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Traditions & Trends

Traditions & Trends

Although the institution of marriage is a tradition all in itself, the tradition of how things are done has exploded with creativity over the last few decades. After generations of the same ole, same ole “here comes the bride” many couples opt for their first love song, or a moment in time captured lyrically. Either way you put it together, each couple must make this their very own special day.

In recent years, weddings have become a production. Thanks to the explosion of social media outlets like Pinterest, Etsy and other favorites, people are all out on the big day. The resourcefulness is boundless, and no idea can be shut down.

But there is a thoughtfulness behind it. Even in the most imaginative of weddings, you will find a hint every now and then of something that symbolizes the bride and groom’s connection to family and the past, affording the reality that a touch of tradition remains a wedding mainstay.

This year’s “Traditions & Trends” offers fresh ideas from new wedding cake designs and flavors to how to keep your guests safe — and everything in between. These ideas are meant to help couples searching for a way to spin traditions into moments that they will cherish for a lifetime, and possibly start a new trend that others will come to appreciate.

It is your day! Make it as simple or extravagant as your heart desires. Be brave, be bold and set the tone for what your relationship will look like, not only on your wedding day but through the course of building your life together.

Unique Wedding Cakes
Although the traditional wedding cake will never go out of style, many couples are sweetening the batter with very unique wedding cakes. This includes everything from favorite sports themes to bird seed sprinkles for exotic bird lovers. Perhaps you aren’t a fan of the same old cake, or just obsessed with a specific dessert, your wedding dessert is the perfect opportunity to showcase your taste with your family and friends.

Whimsical Seating Chart 
The days of paper guest cards are long gone — and the imagination of brides (and their wedding planners) has grown tenfold. Typically, the very first thing your guests do when they arrive is to figure out where they are sitting. Your seating chart will set the stage for what is to come. Don’t be afraid of something a bit different. Incorporate your colors and elements with a bit of the whimsical.

Ceremony Arch Art
The importance of having the perfect wedding arch is paramount, as it frames the most magical moment in your life, where you take your vows, say your “I dos” and become husband and wife. But the old-fashioned trellis has been replaced by exquisite masterpieces. Whether indoor or outdoor venues, a custom arbor is a great way to blend your ceremony with the other parts of your wedding décor.

Snap & Share
While nothing will replace your professional photographer, some of the most magical and candid shots are often caught by your guests. Get everyone on board early! Include your hashtag on the invitation, wedding web site, and, of course, a beautifully displayed sign reminding your guests to share their moments as they capture them. Tell them to snap it, share it and tag it!

Tented Garden
Even if your reception is indoors, adding a tented garden option is becoming popular. Whether serving as a cocktail area or a place of refuge for guests to steal a private moment, it will become an integral part of your wedding. Garden tents come in many shapes and sizes, in materials from sailcloth to clearspan glass, and can be filled with lush landscaping or sparse foliage. The garden tent plays a major role in 2022 weddings.

Digital Invitations
Digital invitations are making more sense than ever. They’re not just beautiful but smart. These invitations are taking fashion-forward brides by storm. The invitations can be interactive, great for tracking and, most importantly, easily updated if the situation arises. From engagement announcements and save-the-dates to invitations and thank-you notes, paperless seems to be moving into the wedding space at the speed of light!

Skip The Line
Many couples are opting for signature drinks as a way to add personal style and color to the cocktail hour or reception. It offers a lot of practical benefits, too — no long lines at the bar! Signature drinks instead of mixed drinks can be prepared ahead of time and can be a much more cost-effective option. They are faster and easier for the bartender to pour and a great complement to the beer and wine!

Lots Of Lights
Brides are thinking outside the “lightbox” and coming up with different looks to integrate lighting in a more personal way. Therefore, it’s no surprise that topping the trends list this year is mood lighting. During the day, they are points of light, and at sunset, they reimagine the space. Either way, lights can set the tone and mood — from exposed industrial bulbs to geometric-shaped lamps and vintage chandeliers.

Custom Face Masks
To wear a mask or not to wear a mask? Is this a question for your guests? More and more weddings today are being scheduled and even rescheduled, and everyone is taking safety precautions. Trendy face masks are being ordered in record numbers, some with matching colors to the wedding décor, some personalized, making it fun and easy to note that the “mask” is a must for the reception.

Wedding Inspiration
Your grand entrance down the aisle is one of the most photographed parts of your wedding. What was once just an area where a white runner would be placed is now a path filled with gorgeous floral arrangements, candles, vintage carpets for an eclectic feel, bales of hay for the western theme, elevated platforms to create a center stage or potted plants for a simpler effect. It is the focal point of the ceremony — make it grand.

Bridal Subscription Boxes
Bridal subscription boxes are all the rage. They are the gift that keeps on giving. Everyone loves opening a package curated just for them, and to get a different one each month makes it that much more fun! These boxes are filled with everything from quality product samples to items they would never purchase themselves; items to pamper themselves the day before the wedding or fun ideas for a bachelorette night on the town.

 

 

 

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Palm Beach Brides 2021 THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR SPONSORS Tell Us Your Wedding Story

Palm Beach Brides 2021 THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR SPONSORS Tell Us Your Wedding Story

PHOTOGRAPHY
The Camera Wedding
www.thecamerawedding.com

Jack Bates Photography
www.jackbatesphotography.com

Mary McCarty Photography
www.marymccartyphotography.com

Matt Story Photography

VENUES

International Polo Club Palm Beach
www.internationalpoloclub.com
(561) 204-5687

The Wanderers Club
www.wanderersclubwellington.com
(561) 795-3501

Wellington National Golf Club
www.wellingtonnationalgolfclub.com
(561) 333-5731

Wellington Community Center
www.wellingtonfl.gov
(561) 753-2484

Special Thanks To All Our Wedding Couples
For Sharing Their Love Story With Us!
Sara & James
Christie & Kyle
Veronica & Javier
Rachelle & Casey

Be Sure To View Our Digital Issue Online At
WWW.WELLINGTONTHEMAGAZINE.COM
For The Expanded Edition
YOU CAN ALSO DOWNLOAD OUR PALM BEACH BRIDES 2021 CHECKLIST TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR SPECIAL DAY

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Serving The Needs Of Local Pet Parents New Pet Supplies Plus Store Has Opened In The Southern Palm Crossing Shopping Plaza

Serving The Needs Of Local Pet Parents New Pet Supplies Plus Store Has Opened In The Southern Palm Crossing Shopping Plaza

Story By M. Dennis Taylor  |  Photos By Abner Pedraza

A new, locally owned Pet Supplies Plus store has opened in Royal Palm Beach’s Southern Palm Crossing shopping plaza, serving the needs of pet parents throughout the western communities. The store is owned and operated by local entrepreneur Jim Beauchamp.

Some of Beauchamp’s fondest memories from his childhood in Chicago involve the family pets. Growing up, it was usually cats. “My dad was a great animal lover,” he said.

Later, raising his own family of two sons and two daughters into adulthood, allergies meant that the family pets changed to dogs. Most recently was one very special Yorkie-Poo named Cooper, who passed last March at the age of 18.

After a long career working in the information technology and business development field, Beauchamp moved to South Florida in 2014 and continued his 30 years in the IT business, often working online. However, he recently decided to get involved in a field that he has long been passionate about.

“I am now 58, and I wanted to get away from tech and get closer to my passion for animals within our local community,” Beauchamp said. “I was interested in opening a neighborhood pet store with experienced personnel, pet washing and grooming, veterinary services, great brands, aggressive pricing, all high quality with a local commitment to the communities and a dedication to invest in the communities through local events and charities.”

After searching investment opportunities that catered to his interests in pets and animals, he became a franchisee of Pet Supplies Plus, the nation’s largest independent pet store with more than 560 locations.

“I like the business model of Pet Supplies Plus, and the culture of the stores. It expresses my affinity for pets with a kindness and love for animals,” explained Beauchamp, whose franchise group is named Coop Enterprise in honor of his own, much-loved pet.

Beauchamp’s store is conveniently located for all of central Palm Beach County.

“It’s on Southern Blvd., so it is right on the edge of Royal Palm Beach and Wellington, on a major road for the western communities,” he said. “The store offers ‘neighbors,’ as we call our customers, and their pets a one-stop shop for all their pet needs. It is localized, promotes convenience and features a full set of services.”

Pet Supplies Plus strives to make shopping local simple. Visitors to the store can easily find all their favorites at prices to love, whether they choose to shop in store or online using free curbside pickup, same-day delivery or register for autoship right to their door.

The store provides a hassle-free way to find better products for pets, while saving money and celebrating the fun of pet ownership. In addition, the store features amenities such as self-pet wash stations, a knowledgeable pet care team, grooming and carry-out service of heavy items to nearby cars.

“The pet wash is unique, allowing neighbors the convenience of getting a pet washed without all the hassle and supplying all the towels you’d have to wash at home,” Beauchamp said.

As a community partner, Beauchamp will team up with local animal shelters, rescue organizations and nonprofits to host year-round adoption events, fundraisers, and pet food and product drives. “We are in discussions for some exciting sponsorships coming up,” he said.

Getting involved in the community is very important for Pet Supplies Plus.

“I wanted to see how I could impact the community and put down roots in my local market while also honoring the memory of my family dog,” Beauchamp said. “Pet Supplies Plus is truly neighborhood centric and allows me to help on more of a grassroots level. I am excited to build relationships with my neighbors and provide them quality products and customer care. Because we have buying power, we provide all the brands neighbors expect, holistic to unique, at great prices, but because we are independent, we can offer smaller, boutique brands that are harder to find.”

Pet Supplies Plus offers local pet parents a wide selection of natural pet foods, goods and pet services at low prices, and focuses on a unique, rich in-store experience. Pet parents are always welcome to shop with their dogs at the store, where knowledgeable team members are on-site to answer questions, offer tips or just get on their hands and knees to play with pets who enter the store.

The knowledgeable and motivated team will help neighbors find everything they need. Each team member is extensively familiar in the areas of natural and holistic foods and are able to answer a broad range of questions about dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and fish. Store shelves are stocked with the right products, including a wide selection of natural and made-in-the-USA products.

“We didn’t cut any corners on the team,” Beauchamp said. “These are not minimum wage jobs. Everyone is trained and motivated.”

Shoppers can also take advantage of the free Preferred Pet Club, which offers members regular coupons on products they purchase frequently, and monthly specials, resulting in big savings.

Cooper will, of course, be missed, but Beauchamp said he just bought a new aquarium for his home.

“I have kept fish for years, and I am sure I will get another dog eventually, but now it is too fresh,” Beauchamp said.

He invited area residents to visit the new Pet Supplies Plus location to find everything they need for furry, scaly and feathery friends. “It is a great experience for you and your pet,” Beauchamp said.

Pet Supplies Plus Royal Palm Beach is located a 11051 Southern Blvd., Suite 160, in Southern Palm Crossing. It is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call (561) 345-3151 or visit www.petsuppliesplus.com.

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Living Calla Genics Focuses On Med Spa, Rejuvenation And Sexual Wellness Therapies Your Best Life

Living Calla Genics Focuses On Med Spa, Rejuvenation And Sexual Wellness Therapies Your Best Life 

by M. Dennis Taylor

Calla Genics, which opened earlier this year in the original Wellington Mall, specializes in non-surgical aesthetic medicine. The practice provides clients with the latest in med spa, rejuvenation and sexual wellness treatments.

The practice is the brainchild of Dr. Tiffany McCalla, a board-certified emergency physician with two decades of experience. In recent years, she has become interested in addressing wellness on multiple levels, which led her to establish Calla Genics. “Calla Genics has been my passion project for years,” Dr. McCalla said. “I’ve been a physician for 20 years, and I am the proud owner of this new, state-of-the-art wellness center. We opened our doors on July 1.”

The practice offers aesthetic medical procedures, such as nonsurgical facelifts, breast lifts and acne/scar minimizing. They also focus on rejuvenation treatments, such as hair regrowth/enhancement, IV therapy, vitamin therapy, light therapy, hyperbaric therapy and medical weight loss.

The facility has a concentration in platelet-rich plasma procedures, which helps patients feel and look like a younger version of themselves — regardless of their age.

“Our mantra around here is ‘living your best life.’ We strive to add value to seeing the doctor,” she explained.

Included in the list of services are a number of treatments for sexual wellness, such as hormone insertion therapy, wave therapy, PRP shots, PDE5 inhibitors and peptide therapy.

“It’s not only therapies for sexual wellness and balance,” Dr. McCalla explained. “It’s a place of wellness with a holistic approach to that wellness. We offer a 360-degree approach with partners in other specialties and wellness areas — all with a focus on customer experience and results.”

Dr. McCalla, who grew up in Broward County, has been living in Wellington with her family for nearly a decade. She moved to the community with her husband Alan and her older son Karsten, then an infant. Karsten has since been joined by four-year-old Kaleb. They are being raised in their hometown of Wellington. “We live here and plan to be here,” she said. “Wellington is a place for kids to grow into great adults.”

Known as “Dr. Tiffany” to staff and patients alike, Dr. McCalla was recognized as one of Legacy’s South Florida’s 50 Most Powerful & Influential Woman Leaders of 2020 and as one of the Top 25 Frontline Healthcare Workers in 2021. In addition to practicing medicine, she is president of a nonprofit organization comprised of dedicated healthcare professionals working together to improve health and wellness, access to quality care, and academic and career opportunities for underserved populations in Palm Beach County. “‘Saving the world one patient at a time,’ is an often-repeated motto,” Dr. McCalla said.

Dr. McCalla is active in the Palm Beach chapter of Jack & Jill of America. She is also active in the Alpha Alpha Upsilon Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, the oldest Greek letter organization for women of color, established in 1908. Previously known as the Crowned Pearls of Wellington, this group of more than 50 professional women is also the first panhellenic group to focus on service to underserved people in Wellington and the surrounding western communities.

Through Calla Genics, Dr. McCalla provides patients with the most powerful and proven procedures that eliminate the common signs of aging.

“Calla Genics is a true physician-led facility featuring wave therapy, revitalizing sexual health treatments and laser rejuvenation. Our therapies and products provide benefits for all skin types,” she explained.

The practice features the newest technology in plasma skin resurfacing, gentle laser skin rejuvenation, tightening and hair removal, and cryo-slimming technology, which presents a nice gradual process, with no sharp contours, no scars and no downtime.

The practice opened during the uncertain times of the pandemic, and that was included in the services offered. “The pandemic hit the pivoting point, so we addressed the challenge of the needs of COVID-19 patients on a concierge-based medical service,” Dr. McCalla said. “We even provide COVID-19 testing in people’s homes if needed. It’s all a part of service.”

Calla Genics is located at 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suites 9-10, in the original Wellington Mall. For more information, call (561) 252-5398 or e-mail dr.tiffany@callagenics.com. Learn more at www.callagenics.com.

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Wings, Ribs And So Much More Tree’s Wings & Ribs Brings The Fun With Iconic Food And New Favorites

Wings, Ribs And So Much More Tree’s Wings & Ribs Brings The Fun With Iconic Food And New  Favorites

Story and Photos by Callie Sharkey

Home of some of the best wings around, Tree’s Wings & Ribs is a family establishment at heart, filled with locals in the seats and friendly service since 1995. This downhome hotspot is also on the national radar for serving up its iconic chicken wings, which is impressive for a restaurant that avoids the chain and franchise tags.

“We are super excited about the National Buffalo Wing Festival coming up. It’s invitation only, and they found us,” General Manager Erin Townsend said. “We had to pass all kinds of credentialing to get in back in 2019, and we took third place for our hot sauce last time. This year, we are going up swinging.”

The restaurant caught the attention of Drew Cerza, known as “the Wing King,” after winning best wings locally for 18 years straight. Now, the team is heading back to Buffalo, New York, showcasing four different sauces, including the fan favorite bourbon barbecue, a spicy kick with the “Genghis Khan,” a sweet surprise in the “Elvis” and, of course, the prize-winning hot sauce.

“The Genghis Khan is like a hot, spicy mustard-teriyaki almost. I don’t even know quite how to describe it, but it’s delicious. The Elvis is a peanut butter-sauced wing with a banana drizzle and a touch of marshmallow,” Townsend said. “You won’t find anything like it out there!”

Yet even if wings are not your thing, Tree’s has got you covered with amazing dishes. Try one of the made-from-scratch-daily soups designed by Chef Kauwela Perreira, who originally hails from Hawaii.

“Other than cooking the wings every day and cooking the ribs, I love my soups. We change our soups daily, and we make all the soups from scratch. I love making soups,” Perreira said. “It’s my favorite thing to do. We have Wisconsin beer cheese soup, split pea with black forest ham, conch chowder, crawfish gumbo and French onion soup. We’ve come a long way over the years.”

After three years at Tree’s Wings, Perreira is more than just talent in the kitchen.

“We are super happy to have him,” Townsend said. “He is absolutely an incredible kitchen manager, and he’s a good man on top of being a good chef. He’s a lead-by-example rather than lead-by-yelling kind of guy.”

Tree’s Wings is also a great place to have a little extra fun, with karaoke every Friday from 8 to 11 p.m., trivia every Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m., and half off happy hour every single day of the week from 3 to 6 p.m.

Don’t want to leave your furry buddy behind? The team welcomes dogs to visit the covered outdoor seating area.

“We love when people bring their puppies. We will bring out doggie bowls of water, cook them up hamburger patties — whatever those puppies want,” Townsend said. “We are very dog friendly.”

If you aren’t comfortable coming in to sit down, that’s OK too. Tree’s Wings has the largest delivery area in the western communities, delivering wings to all of Wellington and Royal Palm Beach, most of Loxahatchee and The Acreage, and much of suburban West Palm Beach.

“We are working on everybody else’s comfort level. We are just trying to be accommodating to everyone’s needs,” Townsend said.

So, if the hand-cut curly fries aren’t enough to get the kids through the door, and noise level is a concern, Tree’s has a unique layout with one portion of the restaurant set aside for a quieter experience. The lounge is family friendly and away from the special evening events, but still has a full bar available to customers.

After setting foot inside, don’t forget to sign up for the free VIP program. All dine-in and takeout orders over $10 earns a chance to spin the wheel for great prizes. It is also the best way to keep up with special events and promotions.

“You can win things from free appetizers to free drinks to 15 percent off. We have Tree’s dollars, they look like dollar bills with our logo on them, and you can accumulate those and spend them all at once or spend them on your next visit,” Townsend said. “You can also win promotional items and Tree’s gear. It’s just a lot of fun. We don’t abuse the e-mail and only send them out once or twice a month.”

Townsend said that Tree’s Wings enjoys its reputation catering to the local community.

“We are all local, no frills but super yummy food,” she said. “There is no dress code, but I’ve seen full wedding parties, all dressed up, come in for the wings! Honestly, we have lunch specials every day, so you should really come here twice a day.”

What does Townsend like on the impressive menu? “The Cajun Wings, drenched in house dressing,” she said. “That is my kryptonite.”

The restaurant is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The kitchen closes at 10 p.m., although during some events, such as karaoke night, the bar remains open later.

Delivery and takeout orders, including curbside and contactless delivery, can be placed by telephone or on the web site. Tree’s Wings & Ribs is also available through Grubhub and DoorDash.

Tree’s Wings & Ribs is located at 603 Royal Palm Beach Blvd., just off Southern Blvd. in the Royal Plaza. For more information, or to place an order, call (561) 791-1535 or visit www.treeswingsandribs.com.

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A Stunning Palm Beach Polo Award-Winning Stock Custom Homes Is Offering The Coventry, A Unique Property In The Palm Beach Polo Golf And Country Club

A Stunning Palm Beach Polo Award-Winning Stock Custom Homes Is Offering The Coventry, A Unique Property  In The Palm Beach Polo Golf And Country Club

Stock Custom Homes, the award-winning custom home building division of Stock Development, is now offering the Coventry, an exquisite estate in Wellington’s exclusive Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club. The Coventry is located at 2520 Cypress Island Court and listed at $8,495,000. Sitting on a waterfront lot of just over half an acre, the home is ideally positioned at the end of a cul-de-sac and offers more than 7,000 square feet of living space with five bedrooms, five full and two half baths, and a split five-car garage. The sleek, dynamic interior has been brought to life by the experts at Beasley & Henley Interior Design and is offered fully furnished. Outfitted with elegant furniture and contrasting, unique features, this estate home creates a tailored, yet relaxed atmosphere.

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Fun Entertainment And Lasting Friendships The Wellington Seniors Club Provides For The Social Needs Of Older Residents

Fun Entertainment And Lasting Friendships The Wellington Seniors Club Provides For The Social Needs Of Older Residents

Story By M. Dennis Taylor  |  Photos by Denise Fleischman

The Wellington Seniors Club has been serving the social needs of older residents in the Village of Wellington for nearly 30 years, creating lasting friendships, fun and entertainment for a vibrant slice of the community’s population.

Eileen Kuhnel is the current president of the Wellington Seniors Club, an independent nonprofit that is open to residents of Wellington age 55 and over. “They join when they can, but then get really active when they retire,” Kuhnel said of the group’s large membership.

Kuhnel stressed that the Wellington Seniors Club was established primarily for recreational activities, and its monthly luncheons and seasonal dinners are, in normal times, among the most well-attended events held in Wellington.

Kuhnel explained that 29 years ago, back in 1992, some 25 members joined the fledgling group. Today, there are more than 650 members, enrolled and active. Currently, the membership rolls are frozen until after the start of 2022.

“Even when people get old enough and they go back home up north to be near their families, they remain members so they get the membership newsletter and can keep up with Florida friends,” she said.

While the club would love to get back to business as usual, the group has been careful during the pandemic to continue providing social events in as safe a fashion as possible.

“These events may include a drive-through box lunch special for 250 people,” Kuhnel said. “Everyone wears a mask, it’s not enclosed, and everyone maintains social distancing.”

She is very proud of the way the club and its membership has travailed the difficult times of the pandemic. “Wellington people seem to take better care of themselves and are more cautious,” Kuhnel said.

However, she is eager to get back to in-person events. “We want to move into the next planning stage,” Kuhnel said. “There are new and exciting ideas depending upon what opens up.”

Previously, the club has taken members on social trips, as well as the luncheons. Kuhnel described some of these adventures, such as airboat rides in the Everglades.

“It was exhilarating,” she said. “All the adventures involve a bus ride with about 55 of your favorite Wellington retirees. That’s because of the size of the buses and restaurants that accommodate us. Other trips are on oceangoing boats, flattops for the backcountry observing trips in the Keys, SeaWorld, the St. John’s River, the Broadway Palm Theatre with buffet dinners in Fort Myers, casino trips, and trips to all your favorite and soon-to-be-favorite area restaurants.”

The club makes it easy for local retirees to participate.

“Everything is planned in advance, there’s a trip coordinator, and your only responsibility is to remember your assigned seating so you will still be close to your friends,” Kuhnel said. “The food and beverages are planned, parking is a breeze and your car stays right in the neighborhood.”

Convenience is key when planning events for local seniors.

“Wellington gives us a designated place to park at the community center. The cars are parked there for the day, and we go off on our event,” she said. “The number of activities in the year are about nine lunches, about 12 of the stepping out programs and the two annual dances.”

Those dances include a holiday dance and a spring dance. The board of directors is traditionally installed during the holiday event.

“The camaraderie is so important,” Kuhnel said. “It’s very easy for seniors to get lonely.”

Not big on social media, the group uses phone trees and a newsletter to keep in contact with members.

Stephanie Parreco serves on the board of directors of the club as the recording secretary and vice president. She got involved six years ago when she moved down from Maryland. Parreco likes getting to know other people in her age group.

“I like to have lunch in there about once a month. The luncheons at the equestrian center are great, and the trips that didn’t go on during the pandemic were missed,” she said. “There’s the ballroom, the box lunches, the different vendors every month or so. It’s entertainment for up to 300 at each luncheon. Before COVID-19, we outgrew the facility, and they had to move us to another location.”

Mae Loglisci currently serves as the corresponding secretary. She has served on the board of directors for 11 of her 22 years in the club.

“It’s nice for fellowship with people of the same age, and a continuity of experience,” Loglisci said. “When we started meeting when I joined, there were 35 to 38 people, and now there are 650-plus. We go to many theaters, casinos and the Japanese gardens. Luncheons are now at the gym at Village Park because we outgrew the [community center] building. There are different caterers and there’s entertainment — it’s a fun, fun group.”

 

 

 

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Sports Complex A Win-Win Unique Partnership Leads To The Creation Of A New Sports Complex At Wellington High School

Sports Complex A Win-Win Unique Partnership Leads To The Creation Of A New Sports Complex At Wellington High School

A unique sports partnership is on full display on the campus of Wellington High School. Thanks to a special agreement between the Village of Wellington, the Palm Beach County School District and Wellington High School, the sports facilities at WHS have been improved, upgraded and enhanced.

While the immediate beneficiaries will be the athletic department and the student-athletes at the high school, the residents of Wellington get free access to these new facilities as well when the many Wolverine teams are not playing or practicing.

For this new sports complex to become a reality, the Palm Beach County School District provided the land and the Village of Wellington paid for the facility to be built. The price tag was $12 million. In order for the village to spend public funds on the WHS campus, the school district had to agree to share the facilities with the general public. It became a win-win for all parties involved.

In June, a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility took place, which officially opened the multi-use sports complex to the general public and to the Wolverines’ athletic program.

The first phase of the new sports complex was completed last summer when the new synthetic turf football field opened at WHS. The Wolverines’ football team, soccer teams and lacrosse teams used the field for home games during the 2020-21 school year. This field has permanent markings for those three sports.

The other new sports facilities at WHS include eight tennis courts, of which four have pickleball lines, four adjoining multi-purpose fields, three basketball courts, two new batting cages, a kickback wall, a running track and a new building that has two concession stands, bathrooms and a meeting room.

According to Wellington Parks & Recreation Director Eric Juckett, many sports will be played on the massive multi-purpose fields, such as flag football, lacrosse, rugby, soccer and outdoor tournaments that are held in Wellington at various times throughout the year.

Wellington Vice Mayor John McGovern is thrilled to see this new sports complex open and being used by the public.

“It is going to be a great addition for the community,” McGovern said. “It is spectacular, and I think that it is going to be a tremendous addition to our parks and recreation inventory.”

Juckett noted that this sports complex puts Wellington on a different level when compared to other municipalities in Palm Beach County.

“We are truly excited to bring this facility to our residents,” Juckett said. “It creates at-will recreation opportunities, and it will be a direct benefit to the students and residents of the village.”

Juckett said that everybody he has spoken with about this unique recreational complex is delighted with what has been accomplished.

“I honestly have not heard anything negative,” Juckett said. “It has all been very positive and in awe of the complex that was built, along with the relationship we have with the Palm Beach County School District and, specifically, Wellington High School.”

According to Juckett, Wellington residents will have access to open play on the tennis courts and basketball courts during the Village of Wellington hours of use. The fall/spring hours are Monday through Friday from 6 to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The summer hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Village of Wellington programming will take priority to open play by the general public.

To learn more about Village of Wellington recreation programs, visit www.wellingtonfl.gov/recreation.

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A Sport For A Lifetime Wellington Tennis Center Offers A Wide Array Of Programs For Children Through Seniors

A Sport For A Lifetime Wellington Tennis Center Offers A Wide Array Of Programs For Children Through Seniors

The state-of-the-art Wellington Tennis Center, located on Lyons Road, offers programs for every age group, teaching this sport designed for a lifetime and offering open play and tournament play to all Wellington residents.

Director of Tennis Chuck Gill, a USPTA elite professional and a longtime Wellington resident, took over as leader of the facility earlier this year, bringing with him a lifetime of tennis expertise.

“I have been teaching tennis and running tennis operations since I left college,” Gill said. “Serendipitously, my graduation was timed with the peak of the tennis boom, and I started with a management company that operated tennis resorts and clubs. Early on, I had enough business acumen to be successful in the business of tennis. I knew that I loved the game and wanted to be involved in this business. After working at several top resorts, I landed at the Club at Ibis, where I spent the last 24 years growing the program and eventually being the director of sports, where I oversaw tennis, fitness, aquatics and spa.”

Along the way, Gill has been an active tennis volunteer and served as president of the United States Professional Tennis Association, as well as serving on many United States Tennis Association boards and committees.

“Since I began playing tennis at public tennis centers and high schools as a kid, returning to lead a public tennis operation is coming full circle for me,” he said. “I have lived in Wellington for 24 years and always had tennis-playing friends in Wellington. When the position opened up, I was so impressed with the village’s commitment to tennis.”

He lauded the Wellington Village Council and the village staff for having the vision and foresight to build the current Wellington Tennis Center in 2015. Tennis was previously housed at the old Wellington Community Center before that building was razed and rebuilt.

“We have 21 beautiful clay courts with state-of-the-industry underground irrigation,” Gill said. “We also have a clubhouse, pro shop and viewing deck that allows our players to have all of the amenities of a private tennis club at a public tennis center.”

The facility opened in style on June 9, 2015 with an appearance by Venus Williams.

“We have a vibrant and growing junior program for kids of all levels and ages, a complete ladies team program, as well as an active group of men of all ages who frequent the courts,” Gill said.

Thousands of players visit the tennis center each year. “Our junior program starts children as early as age five for our Red Ball program. We have some seniors who are knocking on 90 years young,” Gill said. “Our ladies teams have soccer moms, grandmas and proudly, a few great-grandparents. That is one of the best things about tennis — it is truly the sport of a lifetime.”

The Wellington Tennis Center also hosts tournaments, league play, junior events and more, so new players are always visiting to see all that the facility has to offer.

Fees to use the facility are low when compared to similar tennis centers.

“Being a public facility, our goal is to be inclusive and have everyone able to experience tennis, so price should not be a barrier to play,” Gill said. “Daily court fees start at $12 per person, and annual permits are in the $400 to $500 range per person, and less than $700 for a family. For active players, it is the best value anywhere!”

Gill and his staff offer group and private lessons to all levels. “Cardio tennis and our INTense Hitting session are extremely popular,” he said. “We also offer a ‘love to learn, love to play’ program to help new and returning players get back into tennis and meet others of the same level. Information on all of our programs can be found online or in person at the tennis shop.”

The Wellington Tennis Center caters to players of all levels,

“If you are an avid player, there are several players who were world-class players and some who currently represent the United States in world competitions. The tennis center is also frequented by players who were former college players and played on the ATP or WTA tour,” Gill said. “Of course, our base of players and the vast majority of players are recreational level and enjoy playing socially and local league tennis. Our leagues range from the higher levels in Palm Beach County, to the entry level and everything in between.”

He is expecting a full calendar of tennis events planned over the upcoming year.

“For the first time, we will be hosting a USTA National Championship this fall for the USTA national father/daughter and mother/son tournament,” Gill said. “We will also be hosting matches for the ITF world senior championships next spring when the world’s best senior players visit South Florida. We will be hosting monthly events for juniors with USTA events, and we will be running UTR [Universal Tennis Rating] events as well. These are great opportunities for some of our residents to sample high-level competition without needing to travel around the country.”

Gill’s goal is to make every Wellington tennis player feel at home at their local facility.

“We want to welcome everyone here,” he said. “If you are a local permit holder, this should feel like your home club. If you are visiting for a tournament or event, you should feel equally welcomed. For our youngest players, this should be the place for them to have a great first experience in a sport that they will hopefully play forever. It all starts with a happy and relaxed environment with happy coaches and staff who welcome you to the center each time. If we can be that type of place, we will be successful.”

The Wellington Tennis Center is located at 3100 Lyons Road. For more information, call (561) 791-4775 or visit www.wellingtonfl.gov/tennis.

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It’s All About Teamwork Western Communities Football League Has Been Providing High-Quality Programs For 30 Years

It’s All About Teamwork Western Communities Football League Has Been Providing High-Quality Programs For 30 Years

By Mike May

The Western Communities Football League has been providing quality sports programs to residents of the Wellington area since 1992. Youngsters ages 4 to 15 play football and participate in a cheerleading program at the football fields at Village Park in Wellington.

Because of COVID-19, it was all quiet last fall on the gridirons at Village Park, but now tackle football and cheerleading are back, and athletic life on Village Park’s football fields is returning to normal.

Whether it’s tackle football or cheerleading, the WCFL’s goal is to teach each participant about the importance of teamwork, good sportsmanship, self-esteem and trust while promoting healthy minds and healthy bodies, making friends, demonstrating self-control and learning to follow directions while having fun.

According to WCFL President KC Jones, the mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of football for players, coaches, cheerleaders and parents.

There are five tackle football age divisions within the WCFL. The youngest group is Ultimate, which is for ages 5 to 7. The per person weight limit is 85.9 pounds. The next group is Prep, which is for ages 8 and 9, with a per person weight limit of 110.9 pounds. The third group is Varsity, which is for ages 11 and 12, with a per person weight limit of 125.9 pounds. The fourth group is Pro, which is for ages 12 and 13, with a per person weight limit of 145.9 pounds, but participants can play while weighing as much as 165 pounds. The oldest age group is High School Prep, which is for ages 14 and 15. There is no weight limit in that division.

WCFL practices are always held on the Village Park football fields. To get involved, the per person registration cost is $299.99.

In addition to being assigned to a team, each football player is provided a game and practice jersey, game pants with integrated pads, socks and a video of all the games.

Safety is a top priority for the league. The WCFL is a certified USA Football Heads Up league. USA Football is the national governing body for amateur American football. USA Football has worked with leaders in both medicine and sport across the country to create a full-featured program that any league or school can use to address key safety issues and ensure that every coach understands and knows how to implement each component of the program.

Last spring, the league offered a girls flag football program for the first time.

All football and cheerleading coaches undergo a background check before taking the field with a team or a squad. Coaches, WCFL board members and team parents are all volunteers.

When it comes to cheerleading, the WCFL is focused on participation. The program promotes healthy minds and healthy bodies, making friends, demonstrating self-control, learning to follow directions and, most importantly, to have fun. Regardless of age and ability, the WCFL has a cheer squad for everyone.

The WCFL cheer program does not hold tryouts; space on the squads is on a first-come, first-served basis, and is limited by the number of volunteer coaches. Cheerleaders are taught the fundamentals of cheerleading and some advanced skills. All levels of experience are welcome, from beginner to elite. The program allows youngsters to meet new people, make new friends, gain self-confidence and increase their self-esteem in a friendly environment.

Visit www.wcflfootball.com to learn more about the Western Communities Football League.

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