Check out these recent posts from the Orlando News Room BLOG - Paula Wyatt reporting on interesting people and exciting places in Central Florida. 



Participating Organizations Receive 50 Percent of 2019 Cure Bowl Ticket Cost ORLANDO, Fla. ( – Today, on International Day of Charity, the Orlando Sports Foundation announces the Cure Bowl Community Giveback Program, where 50 percent of every ticket purchased to the 2019 Cure Bowl goes directly back to the organizations looking to raise funds for their cause. “As a non-profit organization that is dedicated to raising funds for cancer research, the Orlando Sports Foundation understands that we couldn’t do this without our fundraising efforts by the entire community,” said OSF CEO Alan Gooch, “We want to do our part in the Central Florida community and support other organizations locally to achieve their goals.” The program is open for non-profits, 501(c)(3) organizations and other groups such as PTA’s, youth sports teams, etc., that are looking to raise money for their cause by going to or by calling 407-235-3925. Each registered group will receive a unique web link as well as promotional materials to make this a turnkey opportunity. Additional benefits include a mention at the game for all organizations that have participated. Following the Cure Bowl, the Orlando Sports Foundation will distribute the funds. The fifth annual Cure Bowl will be played at the iconic Exploria Stadium, home to Orlando City and Orlando Pride, on December 21 at 2:30 p.m. Festivities will begin at 11:00 a.m. at Church Street Station with a block party, followed by the March 2 Cure, where survivors, family members, college football fans and community leaders will march to the stadium before kickoff. Net proceeds from the Cure Bowl benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) with over $3.6 million donated to date. Local BCRF researcher Dr. Annette Khaled at the UCF College of Medicine has received over $1.1 million of the funds distributed at the game. Tickets for the 2019 Cure Bowl are currently only available by purchasing an Orlando Sports Foundation Membership, starting from $250 for four tickets and pregame hospitality or through the Community Giveback Program. About the Orlando Sports Foundation The Orlando Sports Foundation is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to raising funding and awareness for cancer research. Our mission is to bring teams together to find a cure for cancer. The signature event put on by the Orlando Sports Foundation is the Cure Bowl. The college football bowl game is played on the third Saturday each December at Exploria Stadium. It has been used as a platform to raise funds for cancer research. Through four years, over $3.6 million has been raised for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). Those funds have been distributed internationally, which includes $1.1 million to local researcher Dr. Annette Khaled at the UCF College of Medicine. About the Cure Bowl The Cure Bowl is more than a game. It is a platform to raise awareness for cancer research and recognize those that are fighting cancer or have survived cancer. Played on the third Saturday in December each year at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, this NCAA college football bowl game is televised nationally on CBS Sports Network. Funds raised from the Cure Bowl directly benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). BCRF is the largest private funder of breast cancer research worldwide, and the highest-rated breast cancer organization in the United States, investing 91 cents of every donated dollar directly into core programs. The Cure Bowl has helped to put Orlando at the center of some of the world’s greatest advancements in cancer science. Since 2015, the bowl has raised a collective $3.6 million. Over $1.1 million of the funds raised have gone to Dr. Annette Khaled, professor at the UCF College of Medicine’s Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences and head of the medical school’s cancer research division. Media Contact: Nathan Blythe
FusionFest is a free two-day celebration in Downtown Orlando that features a kaleidoscopic fusion of aromas, sights, sounds, tastes, textures and fascinating short films that represent the diverse origins and heritages of our community. It’s Diversitastic! The second annual FusionFest is coming Nov. 30 and Dec. 1!  FusionFest picked up the SunSational Award for Community Outreach from the Florida Festivals & Events Association at their annual conference this week in Naples. This is a huge honor and accomplishment for our inaugural festival! Thank you for your interest and support!  Terry Olson, from Orange County Arts and Culutural Affairs is the visonary behind it all, Terry comments: "We have a very special community, full of unique individuals who honor each other’s heritages and celebrate our diversity. We look forward to our second annual FusionFest, coming Nov. 30 and Dec. 1!" Thali Sugisawa accepted the FusionFest SunSational Award at the conference.
Orlando, Fla. (August 19, 2019) – On Wednesday, July 24th Shepherd’s Hope celebrated the opening of the new West Orange Medical Heath Center located in Winter Garden. The new facility will allow a sustainable path to providing uninsured patient’s greater accessibility to essential primary and secondary medical services, health management and education, and wellness programs in this growing community. The program model, from mission inception, is deeply rooted in a commitment to cultural competence and is identified by unique collaborations that bring essential health care to any person regardless of faith, gender, age, ethnicity or ability to provide proof of residency documentation. Due to the significant increase in the uninsured patients’ need for access to healthcare, Shepherd’s Hope found it was limited in successfully achieving desired outcomes for the West Orange County community without the commitment to creating a permanent central office and clinical footprint that for the first time in the organization’s history would unify these two crucial aspects of the organization. During this monumental ceremony, we gathered with our committed partners such as the West Orange Healthcare District, West Orange Health Alliance, Dr. P. Phillips Charities, Bailes Family Foundation, The City of Winter Garden, faith partners and members of the community.  “With the new development of West Orange Medical Health Center, we are poised to expand our impact beyond our existing health care centers in Central Florida,” said Pamela Gould, President and CEO, Shepherd’s Hope. “Together, our leadership Board of Directors, volunteers and supporters will build upon our model of success, providing free, essential primary and secondary/specialty medical care to the underserved in the West Orange Community,” she said. Joined with Gould, Brian Walsh, President and CEO of The Collage Companies. - "After 22 years, Pastor Barnes’ vision, Shepherd’s Hope has become the largest free health center in the State of Florida. They have an amazing success story. Almost half of the 275,000 patient visits and medical services provided are from employed uninsured individual with no other option or hope to receive medical care. Shepherd’s Hope is a true lifesaver. Their Why speaks for itself, however the biggest reason is because of the heart of its people; board members, volunteering medical providers, investors and caring staff. They are true “behind the scenes heroes” in our community. The mission of the Collage Companies for 37 years has been “to build projects that strengthen the foundation and fabric of our community”. I can’t think of any other project that better fits that definition. We have been honored to be part of this project." About Shepherd’s Hope Shepherd’s Hope is the leading voice for the uninsured and underinsured in Central Florida. Founded in 1997, the faith-based nonprofit organization provides free primary care and specialty care medical services to uninsured men, women and children from five free standing health centers in Orange and Seminole counties. In 2018, Shepherd’s Hope provided 19,033 free patient visits and medical services thanks to partnerships with 2,800 licensed medical and general volunteers, 3 community hospital systems, 100 diagnostic/secondary providers and numerous multi-faith partners. To learn more, visit or call (407) 876-6699 ext. 221.  Media Contacts:  Shepherd’s Hope: Candace Goodman, at 407-876-6699 Ext. 230 or  View Orlando Medical News StoryView Orange Observer Story View Collage Companies Newsroom BLOG
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Orlando, FL August 19, 2019 Virtual auditions are now open and will close on September 27th, 2019. Dancing for Diabetes is a nonprofit organization with the mission to spread awareness through the art of dance to better educate the community, raise funds to find a cure and inspire those with diabetes to live healthy and active lives. The 19th annual show will take place on Saturday, November 9th at 7pm at the Bob Carr Theater in downtown Orlando. Dancing for Diabetes highlights the extraordinary talent across Florida for a night of entertainment and hope! Auditions will take place virtually and are open to groups of at least 5 dancers. Virtual auditions are open and will close on September 27th, 2019. All those whom audition will be notified on whether they are selected to participate in the show around October 1st. Register today at POINT OF CONTACT: Elizabeth Forrest -  President, Dancing for Diabetes (407) 670-1482 END
Second Harvest Catering for Good is now offering a Corporate style “Lunches for Good” Delivery Menu. The new menu features hot buffets to-go that will be delivered to your office or meeting venue on time and with all the supplies you need to serve your team or guests. The menu also offers Boxed Lunches that include chips and a fresh baked Chocolate Chip Cookie. Menu selections are prepared by award winning chefs that use quality product purchased from vendors that share the chef’s high standards and can serve from 20 to 1000. It’s called “for Good” because it not only tastes good but it does good because all proceeds benefit the Second Harvest Culinary Training Program, a 16-week program for adults who need a second shot at life. This program teaches life and culinary skills needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food and hospitality industry. The program celebrates over 280 graduates to date with 100% of these graduates being placed in higher paying jobs, helping them become self-sufficient and begin life long careers. Second Harvest is one the most unique venues in Central Florida. This 100,000-square-foot facility provides an opportunity to host a memorable experience in one of their state of the art Community Rooms which can accommodate guests from 10 to 200. Each room offers built in AV equipment and is included in the room rental. Our beautiful Atrium is perfect for a reception or corporate mixer.  So whether your are in need of a corporate style lunch delivered to your office or are planning your company's holiday event - check out Catering for Good and Second Harvest Food banks - Make your next event a life changer!
Monday, September 23, 2019 Orlando City Foundation FootGolf Tournament presented by: FAIRWINDS Credit Union - Join Orlando City Soccer Club players and coaches at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando, Grande Lakes for a rousing, 18-hole round of FootGolf. FootGolf is a combination of soccer and golf. The game is played with a regulation #5 soccer ball on a golf course with 9 or 18 shortened holes and 21-inch diameter cups. The rules of FootGolf mirror the rules of regular golf with the object to complete the course with the fewest amount of strokes or "kicks" as possible.Registration: 12pmShotgun Start: 1pmHappy Hour & Awards: 4pm For tickets: Sponsorship: 
The Orlando Sports Foundation announced that the 2019 Cure Bowl will be played at Exploria Stadium home of Orlando City Soccer and Orlando Pride. The Cure Bowl will be the first non-soccer sporting event to take place at Orlando City Stadium, since its opening in March 2017. Kickoff for the fifth-annual Cure Bowl will be December 21, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.“We are excited about the Orlando Sports Foundation’s partnership with Orlando City Stadium and the unique atmosphere that will be created for the Cure Bowl,” CEO of the Orlando Sports Foundation and Executive Director of the Cure Bowl Alan Gooch stated. “I can’t wait to see a college football game in Orlando City Stadium. We believe all fans will have a great experience and this will help us to continue our mission of bringing teams together to find a cure for cancer.”Orlando City Stadium located in the heart downtown Orlando is home to the Orlando City Soccer Club of Major League Soccer (MLS) and Orlando Pride of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). The state-of-the-art venue is within walking distance of the historic Church Street Entertainment District.“We are very excited to welcome the Cure Bowl to Orlando City Stadium as the first non-soccer sporting event to be hosted in our beautiful venue,” Orlando City SC Chief Revenue Officer Chris Gallagher said. “Through flagship events like the Cure Bowl, the Orlando Sports Foundation works tirelessly to raise funds for cancer research, and we are happy to do what we can to support such a meaningful initiative. We can’t wait to see a new kind of football on our pitch this December.”In its first four years, the Cure Bowl has been used as a platform to raise $3.6 million for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). The Orlando community has benefited from the funds generated at the game with local BCRF researcher Dr. Annette Khaled at the UCF College of Medicine receiving over $1.1 million of the funds distributed.“The move allows us to add a gameday block party which will start at Church Street and conclude with a March 2 Cure to Orlando City Stadium,” Gooch added. “These events will help drive revenue to Downtown Orlando business owners, while enhancing the experience of Cure Bowl attendees on gameday.”The March 2 Cure will be a free, pre-game event featuring music, entertainment and activities for all to enjoy. The event will culminate with an organized walk from the Church Street Entertainment District to the game at Orlando City Stadium. Each team playing in the Cure Bowl will have their band participate in the march alongside fans, cancer survivors and supporters decked out in pink gear.The Cure Bowl features a matchup between teams from the American Athletic Conference and Sun Belt Conference. There is also a secondary tie-in with independent Liberty University. The annual postseason college bowl game was played the previous four seasons at Camping World Stadium.For more information about the Orlando Sports Foundation or the Cure Bowl and affiliated events visit
BRONZE KINGDOM VOTED ORLANDO'S BEST GALLERY 2019 BY ORLANDO MAGAZINE READERS ORANGE COUNTY, FL – On Thursday, August 1st, 2019, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Bronze Kingdom will host a free Champagne toast at their Gallery in Orlando Fashion Square Mall, to celebrate being voted Orlando's Best Art Gallery, by Orlando Magazine readers.  This toast will be followed by an update on their plans to move to International Drive as they further expand Orlando's Cultural tourism offerings. The community is invited.  Bronze Kingdom is a two-year old African Art gallery that houses the largest collection of African bronzes in the world. Located in the heart of Orlando, it’s collection consists of over 4,000 exquisitely- crafted pieces from over 29 different countries from the continent of Africa, including Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso and more. Collector, philanthropist, and entrepreneur, Mr. Rawlvan R. Bennett acquired many of the pieces displayed in the Bronze Kingdom gallery over the past 40 years directly from African leaders through cultivated relationships, respectful negotiations, building schools, hospitals, bridges and more for West African communities.   Rawlvan and his wife, Iantress, when choosing where in America they would move to after working in Africa, chose Orlando.    Directly after the move, the overzealous couple set up the gallery in a remote location, close to the Orlando Airport. The first location of the gallery was small, isolated and difficult for clients to find. These were all major concerns for their new marketing team, GGR Marketing and PR.  "We had a relationship with Orlando Fashion Square Mall, where we have an extensive history creating events. We felt it was imperative that the gallery move to a location that was easier to find and larger.   We connected the two parties and within two months, Bronze Kingdom had a new address and were up and ready." Said, GGR's CEO, Guenet Gittens-Roberts.   Gallery owners Rawlvan and Iantress and their marketing team worked closely with local artists, performers and events teams to create an engaging space that is steeped in culture, history and a tribute to Africa and the Pan African diaspora.   The gallery, through it's programming, created a link with Africa that emotionally moves many who visit it as they are shown their roots. Before all of us were anything else, we were all first African. We are dedicated to showcasing "One World in Unison. We are all one people, branches of the same tree.  As West African Queen Diambi, who visited the Gallery, said " Africa is more than the cradle of civilization, it is the house, school, university,  and more...We have evidence of hundreds of thousands of years of our Nile Valley and other civilized history..." She went on to say, "you have started to share with the world what we came to America to share.  African history has been told by the Europeans, however now, Bronze Kingdom is correcting the narrative and setting the record straight.  You are providing the platform for the people of Africa to tell their story." During that visit a King said “ Our ancestors reside here, you are telling our story.” Bronze Kingdom has fostered a developing appreciation of Africa through their unique exhibitions. With the use of African performances, they intend to add virtual reality encounters of real people in Africa’s past and present lives of today.  It is  presenting gallery patrons an immersive education experience in African history & culture in an exciting and refreshing way. It  allows African history that was preserved to be remembered, revisited and retold in a way that has not been done for the Africans in the Diaspora or anywhere in the world.  For Orlando Magazine readers to understand and appreciate the gallery after only one year, says that the Bennett's were correct to choose this multicultural melting pot to launch their gallery. "We have only just begun!  We will continue working together to make Orlando a very attractive destination for people of all ages to experience the history of people of Africa and the Diaspora," said, Rawlvan Bennett.   Bronze Kingdom is in the process of moving to International Drive and will be enriching the cultural tourism portion of a visit to Orlando with an immersive African cultural experience.   "We will be expanding.  Currently only half (½) of our inventory is being displayed.  This year, we became a 501c3, and are in the process of converting to a Museum Attraction.  We will be providing a Restaurant & Bar onsite – providing an African Culinary Experience, creating African Based virtual rides and a 3D Interactive Museum Experience where the art comes alive.  We are especially proud of our plans for a Performing Arts Center where we will present all things of the African Diaspora –Dance, Theater, Music, Literature and all things Cultural, tracing our roots in Africa and our culture around the African Diaspora." He continued in a recent statement.  "We envision the world will place this among the seminal attractions in North America. It is designed to delight and amaze local neighbors, students, scholars and world travelers for generations to come.  I thought that I had made my mark on  world history with Essence Magazine, but with Bronze Kingdom museum, I have the opportunity to be a part of a project that changes the perception of African Americans and the way they see themselves twice in a lifetime.  It is my mission to share Bronze Kingdom with the world." Said Jonathan Sebastian Blount, who provided the conceptual inspiration and was Founding Chair and President  of Essence Magazine and VP, Business Development, GGR Marketing & PR.  Visit for photos.  Guenet Gittens-Roberts CEO GGR Marketing & Public Relations Publisher Caribbean American Passport Newspaper JUST ADDED: Tel: 407-427-1800 : Fax: 407-386-7925
State of Orange County Real Estate Events promote and bring awareness to growth, development and property value for residents and businesses throughout all of Orange County. The 2019 State of Orange County Real Estate Event: Shifting Landscapes and Navigating Challenges will be held on August 22nd (5pm to 8pm) at the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive. The networking portion of the event kicks off at 5pm and is followed by our speaker forum and program of info-tainment. Guests - Free Advance Registration Sponsors - Sponsorhsip Registration
With a warm and welcoming invitation to “Join US,” Orlando's annual FusionFest is seeking contributors of all backgrounds to take part in a second year of multicultural celebration. Launched last fall as an opportunity for Orange County's diverse ethnic communities to share their rich traditions, the free two-day event will return to downtown Orlando Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2019. And once again, this “diversitastic” undertaking is calling upon representatives of the many nationalities and regions that make our area home to tell their stories via music, dance, food, fashion, film, poetry and authentic handcrafted goods. The inaugural FusionFest drew approximately 8,000 attendees, who descended upon the city center on Thanksgiving weekend to sample the artistic and culinary offerings of more than 100 represented heritages. Parades, performances and contests spotlighted the best each participating culture had to offer, with a special emphasis on “fusion” projects that welded the sights, sounds and styles of seemingly disparate communities. This year’s event promises to be bigger and better, with a wider net of participants and greater representation for all. To that end, a stepped-up outreach campaign is already under way to solicit the participation of even more musical acts, dance troupes, fashion designers, spoken-word artists, singers, filmmakers, culinary wizards and artisans. Sponsorships and other promotional partnerships are also being sought to bring the FusionFest mission of fun and friendship to new heights of visibility. And there are opportunities for volunteers and fundraisers as well. Interested parties can register for the 2019 event at: Terry Olson, the festival's architect and “Chief Instigator,” sums up its appeal: By showing up to share a smile and your personal heritage, he says, “you may discover just how different other people really aren't!” FusionFest is a project of the Downtown Arts District, with support from Orange County Government, the Orlando Downtown Development Board, at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. In its inaugural edition, the event received the Award of Excellence in the Downtown Orlando Partnership's Golden Brick Awards. For media inquiries, contact: Thali Sugisawa, Business Maven, FusionFest; (407) 574-1312; or Terry Olson, Director of Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs; (407) 836-5540
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