled from the day of the shoot. “The area was still smoking the next day. After you do a burn, you have to go and check it, and so she was also checking it out.” The other thing to appreciate about this photo, Dustin pointed out, is that Florida is already hot, making a dangerous job even harder. “Imagine you’re standing next to a fire and you are wearing all of that equipment. Those are not breathable materials. It’s rough.”

10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 37

NOT JUST ABOUT THE BIRDS: Dr. Paul Gray, Audubon Florida’s Everglades Science Coordinator, is most well known for his involvement in water management efforts in Florida, especially as it relates to bird populations. “I used to think I worked on behalf of birdlife, but more and more I realize I work to keep Florida suitable for people. If Florida's future is not good for birds, it will not be good for humans,” Dr. Gray wrote. Dustin, however, remembers Dr. Gray best for something else: “They get to pick their place and he said, ‘We're going to get in the water in Istokpoga.' And I said, 'Are you sure?' because it is known as a site with a lot of big alligators. We were probably in the water for half an hour.” Luckily, no gators bothered them, but half an hour is a long time to be wondering if they will. 38

“Being a photographer itself is an adventure. It’s a passport to visit cool places, meet interesting people, and get behind the scenes,” Dustin said. Dustin hopes The Florida Stewards project will shine a light on individuals like the ones he has captured, and maybe even change some hearts. So much of science has been politicized, he said. This is a chance to show its human side.


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10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 45


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hen people think of elopements they often imagine someone running away to Vegas and breaking all the rules to marry their love as quickly as they can. Although “elope” means to “run away and get married,” elopements have become one of the most popular and beautiful ways of getting married in recent years. There is something incredibly special about creating a day based on intention and intimacy. Elopements can include just the two of you or a handful of guests. You can incorporate traditional wedding details and traditions that you love and that hold importance to you, for example: a first look before the hike, a first dance under a sunset, or reading your own written vows. This is one of the most special days of your life and you should make the day exactly how you and your fiancé want, even if that means eloping in a beautiful place and being completely unconventional. There is no right or wrong way to do a wedding, all that matters is that you both say “I do” and the rest is up to you! We want to share some ideas on how you can plan an elopement and make it all you have ever dreamt of and more. Aside from the beautiful backdrop for your ceremony and photos, there are a lot of financial benefits in eloping. You don’t have to pay for a venue or food for hundreds of guests, and you can add amazing details to your elopement for far less money. This allows you to save more for starting your marriage and not spend the majority of your savings on the wedding. There are hundreds of national parks to choose from with a variety of different unique locations ranging from mountains, deserts, coastlines, to anywhere your wildest dreams can imagine.

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ome popular national parks with amazing scenery are Glacier National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Arches National Park, and Zion National Park, but there are so many you can choose from. Another exceptional thing about eloping is you can have your honeymoon in the same destination you chose to get married. Lots of national parks have campgrounds; some even have beautiful lodges and Airbnbs that are located near the parks for your stay. The first step to eloping is choosing your location. Researching the area is important for understanding if there are any seasonal closures or entry requirements. Research the times of the year that the location has the best conditions for your wedding. The best part of elopements is the nature and scenery, but the worst is the changing weather when it comes to planning. National parks also require permits, so make sure to check out the park's website to guide you through the process. The next step from there would be hiring your vendors. Hire a photographer and videographer who are familiar with elopements and can find a view that is insanely beautiful to read your vows and celebrate your love.

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hotographers will know the permit rules, the best times of the day to go, and secluded spots. They will be a big help in your planning. There are also wedding planners, florists, and officiates who specialize in elopements anywhere you choose to go. Vendors will help your elopement come to life, bringing in all the astounding details and organizing everything for you. Vendors will help to create a timeline for your day that will allow you to have an ample amount of magical moments. In your wedding day itinerary, make sure you have allocated enough time for your getting ready photos and the time it takes for you to travel and hike to your location before your ceremony. When packing for an elopement there are a few crucial items your checklist should include. Comfy shoes are so important—let's face it, hiking in the mountains or trekking through the sand will not be the easiest in heels, so you will want comfortable shoes with good tread and support to get you through your hike comfortably. Once you get to your location, you can always slip into your cute shoes for your dress or suit. Top priority of the list is bringing your vows, especially if you have written your own, and also your rings. Make sure to keep them in a safe place where they won't be misplaced. Snacks and water are a must when doing a hiking elopement to keep you hydrated and energized. Whatever florist you choose can make you a gorgeous bouquet that you can pack on your backpack or carry with you. Bringing champagne is a great way to celebrate after your ceremony, to pop for a photo and toast with each other. Aside from those things, you can bring anything that makes your elopement unique and special to you.

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here is something incredibly special about creating a day based on intention and intimacy.

Models: Demri Williams Brigham Hunter Location: Cathedral George State Park Lincoln County, Nevada


I wouldn’t be here without AdventHealth’s ER.

— Greg

Stroke survivor

Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

Surviving an emergency is no accident. To Greg, road trips mean freedom. But after suffering a stroke at age 43, his whole life changed. He realized how every second counts, especially when it comes to an emergency. AdventHealth’s ER experts responded fast – and today, Greg is back on the road again. When the unexpected occurs, know where to go for expert emergency care near you. Because in an emergency, there’s no time to waste… and no room for doubt.


10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 55

PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE By Grace Hirdes Photos by Dwayne Goldman and Lake Wales Community Center


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10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 57

Dwayne Goldman

Community Bike Riders that ride on the 4th Saturday of the month.


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Like most American towns, Lake Wales has people in need and people who are willing to give of their time and resources. Unfortunately, there is usually a wide gulf between these two groups of people. That is where the Lake Wales Care Center comes in. They help bridge the gap, enabling one group to reach the other. Care Center staff and volunteers give of their time and talents…in a most practical way; as the Lake Wales Care Center would say, they become the

“PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE!” The Lake Wales Care Center is a faith-based community service organization which demonstrates Christ’s love by building bridges between people in need and people with a desire to serve. Out of all the programs they offer, one of the newest is a bicycle ministry. Dwayne Goldman, operator of the bicycle ministry tells us, “One of our favorite things to do at the bike shop is to connect our neighbors in need to a source of reliable transportation. Almost all of the ones that have gone through our bicycle assistance program have left with a great big smile on their face.”

10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 59


Goldman was not always into bikes, but one day while visiting a homeless ministry in Tampa, he was introduced to their bicycle enterprise. He thought how cool it would be to do something like that in Lake Wales, but had no idea where to even begin. After a few days, a donation came through the thrift store back door with a new copy of Park Tools Bicycle Repair Manual 3.0. Dwayne took the book home and started reading through and watching repair videos. Dwayne shares, “On Thursday of that very week, one of the neighborhood kids almost ran over me at our thrift store. I teased her about her driving and she shared with me that her brakes didn’t work. I decided to see what I could do to help, so I grabbed a couple tools and remembered a few of the illustrations and lo and behold, I got them to work.” He then learned that one of the Dundee volunteers used to own a bike shop. They talked about starting out working on bikes one day a week, and before long, bicycle donations started flooding in. Now they work three days a week on bikes, have a monthly community ride, and partner with a local special needs school to do “on the job” training. They are also able to take the donations that come in, repair them to use for their assistance programs, and sell them in the thrift store or online.


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Dwayne Goldman and Officer Ed Palmer with the Lake Wales Police Department.

The opportunity to fulfill the Care Center motto works perfectly in the bicycle ministry: “people helping people helping people.” Whether you’re donating your bike or your time, you’re helping your neighbor in a direct way. These bicycles are not just for leisure. For so many, it is their main mode of transportation to work, school, or even the grocery store. When you purchase a bike, it helps keep the ministry going. All the funds from bikes that are sold in the Care Center Thrift Stores go directly back into the bicycle ministry. One of Dwayne’s favorite memories from the bicycle ministry was when “One of the neighbors that we recently helped with a bike had it stolen. We took the information, serial numbers, and detailed description of the bike to the local police. Less than two weeks later, the bike was found and we were able to get the bicycle back to its owner. This was a big win for our community, and for one that often feels that the world is against him, that day he felt he mattered and was important.” If you would like to learn more about this ministry, consider joining them on the 4th Thursday of the month for their monthly Community Ride. 61


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Even though the bicycle ministry is an exciting part of the Care Center, they’ve been able to reach their community through several other resources as well, such as short-term financial assistance, clothing, food, furniture, a free clinic for those without health insurance, a pregnancy care program, a community kitchen to provide food for Sunday lunches, and tutoring in math, reading, and GED preparation. They also help with home repairs for local homeowners not physically able to do the work themselves, a community garden, and food and gifts for families during holiday season.

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Volunteer, Eric Graham, shares with us, “I cannot tell you how many times working at the Care Center blessed me personally. From being able to help someone in need to being able to stand and cry with someone who had lost a loved one. I have a million stories, but one that stands out to me is when I had gone to pick up a sofa that a lady was donating to the Care Center to bless someone else. When we got there, I knew that there was something more to this donation, and I found out through talking with her that her husband of 30 years had passed away about 3 months earlier. We stood and talked and cried together as I felt her pain and I was able to be a shoulder in her time of need. Then, when we began to move the couch for loading, something fell out of the bottom of the couch and hit my foot. I looked down and saw a beautiful emerald ring on the floor. I picked it up and handed it to her and she immediately broke down sobbing. That was the ring her husband had given to her for their last anniversary together and she thought she had lost it a month after his death. We cried together some more. See, that's the thing, it is so much more than just donations and moving couches or thrift stores and bikes. It is about doing life with people and being there when someone needs someone to cry with.”

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If you're interested in getting to know more about this organization and becoming involved in serving the community of Lake Wales, there are two ways to support. First, volunteer. You can contact the Care Center at 863-676-6678 for more information on volunteering. Second, you can donate, whether it’s financially, items for the thrift store, food, or medical supplies. Visit them in person at 140 E. Park Avenue in Lake Wales and find a way to be a person helping a person helping a person. 10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 65

One of our favorite things to do at the bike shop is to connect our neighbors in need to a source of reliable transportation. Almost all of the ones that have gone through our bicycle assistance program have left with a great big smile on their face. - Dwayne Goldman


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10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 67

Res Local tau ly ran Own t a ed nd Bar

Photos courtesy of Visit Sebring

Steaks Seafood & Pasta We serve Chairman’s Reserve Certified Premium Steaks! COME IN AND TRY OUR NEW FLATWOODS FLATBREADS!

Please Follow Us on Facebook for Future Live Entertainment Schedules.

Hours: Monday - Thursday 11-9 pm Friday - Saturday 11-10 pm Sunday - 11 am-8 pm

(863) 314-9459

6813 US 27 South - Sebring, FLorida 68

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Community Theatre is proud to announce We’re Back! Okeechobee that we are returning this fall for our 42nd Season!

Arsenic & Old Lace

A Few Good Men A play by Aaron Sorkin

Spring 2022

Fall 2021

A play by Joseph Kesselring

October 8, 9, 15, 16 & 22

Save the Dates - We hope to see you at the Theatre!

March 4, 5, 11, 12 & 18 (Open Auditions Dec. 13 & 14 - 202 1 )

Bringing quality live Theatre to the Heartland Area. All performances are presented in the historic Okeechobee Auditorium in downtown Okeechobee. This intimate 220-seat facility keeps you close to the action on stage.

Theatre location: 610 SW 2 Ave., Okeechobee, Florida

For more information about our upcoming shows & auditions call us or visit our website. Phones: (863) 532-1107 or (863) 332-2053

www.OkeechobeeCommunityTheatre.com 10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 69


Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

By Rebecca Maglischo

As the dog days of summer hover over Central Florida, outdoor enthusiasts struggle for the motivation to participate in their favorite activities. Gardeners, however, are beginning to feel the excitement and promise of another season of triumphs, lessons, and the inevitable failures. Flipping through the seed packets and setting aside the ‘chosen ones,’ the toils from last season are recounted and the ideas for a fresh start begin to weave into a plan. In August, a gardener’s mind is filled with butternuts and beefsteaks, carrots that rival a rainbow, climbing vines, and new cultivars. By now, the failures of last season have morphed into learning experiences and the promise of a bountiful harvest fills the mind with an almost childlike glee. Gardeners possess a resilience gleaned from a hobby where failure speaks louder than success and boast an enthusiasm reserved for those who witness the miracles of nature over and over again.

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The backyard garden is at minimum a chance to learn something new and a good opportunity for some exercise and Vitamin D. Of course, the added vegetables are an improvement to one’s diet, too. But if you ask any gardener with a few seasons under their belt, it’s so much more. It’s where you work through life while you work for life. It’s mundane and miraculous. The garden is therapy and with just a little effort on the front side, the joys of gardening can spread through your home and rival the vines growing up your trellis.


A well placed garden is a happy garden. Take time to walk your yard and consider the perfect location for the bounty to come. Most vegetable gardens need a bare minimum of 6 hours of sunlight, and the days are getting shorter. Consider how shadows from trees and fences might block portions of the garden as the seasons change. When you find the perfect sun-kissed spot, invest a little time and money into building up the soil by making a raised bed. Concrete blocks, untreated wood, or even giant water troughs make lovely options! Most importantly, place your garden where you will visit regularly, daily even. Short, regular visits help cultivate a deeper appreciation for all that is happening here, not to mention the actual cultivation of a delicious harvest.


Make a list of all the vegetables your family likes to eat and plant those. Look up charts for planting dates and use them to guide when your plants or seeds go into the dirt. If you really love something, plant several varieties or plant groupings several weeks apart to prolong the harvest. Don’t feel confined to planting in rows. Plants that grow bigger look lovely surrounded by lower profile herbs or flowers. Root vegetables tuck in nicely between those plants that bear their gifts above ground. Do yourself a favor and plant a row of sunflowers along the north edge of your space. These sentries stand as a beautiful beacon to the pollinators and an awe-inspiring sight to any passerby!

10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 73


Whole books are written on the subject of how to make compost. A new gardener can get lost in the scientific jargon and feel like a failure before they even break ground. But the decay of organic materials is the mundane tale of how literally everything returns to the soil, no magic or mystery required. While it is true compost contains the principal ingredients of fertilizer, the amounts are not overall impressive. What compost does, however, is improve the structure of the soil, increase the water-holding capacity, and provide micronutrients missing from many commercial fertilizers. Definitely find a spot to pile up grass clippings, leaves, and vegetable scraps from the kitchen. But rest easy that the Earth will have its way with these things whether you tend to them or not.


Perhaps the most lovely part of a garden is that it belongs to you. Though some gardeners may try to browbeat you with “rules for success,” seeds are cheap and rules were made to be broken. Don’t be afraid to push the edges of convention. Mix and match what you like and use information as guidelines. This little space is a place to cultivate plants and to cultivate your spirit, in good times and bad. In his book, Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education, Michael Pollen writes, ““The gardener learns nothing when his carrots thrive, unless that success is won against a background of prior disappointment. Outright success is dumb, disaster frequently eloquent. At least to the gardener who knows how to listen.”


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Here, we see hope for the defeat of chaos. And for many, this satisfaction in the yard is a salve for what humans cannot seem to maintain in day to day life. The lessons abound. The triumphs feel grander and the failures a bit softer. This is a stage to practice the ups and downs and to better understand the perpetually foggy abyss between the beginnings and ends.


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10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 77

In matters of the heart, it’s ladies first Learn how to stay in front of heart attacks A woman’s heart beats faster than a man’s by almost eight beats a minute. And that’s not the only difference. Women are more likely to experience “atypical” symptoms when their hearts are in distress. Signs of heart attack in women could include: • Nausea or vomiting

• Cold sweats

• Shortness of breath without chest discomfort

• Dizziness

• Pain in arms, upper back, neck,

• Pressure in center of chest

jaw or stomach • Fainting

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When you learn more about your health, you’re learning how to take better care of your incredible self. Take the AdventHealth Heart Risk Assessment today to find out more about your heart and how to keep it healthy at every stage of life.

FloridaHeartExperts.com Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com



• www.championforchildren.org •

George A. Hall Devon P. Donaldson GeoDev Pizza, Inc.

863-386-1177 BE A CHILD’S

935 Sebring Square - Sebring, FL

Will you donate to help provide food, safe housing, medical treatment, or counseling for a child in need?

Please consider supporting a local family in need. All donations are tax deductible. Make contributions payable to Champion for Children Foundation. 419 East Center Ave., Sebring, FL 33870 (863) 382-2905 • Nonprofit 501(c)3: Federal ID #65-0444941 • Charitable Organization Florida Registration Number CH6601

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10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 79


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16 TOYS To Boost Kids' Knowledge, Understanding & Interest in


Today, it's more crucial than ever that boys and girls alike develop a keen interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Over the coming decades, the pace of scientific and technological advancement is expected to continue climbing at an exponential rate. As a result, STEM fields will see continued growth while blue-collar jobs, among other professions, decline. So it's essential kids are well prepared for a drastically different job market. STEM offers kids other benefits as well. It stimulates and teaches critical thinking and problem-solving skills – competencies that go a long way in any career and in life. So how do you help your child develop an appreciation for STEM and boost their knowledge and understanding in these subjects? Play that provides opportunities to apply concepts and skills is one of the best ways for kids to learn. There are numerous games, toys, and kits on the market that make learning STEM loads of fun.

10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 81

TOYS THAT TEACH STEM QURIOUS SPACE for ages 3+. This 4-in-1 family card game teaches kids about the solar system, Milky Way galaxy, and more. Kids learn simple strategy and creative problem-solving skills while developing vocabulary and enhancing their memory. MAGFORMERS for ages 3+. These magnetic geometric construction kits come in a variety of choices. Kids can build 3D structures such as houses, pyramids, and balls out of colorful magnetic triangles, diamonds, trapezoids, and squares. MUDDWATT STEM KIT Clean Energy from Mud! for ages 8+. Kids will love conducting these experiments with soil by adding ingredients from the fridge to build a living fuel cell. A free app then gives kids the tools to measure power and track microbe growth.


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SNAP CIRCUITS for ages 7+. Keep kids busy and learning with these electronics discovery kits that provide kids more than 100 projects to do. Snap Circuit kits have won numerous awards and come in several variations. Contents of various kits include phototransistors, LEDs, resistors, ICs, DC motors, flying propellers, electromagnets, lamps, switches, and much more. Projects kids can make include an AM radio, burglar alarm, doorbell, flying saucer, and voice recorder, to name a few. SEQUENCE for Kids for ages 4 to 7. The goal in this strategy-building card and board game is to be the first to place 4 chips in a row. The challenge is to think strategically and finish before your opponent uses a unicorn card to remove a chip. GRAVITY MAZE for ages 8+. Kids use spatial reasoning skills to arrange towers to create a path for a marble to go from its start position to its target tower. It includes 60 challenge cards ranging from beginner to expert. OSMOS GENIUS KIT for ages 5 to 12. This kit boasts 5 games that turn an iPad into a hands-on learning experience. On the iPad, Osmo interacts with every real-live move. This kit enhances kids' visual thinking, creative problem-solving skills, and self-expression. THINKFUN RUSH HOUR for ages 8+. Winner of a national Mensa award, Rush Hour is a game of logic that sharpens kids' planning and sequential reasoning skills. There are 40 challenges from beginner to expert in this traffic gridlock game. The goal is to move cars through the puzzle until the red car escapes the traffic jam. 10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 83


Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

IQ FIT for ages 6+. This spatial reasoning and problem-solving game boasts 120 challenges in which kids must fill the board with the missing 3-D pieces. It's a compact travel size game and a great value. DOUGHLAB STEM KIT Bake and Learn for ages 6+. This yummy bread-making experimentation kit includes 5 experiments through which kids discover the perfect recipe and learn about the power of yeast. ROCK ON! GEOLOGY GAME for ages 5+. Kids explore the earth's geological treasures in this fun science game. It comes complete with an assortment of rock and mineral specimens. BIG BAG OF SCIENCE for ages 8+. More than 70 fun activities can be performed with this kit in the areas of chemistry, physics, biology, geology, magnetism, weather, and flight. Kids use real scientific tools, which are included in the kit, to do their experiments that'll amaze family and friends.

Don and Maria Maddox Owners


4441 US Hwy 27 South - Sebring, FL 33870

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10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 85

ETI TOYS LIL' ENGINEERS ENGINEERING BLOCKS for ages 3 to 6. This box of colorful, multi-size and multi-shape blocks, screws, nuts, plates, wheels, and connectors keeps kids engrossed for hours. Kids can build 12 different toy designs while developing their motor skills, eye-hand coordination, logical thinking, and problem-solving skills. PRIME CLIMB for ages 10+. Learning to add, subtract, divide, and multiply is a breeze with this award-winning mathematics board game. GOOBI CONSTRUCTION SET for ages 3+. Kids learn about magnetism while constructing 3D structures out of colorful plastic bars, iron balls, and tripods. Children will develop a sense of proportion while improving eyehand coordination, problem-solving skills, and learning the basics of physics, geometry, and architecture. GREEN KID CRAFTS, RAINFOREST DISCOVERY SCIENCE BOX for ages 3 to 10. This kit embraces kids' creativity while providing them scientific exploration. Kids can conduct a rainforest pollution experiment, create a rainstick, and build a rainforest terrarium, among other activities.


Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

Adding Art to The STEM By Bridgette Waldau A growing number of schools are now incorporating teaching methods that are more in line with STEAM education, as it has become clear that arts education makes learning more fun and keeps children more engaged. Incorporating the A in STEAM—art—brings in personal expression, empathy, meaning-making and the purpose of what you’re learning. The STEAM movement is not an attempt to take away from STEM or its subject areas, but instead, the idea is to enhance the framework by invoking a greater sense of creativity. In addition, one of the objectives behind this movement is to entice students who might not otherwise consider a STEM job to do just that -- by adding a focus on the arts and integrating all five disciplines in a creative way. It makes kids more well-rounded and opens them up to a vast number of new opportunities. The idea is to teach kids that they don’t have to be only analytical or only creative -- they can be both. To be successful both now and down the road, one must be both an analytical thinker and a creative thinker. STEAM shows kids they don’t have to pick one side of their brain over the other, but they can use both to solve almost any problem they face.

10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 87

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2751 US 27 South - Avon Park, FL 33825 88

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10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021

Marketing Ideas Need A Good Design!


e a State Colleg South Florid

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Celebrating 50

gratitude, With humble el, Ph.D. Thomas C. Leitz President

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Flyers | Post Cards Magazines | Catalogs Brochures | Publications

Please w s Gro Help U

Name: ________________________________ Address: ________________________________ ________________________________ ______________________________

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t Phuke ________________________________ spital n HoEmail: _______________________________ Missio Our Gift Of Love At This Time Is: _________________ How would you like your name to appear on the “Giving Tree”? __________________________ __________________________



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2020 Annual Report Heart & Vascular Center AdventHealth Sebring

Eighteen East

... a restaurant and bar!

Best Steaks Around American (Traditional) Sandwiches Steaks - Seafood Full Top Shelf Liquor Beer and Wine Entertainment “Call for Live Music”

We’re Just a BIG Time in a Small Town!

863.453.1818 Open Tuesday - Saturday 4 pm - 9 pm

18 East Main Street Avon Park, FL Facebook/ Eighteen East … a restaurant and bar

Wedding Photography, Destination Elopement Photography & Videography www.photosbyrissaandbrooke.com 10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 91

Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Celebrates

By Bridgette Waldau Photos provided by the Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County


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n June 11, 2021, the Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County celebrated their 10th Anniversary. The well attended event was held at the Chamber Building at 55 South Parrott Avenue. The celebration included a ribbon cutting, video presentation and light refreshments. Mariah Parriott was also honored for her dedicated 10 years as office manager with the Chamber. The Chamber also celebrated the 10 year Anniversary with a lobby face lift. The remake includes new brochure racks, seating area and framed photography by local photographers. After a brief hiatus, the Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County reassembled and reestablished itself in January 2011. The Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County was launched because of the hard work and efforts of Okeechobee Main Street's Economic Restructuring Committee. The successful launch of the organization would not have been possible without the collaboration and financial support of Okeechobee County and the City of Okeechobee. Business leaders throughout the community and partner organizations such as the Economic Council of Okeechobee were also instrumental in helping get this effort off to a great start.

(L-R) Taylor Fulford, Miss Okeechobee County USA; Mariah Parriott, Chamber office manager and Jalyn Lightsey, Miss Teen Okeechobee

Volunteers Jeff Jones and Jerry Jones designed and created the new seating area and brochure racks. Aaron Parriott with daughter Mariah Parriott, framed the photography. Photographers represented are Paulette Wise, Sharon Cannon Jones and Sharie Turgeon.


JD Mixon was the first president of the then newly formed Chamber. A charter member, Mixon remembers getting started and he takes pride in being a part of the new Chamber that is now ten years old. He recalls the hard work it took to get the Chamber started up again. JD and others put in a lot of long volunteer hours to find ways to move the new chamber forward. They faced several unique challenges such as communicating to local businesses that they were different while at the same time assuring that they would maintain the same positive aspects of the former chamber.

JD Mixon and Okeechobee County Commissioner Chairman Terry Burroughs

The primary goal of the Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County is to strengthen and build on their history and tradition in tourism and agriculture while working to diversify the base of industries and encourage the creation of additional high wage job opportunities. Okeechobee has become home to several manufacturing firms fabricating products ranging from specialty construction components and marine industry products to telecommunications equipment. Businesses seeking to relocate or expand in Florida will find a great home in Okeechobee.

We are the welcome center, the face and the heart of our community. -Paulette Wise, Executive Director Mariah Parriott, Chamber's Office Manager; Sharon Turgeon, Tourism Coordinator for Okeechobee County TDC and Paulette Wise, Chamber's Executive Director


Former Chamber President Terry Burroughs, now Okeechobee County Commissioner Chairman said, “We are committed to making Okeechobee a better place to live, where people want to stay and work in a vital and growing economic climate.” Current President of the Chamber Tabitha Trent states, “The Chamber is here to showcase what makes Okeechobee unique from all the surrounding communities. Our Chamber board and staff work tirelessly to bring a competitive advantage to Chamber members in their growth through our programming, special events, small business seminars and networking opportunities”.

For more information about the Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County visit their website at www.okeechobeebusiness.com or call the office 863-467-6246.

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Summer Brunch

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As Summer winds down, it is not too late to enjoy Summer Brunches. These recipes are delicious light meals with fresh garden ingredients that also pair well with a cold & sparkling mimosa.

CRANBERRY MIMOSA The cranberry mimosa is tart and bubbly with a vibrant red color! The combo of orange and cranberry makes an ideal brunch drink. The mimosa is a simple and classic combination of two ingredients: orange juice and champagne. The mimosa is actually on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails, meaning there’s an “official” definition. The cranberry mimosa is a spin on the standard that adds tart red juice into the mix. Here’s what you’ll need for this easy drink:


Cranberry juice: Use unsweetened for the best results, or sweetened if you like sweet drinks Orange juice: Florida fresh squeezed is recommended Sparkling wine: Champagne or your favorite sparkling wine


GERMAN PUFF PANCAKES Ingredients 6 eggs 1 cup milk 1 cup flour 1 dash salt 1 tsp vanilla 4 Tbs butter


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. As oven preheats, place the butter in 9x13'' baking dish and put in oven for the butter to melt. Place the eggs, milk, flour, salt and vanilla in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Pour batter into the baking dish with the melted butter. Bake, for 20 minutes or until golden brown and puffy. Remove from oven and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Serve with whipping cream, fresh fruit and syrup if desired.

How To Make German Pancakes There are a few tips for making these pancakes that will help your pancakes be light and super puffy. If you follow these tips for how to make German pancakes, it should help you get the best results possible. The pan needs to be hot before putting your batter into it. So don’t skip the part where you melt the butter in the pan in the oven. Don’t melt the butter in the microwave, which may seem easier. The hot pan helps the pancakes begin to puff immediately. Preheat the oven with the butter in the pan so it can melt as the oven and the pan warm up. Then pour the batter directly into the hot pan.

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Summer Chipotle Chicken Cobb Salad With Cilantro Vinaigrette This juicy salad tastes like summer! With chipotle chicken, sweet corn, avocado, cilantro vinaigrette, bacon crumbles, and fresh strawberries for a pop of sweetness.

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For the Chipotle Chicken: 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 chipotle chiles in adobo, finely chopped 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon oregano 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt (I added this – not in original recipe) 3–4 chicken breasts or thighs For the Summer Cobb Salad: 3–4 cups greens 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled 8–10 strawberries, quartered 2 ears corn on the cob, kernels removed 1–2 ripe avocados, sliced salt and pepper store bought cilantro vinaigrette


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