110322_SW_Holiday Gift Guide 1 DIGITAL EDITION

Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.


The heartbeat of the community



November 3 — 16, 2022 | Since 1986


Hearts Adoption


Amy Imber of Connecting Hearts Adoption Services,

supported by her family (l. to r.) son Sam, husband

Jeff and son Max, helps clients fulfill their dreams of

becoming parents through adoption.




NOVEMBER 24 | 11:00 A.M.–6:30 P.M.

$58.95 *

for adults

(prepaid reservation)

$24.95 *

for children

(3 and under free)

More Than 60 Tantalizing Dishes

Complimentary Champagne and Mimosas

Complimentary Self-Parking | Discounted Valet Parking

RosenCentre.com/Thanksgiving | 407.996.3969

*Not inclusive of tax and service charge. Walk-ins welcome based

on availability and for an additional charge.

9840 International Drive


SCHOOL NEWS ............................................................................... 4

COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD ......................................................... 6

PROMOTIONAL FEATURE ................................................................... 8

Connecting Hearts Adoption Services

2022 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE ............................................................... 9

LIVING WELL.....................................................................................13

GMOs Explained

Physical Therapists Can Help Manage Long COVID

IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD ............................................................. 16

www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com x November 3 — 16, 2022 x 3

West Orange Political Alliance, Inc.

A non-parsan polical commiee, the

polical acon arm of the West

Orange Chamber of Commerce,

formed to represent the best interests

of West Orange County urges you to

vote Early, By Mail or on

Tuesday, November 8th.

Our endorsed candidates

for this Election:

SOUTHWEST SERVICE DIRECTORY ................................................... 18

November 3, 2022

Volume XXXVII, No. 1

P.O. Box 851

Windermere, FL 34786



The Southwest Orlando Bulletin is published semimonthly by

Cornerstone Publishing & Multi-Media LLC. No material may be reproduced

without written permission. Subscriptions are available in the U.S. and Puerto

Rico for $25.56 per year and in Canada for $31.80 per year. For foreign

surface mailing, add $20 per year.

Neither the publishers nor the advertisers are responsible or liable for

typographical errors, misinformation, misprints, etc., unintentionally contained

herein. All letters received become the property of Cornerstone Publishing &

Multi-Media LLC and may be reproduced and edited without consent.

©2022/Cornerstone Publishing & Multi-Media LLC


Rick V. Martin


Yvette Martin


Lisa Sagers



Lauren Salinero



Blair Parke


Robert Barlow


Madeline DeVito

407-351-1573, option 1


Michelle Oakes




Orange County

Mercedes Fonseca - District 4

Mike Sco – District 6

Orange County Public School Board

Maria Salamanca – District 2

Dr. Michael Daniels – District 3

Florida House of Representatives

Allie Braswell (D) – District 45

Charter County and Regional

Transportation System Surtax


Find us on Facebook for the latest news and endorsements.

To learn more, visit hps://wochamber.com/west-orange-polical-alliance-wopa

Paid Polical Adversement by the West Orange Polical Alliance, Inc.

12184 W. Colonial Drive, Winter Garden, FL 34787

For informaon, call 407-656-1304.

4 x November 3 — 16, 2022 x www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com

n Panther Lake



compiled by Lauren Salinero

• Renee Green is assistant principal

of Ocoee High.

of the year. Also, Adair Edwards

was recognized as the school’s volunteer

of the month for September.

Ms. Edwards specifically helps

Cynthia Penney, media specialist,

on a frequent basis, and the staff

feels fortunate to have her at PLES.

The First Academy will

hold its annual Veterans Day

Celebration on Nov. 10 at 10

a.m. in the Worship Center at First

Orlando, located at 3000 S. John

Young Parkway. All veterans are

Panther Lake Elementary Principal

Christine Szymanski (center)

congratulates Katie Schwartz (left) and

Stephanie Xenias on being named as

the school’s teacher of the year and support

person of the year, respectively.

Congratulations to Katie

Schwartz for being named as

Panther Lake Elementary’s teacher of

the year and Stephanie Xenias

for being named the support person

Panther Lake Elementary Principal

Christine Szymanski (left) congratulates

Adair Edwards on being named as the

September volunteer of the month.


International Baccalaureate Diploma & Certificate Program

Collaborations with MIT, The Juilliard School, and UNICEF

100% College Acceptance & Enrollment Rate

Differentiated Curriculum for PreK-3 to Grade 12

Award winning Fine Arts programs

Over 21 Athletic programs for Grade 6 - 12


(407) 905-7737 info@windermereprep.com windermereprep.com

Panther Lake Elementary physical education teacher Christie Jewell encourages students

to participate in National Walk to School Day.

n Et Al

Orange County Public Schools

officials announced administrative

changes at the following Southwestarea


• Andrew Frohmberg is assistant

principal of Ocoee Middle.

invited to attend. The celebration

features the Presentation of Colors

by the U.S. Army Color Guard, patriotic

music by a 100-voice lowerschool

choir, and the middle- and

upper-school chorus. There will

also be special patriotic music by

members of the Voices of Liberty

and the middle- and upper-school

band. Multimedia presentations

will be shared to salute the nation’s

heroes with special recognition of

all veterans in attendance. Event

speakers include the Wounded

Warrior Club officers, retired Lt.

Gen. Benjamin Mixon, retired

Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta, and First

Orlando senior pastor the Rev.

David Uth. A special complimentary

continental breakfast will be

provided in Faith Hall for all veterans

and their spouses prior to the

celebration. For more information,

visit thefirstacademy.org/blog/


Representatives of the Florida

Department of Education released

student test scores for the third grade

English language arts assessment

for the 2021-22 year. Test scores in

Orange County Public Schools outperformed

the state average by a

percentage point. Overall in OCPS,

students scoring Level 3 or above

decreased by 1 percentage point

from 2018-19. The state average

decreased by 5 percentage points

from 2018-19. This information is

partially used to determine student

promotion and retention, and district

and school-level accountability

measures. This was the first time

since 2018-19 that test scores were

used by the state for accountability


Orange County Public Schools

officials rolled out the Sustainability

Plan 2030. Its goal is to inspire

action among students and staff

members to improve the environment

and make a positive social

impact in the community while

reducing costs to keep dollars in

the classroom. The plan is to be

used as a road map to navigate

change throughout the next nine

years. The development of OCPS

Sustainability Plan 2030 ensures

alignment with local municipalities’

sustainability goals, the U.S.

Green Building Council’s whole

school sustainability framework,

and the United Nation’s 17 sustainable

development goals. Input

from more than 47,000 staff members,

students, parents and community

members helped to develop

the plan for OCPS. A total of five

sustainability targets were identified

as priorities: waste reduction,

water conservation, health and

wellness, energy conservation and

renewable energy, and transportation.

To view the full plan, visit



Orange County Public Schools

Superintendent Maria Vazquez

presented instructional makeup

days because of days lost during

Hurricane Ian. Instructional minutes

already built into the student schedule

throughout the year allowed for

the remaining instructional minutes

to be made up by having Oct. 28

scheduled as a normal school day

instead of a student holiday/teacher

nonwork day and adding seven

no-early dismissal Wednesdays between

Nov. 2022 and May 2023.

The no-early dismissal days are Nov.

9, Dec. 7, Jan. 18, Feb 1., Feb. 15,

March 22 and May 10.

Although we try to ensure that all information

presented above is the most current, correct and

dependable available, we do rely on others for

the source of our news. Therefore, the Southwest

Orlando Bulletin and Cornerstone Publishing &

Multi-Media LLC cannot be held responsible for the

validity of the information presented here, nor does

mentioning it constitute an endorsement. School

News is welcome and may be mailed to P.O.

Box 851, Windermere, FL 34786; or emailed to

Lauren@kearneypublishing.com. ª

www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com x November 3 — 16, 2022 x 5



7232 Sand Lake Rd #103 Orlando Fl 32819

6 x November 3 — 16, 2022 x www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com

n Charities/Fundraisers

Nov. 12 — Harvest Of Hope Garden


Ocoee Lakeshore Center, 125 N. Lakeshore Drive,

Ocoee, hosts Matthew’s Hope’s Harvest of Hope Garden

Party, including a silent auction, raffles and surprise entertainment.

Time: 5:45-9:15 p.m. Cost: Tables of eight are

available starting at $600. Co-sponsorships are available.

For more information or to RSVP, call 407-905-9500 or

visit www.matthewshopeministries.org/garden-party.

Nov. 12 — Autism Speaks Walk

Cranes Roost Park, 274 Cranes Roost Blvd., Altamonte

Springs, hosts the Central Florida Autism Speaks Walk. For

more information, visit autismspeaks.org/walk.

Nov. 12 — Golfing Fore Autism

Kissimmee Bay Golf Club, 2801 Kissimmee Bay

Blvd., Kissimmee, hosts the 18th annual Golfing Fore

Autism Charity Tournament co-presented by the Autism

& Related Disabilities Gym Program Inc. and the Jim

Beech Recreation Center. Time: 7:30 a.m. for registration

(includes a complimentary bloody mary), 8:30 a.m.

for tee time. Cost: $110 to play in the tournament, which

includes beer, soda, cigars, lunch, bar on the course,

and two contests; $25 for lunch only; and $25 for a

super ticket that includes Mulligan’s, free mixed drinks

from a beverage tent, and raffle tickets. Checks should

be made payable to Autism & Related Disabilities Gym

Program Inc., Jo-Anne Houwers, 1054 Orange Wharf

Court, Winter Garden, FL 34787. For more information,

call 407-234-7456, email joanne@autismgym.org or visit


Nov. 13 — A Taste Of Dr. Phillips

Brought to you by the Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips

Foundation, the 15th annual Taste of Dr. Phillips takes

place outdoors at Dellagio Orlando, 7940 Via Dellagio

Way. Festivities include a silent auction and an afternoon

of sampling fine dining, wine and beer. Time: 1-4 p.m.

Cost: $75. Sponsorships are available. For more information,

visit www.atasteofdrphillips.com.

n Children’s/Teen


Ongoing — In-Person Storytimes

Winter Garden Library, 805 E. Plant St., Winter Garden,

hosts the following in-person storytimes for children:

Storybook Fun for preschoolers is Fridays at 10:15 a.m.,

Toddler Time is Fridays at 10:45 a.m., and Tiny Tales for

babies up to 18 months is Fridays at 11:15 a.m. For more

information, call 407-835-7323 or visit www.ocls.info.

n Classes/Programs

Ongoing — Knitting/Crocheting Classes

The Special Events Dining Room of Building C at St. Luke’s

United Methodist Church, 4851 S. Apopka-Vineland

31st annual holiday

short-story contest.


compiled by Lisa Sagers

Winners will be published in

the Dec. 15 issue. Email

original short stories (max: 600

words) with the author's

name, age, neighborhood and

phone number to:


Road, Orlando, hosts Hearts to Hands’ free knitting/crocheting

classes. Yarn is provided, and all ages and skill

levels are welcome. Time: Wednesdays from 3:30-5 p.m.

For more information, call 407-876-4991, ext. 262; email

care@st.lukes.org; or visit www.st.lukes.org/heartstohands.

Through December 31 — Virtual Fitness


AARP Florida sponsors virtual weekly group fitness classes,

including two types of yoga with QWellness and low-tomoderate

dance aerobics with Firebush. The classes are

free to the public, and times vary. For more information

or to register, visit states.aarp.org/florida/join-us-for-freeweekly-group-fitness-classes.

n Events/Performances

Nov. 5 — Music Among The Lakes

Windermere Wine & Dine presents Music Among the Lakes,

including free performances by the Florida Symphony

Youth Orchestra and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra,

on the grounds of Windermere Town Hall. Attendees are

encouraged to bring blankets, chairs and picnic baskets.

Time: Grounds open at 4 p.m., and the opening program

by FSYO takes place from 5:15-6 p.m. followed by a short

break. OPO performs from 6:30-7:45 p.m. Pre-ordering

of picnic baskets and beverages is available. For more

information, visit windermerewineanddine.com/events.

Nov. 10 — This Is My Song: A Veterans

Day Program

The Sanctuary at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 4851

S. Apopka-Vineland Road, Orlando, presents This Is My

Song: A Veterans Day Program, including live patriotic

music and readings to honor those who have served the

U.S. in the armed forces. Time: 7:30 p.m. Admission

is free; however, an offering will be collected to benefit

Soldiers’ Angels. For more information or to RSVP, call

407-876-4991 or visit www.st.lukes.org/veterans.

Nov. 11 & 12— Food & Wine Classic

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin, 1500 Epcot Resorts

Blvd., Lake Buena Vista, hosts the Food & Wine Classic, an

outdoor dining event that includes educational food and

beverage seminars, a festive outdoor setting, culinary selections

from the resort’s award-winning restaurants, beverage

samplings from around the world, themed areas and live

musical entertainment. Time: 5:30-9 p.m. Cost: $165. Room

discounts are available with proof of event ticket purchase. For

more information, visit swandolphinfoodandwineclassic.com.

Nov. 27 — Hola @ The Park

Icon Park Orlando, 8375 International Drive, Orlando,

hosts Hola @ The Park, presented by Orlando Health and

highlighting Hispanic culture by promoting local artists and

Latin food. Time: 1-7 p.m. For more information, call 407-

428-5870 or visit www.hispanicchamberorlando.com or


n Holiday Happenings

Nov. 4 — Holy Family Holiday Boutique

The Holy Family Catholic Church Parish Life Center, 5125

Apopka-Vineland Road, Orlando, hosts Holy Family

Catholic School’s annual holiday boutique. Items for purchase

include clothing, crafts, jewelry, food, gifts and

more. Time: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, email

Amy Hanigosky, amyhanigosky@gmail.com.

Nov. 25, 2022-Jan. 1, 2023 — Dazzling


Harry P. Leu Gardens, 1920 N. Forest Ave., Orlando, presents

the third annual Dazzling Lights, a family-friendly event

that gives guests the opportunity to embark on a three-quarter-mile,

interactive holiday experience. Activities include a

million lights, meet-and-greet characters in the Ice Castle, a

yeti play area for children, 40-foot-diameter snow dome with

swirling snow, and more. This year, guests choose their own

adventure. Timed entry takes place from 5:30-9 p.m. Cost:

$55 for premium tickets that include access to an outdoor

lounge, $25 for adults, $22 for children 3-13. On-site parking

is available for a small fee. For more information or to

purchase tickets, visit www.dazzlingorlando.com.

Dec. 1 — Holiday Tree Lighting

Icon Park Orlando in the I-Drive District hosts the annual

Holiday Tree Lighting event, including the lighting of the

official 50-foot holiday tree, special performances, singing

and dancing, The Santa Workshop Experience, and more.

Time: 6 p.m. The Santa Workshop Experience is purchased

separately and includes a free ticket to ride The Wheel

and carousel on the Promenade. Advance registrations

are required. For more information, visit idrivedistrict.com.

Dec. 2 & 3 — A Big Band Christmas


Lake Buena Vista High School, 11305 Daryl Carter

Parkway, Orlando, hosts Central Florida Community Arts’

Deadline: November 23, 2022

Cash Prizes

performances of A Big Band Christmas. Time: Friday at

8 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m. Cost: $15 premium general

admission, $10 general admission, free for lap-held

children 3-younger. For more information or to purchase

tickets, visit cfcarts.com/bbxmas.

Dec. 2, 3 & 4 — Rudolph The Red-Nosed

Reindeer Jr. Performances

St. Luke’s United Methodist Church’s Youth Theatre presents

performances of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Jr. in

the theater at the church, 4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road,

Orlando. Time: Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday

at 3 p.m. Cost: $10. For more information or to purchase

tickets, visit www.st.lukes.org/rudolph.

Dec. 9 — Christmas With The Basilica


The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of

the Universe, 8300 Vineland Ave., Orlando, presents

Christmas With the Basilica Choir, an annual tradition

of Advent and Christmas music with a popular audience

sing-a-long to favorite holiday tunes. Arrive early for the

best seats. Time: 7:30 p.m. For more information, call

407-239-6600 or visit maryqueenoftheuniverse.org.

Dec. 10 — Holiday Amaryllis Festival

Nehrling Gardens, a Florida Heritage Landmark, 2267

Hempel Ave., Gotha, hosts the 11th annual Holiday

Amaryllis Festival, a free nature-themed community event.

Activities include rare amaryllis bulbs for sale, nature-themed

vendors, food, music and crafts for children. Time: 9 a.m.-

3 p.m. For more information, call 407-445-9977, email

info@nehrlinggardens.org or visit www.nehrlinggardens.org.

Dec. 10 — Jolly Jamboree

The Withers-Maguire House, 16 E. Oakland Ave. in

downtown Ocoee, hosts the Jolly Jamboree, including

the lighting of the holiday tree. Time: 5-9 p.m. Admission

is free. For more information, call 407-905-3180 or visit


Dec. 11 — MetroWest WinterFest

MetroWest Golf Club, 2100 S. Hiawassee Road, Orlando,

hosts the ninth annual MetroWest WinterFest, presented by

Orlando Health and including free photos with Santa and

Mrs. Claus; a 16-ton snow slide and play area; holidaythemed

performances by MetroWest and Westpointe

elementary schools; a merry-go-round, bungee bouncer

and ballistic swing carnival ride; face painters; horse and

carriage rides; a food truck zone; vendors and more. Pets

and coolers are not allowed. Time: 3-7 p.m. Admission

is free. The event benefits Edgewood Children’s Ranch.

For more information, visit www.metrowestcommunity.com.

n Miscellaneous

Nov. 13 — Food Drive & Car And Truck


Promenade at Sunset Walk, 3251 Margaritaville Blvd.,

Kissimmee, hosts a food drive and car and truck show.

Time: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The event benefits Second Harvest

Food Bank of Central Florida. For more information, visit


n Networking/Clubs

Ongoing — Members Wanted

The West Orange Women seeks females of all ages to

join its group for fun, friendship and philanthropy. Annual

dues are $20. For more information, call Mary Borgan,

407-929-3030; or visit www.westorangewomen.com.

Nov. 8, 15, 22 & 29 — Virtual

Toastmasters Meetings

Windermere Toastmasters Club No. 4662754 holds Zoom

meetings. Attendees learn to develop their oral communication

and leadership skills in a supportive and positive

learning environment. Time: Tuesdays from 7-8:30 p.m.

For more information or to request online Zoom meeting

details, visit www.4662754.toastmastersclubs.org and

click “Contact Us.”

Nov. 9, 16, 23 & 30 — Virtual

Toastmasters Meetings

The Turnpike Toastmasters Club holds Zoom meetings.

Time: Wednesdays from noon-1 p.m. For more

information or to register for a virtual meeting, visit

2362.toastmastersclubs.org and click “Contact Us” at

least one day before the event.

Nov. 10 & 17 — Virtual Thursday

Morning Men’s Group

St. Luke’s United Methodist Church hosts a men’s online

group with the Rev. Jad. Time: Thursdays at 7:45 a.m.

via Zoom. For more information or to register, call 407-

876-4991 or visit st.lukes.org/adults.

Nov. 10 & 17 — Virtual Toastmasters


The Vista Toastmasters Club holds Zoom meetings.

Time: Thursdays from 7-8:30 p.m. For more information,

email vistatoastmasters.zoom@gmail.com or visit


www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com x November 3 — 16, 2022 x 7

n Support Groups

Ongoing — Hope For Hurting Parents

Support Group Meetings

The Parish Life Center at Holy Family Catholic Church,

5125 S. Apopka-Vineland Road, Orlando, hosts

Hope for Hurting Parents support group meetings

for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc., who

have children of any age who struggle with mental

health issues, self-harm, eating disorders, substance

abuse, gender confusion, suicidal thoughts and more.

Time: first and third Monday of each month from

6-8 p.m. For more information, email Beth Denhof,

bethdenhof@msn.com, or call her at 407-399-5872;

or email Kelly Muscaro, kkmuscaro@aol.com, or call

her at 407-963-5277. For more information, including

resources and book recommendations, visit


Nov. 8 & 22 — Mental Health Support

Group Meetings

The second floor of Building B at St. Luke’s United

Methodist Church, 4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road,

Orlando, hosts free connection and family support group

meetings for individuals affected by mental illness. The

connection support group meets in Room B-204, and

families meet in Room B-206. The 90-minute meeting

is peer-led and helps participants connect with each

other, learn from each other’s experiences, share coping

strategies and offer each other encouragement and

understanding. Time: the second and fourth Tuesday of

each month at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call

407-253-1900, email information@namigo.org or visit


Nov. 8 & Dec. 13 — Virtual Support

Group Meetings For Caregivers

The Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center sponsors

a free support group meeting for caregivers in the Suite

281 Conference Room (next to the south elevators on

the second floor) at Health Central Hospital, 10000 W.

Colonial Drive, Ocoee. Time: second Tuesday of each

month at 6 p.m. For more information, call 407-843-1910

or visit www.adrccares.org.

Nov. 15, Dec. 6 & 20 — Virtual Teen

Grief Support Group Meetings

The Cornerstone Hospice Bereavement Team holds virtual teen

grief support group meetings for teens 12-17 struggling with

the loss of a loved one or feeling anxious, upset or confused

because of the pandemic. Groups are free and open to the

public. Registration is required. Time: first and third Tuesday of

each month from 5-6 p.m. For more information or to register,

call 866-742-6655 or visit www.cornerstonehospice.org.

Nov. 16, Dec. 7 & 21 — Virtual Teen

Talks Support Group Meetings

The Cornerstone Hospice Bereavement Team holds virtual

teen talks support group meetings for youth 12-17.

Groups are free and open to the public. Registration is

required. Time: first and third Wednesday of each month

from 3:30-4:30 p.m. For more information or to register,

call 866-742-6655 or visit www.cornerstonehospice.org.

Contributions to Community Bulletin Board are welcome. Please

send information six weeks before the event to P.O. Box 851,

Windermere, FL 34787; call 407-351-1573, option 5; or

email Lisa@kearneypublishing.com. ª

Nurse Practitioners:

Esther Pelissier, ARPN-BC

Irene Gan, PMHNP

Raykha Crag-Chaderton, PMHNP-BC

Rachael Pittala, ARPN-BC


Michael Kellogg, LMHC, ATR-BC

Randie Morillo, LCSW, ACSW

Amy Singleton, LMHC

Brooke Parker, LMHC

Cristal Daniel, LMHC

Rachael Pittala

Esther Pelissier

8 x November 3 — 16, 2022 x www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com

Connecting Hearts Adoption Services

Building Families Since 2008

The month of November is an

important month for Connecting

Hearts Adoption Services, as

it is National Adoption Awareness

Month and another opportunity

to remind people of the joys of

achieving long-awaited parenthood

through adoption. It’s an experience

that founder Amy Imber of Dr.

Phillips — herself a married mom

of two — has embraced since the

adoption service was established in


“Helping people become parents,

there is nothing more rewarding,”

Amy said. “We have families from

all walks of life successfully adopting.

We have yet to have a month

where a family hasn’t brought home

a child in the 14-plus years I have

been doing this.”

The home study is the first step in

any adoption and is a legal requirement.

It is what approves someone

to be eligible to adopt. It is also the

sole purpose of Connecting Hearts

Adoption Services. Amy wants

everyone to know, especially this

month, that adoption is possible for

anyone who wants to be a parent.

Walking Through the Home Study

Many who reach out to Connecting

Hearts Adoption Services feel overwhelmed

by the paperwork, financial

questions and uncertainty about

the entire process. However, Amy

and her team of 12 social workers

are there to help everyone, from

single people to same-sex couples to

married couples. They help families

navigate the home study with ease

and comfort. Connecting Hearts services

the entire state of Florida.

After completing the initial application

for a home study, Connecting

Hearts brings together potential parents

with a social worker to schedule

a home visit. This is when client

families spend time with their social

worker and go through the various

paperwork, such as character references,

personal background information,

financial reports, medical

reports and other important documentation.

There is also a tour of the

family home, which Amy points out

is “not an inspection” of the home.

They do not expect everyone’s home

to be perfect, just safe for a child to

live in.

“We want to find out what is [each

client’s] motivation to adopt, what

has been the reactions from their

families and friends, and try to debunk

some of the myths of adoption,”

she said. “Our job is to empower our

clients, so that after the home study

visit, they feel prepared and able to

embark on their adoption journey

feeling more educated and ready to

forge ahead.”

Some common myths Amy and

her team debunk include believing

all birth parents have questionable

histories, that an arrest history



will disqualify someone from being

eligible to adopt, and that you will

be waiting for years to adopt your

future child.

“It’s really all about adoption education

and making sure people are

well-prepared for what lies ahead,”

Amy said.

The home study concludes with a

10- to 14-page report all about the

adoptive parents/family. This report

becomes a legal document, as it is

filed with the courts once a family is

matched with an expectant mother.

A home study from Connecting

Hearts is valid across Florida and the

United States.

The Support Doesn’t End

Even after families have successfully

adopted children, Connecting

Hearts Adoption Services is still

there to support them through the

daily challenges of parenting and

adoption. An online support group

for just Connecting Hearts families

has proven — since its establishment

six or seven years ago — to be a

valuable resource for all involved.

But all families helped by

Connecting Hearts Adoption

Services agree they felt nothing but

comfortable throughout the entire


“Amy made the entire process

easy,” said Erin Callahan, a

member of one family helped by

the agency. “When we thought of

adoption, we thought of the piles of

paperwork needed to start the journey

and felt overwhelmed. Following

Amy’s checklist made the daunting

home study process such a breeze.”

Kevin Johnston’s family recalled

how helpful Amy and her team were

in answering all their questions and

the personal care they provided.

“I’ll never forget Amy personally

reaching out to us with excitement

the night that we found out that we

had been chosen by a birth mother,”

he said.

Kimberly LoCascio’s family

struggled with the profile, which is

a book given to birth parents, giving

them the opportunity to learn

more about prospective parents.

Connecting Hearts offers support,

and sometimes needed constructive

criticism, regarding the profile book,

which is separate from the home


“It truly is beautiful and gives me

comfort and gratitude toward our

son’s birth mother for feeling that we

are the best fit for him and for her,”

Kimberly said.

Whether you are adopting a

baby or an older child, are in a relationship

or considering parenting

alone, Connecting Hearts Adoption

Services wants to help your dreams

come true.

For more information about Connecting Hearts

Adoption Services, call 407-733-8642 or email

amy@connectingheartsadoption.com. ª

www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com x November 3 — 16, 2022 x 9


While November has just begun and Thanksgiving is still a few weeks

away, many Southwest Orlando residents may already feel pressure in their

searches for holiday gifts for everyone on their lists. Southwest Orlando

Bulletin’s annual Holiday Gift Guide provides a comprehensive listing of

various local businesses offering great gift ideas — from always-handy gift

cards to seasonal activities and more — that are sure to please everyone

this holiday season.

Festival of Trees

Festival of Trees kicks off

the holiday season for Central

Floridians with “Gifts of the Season”

from Nov. 11-20. Presented by the

Council of 101, visitors can see more

than 40 designer-inspired decorated

trees, gingerbread houses,

wreaths and more. There also is a

holiday shopping experience, popup

shops and live entertainment.

Enjoy specialty ticketed events like

Breakfast with Santa, Reindeer Romp

and more. To purchase tickets, visit



Envy Dr. Phillips

Give the gift of total relaxation to

loved ones near and far. Plus, treat

yourself to self-care this holiday

season with a free $20 promotional

card when you purchase $100

in gift cards or a $40 promotional

card when you purchase $150 in

gift cards. Massage Envy Dr.

Phillips offers customized massages,

facials and stretch services.

Located in Suite 100 at 8081 Turkey

Lake Road in Orlando, Massage

Envy Dr. Phillips is open Monday

through Friday from 8 a.m.-10 p.m.,

Saturday from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and

Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. To learn

more about its holiday promotions,

call 407-354-3689.

Promenade —

Sunset Walk

Join Promenade — Sunset

Walk, located at 3251

Margaritaville Blvd. in Kissimmee,

for its Holinights celebrations, featuring

Santa Claus, mischievous elves,

towering toy soldiers, the debut of a


10 x November 3 — 16, 2022 x www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com


45-foot-tall animated holiday tree,

holiday craft markets, live bands,

DJs, a car show on Saturday nights,

and more. In addition, there are

more than two dozen unique restaurants

and shops. Holinights & Tree

Lighting takes place on select nights

from Nov. 25-Dec. 24. Admission

and parking are free. For more information,

visit sunsetwalk.com.

children 4-11, and free for children

3-younger. For more information or

to RSVP, call 407-996-3969 or visit


Royal Landscape


Rosen Centre

The public is invited to celebrate

Thanksgiving at the Rosen Centre.

Its bountiful feast features holiday

classics like perfectly roasted turkey,

mashed potatoes, ciabatta

bread stuffing, apple cider pan

gravy, and other traditional fare. Go

bold with fresh Jonah crab claws,

New Zealand mussels or perfectly

marinated skirt steak. Adults pay

$58.95 ($69.95 day-of), $24.95 for

Royal Landscape Nursery

has a great selection of beautiful

plants, shrubs, trees, palms, citrus

and other great ideas to give that

special person something different

this holiday. Show your loved ones

you care and give them a gift that

keeps giving and growing all year

long. Visit Royal Landscape at 2204

Hempel Ave. in Gotha to handpick

the right gift to express your love

or appreciation. Operating hours

are Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-4

p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m.-

noon. For more information, call


School of Rock

This holiday season, give the gift

that keeps on giving — the gift of

music. Contact School of Rock to

purchase a gift certificate that can

Sponsored by St. Luke's United Women in Faith and Blessed Treasures


www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com x November 3 — 16, 2022 x 11

be redeemed for music lessons for

someone you love. No one has ever

complained about receiving a guitar,

keyboard or drum set as a gift.

School of Rock, the ultimate music

school for both kids and adults, is located

in Suite 140 at 6700 Conroy-

Windermere Road in Orlando. For

more information, call 407-710-9100

or visit schoolofrock.com/locations/


St. Luke’s United

Methodist Church

The St. Luke’s United Women in

Faith and Blessed Treasures Gift Shop

co-present the 41st annual Holiday

Marketplace on Nov. 12 and Nov.

13 in Building C’s Coleman Memorial

Gymnasium at St. Luke’s United

Methodist Church, 4851 S.

Apopka-Vineland Road in Orlando.

The fundraising event offers unique

shops; a bakery with homemade

pastries; photos taken with Santa;

and a variety of activities, where all

sales benefit local, state and global

causes. Saturday’s hours are 8 a.m.-

2 p.m., and Sunday’s hours are 8

a.m.-1 p.m. For more information,

visit www.st.lukes.org/marketplace

or st.lukes.org/umv. ª

20% OFF





Thursday – Sunday: 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

(last seating)


Thursday – Sunday: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

(last order)


Valid daily only at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse. Excludes

holidays and alcoholic beverages. Not valid with any other


Located at Rosen Inn

6327 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

12 x November 3 — 16, 2022 x www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com

Meet The Goodless Dermatology Team!

Same day Appointments available

with One of Our Providers

Same day appointments available

Living Well x November 2022 x 1

Living Well

Southwest OrlanDo

Volume 3, Issue 7 — November 2022




TheraPisTs can

helP Manage

long coViD

A Product of the

Southwest Orlando Bulletin

2 x November 2022 x Living Well

Many consumers are curious to

learn more about the purpose and

safety of GMOs.

“GMO” is a common term used

to describe foods made from organisms

(plants, microorganisms and

animals) that have been created using

technology called genetic engineering.

Genetic engineering allows

scientists to copy a gene with a desired

trait from one organism and put

it into another.

Purpose of GMOs

Humans have modified crops

and animals to suit their needs

and tastes for thousands of years.

Crossbreeding, selective breeding

and mutation breeding are examples

of traditional ways to make

these genetic changes, and they

have been used to create crops

like modern corn varieties and

seedless watermelon. These methods

often involve mixing all the

genes from two different sources.

For example, today’s strawberries

are a cross between a strawberry

species native to North America

and a strawberry species native to

South America.

Modern technology allows scientists

to use genetic engineering to take

a specific beneficial gene, like insect

resistance or drought tolerance,

and transfer it

into a plant without also

transferring undesirable

genes, which sometimes

occurs in traditional plant

breeding. The reasons

for genetic modification

today are similar to what

they were thousands of

years ago: higher crop

yields, less crop loss, longer

storage life, better

appearance, better nutrition

or a combination of

these traits.

Some GMO plants have been

modified to improve their nutritional

value. An example is GMO soybeans

with healthier oils — higher oleic acid

GMOs Explained

— that can be used to replace oils

containing trans fats. Scientists are

continuing to look for new ways to

develop foods with increased nutritional

value and other useful traits.

photo courtesy of Getty Images

GMO foods are created using genetic engineering for a

variety of reasons.

Safety of GMOs

Multiple agencies within the U.S.

government work to regulate GMOs,

including the U.S. Food and Drug

Administration, U.S. Environmental

Protection Agency, and the Animal

and Plant Health Inspection Service

in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Each agency plays a part in ensuring

GMOs are safe for human, plant

and animal health. For example,

officials of the FDA make sure the

GMO foods it regulates meet the

same safety standards as the non-

GMO version. The three agencies

also monitor the impact of GMOs on

the environment.

Research shows GMO foods currently

on the market are no more likely

to cause allergic reactions than non-

GMO versions of the same foods.

Most food allergies are caused by

allergens found in just nine foods —

peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat,

soy, sesame, shellfish and fish.

The way GMOs are created allows

scientists to know precisely

which new proteins are produced

in a plant. Scientists perform tests to

make sure these new proteins are not

allergens. This type of testing, called

allergenicity testing, is always part of

the process for developing GMOs.

As part of this testing, developers

consider whether any substances

added to the food have characteristics

of allergens, such as whether

they come from an allergenic source.

Learn more about GMOs and

their impact on one’s health at


Updated Food Labeling

Certain types of GMOs have

a disclosure that lets you know if

the food is a bioengineered food.

Bioengineered food is the term that

Congress used to describe certain

types of GMOs when they passed

the National Bioengineered Food

Disclosure Standard.

The standard establishes requirements

for labeling foods that humans

eat that are or may be bioengineered

and defines bioengineered foods as

those that contain detectable genetic

material that has been modified

through certain lab techniques and

cannot be created through conventional

breeding or found in nature.

Source: U.S. Food and Drug


(Family Features) ª

Guillermo J. Nazario, D.C.

Long COVID can affect anyone

who’s had COVID-19, even those

who’ve had mild illness or no symptoms

initially. New data from the

Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention shows that nearly 1 in 5

U.S. adults who have had COVID-19

experience new or lingering symptoms

that last three or more months

after first contracting the virus.

Physical therapists can play an essential

role in managing symptoms

of long COVID.

Long COVID is unpredictable,

and research is evolving; however,

common symptoms include extreme

fatigue, shortness of breath, racing

heart, dizziness, muscle aches and

pains, brain fog, problems completing

everyday activities, and poor exercise

tolerance. It’s also important

to note that certain types of physical

activity may not be appropriate for

everyone living with long COVID.

“A highly personalized plan of

care that includes working with a

physical therapist is important,” said

Leo Arguelles, PT, DPT, American

Physical Therapy Association spokesperson.

“People with long COVID

can benefit from being monitored

during exertion and should follow

prescribed exercise dosing that

helps them gradually progress, rather

than pushing through fatigue on

their own, which could potentially

set them back.”

Physical therapists are movement

experts who regularly treat individuals

with the kinds of symptoms that

people with long COVID experience.

Here are three reasons to consider

including a physical therapist

on your long COVID care team:

Physical Therapists Can

Help Manage Long COVID


Those living with long COVID can benefit from a personalized plan of care from a physical


Physical Therapists:

• Take a full-body approach.

Physical therapists assess your overall

well-being. They can develop a personalized

treatment plan to address

issues such as fatigue, respiratory

function and cardiac endurance. They

can work and communicate with your

primary care physician and can refer

you to other health care providers if

they feel you’d benefit from seeing

another specialist. Physical therapists

and physical therapist assistants collaborate

with each other and with

other health professionals to ensure

that you receive the best care.

• Help you move safely. Movement

is essential to your recovery and

your mental health. However, for

some people, long COVID includes

post-exertional malaise, or PEM, a

Living Well x November 2022 x 3

worsening of symptoms after physical

or mental activities. Your ability often

may fluctuate — an activity that’s easily

tolerated one day may exacerbate

symptoms the next. Physical therapists

develop prescribed exercise programs

based on your symptoms and

how your body responds and can

monitor your symptoms, blood pressure,

heart rate and oxygen levels to

ensure your safety while doing exercises.

This may include low-intensity

stretches, strengthening exercises and

balance training.

• Help improve your quality of life.

Through patient education, a physical

therapist can help you find the balance

between rest and activity and

identify the right kind and amount of

movement you should get to improve

your tolerance for everyday activities.

More research is being done on

long COVID every day. Your physical

therapist will review available

research findings and can adjust

your treatment plan as needed. To

learn more or find a PT near you, visit


(StatePoint) ª

Michael J. Tortorella, MD

Obstetrics & Gynecology

Board Certified


Family Planning

Menstrual Disorders


Second Opinion for Surgery

In-Office Ultrasounds

In-Office Surgery

Minimally Invasive



(407) 363-1003 Michaeljtortorellamd.com

7300 Sandlake Commons Blvd.

Suite 320, Medplex A

next to Dr. P. Phillips Hospital

Listed in Best Doctors

in Orlando Magazine

Big smiles for family

and fall time!

Please call or visit our website for more info:

www.windermeredentist.com // 407.258.1330

4769 The Grove Dr. Suite 100

Windermere, FL 34786

16 x November 3 — 16, 2022 x www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com


n Hidden Springs/


Hidden Springs/Estates residents congratulate

neighbors Harrison and Samantha Dunnett

on their yardwork by voting them the Summer 2022

Yard of the Quarter winners.

Harrison and Samantha

Dunnett were selected as the

Hidden Springs/Estates Fall 2022

Yard of the Quarter winners.

Each quarter, residents of the Dr.

Phillips subdivision nominate a

fellow neighbor whose property

stands out as being attractive and

well-maintained. A committee of

volunteers reviews the nominations

and selects a winner. The Dunnetts

used a professional landscaper,

High Maintenance Landscaping, to

help them create an easy-to-carefor

landscape design. They used

different ground covers and plants

— dwarf roses; agapanthus (also

known as lily of the Nile); and boxwoods

along the wall of the home,

which were layered with Juniper

also along the front of the home’s

decorative wall. They took out a

couple of laurel oaks that had outlived

their health, put in a hibiscus

tree and crepe myrtles, and laid

new St. Augustine sod. The lighting

on the decorative wall really adds

to the ambience of the home. The

Yard of the Quarter program is

sponsored by John Scolaro

of Coldwell Banker Realty, who

awarded the Dunnetts a $50

Ace Hardware gift card.

n MetroWest

Mariam Saied of

MetroWest was chosen to

serve on the executive board of

Hamilton College’s WHCL radio

for the fall semester. Mariam,

who acts as a senior adviser, is

also a senior majoring in art and

a graduate of Windermere

High School. WHCL is a

nonprofit, student-run FM station

that operates 24/7 when

school is in session. The station

offers music, sports and public

affairs programming. WHCL is

one of Hamilton’s largest student

organizations. Most of the

station’s staff consists of DJs who

work a three-hour shift once

each week.

n Ocoee

compiled by Lauren Salinero

Ocoee resident Erika Feazell

was accepted as a participant in

the 2023 Miss Florida USA competition.

The 25-year-old self-proclaimed

childhood tomboy became interested

in competing after she felt the

emphasis of the competition had become

less about beauty and more

about intelligence and community.

Her platform is based on health equity.

After a preliminary and semifinal,

the competition takes place

May 12-14, 2023. The winner will

advance to the nationally televised

Miss USA competition.

West Orange Chamber of

Commerce ambassadors held

a ribbon-cutting ceremony for

Orlando Health — Health Central

Photo Courtesy of WOCC

West Orange Chamber of Commerce ambassadors celebrate the opening of

Orlando Health — Health Central Hospital’s Breast Imaging Center in Ocoee.

Hospital’s Breast Imaging Center

in Ocoee. WOCC builds partnerships,

strong businesses and commitment

to the community by serving

as the leading business advocate in

Central Florida, facilitating opportunity

to nearly 1,000 member businesses.

For more information about

WOCC, call 407-656-1304 or visit


n Winter Garden

Heart of Florida United Way representatives

announced the election

of three new community leaders

www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com x November 3 — 16, 2022 x 17

to its 2022-23 board of directors,

bringing the total number of community

representatives to 35. Serving

a three-year term is Winter Garden

resident Char Jordan. Char is the

state director for Allstate Insurance,

where she is responsible for profitable

growth, compliance oversight,

strategic business planning and increased

market share in the Florida

marketplace. With more than 20

years of experience in financial services,

Char has led high-performing

sales teams with Allstate in the western

and southern parts of the country.

In addition to her work with United

Way, Char is a volunteer Guardian

ad Litem in Osceola County.

Central Florida Community Arts

representatives announced the addition

of three new members to the

organization’s board of directors.

Among them is Winter Garden

resident Jack Feivou, executive

producer and vice president of production

for Enchant Christmas. Jack

has worked in nonprofits, performing

arts centers and major theme parks

worldwide. He worked as a stage

manager, production manager,

producer and general manager for

companies such as the United States

Institute for Theatre Technology and

Enchant Christmas. He recently completed

service as vice president of

conferences and Universal Creative.

An experienced leader, Jack understands

the intricacies and global vision

of entertainment businesses.

n Et Al

Southwest resident and Rep. Val

Demings was honored with a 2022

Medicare Advantage Champion

award for her strong advocacy on

behalf of Florida seniors’ access to

quality, affordable health coverage

options. Presented by Better

Medicare Alliance, the nation’s

leading research and advocacy

organization supporting Medicare

Advantage, the award recognizes


18 x November 3 — 16, 2022 x www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com



7345 W. Sand Lake Rd., Ste 301



Now open in a new location and accepting new


Dr. Hussain is a Mayo Clinic-trained and double

board-certified Medical Doctor specializing in

Regenerative Medicine with the latest technology in

high-quality Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and

image-guided injections for painful conditions such

as arthritis, chronic injuries, as well as hair

restoration and aesthetics.

Dr. Hussain has more than 15 years of experience

in evaluation and non-opioid treatment of painful

disorders with joint and spinal injections, under

X-ray and ultrasound guidance; Botox® injections

for Migraines and other conditions; as well as

performing specialized tests for muscle and nerve

problems (electrodiagnostic studies).

lawmakers who have worked in

a bipartisan fashion to strengthen

and protect Medicare Advantage,

the public-private partnership within


Mark Ramey, president of the Rotary

Club of Dr. Phillips, welcomes Angela

Garcia, vice president of development and

marketing for A Gift For Teaching, to speak

at a recent meeting.

Two attorneys with The Health

Law Firm were recognized by Super

Lawyers, a rating service of outstanding

lawyers. Southwest resident

Lance Leider was selected

to the 2022 Florida Super Lawyers

Rising Stars list for the eighth year

in a row. This is an exclusive list,

recognizing no more than 2.5% of

the lawyers in the state. Southwest

resident George Indest III, the

firm’s president and managing

partner, was selected to the 2022

Florida Super Lawyers list in the field

of health law for the 14th time. This

honor is limited to no more than 5%

of the lawyers within the entire state

of Florida.

Although we try to ensure that all information presented

above is the most current, correct and dependable

available, we do rely on others for the source of

our news. Therefore, the Southwest Orlando Bulletin

and Cornerstone Publishing & Multi-Media

LLC cannot be held responsible for the validity

of the information presented here, nor does

mentioning it constitute an endorsement. In Your

Neighborhood news is welcome and may be

mailed to P.O. Box 851, Windermere, FL 34786;

or emailed to Lauren@kearneypublishing.com. ª

Dr. Hussain is fluent in Spanish.

You should seek a consultation if you have a

condition that causes pain and limits your function

or if you had a recent injury or motor vehicle

accident, even if you are feeling fine. You have 14

days to get medical attention after a motor vehicle

accident or your insurance may deny your claim.

Pressure Washing

Drainage Solutions

Lightning Damage

Locate Valve’s

Wire/Valve Issues

Timers/Rain Sensors

Move/Adding Heads

Sprinkler Maintenance Program

Pre/Finish new Pools/Patios


Residential & Commercial

Since 2005

Licensed & Insured


The Water Conservation Specialist

Joseph A. Kelly

407-433-3233 • 407-433-3234


E: info@sparklingjak.com

Give Back This Holiday Season




Sunday, Nov. 13 th











Santa Claus

40’ Illuminated Holiday Tree

Mischievous Elves

Towering Toy Soldiers

Nightly Tree Lighting

P.O. Box 851

Windermere, FL 34786

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!