Red, White & Blue Jeans Event To Honor Veterans, Local Heroes Nov. 9

Red, White & Blue Jeans Event To Honor Veterans, Local Heroes Nov. 9

November weather in Wellington is magnificent, with beautiful, breezy days and brilliant, starry skies at night. It’s also the time clothing ensembles display the colors of proud reds and patriotic whites over blue jeans as the Wellington Community Foundation gears up for its growing tradition, the annual Red, White & Blue Jeans event.

This year, the Red, White & Blue Jeans fundraiser will once again be held at the Wellington National Golf Club on Friday, Nov. 9 from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

“We hold the event in November, so it is near Veterans Day,” explained Tom Wenham, chair of the Wellington Community Foundation. “It brings a lot of people together.”

The patriotic evening is where veterans and local heroes, their families and members of the Wellington community come together for a night of camaraderie, revelry, patriotism, charity, gratitude, good feelings and fun.

The Wellington Community Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization committed to benefiting community residents by supporting and improving their quality of life, particularly for children, seniors and veterans.

Wenham, along with foundation board members attorney Mickey Smith of Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith and Robbin Lee, CEO of Wellington Regional Medical Center, are enthusiastic about the continued success of the November fundraiser, which has been growing each year.

The number of people in attendance last year was approximately 170. Although only begun two years ago, the event raised more than $55,000 last year — all of which is used to support those in the Wellington community.

Wenham explained that the 2018 edition is shaping up to be bigger, better and even more fun than its successful predecessors.

“It is cocktails, dinner and a dance. It’s red, white and blue jeans, with the emphasis on jeans,” Wenham stressed. “It is a casual event. There’s no need to get dressed up. Just a sports shirt and a red, white and blue combo. Consider it a chance to wear something patriotic and enjoy relaxing.”

Smith echoed that sentiment, highlighting the fun aspects of the event. “This event is just plain, laid-back fun,” he said. “An added bonus is the fact that all the money raised will stay right here in Wellington to help our children, seniors and veterans. It’s truly a win-win situation. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Wenham explained that the fundraiser is a double event, designed to honor and recognize Wellington’s veterans and first responders, and to raise funds to help seniors, veterans and children.

Lee said that the foundation puts its focus on community awareness.

“We give back to our neighbors,” she said. “We help those in the community. For example, we have bought school uniforms, and done other projects supporting seniors and veterans.”

Earlier this year, the foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Village of Wellington to work on charitable community projects.

“This has worked out very well,” Wenham said. “The village knows that we will get things done and done right. The village does the vetting, and we also have a good, cooperative relationship with other groups in the community.”

Wenham remarked that the formalized cooperation with the village helps the efforts to serve Wellington residents in need.

Wenham explained examples of how the MOU with the village facilitates the efforts of the foundation in helping seniors who are aging-in-place, by doing home modification programs, such as installing a new hot water heater for an elderly resident. They have put in wheelchair ramps for veterans in need and supplied 600 school uniforms to help provide required school clothing for children.

“The Red, White & Blue Jeans event is the best event of the whole year,” Lee said. “I am so looking forward to it. We have a good time doing it.”

Smith is excited about the social aspects of the evening. “After all, how many premier events can you attend in blue jeans and have the opportunity to chat with so many of your Wellington friends and neighbors?” he asked.

Wenham thanked the many volunteers and sponsors who make the event possible.

“We have assembled a super group of people from the community as volunteers,” he said. “Ticket sales are brisk with people buying tickets and tables.”

For questions about the Red, White & Blue Jeans event, or to secure your tickets, call Wenham at (561) 333-9843.   


Dr. Sy Woon Brings Her Passion For Animals To All Paws Animal Clinic

Dr. Sy Woon Brings Her Passion For Animals To All Paws Animal Clinic

Dr. Sy Woon, the newest doctor at All Paws Animal Clinic, brings her life-long passion for working with animals all the way from her original home, down under in Australia — complete with the great accent.

“I am Australian, of Malaysian-Chinese descent,” Woon said. “I graduated with my veterinarian degree from the University of Sydney in 2014, which is accredited in the United States.”

Woon also received certification in this country by passing the state licensing exam and a rigorous board examination. “It is a seven-hour test and that ensures I am knowledgeable in all aspects of veterinary medicine and surgery,” she explained.

Just starting work at the clinic about a month ago, Woon is new to the western communities, having moved to South Florida three years ago.

“I’m loving it [here], although I have been working so much that I have only seen a bit of it,” she said. “I’m looking forward to getting to know the area. It has everything I need in a community.”

Since opening 17 years ago, All Paws Animal Clinic has developed into a well-respected veterinary hospital serving the western communities. With a mission statement dedicated to providing “quality care with compassion for your best friend,” the facility provides the latest in medical diagnostics and surgery with warmth and dedication.

Dr. Patricia Forsythe, medical director at All Paws, has been a veterinarian since 1985 and is a member of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association. “Everyone on Dr. Patty’s team [as Forsythe prefers to be called] has been so welcoming. A bouquet of flowers greeted me on my desk the first day,” Woon said.

All Paws provides an excellent, modern medical and surgical services facility with everything required to deliver the best quality veterinary treatment.

“The practice has a big-family feel, and everyone is so dedicated and loves animals,” Woon said. “The clients and patients are just great.”

Most recently, Woon was the medical director at the nonprofit Justin Bartlett Animal Hospital. She feels that she has found a home with the best fit at All Paws. “It really aligns with my values,” Woon explained.

Woon’s passionate views about the welfare of animals is one reason that she is also the state representative for the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association.

Working with her favorite category of pets, small animals, Woon said, “I am a dog and cat person,” explaining that she has a special interest in dermatology, dentistry and behavior.

“Dental disease is one of the most common issues with pets,” she explained. “They don’t have a self-cleaning mechanism, and dental disease can affect the important organs — the heart, liver and kidneys.”

Dermatology is another important issue in our area. “Florida is the perfect breeding environment for yeast and bacterial infections,” Woon said. “Many of the different plants and trees here can cause allergies that affect the skin. Just because you can’t see anything doesn’t mean it is not there.”

Woon explained that it is usually the odor and the fact that the animal is constantly scratching that alerts pet owners to a dermatological problem. “There are plenty of medications developed in the past five years that can help make your dogs and cats happier,” she said.

Both dental and dermatological issues can be combated with annual visits to the veterinarian. “Prevention is better than treatment,” Woon stressed.

Woon also works to modify behavior in dogs. “Behavior is the biggest reason pets are surrendered,” Woon said. “A ‘bad dog’ is exhibiting learned behavior, and there are many ways to address and train-out the established behavior. Any dog can be a good dog.”

Woon enjoys being the newest member of the All Paws family.

“I really enjoy working with these great animals… I am proud to share the compassion for the patients,” she said with a distinct accent on caring.

 All Paws Animal Clinic is located at 1011 N. State Road 7 in Royal Palm Beach. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call (561) 790-9225 or visit


Recently Renovated Palm Beach Polo Home Features Plenty Of Amenities

Recently Renovated Palm Beach Polo Home Features Plenty Of Amenities

Cooler temperatures are coming, and that means spending more time outdoors in the backyard, relaxing on the pool deck or entertaining on the patio. This recently revamped Mediterranean style two-story home in the Golf Brook neighborhood of Palm Beach Polo features a show-stopping pool area, and also boasts five bedrooms with en suite baths for a total of six-and-a-half baths. This amazing home also features a custom staircase and railing, marble and wide-plank wood flooring throughout, no-drapery window treatments, hurricane impact glass, an alarm system, security cameras, a whole house generator, a two-car garage with wood doors and wood-burning fireplaces both inside and out.

Pool Deck: A sparkling saltwater pool and spa, expansive covered lanai with retractable screening and a separate outdoor kitchen stand at the ready to host spectacular backyard gatherings. Color-filled planters and lush tropical landscaping imbue a sense of privacy, while the view from the upstairs balcony offers another way to enjoy the space.

Living Room: The open plan of the home allows both residents and guests to move freely throughout the foyer and gallery to the step-down formal living room. The fireplace adds an element of coziness.

Seating Area: The living room is open enough to accommodate several seating areas and opens onto the generous back lanai with its tongue-and-groove pecky cypress ceiling.

Dining Room: A vaulted ceiling, marble floors and French doors that open to still more outdoor seating give this formal dining room a classic feel.

Kitchen: Custom wood cabinetry with plenty of pull-outs, granite countertops, Wolf and Sub-Zero stainless-steel appliances, double convection ovens, an apron sink and an induction cooktop make this kitchen particularly chef-friendly.

Bedroom: Step out of bed and greet the morning with a smile on your face when you venture out onto this northeast-facing balcony.


Master Bath: This wood-look, tile-floored “his” bathroom connects to “hers” through a roomy shower, then it’s on to the master bedroom’s custom closet.


Bedroom: This downstairs en suite guest bedroom features a bumped-out seating area and lots of natural light.


Soaking Tub: The “hers” bath features a Roman soaking tub and built-in TV.


Front Elevation: The arched double doors of the front entry are framed by bougainvillea, making this home beautiful by day and, thanks to well-placed landscape lighting, somewhat mysterious by night.



Dive In To ‘Asian Cajun’ Seafood At New Submarine Crab

Dive In To ‘Asian Cajun’ Seafood At New Submarine Crab

“Asian Cajun” is taking seafood to a whole new level at Submarine Crab, a new eatery located in the Pointe at Wellington Green.

Owner Tai Le is fusing his Vietnamese roots with Louisiana-style seasoning, hoping to make a big splash in the Wellington area. It’s his second South Florida location of Submarine Crab.

“This type of food has been around for 10 years. It started out in California, which is where I’m from,” Le said. “Because I go back and forth, and we live here, we always noticed the real lack of flavorful seafood, because the traditional model for seafood is, you boil the seafood, steam it and dip it in butter. For us, it’s just not flavorful. So, that’s where this type of concept came about.”

The Cajun seasoning and the sauce are what make all the difference, Le explained. “Typically, in Louisiana-style seafood, you hear of seafood boils. We do that as a first process, and we can serve it that way like Louisiana, but we sauté it first in our sauces. It’s really our sauces that differentiate us versus what traditional seafood is,” he said.

Everything is made with a blend of garlic butter and a variety of seasonings, all at different spice levels. The torpedo sauce is hugely popular.

“Our lemon pepper, our classic Cajun, our torpedo sauces are all Cajun-based sauces,” Le said. “It does have cayenne in it, so it does have a little bit of spice. Those three sauces come standard as mild, and then we can spice it accordingly.”

The seafood takes center stage. Always live, never frozen. “Our most popular items would be our shrimp, as well as our snow crab,” Le said.

The crawfish at Submarine Crab comes from Louisiana during season, which runs from December to about July. When crawfish season ends, they get it from a farm in California.

“Because we are Louisiana-style and Cajun-based, crawfish is something that we really focus on. There’s not a lot of places that do crawfish,” Le said, adding that fresh crawfish tastes much better than frozen. “If we can’t get it fresh, we don’t offer it.”

Food is served up family style with three combo meals to choose from, with samples of all the different offerings, designed to suit any seafood lover’s palate. All come with a choice of clams or mussels.

Combo number one also includes shrimp, crawfish or both. Combo two includes shrimp or crawfish, as well as a choice of lobster tails, Dungeness crab, snow crab or king crab. Combo number three — the biggest of the combos — comes with a little bit of everything, including two pounds of snow crab legs.

“Typically, a customer will eat one pound of seafood. Combo one or two are three pounds. That will feed two to four people. Combo three could feed a family of four,” Le said.

All combos include sausages, corn, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and bread. “It’s a good counter between the sweetness of the corn and the savory sauces,” he explained.

You won’t see a “market value” on the menu. All seafood is priced.

“We want to offer a very fair price for what we do. Although the price of seafood continually goes up, we’ve absorbed a lot of the price increase, because we want to be sure that we’re offering a reasonable price,” Le said.

Side dishes vary from traditional hush puppies with a hint of jalapeño peppers, to Cajun fried rice and crab Rangoon with a twist.

“We put crab meat in with fried shallots. All made in-house. We use our honey mayo dipping sauce, which is the same as we use for our wings. It gives it a sweet taste with a kick,” Le said.

Other traditional Cajun dishes include gumbo with okra. Also, seafood pasta with a Cajun-based sauce. There’s a selection of po’ boy sandwiches, from shrimp or catfish to oyster or sausage — all served up with a side of Cajun fries.

“Most po’ boys come with lettuce. We use cabbage instead. It tends to have a better texture because it’s crunchier. With our po’ boys, it’s all about our sauces,” Le said. “Sauce is everything.”

To wash it all down, there are “Ocean Fog” specialty drinks that come complete with a foggy effect. They’re a fusion of Asian green tea mixed with flavorful jellies and basil seeds for texture. Dry ice is added to give it a fog mist. Teas come in three flavors: the Mermaid, a passion fruit; Captain Andy’s, a strawberry green tea; and the Seahorse, which is mango flavored.

There’s even a soapy treat for your hands when you’re done digging in.

“We developed a whole hand wash to remove the garlic smell,” Le explained.  “Instead of using a wet nap, you use suds to wash your hands, and the fragrance helps to remove the garlic smell.”

Le’s first Florida location is in Pembroke Pines. His location in Wellington opened Aug. 1 and already has quite a following. This is the fourth location in all, including two in California.

The 80-seat restaurant offers eat-in or take-out, where the food to go is triple-bagged to prevent breakage.

Originally a pre-med student, Le and his business partner, a chemistry major, stumbled into the restaurant biz. Something that he feels is working out well. “For us, whatever we do, we really pour our energy into it, to make sure it’s successful,” he said, adding that they strive to regularly get feedback, and tailor the menu to meet customers’ needs.

Submarine Crab is located at 10140 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 170, in the Pointe at Wellington Green. Hours are Monday through Friday from 3 to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. For more information, call (561) 355-0533 or visit


Lynda Reich Of Master Travel Helps Clients Explore The World

Lynda Reich Of Master Travel Helps Clients Explore The World

Lynda Reich of Master Travel and Cruises has been a Wellington fixture for three decades. In her 30 years as a travel agent, she or her clients have experienced it all.

She works beside her husband, Michael, who handles all corporate travel, whereas she focuses on leisure travel. “Working together has been great,” she said. “We complement each other.”

Lynda and Michael have been together 41 years and will be celebrating their 39th wedding anniversary in December. Their son, David, is a graduate of Forest Hill High School who currently resides in Melbourne. Their daughter, Allyson, now lives in Blackstone, Mass., with her children Madison and Jackson.

Prior to moving to Florida, the couple lived on a farm in Medway, Mass., about an hour southwest of Boston. At the time, Michael was a special education counselor, but the couple soon opened a video rental store. “It was a great run,” Lynda said. “It was lots of fun. We loved going to work.”

The two alternated shifts, with one running the store during the day and the other in the evenings.

When it came time to plan their honeymoon, they were on a limited budget, but their experience with a local travel agent would change their lives forever. With the help of their agent, they were able to book a cruise to Bermuda and have the wedding celebration they dreamed of, but didn’t think they could afford. “The travel agent made it happen,” Lynda said. “Without her, we wouldn’t have had a honeymoon.”

At the same time, a company named Blockbuster was beginning to expand, and they saw the writing on the wall. The experience with their own travel agent inspired them to get out of the video business and become travel agents.

“I thought it was exciting,” Lynda recalled. “What an exciting career it would be, and you get to travel a lot as well.”

They were also making regular visits to Palm Beach County in the 1980s, both to visit Michael’s mother in Lake Worth and to attend polo matches in Wellington. “Polo is a great fun, Sunday thing to do,” Lynda said. “When we moved here, we were able to ride our bikes to the former polo fields.”

Wellington has transformed dramatically in the 31 years they have lived here.

“Wellington now has everything,” she said. “The growth has been tremendous. It has grown to be the perfect size. There’s very little reason to head north, south or east anymore. Anything you wanted, you had to go out of Wellington for. Everything is here now.”

Master Travel and Cruises moved to their current Wellington location six years ago but will soon be moving to a new location — staying in Wellington, of course. “We love Wellington,” Lynda said. “Our clients are from Wellington, and it has made it easier for them.”

It is not just Wellington that has transformed since the Reichs moved to the village. The travel industry has seen its fair share of changes as well — most notably in regard to the internet.

“The internet has made people more aware of where they can go,” Lynda said. “And how easy it is for them to get there.”

Despite the growth of internet travel sites, booking through a reputable travel agency, such as Master Travel and Cruises, offers certain perks and advantages that do-it-yourselfers cannot obtain.

“We belong to the oldest and best group of travel agencies in the world,” she said of their affiliation with Travelsavers and the Affluent Traveler Connection. “They negotiate specials for our clients. There are many value-added benefits for booking with us, including upgraded amenities and shipboard credits. We have great relationships with cruise lines.”

The Reichs offer personalized service and carefully curate each trip for their clients. A customer recently came to Lynda with no destination in mind — just a budget. She put together a trip to California wine country that was not just memorable and within budget, but also unique and crafted just for them.

South Africa remains her favorite destination. The safari she embarked on there is her favorite adventure in a lifetime of travel. She recommends that travelers to Africa go as part of a luxury tour that takes care of accommodation, baggage and some food.

“You need an unlimited budget to go to Africa on your own,” Lynda said. “The most expensive travel I ever facilitated was a month in South Africa, Tanzania and Botswana.”

In addition to Africa, Italy has remained a popular tourist destination for clients of Master Travel and Cruises. However, another memorable destination is rising in popularity once again.

“Hawaii is back on people’s radar,” she said. “No passport is required. There’s a lot to do. There’s adventure. And people perceive it as being safe. Safety is important.”

Master Travel and Cruises’ clientele is split roughly 50/50 between land vacations and cruises. One type of vacation seeks to combine both and is seeing a boom at the moment.

“River cruises are very hot right now,” Lynda said. “No seasickness. You stay in a different place each night, and the ship is your hotel.”

Millennials are experiencing life quite differently than their parents’ and grandparents’ generation. Travel is no exception.

“The generation today wants adventure,” she explained. “They want ziplining. They want white-water rafting. They have so much energy. They’re very active. They want to go wherever there’s going to be an adventure — something different.”

Lynda has seen this vacationing trend affect the way young couples are taking their honeymoons. One of the most popular destinations might be a surprise. “Costa Rica,” she said. “There’s a beach. There’s mountains. There’s ziplining over trees with monkeys underneath.”

Gone are the days of newlywed couples relaxing on a beach during their honeymoon, but some traditional locations such as Venice and Tahiti remain popular.

“The sky’s the limit, depending on the budget and the desires of the couple,” Lynda said. “It’s their time to celebrate their wedding.”

Destination weddings are becoming popular and make for memorable weddings, but she pointed out that booking a destination wedding or a honeymoon through an agent can make for one less headache before the big day.

“People are always getting married,” Lynda said. “Booking through us gives them one less thing to worry about. They have confidence behind experienced professionals. We make sure everything is perfect, and we’re someone they can contact if they’re not.”

Master Cruises and Travel is currently located at 13833 Wellington Trace, Suite E13, in the Wellington Marketplace, but is soon relocating to the Wellington Professional Centre at 12161 Ken Adams Way, Suite 170. For more information, call (561) 798-0505 or visit


Realtor Kathy Lebrecht Brings More Than 15 Years Of Local Experience

Realtor Kathy Lebrecht Brings More Than 15 Years Of Local Experience

Kathy Lebrecht of the Rucco Group at Re/Max Direct spent her childhood in the suburbs of New York City before leaving the northeast behind to begin life anew in South Florida.

“My family moved to Broward County from Long Island when I was eight,” she recalled. “I am one of nine children. I am very family-oriented; that is what makes being a Realtor special to me. I get to work with families.”

As a resident of the area for more than four decades, Lebrecht has watched South Florida grow from a handful of sleepy beach communities into a major metropolitan area.

“Witnessing this transformation has provided me with a deeper insight into our unique culture and vast knowledge of the many neighborhoods that make up Palm Beach County,” Lebrecht said.

Lebrecht moved to Wellington with her husband and three children in 2002, the same year that she began her real estate career. She considers both moves among the best decisions she has ever made.

“With 11 years in finance, I was well equipped to assist buyers and sellers with the largest financial transactions of their lives,” she said. “Starting at the original Re/Max in Wellington, I was deeply involved in the high level of development at that time, specializing in new construction in the Isles at Wellington and Versailles. Wellington has provided me with a plethora of opportunities, not just to develop my career but to raise my children.”

She enjoys the overall “vibe” of the village. “Wellington is a very close-knit community and does not have the same impersonal feel that is found in the big cities,” Lebrecht said.

She believes that the quality of the local educational system is also a big attraction for would-be residents.

“From kindergarten to high school, I cannot say enough about the education that my three children have received here,” Lebrecht said. “My oldest daughter loved attending school in Wellington, so much that she is now teaching third grade reading here. With so much experience in our school system, I enjoy pointing out to buyers the ins and outs of the schools in our various neighborhoods.”

In 2016, Lebrecht made a move within her company that took her game to a higher level.

“In order to fully realize the potential of our flourishing housing market, I joined the Rucco Group at Re/Max Direct two years ago,” she said. “The Rucco Group is the number-one team in Palm Beach County for volume. This allows us to offer a high level of service for very competitive commission rates due to economy of scale. This success is achieved through extensive community expertise, innovative marketing strategies and a diligent staff in place to handle every step of the transaction.”

When you do business with Lebrecht, she aims to make sure that the experience is successful on every level.

“We take customer satisfaction seriously; in fact, we guarantee it,” she said. “We offer sellers listing agreements that expire every 30 days with an automatic renewal. We take the stress out of buying or selling your home so that you can focus on your upcoming move.”

Call Kathy Lebrecht directly at (561) 758-7739. For more information, visit


Decades Of Volunteer Work Has Given Mae Loglisci Her Sense Of Purpose

Decades Of Volunteer Work Has Given Mae Loglisci Her Sense Of Purpose

When you meet someone as positive as Mae Loglisci, you can’t help but walk away feeling more positive, too. Talking with her about age is reminiscent of a conversation with a little kid who anticipates turning the corner on the next number.

Loglisci is looking forward to her 84th birthday, which isn’t until next June. Yet she claims 84 years of age as if she’s already blown out the candles.

“I feel good,” Loglisci said. “I hear so many people complaining. They should be so thankful that they’re here.”

Loglisci constantly refers to herself as “blessed.” She uses it over and over again, but not in a trite way. Even when speaking of sorrowful times, the octogenarian is very positive.

Her mother passed away far too young at age 42, leaving behind seven kids — three girls and four boys. Loglisci, the youngest, was only eight years old at the time. “It was very, very frightening,” she recalled. “I was very fortunate to have relatives down the road from us.”

It was a different world back then. When someone in the family died, they were taken to the funeral home. Once the remains were prepared for burial, the deceased returned to the family home, where the family mourned with friends and neighbors.

“I can never forget walking into the house and [seeing] my mom in the coffin. It upset me. It took a long time for me to get over it,” Loglisci said. “It was a frightening experience.”

Of the seven children, Loglisci is one of only three still living. Four of her siblings passed away when they were still fairly young, two after battles with cancer.

Loglisci herself faced breast cancer in 2004, but she is cancer-free today having completed chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

“I am so blessed and fortunate to be around at my age,” Loglisci said. “I don’t know how I am so fortunate. Maybe it’s my faith in God that I have and praying all the time. I am just so blessed to be here at my age, after my siblings were gone in their 60s. You know, when you hear the word cancer, the floor just sort of pulls out from under you. You ask, ‘Can I survive this? What stage am I? How am I going to go through everything?’ But you know, you do. Like I always say, with God in your life, you always have protection.”

Loglisci’s husband and children were a constant encouragement when she was fighting breast cancer.

Loglisci met her husband Tom on a blind date. She remembers having to be home by 11 p.m. Her father was fairly strict and would be expecting her. She and her sisters knew to hurry to the door after a date before the porch light began flickering on and off.

At first, she wasn’t crazy about the man her sister had set her up with, but that’s a moot point now. She was 19 years old when she agreed to that first date. Tom, who was 24 years old, had just returned from the service.

“I didn’t care for him at first, but then all of a sudden he grew on me, and believe it or not, we got engaged after a year, then got married the following year, and that’s history,” Loglisci said.

The fact that they married at a young age, coupled with their age difference, is something that Loglisci finds herself contemplating as she considers marriages today. “I am wondering if this is what has kept some of the older people together so long,” Loglisci said.

The Logliscis raised three children, a boy and two girls, and will celebrate their 61st wedding anniversary on Oct. 5.

Loglisci loved being a mother to her three children. She always wanted to be sure they were well cared for, and she remained a stay-at-home mom for many years. It was at this time that she began volunteering regularly, taking a page from her father’s book. He volunteered right up until age 92.

“He always felt rewarded when he came home, that he’d done something good,” Loglisci said of her father’s volunteer work. “I think that is what grew on me, and I do feel rewarded when I feel like I am helping someone.”

Loglisci volunteered for many of the clubs and events that surrounded her children. Once the children were out of the house, she continued to volunteer. To this day, volunteering is Loglisci’s passion and pastime. She’s the corresponding secretary for the Wellington Seniors Club. This involves writing and sending letters and cards to members who are sick or in the hospital, or sympathy cards when needed.

“We have 780 members. Being a senior, someone is in the hospital at one time or the other, or there are deaths in the family, so I send them out cards,” Loglisci said.

Loglisci has been a volunteer with the organization for 18 years and has served on the board for nine years. She is considering stepping down when her term is up. “At this stage of the game, it’s time for me to pass the baton on to someone else,” she said. “I’ve been in this position for nine years, so it’s time for someone else to take over.”

Loglisci is also an active volunteer with her church, St. Therese Lisieux Catholic Church on Lake Worth Road. Loglisci serves on the Council of Catholic Women and is a eucharistic minister.

Volunteering is important, but she has also had other hobbies, like sewing matching outfits for her girls, knitting and even playing poker once a week with the girls.

“We used to meet every Thursday night, and we did that for 31 years,” Loglisci recalled. “That was the most fun I ever had, just being together with other women and letting go of all that went on the rest of the week. We only put up five dollars for the whole night.”

A few years have passed since Thursday night poker. Loglisci is older now, but she feels good about the aging process. Today she reads and just finished redecorating a 1,500-square-foot house.

“I try to keep myself busy,” she said. “If you don’t do things or get involved, then your life becomes very stagnant. I have to keep on the go.”

Tom and Mae Loglisci used to travel quite a bit. They went to Europe several times and also to the Caribbean. They’ve slowed down on their traveling abroad in recent years, particularly since Tom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. However, this hasn’t stopped them from getting out and about. Loglisci makes it a point to get out of the house with Tom as often as they can, even if it’s just taking a trip to a store or to the mall.

“I just think staying young at heart keeps your body motivated and keeps you looking forward to things,” she said. “Having a different outlook helps so much.”

Loglisci now has five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She looks forward to the future, which she hopes will include more great-grandchildren.


Air Force Academy Recruits From Wellington Among The Next Generation Of Heroes

Air Force Academy Recruits From Wellington Among The Next Generation Of Heroes

The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs is among the most difficult schools in the nation to get into. Retired Lt. Col. Rob Oswald ought to know — he has been the academy’s recruiting liaison officer for Palm Beach County for more than a decade.

“I’ve been doing this for the last 13 or 14 years, and very few get to the acceptance part. To have three from Wellington in one year is pretty miraculous, and they’re all friends,” Oswald said. “Usually I get one accepted every other year out of all the 12 schools I have assigned to me.”

The three young men are Wyatt Boswell, Mikey Garofalo and Zack Beatty.

“I give them all the credit. It takes a lot of hard work — studying and extracurricular activities, outside volunteer work — to get into the academy,” Oswald said. “In addition, they have to get a letter from their senator or congressman.”

Usually, students interested in attending the academy will reach out to Oswald.

“I start out as a mentor and, if the academy likes what they see when the candidate initially applies, they will ask me to interview them,” he explained. “I put in my recommendation, and the Air Force does their thing.”

Now that Boswell, Garofalo and Beatty are in, Oswald has taken off his evaluator hat and put on his mentor hat.

“Once they’re accepted, I try to line them up with kids currently in the academy and help them through their career,” said Oswald, who was a pilot himself. “Those three kids are pretty incredible.”

Garofalo, whose grandfather served in the Air Force, attended the academy’s prep school before entering the academy itself. “Everyone around you is a leader,” he said of the experience. “Everyone is leading each other; you can’t fall behind.”

He wants to study business, with the aim of working in acquisitions for the Air Force after graduation. In addition to their studies, recruits need to sign up for a sports team. Garofalo played for the Western Communities Football League and was highly sought after by colleges while playing for Palm Beach Central High School, so he naturally chose football.

“My mom and sister were crying,” Garofalo said of when he headed out for basic training. “As for me, because this was my second time going, I was less worried. I knew I could handle it. The first time was rough for me, mentally. I knew I had a lot of learning to do.”

Once there, Garofalo said the physical training (PT) was the worst part, but the best part is the friends you make.

“You’re all going through it together,” he explained. “You see the people next to you at their best and at their worst. In those 38 days, it brings everybody together.”

Garofalo said his day consists of school until noon, then football until around 7 p.m., then homework. “My schedule is jam-packed all day with schoolwork and football,” he said.

Boswell is another veteran of the Western Communities Football League. A recent Wellington High School graduate, he also attended the academy’s prep school.

Unlike Garofalo, Boswell chose the swim team as his sport, having enjoyed it in Wellington. “I got up at 5:45 this morning for a 6:30 practice,” he said. “I do this every other day — Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays one week, Tuesdays and Thursdays the next.”

His ultimate goal, however, is to become a fighter pilot, and perhaps a general one day.

“I was going to join the U.S. Naval Academy, but everyone told me the Air Force has more planes, so there are more options,” Boswell said. “It interested me, and I applied.”

Although his family does not have a long military history, they were very supportive of his decision.

“I had to fill out two applications and write about five essays to get in,” he said. “They have a strong selection process which, last year, meant a 12 percent acceptance rate. Having attended the prep school helped me get in.”

Although basic training at the prep school takes about 18 days, it’s six weeks at the academy.

“For me, the hardest part was being away from my family,” Boswell said. “But I knew what to expect this time and handled it pretty well.”

His day consists of classes until 3 p.m., then swimming from 3:45 to 5:15 p.m., then homework.

“Next semester, I’m going to take about 20 credit hours as a freshman, which is roughly equivalent to the number of hours a graduate student takes in regular school,” Boswell said.

The story is a bit different for Beatty, a 2018 graduate of Wellington High School who played strong safety and wide receiver on the WHS football team, was on the swim team and served as a lifeguard at the Wellington Aquatics Complex.

After his father, an active duty Air Force deployment commander in the Mideast, flew him out to Colorado for basic training at the academy, Beatty was flown back shortly thereafter on medical leave to have surgery on a torn ligament in his foot. Following six months of rehab, he’ll return for a slightly delayed academy career. His stepfather also served in the Air Force.

“I’m hoping for a 30- or 40-year career in the Air Force, becoming a four-star general, and then I’d like to go into politics,” Beatty said of his future. “Nothing has changed; it has only been reinforced. I always knew that I was going to love every aspect of the military. As a kid, I dressed as a soldier every Halloween. Going through it only solidified that. I love the camaraderie and pride in country.”

He even loved basic training — at least until he was injured.

“It was a freak accident that happened during the team sports we do for bonding. My foot just crumpled,” Beatty said. “My heart is still there. It was hard, watching all my teammates do PT and all I could do was motivate them to keep going. I didn’t want to be home. But now I know what to expect and the knowledge I have to learn, and I can help my teammates along the way. Also, some of my closest friends will be able to help me through my first year, which is the hardest.”

Although Beatty’s five younger siblings were glad to have him home, it was still hard.

“They knew how much it hurt me not to be there right now,” he said. “I’ll go back next year stronger and better, and we’re looking forward to that. I have two younger brothers, and they all look up to me. I have a sister in ninth grade, and my youngest brother, at age 7, already knows he wants to fly jets.”

As always, Oswald was there. “I spoke to Zack after he hurt his ankle, tried to cheer him up a little bit,” he said. “He has a pretty positive attitude, but I know how devastating that was. He had been looking forward to going through with Wyatt and Mikey.”

When he returns to the academy, Beatty will be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in one of 20 fields open to him. Right now, he’s torn between biology and aeronautical engineering. He will also choose a sport, most likely the combat shooting team or the parachuting team.

“I got hurt playing flag football, so I’ll stay away from that next year,” he said. “People don’t realize that the Air Force Academy is one of the top three hardest institutions to get into. You need a great grade point average, but you also need to be able to run a 6.5-minute mile and do 90 sit-ups and push-ups. But you form lifelong relationships with everyone there and know that, no matter what, you have each other’s backs.”

For teens interested in attending the Air Force Academy, Oswald is always available with information. “Go to your computer, type in your zip code, and it will tell you who your local rep is,” he said. “Then call or send an e-mail. Some do it in eighth grade, some in their senior year. I have six I’m trying to help out for the next season.”  


Air Force Veteran Al Ziker Loves His Retirement In Wellington

Air Force Veteran Al Ziker Loves His Retirement In Wellington

In 1992, the 1,100-mile trip from veteran Al Ziker’s former home in Pittsburgh, Pa., to a spot west of I-95 in South Florida called Wellington was easy, especially for a man who had served his country as an Air Force navigator and made hundreds of flights from his base to a specific, ever-changing dot somewhere high above the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.

“My wife and I wanted to move to Florida, and we had friends in Wellington, so we looked here and chose a house we liked,” Ziker recalled.

In Wellington, the couple found a hometown they loved, and a great place for their son and daughter and their families to visit. Today, they have four grandchildren, the youngest of whom is 20.

A 1956 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Ziker joined the military shortly after he earned his degree and served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, in postings around the United States, Europe and the Pacific.

After leaving the Air Force in 1976, Ziker lived in Philadelphia for 15 years, before making the move to Wellington.

“I worked in a home center [in Pennsylvania] and worked for Home Depot when I moved down here,” Ziker said.

In retirement, he is the president of his homeowners’ association and a property manager. “In my spare time, I still do a bit of woodworking,” Ziker added.

He is also very active in the local American Legion post, Wellington’s Chris Reyka Memorial Post 390, where he has served as post commander.

During the two decades Ziker served in the Air Force, he began his training at Lackland Air Force Base near Houston. His postings were in Massachusetts for seven years, then Mississippi for three years, Ohio and Germany for a few years each, and California for 18 months, with two tours in Okinawa, a year in Thailand and a shorter time in Goose Bay, Labrador.

That speck over the ocean mentioned earlier refers to Ziker’s job navigating his refueling plane to the rendezvous point so another military plane running on empty could be assured of finding a filling station with a full-service fill-up.

His crew serviced fighters, bombers and even the famous SR-71 Blackbirds, a mach-3-capable aircraft in operation for 32 years beginning in 1966 — the most sophisticated plane in America’s arsenal in its time.

“We had a four-man crew: a pilot, co-pilot, navigator and a boom operator who controlled the boom to put it into the fighter or the bomber, whoever we were refueling,” Ziker explained. “The pilot and co-pilot kept the plane moving smoothly in a straight line. I got us to the right spot.”

Ziker explained that it could be exciting with no computer-assisted equipment. “It was all manual controls. Just like refueling your car, you put the boom in the receptacle on the fighter or bomber,” he said. “It has something like a pop-up valve, it pushes it open and the fuel starts going in.”

Ziker said that the navigator makes sure a refueling plane is at the exact right place at the time a fighter or bomber, with only minutes of fuel left, arrives there needing to be resupplied, high above the open ocean.

“We had some emergencies, but nothing life-threatening,” Ziker said. “We had a boom that got jammed. It was extended the full length and didn’t want to retract.”

It was an experience that took some worrying minutes to resolve and get the boom stowed properly.

Now, in more relaxed times, Ziker reflected on what he likes most about his adopted hometown.

“What I like best about Wellington per se: the beauty, they try to really keep it up here really nice and they are pretty strict about keeping the beauty of the neighborhoods,” he said.

Ziker continued that the neighborhoods look good because the homeowners’ associations have a lot of documents to follow to keep them looking nice. “You can’t paint your house purple, you can’t raise dogs or cats or cows or goats in the front yard,” he said. “The village does a good job of trying to keep the village neat.

Ziker feels the equestrian community also contributes to the overall beauty of the community. He considers them a very important part of the Wellington lifestyle.

“Plus, the equestrians are nice,” he said. “They come in here, they bring a lot of money with them. If it wasn’t for them, Wellington wouldn’t be where it is today.”


Firefighter Bob Dawson Counts On Support Of His ‘Two Families’

Firefighter Bob Dawson Counts On Support Of His ‘Two Families’

Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue Capt. Bob Dawson is a station officer. He is the captain charged with running the station, the engines and the rescue vehicles.

“I was a volunteer firefighter in Pennsylvania and got into it again when I moved to Florida,” recalled Dawson, 56, who works out of Station 25 on Wellington Trace.

Dawson is also a devoted family man — in more ways than one.

“I am married, for 32 years, to my lovely wife Debbie. We have two boys, Ryan who is still in high school and Rob who is older,” said Dawson about his home family. “Rob is about to become a father in late November of his own two boys. His wife is going to have identical twin sons.”

He and his wife were proud to soon become grandparents, then they found out it was to be twins. “So, we are happy about being grandparents,” he said.

Dawson is also satisfied with his chosen career.

“I think the most satisfying aspect of being a firefighter is making a difference in someone’s life to help them out — whether it’s in their time of need or just a problem they’re having,” Dawson said. “We, as firefighters, may not consider it an emergency, [but] to someone who’s calling 9-1-1 at that time, for them, it is an emergency.”

Battalion Chief Sam Eaton said that Dawson has more than 22 years of service with PBCFR, has helped with the Hazardous Incident Management Team and provided assistance in the recovery from Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys.

For his service, the Wellington Public Safety Committee recently named Dawson this year’s Wellington Top Firefighter.

“The things I am most proud of in this career, and there’s a lot to be proud of, are some of the things I’m involved with, like the South Florida Region 7 Incident Management Team and the Emergency Operations team,” Dawson said.

The Incident Management Team is the group that comes in and supports emergencies like hurricanes.

“Such as three years ago, when part of the team went to the Bahamas to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Joaquin, and last year, the team went to the Keys during the Hurricane Irma recovery,” Dawson said.

When in this role, Dawson has a very specific job to do.

“I’m the logistics section chief,” Dawson said. “My job is finding them stuff. I’m the guy who finds them things they need for the deployment.”

During the Irma campaign, Dawson was on medical leave recovering from knee surgery. Yet he came in and worked with his team. “I stayed back supporting the team, finding items they needed,” he said.

As part of the Palm Beach County Emergency Operations Team, Dawson is on hand locally whenever the need arises. “Whenever the Emergency Operations Center is activated, I report at Southern Blvd. and Military Trail,” he said.

In addition to actively volunteering in his church, Dawson volunteered in scouting when his oldest son was growing up. Now his younger son is into sports.

“There comes a time when your son gets too old, and you can’t coach your own son anymore,” he said. “But being from Pittsburgh, I’m a die-hard Steelers fan.”

Dawson’s hobbies are hunting and fishing with his sons. “My sons love camping, and anytime we take someone who has never been camping before, their maiden voyage, so to speak, is always to Lion Country Safari,” he said, referring to the KOA Campground adjacent to the world-famous drive-through wildlife park and attraction off Southern Blvd.

The campground has all the requirements of a camping facility, but it is close to home should a first-time camping group need some support from their home family.

Dawson explained that to be successful in the career of firefighting, you need to have two families.

“You have to have the support of your home family, as well as your fire-rescue family,” he said, stressing that no one can do the job alone. “They are both important.”

Spending time at the station adds a level of familiarity not found in other lines of work.

“We spend one-third of our lives with our fire-rescue family,” said Dawson, who added that he knows the members of his fire-rescue family every bit as well as he knows the biological members of his own family. “I know their likes, their dislikes and their quirks, and I know I can count on their support.”


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