The American Legion, Hugh T. Gregory Post 63 decided early in 2014 to sponsor the training, care and feeding of a service dog, ultimately to be donated to an eligible local disabled veteran.
Ken Lyons, a member of Post 63 in Winter Garden as well as a certified service dog trainer, selected Boots, a Border Collie/lab mix. Lyons believed Boots to be the right fit because of her intelligence, energy level and disposition.
Boots’ training takes place throughout three phases, with phase one having just been completed. Phase one focused on basic obedience and started with the Volhard Test, administered early on to test for aptitude and to weed out nonconforming dogs — usually an 80% rejection rate. Boots passed the test with flying colors and continued on with phase one, consisting of obedience training and exposure to various environments such as crowded cities, rural environments and the beach. She has spent one month on a farm and several days at the beach. She also spent a few weeks in downtown Atlanta, experiencing urban environments as well as subway, bus and pedestrian transportation.
During the six months of training in phase one, Boots quarterly received a medical checkup including shots and X-rays. Quarterly screenings also took place for temperament and bad behavior; this can result in up to 20% of dogs being rejected during their training.
During phase two, or Public Access Training, Boots will visit public businesses, restaurants and retail stores for at least 600 hours of acclimatization and training. Upon successfully completing phase two at age 1, Boots will begin her Americans with Disabilities Act phase three task training and learn complex tasks such as opening doors, retrieving objects and other assistance tasks directly related to assisting her disabled partner. Phase three will end when the dog is ready, around Christmas 2015, and when she passes a final vet and temperament exam. The disabled service member, recommended by the VA, will then be invited for training. Upon completion of that training, the two will be paired up.
The total investment so far by Hugh T. Gregory Post 63 is $18,000, with almost all funds coming from the rental of the Legion Hall for events and Bingo Night. A small portion has come from local donations. All funding is locally sourced by the post, without the use of state, national or taxpayer funds. Many members of the post consistently volunteer their time and services to run Bingo Night two times a week to ensure the funding of Boots, as well as college scholarships to qualified sons and daughters of local veterans and other community services.
The American Legion, Hugh T. Gregory Post 63, in conjunction with Florida Blood Centers, will conduct a blood drive from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 24, at the post building, 271 W. Plant St., Winter Garden. A Florida Blood Centers van will be parked out front.
Each pint of blood donated is the equivalent to three lives saved. All donors will receive a free movie ticket voucher.
The post will be open with soda, coffee, tea, water, fruits and pastries available for purchase.
For more information, call (407) 656-6361.
+ W.O. Seniors
A trip to St. Augustine for sight-seeing and lunch will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 9. The cost is $45 per person. The seniors will depart from the Tom Ison Center, 1701 Adair St., Ocoee.
A Biloxi Casino Tour will take place Thursday, June 2, through Sunday, June 5. Attendees will meet at 8 a.m. at the senior center. The cost is $235 per person.
Bingo is held from 3 to 6:30 p.m. every Sunday and from 1 to 3:30 p.m. every Monday at the center.
Free arthritis chair exercises, sponsored by Health Central Hospital, take place at 8 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays.
Every Tuesday, line-dancing classes are available at 10 a.m., with a minimum $2 donation, and free belly-dancing exercises are offered at 1 p.m.
The seniors play cards from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. They also enjoy dominoes, walking, social activities, coffee and more beginning at 9 a.m. each Wednesday at the center.
Crafts take place from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays, and chorus practice takes place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Fridays.
The Rotary Club of Windermere recently welcomed KeithHoover, a member of a cyber-intelligence task force with the United States Secret Service, as its guest speaker.
Although Hoover wasn’t able to go into tremendous detail about the exact nature of his work, he delivered an informative presentation, discussing the dangers of hackers using “phishing” techniques to gain access to the financial records of individual consumers and businesses alike.
During the meeting, Hoover showcased to members of the club various devices used by these hackers to steal hundreds of credit cards in a matter of hours. Finally, he explained to members the various tips and tricks they can use to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.
+ Rotary Club of Winter Garden
The Rotary Club of Winter Garden recently welcomed Jerry Hamilton of the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center as the guest speaker for its weekly lunch meeting. Hamilton is in charge of ADRC’s training and family services programs.
For the caregivers and family members of patients suffering from these disorders, ADRC provides educational resources, spiritual comfort and emotional support needed to care for their loved ones and themselves.
For more information about ADRC, visit ADRCcares.org. The Rotary Club of Winter Garden meets at noon Tuesdays at Tanner Hall, 29 W. Garden Ave., Winter Garden.
The Orange County Retired Educators Association will meet at noon Thursday, May 7, at College Park United Methodist Church, 644 W. Princeton St., Orlando, for its spring luncheon and installation of 0fficers.
The cost is $14.
For reservations or more information, call (407) 644-7092.
+ Robinswood Garden Club
Robinswood Garden Club President Wilma Lentz opened the club’s recent meeting by sharing the poem “The Garden of Daily Living.”
The group wished a happy birthday to CarolynKennedy.
Doris Tindall delivered the treasurer report, and BetsyTalpalar read the secretary minutes. Cookie Coykendall shared the horticulture report on rain lilyand gave the plant to VictoriaLoney for her hard work making club refreshments.
Loney also presented the program on orchids at the meeting.
The Robinswood Garden Club will host an end-of-year banquet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, at Perkins, 10945 W. Colonial Drive, Ocoee. The next meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, at the Pine Hills Community Center, 6408 Jennings Road, Orlando.
+ W.O. Chamber of Commerce
The West Orange Chamber of Commerce will host its Lunch & Learn event from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23, at the Ocoee Lakeshore Center, 150 N. Lakeshore Drive, Ocoee.
Members and guests are invited to learn how cyber crime, counterfeit and identity theft are serious issues plaguing today’s businesses and individuals.
It is critical to become educated on how you can protect your hard-earned business. The WOCC team has gathered a panel of experts: StewartJoseph of LEK Technology Consultants, LuisGarcia of Bank of America and TheresaRonnebaum with the Florida Office of the Attorney General. All three speakers will provide valuable information on how best to protect your business, your customers and yourself from the silent threats of cyber criminals.
All attendees will receive a complimentary lunch, courtesy of sponsor Pammie’s Sammies. The West Orange Chamber thanks its series sponsor, the West Orange Times & Observer, and venue sponsor, the Ocoee Lakeshore Center.
The Dr. Phillips Rotary Club recently presented a check in the amount of $10,000 to the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA. The donation will go toward the center’s scholarship fund, providing children in families currently going through financial hardship the opportunity to enjoy summer camp throughout the upcoming summer vacation.
Dr. Phillips Rotary Club additionally donated $25,000 to be put toward the YMCA’s new expansion project. In recognition of this donation, the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA will name its new community room in honor of the Dr. Phillips Rotary Club.
The Rotary Club also saw the need for a new computer learning center, also known as Advanced Workstations in Education, at the Southwest Branch Orange County Library in Dr. Phillips. The club donated a check for the amount of $4,200 to help provide a complete early literacy computer station. This station is designed for children ages 2 through 8 and provides software programs that span all curriculum areas.
West Orange Duplicate Bridge Club
Results from April 9
N-S: 1. H. Parker – M. Lesnik 2. Y. Peabody – M. Voorhees 3. N. Fortin – S. Landis 4. J. Pozzuoli – B. Bell 5. C. Baldwin – B. Lade; E-W: 1. B. and R. Blair 2. S. and B. Binkley 3. V. Oberaitis – J. Muzeni 4/5 tied L. and J. Pylman, L. Madison – J. Thompson.
Results from April 16
N-S: 1. N. Fortin – S. Landis 2. Y. Peabody – M. Voorhees 3. B. Ballenger – B. Cox 4. M. and J. Chilton 5. M. and F. Schwartz; E-W: 1. L. and J. Pylman 2. S. and B. Binkley 3. R. Kerkhoff – N. Brockman 4. S. Jordan – E. Quinn 5. B. and R. Blair