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Sandra Ketcham



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Central Florida Earth Day at Lake Eola

Friday April 18, 2014

Don't forget: Central Florida Earth Day 2014 starts tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. at Lake Eola Park.

The event is organized by Vegetarians of Central Florida and is the biggest and longest running Earth Day celebration in Central Florida.

Stop by for lots of food vendors, recycling and solar power displays, workshops, and other activities. More than 14 local and regional musicians will be performing, and over 200 nonprofits and local businesses are participating this year. There will also be an Earth Kids Zone for the little ones.

All money raised at the event will go toward local environmental and humane education.

Visit the Central Florida Earth Day website for more information.

Earth Fest 2014 in Casselberry

Tuesday April 15, 2014

Shaun HopperSeminole County's largest Earth Fest 2014 event will take place on Saturday, April 26 from 12:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Lake Concord Park in Casselberry.

Guests will enjoy live music, recycled art, sustainable living exhibits, and much more!

The list of educational presentations is below:

  • 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. - Tree Talk with Master Gardener Bob Hotaling w/a tree giveaway
  • 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. - Dropsavers Award Ceremony with City Commissioners
  • 2:30 to 3:00 p.m. - Bee Talk with Gabbie Milch w/a bee friendly plant giveaway
  • 3:15 to 4:00 p.m. - Aquascaping, Rain Gardens, & Rain Barrels with Taryn Sudol w/a plant, tree and ran barrel giveaway

The Recyled Art Exhibit runs from noon until 3:00 p.m., and happy hour starts at 4:00 p.m. in the Organic Beer & Wine Garden.

The event is being put on by the City of Casselberry, Casselberry Friends of the Park, and Keep Seminole Beautiful, in hopes of increasing awareness about clean energy, reducing our carbon footprint, and protecting our environment.

Musical guests include Shaun Hopper, Daniel Heitz and The Revelators, and more!

Admission is free. For more information, visit Seminole County's Earth Fest 2014 website.

Photo Courtesy of the City of Casselberry

John Young History Maker Celebration 4/24

Sunday April 13, 2014

The Historical Society's largest fundraiser, the John Young History Maker Celebration, is taking place on April 24, 2014 at The Alfond Inn in Winter Park.

Now in its ninth year, the annual fundraiser honors a Central Floridian who has made a historic contribution to the local community with the prestigious John Young History Maker Award. The award is named after Captain John Young, an Orlandoan and NASA's longest serving astronaut.

The VIP reception begins at 5:30 and the general reception begins at 6:00 p.m. Dinner and the awards ceremony begin at 6:30 p.m. Cocktail dress is required.

To purchase tickets online, visit the Orange County Regional History Center event page online.

Florida Hospital Presents "Supercentenarians: Secrets of the Oldest Old"

Friday April 11, 2014

Want to know the secrets of the oldest people in the world? Visit the Florida Hospital Church on Wednesday, April 16 at 10:30 a.m. for a free community event, called "Supercentenarians: Secrets of the Oldest Old."

The Director of the Gerontology Research Group, Dr. Coles, will be answering questions pertaining to his work tracking the world's oldest people (those who are 110 years or older).

Some questions Dr. Coles will answer:

  • Who are Supercentenarians and how many are living in the world today?
  • Based on autopsy findings, why do they live as long as they do?
  • Why can't they live longer still?

Visit the event page or call 407-303-9239 to RSVP (recommended).

Image Courtesy of Florida Hospital

50th Anniversary of "It's a Small World" Benefits UNICEF

Thursday April 10, 2014

"It's a Small World" Global Sing-Along at Disney ParksToday, Disney is celebrating the 50th anniversary of "It's a Small World" with a global sing-along that will benefit UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund.

If you want to join in the fun, visit SmallWorld50.com to record your own video and create a virtual doll you can share with friends through Facebook and other social media.

In addition to donating $150,000 to UNICEF directly, Walt Disney Company will also donate $1 for every video recorded and another $1 for every doll created on the SmallWorld50.com website.

Plus, children can visit participating Disney Stores nationwide (now through Sunday) to journey on an imaginary boat ride around the world, while learning to say "hello" in different languages.

29th Annual Taste of Winter Park 4/16

Thursday April 10, 2014

Taste of Winter Park, April 16, 2014Wednesday, April 16 is going to be a great day for Central Florida foodies!

Winter Park's ultimate foodie festival returns to the Winter Park Farmers' Market to showcase the many amazing eateries local to the Orlando area. More than 40 of the top bakers, chefs, caterers, and confectioners will be participating this year.

Guests can enjoy a variety of cuisines, including delicious seafood, steakhouse favorites, and some of the best desserts around. There will also be plenty of beer, wine, and coffee, as well as live music by saxophonist Johnny Mag Sax.

The festival runs from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. and tickets are $45 at the door.

For a complete list of participating restaurants and for discounts on advance tickets, visit the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce website.

Photo Brion Price Photography

Eating Out on Easter in Orlando

Wednesday April 9, 2014

Mango Chilean Sea Bass at Fogo de ChaoThinking about eating out this Easter? I've put together a big list of Orlando restaurants offering Easter specials. Some restaurants on the list will also have face painters, theme park characters and other fun stuff for the kids.

Make sure to reserve a table as soon as possible. Many area restaurants fill up well in advance of the holiday.

This weekend, I'll be adding an updated list of Easter activities (egg hunts and other events) to the site. Check back here for details.

Photo Courtesy Levenson Public Relations

Dream Big 5K on Saturday, April 12

Monday April 7, 2014

3rd Annual Dream Big 5KOn April 12, the Dawn Brancheau Foundation's fourth annual Dream Big 5K will take place at SeaWorld Orlando. The Dream Big 5K is a family-friendly, scenic 3.1-mile fun run through the park.

According to SeaWorld Orlando, the mission of the Dawn Brancheau Foundation is "to improve the lives of children and animals in need, inspire others to follow their dreams, and promote the importance of community service."

The proceeds from this year's event will go toward purchasing farm equipment to expand Dawn's Garden at Edgewood Children's Ranch, constructing Dawn's Playground, buying new bunk beds for the kids at Central Florida Children's Home, adding exercise equipment to Dawn's Play Yard at Osceola County Animal Services, and supplying meds and veterinary care to the dogs at Harbor House Paws for Peace Kennel and Orange County Animal Services.

Additionally, participants are encouraged to bring new or gently used running shoes on race day for donation to families serviced by Matthew's Hope.

For general and registration information, visit the Dream Big 5K website.

Photo Courtesy of the SeaWorld Orlando Marketing Team

"Be Cool" at Aquatica this Saturday

Friday April 4, 2014

Foundation for Foster ChildrenAquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark, has partnered with the Foundation for Foster Children to host 800 foster children and foster families for the sixth annual "Be Cool" event this Saturday, April 5.

The goal of the event is to provide foster kids with the opportunity to have a fun day with their families, while simultaneously raising awareness of the Foundation for Foster Children.

This is the fourth year Aquatica has hosted the "Be Cool" event.

This is an amazing event that provides foster children around Central Florida with an afternoon of fun. Kudos to SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica for all the smiles and memories they'll have a hand in producing tomorrow. And thanks to Panera Bread and Community Based Care of Central Florida for providing food to park guests.

For more information, visit Aquatica and the Foundation for Foster Children online.

Gorgeous Central Florida Springs

Monday March 31, 2014

Want a great place to cool off now that the weather's getting warmer? Central Florida is home to many natural springs and state parks perfect for swimming, scuba diving, canoeing, fishing and camping. They are open every day of the year and are very affordable, even if you bring the whole family.

Check out this guide to Orlando springs. If I missed any, let me know.

What's your favorite Florida spring?

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