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Wellington Holiday Parade To Honor Longtime Organizer Dennis Witkowski As Grand Marshal On Sunday, Dec. 9

Wellington Holiday Parade To Honor Longtime Organizer Dennis Witkowski As Grand Marshal On Sunday, Dec. 9

Wellington’s Holiday Parade is 35 years old — older than the Village of Wellington itself. Presented by the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce, this year’s parade on Sunday, Dec. 9 will give attendees a chance to thank its visionary organizer, Dennis Witkowski, who will be honored as this year’s grand marshal.

As self-effacing as he is popular, Witkowski never would have agreed to such a thing, so the vote was taken when he was absent.

“Dennis missed a committee meeting, and we took that opportunity to make him grand marshal,” laughed Mary Lou Bedford, CEO of the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce. “Typically, the grand marshal rides in front, but because Dennis organizes the entire parade, he’ll come up right before Santa Claus at the end.”

Witkowski envisioned the parade when Wellington, then an unincorporated community, was in its infancy. As people began to move to the area, and the first chamber of commerce was formed, he wanted a signature event to bring the western communities together. He brought his idea to the chamber board, and the rest is history.

“It’s half of my life. I’m 71 now,” Witkowski said. “In the beginning, my line was that I did it because I wanted to give something back to the community that had been so good to me.”

Over time, however, Witkowski came to a realization. “It’s not only doing something for the community — the parade gives me so much. The parade feeds me, I don’t feed it. It’s so rewarding; it gives me a warmth all over. I love it! I look forward to it all year,” he said. “It’s a love of my life; the next thing to family to me. It’s like an extra child — something I birthed and helped grow up. It’s part of my fabric.”

Witkowski estimates that when the parade was born in 1983, there were about 6,000 people living in Wellington. The first few parades attracted about 3,000 spectators.

“Now we have 3,000 participants in the parade, and about 20,000 spectators,” he said. “We have 10 marching bands, up from two. When we started, there was no commercial business on State Road 7 at all. There was one orange orchard near Forest Hill where you could get a glass of orange juice and look at an alligator. Now there are 60,000 residents in Wellington alone, and the parade is the same great blending of the community that it has always been — the deputies and firemen working in concert with the Village of Wellington and the chamber to make it the seamless event that it is.”

Witkowski is particularly proud of the fact that many of the early decisions made regarding the parade were good decisions — the staging, the dispersal, the order of march and, of course, the route. Not much of that has changed in 35 years.

The Holiday Parade will step off at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9, and run along Forest Hill Blvd. from the original Wellington Mall at Wellington Trace to the Wellington Community Center.

“A few times over the years, people wanted to consider a different route,” Witkowski recalled. “They talked about moving it to different communities, or down South Shore Blvd. due to traffic concerns. But the fact that we’ve had consistency is another wonderful part of it. Come that Sunday in December, everybody knows where it starts and where it ends. It inconveniences travel on Forest Hill for a few hours a year, but that’s a small price to pay. The crowds get bigger each year, and people sign up earlier, and everyone’s excited to know what the theme is so they can start planning for it earlier.”

This year’s parade theme, by the way, is “Holiday in Paradise.”

The floats, the marching bands, the dancers — everyone has their favorite part of the parade, including Witkowski himself.

“My favorite entries are the littlest ones,” he said. “The mothers are always concerned if they’re going to be able to walk that far, but they always make it. A couple of people now serving on the Wellington Village Council remember being in the parade as children, and now their kids are in it.”

Witkowski can relate to that. “One of the dearest memories that my wife Maureen and I share is of the first year, when my kids were riding in the back of a horse-drawn wagon,” he recalled. “The wagon hit a bump, and one of my sons fell out. No one let him move until we came to take him to the emergency room. He was complaining of a buzzing in his head, and we were worried he had a concussion. It turned out that a beetle had crawled into his ear while he was lying on the ground.”

Bedford said that Witkowski is a great family man, businessman and leader. “Our crew is so great, and Dennis gets them to pull together,” she said. “On parade day, he stands up there, very imposing, like a conductor. It doesn’t hurt that he’s tall, of course, but he’s just such a good person. The other volunteers work to line everyone up, and Dennis paces everybody and greets them all. It’s a labor of love that he does with enthusiasm.”

For more information about the Wellington Holiday Parade, call (561) 790-6200 or visit www.cpbchamber.com/holiday-parade.

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Wellington Dinner Dance Marks 31 Years Serving Boys & Girls Club

Wellington Dinner Dance Marks 31 Years Serving
Boys & Girls Club

The Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington will be holding its largest fundraiser of the year on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 at the Wycliffe Golf & Country Club. Proceeds will directly benefit the educational programs of the organization, one of 13 Boys & Girls Club locations serving nearly 8,600 Palm Beach County children between the ages of 6 and 18.

Founded in 1971, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County is a not-for-profit youth development organization dedicated to promoting the educational, vocational, health, leadership and character of boys and girls in a safe, nurturing environment. Clubs like Wellington’s provide more than a fun and constructive alternative to being home alone — they offer a variety of award-winning developmental programs to help youth build skills, self-esteem and values during critical periods of growth. Club sites are intentionally located in resource-constrained neighborhoods throughout Palm Beach County, bridging the financial opportunity gap between various communities.

“It is an honor and a pleasure to have the opportunity to give back to the Wellington community,” said Nicolette Goldfarb, chair of the Wellington Dinner Dance and recently elected chair of the club’s advisory board.

Goldfarb’s 2019 co-chairs include Georgina Bloomberg, Dr. Ramprasad Gopalan, Julie Khanna and Marley Goodman-Overman. Honorary chairs are Dr. Edward and Maria Becker, Eric and Jennifer Goldman, and John and Julie Kime.

The event is one of the most anticipated highlights of Wellington’s social season, attracting high-profile equestrians, philanthropists and community leaders. The Wycliffe clubhouse will be magically transformed into an exquisite secret garden. Cocktails begin at 6:30 p.m. with plenty of time for browsing the large silent auction.

 

Attire is optional black tie. Dinner and dancing will begin at 7:30 p.m. Returning by request for this year’s live entertainment will be the Miami-based band HyRyZe. Crafting a cross-cultural musical platform, HyRyZe evokes and samples favorite artists with an eclectic approach bursting with energy, soul and fun. The multi-talented instrumentalists and vocalists will again have guests excited to dance the night away.

 

A committee made up of dedicated members of the Wellington community has come together to plan the gala and continue the club’s legacy. “Each dedicated chair and committee member brings something extraordinary to the table. They are instrumental in achieving our goal of enhancing the lives of youth,” said Jaene Miranda, CEO and president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, who is deeply grateful for the group’s time and dedication to the mission of the Wellington club.

The Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club Dinner Dance Committee members for 2019 include Mariam Abram, Susan Ferraro, Shelly B. Goodman, Dr. Colette Brown Graham, Heidi Harland, Crystal Hochman, Kimberly Leland, Jennifer Martinez, Kila Mistry, Dr. Druhti Pandit, Dr. Daxa Patel, Charlene Ramos, Lindsay Strafuss, Kathryn Walton and Becky Wisnicki.

Through quality programs, the club experience gives children the guidance they need to make a healthy transition from childhood to young adulthood. The Boys & Girls Club model has received the highest effectiveness rating from the National Dropout Prevention Center. Club members graduate at a higher rate than the general population. Regular attendees perform better in school, make healthier choices and volunteer thousands of hours. Although nationally recognized, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County is locally run, responsible for raising its own funds, allowing every site to be responsive to the specific needs of the neighborhood and youth served.

The Wellington Dinner Dance has been instrumental in the club’s expansion plans, which included a $3.6 million, 22,500-square-foot state-of-the-art facility that transformed the Boys & Girls Club presence in Wellington five years ago and now provides after-school care for hundreds more local children in need. Today, more than 450 youth benefit from such programs at the Wellington club, which features a full gym, computer room, dance and music studios, and game rooms.

While Wellington has an average household income of nearly $90,000, more than 63 percent of club children live in households with annual incomes less than $40,000.

Goldfarb said that her fellow committee members are an incredibly dedicated group of volunteers, drawn from a wide cross section of our community. “Together, we use our various areas of expertise to bring quality programming to a growing number of area youth. By setting young people on a path to a bright future, we ensure a more positive future for us all,” she said.

Sponsorships and underwriting opportunities for the Jan. 4 event are available at all levels. For more info., contact Christine Martin at (561) 683-3287 or cmartin@bgcpbc.org. Individual tickets are $250 per person and available at www.bgcpbc.org.

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Historical Society Works On Building A Future By Preserving The Past

Historical Society Works On Building A Future By
Preserving The Past

Knowing an area’s history provides a foundation for the culture and allows for a deeper understanding of the modern-day community, and the Village of Wellington is no different.

But, as a young community when compared to more established areas, the question arises: When does it become important to think of the past as history? The newly founded Wellington Historical Society seeks to address that very issue.

“The mission of the Wellington Historical Society is to celebrate Wellington’s unique history through gathering, preserving and sharing its past for the benefit of generations to come,” Wellington Historical Society President Laurie Cohen explained.

Cohen is not only the president, but also a founder of the Wellington Historical Society. She also serves as Wellington’s village attorney and is a former member of the Wellington Village Council. Years ago, she traveled to New York with her husband for a high school reunion and visited a historical society while there.

“They had a building with videos, historical photographs, oral histories — and I thought, ‘We should start doing this in Wellington now,’” Cohen said.

Thus, the project of forming a group dedicated to preserving Wellington’s past began. The Wellington Historical Society is now a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization, and in January 2018 held its first official board meeting.

The organization is building a solid foundation early, taking inspiration and advice from other similar organizations. When approaching the Palm Beach County Historical Society, the founders were encouraged to also begin documenting the history of the Wellington Historical Society itself.

New members can join at any time, and the society’s numbers grow with each new meeting, event and mixer. Secretary MaryJo Shockley described what drew her to become a part of the organization.

“The love that I have for Wellington made me want to join. At 16 years, this is the longest I’ve lived anywhere,” she said. “I’ve raised three boys here. I knew when I searched it out, this was a great community. It was the place I wanted to retire.”

Board Member Chuck Edgar sees limitless potential for growth as Wellington’s history expands each year.

“I’d like to see us personally do a connection to famous athletes or other notable people. We already have a Major League Baseball player and an American Idol contestant, but also council members who grew up here,” Edgar said.

How exactly is history preserved? The Wellington Historical Society has already begun the task of gathering artifacts, documenting stories and developing programs, such as lectures.

“We are in the phase of collecting things like documents and artifacts, aerials and photographs,” Cohen said. “The items are stored in an air-conditioned space.”

Eventually, these items will have a permanent home on display for the public to enjoy, but for now, the organization is focused on growing smart. It is important to both the board and members to take care of Wellington’s history in a professional and sustainable manner.

“We want to be accountable to the community,” Edgar said. “We are asking them to entrust their history to us.”

It is not difficult to see the future significance of unique artifacts, such as the original desk of first Wellington Mayor Kathy Foster.

“There were no council offices at the time,” Cohen explained. “It was used for her design studio and mayoral duties alike.”

Other interesting items include aerials and photographs of pre-developed Wellington, a Wellington board game and an old phone book from the earliest days of this growing community.

“We are working on creating traveling exhibits for use in schools,” Cohen said. “We want to incorporate an educational component and work to show the schools how we came to be what we are today.”

The opportunities for community involvement reach beyond the classroom.

“Not only the schools, but I envision our active seniors and other organizations being interested in seeing the artifacts they were a part of. It’s going to span all age groups,” Edgar said.

This means that members can do much more than attend meetings. There are also a variety of volunteer opportunities.

“We are a solid place for volunteers to put their time and investment into,” Shockley said.

Depending on a volunteer’s interests and talents, there are tasks for all cross-sections of the community. Research, archiving, computer program development and curriculum design are just a few of the available options.

But, as Edgar pointed out, all this work takes time and money.

“We do look for financial support from the community because this is not free,” Edgar said. “We are doing our best to make it easy to support us. Fundraising is a means, but not our No. 1 goal.”

One way to be a part of Wellington’s history forever is to participate in momentous events, like the organization’s upcoming New Year’s Eve Gala.

“This is a significant date for Wellington. The first certificates of occupancy were issued on Dec. 31, 1973. We were incorporated on Dec. 31, 1995, and the Village Hall opened on Dec. 31, 2010,” Cohen said.

The New Year’s Eve Gala will be held on Monday, Dec. 31 at the Wellington National Golf Club. It will be a party filled with dancing and cocktails before watching the ball drop at midnight. Guests can purchase tickets online or by mail, and sponsorships for tables at the party are available. Call Event Chair Karen Cavanagh at (561) 798-9254 for more information.

“We want this event to be so successful it will become a part of our history,” Shockley said.

To learn more about donating items, funds, volunteering and events, call (561) 227-1582 or visit the Wellington Historical Society web site at ww.wellingtonhistoricalsociety.org.

 

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Bring A Little Sparkle To Your Holiday Fashion

Bring A Little Sparkle To Your Holiday Fashion

Bring a little sparkle to your holiday wardrobe. Sparkle is what this season has seen on runways from New York to Milan. With silky, sexy satins to glittery-glam styles you can change up for every occasion. And who doesn’t love playing dress up? There is no better time than the holidays!

We’re sure you fashionable ladies are going to be looking for the perfect party dress — or dresses — to dazzle during this month’s festivities. Whether you lean toward short or long, elegant or modern, vibrant in color or subtle, it comes down to how the dress makes you feel when you slip it on.

It does not matter how beautiful a gown or dress may be, if it does not make you feel like you light up the room when you walk in, it’s not the one for you.

Since the holidays are all about dresses, it is important to choose which style is best for you to feel sensational on the party circuit.

Wellington The Magazine teamed up this holiday season with Borola Services, the talent agency that discovered local talent Kimberly Carvajal and Tatiana Jancowski, along with La Casa Hermosa of Wellington. La Casa Hermosa dressed and styled our models featured throughout this fashion pictorial and front cover. It was photographed on location at one of our featured amazing dining experiences, Kaluz Restaurant.

We hope you enjoy your holiday affairs and your sparkle is as bright as a shooting star.

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Holiday Dining Guide

Holiday Dining Guide

After the all the hard work that went into preparing the perfect Thanksgiving meal, and the extended family set to return at the end of this month, the holiday season is the perfect time to take a break from the kitchen and explore some of the amazing dining options available right here in Wellington. From new restaurants guaranteed to tempt your palate, to popular longtime establishments you’ll want to return to again and again, we’ve gathered a list of places to visit for a great meal this festive season. Raise a glass and toast to a tasty end to 2018!

The Trophy Room 12300 South Shore Blvd., Mizner Place, Wellington www.trophyroomrestaurant.com
One of the most anticipated new restaurants opening this season in Wellington will be the Trophy Room. Currently nearing completion in the Mizner Place plaza on South Shore Blvd., the Trophy Room is the brainchild of Rob Gray and Teddy Vlock of T&R Restaurant Group. The Trophy Room is taking over the location of longtime Wellington hotspot the Grille Fashion Cuisine. Major renovations include a new dining room, bar and lounge. In addition, the Trophy Room will offer private dining for up to 35 and outdoor seating on the garden terrace. The design is modern and cozy with an eye toward the late-night crowd. Guests will be treated to sleek and plush furniture designed to evoke a nighttime vibe. The menu, designed by Executive Chef Joseph Bonavita Jr., will draw from New American cuisine and small plates designed to be shared. For more info., call (561) 793-2110 or visit ww.trophyroomrestaurant.com.

 

Kaluz Restaurant 2025 Wellington Green Drive, Wellington www.kaluzrestaurant.com

After establishing itself on the Intracoastal in Fort Lauderdale, Kaluz Restaurant recently opened a second location right here in Wellington — and quickly became a go-to location for a sophisticated lunch or an upscale night out. With its inspired menu of New American cuisine and see-and-be-seen atmosphere, Kaluz is certainly an amazing place to try if you haven’t yet been there. The Wellington restaurant features a sleek, modern and clean-looking aesthetic with an open 45-table dining room, a 35-seat island bar and 15 tables on a covered outside seating area. Those dining at the restaurant have views of calming waterfall features, the open-exhibition kitchen and the many architectural focal points throughout the facility. Kaluz Restaurant serves up lunch, happy hour, dinner and Sunday brunch. For more information, call (561) 784-5500 or visit www.kaluzrestaurant.com.

 

Lemongrass Bistro 10312 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 204, Wellington www.lemongrassasianbistro.com

Lemongrass Asian Bistro arrived in Wellington earlier this year to rave reviews. The first Lemongrass Asian Bistro opened in 2006, and in just a decade, has grown to include locations in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach and now Wellington. The Wellington location is in the Mall at Wellington Green. Lemongrass prides itself on not simply serving a meal, but also offering a unique dining experience that includes new and innovative Asian-inspired dishes. The specialty of the house is the handcrafted dumplings, which are made daily and served with homemade sauce. Enjoy them steamed or pan-fried in a variety of styles. The restaurant uses only the freshest ingredients providing dishes with unique flavors. The same stylistic approach is also used with their sushi and unique cocktails. For more information, visit www.lemongrassasianbistrowellington.com or call (561) 459-1598.

 

 

Olis Fashion Cuisine 10610 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 20, Wellington www.olisfashioncuisine.com

Oli’s Fashion Cuisine shares its namesake with the Village of Wellington — pre-development landowner Charles Oliver Wellington. Located in Wellington Green Square in front of the Mall at Wellington Green, the restaurant pays homage to Wellington’s agricultural heritage by using the finest local ingredients and flavors. The restaurant is both modern and sophisticated as co-owners Dustin Parfitt and Juan Gando have been bringing Palm Beach-style dining to Wellington since 2010. One of Wellington’s most popular hotspots, it is a favorite with snowbirds, tourists and locals alike. The cuisine served at Oli’s is both fashionable and delicious, while the restaurant itself affords local residents the perfect meeting spot and nightlife without having to venture far from home. Enjoy your meal in the upscale dining room or at the comfortable outside bistro. For more info., call (561) 792-2220 or visit www.olisfashioncuisine.com.

 

The Beauty And The Beeeef 10300 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 239, Wellington www.thebeautyandthebeeeef.com

The Beauty and the Beeef, located in the Mall at Wellington Green, is a top contender for the best burgers in Wellington. The restaurant is a great spot to party with friends and watch any number of sporting events while sampling the amazing food, such as the oversized burgers it is known for, tasty Kool-Aid pickles, crunchy and gooey grilled cheese sandwiches, and Canadian favorites, such as poutine. The location is unlike any other in the western communities, and its design was inspired by its founder, a designer and skateboarder with a passion for punk and alternative music. With expert bar mixology on full display served in eclectic mason jars, the Beauty and the Beeeef is not just a place to eat and drink, but to live. For more information, call (561) 612-4511 or visit www.thebeautyandthebeeef.com.

 

Catania Italian Restaurant 4115 State Road 7 in the Marketplace at Wycliffe www.cataniarestaurant.com

Catania Italian Restaurant serves up traditional Italian family-style dining. This type of dining experience has become difficult to find as the way families eat out has changed. Large portions of Italian fare are eagerly served up by the friendly staff within Catania’s Marketplace at Wycliffe location on State Road 7 at Lake Worth Road. The individual and family-style menus feature traditional Italian dishes passed down from family recipes, as well as pizza and calzones. Guests can be seated inside in the main dining room, outside on the quiet patio or in the lively bar area. Live entertainment is routinely offered at the restaurant to give couples young and old a complete night out of dining and celebrating all in a single venue. For more information, call (561) 355-5900 or visit www.cataniarestaurant.com.

 

Champions Bistro 400 Binks Forest Drive, Wellington www.wellingtonnationalgolfclub.com

Champions Bistro opened earlier this year as the new full-service restaurant at the Wellington National Golf Club on Binks Forest Drive. The restaurant allows diners the option of either a classy night out or a casual place to gather with friends. Champions Bistro offers both indoor and outdoor dining, with the outdoor seating located on a travertine terrace known as the 18th Overlook. Interior features of the venue include an open-air kitchen, as well as bold colors, and ample table and booth seating. The menu offers traditional American cuisine with signature and vegetarian dishes to enjoy. Champions Bistro also boasts a full-size bar where guests can relax with friends and family within the sophisticated setting of the Wellington National Golf Club. For more information, or to learn about membership opportunities, visit www.wellingtonnationalgolfclub.com or call (561) 333-5731.

 

La Fogata 11924 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 28, Wellington www.lafogatawellington.com

La Fogata Mexican Cuisine opened its doors in Wellington’s Town Square plaza in 2004. Since then, it has established itself as one of the best spots in the area for authentic Mexican food. The dishes are derived from family recipes that originate from Mexico and, when combined with only the freshest ingredients, emphasize an authentic Mexican flavor. A meal at La Fogata begins with complimentary chips and mild salsa, to which you can also add freshly made guacamole, queso dip or bean dip. When it comes time to order, if you’re new to the menu, try the Carne Asada or the Sopa de Mariscos. Dinner pairs well with La Fogata’s homemade slushy margaritas. While the restaurant has a vibrant and energetic atmosphere, La Fogata is the ideal place for an entire family to enjoy lunch or dinner in a friendly setting. For more information, call (561) 422-1641 or visit www.lafogatawellington.com.

 

Casa Tequila 12795 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington www.greatmexicancuisine.com

Located in the Wellington Plaza at the corner of Forest Hill Blvd. and Wellington Trace, Casa Tequila prides itself on serving authentic Mexican cuisine and cocktails. The restaurant has an atmosphere that is both friendly and lively — and that is best exemplified during dinner and weekends, when a full mariachi band performs. Casa Tequila serves up appetizers that are great for sharing before partaking in one of the traditional Mexican dishes on the menu, such as the sizzling fajitas. Can’t make up your mind? Try one of the combination plates. Be sure to also try one of the margaritas, and no meal is complete without enjoying the restaurant’s homemade sweet and rich flan for dessert. Casa Tequila is a family-owned restaurant affiliated with a number of other Mexican eateries in South Florida. For more information, call (561) 557-1378 or visit www.greatmexicancuisine.com.

 

Wellington Trace Tavern 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington www.wttavern.com

The Wellington Trace Tavern has a new chef and owners who have created an eclectic new design for both the restaurant and the menu. Located in the original Wellington Mall, the restaurant is now half tavern and half warm wood restaurant. The menu features creative offerings that really garner the accolades and return customer visits. Among the more uncommon dishes at the restaurant is duck, which has become difficult to find on menus in recent years, but nevertheless has taken center stage on dinner plates at Wellington Trace Tavern. Also popular is the New York strip steak flashed with a signature bourbon glaze. The restaurant is perfect for dining with friends and family to sample either more creative choices or standard fare like burgers with onion rings. Check out the restaurant for its cozy atmosphere, great food and stellar service. For more information, call (561) 469-1109 or visit www.wttavern.com.

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The Wellington Wizards Youth Rugby Club An Emerging Powerhouse

The Wellington Wizards Youth Rugby Club An Emerging Powerhouse

The Wellington Wizards Youth Rugby Club is not looking for just one back-to-back state championship this coming rugby season. Instead, the club will be looking for a quartet of back-to-back state titles — in four different age groups.

Last April, at the Hobe Sound Polo Club, the Wizards won Florida Youth Rugby age division state titles in the Under 9s, Under 13s, Under 15s and Girls Under 19s. And in every state championship game, Wellington defeated a team from the Okapi Wanderers Rugby Club from Weston, its new arch rival.

It’s worth noting that since the Wellington Wizards Youth Rugby Club was founded in December 2014, the club has actually won a total of seven Florida age division state titles — one each in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and then four more state crowns earlier this year.

Looking back to last spring, the Under 9s, coached by Wellington’s Mack Andrew, actually won two state titles last season, going undefeated during the regular season and then winning the state championship game against the Okapi Wanderers. In the championship finale, the Wizards and Okapi were tied at halftime. The Wizards eventually emerged victorious, three trys to two trys. In rugby, a try, which is worth five points, is this sport’s equivalent of a touchdown in football. Jadyn Mack was named MVP of the match — the first girl to ever win it.

The Under 13s, coached by Wellington’s Jaime Rivera, won a state title for the second straight year. In the 2018 final, the Wizards scored first when Angelina Sanchez was a catalyst for her squad with a 40-yard scamper down the right sideline for a try in the first two minutes of the match. That early score energized her teammates, who scored again two minutes later. By the final whistle, Wellington defeated Okapi, seven trys to three trys.

“It was truly amazing to watch. In my 25 years in youth sports, I have never seen such an unselfish team,” said Wellington resident Alan Lawson, Wizards club president, on the season-long performance of the Under 13s. “This team had 23 players, and not one player ever complained about playing time. Only 15 players were on the field at any given time, and they all cheered for one another all season long. We all learned something about their character.”

“It was amazing to watch the unselfish play by the whole team,” Rivera added.

When the Wizards’ Under 15 squad walked on the field for its state title game, there was strong motivation to reverse its regular season opening-game one-point loss to Okapi. The young Wizards did just that, as they dominated the game from the outset, winning 31-14. The team’s trys were scored by Kam’Ron Young, Rayshawn Calloway and Snyder Elveus-Cantave, while Luke Davis had three two-point conversion kicks in the game. The Wizards’ top tacklers were Domenico Fusca, Mason Green, Will Rimes, Presley Sayavong, Pasqual Sanchez and Kam’Ron Young. The Under 15s were coached by Rivera and Mark Patterson of Boynton Beach.

“It was a season-long process learning a brand-new sport at a high level,” Patterson explained. “Half of our team were rookies who had never seen a rugby ball, much less played the sport. The veterans on the team understood they would need to help the coaching staff to get the new guys up-to-speed to have a winning squad.”

Patterson said that the team demonstrated maturity and character, buying into the coaching philosophy and executing it at every practice and match. “They built their trust within each other and played for their ‘brother’ next to him, and that made all the difference in the world,” he said.

Lawson also heaped praise on the Under 15 team.

“These boys were true gentlemen to the sport and played with grace and dignity,” he said. “We cannot wait to see them grow over the next few years.”

The final state championship game that day was in Girls Under 19. The Lady Wizards, a squad which had been undefeated in the regular season, had been besting opponents by an average margin of 30 points a game.

In the state championship finale, they dominated the game from beginning to end, winning 37-12. The MVP and top scorer of the game was Nicole Wantlin, who had three trys in the game. Wantlin is currently enrolled at West Point, where she is now playing rugby after graduating from Wellington High School.

“We were undefeated in regular season play and we came in second place in the open division in the Tropical Sevens Tournament [in Orlando], and had a learning experience in a loss against a Midwest Under 19s select side [all-star team] earlier this year,” girls head coach Sean Keasler of Wellington said. “We’ve had a long and trying season this year. The state championship was the cherry on top. We still have a lot of work to do for next year. Our next biggest hurdle for the 2019 season is recruiting new players, getting new girls teams in the mix for the upcoming season, and growing the sport of rugby for girls in Florida.”

The Lady Wizards finished with an overall record of 12-1.

For the upcoming season, Lawson expects at least 130 players to register to play for the many teams that the Wizards currently sponsor — U9s, U11s, U13s, U15s, U17s and U19s. That’s a big jump from the first year, when just 23 players decided to sign up for this new sport.

Just like last year, there will be a boys and a girls team at the U19 level. All the squads will practice on the football field at Emerald Cove Middle School in Wellington.

To learn more about the Wellington Wizards Youth Rugby Club, visit the www.wizards rugby.com or contact Lawson at alawson32@yahoo.com or (214) 282-9788. You can also find the Wizards on Facebook at Wizards Rugby Club. For more information about the state association, visit www.floridarugby.org.

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The Patio At Polo Shines As A Premier Dining And Event Space

The Patio At Polo Shines As A Premier Dining And Event Space

The Patio At Polo is back, celebrating its third year as a Wellington staple. Sheila Motley and chef Mat Allen’s stand-alone seasonal restaurant and event space has returned and is welcoming the community to experience its intimate atmosphere and bold dishes.

The husband-and-wife team, along with their young son Collins, are the driving forces and creative minds behind this enchanting dining locale, situated within the Palm Beach Polo & Country Club. Combining Motley’s talents for event management and catering with Allen’s skills in the kitchen, the family-run restaurant has quickly become one of the community’s most charming jewels.

“We had the idea for the Patio At Polo because we spend so much time here each year that we wanted a way to utilize our skills in the culinary industry, as well as provide Wellington with a new and unique spot to enjoy wonderful food coupled with a great environment,” Motley explained. “I’m so proud that our vision came to fruition. We’ve had such a warm reception, and I’m excited to return for our third year of business.”

Overflowing with character thanks to its open-air concept, creative dishes and a wine list curated specifically with Wellington residents in mind, the Patio At Polo benefits from the combined talents of both culinary expert owners.

Classically trained chef Allen, who has worked for the Queen of England and the Royal Family at Windsor Castle, oversees the menu and food preparation. Guests can expect to be treated to premier cuisine sure to impress.

With a reputation for success in the catering and event planning spheres, Motley knows how to navigate the intricacies associated with event organization. A longtime equestrian, her ties to Wellington go beyond the dining scene and extend into the winner’s circle at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Between Motley and Allen, the dynamic pair pose the perfect skill set to build and grow their restaurant.

“I follow Sheila,” Allen laughed. “Really, our little man, Collins, is the big boss. He runs the show. He preps, he greets tables and he tells the servers when the tables need water or checks.”

Though Allen is quick to credit his wife and son, he is equal part of the family trio holding the reins. With much experience as a first-class chef, Allen brings his culinary expertise to the first-rate menu. The team at the Patio At Polo are experts at preparing both traditional favorites and unique, new dishes. Whether you’re craving to try something new or savor a traditional favorite, the dynamic menu is sure to excite, featuring classics such as a burger trio and fish tacos, complemented by plentiful options for the more adventurous palate, including seared scallops in a butternut puree, shrimp and grits in a bacon marmalade, and sun-dried tomato basil ice cream.

Adding to the appeal, the restaurant offers a uniquely family-friendly setting to appease both adults and children. Situated on an expansive lawn, it allows for children to play together beside the open-air restaurant within clear view of their parents, making for a stress-free and memorable dining experience for the whole family.

“We wanted to give Wellington what it deserves — to give them something new, something creative and something different,” Allen said. “People enjoy the Patio At Polo because they feel like they can escape a bit. You feel like you’re not in town. You get out of the shopping malls, the strip malls and the parking lots. Our space is unique in that sense.”

The Patio At Polo exemplifies the best that Wellington has to offer in a casual, yet elegant, atmosphere. Boasting a charming ambiance and an inventive menu, the unique open-air restaurant has been garnering local praise and attracting sold-out crowds.

“We have been so lucky that the community has accepted the Patio At Polo so warmly. Mat and I had wanted to open a restaurant in Wellington for quite a while, and to have it thriving means a lot to us,” Motley said. “We love inviting first-time diners to experience the restaurant, but seeing returning faces is especially rewarding. All of the support has given us another reason to do what we love.”

The Patio At Polo is located at 11198 Polo Club Road in Wellington. With the winter season in full swing, reservations are recommended. For more information, call or text (561) 660-3300. To view the current menu, visit www.thepatioatpolo.com.

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Allen Gillespie Of PC Pros Help Individuals And Businesses With Computer Repairs

Allen Gillespie Of PC Pros Help Individuals And Businesses With Computer Repairs

Allen Gillespie has been working professionally on computers since 2006. In 2011, he opened PC Pros of Wellington in the original Wellington Mall. Since that time, he has become the go-to computer expert for many individuals and businesses within Wellington and the surrounding communities.

Gillespie grew up in Wellington. His father, electrical engineer James Gillespie, brought his family from West Palm Beach to Wellington to build a new home on a large lot in Paddock Park, Phase 1.

“Wellington was a fresh, up-and-coming community,” Gillespie recalled. “My parents wanted a big lot and good schools.”

Gillespie attended Forest Hill High School before graduating from Wellington High School. He went on to graduate in 2003 from the New England Institute of Technology in Rhode Island with a degree in network engineering.

Gillespie now lives in Royal Palm Beach with his wife Cristina. They have two children together — Peyton, 3, named for Peyton Manning, and Conor, 1, named for Conor McGregor. Also part of the family are Cristina’s children from a previous relationship, Ethan, a student at Wellington High School, and Savanna, a student at Wellington Landings Middle School.

After operating out of his home for five years, Gillespie chose to open a full-service retail location focused on computer repairs. He chose the original Wellington Mall because of a close relationship between his father and the Santamaria family, owners of the building.

“My dad had a business for years in the nearby professional building,” Gillespie explained. “When this spot opened up, he helped negotiate my first lease. It’s small, but perfect. This is the heart of Wellington.”

Gillespie enjoys a healthy business as a result of his reputation, expertise and location.

“Every year, it has just been growing,” he said. “I’ve been around a long time, and everyone comes back to me. I try to take care of as much of Wellington as I possibly can.”

Roughly 65 percent of PC Pros’ customer base is personal computer users, with the remaining 35 percent consisting of small to mid-size businesses.

“I provide end-user support,” Gillespie said. “The most common problems are viruses, or the device won’t turn on.”

Having worked professionally with computers since his college education in the early 2000s, Gillespie has had a front-row seat for many technological developments.

“There is a transition from desktops to laptops and tablets,” Gillespie said. “The trend is going more mobile. Many people are on the go traveling, such as students with laptops going off to college. Everything is getting smaller and smaller. They can cram a lot of stuff into a smaller case.”

The number-one complaint users bring Gillespie is that their existing computers and laptops are slow. He fixes this issue through a process he calls “supercharging.”

“It makes a world of difference,” Gillespie explained. “I give customers options, but the speed and warranty sells them. It’s my bread and butter. I do about two a day and 40 to 50 a month.”

“Supercharging” involves installing a solid-state hard drive, which benchmark tests have shown are 20 times faster than a normal hard drive. Gillespie then migrates their software to the new drive and installs a clean version of Windows 10 with the latest software and anti-virus updates. The result is often an upgraded computer or laptop that is faster than a new device.

Gillespie offers the service for $200 including parts and labor for a desktop and $250 for a laptop. His next most common service is RAM upgrades.

Having worked in the computer industry for so long, Gillespie has seen it all, including his share of strange and unusual encounters.

“A customer moved from New York, and his laptop wouldn’t turn on,” Gillespie recalled. “I was getting deeper into the computer and heard this clicking sound. There were roaches inside. They were all over my shop, and I had to bomb it with insecticides. I literally found bugs in the computer.”

In a similar vein, Gillespie once made a call to a mechanic’s shop to work on a desktop that would not power on. When he opened the case and examined the power supply, he discovered a small mouse inside.

Another recent occurrence included a customer who brought an iMac in for a trade only to drop it when removing it from the car. An expected $400 trade-in only resulted in $50 due to the damage.

Gillespie strives to remain up-to-date on the latest developments in the industry. He relies on different web sites, including YouTube videos, Experts Exchange and Knowledge Experts.

“Everything is routine for the most part,” Gillespie explained. “Nobody knows everything. Google and YouTube are your best friends.”

PC Pros of Wellington is located in the original Wellington Mall at 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 1B. For more information, call Gillespie at (561) 420-0554 or e-mail pcproswellington@gmail.com. Visit them on the web at www.pcprosofwellington.com.

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It Has Been One Adjustment After Another For Dr. Brett Taylor’s Chiropractic Practice

It Has Been One Adjustment After Another For Dr. Brett Taylor’s Chiropractic Practice

With more than 30 years as a chiropractor, Dr. Brett Taylor of the Taylor Chiropractic Center has been caring for the residents of the western communities for 25 of those years.

“It’s all about helping people to get out of pain, getting function and improving their overall quality of life,” he said.

From his new Wellington office, Taylor and his team treat thousands of patients for short-term relief care for acute problems, all the way to a long-term wellness care for those clients who choose that option.

“We’re very hands-on. We never treat you in a way that you feel like just a number in a practice,” he said. “I choose to be involved with the patients from the moment of consultation through all treatments and adjustments. I want to know exactly how the patients are feeling.”

Taylor grew up in the business, so to speak, as a second-generation chiropractor. “I started getting adjusted when I was a kid, and I was always interested in science and nature,” he explained. “That’s what chiropractic philosophy is, a combination of science and nature — the holistic treatment method.”

Services at the practice include traditional hands-on chiropractic adjustments with spinal mobilization techniques, as well as a combination of therapeutic treatments including ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, flexion/distraction and others. Taylor is also certified in physiotherapy.

These comprehensive services give clients of the Wellington center a full spectrum of chiropractic wellness care: traditional chiropractic care, corrective exercises, lifestyle advice, nutritional counseling, massage therapy, and spinal and postural screenings.

These various modalities allow Taylor to treat multiple spinal conditions ranging from back and neck pain to more complex problems. This includes degenerative disc disease, sciatica, whiplash injuries and more.

In the initial, guaranteed satisfaction consultation, Taylor will determine which treatment is best for a patient’s situation. The guarantee promises that if you are not 100 percent satisfied with your initial visit, then you will not be charged by the office for that visit.

Taylor said that the practice’s goal is to get the patient out of pain fast, and they offer pain-relief treatment programs with that in mind. Yet he stresses that good health is much more than the absence of pain. It is taking care of yourself, going to the gym, eating right and using appropriate vitamin supplements. “I am a strong believer in vitamins,” said Taylor, who works holistically to restore patients to their full potential.

Taylor and his wife Pam, who runs the office, have been together 26 years and have a son who attends the University of Florida and a daughter who attends Florida Atlantic University. Over the years, they have been active supporters of the American Cancer Society and the Kids Cancer Foundation. In addition, Pam was a chair of the Acreage/Loxahatchee Relay for Life fundraiser. She also volunteers with Friends for Life, an organization that raises money to help local families with cancer. “We do try to reach out to the community and help where we can,” Taylor said.

Excited about the new location, he said that he will be able to provide caring service for all patients from the surrounding areas. “I like Wellington. It has a hometown, family feel,” Taylor said. “Patients say they like the office because we have a warm, caring, friendly atmosphere, and it shows that we like taking care of our friends and patients.”

Taylor recalled that one patient said the center should be called the “Cheers” of chiropractic, after the television show “where everybody knows your name.”

Taylor said that his slogan says it all: “You feel fine when your spine is in line.”

The facility offers same-day appointments, and walk-ins are also welcome. Insurance is accepted, not required, and the office is a provider for most major insurance companies, including Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana and United Healthcare, among others, in addition to accepting Medicare assignments. They also take Florida No Fault/PIP for auto injuries, plus there are affordable self-pay options.

The Taylor Chiropractic Center is located at 12788 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 2002, at the corner of Forest Hill Blvd. and Wellington Trace. For more information, call (561) 793-5050 or visit www.taylorchirocenter.com.

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Many Upgrades Featured In This Capistrano Model Olympia Home

Many Upgrades Featured In This Capistrano Model Olympia Home

This recently upgraded Olympia abode has both practicality and a wow factor. The Capistrano model home features a bedroom and full bathroom downstairs, in addition to a spacious master suite and three more bedrooms upstairs. In keeping with today’s trends, there are four bathrooms as well. There is also an attached two-car garage, and a pool area featuring the latest in salt system pools. Privacy hedges in the backyard imbue the property with a comfortable family feel, even as they provide a level of safety and security.

Front Elevation: The home’s front elevation features great curb appeal with upgraded landscaping and crisp, clean lines.

Great Room: Crown molding, designer window treatments, recessed lighting and contemporary colors all set this home apart. Even underfoot, no expense was spared. The open plan living area downstairs features extra-long planks of wood-look tile.

Staircase: Descending from the second floor, one can take in most of the downstairs common area and even part of the yard. The expansive great room allows for a variety of seating configurations, and the breakfast bar offers yet another place to gather.

Dining Room: The dining room can handle a crowd or be easily adapted to a more intimate setting. The well-lit room features a statement wall perfect for displaying beloved photographs.

Guest Bedroom: Three tastefully decorated guest bedrooms upstairs bring the total number of bedrooms to five in this spacious family home, which also features four bathrooms.

Kitchen: The light, bright and modern kitchen has a crisp, clean vibe thanks to its extended white cabinetry, granite counter tops and stainless-steel appliances. A sink in the island makes clean-up a breeze.

Master Bedroom: A vaulted tray ceiling in the master bedroom gives a dash of importance to the chandelier, while an ample bank of windows lets in plenty of light. There are two separate closets complete with organizers. The en suite bath features a soaking tub with a separate shower.

Lanai: A covered lanai adds more living space to the home, especially in the winter months. Two sets of sliding glass doors make for a seamless transition from inside to out, and fabulous stone decking adds pizzazz.

Pool: A large salt system pool by Sunsational Pools beckons from the backyard, protected by the comforting privacy hedge.

 

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