Wellington Trace Tavern Features A Unique, Fusion-Style Menu

Wellington Trace Tavern Features  A Unique, Fusion-Style Menu

The new Wellington Trace Tavern is now open in the original Wellington Mall. In the kitchen is Executive Chef Jeff Cantor, who brings with him a wealth of culinary experience gathered from every region of the United States. His well-rounded career has cemented a signature, fusion style of cuisine.

–“One of the things that is very important to me is to be original. I don’t want to do what others are doing,” Cantor said. “When you walk into Wellington Trace Tavern, I want you to feel as though, before you even sit down at the table, you’re already going to know that it’s going to be a great meal.”

Wellington Trace Tavern is co-owned by Alex Gerasimov and Tetyana Kuzmina. Cantor was searching for a position that would allow him to continue making his food creations, and after his first meeting with the owners, he knew almost immediately that he would have creative control over the new tavern’s menu items.

“What I plan on bringing to Wellington Trace Tavern, first of all, is food with integrity,” Cantor said. “I don’t do boxed, ready-to-go, canned, whatever-it-might-be type of things. I try to do as much as I can from a fresh state. I try to use local ingredients when we can. We get some of our produce right here from a local farmer, and we always try to use fresh, not frozen, seafood whenever possible. The same thing goes for our other ingredients on the menu.”

Cantor said there will be many signature dishes to be enjoyed on the menu, but he presented one that he believes will certainly cement itself as a must-have item, the Admiral Surf and Turf.

The dish will feature four jumbo shrimp, paired with a daily vegetable. “It will have your choice of potato. However, I recommend one of my signature items, which is called a sweet potato soufflé,” Cantor said. “A lot of people say, ‘Oh, I don’t like sweet potatoes.’ I bring them out a little taste of it, and that’s what they order. It doesn’t taste like a sweet potato out of the skin. This tastes like a true soufflé-style, a little sweeter, entrée side accompaniment than you would typically see somewhere else.”

Don’t forget the turf.

“It’s paired with another one of my signature items, which is a Dr. Pepper, ketchup marinated filet mignon,” Cantor explained. “It’s something that I’ve been serving for years. I picked it up from a chef in South Carolina.”

Keeping true to his originality, Cantor continues to tweak the recipe, but he has a balance for it that can’t be described any better than by the head chef himself.

“I’ve described that dish as yin and yang, and the reason I say [that] is quite simple: it’s complementary opposites with a little bit of each still there,” Cantor said. “You’re going to have that sweet savoriness of the marinated filet mignon, and then you’re going to have the grilled jumbo shrimp, which is something that goes together very well. It’s different than you would find elsewhere.”

Cantor moved to Wellington at the beginning of this year with his wife and daughter, Kathy and Annika. Kathy had a job opportunity in Palm Beach County, while his daughter is a chef in her own right. “It’s kind of a family thing right now,” he said.

Cantor grew up in New Hampshire. Being New England raised, seafood is a must eat. When he is back home, he can’t leave without having a classic feast.

“Being not too far from the coast, fresh seafood was always available, and I’ve come up with a great passion and love for seafood,” Cantor said. “I’m getting clam chowder, and I’m getting right out of the sea, probably two hours ago, lobster that was caught on the boat and parked out back.”

Cantor is happy with the quality of food that has begun to appear and then disappear on patron’s plates at Wellington Trace Tavern.

“We’re consistently putting good food on the tables, and, most importantly, we are doing it in a way that others in the area are not,” he said. “I don’t think you’ll find 15 of the items on our menu any place else.”

While they are there, Cantor visits his guests to make sure they are having the dining experience he envisions for the tavern.

“My motto for the food is ‘great food, great wine, great friends, best of times,’” Cantor said. “I like that to be what people think of after they’ve had a meal here.”

Wellington Trace Tavern is located in the original Wellington Mall at 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 20. The restaurant is open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. most nights. For more information, call (561) 469-1109 or visit www.wttavern.com.


Ameron Realty’s Halina Sledz Brings A Unique Background To Real Estate Clients

Ameron Realty’s Halina Sledz Brings A  Unique Background To Real Estate Clients

The allure of all things equestrian is what makes Halina Sledz, a broker for Ameron Realty, feel so at home in her adopted hometown of Wellington, a community world-renowned for its equestrian facilities and championship competitions.

“I was born, raised and educated in Europe,” Sledz said. “During my university studies in Poland for my master’s degree in civil engineering, an international horse jumping show was held annually at our university stadium. The excitement of preparing for my final exams coincided with the excitement of that competition.”

Balancing her scholastic responsibilities with her love of horses was not a problem for Sledz.

“My dorm was located next to the university stadium, so I could either take a break from studying and go down to the stadium, or I could watch the horse competition from my dorm window while I was hitting the books,” she recalled. “Over the years, that closeness to the equestrian community allowed me to meet horse owners, breeders and top international equestrian riders of the day.”

After marrying and starting a family, Sledz moved to Wellington, where she once again became immersed in the equestrian world.

“With my husband being an engineer as well, together we designed and built several spec houses in Wellington and in the western communities of Palm Beach County,” she said. “During the building process, I was involved in hiring and managing several subcontractors. That led me to selling real estate full time. My experience in property construction allows me to give good advice to potential clients on any issues with property they may be interested in.”

Sledz specializes in residential waterfront properties on the island of Palm Beach, as well as selling equestrian properties in the Wellington and the western communities.

“If a Palm Beacher desires to own a farm in Wellington, or a Wellingtonian likes to own an oceanfront property, I have that expertise and can assist them from start to finish,” she said. “I always try to fulfill the expectation of any potential buyer. I have world-wide contacts and speak several languages, which allows me to easily communicate with clients all over the world. While I have experience in selling upscale, luxury properties, I also work with first-time home buyers and military veterans.”

Sledz is also knowledgeable on investments in commercial properties and sells them, as well. No matter what transaction she is brokering, her top priority is to her clients.

“I am always on the lookout for the next great opportunity for my clients,” she said. “I attend to my clients’ needs in a diligent and conscientious way. I am very thoughtful of their time, and I work hard to find the right properties that will be of their interest.”

Many of those properties are right here in Wellington, a destination Sledz believes is a perfect place to put down roots.

“Having lived in Wellington for many years, I have witnessed first-hand its beauty, peacefulness, yet steady growth,” she said. “What makes the Wellington area special is the aeronautical subdivision, the Aero Club, and world-class equestrian facilities and venues. This makes Wellington a comfortable place to live, with major retail stores, various types of restaurants, excellent public schools and two hospitals.”

To contact Halina Sledz of Ameron Realty, call (561) 596-9727 or e-mail ameron1@bellsouth.net.


Completely Renovated Aero Club Home Features High-Tech Amenities

Completely Renovated Aero Club  Home Features High-Tech Amenities

This month’s featured home is a two-story Mediterranean-style estate in the Aero Club of Wellington. It was built in 2006 and completely renovated this year. The home features lush new landscaping, a paver drive, impact windows and doors, a whole house generator and a four-car garage. Inside, a pre-wired Creston automated smart system allows the owners to remotely operate all lighting, window treatments, and pool and landscape lighting. The home also has access to all the amenities of the unique Aero Club community, including its 4,000-foot paved runway. Like many homes in the Aero Club, this home features its own airplane hangar.


Dining Room: The formal dining room’s pecky cypress barreled ceiling and stunning contemporary pendant lights are typical of the attention to detail evident throughout this 7,733-square-foot home. Note the large Italian marble tiles that run throughout the downstairs, visually connecting the primary living spaces.

Grand Staircase: A sweeping grand staircase featuring wrought iron and marble elevates the home’s main living area. From above, the homeowners can view the pristine formal living room.

Family Room: Nestled underneath the upstairs hallway, the home’s family room has everything needed to snuggle down and get comfortable. Located just a few steps from the kitchen and breakfast room, the family room features an impressive entertainment system.

Kitchen: Old Chicago brick on the back wall, barn-style pantry doors, replaned beams on the ceiling and engineered hardwood floors add to the appeal of this rustic-looking kitchen. But don’t be fooled — it has every modern convenience, including a copper range hood, Wolf gas range and a huge Carrara marble island.

Master Bedroom: Decorated in gorgeous earth tones, the ground floor master bedroom features a stunning and dramatic tray ceiling, as well as easy access to the pool deck. An oversized closet offers full-length mirrors and LED lighting.

Dramatic Windows: French doors and arched clerestory-style glass give new meaning to “Let the Sun Shine In.” Upstairs, there are four bedrooms, a media center and a hallway with Brazilian cherry floors.

Pool Deck: The gas-heated, raised spa and custom pool sit just outside a covered lanai. The accompanying summer kitchen has a 48-inch grill, fridge, sink, TV and Sonos wi-fi entertainment speakers.


Billiard Room: This comfortable game room features Chicago brick and Italian marble, as well as a full wet bar.


Media Room: The plush media center offers a high-definition screen, double rows of seating and all the latest technology.


Runway: In addition to its own airplane hangar, the home has access to the community’s 4,000-foot paved runway.



Wellington’s Ahmmon Richards Making Waves At The University Of Miami

Wellington’s Ahmmon Richards Making Waves At The University Of Miami

Wellington High School graduate Ahmmon Richards wanted to make an impact as a freshman at the University of Miami. Mission accomplished.

Richards, the former superstar wide receiver for the Wolverines, produced an ascendant first season for the resurgent University of Miami football team. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder set a freshman record for receiving yards with 934, breaking Hall of Famer Michael Irvin’s mark that had stood for 31 years.

Richards started 11 of 13 games and caught 49 passes, averaging 19.1 yards per catch for the Hurricanes. His 934 receiving yards led all freshmen nationally and were the sixth most in a single season in UM history. His outstanding efforts earned Richards freshman All-American honors from numerous national organizations, including ESPN and the Football Writers Association of America.

Richards, who was heavily recruited and had more than 20 Division I offers before choosing Miami, has already put his record-setting freshman season behind him and looks to the future.

Along with his amazing athletic ability, Richards has received unwavering support from his parents.

“My dad always pushes me. Both my parents, actually, and they always pushed me to never settle,” said Richards, who turned 19 on May 20. “And that’s a big thing for me. I never settle. What happened last year, that’s last year.”

Richards enters the 2017 season as the Hurricanes primary receiver and expects more attention from defenses, similar to what he experienced during his standout career with the Wolverines. He has improved in numerous areas since arriving on the Coral Gables campus. His speed and catching ability give Miami a deep threat — a game-breaker that will help its inexperienced quarterback.

If Miami can balance Richards with elite running back Mark Walton, the Wellington native has a chance to overcome the inevitable double-teams and flourish. The Hurricanes open up their second season under head coach Mark Richt on Sept. 2 against Bethune-Cookman University, followed by road games at Arkansas State on Sept. 9 and rival Florida State on Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. in a nationally televised contest.

Richards is ready for the bright lights and top competition.

“When I got here, I was probably running around 4.4, and since I got here, I am running like 4.31,” said Richards, who also added about 20 pounds. “So, the strength staff has definitely gotten me faster and stronger.”

Richards has also adjusted to the transition between high school and the university setting, with the biggest difference being the speed of everything.

“College is just a different speed, different workouts, time with classes,” Richards said. “I have class right after this [interview]. It’s different from high school.”

Wellington head football coach Tom Abel strongly believes in Richards.

“He was probably the most dominant high school player I have ever coached,” Abel said. “He was the hardest-working player I have ever been around… When he got the ball, magic happened.”

Richards led the Wolverines in most offensive categories and finished his senior year with 73 catches for 1,278 yards and 14 touchdowns. He received the prestigious 2015 Palm Beach County High School Player of the Year award presented by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. He was also named the Palm Beach Post All-Area Football Large Schools Offensive Player of the Year.

“My favorite memory of him is when he received a hit in a game, and I wanted to take him out because I thought he was injured,” Abel said. “After talking to him, he told me he was OK. We were on offense. I called his number right after his non-injury, and he caught a slant and took it to the house about 70 yards full speed, and then came off the sideline and asked if he could get the ball again to help his team out.”

Abel said Richards would do everything he could to contribute to the team and support his teammates.

“That mental attitude has carried with him to this day,” Abel said. “He is special, and we love him. He always stayed after practice every day to help the quarterbacks get timing. It worked out great for all of us.”

Richards said he enjoyed his time with the Wolverines, which included an 11-2 record and a trip to the Class 8A regional finals as a junior, the most successful season in school history.

“It’s a brotherhood,” said Richards, whose team lost in the first round of the playoffs in his senior season. “Most kids transfer to other schools, but I am from Wellington, and I just wanted to play with my brothers. And that is something that lasts a lifetime.”

Richards, who has a younger sister, as well as an older and younger brother, grew up playing in the Western Communities Football League, where players are on a different team each year. He started out as a running back, but a coach switched him to wide receiver several years before his final season. His brother, Mark-Anthony, is currently one of the top high school receivers in the county.

Abel said the elder Richards, as a person, is very humble, spiritual and thankful for everything.

“He is always willing to do the right thing for everyone,” Abel said. “He is a pleasure to be around. He always stays hungry and focused.”

Richards said that playing at UM has been everything he thought it would be.

“With the coaches and everything, I believed in them through recruiting, and everything they said is coming to life,” he said.

And, hopefully, that will continue as his sophomore season gets underway.


Caroline Blanke-Pena Of Holistic Health Palm Beach Specializes In Chinese Medicine

Caroline Blanke-Pena Of Holistic Health Palm Beach Specializes In Chinese Medicine

Caroline Blanke-Pena of Holistic Health Palm Beach discovered her calling after dealing with a condition that, for many years, couldn’t be cured by traditional western medical practices.

“As a last resort, I decided to try acupuncture,” Blanke-Pena recalled. “I didn’t even know what it was, but I found an acupuncturist I loved and went to her three times in seven days. The very first time, I felt this massive block in my abdomen move. It was a mind-blowing experience. By my third treatment, I was completely cured — never needed another drug or another treatment. That’s an incredible result.”

Convinced that eastern and western medicine could — and should — work well together, Blanke-Pena’s life had new purpose. Many courses and four state board exams later, Blanke-Pena is now a licensed acupuncturist and a nationally certified diplomate of Oriental medicine, acupuncture, herbology and Asian bodywork therapy. She graduated from the Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine in Florida with a master’s degree in traditional Chinese medicine. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in science from Ohio State University.

“Chinese medicine really depends on what is going on with the patient. You have to listen in order to tell what would benefit them the most. Is it emotional pain, physical pain, post-traumatic stress?” Blanke-Pena said. “Chinese medicine works best in some cases, western medicine works better in others. That’s why I partnered up with a doctor when I opened Holistic Health Palm Beach. We refer back and forth to do what is in the best interest of the patient.”

Blanke-Pena said most of her patients are complaining of three things — physical pain, emotional pain and fertility issues.

“Chinese medicine can help with physical pain, especially pain in the back, joints, knees, elbows and fingers — and arthritis,” she said. “Acupuncture has an anti-inflammatory effect. Eight out of 10 of my patients move out of pain within one or two sessions, although some need more. Acupuncture is also particularly successful in treating insomnia and emotional pain.”

Blanke-Pena said local doctors often refer patients with pre- or post-menopausal symptoms for help with issues such as night sweats. Reproductive issues can also be treated. Perhaps a woman is having problems getting pregnant or needs support after previous miscarriages. Perhaps a man has a low libido or sperm count. “Chinese medicine has great success in those areas,” Blanke-Pena said.

She is particularly happy to see that eastern and western medicine are starting to work together and does her best to unite the two.

“I take the shame out of it,” Blanke-Pena said. “If a patient comes to me and says, ‘I’ve been on Prozac for 20 years. Do I have to go off it?’ I ask, ‘Would you come to me for 20 years and take my meds and do my treatments if you still felt lousy?’ I ask them if they want an alternative. We taper off, and I’ve had excellent results.”

Acupuncture and herbal medicine can be an effective alternative to treatments that may require the use of invasive procedures, she said. Rather than resorting to surgery, knee or back pain can be controlled with acupuncture because it improves circulation to relieve pain, Blanke-Pena said. It also tends to have a positive effect on circulation throughout the body, improving energy and stamina while reducing stress and improving emotional well-being, she added.

While western medicine tends to concentrate on relieving specific symptoms, the goal of acupuncture is to resolve the underlying source of symptoms, she explained, by focusing on alleviating the origin of the ailment rather than on relieving the symptoms.

Holistic Health Palm Beach is located in Palomino Park at 3347 State Road 7, Suite 200, in Wellington. For more info., call (561) 601-0999 or visit www.holistichealthpalmbeach.com.


Grandview Kitchens Offers Clients Expertise To Help With Their Kitchen And Bath Projects

Grandview Kitchens Offers Clients Expertise To Help With Their Kitchen And Bath Projects

Grandview Kitchens is a one-stop-shop for kitchen and bathroom needs. Owned by Susana Fernandes and her parents, Maria and Francisco Almeida, the company offers everything necessary to transform a kitchen or bath, while working within a budget and adding value and beauty to a home.

“We wanted to have a name that had the grandiose-ness, viewing your kitchen in a grand manner,” Fernandes said.

Grandview Kitchens dates back to 2005. Originally, the company had a location in Wellington where countertop fabrication was done, as well as a cabinet store in Royal Palm Beach. Four years ago, the location in Wellington was sold, and the business combined to the Southern Blvd. storefront location.

“We specialize in designing kitchens and bathrooms to exactly what the customer needs, without pressure,” Fernandes explained.

She focuses on not only measurements, but also listening to the customer to determine how to make the kitchen or bathroom functional and beautiful. The Grandview team can work on one part of a room, or lead a complete redesign.

“Kitchens and bathrooms are the main things in a house, so when they are beautiful, they make people feel good and happy,” Maria Almeida added.

The family started out with a focus on countertops, then grew their business into cabinets and designs, with hardware and more.

“The customer doesn’t have to go to a big box store, or five different places,” Fernandes said. “We can help them here.”

Kitchens and bathrooms need to make the family feel at home. Using television shows and magazines as inspiration, people often want to change and update their homes, not only for themselves, but also for entertaining and impressing friends, Fernandes said.

“The kitchen is the most important part of a home. It’s where everyone goes and gathers,” she said. “It’s where you catch up on conversations, gather with friends, drink coffee and plan your next getaway.”

Bathrooms are also an important part of Grandview Kitchens, focusing on flooring, cabinets and counters. “It just goes hand-in-hand,” she said.

Fernandes utilizes 3-D renderings of rooms to create a visual of how a client’s kitchen or bathroom could look using different cabinets, colors, tiles, hardware and more.

Grandview Clients has expert designers, and they put together the ideal kitchen or bathroom for customers, providing the best possible product while staying within budget.

“We love to work with people, we love this kind of business, and we love to see our customers happy,” Almeida said.

Fernandes enjoys learning and working with clients to discover what they like about their current kitchen, would like in their kitchen, how high they want cabinetry to be, how decorative they want cabinets to be, and how to make the kitchen practical, functional and beautiful.

Grandview Kitchens sell inset cabinets, countertops, sinks, backsplashes and multiple brand-name quartz choices that can be coordinated with cabinets, accessories and flooring.

“It’s the satisfaction in knowing that the customer is satisfied with everything they’ve envisioned, and we’ve been able to show them and let them feel confident that we can get that for them,” Fernandes said, adding that frequent referrals show that clients enjoyed the process and the final result.

Before approaching the idea of redesigning a kitchen or bathroom, Fernandes said that it is important to know your budget. Finding a company that is respectful of that budget is important, because it helps to pinpoint a price.

“We want to make the most of their budget and get them the best that they can get for the amount they have to spend, so we’re not designing in a brand that they cannot afford,” Fernandes said.

All of the Grandview Kitchens cabinets are something Fernandes would use personally, yet have different price points and come with different options.

Her advice is to know what your budget is, go to the right place and ask the right questions. Knowing what you want is important, but if you don’t know what you want, that’s not a problem. The designers at Grandview Kitchens can help get you to the point where you need to be.

“Their homework is to know what they want,” she said, with a focus on color coordination. “If they don’t know what they want, we start from the basics. What do you want to have done? When the customer answers the questions, they realize what they want to have done.”

Once a project is complete, walking through with a customer and seeing how their kitchen or bathroom comes out, just as they wanted, is extremely rewarding, Fernandes said.

Grandview Kitchens is located in the Village Shoppes plaza at 10477 Southern Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and closed on Sundays. For more info., call (561) 784-3800, e-mail grandviewkitchens@yahoo.com or visit www.grandviewkitchens.com.


Wesley Newlands Finds Her Road To Recovery In Wellington

Wesley Newlands Finds Her Road  To Recovery In Wellington

With any sport comes the inherent risk of injury. In equestrian sports, which adds another, often unpredictable, living being into the equation, that risk can be particularly high. Fortunately for the thousands of equestrian athletes based in Wellington, the village is home to renowned physical therapy specialists skilled in helping riders quickly rebound from an injury

Show jumping competitor Wesley Newlands found the help she needed to do just that at Athletes Advantage, located off Pierson Road in Wellington. In September 2016, the 29-year-old Canadian was riding in Belgium, simply walking to cool down her horse after a training session, when the horse tripped and fell. As the horse went down, Newlands’ leg became stuck underneath, shattering her ankle.

At a hospital in Belgium, where the staff spoke limited English, making communication difficult, they opted to put Newlands in a cast for 12 weeks rather than perform surgery.

Upon returning home to Canada three weeks later, Newlands’ doctors advised that they would have elected to do surgery at the time of her injury. However, since her leg had already been set in a cast for three weeks, they elected to continue with the recovery plan determined in Belgium.

When Newlands arrived in Wellington in late December with plans to compete at the Winter Equestrian Festival, her ankle had been non-weight-bearing for months. Despite the removal of the cast after 12 weeks, she was still experiencing several problems with her foot.

“My foot was turning purple, and I was having a lot of swelling,” Newlands explained. “I couldn’t really walk.”

That’s where Wellington-based experts Dr. Nicholas Sama and Ed Smith of Athletes Advantage came into play. Sama, an orthopedic and trauma surgeon, X-rayed Newlands’ foot and recommended that she begin working with Smith and Athletes Advantage for physical therapy.

Inside the expansive warehouse space turned state-of-the-art gym and rehab facility, Smith helped Newlands regain strength and stability, as well as the ability to walk normally again, after atrophy of the foot and leg from lack of use.

“With Wesley’s situation, she had an injury that most likely should have been operated on,” said Smith, who founded Athletes Advantage 14 years ago and places a strong clinical focus on post-operative sports medicine rehabilitation. “The result of the downtime — the non-weight-bearing, casting and bracing — was so substantial that she got extremely tight, and she also experienced circulatory deficiencies because she couldn’t use the leg normally.”

Smith, a graduate of the College of Physical Therapy at the University of Florida, said Newlands developed many problems simply from not being able to use her foot.

“She ended up with Dr. Sama, a trauma surgeon here in Wellington who knows the equestrian world very well,” Smith said. “Working with him, we were able to develop at as rapid a pace as possible, but she had been non-weight-bearing for so long that the bones had actually lost density. Early on, we were concerned that the foot was going to fracture as soon as we put weight on it.”

Starting gradually, Newlands visited Athletes Advantage two to three times a week throughout the winter, resulting in returned strength and the ability to use her foot and ankle more normally. By week four of the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival season, Newlands was back in the competition ring. By the end of March, she was able to ride and compete with all of her mounts, including Wieminka B, Geisha van Orshof, Gin Tonic and Isibel d’O.

“I was able to get back in the saddle pretty fast,” Newlands said. “I had a lot of psychological nerves when I was coming back to competition, and I’m still dealing with the worry that I’m going to hurt my leg again. I protect it a lot, but physically, I’m so much stronger.”

Newlands credits the experts in Wellington for her renewed strength and quick return to the show ring, and she is not alone with her success story. Smith has been practicing outpatient orthopedic and sports physical therapy for more than three decades, and Athletes Advantage has helped countless athletes with similar stories.

“These athletes play a sport, and we have a defined period of time that we’ve got to get them back to performance,” Smith said. “We built this place because I’ve always felt that there was a large gap between a closed-in, medical office and the sport that the athletes are returning to. So, we tried to build a place that would facilitate that transition. When they are done working with us, they are fit to return to practicing their sport.”

In doing so, Smith developed a unique niche. “We have enough space and enough variety at our facility that we can take people from a day after surgery all the way back to being strong enough to return to their sport,” he said.

For Newlands, that has certainly proven to be the case. Thanks to the rehab she underwent, she is spending the summer competing at show jumping events throughout Europe under the tutelage of 2008 Olympic gold medalist and Wellington resident Eric Lamaze.

As she continues to regain full strength and function of her ankle, Newlands’ short-term goal is to earn a place on the Canadian show jumping team and, “to be the best rider that I can be.”


Young Wellington Survivor Hits Leukemia Out Of The Park

Young Wellington Survivor Hits Leukemia Out Of The Park

When a doctor tells you that your three-and-a-half-year-old son has

leukemia, your world stops. As Tristan Dawson listened to a doctor diagnose her son Drew with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2012, the medical terms and treatments that he described were lost on her. Shock blocked any ability to fully comprehend what was happening to her little boy.

In the days to come, fear and confusion turned to hope and courage as Tristan and her husband Mark found two sources of strength — the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and the Wellington community, where the Dawson family has lived since 2005.

A call to LLS shortly after Drew’s diagnosis gave the Dawsons information about Drew’s blood cancer that was an important first step in understanding what the future held. “It was so helpful for me as a mother to know what to expect,” Tristan recalled.

What she didn’t expect was the way LLS would become a central part of their lives. Following three years of courageous treatment — periods where Tristan couldn’t pick up her son without him crying in pain — LLS selected Drew as their “Boy of the Year” in 2015. He was celebrated as an inspiration in the fight against blood cancers, attending events held in his honor.

“That was when I really understood how powerful LLS is,” Tristan said. “We met so many people from so many different walks of life who are involved with LLS and support the research that will help more children like Drew.”

Many Wellington residents who support LLS are in the under-12 set. Drew’s school, Elbridge Gale Elementary School, was the No. 1 fundraising school in the State of Florida last year for LLS’s Pennies for Patients program, presented by Olive Garden. The school, inspired by Drew’s story, raised an astounding $21,000 in donations collected for the cause.

It’s just one example of the outpouring of support from the Wellington community that the Dawson family has experienced, and why Tristan said, “I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”

Thanks to LLS, there was something more to come for Drew that Tristan could never have imagined — her son hitting a home run off of Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr.

Drew was invited to take part in LLS’s “Day in the Life of the Astros.” McCullers gave Drew the experience of a lifetime, teaching him how to pitch, hit and even play ping-pong as he made every minute of the day special for a young boy who had been through so much.

“To see Drew sliding into home base puts our work into perspective,” said Pam Payne, executive director of LLS’s Palm Beach Area Chapter. “Only 60 years ago, survival rates for Drew’s leukemia were 3 percent. Today it’s 92 percent because of our research.”

Tristan Dawson is thankful for those research efforts.

“Without LLS, the protocols for my son would not be in place,” she said. “The survival rates would not be what they are today. Drew would not be where he is today.”

So what’s next for Drew? His sights are set right where an eight-year-old boy’s should be: playing Little League baseball here in Wellington.

To learn more about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, visit www.lls.org/palm-beach-area.


Popular Cycling Classes Keep Members Moving At Ultima Fitness

Popular Cycling Classes Keep Members Moving At Ultima Fitness

Ultima Fitness has been helping people in the Wellington area get and stay fit for more than 20 years. Along with its general exercise space, Ultima offers group classes led by more than 30 instructors. Among them is longtime Ultima staff member Judy Duany.

As operations manager and group fitness director, Duany works to form and maintain relationships with Ultima’s membership. She also instructs a cycling course, and you will not find her on the sidelines when you get on a bike. She is exercising with the group, selecting the music that will propel the attendees into better shape.

“We’re family owned, so you get a feeling of community here,” Duany said. “Friendships are developed here, so members share a common bond when they come in here. It’s more than just show up, do your thing and leave. Everybody is very encouraging and supportive of each other.”

Duany is thoughtful when she says that anybody can get on the exercise bike in her class and have fun. The class allows you to work at your own pace and capability.

“All of our classes are pretty universal, meaning you are in control of your own bike,” Duany said. “You can adjust the tension freely, and you can make it as hard or as challenging as you like.”

Duany uses music in all her classes as a catalyst for a positive workout experience.

“Music is huge, and that’s pretty much what is going to make it or break it in a cycling class,” Duany said. “It’s going to be a long ride if it’s bad music.”

She enjoys the family-oriented feel of the class. “Friendships continue out of the cycle room,” Duany said. “You’ll see many of them walk right across to get coffee together after.”

All of Duany’s classes are by request from the membership, and she keeps the focus on the individuals in the classes. “In order to have fun, it has to be about them,” Duany said. “In order to make it about them, every week is by request, so I take all of the requests, and I build all of my classes around the type of music.”

During one of her classes, music from the 1980s was the theme, and it got everyone up and cycling.

There is room to start and grow in the cycling class. Duany feels that cycling can be a universal exercise to fit different areas that people want to personally improve.

“Mostly people are trying for cardio reasons, weight reduction, strengthening legs, and a lot of people are intimated by cycling,” she said. “They think it’s too hard, or they can’t do it, or they’re not going to be able to keep up. But like I said, everybody can do it.”

Having a great trainer is a major part of the success in cycling classes.

“I just think they need the motivation, and that is what the instructor is here to do — help encourage them and keep them coming back and be their cheerleader,” she said.

Duany feels a great sense of satisfaction from her role as an instructor.

“I love to see when members hit their goals, and they come and tell me, and they either are training for a triathlon, or they’re just trying to increase their cardio, or they’re rehabbing their knee, and I love to hear the success of what it’s doing for them and how much it’s impacting their lives,” Duany said.

She finds that her class, and cycling in general, is a great way to constructively let out negative stress.

“It’s a matter of sometimes just having a bad day, and you just need to come in and cycle and not think about it,” Duany said. “They can choose to do anything, they can choose to go anywhere, when they choose to come to your class. It comes back to being a part of the community and being a part of something, so they feel safe in your class.”

Duany has been part of the Ultima family for close to two decades now. Her role and her hours have changed, since she has become a wife and mother. It is because of the love and support of the family-operated business that she has been able to grow into her leadership roles today.

“I’m more in the back office, addressing member concerns,” Duany said. “It’s another good thing about me being an instructor as well. The relationships that I form, it’s not so formal when people have to come in and ask about their account or speak about their account. I know their faces, and it’s not intimidating. You come in, and you can talk to me in class. It’s the benefit of me crossing over in departments.”

Duany encourages newcomers to her cycling classes.

“It does not require much once you are all set up on your bike,” Duany said. “It’s not like you have to keep thinking and overthinking. You can come in, and you can make it as challenging or as light a workout as you want, compared to some of the other machines out there, where you need to be trained on.”

She also makes sure that members do not get discouraged after one class.

“We have 30 instructors on staff. So, if you don’t like one, try another,” Duany said. “Don’t give up after your first one. That’s what I keep saying, whether it’s any class. There are multiple instructors, definitely something here to fit you, fit your needs and what you’re looking for.”

Ultima Fitness is located in the Wellington Plaza at 12799 W. Forest Hill Blvd. For more information about classes or other services, call (561) 795-2823 or visit www.ultimafitness.com.


‘Get Fit, Not Hit’ At Title Boxing Club’s New Studio In Wellington

‘Get Fit, Not Hit’ At Title Boxing Club’s New Studio In Wellington

With the tagline “get fit, not hit,” Title Boxing Club is out to change the image of the sport from power fighting to high-energy workouts.

“We deliver the best hour of your day. That’s what we do. We are an individualized workout in a group setting. The music is on high, the instructor leads the workout. You come in, and we do the rest. All you have to do is follow along,” General Manager Scott Lewis explained.

Lewis manages both the Wellington and Palm Beach Gardens franchise locations, which are owned by Robert Prince. The Wellington location opened March 1.

Title Boxing Club is affiliated with Title Boxing, the well-known boxing gear company that provides equipment for martial arts, boxing, mixed martial arts and more. It seemed only fitting that the company expand into Title Boxing Club, a place where the average person can learn the sport of boxing using Title Boxing gear.

Unlike the popular image of boxing, Title Boxing Club members feature a high percentage of women.

“When I saw the first class,” Prince recalled, “I walked in, and it was 60 percent women. As I was talking to them, it struck me that this is something that would help people, and people would like.”

Title Boxing Club offers both boxing and kickboxing classes in a friendly, high-energy atmosphere, with different membership packages, including unlimited classes, with the club’s seven instructors, including UFC fighter Jorge Rivera.

“Our instructors are all pro and amateur mixed martial artists and boxers, as well as certified fitness professionals, and they will walk you through the class,” Lewis said. “They show you the technique, but also give you a killer workout that will burn 600 to 1,000 calories per class. With our classes, you learn a skill as you get an amazing workout.”

Classes are offered throughout the day from 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Noon classes Monday through Friday are a half hour. There are also signature hour classes called “Power Hour” that include a 15-minute warmup, 30 minutes of bag work and 15 minutes of core work. On Saturday and Sunday, there is a 75-minute morning class. Group strength training, fundamentals classes and private training are also offered.

“It’s not Rocky where there’s a ring and somebody spitting in a bucket. It’s a completely different experience. We’re a club, we’re a studio, basically, that has bags,” Prince said. “We have an instructor every day who is teaching you what to do. All you have to do is get over the threshold.”

The clubs are up to 75 percent women, Lewis said, explaining that the workout is tough enough for a man but designed to be empowering and comfortable for women.

There are lockers available, and loaner gloves for first classes. There are 48 heavy bags that weigh more than 100 pounds. There’s an interlocking cage system holding up 48 elevated heavy bags.

“You get a resistance workout as you hit it, as well as a cardio burn, so you build lean muscle as you’re burning calories,” Lewis explained. “Here, you can always learn a new technique with your punching and kicking.”

The typical bag weighs about 50 pounds, he said, pointing out that the bags they use are approximately 6 feet long.

“That’s what differentiates us and our workouts from our competitors,” Lewis said.

Other specialized equipment includes a speed bag, a double-end bag, as well as medicine balls and other weightlifting equipment, providing for an engaging workout that allows members to focus on the workout rather than their problems of the day.

“We’re completely non-threatening. You don’t have to be in any particular shape, size, you just come,” Prince said. “You can be uncoordinated, you can be coordinated. You can have boxed. You could have kickboxed before, or, like 98 percent of our members, you’ve never touched a glove before. You just want a good workout — somebody to help you to achieve the goals that you want.”

At Title Boxing Club, boxing gear is available for purchase, ensuring that the proper gear is used at the high-energy, community-centric club.

“The initial concept of Title Boxing really was to train the average person like a fighter trains. A fighter doesn’t come in and spar every day — we don’t do that here, nobody gets hit here — we do everything else that a fighter does. Eighty-eight percent of what a fighter does is conditioning,” Prince explained.

Attending and participating in classes with the trainers helps members reach their goals. “At the end of the day, personal training is always important, especially in the case where somebody comes in and they want to get stronger, or in the case where they want to lose weight,” Prince said. “We’re here, and we believe in our members, and we want to meet what their needs are. Everyone likes a challenge.”

Prince likened Title Boxing Club to golf, where practice and participation increases skills. “You want to get more involved, and you want to get better at it,” he said.

Wellington’s Title Boxing Club holds special community events with partners Buffalo Wild Wings, Glazed and Confused, Hand & Stone and other local companies. Recently, there was a special event called Boxing After Dark, with glow-in-the-dark accessories.

“It’s a community club,” Prince said. “We do fun events, like member get-togethers and member socials.”

They also work within the community, including the Knockout Parkinson’s program, offering classes for those with Parkinson’s disease to have workouts that help with their symptoms. Employees also visit at St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital with mitts and gloves. “We probably get more out of it than the kids,” Prince said.

Special classes will also take place at the Mall at Wellington Green, including jiu-jitsu, strength/conditioning and women’s self-defense as part of a group of fitness businesses working together with Nordstrom.

Each month, Title Boxing Club holds an open house event with a different theme. Prince offers the first class for free, allowing people to learn more about the facility. Prospective members should come in a half hour early to get settled.

Title Boxing Club Wellington is located at 2863 S. State Road 7, Suite 100. For more information, call (561) 660-8212 or visit www.titleboxingclub.com/wellington-fl. Find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/titleboxingclubwellington.


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