Friday, April 18, 2014

500,000 Meals For Osceola County Kids

Empowered to do more in the community, Osceola Connected is a group of 20+ organizations that are partnering with international non-profit Feeding Children Everywhere to package 500,000 healthy meals for hungry families in Osceola County. The meals packaged during the event will be distributed to organizations who provide human aid and to local food banks in Osceola County. This event is open to the public and is need of volunteers to help reach the meal goal.

On May 3rd and 4th, hundreds of community members from the Central Florida area will gather in Mills Park to hand-scoop, weigh, seal, and box over 500,000 healthy lentil casseroles. Even though some spots are filled, the event is still in need of volunteers to help package meals. The organizers will also have to raise the funds to cover the cost of the meals, $125,000 and need your help to reach their goal. All ages are welcome to attend the event and donations of newly purchased canned goods are welcome.

This event will be held on Saturday, May 3rd at the Kissimmee Civic Center and St. Cloud Civic Center and May 4th at Celebration Health and Celebration Town Hall 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Click here to learn more about this event and how people can make a difference around the world.

Feeding Children Everywhere (FCE) is a social charity based in Orlando, Fla. The FCE concept was launched in 2010 and their mission is to empower and mobilize people to assemble healthy meals for hungry children. The driving mission is to mobilize individuals from all walks of life, empowering them to answer the need to end hunger through their own personal actions. Hunger Projects show groups that they are having a tangible impact on the hunger crisis, as their involvement makes distribution possible. The food is provided at no cost to local organizations in the U.S. and in different regions around the world. To date, the FCE team has mobilized 70,000 people and shipped more than 15 million meals worldwide. Please visit to learn more or contact Director of Marketing, Allison Riggs at or 813-389-3178.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Taste of Winter Park 2014 Award Winners + Photos


On Wednesday, April 16, the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual Taste of Winter Park (
webite | facebook | twitterpresented by CenturyLink, the organization’s annual food festival. More than 40 of the area’s finest restaurants served over 1,300 attendees with unlimited samples of unique culinary creations, steakhouse favorites, quality seafood, decadent desserts and a variety of coffees, teas, wine and beer. 

Seven awards were handed out by the following panel of judges:
  • Mark Baratelli, owner/founder,
  • Pam Brandon and Katie Farmand, editors, Edible Orlando
  • Ricky Ly, food blogger,
  • Megan Ribbens, web producer, Orlando Business Journal
  • Scott Richardson, food writer, The Park Press
The seven awards: 
  • The Coop: Best Entrée for its chicken and biscuit dish
  • Marlow’s Tavern: Best Appetizer/Side Dish was  for its Ahi Tuna Poke
  • Cocina 214: Best Dessert for its tres leches cake
  • Best Booth Display: Orchid Thai Cuisine
  • Best Healthy Dish: Bosphorous for its white bean salad
  • Best Fresh Florida Dish, Hamilton’s Kitchen at the Alfond Inn for its locally farm-raised pig with Apopka wild field greens tossed in oregano vinaigrette
  • Bungalow 23 Cocktails: Best beverage for its blueberry lemon drop
The Taste of Winter Park is held annually at the Winter Park Farmers’ Market. For information on the 30th annual Taste of Winter Park, contact the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce at (407) 644-8281, visit their webite, facebook, or twitter

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Win $1,000 in Seed Money to Fund Your Earth Changing Idea

First GREEN Bank has a chance for you to win $1000 in seed money from the First GREEN Foundation to fund an “Earth Changing Idea” and a $500 gift card to Patagonia retail stores.

Just show up to their branch at 862 S. Orlando Ave on Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 enter. There will also be family-friendly activities, food from local restaurants and interactive sessions with animals from the Central Florida Zoo and the Audubon Society. Throughout the day guests are invited to participate in a group paint by number activity, where they can create artwork that will be permanently installed in the Winter Park branch. 

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to Announce A New Major Sporting Event

During his State of the City Address last week, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer highlighted the impact the Community Venues have on Central Florida. These venues continue to provide the community with the ability to host more games and events that uplift the economy.

Wednesday at 10am at the Citrus Bowl, Mayor Dyer will announce a new partnership between the City and a local sports foundation who will bring a major sporting event to the newly reconstructed Citrus Bowl. The sporting event will have a strong tie to a charitable cause making this more than just a sports or economic impact story.

Wonder what it is!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

People’s Blues of Richmond to Play Southern Fried Sundays at Will's Pub

By Mark Baratelli, Publisher

Manic psych-rockers People’s Blues of Richmond is playing Orlando and we're kind of in love with them after hearing their latest album, Good Time Suicide. And this is saying A LOT since the most-played songs on youtube for us are Let It Go and Grown Woman. On April 20, they're playing Southern Fried Sundays at Will's Pub. This monthly event comes with a BBQ dinner and all the drinkies you can buy and slurp down. 

Orlando Fringe Must-See Show: Desperately Seeking the Exit

By Mark Baratelli, Publisher

So this guy writes a musical version of "Desperately Seeking Susan," the 80s film staring Madonna, using music done by the band Blondie. Apparently, it bombed. Hard. 

Vote for your favorite Fringe show in our 6th Annual Audience Choice Awards

Now the writer put together a one man show in which he tells the audience what the hell went on during that hot mess. 


The writers name is Peter Michael Marino and he's done this show at Edinburgh Fringe and in two fringes in Australia: Brighton and Adelaide. Now he's (logically) coming to Orlando to make his US debut with the show.

Summary: In 2007, American playwright Peter Michael Marino wrote a musical based on the film Desperately Seeking Susan featuring the music of Blondie. It opened on London’s West End…and closed a month later. DESPERATELY SEEKING THE EXIT offers a comical, behind-the-scenes peek at how this $6 million musical was made and unmade: hatching the idea, deals with MGM, Debbie Harry and even Madonna; the workshops, the previews, the scathing reviews, closing night and beyond. 

Name of Show:

  • May 14 @ 8:45pm
  • May 17 @ 6:00pm
  • May 18 @ 5:45pm
  • May 21 & 22 @ 10:15pm
  • May 24 @ 7:15pm
  • May 25 @ 3:45pm

  • Purple Venue, Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 East Rollins St., Orlando FLA 32803


20th Annual Y Celebration of Prayer Breakfast


20th Annual Y Celebration of Prayer Breakfast

First Baptist Church of Orlando, 3000 South John Young Parkway
7 am – 8:15 am
$50/per person

The YMCA of Central Florida will welcome nearly 1,000 people to its 20th Y Annual Celebration of Prayer breakfast, the largest event of its kind during Holy Week, on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at the First Baptist Church in Orlando.

The keynote speaker for this year’s breakfast is patriot, philanthropist and professional golfer Major Dan Rooney, USAF (Ret.). Recognized as People’s magazine Hero of the Year and ABC World News’ Person of the Year in 2008, Rooney will share his inspiring story of faith and how after he returned from his second tour as an F-16 fighter pilot in Iraq, his life forever changed. It put him on a mission to ensure that the sacrifices of our fallen military heroes would never go unappreciated or unrewarded. Rooney is the author of the moving life story A Patriot’s Calling: Living Life Between Fear and Faith.

“His story will both captivate and empower the audience to be a positive force of change,” said Jim Ferber, YMCA of Central Florida President and CEO.

A Major in the Air National Guard and decorated military aviator, Rooney served three combat tours in Iraq. He is a two-time recipient of the coveted "Top Gun" award and was honored with the "Spirit of Attack" award as a top graduate of F-16 training. He has received many decorations to include the Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Medal, Anti-terrorism Medal, Combat Readiness Medal, and Air Expeditionary Medal.

“For twenty years, the YMCA of Central Florida has welcomed people of all faiths to join together, give thanks and unite in hope and prayer for our kids, families and communities at the Y Celebration of Prayer breakfast,” said Rick Shreve, YMCA of Central Florida Director of Christian Initiatives. “This year is no different because the Y remains deeply committed to strengthening our community by connecting residents, inspiring leaders and providing relevant solutions through spiritual enrichment.”

Proceeds from the breakfast will go to benefit the Y. The YMCA of Central Florida welcomes people of all faiths and backgrounds. Tables of eight are available for $400, half tables are $200 and individual tickets are $50. To reserve tickets, please contact Debbie Korba at (407) 895-8669 or

About The YMCA of Central Florida: The YMCA of Central Florida is committed to strengthening the foundation of the local communities it serves in Orange, Osceola, Brevard, Seminole, Lake and Marion counties. This Y is a diverse organization of 6300 volunteers and 1800+ staff joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000+ Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y through 53 afterschool programs, chronic disease prevention programs and bringing communities together for common good. In 2013, this YMCA Association impacted over 235,000 residents and raised $11,115,000 to deliver its cause to area children, individuals and families.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Photos> An Evening with Susan Sarandon


By: Denna Beena
Contributing Writer

Last night the Florida Film Festival hosted An Evening with Susan Sarandon, featuring Dead Man Walking held at the Enzian. Ms Sarandon was at the screening of Dead Man Walking which earned her an Oscar for her role as 
Sister Helen Prejean, a compassionate New Orleans nun, who becomes the spiritual advisor to Matthew Poncelet (Sean Penn), murderer awaiting execution. She shared that this was only the second time she had seen the completed project on screen. 

Here are a few photos and videos from the night.