Tag Archives: City of Orlando

Happy Thanksgiving from Central Florida Top 5! Why are you thankful?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We are thankful to you, dear reader, for your continued support! This year has been a tough one for each of us at Central Florida Top 5, for a multitude of reasons. It goes without saying that 2016 has been very tough for our friends and neighbors in Orlando. However, we still have much for which to be thankful in (cheerful) spite of it all.

I asked our Top 5 Team, regardless of how they felt about the holiday itself, why they were thankful and for what. I also asked the team to share a Local/Holiday #ProTip, or a unique way that we in Central Florida spend the holidays; fun things that maybe those outside of Central Florida may not have heard of or have the opportunity to do in their areas.

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Here’s what they wanted to share with all of you;

 

Jen Lee BioAuthor and Top 5 Lake County Contributor, Jennifer Lee:

This year I am thankful for my health. I had my thyroid removed, I’m cancer-free, and doing well on medication, thanks to the online pharmacyhttps://www.ukmeds.co.uk/ which provides me with it. I’m also thankful to LEASH, Inc for the work they do to save pets in Lake County and for bringing our three new cats into our lives.

We’re not doing it this year, but a very Central Florida way to spend Thanksgiving is to enjoy the buffet at the Swan and Dolphin, then walk it off around Disney’s Boardwalk.

Holiday #ProTip: Take part in Small Business Saturday in Downtown Mount Dora! Lots of great shops, including an indie bookstore. Get a jump start on your Christmas shopping, then stay for Light Up Mount Dora!

 

 

Joe Thoma

 

CEO of Awareness Campaign and Top 5 Charitable/Arts Contributor, Joe Thoma:

I am most thankful for friends, family and colleagues.
* My true friendships in 2016 have transcended the strife and tumult of mere world, national and local problems, issues and politics.
* Family is more of a blessing each year. Partly because we all appreciate the precious gift of time with each other. (And partly because we’ve all gotten too old to start or maintain feuds!)
* Colleagues: I have connected with great new team members all over the world. My longtime teammates have strengthened our working ties and built on our combined strengths to do good work, have good fun and make good money.

Florida is blessed with a lot of casual attitudes. So Thanksgiving in Central Florida offers the opportunity to cherry pick the best traditions and dump the tedious parts. We’re such a diverse lot — Don’t like turkey? Do like many Italian families Up North and have lasagna, bracciole and even some pizza. Or go Puerto Rican with Pavochon, Mofongo stuffing and Arroz con Gandules. Or, like me, go out for a steak. If tragedy strikes, you can be sure to count on an experienced Nightclub Shooting Attorney in Clearwater

Holiday #ProTip: Great time to enjoy some lightly attended days at the theme parks before the Christmas rush. Google “disney world crowd calendar 2016” without the quotation marks.

 

Top 5 Contributors Carolyn Capern and Greg Trujillo (CT Social)

Top 5 Contributors Carolyn Capern and Greg Trujillo of CT Social

Digital storyteller at , Top 5 Web Team & Contributor, Carolyn Capern:

This Thanksgiving 2016, I am thankful for a healthy year and a year spent largely on projects that felt like they mattered. I’m thankful for the city leaders that are still working hard on issues like homelessness and making Orlando more green.

Spending Thanksgiving in Central Florida is the ideal time to get outside for a walk. Find a trail or a park or just head to a walkable downtown area like Lake Eola.

Holiday #ProTip: Don’t miss the Festival of Trees at Orlando Museum of Art! And after your Thanksgiving feasting, get in the festive mood by checking out the Orlando Philharmonic’s ‘Home For The Holidays’ concert this Saturday.

 

 

David B 1

 

Pro MLS Supporter and Top 5 Orlando City Soccer Club Contributor, David Blair:

Thanksgiving weekend is a good time for the family. I am thankful for my family. My beautiful wife and healthy little girl.

 

Local & Holiday #ProTip: If you have never been to the Old Spanish Sugar Mill and Griddle House in DeLeon Springs, go! They’re open Monday – Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm, and Saturday, Sunday, & Holidays from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Check out their website at: http://www.oldspanishsugarmill.com/.

 

 

 

Kari KleinCo-Host of Nerd Flix & Chill podcast and Top 5 Foodie Contributor, Kari Klein:

This year I’m thankful for friends who are more like family and a newfound ability to un-apologetically say ‘no’ as well as ‘yes’ – (see below)

I am celebrating Thanksgiving this year by getting a tattoo – no it’s not themed to the holiday and the date wasn’t planned, but when it’s a difficult place to get into and there’s an opening, you take it….or at least I did. It’s what the pilgrims would have wanted.  

Holiday #ProTip – Be patient and allow for extra time if traveling. Don’t let a few minutes of frustration (or more if you’re on I-4) ruin your whole day.

 

 

Allen Paschel

Central Florida Top 5’s Business and Tech Writer, Allen Paschel:

I am most thankful for scientists, engineers, and dreamers that brought us new technology in 2016.

A great, different way to celebrate Thanksgiving in Central Florida is to enjoy many of the great local restaurants that will be open for travelers visiting the area. If you haven’t bought your turkey or you’ve chickened out. Use Open Table to book a reservation!

Holiday #ProTip: his will be the first weekend with 300 DRONES flying over Disney Springs for an amazing light show called “Starbright Holidays – An Intel Collaboration.” They’ll have nightly shows from now until January 8 at 7pm and 8:30pm. Check them out!

 

John DiDonnaCreator/Director of Phantasmagoria Orlando and Top 5 Arts Contributor, John DiDonna:

“Thankful for a community that can come together in times of fear and duress, thankful for families to support and love. Thankful that through personal and community tragedies that people are people – capable of so much love in the face of so much of the opposite.

Thankful for our community leaders like Buddy Dyer and Patty Sheehan who show us what commitment is – not just to budgets and planning – but to the hearts of all in Central Florida.”

 

 

 

Chris Collins

Filmmaker and Top 5 Guest Contributor, Christopher Collins:

“I am thankful to be alive. A year ago, I was in a car accident that could have ended my life. Obviously I survived, but the injury to my left foot & the trauma of the accident is something that has affected me even to this day, perhaps for the rest of my life, so I have to get the best Car accident lawyers to get compensation for that.
I have also the best Court Reporters from Naegeli Nationwide.
nationwide court reporters provide the most experienced and reliable court reporting in the country. We allowed NAEGELI to free you to focus on what you do best: Litigate your case.

With the help of my family & friends, I was able to recover from that accident, and this Thanksgiving I am grateful that I am still able to spend time with the ones I love.

 

 

 

Kelly Sharkey

Owner of SeaWorldMommy.com and Top 5 Contributor, Kelly Green:

I’m thankful for today. I’m not promised anything more than that. This year has been rough… for our community, for my family in some ways… and I’m reminded how brief this life is. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be kind to strangers, to forgive wrongs, and to press on to new beginnings.

Life #ProTip: Even if you aren’t thrilled with how you’re looking this holiday season, get in pictures with your friends and family! This is the only holiday season 2016 you’ll have. Remember it. Capture it. Relive it through photos. You’ll be glad you have those moments captured.

 

 

Jay DLSCinematographer and Top 5 Pop Culture Contributor Jay De Los Santos:

This year I’m just thankful to have a steady job! Florida’s entertainment incentive is next to non-existent right now, and finding film and tv work has been challenging not to mention next to impossible. My hope is that this will all turn around in the next few years so I can work in my field. In the meantime, I plan on joining Film Florida in 2017 so I can be part of this change.

Holiday #ProTip: Can’t wait for Amazon Prime to deliver? Shop Local Pop Culture! Hit up (not so) hidden gem Gods and Monsters at Orlando’s Anti Mall, Artegon Marketplace for unique and hard to find t-shirts, figures, comics, art, and more!”

 

Rich Bio

Co-Host of Over A Beer podcast and Top 5 Contributor, Rich Belsan:

I’m of course thankful for my family, friends, and amazing girlfriend. I’m also thankful for the continued growth and support of Over a Beer.

For a #ProTip? If you’re looking for some good beer for the holiday there are great breweries in town like Hourglass Brewing.

 

Host/Producer of FilmSlam at Enzian and Top 5 Managing Editor, Jen Vargas:

For the past two years, my reason for being thankful hasn’t changed. I am most thankful for my mom’s oncologist, Dr. Kalpesh Barot and his team at Southwest Cancer Center. They are the reason my mom is still around for another Thanksgiving, and words cannot pay enough tribute to Dr. Barot and his team for all they’ve done for her. Thank you, Dr. Barot!

Holiday #ProTip: If the elections come up at the dinner table, make sure to have Adele queued up.

A unique way to spend Thanksgiving in Central Florida? There are so many! We don’t have snow but if you’d like to see it, catch Now Snowing in the Town of Celebration from now through December 31st! Or catch ICE! at Gaylord Palms featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas! I’m a lifelong Snoopy fan and cannot gush enough about this year’s Peanuts theme. Bring gloves, a hat, and a scarf though – it’s only 9 degrees in there!

 

Brian might bring his Blogger Award from Give Kids The World!

Brian and his Blogger Extraordinaire Award from Give Kids The World!

And finally, Top 5 Owner (who we all miss!) and Contributor, Brian Wilson:

This year I am most thankful for my health, my parents, my brothers, and their families. So happy I get to be close to them right now.

A unique thing to do Central Florida I’d suggest making time to get to a national park or trail or something historic or special to you and yours.

My holiday #ProTip is to make time to do something with a friend or family member this season, or make something, whether it is a card, a letter, or go to a local arts event vs buying a gift – so something vs buying something – I love candles but a coffee date with a friend can be priceless.

 

THANK YOU, TOP 5 READERS!

What you need to know about tomorrow’s #OneOrlando Town Hall

Are you interested in providing feedback about how OneOrlando funds will be distributed to Pulse victims’ survivors and their families? Attend one of two Town Hall meetings at Amway Center on Thursday, and give your feedback directly to OneOrlando Board Members and representatives.

If you can’t make it in person, City of Orlando will livestream the meetings, in both Spanish and English, on oneorlando.org/townhall.

OneOrlando Fund Town Hall

 

Two town hall meetings will be held tomorrow, Thursday, August 4, 2016 at 12:30pm and 6:30pm. (Check in is an hour before each meeting.) Amway Center parking will be available at GEICO Garage (Parking/Directions: http://www.amwaycenter.com/plan-your-visit/directions-parking). Attendees are asked to enter through pedestrian bridge on the 5th floor.

Both meetings will be conducted by Fund Administrators to explain the contents of the draft Protocol and the claim submission process and to invite input and comments from potential claimants and the general public. Information collected from these group meetings and various communications and correspondence between the claimants and other interested parties and the Fund Administrators will be considered in finalizing the Final Protocol.

Osceola County has partnered with Pegasus Transportation to offer free transportation to the Osceola/Kissimmee victims’ families and survivors, and will be departing from Osceola Heritage Park, in front of Exhibition Hall. Departure times are 10:45 am (for 12:30pm) and 4:45pm (for 6:30pm).

Parking warning: Church Street and Division will be closed to provide parking for media live trucks. Church Street will close starting at 6 a.m.

Orlando City Soccer #OrlandoUnited

Here are a few frequently asked questions from OneOrlando.org:

Who is behind the OneOrlando Fund?

Following the horrific tragedy at Pulse, there was a tremendous outpouring from the community seeking to provide financial support. In response, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced the formation of the OneOrlando Fund.

On June 30, Equality Florida (website: www.eqfl.org/), the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida (The Center’s website: www.thecenterorlando.org/) and the National Compassion Fund (website: http://nationalcompassionfund.org/) announced a partnership with the OneOrlando Fund to ensure all funds collected for victims are disbursed in a unified process that will expedite funds, ensure transparency and safeguard against fraud. Equality Florida raised $7 million largely via social media in a campaign that has set records for online philanthropy. The statewide LGBT organization partnered with the National Compassion Fund, experts in managing disbursement following mass shootings.

How are the funds being distributed?

Attorney Kenneth R. Feinberg, considered the world’s foremost expert on victim compensation, will administer the OneOrlando Fund in partnership with the National Compassion Fund, a program of the National Center for Victims of Crime, a nonprofit group that is dedicated to assisting victims in the aftermath of mass shootings.The process will be open and transparent to ensure that these decisions are made with input from victims’ families, survivors and the larger community.

How will victims’ families and survivors be able to get money from the OneOrlando Fund?

Once the final process for fund distribution is approved, victims and their families will be able to submit a claims form that will be available on this website. Based on the current draft Protocol, claim forms will be available on August 11, 2016. The deadline for submission is proposed as September 12, 2016 and payment would then begin on September 27, 2016. By the very nature of its name you will find that a payday loan’s term is going to be around two to three weeks until you are paid. Some loan companies with no real hard credit checks will look at restructuring your loan should you not be able to pay it off once you have been paid. Because payday loans are so easy to get by comparison to other lending alternatives, don’t forget why you would want to get one and the typical fees, interest rates you will have to pay. So by all means enjoy the benefit of getting a loan quickly but only ever go for the least amount you need and take into consideration the impact the payday loans now will have on your cash flow when you get paid at the end of the month. 

I’m a family member or a survivor and I need support today. How can I get help?

While OneOrlando works through this process to get funds to victims as quickly as possible, the City of Orlando and Orange County Government have partnered with Heart of Florida United Way (Call 2-1-1 or go to http://www.hfuw.org/orlandounited-community-information/) to meet the immediate needs of those impacted by the Pulse tragedy through the Orlando United Assistance Center. This center serves as a navigation point for those who need support during this critical time of healing as well as moving forward. For personalized services, appointments can be scheduled by calling 407.500.HOPE or by visiting cityoforlando.net/hope.

What is the process for distribution of funds?

The Final Distribution Protocol, which will govern the OneOrlando Fund, will be developed by the Administrators, incorporating feedback from the OneOrlando Board, Equality Florida, the National Center for Victims of Crime/National Compassion Fund, the Orlando Community and the general public, including those present at the Town Hall meetings to be held by the Administrators on August 4, 2016.

A draft protocol is on the Process and Transparency page.

The proposed timeline based on draft protocol is:

  • August 4, 2016: Two Town Hall meetings at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. conducted by the Fund Administrators in Orlando, Florida, each lasting for 90 minutes.
  • August 11, 2016: The Final Protocol and Claim Forms disseminated to all known claimants and potential claimants who registered through the Fund website. These documents will be made available on the Fund website for families and all interested parties.
  • August 11 – September 12, 2016: Claim Forms completed and submitted to the Fund Administrators along with the required documentation.
  • September 12, 2016: Deadline for submission of Claim Forms.
  • September 12 – September 25, 2016: All personal meetings requested with the Fund Administrators completed.
  • September 12 – September 26, 2016: All claims reviewed by the Fund Administrators and recommendations for payments to eligible claimants submitted to the OneOrlando Fund Board for independent review and approval.
  • September 27, 2016: Payment Distribution to approved eligible claimants begins on a rolling basis.
  • After October 15, 2016: Independent Audit begins.

Who makes up the OneOrlando Fund Board?

The OneOrlando Board, chaired by Orlando Magic President Alex Martins, was developed to provide oversight and guidance to ensure that funds are dispersed in a timely, accountable and transparent manner.

The members of the board represent the diversity of Orlando, including those in the Hispanic and LGBTQ communities. OneOrlando Board members include:

  • Rena Langley, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs & Worldwide Government and Industry Relations, Walt Disney World
  • Diane O’Dell, Vice President of Community Relations, Universal Orlando Resort
  • Stephanie Ghertner, Director, Darden Foundation & Community Affairs
  • Mark Meyer, Industry Manager, JPMorgan Chase
  • Paul F. Bryan, Chief Executive Officer, Grover Bryan, Inc.
  • Jennifer Foster, Owner and Executive Producer, Foster Productions, Inc.
  • Diana Bolivar, President, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando
  • Carlos Carbonell, Chief Executive Officer, Echo Interaction Group
  • Ken Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Phillips Inc. and The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation
  • Mark Shamley, President and Chief Executive Officer, Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals (ACCP)
  • Michael Farmer, Statewide Deputy Director of Development, Equality Florida Action, Inc.
  • Tim Vargas, Board President, GLBT Community Center of Central Florida (The Center)
  • Chris McCullion, Chief Financial Officer, City of Orlando
  • Walter G. Hawkins, Director of Urban Development, City of Orlando Downtown Development Board/Community Redevelopment Agency

Orlando, you are #TRULYLoved

It’s been a heavy month for the world, and in Orlando specifically. Our local City and County government, as well as our LGBTQ and Latinx communities have been working through their grief non-stop since the tragedy at Pulse. People here are slowly healing but still, we can’t forget. But we can make it better, all of us.

#LocalLoveOrlando Map (Pulse Edition) by Macbeth Studio

#LocalLoveOrlando Map (Pulse Edition) by Macbeth Studio

As a citizen and resident, I knew I wanted to do something. More than just saying ‘thank you,’ more than just a friendly tweet of encouragement. Smiles were the first thing that came to mind. They’re free, and anyone can inspire one, anywhere and at any time.

Many individuals and Orlando agencies have had to work through their grief, non-stop, over the past month including; City of Orlando and Mayor Buddy Dyer‘s office and communications teams, City of Orlando District 4 Commissioner Patty Sheehan, Orange County and Mayor Teresa Jacobs‘ office and communications teams, Orlando Police Department and Chief John Mina, Orlando Fire Department and Chief Williams, The Center, Orlando’s LGBT Community Center of Central Florida, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Metro Orlando.

So… what’s the plan?

First things first – the smiles. I don’t know about you, but when I see one of Truly Nolen’s Volkswagen Bugs driving down the road, I immediately smile. From the ears on the roof to the tail on the back, I could be sitting in the worst traffic ever, see that mouse car, and smile. Did you know that Truly Nolen also has a Mouse Limo? It’s true! If seeing a huge, yellow Mouse Limo roll down the road doesn’t make you smile, I’m not sure what else will.

Truly Nolen Limo Side

Another thing that makes me smile? CUPCAKES. Win! Little cups of cake and icing, and enough joy to fit in the palm of your hand. Who doesn’t love a good cupcake? Even when they’re bad, they’re good. (Note: I have never had a bad cupcake, even ones I’ve baked myself. And I don’t cook.) 

So… I decided to combine the two, and thanks to Truly Nolen and Sprinkles Disney Springs, tomorrow’s JOYride will be a little sweeter!

How did I come to cupcakes and Mouse Limos?

At last month’s Mascot Games at the Amway Center, Jack Martin, who drives Truly Nolen’s Southeast U.S. Mouse Limo all over the country, offered to take me for a ride in the limo – and of course I said yes! After the attack on Pulse happened on June 12th, I knew I wanted to do more than just take a joyride around town in an unusual, but really cool limo.

Wait. JOY… ride. JOYride!! Makes PERFECT sense. 

Luckily Truly Nolen is as active in their communities (all over the United States) as Central Florida Top 5 and I are here in Orlando. In fact, we’ve teamed up a few times before. We received a not-as-scary-as-it-sounds bug education at Truly Nolen University and they also introduced us to a young quilting expert named Faith-Christina Duncan and her friends at the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida.

After brainstorming with Truly Nolen’s Community Events, Social Media, and PR Manager, Toby Srebnik, we came up with a plan. Why not share smiles with everyone in Orlando (including those on the road) on our Mouse Limo JOYride through Orlando?

Next, I needed to locate cupcakes… dozens of delicious, colorful cupcakes. The first company that came to mind, who was equally as community-minded, was Sprinkles Bakery.  Sure, they have an amazing new Cupcake ATM at Disney Springs, but could they fill a very tall order of 5 dozen cupcakes? A quick call to Sprinkles Los Angeles and Sprinkles Disney Springs sealed the deal! The answer was an immediate YES!

The answer is always YES to cupcakes. Especially Sprinkles cupcakes!

The answer is always YES to cupcakes. Especially Sprinkles cupcakes!

[To learn more about them, read our 5 Things You Never Knew About Sprinkles Bakery post!]

So, tomorrow, I will be hand delivering smiles and Sprinkles cupcakes, via Truly Nolen’s Mouse Limo (the Official JOYride Vehicle!) to – just a few – of the people who have tirelessly kept our Orlando community safe and loved; City of Orlando, Orange County, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and The LGBT Center of Central Florida!

Does all of this sound goofy or sweet? I’m okay with either. As long as smiles are smiled tomorrow, it’s a good day. We’ll have to play it by… ear. (Ha! Mouse… Ear.)

I will also make a small delivery of wheelchair afghans and cuddly stuffed frogs for an out-of-state friend to Give Kids the World at some point on Wednesday! Please, I-4, be kind to us!

You can follow my Orlando JOYride on Google Maps! I will also post a link tomorrow beginning at 1pm from the app Glympse, so you can follow our JOYride in REAL TIME, and maybe catch a glimpse of Truly Nolen’s Mouse Limo. (More puns! Okay, I’ll stop.)

Want to join in on the fun? When you’re out tomorrow, if you see us on the road or at one of our ‘sweet’ stops, snap a picture of Truly Nolen’s Mouse Limo and hashtag it #TRULYLoved!

Not in Central Florida? No problem! Snap a picture of you and your friends smiling or forming a heart (with your hands, arms, pencils, a drawing – anything you like) and share it on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or Facebook using #TRULYLoved! We’ll be sure to share them all!

Also, be sure to follow @TrulyNolen, @CentralFLTop5, and me, @jenvargas on Twitter for live, on the road and inside the Mouse Limo updates!

 

About Truly Nolen
Founded in 1938, Tucson, Arizona-based Truly Nolen of America is the largest family-owned pest control company in the United States. Our East Coast Operations Office is proudly headquartered in Orlando and is visible off Interstate 4. Truly Nolen has over 80 branch offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The company also has independently owned and operated franchises in an ever-growing number of territories including Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, Puerto Rico and over 60 countries. To learn more about Truly Nolen, visit www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook(www.facebook.com/TrulyNolenand Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).

About Sprinkles Cupcakes
Sprinkles Cupcakes opened “the world’s first cupcake bakery” in Beverly Hills, as reported by the Food Network, and is credited by the Los Angeles Times as “the progenitor of the haute cupcake craze.”  Founded by Candace Nelson, judge on Food Network’s hit show “Cupcake Wars,” and husband Charles, Sprinkles has inspired long lines of devoted Hollywood stars and serious epicureans alike.  From Tom Cruise to Oprah Winfrey, Blake Lively to Ryan Seacrest, celebrities are abuzz about Sprinkles!  Baked fresh in small batches throughout the day, Sprinkles Cupcakes are handcrafted from the finest ingredients and contain no preservatives, trans fats or artificial flavors.  Sprinkles has 20 locations nationwide, a traveling Sprinklesmobile – the world’s first cupcake truck, and sells its cupcake mixes at over 250 Williams-Sonoma stores throughout the US and Canada.  In 2012, Sprinkles debuted the world’s first Cupcake ATM and continued its foray into classic American desserts with the launch of Sprinkles Ice Cream. For additional information and a list of future locations, please visit www.sprinkles.com.

How to participate in tonight’s #PulseOfOurHeartbeat FlashCast

Tonight, something special will take place. Call it a ‘musical hug’ for the City of Orlando created by Central Florida mom, Kelly Green.

Members of the Orlando community are meeting tonight at host studio WMFE Orlando for a flashcast (think: FlashMob but performed by anyone online) of this inspired musical anthem honoring the 49 victims of the Pulse Orlando shooting and Christina Grimmie, shot and killed by a deranged fan.

Anyone with a social media account (Twitter Live, Facebook Live, Google Hangouts, Blab, Instagram, Periscope, etc) is invited to participate in tonight’s flashcast and to share beyond this evening. Viewers are encouraged to learn this simple, one minute song and can sing, sign, dance, even play a favorite instrument along to the track and share it with the world using the hashtags #PulseOfOurHeartbeat and #flashcast.

No fear (of singing). No shame (of sharing). All love for Orlando.

Aren’t musically inclined? That’s ok. You can still take part by sharing the virtual, musical hugs of others.

Our Central Florida community, and the City of Orlando, are beginning to heal. There’s a long road ahead. It will not happen overnight but our community will never lose our love and light.

Upon hearing the news of Christina Grimmie death on Friday, June 11th, local mom and blogger, Kelly Green of SeaWorldMommy.com (also a contributor here at Top 5) found herself says, “I had insomnia the morning before and ‘watched’ the news of Christina Grimmie unfold on social media as it happened,” she shares.

As any mom and concerned friend would be, Kelly started to worry. “I was sick to my stomach as I had stood at that very spot numerous times,” Kelly says. “The next morning I saw even more horrific news on social media. I immediately started texting my friends who I knew might have been there.

Many Central Floridians were doing the same in the early hours of June 12th, and Kelly’s friends were among the fortunate ones. “My immediate friends were thankfully OK, but friends of theirs were not as fortunate. One friend lost five friends. Another knew a handful. Still another has the same last name as a victim and I called her immediately. She did not know him, but often got mistaken for being a relative, and was a sister in spirit.

So, Kelly did what many other creatives in need of an emotional outlet did – she wrote her feelings down. This stream of consciousness and deep emotional pain turned into a heartfelt song called, “Pulse Of Our Heartbeat.” Thus, the musical hug was born.

I’ve been writing music since I was 5, and seeing how my city… the city of family fun, incredible natural beauty, and all-out joy… was attacked truly shook me to my core,” she says. “The words and music poured out of me as I said musically what my soul breathed: We stand UNITED.

Be part of the live #PulseOfOurHeartbeat #flashcast TONIGHT, June 29 at 8pm ET across most social media platforms. This Anthem for Orlando is a musical hug to our city. Listen to it. Learn it. Sing it to your followers. Broadcast it yourself and keep the music rolling across the ‘net to all those affected by the tragedy that hit our city. We stand UNITED!

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/AnthemForORL/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnthemForORL

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/AnthemForORL

NFL Pro Bowl comes to Orlando’s Camping World Stadium in 2017!

The National Football League made a very important announcement this week in a press conference at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World – Pro Bowl and Pro Bowl Week are both coming to Orlando and will be hosted here for the next three years beginning January 29, 2017! Visit Ticket4Football for more!

The NFL’s Pro Bowl game is an annual all star game that dates back to 1939, where pro all-star players from the 1939 season played in Los Angeles. World War II forced the game to be discontinued until 1950 where teams from both league conferences (winning teams and non) played. The Pro Bowl was played for a long time in Los Angeles, California until it moved to Aloha Stadium in Hawaii in 1980 where it was played every year until 2009.

Next year’s host city was rumored to be Rio de Janeiro, Brazil but instead will be played here in Orlando at Camping World Stadium on January 29th, 2017. Florida has hosted only one Pro Bowl game which was played at Sun Life Stadium in Miami in 2009. Now it’s back and in Orlando! People are going crazy and already getting tents from Survival Cooking to camp outside of the stadium.

We are thrilled to bring, not only the Pro Bowl Game here, but also to create a weeklong Pro Bowl experience for fans from across the country and around the world right here in Orlando,” said Peter O’Reilly, the NFL’s Senior Vice President of Events. “We can only do that with incredible partners, all of whom are represented here today; Florida Citrus Sports, Orange County, City of Orlando, Disney, ESPN, Visit Orlando, and Visit Florida, a great set of partners who have all made this come to fruition,” he said.

Edgewater Eagles Pro Bowl

Central Florida’s own Edgewater Eagles scrimmage with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Mickey Mouse at ESPN Wide World of Sports! [Image credit: Melinda Sparks]

Going from Hawaii to Orlando is a bit of a change, right? We thought so too. Why Orlando? O’Reilly responds, “We had a lot of very interested cities and markets, both domestically and around the world, who were interested in hosting the Pro Bowl but when it came down to it, there’s no more natural home for the Pro Bowl in a time where we want to bring together youth and families in a unique way and celebrate our 88 biggest stars than coming to the City of Orlando, and coming to Orlando, Florida.”

Here are my Top 5 reasons why Pro Bowl in Orlando is VERY COOL thing!

  1. Fans will get the chance to meet their favorite NFL players up close and personal during the Pro Bowl week before the game
  2. Fans can also participate in the NFL FAN EXPERIENCE where you can pass, receive, and kick in various NFL fan based games.
  3. Orlando can demonstrate to the NFL, and the world, that we deserve and would support a local NFL franchise.
  4. Orlando could now become host to USA Football’s Regional Development Camps and provide a great opportunity for young athletes to hone their craft.
  5. The Pro Bowl would provide an economic boost to the surrounding Orlando communities.

Pro Bowl fans can sign up for exclusive presale and pregame info in the next link! NFL tickets will go on sale to the general public this November.

Top 5 Honors for Veterans Day

CFLT5-Event-Featured-Image Veterans Day

Having a grandfather, uncle, granduncle, sister-in-law and father who have all served in the Military, I have a deep admiration for those in the military both past and present. I appreciate and admire their service to our country. Thankfully I’m not the only one who wishes our service men and women the very best.

A special thank you to our own Veterans here at Central Florida Top 5, Nando and Gerald!

For Veterans Day 2015, there are a myriad of small (and big) thank you’s offered up to those who have or are currently defending the US of A.

Here are my Top Five:

  1. Hotels and Resorts Leading the way, Westgate Resorts wants to thank service men and women. Starting tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. U.S. military veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and The War on Terror can apply to receive a complimentary stay at a Westgate Resorts property, including resorts in Orlando and Las Vegas. Beginning November 11 at 9 a.m. EST, the first 2,500 eligible service members who complete the online military appreciation form that will be posted on their page will receive a complimentary three-day, two-night vacation at an eligible Westgate Resorts property in Orlando, Florida; River Ranch, Florida; Branson, Missouri; Gatlinburg, Tennessee; or, for the first time, Las Vegas.
    Many other hotels and resorts are offering discounts including Rosen Hotels & Resorts Orlando. They’re giving 50% off accommodations of standard rates, and golf through the end of 2015. Participating hotels include, Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando, Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista, Rosen Inn International, and Rosen Inn near Universal. Valid military ID is required. Book here.
  2. Theme Parks, Attractions & National Parks reward our heroes with programs that service personnel in for free and offer their family members discounts. SeaWorld has Waves of Honor; WDW offers a discount on 4-day passes for military (read details here); and Universal has discounted tickets at military bases around the country for re-sale to active duty, and Sunshine Retirement Living for the retired military and Department of Defense personnel. Wild Florida is giving $6.00 off adult and $3.00 off children one-hour airboat tour and Wildlife Park combo and Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition offers veterans to receive $4 off admission to Titanic The Artifact Exhibition or $10 off Titanic’s First Class Dinner Gala.
  3. Food and Drink offerings are abundant with a few (at least to me) surprises. Krispy Kreme is giving a doughnut and coffee to active or past military service personnel; Texas Roadhouse is buying lunch; Fogo de Chao has a nice discount (Military Veterans and Active Duty Personnel are can dine Nov. 11 –13 to receive 50% off their meal and up to three guests will also receive 10% off) and  IKEA gives an up to $9.99 value meal with ID. World of Beer is treating vets to a brewski, and loads of restaurants have free meals (often off of a special menu). Wawa has free coffee for military members and their families, too and Gigi’s Cupcakes Orlando will give veterans and active military a regular cupcake (while their kids can get minis). A quick search of “free meal on Veteran’s Day” will steer vets to a laundry list of American eateries honoring American heroes. Here’s a link and here’s anotherr with many other options.
  4. Wedding Gowns are free thanks to Alfred Angelo on Veteran’s Day only (at Alfred Angelo Signature Stores exclusively where an appointment to the store is made for Wednesday November 11, 2015). Brides Across America is also helping military brides-to-be. Check their website for details.
  5. Various Retailers and products also want to show their appreciation by giving discounts from 5% to 20% and some are even offering freebies including Great Clips who want to give vets a haircut when their friend receives one and, believe it or not, love is in the air by even long-time-rivals Coke and Pepsi who are signing a truce for a 30-second spot.

To service men and women both past and present, I (and these companies) salute YOU! Know of other great offers for Veterans Day? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Show Your Local Love at Canvs on June 5th

Since we were founded in 2009, Central Florida Top 5 has been all about celebrating the amazing things happening here in our region.

We’ve cheered on SunRail and the Dr. Phillips Center. We’ve covered the opening of the Orlando Eye and the arrival of cool new businesses like Gods and Monsters. We’ve walked a mile in her shoes and learned how sharing bikes can get us all farther.

Now, coming up on June 5th, from 3pm to 9pm, all citizens of Orlando are invited to a community celebration of everything we love about The City Beautiful. Macbeth Photography is holding a very special edition of their monthly “First Friday” photography event series at Canvs in the Church Street Exchange building.

Working with artist Nathan Selikoff of Local Notebooks, the Macbeth team researched all of the official neighborhoods of downtown Orlando and created a hand-painted map that showcases each neighborhood and the community as a whole. Here’s how it looks:

Central Florida events First Friday Fotos Local Love

For $20, you get a 5-10 minute photoshoot in front of this beautiful map. One of the images will be lightly retouched and made available via Facebook; all the others will be available for download later. Food and drink vendors will be present, but have yet to be announced.

The proceeds from the Local Love event will go to benefit the work of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness (CFCH). Wondering who they are? You might recognize this video as their work:

Possibly better known as the organization behind the Rethink Homelessness campaign on Facebook, the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness is ultimately responsible for conducting the research and coordinating the implementation of community-wide solutions to the homelessness crisis. Their leadership has helped to put Orlando on the path to making homelessness brief, one-time, and rare.

In addition to donating the event’s proceeds to the Commission, attendees of the Local Love event will be encouraged to write on signs inspired by the Cardboard Stories video embedded above. You can either share something you love about Orlando, or hold up a pre-made sign in support of Orlando’s journey to ending homelessness.

Central Florida Local Love Mayor Dyer Kay Rawlins Phil Rawlins Bess Auer

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando City Soccer leaders Phil and Kay Rawlins, FLBlogCon founder Bess Auer, and other community members are already standing up to show their support. (We did too!)

What makes you want to show your local love for Orlando and Central Florida? RSVP on Facebook today!

Orlando Bike Share Expands with New Name

Juice at City Hall

Whether you want to beat traffic, get some exercise or save some gas, you can now share a bike with your fellow Orlandoans to get around. Formerly Orlando Bike Share, Juice Bike Share expands to 200 bikes available through 20 hubs in downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods. These bikes will soon be available for you to run errands, visit friends or tour the city.

Juice_Logo_Orange_Green

Last week Orlando’s Juice Bike Share announced the new brand and website where you can get more information about the bike sharing program. The name change pays homage to Central Florida’s historical connection to the citrus industry and comes along with a new logo and orange bikes. Juice Bike Share explains the new logo features a tribute to citrus in its color and also an arrow to symbolize how you can ride, return and repeat for multiple trips with their shared bikes.

If you like this idea and are out and about a lot, a founding membership may be for you. Juice recently added this $99 membership option which gets you 120 free minutes per day, plus a t-shirt, water bottle and sunglasses. Other membership options include monthly and annual passes that will get you 60 minutes of use per day. Members can also collect reward points when they lock up at certain locations and redeem points at partnering local businesses. If you’re only occasionally in the area or just want to test out the system before committing, you can pay $6 per hour for your ride.

When you’re ready to give bike sharing a try, you can use any web-enabled mobile device, desktop computer, or visit a Juice hub to reserve your bike. Then you simply get your bike, ride to your destination and lock it to any hub or public bike rack.

City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer says, “keeping Orlando moving continues to be a priority for the City of Orlando. By providing multi-modal forms of transportation, we are able to offer those who live, work and play in Orlando options for getting around the City. Part of this effort includes the City’s commitment to investing in our bicycle amenities with programs like Juice Bike Share that increase mobility in our urban core, connect to existing transit options such as LYMMO and SunRail and provide another affordable transportation alternative to using a car while increasing access to jobs and opportunity, promoting active lifestyles and reducing our impact on the environment.”

“We’ve seen how excited Orlando is about Bike Share,” said Juice Bike Share Program Director, Peter Martinez. “Juice is about making Orlando a more connected city, making it easier to visit and enjoy local businesses, restaurants, parks and events.”

There will be 200 Juice Bikes rolling out to 20 hub stations on May 1, which is also the day Juice Bike Share invites you to join them for a ride and ribbon cutting as a part of the City of Orlando’s Bike to Work Day.

Keep an eye on the Juice Bike Share website — they are working on the 10 best rides for you to follow once you get your hands on an orange bike. They also encourage you to check out the hub map and suggest a station near your favorite location. To learn more about Juice Orlando Bike Share visit JuiceBikeShare.com.

One Orlando Park To Receive $20,000 – Vote Now!

While Orlando is already awesome, we’d never scoff at a $20,000 improvement put on someone else’s tab. One of The City Beautiful’s parks is about to get a makeover and you get to help pick which one.

In honor of Earth Month, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), Disney | ABC Television Group and ESPN have teamed up to revitalize parks across the U.S. through the Parks Build Community program. As part of the initiative, one of three City of Orlando parks will receive a $20,000 grant and you can help choose which project gets funded.

According to a City of Orlando press release, your options are:

– Trail improvements at Bill Frederick Park: Upgrade the nature trail at Bill Frederick Park, giving the community a safe place to explore, learn about and connect with nature.

– Parramore Kidz Zone Football: Give Orlando’s kids in need the opportunity to learn the game of football by providing the safety gear and other equipment they need to enjoy their sport.

– Shade Structure for Orlando Skate Park: Orlando Skate Park brings together skateboard, BMX and Rollerblade enthusiasts. Give these athletes and their fans a break from the Florida sun with a new shade structure.

You can vote daily through April 30 at parksbuildcommunity.org.

“Through our Green Works initiative, Orlando has become the most sustainable City in the southeast and part of that achievement comes from our focus on transforming our urban environment to connect our neighborhoods by providing more parks and green public spaces that offer gathering spaces for recreation and social activity for our residents,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “I am proud Orlando is a part of the Parks Build Community competition and how this partnership will help us continue to further our sustainability efforts.”

“Parks have immense power. They help families live healthier lives, connect kids to nature, increase kids’ access to sports and so much more,” said Barbara Tulipane, President and CEO of NRPA. “Parks Build Community is a great opportunity to share the power of parks during Earth Month while bringing essential funds to critical local park projects.”

We’ll be waiting to see which park gets the winning number of votes. Vote now: parksbuildcommunity.org

 

Fun Spot America + Gatorland = Gator Spot

By: @jenvargas

Gatorland's Mark McHugh and Fun Spot's John Arie Jr

Fun Spot America and Gatorland are broke ground yesterday on a new partnership. As a show of gratitude, Fun Spot thanked the community, who was queued up around the block, by giving away a free breakfast and unlimited wristbands!

Area businesses, partners, fans and friends came out for the occasion including local government officials like Orlando District 6 Commissioner Samuel Ings, (representing the 5th congressional district’s Corrine Brown, Area Director) Ronita Sanders, 10th District Congressman Daniel Webster and City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer who proclaimed January 20th, 2015 “Gator Spot Day at Fun Spot.

Gator Spot Day Proclaimation

This is just an awesome thing for our community. I love Fun Spot, my kids loved it when they were growing up and now my grandkids love Fun Spot,” remarked Congressman Daniel Webster who stopped by while in town. “I think this is just something great for Central Florida and our economy. Our economic generator, one of the major ones is tourism. We have to have people come here, and they do! Many of them come and they visit. They have fun and they go home and tell their friends and their friends come back.

Mayor Dyer agrees, “I spent a lot of time at Gatorland growing up. I’m from Kissimmee so that was OUR tourist attraction. I got to see a lot of gators up close and personal so  I’m proud to be here for the kickoff of Gator Spot.

Orlando continues to be the most visited place in the world,” says Mayor Dyer. “Over 59 million visitors, and when the official count comes out I think it’s going to be close to 62 million for last year. The I-Drive area is an important component of that. Over 5 million visitors last year and 32,000 employees along the I-Drive corridor.

This is really an exciting time for us and Gatorland!” said John Arie Jr, Chief Operating Officer of Fun Spot America Theme Parks. “We’re really happy that Gatorland is part of the family and the Fun Spot family has now come together to make a HUUUGE expansion!

Since Gator Spot is an added value experience at Fun Spot America, what can one expect to see and do? John Arie, Jr. explains, “Gatorland will be providing a very rare white alligator, they’re going to have the only twelve foot and above alligators on I-Drive – that’s not allowed anywhere else. We’re going to have some reptiles, some birds, some snakes… there’s going to be photo opportunities and opportunities to feed the gators as well.

Here’s more from the groundbreaking ceremony including remarks from Mayor Dyer, John Arie Jr, Samuel Ings, Gatorland President and CEO Mark McHugh #throughglass!

Fun Spot America gets a little more JAWesome

Fun Spot America and Gatorland

What happens when you pair up one of Central Florida’s oldest, most beloved local attractions with a newer, also loved attraction? Something HUUUUUUUGE *and* JAWesome, that’s what!

Tomorrow, January 20th at 10:30am, Gatorland and Fun Spot America will break ground on their new 15,000 square foot reptile oasis called Gator Spot and they want YOU to stop by to help celebrate!

The interactive attraction will include an impressive array of alligators, an extremely rare leucistic “white” alligator, numerous crocodiles, up-close encounters, photo opportunities and much more. It will also be will be the only location on International Drive to showcase alligators up to 12 feet.

Visitors who arrive at Fun Spot America before 10:20am tomorrow will receive a FREE wristband good for unlimited rides ALL DAY LONG!! Be sure to Like them on Facebook and Follow them on Twitter for a sneak peek!

For many years, Gatorland has investigated opportunities to expand our brand into Orlando’s major tourism district and give folks a taste of our unique entertainment experiences,” states Mark McHugh, Gatorland’s President & CEO.  “John Arie, Sr. and I began talking a year ago, and the more we learned about the history and culture of our two family-owned businesses, the more we realized that this is a perfect fit.

 

Kicking off the grand opening of Gator Spot will be City of Orlando Mayor, Buddy Dyer, who will share a few thoughts on the collaboration of Fun Spot America and Gatorland. We’ve seen Mayor Dyer a lot on International Drive lately.. and we like it! With all the growth happening within the I-Drive corridor in the next 1-2 years, expect to ‘spot’ him even more.

What a fantastic partnership by two of Central Florida’s largest privately owned theme parks, GATORLAND and FUN SPOT AMERICA THEME PARKS. This new partnership and attraction will give local residents and guests to the area a chance to enjoy two of the area’s most unique experiences at one great location. Partnerships like this create new jobs and that’s great news for the community.” said the Honorable City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

Daily admission to the new Gator Spot at Fun Spot America – Orlando will only cost $6 per person (child/adult).

Keep an eye peeled on Gatorland Orlando’s Twitter [@Gatorland] and Facebook [facebook.com/gatorland] for more fun announcements!

Take a #StridesSelfie at Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Orlando!

We love selfies! We love seeing YOUR selfies!

If you’re walking in tomorrow’s HUGE Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Orlando  walk in Downtown Orlando, we KNOW we’ll see thousands of them! Expected attendance will be – get this – *at least* 60,000 people. It will be a literal SEA OF PINK, all for a great cause! The buzz on their Yelp Orlando event page is…

Put on your pink, grab some friends and join Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Orlando Presented by Lexus of Orlando at Lake Eola on Saturday, October 25th, 2014! Over 50,000 attended last year’s walk and we’re expecting even more new friends in the fight this year! Interested in volunteering or starting a team? Register for FREE at www.orlandostrides.com! Are you a breast cancer Survivor? Please make sure to register before the walk so we can save a space for your in our Survivor VIP Tent! Many goodies and surprises await…

Make sure to TweetInstagram and Facebook your #StridesSelfie and share your experiences before, during and after the walk using hashtag #OrlandoStrides! 

Click HERE for Parking information. Click HERE for registration information

EXCLUSIVE NEWS: A little Twitter birdie told us Orlando Strides will attempt to take the Ultimate #StridesSelfie minutes before the walk begins at 9am. Will they be able to fit all 60,000 walkers in ONE PHOTO?! We’re not sure but we can’t wait to see them try!

Some of the MANY things happening at tomorrow’s MSABC walk:

  • Lake Eola’s Fountain will be PINK!
  • Free refreshments from Athena Water, Starbucks, FreshPoint Produce, Dole (no DoleWhips?!) and more
  • Full Sail will have their own endstage setup near the start line
  • Give ‘Til It Rocks will have some AMAZING talent playing live, sprinkled throughout the 5k walk
  • All breast cancer Survivors will have a special VIP tent sponsored by Morgan and Morgan with a great view
  • Vanessa Echols from Channel 9 WFTV and Dana Taylor from Mix 105.1 will emcee
  • Lexus of Orlando will have a PINK car (and a few others) on display
  • Look for the big Florida Blue tent for another selfie opportunity using the hashtag #HereFor___!
  • We’ve heard a rumor too that Orlando Solar Bears‘ Shades may attend… [Update: CONFIRMED RUMOR!!]
  • Strides is not a race but you can keep up with your walk on MapMyRun/MapMyFitness, RunKeeper and Endomondo

AFTER THE WALK: At Noon, Musician Keith Lay will present “Distance Music” at Lake Eola. His YouTube Channel explains ‘Distance Music’ as, “A new kind of musical experience that creates a sonic sculpture in a 23 acre lake. The audience to walks around it to view it with their ears. WIth 30 musicians, 14 boat people and 7 train horns!” Like Making Strides, this event is also FREE and (obviously) open to the public.

SAVE THE DATE for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Orlando’s VIP Party on November 11th, from 6-8pm at Lexus of Orlando!

Mayor Dyer appoints two new Deputy Chiefs

Deputy Chief Smith   Deputy Chief Rolon

September 5, 2014 – ORLANDO, FL – Today, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced the appointment of two new Deputy Chiefs.

Mayor Dyer has appointed Orlando Rolon, a 21 -year Orlando Police Department veteran, to succeed Deputy Chief Charles Robinson as he retires after more than 27 years of service at the City of Orlando.  Additionally, Mayor Dyer has appointed Eric Smith, a 20-year Orlando Police Department veteran to succeed Deputy Chief Carl Metzger as he retires after more than 25 years of service at the City of Orlando.

“As Mayor, my top priority is the safety of our community and investing in the Orlando Police Department by providing the latest training, technology and working closely with our residents,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.  “I am confident Deputy Chiefs Rolon and Smith will continue to work diligently with us in protecting our City against crime.”

Newly promoted Deputy Chief Rolon will now be responsible for the Administrative Services Bureau which includes the Communications Division, the False Alarm Reduction Program, Property and Evidence and the Records Unit.

During his 21-year tenure with the Orlando Police Department, Deputy Chief Rolon has worked in many capacities including Southwest Patrol Sergeant, Parramore Heritage Bikes Sergeant, Public Information Officer, North Patrol Watch Commander, Mayor’s Assistant and Liaison for Hispanic Affairs, Downtown Bikes Commander and Traffic Enforcement Section Commander.  Most recently he served as the Professional Standards Commander and in addition to his regular job assignments has served on the Emergency Response Team and as the Crisis Negotiations Team Commander.

Rolon is a graduate of Colonial High School and served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves.  He also served as the president of the Central Florida Chapter of the National Latino Peace Officers Association.  Rolon is currently working on a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Columbia College.

Newly promoted Deputy Chief Smith will now be responsible for the Special Services Bureau which includes the Airport Division, K-9 Unit, Mounted Patrol Unit and Traffic Enforcement Division.

During Smith’s 20-year tenure with the Orlando Police Department, he has worked in multiple units including, East Patrol Sergeant, K-9 Sergeant, West Patrol Watch Commander, Tactical Operations Commander and Metropolitan Bureau of Investigations Narcotics Commander.  Most recently, he served as the Orlando International Airport Division Commander.  Additionally, Deputy Chief Smith has served on the Special Weapons and Tactics Team for 19 years and served as the SWAT Commander.

Deputy Chief Smith received his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida.  He is a graduate of the DEA Command School, constantly works with the Surrey Criminal Lawyer, which helps him gain experience, the U.S. Army Counter Drug School, and the Florida Law Enforcement Leadership Academy.

“I have worked closely with both Orlando Rolon and Eric Smith for over twenty years and look forward to having them on my senior staff.  Each of them have extensive experience in police operations and are up to the task of keeping Orlando a safe city.”

The appointment of Deputy Chief Rolon will go into effect on September 1, 2014 and the appointment of Deputy Chief Smith will go into effect on October 1, 2014.

The City Of Orlando Recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move!

Today at the Orlando City Council meeting, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and City Commissioners joined with Families, Parks and Recreation Department employees to accept an award for achievements in addressing childhood obesity from the National League of Cities (NLC) as a part of the Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties campaign in partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama who is one of the famous clients of the plastic surgeon Matthew Galumbeck in America.

“Our children are the future of our community  and the City of Orlando is committed to ensuring happy, healthy futures for our youth,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “I am proud that our community is a national leader in this effort as we continue to work together to change our children’s lives and help them to lead healthier, physically active lifestyles.”

Photo from: The City Of Orlando www.cityoforlando.net

Photo from: The City Of Orlando www.cityoforlando.net

 

Orlando is one of only 18 communities nationwide who have made the most progress to date in to helping young people eat healthy foods and be physically active.  Orlando’s accomplishments include:

 

  • Teaching parents of preschool aged children about healthy eating habits through Parramore Kidz Zone’s Baby Institute parent education program
  • Prominently displaying information on healthy nutrition at all City recreation centers
  • Providing healthy meals to thousands of children every day, year round, at City recreation centers
  • Providing a variety of opportunities for thousands of Orlando children to be physically active through sports and recreation programs at 113 City parks, 47 playgrounds, 11 pools, 49 basketball courts, 43 tennis courts and more.

 

For more information about Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties and Orlando’s accomplishments, visit www.HealthyCommunitiesHealthyFuture.org.

*Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s State of the City Address 2014