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DeCarlos Hill and Astride Bellavoix are competing to win a storybook wedding.
Winter Park / Maitland Observer Wednesday, May. 23, 2012 5 years ago

Winter Park couple in national wedding contest

Couple needs your vote

Contest offers local couple storybook wedding

Vote for Winter Park couple DeCarlos Hill and Astride Bellavoix in ESSENCE magazine’s first Storybook Wedding Contest. Six princes — chosen from more than 200 entries — are competing for a romantic storybook wedding. Log on to to watch videos and photos of each surprise proposal and to vote for your favorite couple. Voting continues through June 10.

Summer program aids homeless children

Fifth Third Bank’s Central Florida officials marked the one-year anniversary of the Summer of Dreams, a 10-week summer program providing food, activities, supervision, and school supplies to homeless students, and financial counseling for their parents. After serving 1,078 students in Orange County in 2011, supporters gathered to kick off the expanded 2012 program now available to homeless students in Seminole and Osceola counties. Jazzmine Rivera (pictured), an Orange County seventh-grader and past Summer of Dreams participant, spoke about her situation and how the camp impacted her. Students sponsored through the program are integrated into one of 36 pre-existing camp locations and given access to extra resources, such as weekend food packs and a backpack of school supplies. Currently, funding has been secured for 710 homeless children for the entire summer. The cost of the program is $3.72 per student, per day or $186 per child for up to 10 weeks. Visit or call 407-657-4818.

Luncheon shows program benefits

New Hope for Kids hosted a luncheon Friday, May 11, to showcase the benefits of the grief and wish program at the Center for Grieving Children in Maitland. Pictured from left to right are state attorney candidate Jeff Ashton, Maitland Library Director Ellen Schellhause, Maitland Chamber President Maria Simmons, Maitland Mayor Howard Schieferdecker and Ashton’s campaign manager, Susan Clary.

Maintenance begins in Winter Park/Maitland

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) began maintenance work Monday on nearly seven miles of rail starting at the Orlando Amtrak Station and moving north toward Lake Avenue in Maitland. The work is scheduled to occur between 1-9 a.m. and will continue during the next several weeks. Crews will use a tamping machine to correct the alignment of the rails to make them parallel and level, in order to achieve a more comfortable ride for passengers. A tamping machine is used to pack (or tamp) the track ballast under railway tracks to make the tracks more durable. Contact 407-312-3481 or [email protected] with any questions.

Winter Park recognized for staying healthy

The city of Winter Park has been recognized as a Gold-Level Fit-Friendly Company by the American Heart Association for helping employees eat healthier and become more active. Winter Park joins the growing list of organizations that are taking steps to decrease health care expenses and increase productivity. According to City Manager Randy Knight, “Our employee wellness program is an important priority in Winter Park. We are committed to providing our city family with the best opportunities possible to improve their health and fitness.” Visit

College students from area graduate

Gerald Tuck, from Winter Park, received a master of arts in global and international studies from University of Kansas.

Gus Pacheco of Maitland graduated from Berry College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Koral Elyse Fusselman of Winter Park received the juris doctor degree on Saturday, May 5, from Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Register for hospice volunteer training

There will be hospice volunteer training in Orlando at the Cornerstone Hospice Office, 8009 S. Orange Ave., Orlando, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 22, and Friday, June 29. Call the volunteer specialist Melissa Cruz to pre-register at 407-256-2033 or the manager Lisa Gray 352-742-6806.

League encourages folks to vote

League of Women Voters of Florida wants to remind voters that there are only 60 days left to register to vote in the Aug. 14 primary election. The deadline to register is July 16, and the league has been active in encouraging eligible voters to prepare for the upcoming August and November elections. In addition to its “Be Ready to Vote” website, LWVF has also partnered with Microsoft to offer smartphone users a quick way to connect to their supervisor's office. The league has created a smartphone tag that, when scanned, connects voters to a mobile website where they can contact their supervisor to check their voter status. For more information about the upcoming elections and voter registration, visit For Spanish speakers, visit

Call for artists extended

The Art on the Green 2012 “call for artists” deadline has been extended to Friday, June 1. Art on the Green is a juried exhibition of eight sculptures in downtown Winter Park. Visit and click on the Art on the Green button.

Send submissions to [email protected]

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