Category Archives: Resident done good

December 7: Never Forget

While no living American will ever forget 9-11, many do not have any particular images come to mind when December 7 is mentioned. Shame on us for forgetting. Shame on us for not remembering.

“A day that will live in infamy.”

December 7 is the day the Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, dragging America into the second World War. Just as today’s War on Terror affects many Americans, you would be hard-pressed to find somebody who did not have a relative involved in WWII. I did.

My grandfather served in the war. He was a Lieutenant Colonel who at one time had a whole unit under his command. He wasn’t a soldier; he was an attorney, one that served in Orlando for over 50 years.  I’ve often heard the story of how his men were sitting around drinking one night and began to question my grandfather’s command.  He pulled out his gun and shot a bottle some thirty yards off (by sheer dumb luck!) and that put an end to their questioning.  After the war he dutifully worked the Nuremberg Trials. My mother still tells of how she and her mother were the first shipload of dependents to go over to Europe after the war’s end. But I never heard my grandfather speak of the war.

Top 5 editor's Bess Auer's grandfather, Lieutenant Colonel Kohloss

In addition to my grandfather, my uncle served in World War II.  In fact he died during the war. He was a bombardier and his plane was shot down over enemy territory. We have pictures of his gravestone in France.

It’s a strange world in which we live; a world where so many young men (and women) lost their lives in a war that so few now pay attention to, so few now remember.

Fortunately there are people like Harry Meisel, who just recently passed away. Harry fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was a true local legend, having taught three generations of Central Floridians to swim. Harry was also instrumental in establishing a World War II memorial right here in Orlando, now located on the northeast corner of Lake Eola.  Harry strongly believed Central Floridians should understand the sacrifice Central Floridians made for the cause. I agree.

I am thankful for people like Harry and my grandfather and my uncle.  I am thankful for those willing to fight not only for my rights and freedoms, but for the rights and freedoms of others.

So, if you are one of those who did not recognize December 7 as a day of infamy, please take a moment to now be thankful for those who served in World War II. They are indeed the Greatest Generation.

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Filed under family, History, Just for Me, Out of Orlando, Resident done good

Winter Park Architectural Firm Helping the Nation Help Its Vets

Okay, we’re categorizing this story under “Out of Orlando” but also in “Residents Done Good” because it features a Winter Park architectural firm doing big things for a good cause!

RLF – a Winter Park-based architecture, engineering and interior design firm – served as architect-engineer for the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center that recently opened in North Chicago, Illinois. The RLF team designed the facility’s centerpiece, a $130 million, 209,945-square-foot medical facility for veterans and active military duty.

This is the nation’s first fully integrated Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense medical facility, helping VA and Navy personnel to work side-by-side to provide seamless care to approximately 118,000 veterans, active-duty military and recruits, military family members and military retirees.

It is named after Captain James A. Lovell, a retired naval officer and NASA astronaut who made several trips into space on the Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8 and Apollo 13 missions. Following the Apollo 13 mission, Lovell became the first man to journey twice to the moon. Wow!

“I am greatly honored and deeply humbled to have my name associated with this institution,” said Lovell during the dedication ceremony that took place earlier this last month. “I have always felt that the welfare of our veterans and active-duty personnel is an essential ingredient in providing a strong military, and that it is imperative to take care of those who have served our country in the past.”

“The successful completion of the Health Care Center ushers in a new era in federal healthcare which required an enormous amount of planning and teamwork on the part of all the participants,” said Robert Yohe, RLF principal in charge of the project. “But in the end, we’ve created a world class facility where both active and retired military personnel, dependants and veterans will receive excellent health care. We’re proud to have contributed to that.”

We love the fact that a Central Florida firm has played such a major part in helping America take care of some of its most respected and valued members of society: veterans and active military personnel!

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Filed under Out of Orlando, Resident done good

Movember – How Cool is Your ‘Stache?

Did you know 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer? That number is alarming, but fortunately this cancer can usually be detected and treated early.  However, I love the idea of an awesome annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer: Movember! (Changing the Face of Those with Prostate Cancer…literally!)

The idea? Grow a mustache – don’t shave for the month of November.  Don’t laugh, it is a major world-wide fundraiser and partners with the LIVESTRONG foundation.

So, why am I posting this? (Besides it being just a totally awesome fundraiser!) Because I am supporting a Central Florida native Mikhael Ser in his last few days of mustachedom:

 

Day 1

 

 

 

Day 26

Mikhael is part of the Military Mo’s Network, which supports military men who have been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. They have raised $29,185 to date, and I’d love to boost them to $30,000 before Movember is over. Might you be a part of this awesomeness? And perhaps next year, other Central Floridians may be sporting a mustache of their own for a great cause!

 

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Filed under Charity, Fun, Just Plain Weird, Out of Orlando, Resident done good

Tangled: Starring Central Florida Native Mandy Moore

 

 

So, what are you taking the kids to see this weekend? Chances are it will include Disney‘s 50th animated feature Tangled which star Central Florida native Mandy Moore.

If you go, you won’t be alone…because the numbers are in and it scored 11.6 million on its first day of release, making it the highest grossing Thanksgiving release ever, even beating Toy Story 2. Woot! And way to go, Mandy Moore!

(Disclosure:  She is a proud alumna of Park Maitland School, where I teach! Hee hee!)

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Filed under Celebrity, disney, Just for Me, Resident done good

Twitter to the Rescue!

I had heard about this before, but just rediscovered this valuable information… For those who live in Orlando, you can follow any calls made to the Orlando Police Department (Orange County Sheriff’s Office is in development.)

Just put in OrlPol + the zip code you want to follow, and you will receive tweets anytime a call goes out.  Here’s an example: @OrlPol32803

We love the idea of people keeping watch in their neighborhoods, even in a virtual, online, social media type of way! Way to go! Let’s keep Orlando as safe as possible!

And to view a map of where the calls are lodged, you can click here.

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Filed under General Info, Orlando, Resident done good

Central Florida Swimmers Are Awesome!

Occasionally the Top 5 blogs about “residents done good” and this would definitely fall under that category:  Two Central Florida swimmers have signed letters of intent with the national swim powerhouse University of Florida. Blue Dolfin swimmer Matthew Curby and Highlander Aquatics swimmer Harrison Curley have indicated their commitment to the Gators. Both nationally-ranked swimmers were also high school state champions for their respective schools.

Photo of Matthew Curby from the Orlando Sentinel.

Yes, my hubby @swimmerjoe swam for the Gators as well, so this blog is a personal one for me, too! 😉

Congrats to these young men for representing the State of Florida so well by earning scholarships to one of the strongest Division I teams in the nation. Woot!

To see a complete list of Gator swim recruits, click here.

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Filed under family, Florida Gators, Just for Me, Resident done good, Sports

Portraits of Hunger: Timely Reminder for the Upcoming Season

More than 100 people participated in the 4th annual Portraits of Hunger photography competition, which took a frank, fresh, and often endearing look at the faces of Central Florida’s hungry.

The winners were announced in at a Showcase Party at the Enzian Theater with top honors going to Cynthia B. Slaughter for her winning photo titled “First Fruit.”

"Fruit First"

Sponsored by the Second Harvest Food Bank, the judges included Dave Krepcho, President of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, Henry Maldonado, President of Enzian Theater, and Josh Garrick, Fine Art and Culture Writer for a series of news and on-line venues.

Winner Cynthia B. Slaughter and the judges

While the photo competition has ended, the hunger many Central Floridians face has not. Perhaps as you go into the upcoming holiday season you might keep such unfortunates in mind… it is often just the wrong circumstances or bad luck that can mean whether or not a child has a meal to eat one day or the next. You can make a difference!

Showcase attendees Kelly Carline, Lauren Moskowitz, Mindy Moulton, JoJo Dey, Michael Dey, Dac Ung

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Filed under Charity, Non-profit, Orlando, Resident done good