Palms West Journal- June 2022

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Palms West Journal • June 2022 • Page 1


Lion Country Safari is one of the leading conservationists of white rhinos. PAGE 11

FREE • June 2022

Keiser University buys equestrian estate in Loxahatchee Groves

Women in Leadership Awards Luncheon raises $50,000 The 38th annual Women in Leadership Awards Luncheon was hosted April 21 by the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches Foundation (EWPBF) at the Kravis Center-Cohen Pavilion

Palm Beach Atlantic awards scholarships

Palm Beach Atlantic University PAGE 4 has awarded four of its seniors

Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge connects people to the Everglades

Covering more than 145,000 acres, the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is home to hundreds of species of birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects and mammals.


Kravis on Broadway celebrates 30th anniversary with 7 musicals The Kravis on Broadway series is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2022-23 with seven musicals at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach.


Photo by Keiser University

Equestrian estate purchased by Keiser University.

By Linda Beaulieu Palms West Journal

The Keiser University equestrian program recently purchasing an equestrian estate in Loxahatchee Groves. Only 13 miles from Keiser’s West Palm Beach campus, the property provides a wide range of benefits to the university, its students and the community. The 9-acre, gated estate consists of two riding arenas, nine paddocks and two large barns. It is the first university-owned equestrian facility in Florida, providing Keiser with a state-of-the-art center for equine studies in biomedical science and business administration. “Equine studies is a very specialized field, and we’re very pleased to be able to provide this facility to our stu-

dents pursuing business and biomedical science degrees,” said Arthur Keiser, the university’s chancellor. “The equestrian center will add to Keiser University’s positive footprint in Palm Beach County and offer our equine students a dedicated and unique learning facility close to our flagship campus.” Keiser’s bachelor of science degree in biomedical science equine studies serves as a preliminary program that leads to veterinary studies while allowing students to focus on the equine industry. The equestrian estate provides a permanent location for courses that include riding time and hands-on experience. Students are taught advanced horse care, basic riding skills, jumping techniques and management. For those seeking a

bachelor of arts degree in business administration through the equine studies program, the new equestrian center offers an up-close understanding of the business side of the industry. Students learn ethical business practices, barn management, operation of boarding facilities and the technology needed for a large-scale facility. A core mission of Keiser University, an independent, nonprofit university with 21 campuses across Florida, is to teach students to be career-minded and while developing the skills required to become professional technicians and clinicians. The university’s equestrian team, the Seahawks, will use the estate as a home base. As a member of the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association,

Keiser will host competitions at the estate. The Keiser equestrian team began participating in competitions in 2019, and six riders qualified for the IHSA Regionals in the last season. Like most universities, the team rented space on a farm. With the new equine studies center and team headquarters, the Seahawks expect new interest and continued growth. Palms West has a long history of equine excellence, which is a cultural and economic benefit to the community. During polo and equestrian season, the area has the highest concentration of sport horses in the world, and the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington is the longest-running equine competition in the country.

“The equestrian center will add to Keiser University’s positive footprint in Palm Beach County and offer our equine students a dedicated and unique learning facility close to our flagship campus.” -Arthur Keiser, Keiser University chancellor

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‘Kindness is contagious’ at the Kind Kitchen

Volunteers loading up meals to go deliver to the community.

Mia Petruccelli Palms West Journal

The Kind Kitchen is a nonprofit organization specializing in cooking and delivering free meals to those in need. The director of the Kind Kitchen, Chani Ezagui, has watched the organization blossom into a necessary service for the community since it was established in 1987. “About 10 years ago we were serving 100 meals a month… Right now we’re at 2,100 meals a month,” Ezagui said. The Kind Kitchen offers assistance to anyone in the community who is having a hard time obtaining fresh meals. Examples include a

person grieving, a person helping a loved one through any type of treatment, someone recovering from illness or surgery, a family member of someone in the hospital, a veteran, a new mother, a single mom struggling to make ends meet, the elderly, the homebound, a Holocaust survivor — truly anyone struggling to gather the next meal. Ezagui said that the Kind Kitchen does not deny anyone. “Some people are spending the whole week in the hospital because, let’s say, there’s someone that is going through chemo,” Ezagui said. “One day they go for chemo. The next day their blood count is down. The

Photo by Kind Kitchen

next day they need infusions. They have spent several days away from home. So, when they finally come home, they find a freshly cooked meal.” One of the Kind Kitchen’s recipients is the family of a young boy who is fighting cancer. He was 2 when he was diagnosed. The mother, Amber Nagele, said her motivation to cook was low when she was putting all her energy into supporting her son in his battle against cancer. “It’s been very amazing to receive meals just to take off some of the pressure of the week by making sure my family is fed,” Nagele said. The Kind Kitchen relies on volunteers to prep, package and deliver fresh meals. The

menus change weekly and use top-of-the-line meats, vegetables, poultry and fish. The food is packaged in signature containers, complete with an uplifting note from the meal preparers. One recent menu included fish, freshly baked muffins, grilled chicken, salad, fresh vegetables, dressing, greens, baked sweet potatoes, fresh fruit and bread. The meals are delivered once a week to the doors of those in need. The food usually lasts three to four days. Ezagui said many of the kitchen’s volunteers are past meal recipients. “Some of them are in remission. Some of the people are still going through

chemo, but they want to be part of it,” Ezagui said. “We have people that lost a loved one, and, after many years, they’re alone. They’re here, and they made new friends. This work can be therapeutic on many levels. It’s an unbelievable thing.” The Kind Kitchen plans to expand to make enough meals to last recipients a full week. The 2022 goal is to feed 25,000 people. To back this campaign, supporters can donate to the Kind Kitchen in honor of a loved one. The money will go toward the expansion of the kitchen and new appliances, among other uses. Ezagui’s goals include providing more meals for current recipients and reaching more people who need assistance. She said she is proud of the relationships she has nurtured through the organization. “The more people that know about us, the more people we help,” Ezagui said. “Kindness is contagious.”

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Women in Leadership Awards Luncheon raises $50,000

Photos by Tracey Benson Photography

From left to right: Denise Mariani (WILA Co-Chair), Amy Brand (EWPBF President), Denise Valz (WILA Co-Chair) and Keely Gideon-Taylor (WILA Co-Chair). By Mia Petruccelli Palms West Journal

The 38th annual Women in Leadership Awards (WILA) Luncheon, hosted April 21 by the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches Foundation (EWPBF) at the Kravis Center-Cohen Pavilion, raised $50,000 to support scholarships for young women and provide grants to nonprofit organizations that benefit women and girls in Palm Beach County. Amy “Emiko” Hever, the director of the Major League Baseball Players Trust, was the keynote speaker. “Thank you to everyone who

attended and supported the soldout 38th annual WILA Luncheon,” said Amy Brand, the president of EWPBF. “It was a truly inspiring afternoon as we celebrated the 2022 WILA honorees, who are not only leaders in their field, but also leaders in our community.” EWPBF was founded in 1982 by professional and executive women in Palm Beach County to support and advance women in business and in community leadership. The vision of the foundation is to “be the voice that inspires integrity, equality and leadership in the workplace and our community.”

Since 1983, WILA has raised over $880,000. The Cynthia Allen Gracey WILA awards went to five women who demonstrated tremendous achievements and leadership in the community: nonprofit sector, Jessica Cecere, chief executive officer of Nonprofits First; private sector, Virginia M. Spencer, general manager of Illustrated Properties; public sector, Melissa McKinlay, Palm Beach County commissioner; volunteer sector, Julie H. Littky-Rubin, board-certified appellate attorney and partner at Clark Fountain; and emerging leader, Trina Holmsted, marketing director of Palm Beach Outlets. During the luncheon, the President’s Award went to Bank of America, Palm Beach County. This award honors organizations

Amy Emiko Hever and Jo-Ann Clynch

that supports female talent and help promote the further achievement of women in the community. Stephanie Glavin, Bank of America’s senior vice president market executive Palm Beach County, was at the event to accept the award. The foundation promotes and hosts events for professional and executive women to network, collaborate, coach, mentor and support other female leaders in the community. Additionally, membership in EWBPF allows nonprofit organizations to consult experts about development. EWPBF has awarded over 200 scholarships to young women and 17 grants to local nonprofit programs.

Dorothy Jacks and PBC Commissioner Melissa McKinlay

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Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge connects people to the Everglades By Linda Beaulieu Palms West Journal

The Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge offers an abundance of opportunities for recreational and educational experiences. The refuge protects endangered and threatened wildlife and is a key water conservation location for South Florida. The main entrance is at 10216 Lee Road in Boynton Beach. The grounds, which include a boat ramp and trails, are open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. U.S. military families, veterans and people with disabilities receive free admission. Visitors arriving on foot, by bicycle or on horseback also are admitted free. Covering more than 145,000 acres of the Everglades, the refuge is home to hundreds of species of birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects and mammals. The mix includes 40 butterfly species, as well as tropical songbirds and migratory waterfowl. The refuge provides something for everyone from hunters and wildlife photographs to hikers and families looking for a day out in nature.

Naturalists provide guided walks around the refuge. In June, the Cypress Swamp Boardwalk Tour will be on Sundays starting at 1 p.m. An online schedule lists events. For those seeking an adventure on the water, Loxahatchee Adventures rents kayaks and canoes. The Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge’s mission is to “serve as an outstanding showcase for ecosystem management that restores, protects and enhances a portion of the unique northern Everglades biological community. This public asset provides for the enjoyment and enhanced quality of life for present and future generations.” The Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is one of the nation’s oldest nature preserves. It was designated in 1951 Rental hut at the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge. with a 50-year agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state of Florida. The refuge was renamed in 1986 in honor of Arthur Raymond Marshall, a former USFWS employee and conservationist. Land was added in 2018 to protect what’s left of the largest cypress swamp in Gravel path at the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge the area.


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Page 6 • Palms West Journal • June 2022

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GoWellington mobile app available Wellington Garden Club awards for residents and visitors scholarships to 4 students

By Linda Beaulieu Palms West Journal

The village of Wellington has launched an interactive mobile app to make information and services readily available on a digital platform. Developed for ease of accessibility for residents and visitors, GoWellington connects users to real-time services. For residents, this means the village website, parks and recreation, and information about infrastructure and services are in one place. You can manage and pay utilities, receive local news, access the community calendar, and sign up for reminders by email or text about garbage pickup and recycling. Creating a user account in the app ensures the best user experience. Visitors who use the app can access local weather, announcements, recreational opportunities, golf cart information and tourist attractions. GoWellington is an accurate and easy way to discover your next meal or entertainment on the go. “This app will be an invaluable tool for our community, serving as both a source of quick reference and a way to ‘see something, say something,’” Village Manager Jim Barnes said. “It

will not only expedite response to problems around the village, but also encourage more people to reach out when they see something that needs attention.” Available for download in the Apple and Google Play stores, GoWellington also provides access to Wellington TV for live streaming of council meetings and other local news and events. Reporting issues is as easy as the touch of the button, whether it is a pothole, a damaged sign or another community issue. Requests for action can include specific information and images for further clarification and generate unique tracking numbers, so it is easy to follow the status of the response. App users can view nearby requests to see whether others have reported the same issue or to be aware of other issues. Requests can be tagged to a specific location and department, so they can be handled in a timely and efficient manner. GoWellington app users are encouraged to send feedback about their experience to help the village administration provide personalized and timely customer service and improve the accessibility and responsiveness of the village departments.

Photo by Wellington Garden Club

From left to right, Maria Wolfe-President of WGC, Rida Talukdar, John Siena-WGC Scholarship Chair, Carson Miles, Kathy Schneider- WGC Scholarship member. By Mia Petrucelli Palms West Journal

The Wellington Garden Club awarded four $1,000 scholarships to local students at its annual Spring Luncheon on May 2. The Wellington Garden Club, founded in 1981, is a nonprofit organization committed to educating the community in specialties like gardening, horticulture, floral design and landscape design. The organization hopes to instill the love of gardening and the respect and protection of the environment. The Wellington Garden Club holds fundraising events throughout the year, such as private garden tours,

member meetings and Earth Day events. Through these events the club can provide opportunities for promising young men and women to further their education in horticulture, environmental sciences and other related courses. The four recipients of this year’s scholarships are Maria Medina, set to attend Palm Beach State College; Rida Talukdar, currently studying environmental science at Palm Beach State College; Carson Miles, set to attend Palm Beach State College; and Seth Rhodes, set to attend the University of North Florida. For more information about the Wellington Garden Club, visit


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Palms West Journal • June 2022 • Page 7


Kravis on Broadway celebrates 30th anniversary with 7 musicals By Mel Page Palms West Journal

The Kravis on Broadway series is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2022-23 with seven musicals at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach. The hit musicals coming to the Kravis Center are Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5 the Musical,” Disney’s “Aladdin,” 2019 Tony Award recipient for best musical “Hadestown,” comedic “Tootsie,” “Pretty Woman: The Musical,” “Wicked” and 2019 Tony winner “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.”

Kravis on Broadway will begin Nov. 15 with “9 to 5 the Musical.” The musical is based on the movie by screenwriter Patricia Resnick, and the score, which was nominated for an Oscar, Grammy and Tony, is from the country music legend herself, Dolly Parton. The show is about three women working at

Consolidated Industries who, after repeated unfair treatment from their sexist boss, Franklin Hart Jr., kidnap him. The tale is told in a comedic, lighthearted tone. The show runs through Nov. 20.

“Aladdin” will play from Dec. 14 to 23. Based on the 1992 animated film, “Aladdin” is a magical story of a street urchin in Agrabah who, upon meeting Princess Jasmine, disguised as a commoner, immediately falls for her. Aladdin, Jasmine and Genie take on Jafar and his assistant Iago — a parrot in the movie, a human in the musical — to stop the villains from overthrowing Jasmine’s kingdom. “Hadestown” will play from Jan. 3 to 8, 2023. Winner of eight Tonys in 2019, “Hadestown” tells the love story between Eurydice and Orpheus, as well as the turbulent, tragic relationship between Persephone and Hades.

Front of the Kavis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach.

“Tootsie,” based on the 1982 film comedy, will play Feb. 7 to 12. “Tootsie” is about struggling actor Michael Dorsey, who, after failing to get a job, takes on female alter ego Dorothy Michaels and secures a job with the same people who turned Michael down. “Tootsie” scored nine nominations and two wins at the 2019 Tony Awards. “Pretty Woman: The Musical,” playing from March 7 to 12, is a classic romance about Vivian Ward, a Hollywood prostitute who is hired as an escort by the wealthy Edward Lewis. The show is brought to life by director Jerry Mitchell and


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Theater and nontheater fans alike will recognize “Wicked” for its beautiful score and huge impact. A prequel to “The Wizard of Oz,” “Wicked” will play March 29 to April 9. It is the story of Elphaba, a young woman born with green skin and a natural inclina-

Photo by the Kavis Center

tion for sorcery. “Wicked” twists expectations over who the villain truly is. The final musical of the Kravis on Broadway season is “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations,” playing April 26 to 30. “Ain’t Too Proud” is a jukebox musical based on the true story of The Temptations, who began in Detroit during politically divisive times in 1960 and eventually made it to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Tickets are still available for the final show of the 2021-22 Kravis on Broadway season: “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” playing May 20 to 26.

Page 8 • Palms West Journal • June 2022

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Brightline to replace Loxahatchee River bridge the bridge will allow larger vessels to pass through even when the drawbridge isn’t open. Brightline is building the bridge in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Jupiter Inlet, the Florida East Coast Railway and various municipalities. The company provides updates on the project through its website, Twitter and a text alert system, which you can join by texting “LOX” to 888-384-0037. Brightline’s overall expansion into Orlando is Old Loxahatchee River bridge being replaced by Brightline Palms West Journal

Brightline is installing a new, two-track railroad drawbridge over the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter, replacing a 583-foot-long, one-track bridge from the 1920s. The drawbridge represents an important connection between South Florida and Central Florida. The bridge is one of two movable bridges in Brightline’s $2.6 billion Orlando expansion, which

Photo by Brightline

began in 2019. Brightline also is replacing the bridge’s electrical system and operating machinery. “Considerable work was required on the nearly 100-year-old structure to prepare it for highspeed passenger rail,” said Michael Cegelis, the executive vice president of rail infrastructure and development at Brightline. “This new structure is another important example of the significant investment Brightline is making to

improve Florida’s transportation infrastructure.” The ultimate goal of the bridge project is to improve reliability and efficiency. The project has inconvenienced boaters by temporarily closing the river to marine traffic. Through May 31, the bridge will be closed except for two periods a day to allow boat traffic. When the project is complete, a navigation span on the south end of


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expected to be completed by late this year. Brightline markets itself as the only “eco-friendly intercity rail” in the United States. It also is the first private passenger rail system to launch in the country in 100 years. In 2020, Brightline was recognized by Fast Company as one of the most innovative companies in the travel sector. The company has train stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

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The iconic yellow Brightline train.

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Palms West Journal • June 2022 • Page 9

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3 African crested porcupettes join Palm Beach Zoo family

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The Palm Beach Zoo got a spiky surprise when new resident Cleo, an African crested porcupine who moved from San Diego in May 2021, gave birth to three baby porcupines, or porcupettes, in February. Cleo arrived from San Diego Wildlife Alliance (formerly the San Diego Zoo) as a potential mate for longtime male resident Priscilla. The Species Survival Plan for African crested porcupines is led by a group of Association of Zoos and Aquariums professionals and population scientists who track and match genetics for

animals in managed care. The team found the two porcupines to be a genetic match, and, after a few months, evidence indicated that they were also a love match. “The plan for all our zoo animals is to provide them with their appropriate social groupings, so we are thrilled Pricilla and Cleo are living a happy porcupine life,” Palm Beach Zoo President and CEO Margo McKnight said. The three babies are healthy. Two spend time with their mom and dad in their private night house. The third porcupette was born significantly smaller than the others and was showing signs of being

Photo by Cinoby

antagonized by its siblings for being the runt of the litter, a common situation in the wild. The care team is hand-raising the third porcupette until it can be reintroduced to its family. Crested porcupines live in pairs and often stay together for life. They can live about 20 years and usually have a litter every year or so. Cleo is an experienced mother who has cared for multiple litters. Priscilla is a first-time dad. General curator Mike Terrell said: “He is settling into the role well. He is curious, excited and slightly overwhelmed. In other words, Priscilla is having a normal first-time dad reaction!”

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Palms West Journal • June 2022 • Page 11


38th rhino born at Lion Country Safari helps conserve species By Mel Page Palms West Journal

Josh the white rhino is the 38th rhinoceros born at Lion Country Safari and the second of 2021. The safari has grown its white rhino population to 15, including Josh, born in November, and his 22-year-old mother, Bloom. The safari park has been a key player in the worldwide effort to conserve the white rhinoceros. Rhinos are generally born between 88 and 132 pounds and gain approximately 1,000 pounds in the first three years of life. Josh and his mother live in the maternity area of the park, which can be seen by drive-through guests. Josh is particularly special because his family line is underrepresented. Genetic diversity is important in captive breeding. White rhinoceroses are the most abundant of the remaining rhinos,

Aziza was the first rhino born at Lion Country Safari in 2021.

although their numbers are still small. Since the 1970s, the white rhino population has risen from fewer than 1,000 to approximately 20,000, largely because of conservation efforts in captivity and the wild.

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Photo by Lion Country Safari

Among the other kinds of rhinos, black, Javan and Sumatran rhinoceroses are classified as critically endangered, while the Indian rhinoceros, once critically endangered, is now considered vulnerable.



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In the beginning of the 20th century, the total of all rhinoceroses was 500,000. Now fewer than 100 Sumatran and Javan rhinoceroses remain. Many zoos have transformed from places to view wild animals to places to save them. Each classification of rhinoceros has a captivity program to keep the species alive. Open since 1967, Lion Country Safari is a participant in the White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan, part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The SSP keeps the white rhino population steady. Lion Country Safari offers a cagefree, drive-through safari and an elaborate walk-through park spanning 320 acres in West Palm Beach. Lion Country Safari focuses on sustainability efforts and the conservation and breeding of threatened species like rhinoceroses.

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