East Orlando sun

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East Orlando sun
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Orlando, FL
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After 12 years of feeding the homeless, four years of working es through the mobile Samaritan Four years ago, Donna lessness manager for Orange two grants totaling $1 million that with the grant funding we here has seen that has not been I hate to be inhumane, but Some days I go out by myself and think Calendar .................... 12 Aladdin Coloring Contest ...... 15 ..... 16 Cooking column, recipe ........ 18 New Pet Life column .......... 19 Dad starts support group for parents with special-needs kids 9 out players shine after going far in season play8East scored well on FCAT MEGAN STOKESSun Staff Elementary fourth-graders and heard about the new testing stanI know that we were feeling we feel like we are always right on Please see GRADES on page 6 MEGAN STOKESSun Staff Entering the 9,515-acre Hal Scott Please see HAL SCOTT on page 4 Commissioners approve homeless center MEGAN STOKESSun Staff Pending closing, Please see HOMELESS on page 4Accessing nature Other trail projects planned for East Orlando All of these trails are planned to interconnect ..

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Page 2 Political differences strengthen democracy, enmity weakens it AVALON DANCE 12001 AVALON LAKE DR ORLANDO, FL 32828 407 380-3444 SUMMER CLASSES AND SUMMER CAMPS START JUNE 11TH.Register now and receive a waived $25 registration fee.NOW OFFERING ADULT BEGINNER BALLET See website for details avalondance.net Based on the current debt situation in the United States, many preand post-retirees have become concerned about their Social Security benet. Receiving that continuous in come stream is the foundation of a retirement income plan. To make sure that you maximize your Social Security benet, it is important to know the an swers to these questions. r fntbb ff fr n rf n n CALL US TODAY FOR A COPY OF Your Guide to Social Security Bob@aSafeHarbor.com | ASafeHarbor.com(407) 644-6646 Learn more visit www.ss.vip2site.com *A Safe Harbor LLC is in no way afliated with the Social Security Administration. there is only room for my way of One of the many brilliant ideas or anywhere in between, your life tions and arguments that emanate adults who share a strong desire must look beyond the news to Disagreement is vital, disagreement makes democracy stronger the same way business competition leads to innovation.

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Page 3 Andrology (an-dro--le-j) n 1. The branch of medicine concerned with mens health. 2. It is the male counterpart to gynecology. 3. The solution to your complex male infertility and sexual dysfunction issues. See also Andrologist (an-dro--le-jist) n Zamip Patel, MD, one of the only fellowship-trained andrologists in Orlando.Zamip Patel, MD EAST-12-6256When it comes to your health, dont be the strong, silent type. Learn more about how an andrologist can help you. Call (407) 303-DOCS (3627) or visit FHEastMensHealth.com. EAST-12-6256_Andrology Ad.indd 1 4/2/12 3:06 PM

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Page 4 Community News EOSun.com 06/30/2012 sible solutions but they want to some sort of add-on within our signs for safety and building other be worked out and it should be ridden out there and I think it East trail plans funded with federal grants, was ally surround that building with a to build the trail and issues with easements, the building will stand building sitting there and it looks CHAL SCOTT S. Alafaya Trail Hal Scott Preserve Mailer Blvd Avalon Trail

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Page 5 Community News EOSun.com Volunteering Today Could Mean Medical Breakthroughs TomorrowYour participation in a research study for an investigational medication could help benet millions of people.Covance is looking for: Call: Visit: TestWithTheBest.comIndividuals appearing in this advertisement are models. Research Unit Inc. 8252-273 Daytona Print 23APR2012 East Orlando Sun Do you have atrial brillation that requires you to be on blood-thinning medication? For more information call Florida Hospital Cardiovascular Research at (407) 303-7556 www.FLHeart.org e WATCHMAN le atrial appendage system is designed to prevent the release of thrombi (clots) that may form in the appendage of patients with non-valvular atrial brillation to reduce the occurrence of ischemic stroke (blockage of blood ow to the brain) and systemic migration of clots (throughout the body). To qualify you must be: Eighteen years of age or older Have documented non-vavular atrial brillation Eligible for long-term Warfarin therapy Participation requires a 24-hour hospital stay following a procedure at Florida Hospital, close monitoring and comprehensive study-related care by qualied medical personnel. Driveways, Patios, Pool Decks Epoxy Garage Floors Email: Decorative Concrete Decorative Concrete with this ad CHOMELESS good deal of fundraising to do to get ser The homeless service center

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Page 6 Community News EOSun.com member Daryl Flynn said the and administrators are going to work hard to see where their stu dents are strong and are weak beEarlier this year, Florida more harshly and students who grades will now be based on the similarly well, with the number of students earning a 3 or higher An audit is being done to who worked so hard all year will no matter what the state bases its failing these tests and get so dis It would be terrible if the kids worked so hard and then they ond language and ESE students students a national assessment now and I think when they (the the way they aligned the gradFlynn said testing our students years and will stay that way for at least another few years as the way is all the standards, all the the national test will be good for BusinessMonthof theRotary Co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Avalon Park, the East Orlando Sun and Pinnacle Awards & Promotions, the Rotary Business of the Month recognizes East Orlando businesses and organizations that are actively involved in their communities and embody the motto of Rotary: Service above self. Winners receive a plaque, a free advertisement in the Sun and a spot in the Downtown Avalon Park Discount Card, which serves all of East Orlando. Nominate a business at facebook.com/avalonparkrotary.Carl Black of Orlando CGRADES SCHOOL 3+ 4+ Grade 4 Camelot .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 90 .......... ............ .......... Waterford ......... .......... Sunrise ............ 90 .......... Castle Creek ....... .......... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .......... 59 Stone Lakes ........ 94 .......... 82 Grade 8 .......... 89 .......... 69 Corner Lakes ....... 80 .......... ............ .......... Grade 10 .......... 88 .......... 62 ...... 89 .......... 66

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Page 7 Sports EOSun.com Knights baseball may have one of the best road records in NCAA baseball, but itll be put to the test as No. 16 UCF takes Friday, June 1, to face a former College World Series team. Hitting the tournament on the road will bring a dose of familiarity for the dominant Knights (43-15), who enter the regional seeded No. 2 for the tournament, just like last year when they played in Tal lahassee. This time theyre heading to Cor al Gables to take on Missouri State, a team that made it to the 2003 College World Series. Thats also the last time Bears (39-20) made it to the postseason. The Knights will have their work cut out for them on the mound, as the Bears are rarely at a loss for runs. And with longtime coach Keith Guttin, who hit the 1,000-win mark this season, at the helm, theyll have plenty of postseason experi ence coaching them through the tourna ment. For the Knights, who have struggled at the plate against strong pitching, itll theyve previously failed to deliver. But the Knights have a knack for coming back, as shown in the Conference USA Tourna ment in late May. Theyll rely on clutch hitting all around, particularly from the cleanup bat of D.J. Hicks, though hes games. During the Knights 6-2 pummel ing of Tulane to close out the C-USA tour nament, he drew four walks. rassing 15-1 loss to C-USA backmarker UAB to come back with a pair of wins Tournament. The two wins were just as big a blowout as their one loss in the tour nament, with the Knights lighting up East Carolina pitching in an 11-1 win on May 24. In that game, they left less than one runner per inning on base. Depending on how far they go, the Knights could have the chance to play Miami, Florida State and University of Florida, though the Knights wont see the Gators unless they make it to the Col lege World Series. Theyll have one shot at redemption if they fall in the doubleFriday, June 1, in Coral Gables. Knights head to NCAA tourney ISAAC BABCOCKSun Staff PHOTO BY ISAAC BABCOCKCleanup hitter D.J. Hicks has given the Knights a boost in on-base percentage going into the postseason.Jose Santana, an East River senior, took third place overall in the 400 meter sprint at the recent state track meet. During the schools Senior Night, Santana was awarded a $400,000 scholarship, which includes all expenses plus pay, from West Point and will run track there this fall. Timber Creek lacrosse and football player Jacob Rooney was named Athlete of the Year at the recent Bright House Sports Network Breakfast of Champions Orange County High School Sports Awards. East Rivers 2011-2012 All-Metro Confer ence champions were recently recognized at a breakfast in their honor. The students were: Bret Rutledge, Daniel Mojica, Wilfredo Rodriquez, Micah Cross, Adam Duckett, Ryne Rankin, Tito Rodriquez, Grifn Soderquist, Jose Santana, Corey Ray, Dshawn Dexter, Keith Clements, Jessica Kainer, Chelsea Brooks, Frangelyca Brito, Taylor Smith, Brooke Myers, Kaela Harmon, Bailey Wise, Kyle Johnson and Tanner Meadows. Timber Creek girls basketball team forward Brittany Cross signed a letter of intent to play for Eastern Wyoming College. UCF football earned an all-time high NCAA graduation success rating of 79 12 points above the national average for the 201112 season under Head Coach George OLeary. Ten returning football student-athletes earned their degrees this year and a total of 20 players from last years team have already graduated or expect to graduate this summer. Avalon Middle School boys track nished sixth overall while the AMS girls team placed seventh overall in the Orange County Middle School Track Fest held at Showalter Field on Saturday, May 12. AMS was one of 37 schools participating. Top honors were given to Brandon Marquez who set county records in both the 800and 1600-meter runs. The No. 16 UCF baseball team had a program-best seven student-athletes earned All-C-USA awards on Tuesday, May 22. This season was UCFs most successful season since joining Conference USA in 2005.The Scoop Jacob Rooney Jose Santana

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Page 8 Sports EOSun.com Four-year-old Branden Castro was never caught without a base ball and bat in his hands. From the time he started playing t-ball, his father, Vincent, could tell the boy was going to be a good player. Just by the way he was swing ing the bat, and also his body lan guage, Vincent said. Now, 14 years later, Castro is the Most Valuable Player on Timber Creek High Schools baseball team, and committed to play at Alabama State University in the fall. However, Castro didnt rely on the talent of that four-yearold boy. He made sure he worked harder than the next kid to get what he wanted. I guess because I knew that I could make a future out of it, and I always had the support of my parents and my brother, Castro said. It was just something I al ways wanted since I was a little kid. He was always practicing, Vincent said. We have a batting cage in our back yard and he was always in the batting cage work ing out. I used to make sure that he knew how important it was to work hard. Talent can only take you so far, but your work ethic is what is really important. Castro took that lesson from his father with him when he be came a Timber Creek Wolf. The shortstop ended his fouryear varsity career this season as MVP and captain, leading the wolves in batting average (.475), RBIs (19), homeruns (3) and defensively, making only one error the entire season. Hitting for hours after practice with our hitting coachI think thats what made me the hitter I am, Castro said. We would just hit and hit and hit. Practice would end about 4:30, and I would get out around 6:30 or 7:00 with him. Although his batting average is impressive, Timber Creek head coach Scott Grove thinks that his stands out. At shortstop he didnt make an error, Grove said. I think he had one error the whole season, which is pretty incredible with all the chances that he had. Work ethic like Castros is the reason why the Timber Creek baseball program has been so successful. Close to 90 percent of the programs athletes have gone on to play professional or college baseball, and the teams have won 20 games or more almost every year the school has been open. They have made it to the state the district championship the last four in the state tournament this year as well as in 2010. We really feel that nobody works as much as we do, Grove said. We have a great summer program with a camp that we do, and were just going to continue to work as hard as we can. And ya know, I think well win one, one day. Grove has been coaching baseball at Timber Creek since the school opened 11 years ago. He spent seven years playing profes sional baseball after being drafted by the Atlanta Braves out of high school, and later traded to the To ronto Blue Jays. The Wolves (21-7) are used to winning, but May 19 they had to handle a disappointing loss. The team succumbed to Port Orange Spruce Creek (29-5) in the Class went on to win the state champi onship. seem like a huge disappointment, but the path the Wolves took to tories. credible, Grove said. Especially when its a single elimination like Florida has. Not only did they end the regular season with 21 wins, but to down Tampa Wharton, which Were a young team, but just the hard work, the ethic that we have as a team is second to none this year, said senior pitcher Zachary Barrett. Barrett, who committed to Bethune-Cookman in the fall, transferred to Timber Creek from Spruce Creek, and had a unique perspective having once played for the team that ended the Wolves season Were out there for hours done and making sure were positioning ourselves in the best way we can to win games day in and day out, Barrett said. Beyond hard work, Castro said that a special bond between the players is what gave the Wolves an advantage over other teams. We play like a family, Castro said. Were a family; were not really a team. Everything we do were always togetherwe talk to each other like were brothers, not really like friends or teammates. Castro knows a lot about fam ily bonds since he shares a special connection with his older brother Vinny. Vinny was also a four-year varsity player for Timber Creek and went on to play at the colle giate level for Bethune-Cookman. Castro was looking forward to following his brother to BethuneCookman on a baseball scholar ship, but when the head coach Mervyl Melendez accepted a position at ASU, he decided to fol low his brothers coach. He hopes to be drafted by the MLB his junior year, but to back up that dream he will head to Ala bama as an occupational therapy major. Im excited a little nervous feels a little weird to be leav ing Timber Creek, but Im ready, Castro revealed. It feels good to know that I worked hard and I got what I wanted. ALICIA ROSE DELGALLOSun StaffA team of winners PHOTO BY GABRIEL HOLTSenior Cody Sharp comes in for middle relief in the state tournament versus Spruce Creek. This is the second time the Wolves have made it to the nal four.

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Page 9 Lifestyle EOSun.com The 8 Secret Reasons Students that Study Music are more Successful in life!By John Kolbrich, The Avalon School of MusicMany people dont realize how powerful playing a musical instrument really is in a persons life, and especially in school age children. We take for granted when we see a young student or an adult playing or singing. Our modern technology has brought us all so much more music, than past generations, and of such variety and genre, that we are overwhelmed, and just assume music is something to be taken for granted, something that only a few talented children or adults do. Scientically though, Music is for everyone Here are the surprising truths: Approximately 90% of the brains motor control capabilities are devoted to the hands, mouth and throat! With this in mind, experts say that the ne dexterity of playing an instrument, a violin for instance, or controlling the voice in a precise way as in singing, can exercise the entire brain and stimulate general intelligence As a music student constantly adjusts decisions on tempo, tone, style, rhythm, phrasing and feeling, he/she trains the brain to become incredibly good at organizing and conducting numerous activities at once. True multi-tasking! Musical training has been found to improve how the brain processes the spoken word. This nding could lead to improving the reading ability of children who have dyslexia and other reading problems. We live in a country where everyone has the potential to become successful, jump economic ladders etc. Fact: students of lower socioeconomic status who took music lessons in grades 8-12 increased their math scores signicantly as compared to non-music students. But, just as important, reading, history, geography and even social skills soared by 40%. A Columbia University study revealed that students in the arts are found to be more cooperative with teachers and peers, more selfcondent and better able to express their idea Students at risk of not successfully completing their high school educations indicate that arts participation motivates them to stay in school, and that the arts create a supportive environment that promotes constructive acceptance of criticism and one in which it is safe to take risks The skills gained through sequential music instruction, including discipline and the ability to analyze, solve problems, communicate and work cooperatively, are vital for success in the 21st century workplace regardless of the type of work the students chooses or is given to do. New forms of entertainment, from hip-hop and rock & roll to lm and video games, are being created as we speak and will continue to evolve. Experts say that over the next ten years, jobs in art, music, culture and entertainment will grow twice as many, as jobs in engineering will. Those whove been educated in the arts will have a great advantage over those who have not. The bottom line: Music is an investment and key educational cornerstone that should be a part of every young persons life!Sources: VH1 Save the Music, SupportMusic. com, The National Association for Music Education, National Association of Music Merchants, AMC, and Music American For the Arts The Avalon School of Music teaches thousands of private music lessons each year to students of all ages and backgrounds. Our schools have a long-term vested interest in the promotion of music in our community for the well-being and success of all our young people. For more information contact us at 407-567-7776 or visit our website at www.AvalonSchoolofMusic.com BACK-TO-SCHOOL Special IssueATT ENTION ADV ERT ISERS: East Orlando Sun is having a Special Back-to-School Issue in August. Call today to reserve your ad space. Contact Linda Stern 407-376-2434 (LStern@turnstilemediagroup.com) for rates and to reserve your space.www.EOSun.com Your community connection since 1995 March 2 April 5, 2012Homeless students stories 6 Knights eye playoffs 11 Local girl is a star 15 Spring break camp directory 16 Parenting column debuts 17 chargers are popping up all over Avalon Park12 New basketball Avalon Middle7Homeless center closer to realityResearch Park works to rally through cutsMEGAN STOKESSun Staff MEGAN STOKESSun StaffAreas three sectors map out plans to survive national budget cutsOrange County commissioners are eyeing the East Orange Community Center would mean displacing the Head Start program but it could mean more space for a packed program. Please see RESEARCH on page 4 Please see DROP IN on page 4 Central Florida Research Park continues to grow. Resource for parents BRITTNI JOHNSONSun StaffTroy Edwards daughter had been sick for more than two years, but only a few months ago did it really feel real. He hit the buildup of feelings of loss, sadness and anger. The realization that his Olivia would never do what most little girls grow up to college or bring a nervous boyfriend over to meet her dad. His child, born totally healthy, would never live a normal life. Now shell never do that, shell never be able to walk down the aisle, Edwards said. Olivia has Rett syndrome, a very rare 10,000 to 23,000 girls. For most born with the disorder, they appear healthy, learning to walk and talk as Olivia did, and then the regression starts. At age 2, Olivias parents were worried when she started having seizures, with more investigating doctors diagnosed her with Rett syndrome. Now almost 5, shes already losing her ability to walk, use her hands, has lost weight and is back in diapers. Feeling aloneOlivia lives in Boston with her mother, Edwards ex-wife, where top doctors treat her, but that leaves Edwards very far away once a month, but that only makes it harder because each time hes there shes so much worse. Its a heartbreaking condition, he said. Id be depressed, Id be a wreck, just feel ing helpless. Its tough to be put in that situation as a parent and have to hold that little hand, said family friend Don Shipley. You real ize quickly that you are not as tough as you think you are. as he thought he could, the Clermont resi dent and retired senior detective felt a spark of anger with himself and the system. He searched and searched for someone to talk to, and found nothing. Friends and his own just couldnt relate. I didnt have anyone that I could talk to and vent to in private that could appreciate it, he said. Literally I felt alone.Creating a support systemSo he decided to create his own sup port group. The Parent Resource Group every month at the Blanchard Park YMCA. sphere of trust and comfort, where parents can cry if they need to, and can talk about anything. The group is open to any parent who needs support, but is great for parents going through tough times, including those of special needs children, having trouble connecting with their adopted children, or sick children. Its a sanctuary its a safe place for you to come and talk and cry and vent and just listen and share and not be judged, he said. Alicia Braccia is a licensed school psy chologist and the president of the Provito helping families with special needs chil dren, and the organization Edwards con tacted to guide and oversee his group. She said relating to others is a key part of deal ing with the emotional aspect of having a special needs child. When their child cant have the future they dreamed of, the parent goes through a mourning process, she said. I think parents supporting each other in that grief process is really important, and that they understand each other and that theyre not alone, it gives them sup port in knowing that theres other people out there who are going through similar things, Braccia said. Its not just coming from a doctor or a therapist, but someone who lives it every day is really, I think, an important piece in healing. Abi Rutledge, the aquatics director at the YMCA who works with special needs kids there, said this group can serve as a great outlet for local parents. Any chance that parents can be together and not only just vent and let the stress PHOTO COURTESY TROY EDWARDSTroy Edwards and daughter Olivia only see each other once a month, but when they do they make the most of it. Olivia has Rett syndrome, a rare genetic disorder affecting one in 10,000 to 23,000 girls. Please see SUPPORT on page 11 For more information about the Parent Resource Group, visit facebook.com/ parentresourcegroup or call 407-382-5551. The group meets every rst Tuesday of the month at the Blanchard Park YMCA, and will have its next meeting June 4.

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Charlotte, NCJacksonville, FL Orlando, FL Phoenix, AZ Minneapolis, MN Calgary, ABOttawa, ONToronto, ON Because of its great location and exceptionally affordable prices, Azalea Cove is a big attraction for families looking for a new home. Its a smart choice, close to elementary schools, middle schools and Valencia Community College. Youll find homes with front porches, so neighbors can easily enjoy each others company. Our homes are designed by architects and include oversized windows, so when its sunny outside, its sunny inside. Youll also find lots of floor plan choices so your family will find just the right design for your needs. Come and see Azalea Cove soon. Its a best seller. mattamyhomes.com Sales Center Hours: Tuesday Saturday 10ampm, Sunday & Monday 12pmpm Single Family Homes From $149,990! CGC1512500 Azalea Cove If This Was A Book, It Would Be A Best Seller.Single Family Home, The Hawthorne, Elev. A, 1,645 Sq.Ft. Single Family Home, The Palm, Elev. B, 2,140 Sq.Ft. Enclave at Lake Jean Azalea Cove 4905 Fiorazante Ave. (407) 248-15247564 Azalea Cove Circle ,(407) 730-20522940 Lake Jean Dr. (407) 671-9101Townhomes from the $150s Family Homes from the $140s Family Homes from the $210s9307 Strongbark Lane (407) 730-2964Townhomes from the $150s Nona Preserve eserve at R och ake LL Heres Where You Can Find Mattamy Homes Across Orlando1021 Laurel Ridge Lane (407) 878-7702Townhomes from the $130sMattamy Model Home Similar To Homes In Azalea Cove

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Page 11 Lifestyle EOSun.com Your community connection since 1995 March 2 April 5, 2012Homeless students stories 6 Knights eye playoffs 11 Local girl is a star 15 Spring break camp directory 16 Parenting column debuts 17 chargers are popping up all over Avalon Park12 New basketball Avalon Middle7Homeless center closer to realityResearch Park works to rally through cutsMEGAN STOKESSun Staff MEGAN STOKESSun StaffAreas three sectors map out plans to survive national budget cutsOrange County commissioners are eyeing the East Orange Community Center would mean displacing the Head Start program but it could mean more space for a packed program. Please see RESEARCH on page 4 Please see DROP IN on page 4 Central Florida Research Park continues to grow. EXCLUSIVE LIMITED TIME OFFER12 ISSUES FOR ONLY $10 Serving the diverse, populous areas of W aterford Lakes, Avalon Park, Eastwood and Stoneybrook, the East Orlando Sun not only alerts residents to whats happening right outside their front doors, but also delivers news that strengthens community connections. In the age of 24/7 global media, engaged citizens turn to the East Orlando Sun to get the news they cant get anywhere else and gain further insight into the topics and trends that affect them directly. With every issue, the East Orlando Sun provides residents with consistent coverage of the areas biggest stories and hottest topics all through the eyes of an engaged community advocate that understands the specic nuances and unique personality of the area.Contact Tracy Craft to start a subscription! phone: 407-515-2605 fax: 407-563-7099 email: tcraft@ turnstilemediagroup.comor mail form to: T urnstile Media Group 1500 Park Center Dr. Orlando, FL 32835 Name: Street Address City State Zip Email PhoneStart my subscription now! www.EOSun.com out, but get ideas from other parents, I just think its a great thing, she said. The PRG is also a place to learn. Each who specializes in issues related to rais ing a special needs child, from an accountant teaching how to deal with trusts and budgeting medical expenses, to a lawyer advising about living will planning, and a therapist answering questions about behavioral issues. Its a place to really talk frankly with experts and get answers, for free. Where can you go to the doctor without paying an insurance bill and just pick the doctors brain? said Laura Burk, Edwards girlfriend and partner in organizing PRG. Its a place to be com pletely transparent in a safe environ ment. But theres hope still for Olivia. This year she will be one of only 10 girls worldwide to be part of a clinical trial aimed to at least stop the regression associated with Rett syndrome. And through that journey Edwards will have the help from friends and family, and hell be able to heal himself by guiding others through the tough times. As a retired senior police detective, he was al ways the strong one, and now he can do that with PRG. For over a decade my job was to help the people who couldnt help themselves and speak for the people who couldnt speak for themselves it was the most rewarding thing Ive ever found in my life, and now that Olivia is where she is, Ive actually kind of looked for that meant to be where I am right now. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9SUPPORT PHOTO COURTESY OF TROY EDWARDS Olivia plays with her iPad, which has learning games. The iPad was purchased using donations made by Navy SEALs.

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Page 12 Lifestyle EOSun.com JUNE 2A Magic Curtain Theater musical production of Charlottes Web will be at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, June 2, at Discovery Middle School, 601 Woodbury Road, Orlando. For more information, call 407-282-8368 or visit mcptheater.com East River High School will hold its graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 2, at the UCF Arena, 50 N. Gemini Blvd. Doors open at 9 a.m. Parking will cost $5. For more information, visit ucfarena.comJUNE 3East Orlandos semi-pro basketball team The Florida Flights season home opener is at 5 p.m. Sunday, June 3, at Avalon Middle School, 13914 Mailer Blvd, Orlando. A por tion of the proceeds from each ticket will benet the Bithlo Needs a Bus campaign, which will help purchase a bus for the Bithlo community. Tickets are $10. For tickets, call 407-5929841 or visit ighthoops.comJUNE 4The Audi quattro Cup Golf Tournament will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, June 4, at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club, 9100 Chiltern Drive, Orlando. Amateur golfers and recreational players are welcome to compete in two-person teams for various prizes and a spot in the 2012 U.S. Audi quattro Cup nals at the Pebble Beach golf course. Registration is $150 per golfer and all proceeds will be donated to nonprot Best Buddies Central Florida. Register by Friday, June 1, at bestbuddiesorida.org/quattrocup or call 407-898-0787, ext. 107, for more information.JUNE 7The Valencia College Theater presents The Laramie Project, a play about the real-life murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard, at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays, June 7-10 and June 14-17. Valencias Performing Arts Center is located at Valencia Community College, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail. General admissions tickets cost $10. Tickets for seniors and Valencia faculty, staff or students are $8. Call 407-582-2900 or visit valenciacollege. edu/arts to purchase tickets.JUNE 9Avalon Rec Soccer League will host its UEFA Euro 2012 Tournament at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 9, at the downtown Avalon Park Amphitheater. It costs $20 to enter. There will be trophies and prizes for winners. Register at avalonrecsoccer.comJUNE 10More than a dozen student rock bands will perform in Avalon and Orlando School of Musics free live concert Avalon Rocks at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 10, at the Timber Creek High School Performing Arts Center, 1001 Avalon Park Blvd., Orlando. There will also be a special 45-minute rock guitar clinic before the show at 2 p.m. (Registration required). Call 407-567-7776 or visit AvalonSchoolofMusic.com for more information. JUNE 14Magic Curtain performs Aladdin at 7 p.m. June 14-16 with an addi tional 2 p.m. show on Saturday, June 16, at the Timber Creek High School Performing Arts Center. Tickets cost $10 in advance and $12 at the door. All seats are $5 during an openingnight special for students. Kids younger than 3 see the show for free. For more information, call 407-2828368 or visit mcptheater.com The following are free events at the Alafaya Branch Library, 12000 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando: Learn about Vietnamese cooking techniques and ingredients from chef and author Ha Roda. The cooking workshop is from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 13. Registration is required. Call 407-835-7323 to reserve your spot. Hunger Games fans can meet at the library to dress as their favor ite character, compete in Hunger Games challenges or test their knowledge of trivia from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 16. The event is recommended for teens ages 13-18. Call 407-835-7323 for more information. Groovy Genetics: Unlocking the Unique You is an hour-long science program designed for children that will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, June 18. Registration is required and seating is limited. The program is recommended for children ages 9-12. Call 407-835-7323 to register. Music Together is at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 27, and Saturday, June 30. Marla Stevenson will teach an hour-long, interactive music class for parents and children. The class is recommended for children age 5 and younger. Registration is required. Call 407-835-7323 for more information and to register. Mike & Mary Kranz The Kranz TeamKeller Williams Advantage Group407-716-6614mikemary@mindspring.com www.kranzteam.com Short Sale Certied High Integrity Strong Negotiators Superior Customer Service Serving our Waterford Area neighbors since 1995For all of your Real Estate needs contact: OF CENTRAL FLORIDA CELEBRATING OVER 25 YEARS SERVING YOUR COMMUNITYBernard S. Zeffren, MD Eugene F. Schwartz, MD Winnie Whidden, MSN, ARNP-CVoted Best Doctors of Central FL, Orlando Magazine for 7 consecutive yearsDiplomates American Board of Allergy and Immunology www.orlandoallergy.com250 N. Alafaya Trail Ste 130 Orlando, FL 32825407-380-7991 Evening hours available7560 Ste. 2064 Oviedo, FL 32765407-366-7387 Calendar Aladdin Charlottes Web Avalon Rocks Plan your weekend withThe Weekender!Visit eosun.com and click "Subscribe to Newsletter"

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Page 13 Lifestyle EOSun.com Now to July 15 Reections: Paintings of Florida 1865 1965Drawn from the largest collection of Florida art in the world, the Orlando Museum of Art (OMA) continues celebrating Florida art and artists with 1865 1965 from the Collection of Cici and Hyatt Brown. Runincludes masterworks by artists who worked in Florida over a period of 100 years including Herman Herzog, Thomas Hart Benton and N.C. Wyeth. Its a spectacular collection presented as beautifully as only OMA can do. Highly recommended. Call 407-896-4231 or visit omart.orgJune 5 to 10 La Cage Aux FollesThree Tony Awards, three Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards and this production stars George Hamil ton. Need I say more? Its won derful, touching and funny all at the same time. La Cage Aux Folles the musical comes to the from June 5 to June 10. Ah, but there is more! La Cage recently made Broadway history as the Award three times for Best Pro duction. This 1984 classic by Jerry Herman brought down the house nightly on Broadway with the anthem, I Am What I Am. Its about family values in a home with two daddies and the right to love. Sound familiar? Yes, but its all singing, and all dancing fun. Call 1-800-982-2787 or visit FloridaTheatrical.orgNow through Sept. 9 FloridaScapesScott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel just made a case for the fact that those of us who live along the infamous I-4 cor ridor are truly in line to elect (or re-elect) our next president. In a bit of timely good fortune, the Orange County Regional History Center has opened an exhibit that invites us to redis cover I-4 and the cities and towns that surround it in the exhibit FloridaScapes: I-4-The Exits Less Traveled, now through Sept. 9. Images by Sherri Bunye invite us to discover the beauty of the area while also showing us how by the I-4 experience. The History Center is located at 65 E. Central Blvd. in downtown Orlando. Visit thehistorycenter.org or call 407-836-8500.Now through Sept. 23 Parisian AffairFor those who long for a visit to Paris, the Albin Polasek Museum at 633 Osceola Ave. in Winter Park transports us there in their new exhibit Parisian all summer through Sept. 23. Renouxs art introduces us to the real Paris as his paintings open a window on the everyday sites Parisians love. Renoux (1939-2002), the father of the Urban Realist movement in France, depicts the intimate landmarks of daily life, such as a private courtyard or a pastry shop. Honored within his lifetime, Renouxs awardwinning work has been exhib ited around the world, and this summer the Art of Andre Renoux can be our passport to Paris. Call 407-647-6294 or visit polasek.orgJune 13 and monthly Summer Concert SeriesArt & History Museums Maitland (A&H) has launched a meet your neighbors Summer Concert Series outdoors in A&Hs beautiful gardens at 231 W. Packwood Ave. in Maitland. The series, called Art. Music. Food. Architecture. takes place the second Friday of each month through September. Perfect for summer evenings under the stars with music, poetry and an array of food truck fare, guests bring blankets or chairs, and a bar is available for those who would like a drink or two. The museums stay open, and the atmosphere is welcoming and full of talent. Call 407-539-2181 or visit ArtandHistory.orgJune 21 to July 13 B-Side Artists at the City Arts FactoryCentral Florida is rich in talent, and the diversity of our painters is particularly evident in a group who call themselves the B-Side Artists. The fact that these artists are drawn from the ranks begin to tap the depth of talent pioneers. B-Sides seven original members, including Best Street Artist Winners Swamburger, Trez Harris and Chris Tobar Rodriguez, will bring their talent inside the City Arts Factory with an opening on June 21 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This is serious and innovative art from urban artists who continue to amaze with their unique style, content and willingness to create in atypical situations. On exhibit through July 13, City Arts Factory is at 29 S. Orange Ave. in downtown Or lando. Call 407-648-7060 or visit cityartsfactory.comJune 22, 23 and 24 Annual Harvest FestivalIf you can remember Lucy and Ethels grape stomping debacle, and you want to see just how that questionable entertainment might feel on your toes, come out to Lakeridge Winerys 22nd Annual Harvest Festival on June 22-24. This outdoor event features live music, (real) grape stomping, an arts and craft show and awardwinning Lakeridge Wines. Grape stompers may test their fortitude (for prizes) in the sweet and slippery grape barrels to race against one another, while other guests attend free winery tours and wine tastings, and food vendors inery.com or call 352-394-8627.June 23 to Sept. 8 The Tsars CabinetOne hundred years later, and our fascination with the czars of Russia endures. Now, the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona will open a summer exhibit of The Tsars Cabinet: Two Hundred Years of Russian Decorative Arts under the Romanovs illustrating the decorative arts of Russia from the time of Peter the Great in the early 18th century to that of Nicholas II. Many of the pieces in the exhibit were designed for exclusive use by the tsars, and even the pieces for everyday use demonstrate the richness of Russia during the long reign of the Romanovs. MOAS is at 352 S. Nova Road in Daytona Beach. Call 386-255-0285 or visit MOAS.orgJosh Garrick is a writer, photographer, educator and ne art curator. He is a member of the Curatorial Council for the Museum of Florida Art. Garrick can be reached at joshgarrick9@gmail.com or 407-522-3906. 2012 Curry Ford Road Orlando, FL 32806 407.895.7075License # CAC1816227 Air & Heat Services:Same day repair services $79.95 annual maintenance programs Low price system replacements/ upgrades Ductwork replacement/repairs Insulation Indoor air quality Financing available 10% discount when you mention this ad A silent auction will be conducted at a reception hosted by the Ferris family on Sunday, June 17th, from 5 8 pm. A selection of art works will be for sale and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Jane Goodall Institute.407-622-0102 www.FredlundGallery.compresentsAfrican Art Exhibite Ferris family of South Africa is exhibiting their collection of African art at the Fredlund Gallery. is collection has been assembled over decades and consists of paintings, sculptures, and other African artifacts. Where: Fredlund Fine Arts 1143 Orange Ave Winter Park (Parking in rear o Minnesota) When: June 12th 17th 12pm 7pm daily Reception: Sunday, June 17th 5pm 8pm F redlund F ine A rts Josh GarrickCulture worthy of your calendarFlorida paintings over 100 years Parisian Affair Summer Concert Series

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Page 14 Education EOSun.com Avalon Middle seventh-grader Amy Pho was selected as a Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Star for her dedication to helping others. Pho was selected over all middle school students in Central Florida. Mickey Mouse, her family and the Disney prize patrol recently surprised Pho during her science class. Timber Lakes Elementary School participated in Relay for Life of Avalon Park, an 18-hour walk sponsored by the American Cancer Society to help those who are ghting or who have lost their battles with cancer. Timber Lakes raised approximately $11,000, making it the top earning team. The school raised the money through Coins for Cancer fundraising, the selling of plastic bracelets, a Congo River golf night, and donations from family and friends of the Timber Lakes faculty and staff. Madeline Loyd and Xavier Pagan of Avalon Middle School participated in the Level II Modern Woodmen Oration Contest. Loyd won rst place and will advance to the Level III state competition held May 29. Hai Nguyen of East River High School won the Orange County English Language Learner Spirit of Excellence Award. Nguyen arrived in the U.S. three years ago without any understanding of English. He cur rently has a 4.0 GPA for the year, and hopes to attend dental school after he graduates next year. Avalon Middles music students earned straight superiors at their Orange County Music Performance Assessmentthe highest ranking that can be achieved. In addition, 21 of the schools orchestra students participated in an assessment known as Solo and Ensemble. In total, Avalon orchestra musicians received three superiors with distinction, seven superiors and ve excellents. Timber Creek High School students Alexis Soto and Julie Silvers were awarded best appellate high school attorneys in the state after competing in the 2012 Florida Moot Court Competition. The students traveled to Tallahassee to give oral arguments to actual appellate judges. A student engineering entrepreneur team from the University of Central Florida won the top prize of $100,000 and a summer trip to the White House in a competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. The team won the $100K ACC Clean Energy Challenge, a competition of student business plans for companies focused on renewable energy and other green energy solutions. UCFs team bested nine other southeastern regional nalists. The UCF team will now compete in the National Clean Energy Business Plan Finals in Washington, D.C., June 12-13.Every Friday for nearly 10 years when she was growing up, Traci Campana would gaze out the passenger side window of her moms car, her sights set on the familiar landscape of Rollins Col lege. They would pass the campus, the steeple of its chapel peeking above the other Spanish-style buildings and thick canopy of trees, on their way to and from Orlando to Winter Park where Traci participated in show-dog agility training classes. Im going to go there one day, she would remind her mom frequently as they drove by. It could happen, her mom would say, if Traci worked really hard. It was never a negative thing, but it was a realistic thing, Traci says, looking back, sitting in the student center of her now alma mater. But it was Rollins or noth ing, she continued. I didnt want to go anywhere but here. For the girl who was told in middle school shed likely never graduate high school with a standard diploma, let alone even think of ever making it to college, it seemed reality was stacked against her. But Traci wasnt ready to give Diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a variety of learning disabilities, and a high functioning degree of autism, learning didnt come easy. But she learned how to be a student in her own way, and with a 4.0 GPA, earning the stan dard diploma shed fought so hard for. Eight years, two surgeries, a brief stint at Valencia College to get her associate degree, and thousands of hours of studying later, she graduated in May from Rollins College with a degree in psychology and minor in leader ship, and again, a 4.0 GPA. Not only did I reach my goal, but I surpassed it by graduating, she said. Leading up to this gradua standard; she was working her way into the running for valedic torian. But it seemed she was swim ming upstream. A 150-page book her classmates could read in a day or two took her all week. Others would go to class, take notes and move on, while Traci would be home poring over her digital recorder, transcribing the professors every word, knowing shed have to listen to it a few times for it to actually sink in. Shed regularly be up until 10 p.m., 11 p.m. or midnight still transcribing, knowing shed have to get up and do it all over again the next day. It was a process, but well worth it, she said. I prob ably could have done less, but I wouldnt have gotten the 4.0. She balanced this with re search and volunteer projects, as well as raising her 7-year-old daughter. She commuted from her East Orlando home to the Rollins campus for her evening classes multiple days a week. James Armstrong, the profes sor for Tracis last class at Rollins, Dostoevsky, the God Problem and Self Understanding, said Traci was there every lecture sitting in the front row to his right. He said she was always an active participant without being domi nating, and got straight As the whole class. Through some of her written work I was able to get to know her a little more, he said. And there were things that happened to her early on that would have crushed other people, but she was able to overcome them. And as I indicated to the entire class on our last day together, she had been an inspiration to all of us. Her academic advisor for all her years at Rollins, Teresa Cole, said Tracis journey wasnt always easy, having to take weeks sons, but was amazing to watch. Shes done amazing, and she is amazing, Cole said. Shes risen to the occasion and done it well. As graduation started to loom, talks of who would be valedicto rian swirled. At Rollins, instead of choosing the student with only the highest academic standards, administrators choose someone lins all around. As much as I wanted it, I wasnt sure Id get it, Traci said. But when I found out I did, we Named Outstanding Graduating Senior and valedictorian, Traci was given the opportunity to speak at graduation on May 13. I was so excited to have that opportunity, not for my moment of glory, but to speak for all of my friends, she said. People will come up to me and tell me that my story was their story, and even if they couldnt relate to all of it, they still could feel a connec tion to what Ive been through. Two weeks after graduation, she poses outside the same cha pel steeple she used to gaze at from afar, dreaming of one day going to the school it represents, wearing her cap and protectively clasping her freshly printed Rol lins College diploma. I just love it here, she says, sighing as she admires the cam pus she now knows both inside and out. Shes pleased to say shell be staying a little while lon ger, set to start Rollins Crummer Graduate School of Business to get her MBA next spring. I think Ive proved that even if youre told over and over again that you cant do something, if you work hard enough, she said, you can do anything you set your mind to.Ruling Rollins SARAH WILSONSun Staff PHOTO BY SARAH WILSONTraci Campana was told shed never graduate high school and she went on to become valedictorian at Rollins College. East Orlando resident overcomes the odds to become Rollins College valedictorian School News Timber Creek attorneys Dreamers and Doers Tom Carey SundewGardens@gmail.comEvery home should have a garden Experience homegrown gardening:

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Page 15 http://www.coloring-book.info Aladdin Coloring Contest!

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Page 16 Education EOSun.com East Orlandos top students Timber Creek and East River high schools valedictorians and salutatorians in 2012 EAST RIVER: VALEDICTORIANMackenzie Chase GPA: 5.34 Throughout high school, Mackenzie was involved in the marching and symphonic bands, Student Government Association, National Honor Society, and was the president of the senior class. Her GPA is 5.34. She spent her extra-time volunteering with Childrens Home Society, the HOPE foundation, Christ to the Nations Church, and Freedom Ride. She plans to attend the Bur nett Honors College at the University of Central Florida with a major in biomedical sciences and a minor in international studies. After achieving an undergraduate degree, she hopes to attend medical school and strive for a career in pediatric oncology, one day practicing medicine in the international community. Her biggest accomplishment is being a three-time recipient of the Disney Dreamer and Doer award for her work with Child Abuse Awareness.SALUTATORIANMichael Jarrod Moseley GPA: 4.96 Michael Jarrod Moseley was a member of the National Honor Society and volunteered as a math tutor at East River. He earned most of his volunteer hours at the Veterans Hospital in Orlando. He began taking classes at Valencia Community College as a dual-enrollment student during his junior year at East River and has earned more than 50 credit hours toward his AA degree. He plans on joining the U.S. Navy as a military ofcer after studying computer/electrical engineering and cyber/network security at UCF. Michael is also interested in science, history, politics and aeronautics.TIMBER CREEK: Alex Torres GPA: 5.3 Alex is our highest weighted valedictorian. He co-founded an organic garden at Timber Creek that grows food to feed the needy in our community. Alex serves as the head coach of a YMCA youth soccer club. He will be attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology majoring in mechanical engineering. Spencer Flaniken GPA: 5.1 weighted, 4.0 unweight Spencer will be majoring in mechanical engineering at the University of Florida. He was president of the National Honor Society, captain of the water polo team, involved in choir and was awarded the Best Buy and Fairwinds Credit Union scholarship. Shelia Serra GPA: 5.106 weighted, 4.0 unweight Sheila has been involved in numerous extracurricular activi ties. Most notably, she was the vice president of the Pre-Med Club, on varsity in ag football, a member of Mu Alpha Theta, on the Quiz Bowl team, and served in College Club, Beta Club, and the National Honor Society. She plans to attend the University of Central Florida to pursue a possible career in mechanical engineering. Ashley Howell GPA: 4.9 weighted, 4.0 unweight Ashley will be attending the University of Central Florida and hopes to pursue a career in engineering. Briana Garcia GPA 5.1 weighted, 4.0 unweight Briana will be attending Brown University to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. She was a historian in Mu Alpha Theta, and the treasurer of the Pre-Med Club and National Latin Honor Society. She also nished third place in the regional Science Olympiad Competition. Kim Esotesta GPA: 5.1 weighted, 4.0 unweight Kim will be attending the University of Florida and will major in digital arts or phar macy. Her major achievements were becoming president of Beta Club and earning the National Beta Club scholarship. She was an ofcer for National Honor Society and a Girls State representative. Kinsey Lopez GPA: 4.95 weighted Kinsey will attend Brigham Young University and plans to study nursing. Throughout high school, she learned a lot about becoming a leader and getting involved in the community. Just this year, Kinsey was senior class vice president and National Honor Society secretary. She had the honor of managing all four blood drives this year. She said it was one of the most fullling experiences in high school. Charles Spears GPA: 5.05 Charles will be attending the University of Florida to study industrial engineering with a minor in French. He hopes to nd a career in project management that involves travel. Charles was an active member of the orchestra, drama club and wrestling team. Sean Toner GPA: 5.1 Sean served as Public Forum Debate captain, earned ninth place speaker at the Yale Debate Invitational, and was a nalist at the University of Pennsylvania Round Robin. Sean is a member of the National Forensic League Speech and Debate Honor Society. He was president of the National Latin Honor Society. Sean will attend the Univer sity of Florida Honors College as a biology/premed major. He hopes to become a surgeon. Natalie Parra GPA: 5.2 Natalie has been involved in ve clubs at Timber Creek and held leadership positions in four of them, including president of the senior class and co-founder and president of Schools for Schools, which raises money for children in Uganda who have been affected by the countrys civil war. She will attend the University of Central Florida with a focus on civil or mechanical engineering. Ahmad Abdel-Aty GPA: 5.4189 Ahmad served as vice president of Beta Club and National Honor Society, secretary for the Spanish National Honor Society, and was on the water polo team. He was also a National Merit Scholar. Ahmad plans to attend the University of Central Florida, and hopes to become a doctor. Michael Cat GPA: 5.1579 Michael has been an active member of the Timber Creek Regiment, Beta Club, National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society and Pre-Medical Club. He plans to major in biomedical sciences at the University of Central Florida, and hopes to become a doctor. Veronica Prado GPA: 5.1 Veronica was a member of the AP Choice Program and was involved in numerous clubs and community service activities during high school. She plans to attend the University of Central Florida and hopes to become a veterinarian. Alexis Soto GPA: 4.7 Alexis was a member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society, Speech and Debate Team, and Mock Trial Team. She recently won the State Moot Court Competition. Alexis has been a martial arts instructor and personal development coach for girls to develop self-esteem. She was Miss Timber Creek 2012 and Miss Teen United States Beautiful 2011 with a platform on breast cancer awareness. She plans to attend the University of Central Florida with a major in political science. Antonio Prado GPA: 5.0 Antonio was a state qualier for the Wrestling State Championship and has passed all AP exams he has taken. He plans to attend the University of Florida and become either an economist or mechanical engineer. Chris Leary GPA: 5.02 Chris has been a member of Timber Creeks thespian troupe since freshman year. He has won several awards, including a Cappie Award for Best Supporting Actor in all of Central Florida. He will be attending Florida State University in the fall with a major in lm production. Brianna Wilkes GPA: 5.0 Brianna participated in Nation al Honor Society, Beta Club and College Club. She took part in many service activities, including providing lunches and dinners for the Ronald McDonald House. She plans to attend Florida State University and pursue a career as a nurse practitioner. I think Im going to Iowa. Ill go to the Oviedo splash pad a lot and Im going to clean my house. Owen, 9 I wanna ask my mom if we can go on vacation. Vacations are fun. You get to go to the mountains. You get to go hiking. Im going to walk through the woods. Its my most favorite thing. Devon, 6 Well, Im doing a lot this summer. Im going to Ripleys Believe it or Not. Its a really scary place. Macy, 9 Im going to a camp called Camp Ogle. Its a social studies camp but its really fun. Its not even like learning social studies. Its like a game. Drew, 10 I am going to the beach. We usually go out to the deep end and nd really big shells and make sand castles. Kiersten, 8 I am having a sleep over with my best friend Megan. I am going to the west coast to play at the beach. Theres really low waves there so we can swim. I like it. Kaytlin, 9 We asked Avalon Elementary students, What are your summer plans?

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Page 18 Opinions EOSun.com The unemployment rate is going down and more jobs are being adver tised. Yeah, the recession is over and we can all rest easy. Well, not exactly. It is true the market seems to be opening up. Recently, at the Mayors job fair, we saw more companies and more positions available. There were not only seasonal and hospitality positions, but longer-term opportuni ties with major companies like FedEx and Coca-Cola as well. It is not time to let down your guard by any means. Competition is still tough. I recently posted five positions for AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteers and the resumes I am seeing are amazing. I am so impressed with the talent still available in the market. (To see the positions go to CFEC.org) This tells me the market is still really tight. The other thing I am seeing is very little slowdown at my office in the number of jobseekers coming in for assistance. We generally see about 40 or 50 people a day. The Tuesday before the job fair we saw more than 80 people. The good news is we are seeing more people landing good jobs. We started a job skills boot camp about a year ago and we are seeing a high percentage of our campers get jobs. The next class will start June 14 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at my office in Casselberry. RSVPs and three to five years of computer skills are required, and space is limited. You can RSVP to me. If you are one of the long-term unemployed, or newly unemployed dont give up! There are jobs out there. You have to be persistent and at the top of your game.Sandi Vidal, an Avalon Park resident, is the executive director for Christian HELP and the Central Florida Employment Council and has more than 15 years of recruiting and human resources experience. Visit www.cfec.org detailing and describing the easy and delicious ways to change out some of the fatty, unhealthy foods you have been eating for friendly. In this series, I am going to give you alternative food ideas to use that are going philosophy when making changes like this For instance, the reasons we put mayonnaise on a sandwich is to create a water proof barrier so the bread doesnt get soggy, What if we were to switch out the mayon naise and replace it with a soft, ripe mashed avocado? You will get the same results except that when using the avacado, you get a product that can provide in excess of 25 es sential vitamins, as much potassium as three bananas and fat that is good for the heart. There are dozens of other healthy prod ucts that can be swapped in recipes where bad food reigned, such as sweet potato, pumpkin or any hard squash mash, apple sauce, fresh fruits and fruit purees, as well as grains and legumes. Once I show you all the possibilities that can be created with some culinary knowhow, your health will become better by leaps and bounds, without In this recipe, I am going to indulge your sweet tooth. We are going to make an oatmeal pear cookie, where most of the from the pears. However, dont be limited to pears. Interchange it with one of your favorite fruits. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to email me or join me for one of my cooking comChef Rich lives in Avalon Park and owns Healthy Flame, a cooking school dedicated to ghting obesity. He has been cooking and teaching professionally for more than 14 years. Email any questions or comments to chefrich@healthyame.com The Substitutes series will continue running online. Chef Richs Kitchen column is published online every Thursday at www. eosun.com Richard RosadoChef Richs Kitchen Swap bad-for-you ingredients with healthy ones in recipesAs always, weve been keeping busy at the East Orlando Chamber of Commerce, working to help grow business for our members and educate the community about all the wonderful things going on in our region. Last week we held our ninth annual Vision Event at the University of Central Floridas College of Medi cine, made possible by our generous sponsors: Florida Hospital East, UCF, Suburban Land Reserve, Cross Fernandez & Riley, LLP, Primrose School at Lake Nona and HHCS Health Group of Companies and our corporate seating sponsors. It was a phenomenal event with more than 150 people coming out to hear our expert panelists Dr. Tony G. Waldrop, Dr. Kathleen Plinske, Ran dolph E. Berridge, Rick L. Weddle and Moderator Marc Middleton discuss the talent supply and education opportunities of East Orlando, and how they ultimately drive innovation and economic development. Our next large-scale event is the upcoming East Side Regional Hob Nob on Tuesday, June 26, at Bright House Networks Stadium at UCF. For this event, we partner with the OviedoWinter Springs Regional Chamber of Commerce and give attendees the opportunity to come out and meet the candidates in all levels of local govern ment running for election in the fall. Attendees will also get a chance to vote in our two county straw polls. If youre interested in registering to attend, or would like more information on the event, visit ESRHobNob.com Lastly, I have a personal challenge for everyone who has never been to one of our events. Head to our website, EOCC.org pick out an event and join us. What have you got to lose? If youre up for the challenge, I can guarantee youll enjoy quality networking, and you might even have a laugh or two with a few new friends while you simultaneously grow your business. Sounds like a win-win doesnt it? Thats because it is! I hope to see you soon. Gege Venant is membership director for the East Orlando Chamber of Commerce. Visit eocc.orgMy focus this month is on property crimes in Orange County. At the beginning of May, the annual Uniform Crime Report was released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It provides statistical data on rates of occurrence of various types of serious crimes among the coun ties in Florida. While murder, rape and assaults all declined in Orange County and statewide by 0.08 percent, crimes against property continue to chal lenge law enforcement. The FDLE reports Orange Countys rate for property crimes increased 5 percent in 2011. This is juxtaposed against an overall decrease in crime generally. Burglary incidents rose from 13,783 in of 2012, the trend has been similar. While many property crimes are considered to be crimes of opportunity where thieves simply grab items left un guarded and in plain sight, or gain access through unlocked doors to cars and houses, others, are more sinister and organized burglaries take place. Certainly every citizen should do all they can to make sure their belongings are secured. But unfor tunately theft is a statistical probability sometime in all of our lives. It leaves us feeling violated and unsafe. Having had my own home burglarized in 2011, I relate well to all who have fallen prey to these thieves. County have the responsibility to oversee the resources that keep all of us safe from those who would violate the law. In response to discussions I have had with other elected and appointed representatives and in concert with reports we have received from residents concerning their own encounters, I have asked for additional resources to further examine this vital issue. With the support from the Board of County Commissioners and various law enforcement agencies, crimes against property will now be assigned a top priority by the Orange County Criminal Justice/ Public Safety Coordinating Council. Members of the Council include the Or ange County State Attorney, the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court, and the Director of the County Jail. The Council meets once each quarter to discuss various topics related to law enforcement. They are also in charge of determining where inner gov ernmental coordination and cooperation can occur and best serve the residents of Orange County. It is my hope that the work done on this issue by this prestigious group will assist in bringing down or eradicating recent waves of property crime. As Orange County continues to grow, we as in proportion to our growth. This is just one of the challenges we face every day. Certainly, it af fects the quality of our lives and our vital tourist community. We live here now, and we want our children to live here in the future. We need to be secure in the knowledge that we have done every thing we can to make Orange County a safe place to live. My position as County Commissioner al lows me to assist in the development of policy that will help law enforcement coordinate and develop resources to that purpose. Its past time to tackle this problem with renewed commitment to our community. you should you have any questions or concerns. Please contact Dana Boyte or Lynette Rummel at Ted Edwards is the commissioner for Orange County District 5. Contact him at 407-836-7350 or district5@oc.net Oatmeal Pear Cookies 5 oz. brown sugar 4 oz. honey 1/2 oz. butter, soft 1 oz. egg whites 1/2 oz. evaporated milk 1 tsp. vanilla 5 oz. oats, quick cook 4 oz. our, all purpose 4 oz. pear puree 3.5 oz. diced pears Method:Cream the sugar, honey and butter together until the mixture becomes light and uffy. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg whites, milk, and vanilla, then mix it well with the butter mixture. Mix the oats and our together until they are incorporated well. Then mix the oats mixture with the egg white mixture until its incorporated well. Fold in the pear puree and pears again until incorporated well. Using a portion scoop (ice cream scoop), portion out about 1 oz cookies on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool before enjoying. Ted EdwardsCommissioners CornerProperty crimes up in East OrlandoMore jobs open as economy betters Gege VenantFrom the ChamberChamber event a success Sandi VidalAsk Sandi

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Page 19 Opinions EOSun.com Summer is right around the corner, and for many parents its a stressful time balancing work, play, and kids. There are many cool summer camps in Orlando some more traditional in nature and others that are a lifetime experience for kids. all sorts of fun. Growing up in Kenya, a typical summer break for our family was doing outdoor activities in Masai Mara, Amboseli National Park, Lake Naivasha, Kericho or Mombasa. Being outdoors and among animals and nature is how our family spent almost every summer. For many youths, participating in camps that involve animals, wilderness, camping, and other forms of outdoor activities are more than fun, they provide an experience that helps them learn about themselves, their impact to the environment and evokes compassion and caring for animals. These types of camps foster tremendous team building exercises and out-of-the-box thinking; they help build innovators, initiators and leaders; they are compelling because of the nature of the camp and the type of youth that want to participate in them. When thinking of a summer activity for your child, dont be limited to camps and activities that are within your reach. Make the investment to make this opportunity count for your child, and engage him or her in an activity in which they can be free and imaginative. These are the times for youths to grow and do a lot of self learning, not just buy time. I hear often from families who have children who love animals, and especially dogs. There are some awesome dog-related summer camps, some right here in Orlando. Take into consideration the activities your youth has shown interest in and take the time to help them develop these skills. Prepare them for their future and provide them with the relevant experiences so that they can lay their path for a successful future. Summer camps and activities are a great time to help mold your childs future, giving them a sense of the goals they need to accomplish while giving them a small taste for reality.Teena Patel, certied dog trainer and canine behavioral counselor, has over 14 years of experience working with dogs, birds and children. She and her husband, Nimesh Patel, reside in Avalon Park and own University of Doglando, a dog training and boarding campus in East Orlando, and Groom Grub and Belly Rub, a pet grooming, sitting and supply store in Avalon Park. They are parents to three dogs. Pet Life will run in the weekly East Orlando Sun online edition at www.eosun.com, informing of pet-related events, trends and a featured dog of the week from a local pet rescue. Teena PatelPet LifeGet kids, pets outdoors this summer Letters to the editor Have an opinion? Send it to newsdesk@eosun.comKeep teen drivers safeThe AAA Foundation for study showing a strong association between the number and age of passengers present in-vehicle and the risk of a teen driver dyThe study found that the likelihood of a 16or 17-year-old driver being killed in a crash, per mile driven, increases with each additional young passenger in the vehicle. The fatality risk increases 44 percent when carry ing one passenger younger than 21, doubles when carrying two passengers younger than 21, and quadruples when carrying three or more passengers younger than 21. This study had no older pas sengers in the vehicle. Conversely, carrying at least one passenger 35 years old or older cuts a teens drivers risk of death by 62 percent, and risk of involvement in any policereported crash by 46 percent, ence that parents/guardians and other adults have in the car. Carrying young passengers is an enormous risk, but its should send an obvious message to parents and guardians repu diating them from riding in a vehicle with other young people, whether theyre in the drivers seat or in the back seat. This research clearly demonstrates the strong connection between carrying young pas sengers, and higher crash fatality rates for teen drivers. Armed with this data, you can under stand why its so important that Floridas graduated driver licens ing program adequately limit passengers for new teen drivers. The Auto Club Group is work ing with parents, teens and other partners to promote policies and programs that will increase the safety of all drivers. AAA suggests to parents the following steps they can take to improve their teens safety as they learn to drive on their own: -Keep passengers out: As previously stated above, teen drivers crash risks multiply with teenage passengers in the vehicle. Set limits and enforce them consistently. -Practice, practice, practice: Once teens have their actual license, continue to practice together to ensure that basic skills are mastered, and to introduce varied driving conditions (snow, an experienced driver in the passenger seat. -Limit night driving: Reduced visibility makes night driving riskier for drivers of all ages. For inexperienced teens, its even harder. Allow new teen drivers to drive at night only if truly neces sary, or to practice with a parent. -Keep setting rules: Parents/ guardians can and should set and enforce rules above and beyond their state laws. In addition to night and passenger limits, set rules for inclement weather, highways, cities, or other driving conditions in which a teen has not gained enough experience. Find a parent teen driving agreement on TeenDriving.AAA. com that can help. John Pecchio Trafc safety manager with AAANational spotlight on BithloU.S. Congressman John Mica recently took a lengthy tour of Bithlo. Due to redistricting, if re-elected his newly drawn district will cover part of Bithlo. Congresswoman Sandy Adams, who currently represents Bithlo and will face Mica for re-election in what is already a nationally watched, hotly contested GOP race, has also taken a brief tour of Bithlo and attended a public meeting on the communitys water issue. Bithlo is hot. I mean that in a good and positive way. Not only is correcting the wrongs in this community the morally right thing to do, it is the politically smart thing to do. Why? Because of you, the neighbors, churches, civic organizations and corporations surrounding Bithlo and throughout Orange County have stepped up by the thousands to say, We care. Ironically, I started full speed ahead to work on Bithlos posi the last election year. I had the opportunity to meet public events, debates and other venues. This gave me the unique opportunity to present to them issues and possible solutions that had been long overlooked and ignored in this community of thousands in east Orange County. It was shocking and disturbing to learn about the things that prevented Bithlo as a whole for decades from being a healthy community. Deep generational poverty; low high school graduation rates; lack of safe transpor tation down an extremely busy East Colonial Drive, which cuts the Bithlo community in half; sub-standard housing made up primarily of old trailers; the lack of even one medical clinic or den tist; lack of the most fundamental necessities of life such as ad equate food, clothing and shelter; poor quality, if not contaminated, drinking water in an environ illegal dumps and leaky gas stations, intermingled with what I am told is the highest concentration of septic tanks in the state. This is all within what is the Econlockhatchee River basina sacred Florida waterway. Recognizing that these prob lems, though big and complicated, were solvable, motivated real positive change. Personally, I believe that individuals should be responsible for their own success and destiny. That being said, I was struck by the obvious discrimination Bithlo residents had faced at the hands of those governments and individuals charged to represent them. It does not take a degree in politi cal science to see that an equal standard had not been applied to Bithlo relating to basic infrastruc ture, utilities and public health, as has been provided to other communities and citizens in Orange County, even those also facing extreme poverty. So in 2010, having the oppor tunity to get on the radar of so and public entities helped lay the foundation for the progress we have seen so far in Bithlos posi ing: a new medical clinic serving both the insured and uninsured; improved county maintenance of streets, ditches, etc. (though there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done); some private well testing; renewed attention to the A-Z illegal dump in a Bithlo neighborhood that the county has neglected action on for many years; more focused attention on leaky gas station contamination; and Lynx working to address new public transportation op tions. Federal and state-level politicos are not the only ones with Bithlo on their radar. Commissioner Ted Edwards opposition for County Commission District 5, Gina Duncan, has not only taken a lengthy tour of Bithlo, but has been working on an aggressive plan, I am told, to address many of the issues there she recently learned about. Chief Judge Belvin Perry, a life-long resident of Orange County, like me, called the other day and is working to schedule a tour. There is an open invitation for every interested politician, candidate or any other person of hand. Many are responding. I will conclude with this: You matter! This election year, your the ability to cause real, positive those desiring to be elected. Lets remind them all that they are servants of the people...ALL of the people. Tim McKinney OrlandoStay close, get creative, save more this summerWith summer just around the corner, families are still thinking about their travel plansand whats in their bank accounts. Tight budgets might have families staying closer to home, especially as the average family vacation can easily run $4,000 or more for a week for a group of four. But staying closer to home can still be fun. CredAbility, one counseling and education agenhost of ideas for families con sidering a creative, cost-saving staycation this summer: best fun is less than an hour from home. Consider local theme or water parks, festivals, gardens, zoos and sporting events. A quick Google search of things to do in your city can produce dozens of ideas. Check out all the local newspapers and websites for a calendar of upcoming events in your area. destination and create it in your own home. Visit the library and check out books and DVDs on that country. Have fun with the family making an itinerary of places to go, research and make foods native to the country and even make costumes based on the countrys culture. Its a great educational and fun concept! House swap with a family or friends in another town. Its a getaway to a new place and destination without having to dole out the dollars for a hotel stay, airfare and more. picnic at a local beach, lake, park or in your backyard. Get out your nice dishes and glasses, and pack a tablecloth and linen napkins. Bring some fun outdoor games, such as bocce ball or badminton and make a day of it. party, like a luau, beach night, or the 50s and invite friends, neighbors and relatives. Plan the menu and ask everyone to bring an item. Visit local thrift stores and garage sales ahead of time for decorations and clothing. It not only saves you a ton of money, but we all love to rummage for a great deal! You can also have it at a local city, county or state park. After the theme party, pack up all the items you purchased and sell them as a lot on eBay so you can recoup some of your expense and pass the idea on to someone else. You dont have to spend a lot of money or go far from home to fun. A family of four can bowl for two hours or head to a movie matinee for about $50. Spend an afternoon roller-skating or iceskating. Take a golf lesson or go horseback riding. Get a few famiteams for a softball game. Sign up for Groupon (Grou pon.com) and Living Social (LivingSocial.com) to get daily and you can easily plan a weeks worth of activities at a discount. They are also a great resource if you are looking to save on summer day camp for your kids. Judy MacKenzie Grants Manager, CredAbility

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After 12 years of feeding the homeless, four years of working es through the mobile Samaritan Four years ago, Donna lessness manager for Orange two grants totaling $1 million that with the grant funding we here has seen that has not been I hate to be inhumane, but Some days I go out by myself and think Calendar ..................... 12 Aladdin Coloring Contest ....... 15 ...... 16 Cooking column, recipe ......... 18 New Pet Life column ........... 19 Dad starts support group for parents with special-needs kids 9 out players shine after going far in season play 8 East scored well on FCAT MEGAN STOKES Sun Staff Elementary fourth-graders and heard about the new testing stan I know that we were feeling we feel like we are always right on Please see GRADES on page 6 MEGAN STOKES Sun Staff Entering the 9,515-acre Hal Scott Please see HAL SCOTT on page 4 Commissioners approve homeless center MEGAN STOKES Sun Staff Pending closing, Please see HOMELESS on page 4 Accessing nature Other trail projects planned for East Orlando All of these trails are planned to interconnect.

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Page 4 Community News EOSun.com 06/30/2012 sible solutions but they want to some sort of add-on within our signs for safety and building other be worked out and it should be ridden out there and I think it East trail plans funded with federal grants, was ally surround that building with a to build the trail and issues with easements, the building will stand building sitting there and it looks C HAL SCOTT S. Alafaya Trail Hal Scott Preserve Mailer Blvd Avalon Trail

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Page 5 Community News EOSun.com Volunteering Today Could Mean Medical Breakthroughs TomorrowYour participation in a research study for an investigational medication could help benet millions of people.Covance is looking for: Call: Visit: TestWithTheBest.comIndividuals appearing in this advertisement are models. Research Unit Inc. 8252-273 Daytona Print 23APR2012 East Orlando Sun Do you have atrial brillation that requires you to be on blood-thinning medication? For more information call Florida Hospital Cardiovascular Research at (407) 303-7556 www.FLHeart.org e WATCHMAN le atrial appendage system is designed to prevent the release of thrombi (clots) that may form in the appendage of patients with non-valvular atrial brillation to reduce the occurrence of ischemic stroke (blockage of blood ow to the brain) and systemic migration of clots (throughout the body). To qualify you must be: Eighteen years of age or older Have documented non-vavular atrial brillation Eligible for long-term Warfarin therapy Participation requires a 24-hour hospital stay following a procedure at Florida Hospital, close monitoring and comprehensive study-related care by qualied medical personnel. Driveways, Patios, Pool Decks Epoxy Garage Floors Email: Decorative Concrete Decorative Concrete with this ad C HOMELESS good deal of fundraising to do to get ser The homeless service center

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Page 6 Community News EOSun.com member Daryl Flynn said the and administrators are going to work hard to see where their stu dents are strong and are weak be Earlier this year, Florida more harshly and students who grades will now be based on the similarly well, with the number of students earning a 3 or higher An audit is being done to who worked so hard all year will no matter what the state bases its failing these tests and get so dis It would be terrible if the kids worked so hard and then they ond language and ESE students students a national assessment now and I think when they (the the way they aligned the grad Flynn said testing our students years and will stay that way for at least another few years as the way is all the standards, all the the national test will be good for Business Month of the Rotary Co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Avalon Park, the East Orlando Sun and Pinnacle Awards & Promotions, the Rotary Business of the Month recognizes East Orlando businesses and organizations that are actively involved in their communities and embody the motto of Rotary: Service above self. Winners receive a plaque, a free advertisement in the Sun and a spot in the Downtown Avalon Park Discount Card, which serves all of East Orlando. Nominate a business at facebook.com/avalonparkrotary. Carl Black of Orlando C GRADES SCHOOL 3+ 4+ Grade 4 Camelot . 90 ........... ............. ........... Waterford .......... ........... Sunrise ............. 90 ........... Castle Creek ........ ........... . ........... 59 Stone Lakes ......... 94 ........... 82 Grade 8 ........... 89 ........... 69 Corner Lakes ........ 80 ........... ............. ........... Grade 10 ........... 88 ........... 62 ....... 89 ........... 66

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Page 7 Sports EOSun.com Knights baseball may have one of the best road records in NCAA baseball, but itll be put to the test as No. 16 UCF takes Friday, June 1, to face a former College World Series team. Hitting the tournament on the road will bring a dose of familiarity for the dominant Knights (43-15), who enter the regional seeded No. 2 for the tournament, just like last year when they played in Tal lahassee. This time theyre heading to Cor al Gables to take on Missouri State, a team that made it to the 2003 College World Se ries. Thats also the last time Bears (39-20) made it to the postseason. The Knights will have their work cut out for them on the mound, as the Bears are rarely at a loss for runs. And with longtime coach Keith Guttin, who hit the 1,000-win mark this season, at the helm, theyll have plenty of postseason experi ence coaching them through the tourna ment. For the Knights, who have struggled at the plate against strong pitching, itll theyve previously failed to deliver. But the Knights have a knack for coming back, as shown in the Conference USA Tourna ment in late May. Theyll rely on clutch hitting all around, particularly from the cleanup bat of D.J. Hicks, though hes games. During the Knights 6-2 pummel ing of Tulane to close out the C-USA tour nament, he drew four walks. rassing 15-1 loss to C-USA backmarker UAB to come back with a pair of wins Tournament. The two wins were just as big a blowout as their one loss in the tour nament, with the Knights lighting up East Carolina pitching in an 11-1 win on May 24. In that game, they left less than one runner per inning on base. Depending on how far they go, the Knights could have the chance to play Miami, Florida State and University of Florida, though the Knights wont see the Gators unless they make it to the Col lege World Series. Theyll have one shot at redemption if they fall in the doubleFriday, June 1, in Coral Gables. Knights head to NCAA tourney ISAAC BABCOCK Sun Staff PHOTO BY ISAAC BABCOCK Cleanup hitter D.J. Hicks has given the Knights a boost in on-base percentage going into the postseason. Jose Santana, an East River senior, took third place overall in the 400 meter sprint at the recent state track meet. During the schools Senior Night, Santana was awarded a $400,000 scholarship, which includes all expenses plus pay, from West Point and will run track there this fall. Timber Creek lacrosse and football player Jacob Rooney was named Athlete of the Year at the recent Bright House Sports Network Breakfast of Champions Orange County High School Sports Awards. East Rivers 2011-2012 All-Metro Confer ence champions were recently recognized at a breakfast in their honor. The students were: Bret Rutledge, Daniel Mojica, Wilfredo Rodriquez, Micah Cross, Adam Duckett, Ryne Rankin, Tito Rodriquez, Grifn Soderquist, Jose Santana, Corey Ray, Dshawn Dexter, Keith Clements, Jessica Kainer, Chelsea Brooks, Frangelyca Brito, Taylor Smith, Brooke Myers, Kaela Harmon, Bailey Wise, Kyle Johnson and Tanner Meadows. Timber Creek girls basketball team forward Brittany Cross signed a letter of intent to play for Eastern Wyoming College. UCF football earned an all-time high NCAA graduation success rating of 79 12 points above the national average for the 201112 season under Head Coach George OLeary. Ten returning football student-ath letes earned their degrees this year and a total of 20 players from last years team have already graduated or expect to graduate this summer. Avalon Middle School boys track nished sixth overall while the AMS girls team placed seventh overall in the Orange County Middle School Track Fest held at Showalter Field on Saturday, May 12. AMS was one of 37 schools participating. Top honors were given to Bran don Marquez who set county records in both the 800and 1600-meter runs. The No. 16 UCF baseball team had a program-best seven student-athletes earned All-C-USA awards on Tuesday, May 22. This season was UCFs most successful season since joining Conference USA in 2005. The Scoop Jacob Rooney Jose Santana

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Page 8 Sports EOSun.com Four-year-old Branden Castro was never caught without a base ball and bat in his hands. From the time he started play ing t-ball, his father, Vincent, could tell the boy was going to be a good player. Just by the way he was swing ing the bat, and also his body lan guage, Vincent said. Now, 14 years later, Castro is the Most Valuable Player on Tim ber Creek High Schools baseball team, and committed to play at Alabama State University in the fall. However, Castro didnt rely on the talent of that four-yearold boy. He made sure he worked harder than the next kid to get what he wanted. I guess because I knew that I could make a future out of it, and I always had the support of my parents and my brother, Castro said. It was just something I al ways wanted since I was a little kid. He was always practicing, Vincent said. We have a batting cage in our back yard and he was always in the batting cage work ing out. I used to make sure that he knew how important it was to work hard. Talent can only take you so far, but your work ethic is what is really important. Castro took that lesson from his father with him when he be came a Timber Creek Wolf. The shortstop ended his fouryear varsity career this season as MVP and captain, leading the wolves in batting average (.475), RBIs (19), homeruns (3) and defensively, making only one error the entire season. Hitting for hours after practice with our hitting coachI think thats what made me the hitter I am, Castro said. We would just hit and hit and hit. Practice would end about 4:30, and I would get out around 6:30 or 7:00 with him. Although his batting average is impressive, Timber Creek head coach Scott Grove thinks that his stands out. At shortstop he didnt make an error, Grove said. I think he had one error the whole season, which is pretty incredible with all the chances that he had. Work ethic like Castros is the reason why the Timber Creek baseball program has been so successful. Close to 90 percent of the programs athletes have gone on to play professional or college baseball, and the teams have won 20 games or more almost every year the school has been open. They have made it to the state the district championship the last four in the state tournament this year as well as in 2010. We really feel that nobody works as much as we do, Grove said. We have a great summer program with a camp that we do, and were just going to continue to work as hard as we can. And ya know, I think well win one, one day. Grove has been coaching base ball at Timber Creek since the school opened 11 years ago. He spent seven years playing profes sional baseball after being drafted by the Atlanta Braves out of high school, and later traded to the To ronto Blue Jays. The Wolves (21-7) are used to winning, but May 19 they had to handle a disappointing loss. The team succumbed to Port Orange Spruce Creek (29-5) in the Class went on to win the state champi onship. seem like a huge disappointment, but the path the Wolves took to tories. credible, Grove said. Especially when its a single elimination like Florida has. Not only did they end the reg ular season with 21 wins, but to down Tampa Wharton, which Were a young team, but just the hard work, the ethic that we have as a team is second to none this year, said senior pitcher Zachary Barrett. Barrett, who committed to Bethune-Cookman in the fall, transferred to Timber Creek from Spruce Creek, and had a unique perspective having once played for the team that ended the Wolves season Were out there for hours done and making sure were posi tioning ourselves in the best way we can to win games day in and day out, Barrett said. Beyond hard work, Castro said that a special bond between the players is what gave the Wolves an advantage over other teams. We play like a family, Castro said. Were a family; were not really a team. Everything we do were always togetherwe talk to each other like were brothers, not really like friends or teammates. Castro knows a lot about fam ily bonds since he shares a special connection with his older brother Vinny. Vinny was also a four-year varsity player for Timber Creek and went on to play at the colle giate level for Bethune-Cookman. Castro was looking forward to following his brother to BethuneCookman on a baseball scholar ship, but when the head coach Mervyl Melendez accepted a po sition at ASU, he decided to fol low his brothers coach. He hopes to be drafted by the MLB his junior year, but to back up that dream he will head to Ala bama as an occupational therapy major. Im excited a little nervous feels a little weird to be leav ing Timber Creek, but Im ready, Castro revealed. It feels good to know that I worked hard and I got what I wanted. ALICIA ROSE DELGALLO Sun Staff A team of winners PHOTO BY GABRIEL HOLT Senior Cody Sharp comes in for middle relief in the state tournament versus Spruce Creek. This is the second time the Wolves have made it to the nal four.

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Page 9 Lifestyle EOSun.com The 8 Secret Reasons Students that Study Music are more Successful in life!By John Kolbrich, The Avalon School of MusicMany people dont realize how powerful playing a musical instrument really is in a persons life, and especially in school age children. We take for granted when we see a young student or an adult playing or singing. Our modern technology has brought us all so much more music, than past generations, and of such variety and genre, that we are overwhelmed, and just assume music is something to be taken for granted, something that only a few talented children or adults do. Scientically though, Music is for everyone Here are the surprising truths: Approximately 90% of the brains motor control capabilities are devoted to the hands, mouth and throat! With this in mind, experts say that the ne dexterity of playing an instrument, a violin for instance, or controlling the voice in a precise way as in singing, can exercise the entire brain and stimulate general intelligence As a music student constantly adjusts decisions on tempo, tone, style, rhythm, phrasing and feeling, he/she trains the brain to become incredibly good at organizing and conducting numerous activities at once. True multi-tasking! Musical training has been found to improve how the brain processes the spoken word. This nding could lead to improving the reading ability of children who have dyslexia and other reading problems. We live in a country where everyone has the potential to become successful, jump economic ladders etc. Fact: students of lower socioeconomic status who took music lessons in grades 8-12 increased their math scores signicantly as compared to non-music students. But, just as important, reading, history, geography and even social skills soared by 40%. A Columbia University study revealed that students in the arts are found to be more cooperative with teachers and peers, more selfcondent and better able to express their idea Students at risk of not successfully completing their high school educations indicate that arts participation motivates them to stay in school, and that the arts create a supportive environment that promotes constructive acceptance of criticism and one in which it is safe to take risks The skills gained through sequential music instruction, including discipline and the ability to analyze, solve problems, communicate and work cooperatively, are vital for success in the 21st century workplace regardless of the type of work the students chooses or is given to do. New forms of entertainment, from hip-hop and rock & roll to lm and video games, are being created as we speak and will continue to evolve. Experts say that over the next ten years, jobs in art, music, culture and entertainment will grow twice as many, as jobs in engineering will. Those whove been educated in the arts will have a great advantage over those who have not. The bottom line: Music is an investment and key educational cornerstone that should be a part of every young persons life!Sources: VH1 Save the Music, SupportMusic. com, The National Association for Music Education, National Association of Music Merchants, AMC, and Music American For the Arts The Avalon School of Music teaches thousands of private music lessons each year to students of all ages and backgrounds. Our schools have a long-term vested interest in the promotion of music in our community for the well-being and success of all our young people. For more information contact us at 407-567-7776 or visit our website at www.AvalonSchoolofMusic.com BACK-TO-SCHOOL Special IssueATT ENTION ADV ERT ISERS: East Orlando Sun is having a Special Back-to-School Issue in August. Call today to reserve your ad space. Contact Linda Stern 407-376-2434 (LStern@turnstilemediagroup.com) for rates and to reserve your space.www.EOSun.com Your community connection since 1995 March 2 April 5, 2012Homeless students stories 6 Knights eye playoffs 11 Local girl is a star 15 Spring break camp directory 16 Parenting column debuts 17 chargers are popping up all over Avalon Park12 New basketball Avalon Middle7Homeless center closer to realityResearch Park works to rally through cutsMEGAN STOKESSun Staff MEGAN STOKESSun Staff Areas three sectors map out plans to survive national budget cutsOrange Coun ty commissioners are e yeing the East O range Community Center would m ean displacing the Head Start program but it could mean mo r e space for a packed program. Please see RESEARCH on page 4 Please see DROP IN on page 4 Central Florida R esearch Park continues t o grow. Resource for parents BRITTNI JOHNSON Sun Staff Troy Edwards daughter had been sick for more than two years, but only a few months ago did it really feel real. He hit the buildup of feelings of loss, sadness and anger. The realization that his Olivia would never do what most little girls grow up to college or bring a nervous boyfriend over to meet her dad. His child, born totally healthy, would never live a normal life. Now shell never do that, shell never be able to walk down the aisle, Edwards said. Olivia has Rett syndrome, a very rare 10,000 to 23,000 girls. For most born with the disorder, they appear healthy, learning to walk and talk as Olivia did, and then the regression starts. At age 2, Olivias parents were worried when she started having seizures, with more investigating doctors diagnosed her with Rett syndrome. Now almost 5, shes already losing her ability to walk, use her hands, has lost weight and is back in diapers. Feeling alone Olivia lives in Boston with her mother, Edwards ex-wife, where top doctors treat her, but that leaves Edwards very far away once a month, but that only makes it harder because each time hes there shes so much worse. Its a heartbreaking condition, he said. Id be depressed, Id be a wreck, just feel ing helpless. Its tough to be put in that situation as a parent and have to hold that little hand, said family friend Don Shipley. You real ize quickly that you are not as tough as you think you are. as he thought he could, the Clermont resi dent and retired senior detective felt a spark of anger with himself and the system. He searched and searched for someone to talk to, and found nothing. Friends and his own just couldnt relate. I didnt have anyone that I could talk to and vent to in private that could appreciate it, he said. Literally I felt alone. Creating a support system So he decided to create his own sup port group. The Parent Resource Group every month at the Blanchard Park YMCA. sphere of trust and comfort, where parents can cry if they need to, and can talk about anything. The group is open to any parent who needs support, but is great for parents going through tough times, including those of special needs children, having trouble connecting with their adopted children, or sick children. Its a sanctuary its a safe place for you to come and talk and cry and vent and just listen and share and not be judged, he said. Alicia Braccia is a licensed school psy chologist and the president of the Provi to helping families with special needs chil dren, and the organization Edwards con tacted to guide and oversee his group. She said relating to others is a key part of deal ing with the emotional aspect of having a special needs child. When their child cant have the future they dreamed of, the parent goes through a mourning process, she said. I think parents supporting each other in that grief process is really important, and that they understand each other and that theyre not alone, it gives them sup port in knowing that theres other people out there who are going through similar things, Braccia said. Its not just coming from a doctor or a therapist, but someone who lives it every day is really, I think, an important piece in healing. Abi Rutledge, the aquatics director at the YMCA who works with special needs kids there, said this group can serve as a great outlet for local parents. Any chance that parents can be togeth er and not only just vent and let the stress PHOTO COURTESY TROY EDWARDS Troy Edwards and daughter Olivia only see each other once a month, but when they do they make the most of it. Olivia has Rett syndrome, a rare genetic disorder affecting one in 10,000 to 23,000 girls. Please see SUPPORT on page 11 For more information about the Parent Resource Group, visit facebook.com/ parentresourcegroup or call 407-382-5551. The group meets every rst Tuesday of the month at the Blanchard Park YMCA, and will have its next meeting June 4.

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Charlotte, NC Jacksonville, FL Orlando, FL Phoenix, AZ Minneapolis, MN Calgary, AB Ottawa, ON Toronto, ON Because of its great location and exceptionally affordable prices, Azalea Cove is a big attraction for families looking for a new home. Its a smart choice, close to elementary schools, middle schools and Valencia Community College. Youll find homes with front porches, so neighbors can easily enjoy each others company. Our homes are designed by architects and include oversized windows, so when its sunny outside, its sunny inside. Youll also find lots of floor plan choices so your family will find just the right design for your needs. Come and see Azalea Cove soon. Its a best seller. mattamyhomes.com Sales Center Hours: Tuesday Saturday 10ampm, Sunday & Monday 12pmpm Single Family Homes From $149,990! CGC1512500 Azalea Cove If This Was A Book, It Would Be A Best Seller.Single Family Home, The Hawthorne, Elev. A, 1,645 Sq.Ft. Single Family Home, The Palm, Elev. B, 2,140 Sq.Ft. Enclave at Lake Jean Azalea Cove 4905 Fiorazante Ave. (407) 248-15247564 Azalea Cove Circle ,(407) 730-20522940 Lake Jean Dr. (407) 671-9101Townhomes from the $150s Family Homes from the $140s Family Homes from the $210s9307 Strongbark Lane (407) 730-2964Townhomes from the $150s N ona P reserve es erv e at R o ch ak e LL Heres Where You Can Find Mattamy Homes Across Orlando1021 Laurel Ridge Lane (407) 878-7702Townhomes from the $130sMattamy Model Home Similar To Homes In Azalea Cove

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Page 11 Lifestyle EOSun.com Your community connection s ince 1995 March 2 April 5, 2012Homeless students stories 6 Knights eye playoffs 11 Local girl is a star 15 Spring break camp directory 16 Parenting column debuts 17 chargers are popping up all over Avalon Park12 New basketball Avalon Middle7Homeless center closer to realityResearch Park works to rally through cutsMEGAN STOKESSun Staff MEGAN STOKESSun StaffAreas three sectors map out plans to survive national budget cuts Orange County commissioners are eyeing the East Orange Com munity Center would mean displacing the Head Start program but it could mean mor e space for a packed program. Please see RESEARCH on p age 4 Please see DROP IN on page 4 Central Florida Research Park conti nues to grow. EXCLUSIVE LIMITED TIME OFFER12 ISSUES FOR ONLY $10 Serving the diverse, populous areas of Waterford Lakes, Avalon Park, Eastwood and Stoneybrook, the East Orlando Sun not only alerts residents to whats happening right outside their front doors, but also delivers news that strengthens community connections. In the age of 24/7 global media, engaged citizens turn to the East Orlando Sun to get the news they cant get anywhere else and gain further insight into the topics and trends that affect them directly. With every issue, the East Orlando Sun provides residents with consistent coverage of the areas biggest stories and hottest topics all through the eyes of an engaged community advocate that understands the specic nuances and unique personality of the area.Contact Tracy Craft to start a subscription! phone: 407-515-2605 fax: 407-563-7099 email: tcraft@ turnstilemediagroup.comor mail form to: Turnstile Media Group 1500 Park Center Dr. Orlando, FL 32835 Name: Street Address City State Zip Email PhoneStart my subscription now! www.EOSun.com out, but get ideas from other parents, I just think its a great thing, she said. The PRG is also a place to learn. Each who specializes in issues related to rais ing a special needs child, from an ac countant teaching how to deal with trusts and budgeting medical expenses, to a lawyer advising about living will planning, and a therapist answering questions about behavioral issues. Its a place to really talk frankly with experts and get answers, for free. Where can you go to the doctor without paying an insurance bill and just pick the doctors brain? said Laura Burk, Edwards girlfriend and partner in organizing PRG. Its a place to be com pletely transparent in a safe environ ment. But theres hope still for Olivia. This year she will be one of only 10 girls worldwide to be part of a clinical trial aimed to at least stop the regression associated with Rett syndrome. And through that journey Edwards will have the help from friends and family, and hell be able to heal himself by guiding others through the tough times. As a re tired senior police detective, he was al ways the strong one, and now he can do that with PRG. For over a decade my job was to help the people who couldnt help themselves and speak for the people who couldnt speak for themselves it was the most rewarding thing Ive ever found in my life, and now that Olivia is where she is, Ive actually kind of looked for that meant to be where I am right now. C ONTINUED FROM PAGE 9 SUPPORT PHOTO COURTESY OF TROY EDWARDS Olivia plays with her iPad, which has learning games. The iPad was purchased using donations made by Navy SEALs.

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Page 12 Lifestyle EOSun.com JUNE 2 A Magic Curtain Theater musical production of Charlottes Web will be at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, June 2, at Discovery Middle School, 601 Woodbury Road, Orlando. For more information, call 407-282-8368 or visit mcptheater.com East River High School will hold its graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 2, at the UCF Arena, 50 N. Gemini Blvd. Doors open at 9 a.m. Parking will cost $5. For more information, visit ucfarena.com JUNE 3 East Orlandos semi-pro basketball team The Florida Flights season home opener is at 5 p.m. Sunday, June 3, at Avalon Middle School, 13914 Mailer Blvd, Orlando. A por tion of the proceeds from each ticket will benet the Bithlo Needs a Bus campaign, which will help purchase a bus for the Bithlo community. Tickets are $10. For tickets, call 407-5929841 or visit ighthoops.com JUNE 4 The Audi quattro Cup Golf Tourna ment will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, June 4, at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club, 9100 Chiltern Drive, Orlando. Amateur golfers and recreational players are welcome to compete in two-person teams for various prizes and a spot in the 2012 U.S. Audi quattro Cup nals at the Pebble Beach golf course. Registration is $150 per golfer and all proceeds will be donated to nonprot Best Buddies Central Florida. Register by Friday, June 1, at bestbuddiesorida.org/quattrocup or call 407-898-0787, ext. 107, for more information. JUNE 7 The Valencia College Theater presents The Laramie Project, a play about the real-life murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays, June 7-10 and June 14-17. Valencias Performing Arts Center is located at Valencia Community College, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail. General admissions tickets cost $10. Tickets for seniors and Valencia faculty, staff or students are $8. Call 407-582-2900 or visit valenciacollege. edu/arts to purchase tickets. JUNE 9 Avalon Rec Soccer League will host its UEFA Euro 2012 Tourna ment at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 9, at the downtown Avalon Park Amphitheater. It costs $20 to enter. There will be trophies and prizes for winners. Reg ister at avalonrecsoccer.com JUNE 10 More than a dozen student rock bands will perform in Avalon and Orlando School of Musics free live concert Avalon Rocks at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 10, at the Timber Creek High School Performing Arts Center, 1001 Avalon Park Blvd., Orlando. There will also be a special 45-minute rock guitar clinic before the show at 2 p.m. (Registration required). Call 407-567-7776 or visit AvalonScho olofMusic.com for more information. JUNE 14 Magic Curtain performs Aladdin at 7 p.m. June 14-16 with an addi tional 2 p.m. show on Saturday, June 16, at the Timber Creek High School Performing Arts Center. Tickets cost $10 in advance and $12 at the door. All seats are $5 during an openingnight special for students. Kids younger than 3 see the show for free. For more information, call 407-2828368 or visit mcptheater.com The following are free events at the Alafaya Branch Library 12000 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando: Learn about Vietnamese cooking techniques and ingredients from chef and author Ha Roda. The cook ing workshop is from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 13. Registration is required. Call 407-835-7323 to reserve your spot. Hunger Games fans can meet at the library to dress as their favor ite character, compete in Hunger Games challenges or test their knowledge of trivia from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 16. The event is recommended for teens ages 13-18. Call 407-835-7323 for more information. Groovy Genetics: Unlocking the Unique You is an hour-long science program designed for children that will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, June 18. Registration is required and seating is limited. The program is recommended for children ages 9-12. Call 407-835-7323 to register. Music Together is at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 27, and Saturday, June 30. Marla Stevenson will teach an hour-long, interactive music class for parents and children. The class is recommended for children age 5 and younger. Registration is required. Call 407-835-7323 for more information and to register. Mike & Mary Kranz The Kranz TeamKeller Williams Advantage Group407-716-6614mikemary@mindspring.com www.kranzteam.com Short Sale Certied High Integrity Strong Negotiators Superior Customer Service Serving our Waterford Area neighbors since 1995For all of your Real Estate needs contact: OF CENTRAL FLORIDA CELEBRATING OVER 25 YEARS SERVING YOUR COMMUNITYBernard S. Zeffren, MD Eugene F. Schwartz, MD Winnie Whidden, MSN, ARNP-CVoted Best Doctors of Central FL, Orlando Magazine for 7 consecutive yearsDiplomates American Board of Allergy and Immunology www.orlandoallergy.com250 N. Alafaya Trail Ste 130 Orlando, FL 32825407-380-7991 Evening hours available7560 Ste. 2064 Oviedo, FL 32765407-366-7387 Calendar Aladdin Charlottes Web Avalon Rocks Plan your weekend with The Weekender! Visit eosun.com and click "Subscribe to Newsletter"

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Page 13 Lifestyle EOSun.com Now to July 15 Reections: Paintings of Florida 1865 1965 Drawn from the largest collection of Florida art in the world, the Orlando Museum of Art (OMA) continues celebrat ing Florida art and artists with 1865 1965 from the Collection of Cici and Hyatt Brown. Run includes masterworks by artists who worked in Florida over a period of 100 years including Herman Herzog, Thomas Hart Benton and N.C. Wyeth. Its a spectacular collection presented as beautifully as only OMA can do. Highly recommended. Call 407-896-4231 or visit omart.org June 5 to 10 La Cage Aux Folles Three Tony Awards, three Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards and this production stars George Hamil ton. Need I say more? Its won derful, touching and funny all at the same time. La Cage Aux Folles the musical comes to the from June 5 to June 10. Ah, but there is more! La Cage recently made Broadway history as the Award three times for Best Pro duction. This 1984 classic by Jerry Herman brought down the house nightly on Broadway with the anthem, I Am What I Am. Its about family values in a home with two daddies and the right to love. Sound familiar? Yes, but its all singing, and all dancing fun. Call 1-800-982-2787 or visit FloridaTheatrical.org Now through Sept. 9 FloridaScapes Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel just made a case for the fact that those of us who live along the infamous I-4 cor ridor are truly in line to elect (or re-elect) our next president. In a bit of timely good fortune, the Orange County Regional History Center has opened an exhibit that invites us to redis cover I-4 and the cities and towns that surround it in the exhibit FloridaScapes: I-4-The Exits Less Traveled, now through Sept. 9. Images by Sherri Bunye invite us to discover the beauty of the area while also showing us how by the I-4 experience. The History Center is located at 65 E. Central Blvd. in downtown Orlando. Visit thehistorycenter.org or call 407-836-8500. Now through Sept. 23 Parisian Affair For those who long for a visit to Paris, the Albin Polasek Museum at 633 Osceola Ave. in Winter Park transports us there in their new exhibit Parisian all summer through Sept. 23. Renouxs art introduces us to the real Paris as his paintings open a window on the everyday sites Pa risians love. Renoux (1939-2002), the father of the Urban Realist movement in France, depicts the intimate landmarks of daily life, such as a private courtyard or a pastry shop. Honored within his lifetime, Renouxs awardwinning work has been exhib ited around the world, and this summer the Art of Andre Renoux can be our passport to Paris. Call 407-647-6294 or visit polasek.org June 13 and monthly Summer Concert Series Art & History Museums Maitland (A&H) has launched a meet your neighbors Sum mer Concert Series outdoors in A&Hs beautiful gardens at 231 W. Packwood Ave. in Maitland. The series, called Art. Music. Food. Architecture. takes place the second Friday of each month through September. Perfect for summer evenings under the stars with music, poetry and an array of food truck fare, guests bring blankets or chairs, and a bar is available for those who would like a drink or two. The museums stay open, and the atmosphere is welcoming and full of talent. Call 407-539-2181 or visit ArtandHis tory.org June 21 to July 13 B-Side Artists at the City Arts Factory Central Florida is rich in talent, and the diversity of our painters is particularly evident in a group who call themselves the B-Side Artists. The fact that these artists are drawn from the ranks begin to tap the depth of talent pioneers. B-Sides seven original members, including Best Street Artist Winners Swamburger, Trez Harris and Chris Tobar Rodriguez, will bring their talent inside the City Arts Factory with an opening on June 21 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This is serious and innovative art from urban artists who continue to amaze with their unique style, content and willingness to create in atypical situations. On exhibit through July 13, City Arts Factory is at 29 S. Orange Ave. in downtown Or lando. Call 407-648-7060 or visit cityartsfactory.com June 22, 23 and 24 Annual Harvest Festival If you can remember Lucy and Ethels grape stomping debacle, and you want to see just how that questionable entertainment might feel on your toes, come out to Lakeridge Winerys 22nd Annual Harvest Festival on June 22-24. This outdoor event features live music, (real) grape stomping, an arts and craft show and awardwinning Lakeridge Wines. Grape stompers may test their fortitude (for prizes) in the sweet and slip pery grape barrels to race against one another, while other guests attend free winery tours and wine tastings, and food vendors inery.com or call 352-394-8627. June 23 to Sept. 8 The Tsars Cabinet One hundred years later, and our fascination with the czars of Russia endures. Now, the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona will open a summer ex hibit of The Tsars Cabinet: Two Hundred Years of Russian Deco rative Arts under the Romanovs illustrating the decorative arts of Russia from the time of Peter the Great in the early 18th century to that of Nicholas II. Many of the pieces in the exhibit were designed for exclusive use by the tsars, and even the pieces for everyday use demonstrate the richness of Russia during the long reign of the Romanovs. MOAS is at 352 S. Nova Road in Daytona Beach. Call 386-255-0285 or visit MOAS.org Josh Garrick is a writer, photographer, educator and ne art curator. He is a member of the Curatorial Council for the Museum of Florida Art. Garrick can be reached at joshgarrick9@gmail.com or 407-522-3906. 2012 Curry Ford Road Orlando, FL 32806 407.895.7075License # CAC1816227 Air & Heat Services:Same day repair services $79.95 annual maintenance programs Low price system replacements/ upgrades Ductwork replacement/repairs Insulation Indoor air quality Financing available 10% discount when you mention this ad A silent auction will be conducted at a reception hosted by the Ferris family on Sunday, June 17th, from 5 8 pm. A selection of art works will be for sale and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Jane Goodall Institute.407-622-0102 www.FredlundGallery.compresentsAfrican Art Exhibite Ferris family of South Africa is exhibiting their collection of African art at the Fredlund Gallery. is collection has been assembled over decades and consists of paintings, sculptures, and other African artifacts. Where: Fredlund Fine Arts 1143 Orange Ave Winter Park (Parking in rear o Minnesota) When: June 12th 17th 12pm 7pm daily Reception: Sunday, June 17th 5pm 8pm F redlund F ine A rts Josh Garrick Culture worthy of your calendar Florida paintings over 100 ye ars Parisian Affair Summer Concert Series

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Page 14 Education EOSun.com Avalon Middle seventh-grader Amy Pho was selected as a Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Star for her dedication to helping others. Pho was selected over all middle school students in Central Florida. Mickey Mouse, her family and the Disney prize patrol recently surprised Pho during her science class. Timber Lakes Elementary School participated in Relay for Life of Avalon Park, an 18-hour walk sponsored by the American Cancer Society to help those who are ght ing or who have lost their battles with cancer. Timber Lakes raised approximately $11,000, making it the top earning team. The school raised the money through Coins for Cancer fundraising, the selling of plastic bracelets, a Congo River golf night, and donations from family and friends of the Timber Lakes faculty and staff. Madeline Loyd and Xavier Pagan of Avalon Middle School participated in the Level II Modern Woodmen Oration Contest. Loyd won rst place and will advance to the Level III state competition held May 29. Hai Nguyen of East River High School won the Orange County English Language Learner Spirit of Excellence Award. Nguyen arrived in the U.S. three years ago without any understanding of English. He cur rently has a 4.0 GPA for the year, and hopes to attend dental school after he graduates next year. Avalon Middles music students earned straight superiors at their Orange County Music Performance Assessmentthe highest ranking that can be achieved. In addition, 21 of the schools orchestra students participated in an assessment known as Solo and Ensemble. In total, Avalon orchestra musicians received three superiors with distinction, seven superiors and ve excellents. Timber Creek High School students Alexis Soto and Julie Silvers were awarded best appellate high school attorneys in the state after competing in the 2012 Florida Moot Court Competition. The students traveled to Tallahassee to give oral arguments to actual appellate judges. A student engineering entrepre neur team from the University of Central Florida won the top prize of $100,000 and a summer trip to the White House in a competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. The team won the $100K ACC Clean Energy Challenge, a com petition of student business plans for companies focused on renewable energy and other green energy solutions. UCFs team bested nine other southeastern regional nalists. The UCF team will now compete in the National Clean Energy Business Plan Finals in Washington, D.C., June 12-13. Every Friday for nearly 10 years when she was growing up, Traci Campana would gaze out the passenger side window of her moms car, her sights set on the familiar landscape of Rollins Col lege. They would pass the campus, the steeple of its chapel peeking above the other Spanish-style buildings and thick canopy of trees, on their way to and from Orlando to Winter Park where Traci participated in show-dog agility training classes. Im going to go there one day, she would remind her mom frequently as they drove by. It could happen, her mom would say, if Traci worked really hard. It was never a negative thing, but it was a realistic thing, Traci says, looking back, sitting in the student center of her now alma mater. But it was Rollins or noth ing, she continued. I didnt want to go anywhere but here. For the girl who was told in middle school shed likely nev er graduate high school with a standard diploma, let alone even think of ever making it to college, it seemed reality was stacked against her. But Traci wasnt ready to give Diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a variety of learning disabilities, and a high functioning degree of autism, learning didnt come easy. But she learned how to be a student in her own way, and with a 4.0 GPA, earning the stan dard diploma shed fought so hard for. Eight years, two surgeries, a brief stint at Valencia College to get her associate degree, and thousands of hours of studying later, she graduated in May from Rollins College with a degree in psychology and minor in leader ship, and again, a 4.0 GPA. Not only did I reach my goal, but I surpassed it by graduating, she said. Leading up to this gradua standard; she was working her way into the running for valedic torian. But it seemed she was swim ming upstream. A 150-page book her classmates could read in a day or two took her all week. Others would go to class, take notes and move on, while Traci would be home poring over her digital recorder, transcribing the professors every word, know ing shed have to listen to it a few times for it to actually sink in. Shed regularly be up until 10 p.m., 11 p.m. or midnight still transcribing, knowing shed have to get up and do it all over again the next day. It was a process, but well worth it, she said. I prob ably could have done less, but I wouldnt have gotten the 4.0. She balanced this with re search and volunteer projects, as well as raising her 7-year-old daughter. She commuted from her East Orlando home to the Rollins campus for her evening classes multiple days a week. James Armstrong, the profes sor for Tracis last class at Rollins, Dostoevsky, the God Problem and Self Understanding, said Traci was there every lecture sit ting in the front row to his right. He said she was always an active participant without being domi nating, and got straight As the whole class. Through some of her written work I was able to get to know her a little more, he said. And there were things that happened to her early on that would have crushed other people, but she was able to overcome them. And as I indicated to the entire class on our last day together, she had been an inspiration to all of us. Her academic advisor for all her years at Rollins, Teresa Cole, said Tracis journey wasnt al ways easy, having to take weeks sons, but was amazing to watch. Shes done amazing, and she is amazing, Cole said. Shes risen to the occasion and done it well. As graduation started to loom, talks of who would be valedicto rian swirled. At Rollins, instead of choosing the student with only the highest academic standards, administrators choose someone lins all around. As much as I wanted it, I wasnt sure Id get it, Traci said. But when I found out I did, we Named Outstanding Gradu ating Senior and valedictorian, Traci was given the opportunity to speak at graduation on May 13. I was so excited to have that opportunity, not for my moment of glory, but to speak for all of my friends, she said. People will come up to me and tell me that my story was their story, and even if they couldnt relate to all of it, they still could feel a connec tion to what Ive been through. Two weeks after graduation, she poses outside the same cha pel steeple she used to gaze at from afar, dreaming of one day going to the school it represents, wearing her cap and protectively clasping her freshly printed Rol lins College diploma. I just love it here, she says, sighing as she admires the cam pus she now knows both inside and out. Shes pleased to say shell be staying a little while lon ger, set to start Rollins Crummer Graduate School of Business to get her MBA next spring. I think Ive proved that even if youre told over and over again that you cant do something, if you work hard enough, she said, you can do anything you set your mind to. Ruling Rollins SARAH WILSON Sun Staff PHOTO BY SARAH WILSON Traci Campana was told shed never graduate high school and she went on to become valedictorian at Rollins College. East Orlando resident overcomes the odds to become Rollins College valedictorian School News Timber Creek attorneys Dreamers and Doers Tom Carey SundewGardens@gmail.comEvery home should have a garden Experience homegrown gardening:

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Page 15 http://www.coloring-book.info Aladdin Coloring Contest!

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Page 16 Education EOSun.com East Orlandos top students Timber Creek and East River high schools valedictorians and salutatorians in 2012 EAST RIVER: VALEDICTORIAN Mackenzie Chase GPA: 5.34 Throughout high school, Mackenzie was involved in the marching and symphonic bands, Student Government Association, National Honor Society, and was the president of the senior class. Her GPA is 5.34. She spent her extra-time volunteering with Childrens Home Society, the HOPE foundation, Christ to the Nations Church, and Freedom Ride. She plans to attend the Bur nett Honors College at the University of Central Florida with a major in biomedical sciences and a minor in international studies. After achieving an undergraduate degree, she hopes to attend medical school and strive for a career in pediatric oncology, one day practicing medicine in the international community. Her biggest accom plishment is being a three-time recipient of the Disney Dreamer and Doer award for her work with Child Abuse Awareness. SALUTATORIAN Michael Jarrod Moseley GPA: 4.96 Michael Jarrod Moseley was a member of the National Hon or Society and volunteered as a math tutor at East River. He earned most of his volunteer hours at the Veterans Hospital in Orlando. He began taking classes at Valencia Community College as a dual-enrollment student during his junior year at East River and has earned more than 50 credit hours toward his AA degree. He plans on joining the U.S. Navy as a military ofcer after studying computer/electrical engineering and cyber/network security at UCF. Michael is also interested in science, history, politics and aeronautics. TIMBER CREEK: Alex Torres GPA: 5.3 Alex is our highest weighted valedictorian. He co-founded an organic garden at Timber Creek that grows food to feed the needy in our community. Alex serves as the head coach of a YMCA youth soccer club. He will be attending the Massachu setts Institute of Technology majoring in mechani cal engineering. Spencer Flaniken GPA: 5.1 weighted, 4.0 unweight Spencer will be majoring in mechanical engineering at the University of Florida. He was president of the National Honor Society, captain of the water polo team, involved in choir and was awarded the Best Buy and Fairwinds Credit Union scholarship. Shelia Serra GPA: 5.106 weighted, 4.0 unweight Sheila has been involved in nu merous extracurricular activi ties. Most notably, she was the vice president of the Pre-Med Club, on varsity in ag football, a member of Mu Alpha Theta, on the Quiz Bowl team, and served in College Club, Beta Club, and the National Honor Society. She plans to attend the University of Central Florida to pursue a possible career in mechanical engineering. Ashley Howell GPA: 4.9 weighted, 4.0 unweight Ashley will be attending the University of Central Florida and hopes to pursue a career in engineering. Briana Garcia GPA 5.1 weighted, 4.0 unweight Briana will be attending Brown University to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. She was a historian in Mu Alpha Theta, and the treasurer of the Pre-Med Club and National Latin Honor Society. She also nished third place in the regional Science Olympiad Competition. Kim Esotesta GPA: 5.1 weighted, 4.0 unweight Kim will be attending the University of Florida and will major in digital arts or phar macy. Her major achievements were becoming president of Beta Club and earn ing the National Beta Club scholarship. She was an ofcer for National Honor Society and a Girls State representative. Kinsey Lopez GPA: 4.95 weighted Kinsey will attend Brigham Young University and plans to study nursing. Throughout high school, she learned a lot about becoming a leader and getting involved in the community. Just this year, Kinsey was senior class vice president and National Honor Society secretary. She had the honor of managing all four blood drives this year. She said it was one of the most fullling experiences in high school. Charles Spears GPA: 5.05 Charles will be attending the University of Florida to study industrial engineering with a minor in French. He hopes to nd a career in project management that involves travel. Charles was an active member of the orchestra, drama club and wrestling team. Sean Toner GPA: 5.1 Sean served as Public Forum Debate captain, earned ninth place speaker at the Yale Debate Invitational, and was a nalist at the University of Pennsylvania Round Robin. Sean is a member of the National Forensic League Speech and Debate Honor Society. He was president of the National Latin Honor Society. Sean will attend the Univer sity of Florida Honors College as a biology/premed major. He hopes to become a surgeon. Natalie Parra GPA: 5.2 Natalie has been involved in ve clubs at Timber Creek and held leadership positions in four of them, including presi dent of the senior class and co-founder and president of Schools for Schools, which raises money for children in Uganda who have been affected by the countrys civil war. She will attend the University of Central Florida with a focus on civil or mechanical engineering. Ahmad Abdel-Aty GPA: 5.4189 Ahmad served as vice president of Beta Club and National Honor Society, secre tary for the Spanish National Honor Society, and was on the water polo team. He was also a National Merit Scholar. Ahmad plans to attend the University of Central Florida, and hopes to become a doctor. Michael Cat GPA: 5.1579 Michael has been an active member of the Timber Creek Regiment, Beta Club, National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society and Pre-Medi cal Club. He plans to major in biomedical sciences at the University of Central Florida, and hopes to become a doctor. Veronica Prado GPA: 5.1 Veronica was a member of the AP Choice Program and was involved in numerous clubs and community service ac tivities during high school. She plans to attend the University of Central Florida and hopes to become a veterinarian. Alexis Soto GPA: 4.7 Alexis was a member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society, Speech and Debate Team, and Mock Trial Team. She recently won the State Moot Court Competition. Alexis has been a martial arts instructor and personal development coach for girls to develop self-esteem. She was Miss Timber Creek 2012 and Miss Teen United States Beautiful 2011 with a platform on breast cancer awareness. She plans to attend the University of Central Florida with a major in political science. Antonio Prado GPA: 5.0 Antonio was a state quali er for the Wrestling State Championship and has passed all AP exams he has taken. He plans to attend the University of Florida and become either an economist or mechanical engineer. Chris Leary GPA: 5.02 Chris has been a member of Timber Creeks thespian troupe since freshman year. He has won several awards, including a Cappie Award for Best Supporting Actor in all of Central Florida. He will be attending Florida State University in the fall with a major in lm production. Brianna Wilkes GPA: 5.0 Brianna participated in Nation al Honor Society, Beta Club and College Club. She took part in many service activities, including providing lunches and dinners for the Ronald McDonald House. She plans to attend Florida State University and pursue a career as a nurse practitioner. I think Im going to Iowa. Ill go to the Oviedo splash pad a lot and Im going to clean my house. Owen, 9 I wanna ask my mom if we can go on vacation. Vacations are fun. You get to go to the mountains. You get to go hiking. Im going to walk through the woods. Its my most favorite thing. Devon, 6 Well, Im doing a lot this summer. Im going to Ripleys Believe it or Not. Its a really scary place. Macy, 9 Im going to a camp called Camp Ogle. Its a social studies camp but its really fun. Its not even like learning social studies. Its like a game. Drew, 10 I am going to the beach. We usually go out to the deep end and nd really big shells and make sand castles. Kiersten, 8 I am having a sleep over with my best friend Megan. I am going to the west coast to play at the beach. Theres really low waves there so we can swim. I like it. Kaytlin, 9 We asked Avalon Elementary students, What are your summer plans?

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Page 18 Opinions EOSun.com The unemployment rate is going down and more jobs are being adver tised. Yeah, the recession is over and we can all rest easy. Well, not exactly. It is true the market seems to be opening up. Recently, at the Mayors job fair, we saw more companies and more positions available. There were not only seasonal and hospitality positions, but longer-term opportuni ties with major companies like FedEx and Coca-Cola as well. It is not time to let down your guard by any means. Competition is still tough. I recently posted five positions for AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteers and the resumes I am see ing are amazing. I am so impressed with the talent still available in the market. (To see the positions go to CFEC.org) This tells me the market is still really tight. The other thing I am seeing is very little slowdown at my office in the number of jobseekers coming in for assistance. We generally see about 40 or 50 people a day. The Tuesday before the job fair we saw more than 80 people. The good news is we are seeing more people landing good jobs. We started a job skills boot camp about a year ago and we are seeing a high percentage of our campers get jobs. The next class will start June 14 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at my office in Cassel berry. RSVPs and three to five years of computer skills are required, and space is limited. You can RSVP to me. If you are one of the long-term unemployed, or newly unemployed dont give up! There are jobs out there. You have to be persistent and at the top of your game. Sandi Vidal, an Avalon Park resident, is the executive director for Christian HELP and the Central Florida Employment Council and has more than 15 years of recruiting and human resources experience. Visit www.cfec.org detailing and describing the easy and deli cious ways to change out some of the fatty, unhealthy foods you have been eating for friendly. In this series, I am going to give you alternative food ideas to use that are going philosophy when making changes like this For instance, the reasons we put mayon naise on a sandwich is to create a water proof barrier so the bread doesnt get soggy, What if we were to switch out the mayon naise and replace it with a soft, ripe mashed avocado? You will get the same results except that when using the avacado, you get a product that can provide in excess of 25 es sential vitamins, as much potassium as three bananas and fat that is good for the heart. There are dozens of other healthy prod ucts that can be swapped in recipes where bad food reigned, such as sweet potato, pumpkin or any hard squash mash, apple sauce, fresh fruits and fruit purees, as well as grains and legumes. Once I show you all the possibilities that can be created with some culinary knowhow, your health will become better by leaps and bounds, without In this recipe, I am going to indulge your sweet tooth. We are going to make an oatmeal pear cookie, where most of the from the pears. However, dont be limited to pears. Interchange it with one of your favorite fruits. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to email me or join me for one of my cooking com Chef Rich lives in Avalon Park and owns Healthy Flame, a cooking school dedicated to ghting obesity. He has been cooking and teaching professionally for more than 14 years. Email any questions or comments to chefrich@healthyame.com The Substitutes series will continue running online. Chef Richs Kitchen column is published online every Thursday at www. eosun.com Richard Rosado Chef Richs Kitchen Swap bad-for-you ingredients with healthy ones in recipes As always, weve been keeping busy at the East Orlando Chamber of Commerce, working to help grow business for our members and educate the community about all the wonderful things going on in our region. Last week we held our ninth an nual Vision Event at the University of Central Floridas College of Medi cine, made possible by our generous sponsors: Florida Hospital East, UCF, Suburban Land Reserve, Cross Fernan dez & Riley, LLP, Primrose School at Lake Nona and HHCS Health Group of Companies and our corporate seating sponsors. It was a phenomenal event with more than 150 people coming out to hear our expert panelists Dr. Tony G. Waldrop, Dr. Kathleen Plinske, Ran dolph E. Berridge, Rick L. Weddle and Moderator Marc Middleton discuss the talent supply and education opportuni ties of East Orlando, and how they ulti mately drive innovation and economic development. Our next large-scale event is the upcoming East Side Regional Hob Nob on Tuesday, June 26, at Bright House Networks Stadium at UCF. For this event, we partner with the OviedoWinter Springs Regional Chamber of Commerce and give attendees the opportunity to come out and meet the candidates in all levels of local govern ment running for election in the fall. Attendees will also get a chance to vote in our two county straw polls. If youre interested in registering to attend, or would like more information on the event, visit ESRHobNob.com Lastly, I have a personal challenge for everyone who has never been to one of our events. Head to our website, EOCC.org pick out an event and join us. What have you got to lose? If youre up for the challenge, I can guarantee youll enjoy quality networking, and you might even have a laugh or two with a few new friends while you simultaneously grow your business. Sounds like a win-win doesnt it? Thats because it is! I hope to see you soon. Gege Venant is membership director for the East Orlando Chamber of Commerce. Visit eocc.org My focus this month is on property crimes in Orange County. At the beginning of May, the annual Uniform Crime Report was released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It provides statistical data on rates of occurrence of various types of serious crimes among the coun ties in Florida. While murder, rape and assaults all declined in Orange County and statewide by 0.08 percent, crimes against property continue to chal lenge law enforcement. The FDLE reports Orange Countys rate for property crimes increased 5 percent in 2011. This is juxtaposed against an overall decrease in crime generally. Burglary incidents rose from 13,783 in of 2012, the trend has been similar. While many property crimes are considered to be crimes of op portunity where thieves simply grab items left un guarded and in plain sight, or gain access through unlocked doors to cars and houses, others, are more sinister and organized burglaries take place. Certainly every citizen should do all they can to make sure their belongings are secured. But unfor tunately theft is a statistical probability sometime in all of our lives. It leaves us feeling violated and unsafe. Having had my own home burglarized in 2011, I relate well to all who have fallen prey to these thieves. County have the responsibility to oversee the resources that keep all of us safe from those who would violate the law. In response to discussions I have had with other elected and appointed representatives and in concert with reports we have received from residents concerning their own encounters, I have asked for additional resources to further examine this vital issue. With the support from the Board of County Commissioners and various law enforcement agencies, crimes against property will now be assigned a top priority by the Orange County Criminal Justice/ Public Safety Coordinating Council. Members of the Council include the Or ange County State Attorney, the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court, and the Director of the County Jail. The Council meets once each quarter to discuss various topics related to law enforcement. They are also in charge of determining where inner gov ernmental coordination and cooperation can occur and best serve the residents of Orange County. It is my hope that the work done on this issue by this prestigious group will assist in bringing down or eradicating recent waves of property crime. As Orange County continues to grow, we as in proportion to our growth. This is just one of the challenges we face every day. Certainly, it af fects the quality of our lives and our vital tourist community. We live here now, and we want our children to live here in the future. We need to be secure in the knowledge that we have done every thing we can to make Orange County a safe place to live. My position as County Commissioner al lows me to assist in the development of policy that will help law enforcement coordinate and develop resources to that purpose. Its past time to tackle this problem with renewed commitment to our community. you should you have any questions or concerns. Please contact Dana Boyte or Lynette Rummel at Ted Edwards is the commissioner for Orange County District 5. Contact him at 407-836-7350 or district5@oc.net Oatmeal Pear Cookies 5 oz. brown sugar 4 oz. honey 1/2 oz. butter, soft 1 oz. egg whites 1/2 oz. evaporated milk 1 tsp. vanilla 5 oz. oats, quick cook 4 oz. our, all purpose 4 oz. pear puree 3.5 oz. diced pears Method: Cream the sugar, honey and butter together until the mixture becomes light and uffy. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg whites, milk, and vanilla, then mix it well with the butter mixture. Mix the oats and our together until they are incorporated well. Then mix the oats mixture with the egg white mixture until its incorporated well. Fold in the pear puree and pears again until incorporated well. Using a portion scoop (ice cream scoop), portion out about 1 oz cookies on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool before enjoying. Ted Edwards Commissioners Corner Property crimes up in East Orlando More jobs open as economy betters Gege Venant From the Chamber Chamber event a success Sandi Vidal Ask Sandi

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Page 19 Opinions EOSun.com Summer is right around the corner, and for many parents its a stressful time balancing work, play, and kids. There are many cool summer camps in Orlando some more traditional in nature and others that are a lifetime experience for kids. all sorts of fun. Growing up in Kenya, a typical summer break for our family was doing outdoor activities in Masai Mara, Amboseli National Park, Lake Naivasha, Kericho or Mombasa. Being outdoors and among animals and nature is how our family spent almost every summer. For many youths, participating in camps that involve animals, wilderness, camping, and other forms of outdoor activities are more than fun, they provide an experience that helps them learn about themselves, their impact to the environ ment and evokes compassion and caring for animals. These types of camps foster tremendous team building exercises and out-of-the-box thinking; they help build innovators, initiators and leaders; they are compelling because of the nature of the camp and the type of youth that want to participate in them. When thinking of a summer activity for your child, dont be limited to camps and activities that are within your reach. Make the investment to make this opportunity count for your child, and engage him or her in an activity in which they can be free and imaginative. These are the times for youths to grow and do a lot of self learn ing, not just buy time. I hear often from families who have children who love ani mals, and especially dogs. There are some awesome dog-related summer camps, some right here in Orlando. Take into consideration the activities your youth has shown interest in and take the time to help them develop these skills. Prepare them for their future and provide them with the relevant experiences so that they can lay their path for a success ful future. Summer camps and activities are a great time to help mold your childs future, giving them a sense of the goals they need to accomplish while giving them a small taste for reality. Teena Patel, certied dog trainer and canine be havioral counselor, has over 14 years of experience working with dogs, birds and children. She and her husband, Nimesh Patel, reside in Avalon Park and own University of Doglando, a dog training and boarding campus in East Orlando, and Groom Grub and Belly Rub, a pet grooming, sitting and supply store in Avalon Park. They are parents to three dogs. Pet Life will run in the weekly East Orlando Sun online edition at www.eosun.com, informing of pet-related events, trends and a featured dog of the week from a local pet rescue. Teena Patel Pet Life Get kids, pets outdoors this summer Letters to the editor Have an opinion? Send it to newsdesk@eosun.com Keep teen drivers safe The AAA Foundation for study showing a strong associa tion between the number and age of passengers present in-vehicle and the risk of a teen driver dy The study found that the likelihood of a 16or 17-year-old driver being killed in a crash, per mile driven, increases with each additional young passenger in the vehicle. The fatality risk increases 44 percent when carry ing one passenger younger than 21, doubles when carrying two passengers younger than 21, and quadruples when carrying three or more passengers younger than 21. This study had no older pas sengers in the vehicle. Conversely, carrying at least one passenger 35 years old or older cuts a teens drivers risk of death by 62 percent, and risk of involvement in any policereported crash by 46 percent, ence that parents/guardians and other adults have in the car. Carrying young passengers is an enormous risk, but its should send an obvious message to parents and guardians repu diating them from riding in a vehicle with other young people, whether theyre in the drivers seat or in the back seat. This research clearly dem onstrates the strong connection between carrying young pas sengers, and higher crash fatality rates for teen drivers. Armed with this data, you can under stand why its so important that Floridas graduated driver licens ing program adequately limit passengers for new teen drivers. The Auto Club Group is work ing with parents, teens and other partners to promote policies and programs that will increase the safety of all drivers. AAA suggests to parents the following steps they can take to improve their teens safety as they learn to drive on their own: -Keep passengers out: As previously stated above, teen drivers crash risks multiply with teenage passengers in the ve hicle. Set limits and enforce them consistently. -Practice, practice, practice: Once teens have their actual license, continue to practice to gether to ensure that basic skills are mastered, and to introduce varied driving conditions (snow, an experienced driver in the pas senger seat. -Limit night driving: Reduced visibility makes night driving riskier for drivers of all ages. For inexperienced teens, its even harder. Allow new teen drivers to drive at night only if truly neces sary, or to practice with a parent. -Keep setting rules: Parents/ guardians can and should set and enforce rules above and beyond their state laws. In addition to night and passenger limits, set rules for inclement weather, highways, cities, or other driving conditions in which a teen has not gained enough experience. Find a parent teen driving agreement on TeenDriving.AAA. com that can help. John Pecchio Trafc safety manager with AAA National spotlight on Bithlo U.S. Congressman John Mica recently took a lengthy tour of Bithlo. Due to redistricting, if re-elected his newly drawn district will cover part of Bithlo. Congresswoman Sandy Adams, who currently represents Bithlo and will face Mica for re-election in what is already a nationally watched, hotly contested GOP race, has also taken a brief tour of Bithlo and attended a public meeting on the communitys water issue. Bithlo is hot. I mean that in a good and positive way. Not only is correcting the wrongs in this community the morally right thing to do, it is the politically smart thing to do. Why? Because of you, the neighbors, churches, civic organizations and corpora tions surrounding Bithlo and throughout Orange County have stepped up by the thousands to say, We care. Ironically, I started full speed ahead to work on Bithlos posi the last election year. I had the opportunity to meet public events, debates and other venues. This gave me the unique opportunity to present to them issues and possible solutions that had been long overlooked and ignored in this community of thousands in east Orange County. It was shocking and disturb ing to learn about the things that prevented Bithlo as a whole for decades from being a healthy community. Deep generational poverty; low high school gradu ation rates; lack of safe transpor tation down an extremely busy East Colonial Drive, which cuts the Bithlo community in half; sub-standard housing made up primarily of old trailers; the lack of even one medical clinic or den tist; lack of the most fundamental necessities of life such as ad equate food, clothing and shelter; poor quality, if not contaminated, drinking water in an environ illegal dumps and leaky gas stations, intermingled with what I am told is the highest concen tration of septic tanks in the state. This is all within what is the Econlockhatchee River basina sacred Florida waterway. Recognizing that these prob lems, though big and compli cated, were solvable, motivated real positive change. Personally, I believe that individuals should be responsible for their own success and destiny. That being said, I was struck by the obvious discrimination Bithlo residents had faced at the hands of those governments and individuals charged to represent them. It does not take a degree in politi cal science to see that an equal standard had not been applied to Bithlo relating to basic infrastruc ture, utilities and public health, as has been provided to other communities and citizens in Orange County, even those also facing extreme poverty. So in 2010, having the oppor tunity to get on the radar of so and public entities helped lay the foundation for the progress we have seen so far in Bithlos posi ing: a new medical clinic serving both the insured and uninsured; improved county maintenance of streets, ditches, etc. (though there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done); some private well testing; renewed attention to the A-Z illegal dump in a Bithlo neighborhood that the county has neglected action on for many years; more focused attention on leaky gas station contamination; and Lynx working to address new public transportation op tions. Federal and state-level politi cos are not the only ones with Bithlo on their radar. Commis sioner Ted Edwards opposition for County Commission District 5, Gina Duncan, has not only taken a lengthy tour of Bithlo, but has been working on an aggressive plan, I am told, to address many of the issues there she recently learned about. Chief Judge Belvin Perry, a life-long resident of Orange County, like me, called the other day and is working to schedule a tour. There is an open invitation for every interested politician, candidate or any other person of hand. Many are responding. I will conclude with this: You matter! This election year, your the ability to cause real, positive those desiring to be elected. Lets remind them all that they are servants of the people...ALL of the people. Tim McKinney Orlando Stay close, get creative, save more this summer With summer just around the corner, families are still thinking about their travel plansand whats in their bank accounts. Tight budgets might have families staying closer to home, especially as the average family vacation can easily run $4,000 or more for a week for a group of four. But staying closer to home can still be fun. CredAbility, one counseling and education agen host of ideas for families con sidering a creative, cost-saving staycation this summer: best fun is less than an hour from home. Consider local theme or water parks, festivals, gardens, zoos and sporting events. A quick Google search of things to do in your city can produce dozens of ideas. Check out all the local newspapers and websites for a calendar of upcoming events in your area. destination and create it in your own home. Visit the library and check out books and DVDs on that country. Have fun with the family making an itinerary of places to go, research and make foods native to the country and even make costumes based on the countrys culture. Its a great educational and fun concept! House swap with a family or friends in another town. Its a getaway to a new place and des tination without having to dole out the dollars for a hotel stay, airfare and more. picnic at a local beach, lake, park or in your backyard. Get out your nice dishes and glasses, and pack a tablecloth and linen napkins. Bring some fun outdoor games, such as bocce ball or badminton and make a day of it. party, like a luau, beach night, or the 50s and invite friends, neigh bors and relatives. Plan the menu and ask everyone to bring an item. Visit local thrift stores and garage sales ahead of time for decorations and clothing. It not only saves you a ton of money, but we all love to rummage for a great deal! You can also have it at a local city, county or state park. After the theme party, pack up all the items you purchased and sell them as a lot on eBay so you can recoup some of your expense and pass the idea on to someone else. You dont have to spend a lot of money or go far from home to fun. A family of four can bowl for two hours or head to a movie matinee for about $50. Spend an afternoon roller-skating or iceskating. Take a golf lesson or go horseback riding. Get a few fami teams for a softball game. Sign up for Groupon (Grou pon.com) and Living Social (LivingSocial.com) to get daily and you can easily plan a weeks worth of activities at a discount. They are also a great resource if you are looking to save on sum mer day camp for your kids. Judy MacKenzie Grants Manager, CredAbility

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