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Wellington The Magazine, LLC Featured Articles

Bricks Busting Boredom Uses A Ubiquitous Toy To Help Kids In Need Lego Love

Bricks Busting Boredom Uses A Ubiquitous Toy To Help Kids In Need

Lego Love

While many younger sisters might not want to follow in their brother’s footsteps, Wellington High School junior Sarah Clein relishes the job of taking over the responsibility of the local nonprofit Bricks Busting Boredom founded by her sibling Daniel Clein.

To date, the nonprofit has redistributed more than 2,500 pounds of Lego bricks and given away hundreds of new sets to seriously ill children.

Sarah, not yet driving, nonetheless manages to provide public relations for the project and goes with her mother, Deborah Clein, all over the county collecting Legos and then delivering them to children in hospitals and shelters.

Since 2017, when Daniel headed off to college, she has organized Lego parties, where younger brother Jonathan Clein, 13 and heir to the organization, helps out and is known to dress as a Lego man to distribute the famous toys to children.

“My mother and I work together to do public relations and all the footwork to pick up Legos,” Sarah said. “We try and get the word out so that people who have Legos know to bring them to the many different drop-off locations we have set up around the county.”

Even people who have not had children are likely familiar with the world-famous Lego brand of little plastic bricks that can be connected to assemble objects such as buildings, vehicles, even working robots, then disassembled and the pieces used to make something else.

They are immensely popular with children worldwide and are so ubiquitous that marketing experts have named them Brand Finance’s “World’s Most Powerful Brand.” Lego bricks are durable, don’t wear out easily with repeated coupling and disassembly, and can be sanitized for new users.

Patented in 1958, the modern Lego brick design has roots in the woodworking facility of a Danish carpenter. Invented in the workshop of Oleg Kirk Christiansen, Legos evolved in the 1930s and 1940s from wooden toys, becoming what we would recognize as modern Legos in 1949. The toys earned their name based upon the first two letters of the words leg godt, which means “play well” in Danish.

During the ensuing decades, many have noticed how involved children and adults can become building with the tiny bricks. Sarah noted that working with them has a therapeutic effect.

“It allows kids to really let their imaginations run wild,” she explained. “I see kids sit down, and they have a bunch of Legos, they’re playing with them and they already have a plan in their heads. They make cars and buildings. They make things I never would have thought of. The kids will sit there for hours; you see them, their mind is working, their eyes light up. It distracts them from everything else that is going on in their lives. It’s adorable.”

Bricks Busting Boredom has grown rapidly since Daniel started it in 2015 after visiting his cousin in the hospital and learning of how useful Lego bricks and Lego sets can be for young patients. “We have fundraisers and accept donations to buy new Lego sets,” Deborah said. “Some hospitals will only let us donate new, unopened toys in the box.”

A safety precaution, perhaps, but Legos can be thoroughly cleaned and passed down. They are virtually indestructible, as any parent knows who has ever stepped on an errant brick. How indestructible? The company reports it would take 950 pounds of force to crush a single brick. That equates to being at the bottom of a tower 375,000 bricks high.

With approximately 180 bricks to the pound, a recent trip this summer to New York delivered 400 pounds to severely ill children at Camp Simcha.

“We heard about a camp for sick kids that had a Lego room,” Sarah said. “It was all decorated for playing with Legos with nicely painted walls and a good floor surface. It just needed Legos, so a volunteer drove our donation of 400 pounds of Legos up in a truck and delivered them to the camp.”

Begun as a project by Daniel, Sarah took over two years later and Jonathan is set to take over when she graduates. The consistent factor through the various siblings’ tenure has been Deborah, who provides tireless support to her children.

“We provide sets to children’s hospitals like Palm Beach, Palms West and Joe DiMaggio, as well as Quantum House,” she said. “Everyone we interact with gets a set of Legos that they can take home with them.”

Once focused on Palm Beach County, the nonprofit is growing.

“We are currently working with Kindness Matters 365,” Sarah said. “We’re picking up at different schools around Florida, and we have plans to continue to grow outside of Florida.”

In the future, they may even have support from the company itself.

“Recently, we found out that the Lego company has started a Lego Replay program, collecting used Legos, cleaning them and sending them to different organizations,” Sarah said. “We asked to be part of the program, and they said right now they’re just getting on their feet with it, but they will consider us in the future. We would love to work with the Lego company.”

In other future plans, she also wants to donate to more hospitals in and around Florida, along with women’s shelters and homeless shelters. “Anywhere we see a need for Legos, we want those people to be able to have the opportunity to use the Legos,” Sarah said.

Of course, the entire program runs on donations.

“I just want to let people know if they have Legos, please donate them, and we will put them in the hands of kids who can really use them,” Sarah said.

For information about Bricks Busting Boredom, including how to donate, call (954) 682-3816 or visit www.bricksbustingboredom.org. To see the group in action, visit www.facebook.com/BricksBustingBoredom.

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Binks Forest Elementary School Promotes Kindness By Installing A Buddy Bench Buddy Ambassadors

Binks Forest Elementary School Promotes Kindness By Installing A Buddy Bench
Buddy Ambassadors

After nearly a half-century in law enforcement, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Michael Gauger has seen more bullies than he cares to remember.

“I know bullies,” Gauger told students at Wellington’s Binks Forest Elementary School in October. “I see people who bully [in the jail]. If you start bullying, and you are very young, and you don’t change your ways, it gets worse.”

Longtime residents of Wellington, Gauger and his wife Phyllis came to Binks Forest to present the school with a Buddy Bench they donated. It’s the 16th bench to be placed at a Palm Beach County school as part of the Buddy Ambassadors program, a joint initiative of Mental Health America of Palm Beach County and local author Loverly Sheridan, who wrote the book Be a Buddy, Not a Bully.

The Buddy Ambassadors program was designed around Sheridan’s book, which tells the story of bullies on a school bus on the first day of school.

“Buddy Ambassadors lead by example,” Sheridan told the children during an assembly to dedicate the bench and recognize two students in each grade who had shown acts of kindness or compassion to their peers.

A Buddy Bench provides a safe spot for a child who is feeling sad, lonely or afraid to ask for a friend without having to necessarily say anything.

“The buddy program is teaching children how to be a buddy instead of a bully,” Gauger explained. “If somebody is being bullied, you come to their aid and help that child and let them know they’re important, you’re a friend and they’re not alone.”

It is all part of establishing a culture of kindness at the school, Principal Michella Levy said.

“Our goal at Binks Forest Elementary is not only to spread kindness but to inspire our students to be leaders and stand up against bullying,” Levy explained. “Every week, we recognize students from all grade levels caught being a student leader against bullying. Our school behavioral health counselor, Mrs. Hope Jackson, is even starting a student leadership program after school to teach students how to problem solve and help others with bullying situations.”

Tackling the bullying epidemic, and the fallout that often results, is something that Gauger feels passionate about. He works closely with Mental Health America and the National Alliance on Mental Illness and sits on several boards of nonprofit organizations focusing on mental illness and drug or alcohol addictions.

“I have a master’s degree in social work, and I feel very strongly about the bullying program,” he said. “Bullying has resulted in some of the active shooter situations we’ve seen.”

The Gaugers have called Wellington home for three decades. Their children, now 27 and 34, are the product of Wellington schools. They paid $1,500 for the bench, which is inscribed with Gauger’s name, to say thank you.

“The Wellington community has been very good to me,” he said. “We decided to donate the bench because this is so important. These benches may deter future situations in schools by promoting kindness and giving students the chance to be there for one of their peers. While we may not be able to eliminate all bullying, we know these benches will reduce the instances and can foster new friendships that may not have happened otherwise.”

For more information on donating a Buddy Bench to local schools, contact Mental Health America of Palm Beach County at (561) 832-3755 or e-mail lsheridan@mentalhealthpbc.org. Learn more about the program at www.mentalhealthpbc.org.

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Olympic Dressage Hopeful Supports Local Boys & Girls Club Youth Powerful Message

Olympic Dressage Hopeful Supports Local Boys & Girls Club Youth
Powerful Message

Dressage phenom Juan Matute Guimón has witnessed many changes over the past year, as he lives with one foot firmly planted in Wellington and the other in Madrid, Spain.

Matute Guimón, 21, was born in Spain but moved to Wellington’s equestrian community when he was 10 years old. Last year, he became a U.S. citizen, but he also decided to move back to Spain to earn a university degree. Despite this life-changing decision, Matute Guimón is determined to stay rooted locally by continuing to help the Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington.

“I’m still closely connected to the Wellington community even though I am living in Spain,” Matute Guimón said. “It’s like my home even though I moved away. I hold onto my Wellington family while I have my Spanish roots.”

He’s excited to return to South Florida this winter. In February, Matute Guimón will be one of nine star players competing in the World Championship Equestrian Triathlon, which benefits the local Boys & Girls Club.

Matute Guimón said that the event is special for him because he is able to have fun with some of the world’s most renowned equestrians while impacting the lives of more than 1,200 children who are members of the club.

“It’s one of the highlights of the season for all of us,” he said. “We meet many families whose children enjoy a safe place to go after school. It’s a great feeling that as we are competing, we are also helping the future progress and connecting new individuals.”

The third annual World Championship Equestrian Triathlon will be held Monday, Feb. 10, 2020 at Deeridge Farms in Wellington. It features elite dressage, show jumping and polo athletes from around the world. The twist is that the athletes do not compete in their sport of expertise, which makes the event even more exciting for the competitors and the spectators.

Matute Guimón and his team will be defending their championship title next year. Earlier this year, they were crowned victorious over equestrian celebrities such as Nacho Figueras, Andy Kocher and Lerin Zubiaurre. Always the gentleman, Matute Guimón plays coy when asked if he wants to hold onto his title for a second year. “We all have a competitive edge about us, but it’s most important that we raise money for the organization,” he said. “If we win, it’s even better!”

Matute Guimón is used to winning. Throughout his dressage career, he has achieved significant accomplishments at a young age both in the U.S. and Spain. He started competing in Wellington in the national ring in 2010 and the international ring two years later. In 2015, he won the FEI gold medal at the Young Rider European Championships. He continues to earn spots on medal podiums at some of the most prestigious competitions.

Currently, he’s working to represent Spain at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The added stress and necessary practice makes for a hectic schedule, but Matute Guimón is passionate about making it to the Olympics. Representing Spain during the games would be a dream come true. “It has been my goal since I was a little boy, and now I’m ready to make it happen,” he said.

Off the field, Matute Guimón is focused on a second career that builds off his international dressage experience. “I’m studying international relations at Francisco de Vitoria University in Madrid,” he explained.

The academics are a different type of challenge, but it is one that he’s facing with the same kind of determination that he exerts while on horseback. “It can be difficult at times with the competition, travel and training for the different shows. I take it step-by-step and focus on my goals,” Matute Guimón said.

His experience of having a dual career in the dressage world and the academic world has changed his perspective and even the advice that he gives to younger fans. He’s aware that his age allows him to have a more significant influence on children. This is one reason he looks forward to competing in the World Championship Equestrian Triathlon. “With me being so young, I hope that I can inspire others to participate or even volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club,” Matute Guimón said.

The Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club has more than 1,200 members with 300 kids served daily. It features a learning center with a computer lab, certified teachers as tutors, college and career readiness programs, STEM programs with robotics, as well as art courses, health and wellness education, dance classes, voice lessons, a gardening program, athletics and much more.

“Always have a clear idea of your dreams and don’t be afraid to pursue them,” Matute Guimón says when advising young club members.

He knows that many of the club children face challenges every day and that their personal attitudes can help them reach their goals in the future, no matter their situation in the present. His recent commitment to juggling schoolwork and qualifying for the 2020 Olympics has underscored his strong belief in the importance of dedication and determination.

Both characteristics were taught to Matute Guimón by his father, also a well-known dressage rider. He’s quick to note that his main role model in life has always been his father. In fact, they continue to have a close relationship even as the young champion moves into adulthood.

Matute Guimón understands that not every situation allows a child to have their father as their role model, and that’s another reason why he supports the local Boys & Girls Club, which provides children positive role models and mentors. “I think it’s extremely important for the kids to always have a person that they can look up to,” he said. “It has made a big difference in my life, and I want all kids to have the same experience to push themselves to be better.”

Despite his very rigorous university coursework, Matute Guimón is not easing up on travel, competing and charity work. He looks forward to 2020 being his most exciting and possibly rewarding year yet. With the Olympics at the end of July, his schedule will likely ramp up and make his goal of attaining his degree a little more challenging to achieve. But Matute Guimón is sure to follow the advice that he gives to the Boys & Girls Club children: “If you work hard and stay focused, anything is possible!” 

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Family Fun & Games Holiday Traditions

Family Fun & Games
Holiday Traditions

Chances are that this holiday season you either will be throwing a party or going to one or two. We love December because of all the holiday happenings. It is the time of year when you get to see many friends and family, both near and far. It’s a time to get together and celebrate with delicious family recipes, singing holiday songs or taking long strolls after that “must-have” dessert. But one of the best things about holiday parties is the time spent laughing and playing those traditional festive games. Some are timeless traditions that both young and old can join in on, and some are newer and more of a challenge, but take the time to teach grandma and grandpa, making the memories all that more memorable. We have gathered a few of our staff favorites to share with you. Who knows? Maybe some of these will become your family tradition for years to come. Happy Holidays!

Spoons 

Players: Up to 13 players (1 suit per player) 

Required: Table and chairs, deck of playing cards, spoons 

How to play: Shuffle deck and deal players four cards each. Place one less number of spoons to players in the center. The object is to collect four of a kind by passing one unwanted card to the player’s left. When someone gets four of a kind, they take a spoon, and the loser is the one who is not fast enough to grab a spoon.

 

Pin The Nose On Rudolph

Players: Unlimited

Required: Large picture of Rudolph, a wall, red noses and blindfolds

How to play: Mount the picture on the wall. Blindfold each player and give them a red nose to attach to the picture. The winner is the one closest to the proper place.

 

Spin The Dreidel

Players: Unlimited

Required: Dreidel, 10 to 15 game pieces per person

(traditionally pennies, nuts, gold coins, etc.)

How to play: Every participant puts one game piece into the center “pot.” In addition, every time the pot is empty, or has only one game piece left, every player should put one in the pot. Player spins the dreidel once. Depending on the side it lands on, you give or get game pieces from the pot. The winner is the player with all of the game pieces.


White Elephant

Players: Unlimited

Required: One wrapped gift per person

 

How to play: Each person brings a wrapped gift of a predetermined value. Each player takes a number from a hat. The number they pull determines the order of play. Number 1 picks a gift and unwraps it. Number 2 can either choose another gift or take Number 1’s gift, and Number 1 gets to pick again. The game continues until all numbers have picked a gift.

 

Coin Towers

Players: Unlimited

Required: Gold-wrapped chocolate coins, bouncy balls, floor space

 

How to play: Each player builds a tower of chocolate coins and then rolls a bouncy ball into the tower. The winner is the one who has the most coins still standing.

 

Christmas Bingo

Players: Unlimited

Required: Bingo sheets with holiday items, pens and a bingo caller

 

How to play: Each player has a card, and when the caller calls out a picture, the player marks it off. The winner is the first person to mark off all pictures on their card.

 

Kissing Under The Mistletoe

Participants: Two

Required: Two willing participants and hanging mistletoe

How To Play: Wait for your favorite person to walk underneath the mistletoe, smile and point overhead, indicating a kiss is warranted. This has long been a Christmas icebreaker for many adults wanting to steal a kiss from someone they admire.

Florida Monopoly

Players: Two to eight 

Required: Florida Monopoly board game

How to play: Traditional Monopoly showcasing various places found all over the State of Florida. Search for it in stores or online!

 

Christmas Pong

layers: Unlimited

Required: Table, green and red drink cups, ping-pong balls, small toys/treats

 

How to play: Arrange cups in shape of a Christmas tree at one end of a table. Put little gifts in the bottom of each cup. Each player throws a ping-pong ball with the objective of dropping it into a cup and then taking the prize and throwing again. The winner is the player with the most prizes.

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Haute for season

Haute for season

Wherever the event or whatever the occasion, Wellington’s unique boutiques have you covered this season. Wellington The Magazine visited five of our favorite places for expert style advice, avant-garde accessories and adorable children’s clothing. Enjoy the varied selections from these fashion-forward clothiers.

The Mixed Bag

Where Girls Of All Ages Love To Shop

The Mixed Bag began as a vendor at horse shows up and down the East Coast about 20 years ago. The owners, Jonatha Gorin and her daughter Tracey Gorin-Byrne, would load up their horse trailer with horses, along with ladies clothing and accessories, to sell in vendor spaces at the shows they participated in from Vermont to Florida, ultimately ending up at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington for 12 years.

Over the years, a brick and mortar store was opened in Mystic, Conn., as well as in Jupiter. This allowed them to carry an even wider variety of lines. Five years ago, the Mixed Bag stopped being a vendor at WEF and opened the Wellington store, located in the Wellington Marketplace.

“We love Wellington and knew it would be a natural fit,” Jonatha Gorin said.

Clients come in to see what’s new, be it clothing, accessories or gifts.

“We are known for our wide assortment of apparel and accessories, which are stylish, versatile and affordable,” Gorin continued. “Appealing to all ages, we offer Jude Connally and Gretchen Scott and Saint James for the more mature tastes, and Bella Dahl, Elan and Olivaceous for our younger clients, to name just a few.”

The Mixed Bag is a true shopping destination. “The majority of our shoppers don’t leave empty-handed and return often,” Gorin said. “We have a wonderful variety of accessories, including lovely silk scarves, trendy jewelry and smart handbags. Some great fashion footwear is coming soon. And gifts, lots of gifts for the animal lover, great hostess gifts and fun girlfriend gifts. Husbands and male friends love to give our gift certificates all beautifully wrapped.”

Most recently, the Mixed Bag added infant and toddler items through age six, including apparel, accessories and gifts, because Tracey Gorin-Byrne just became a mother herself.

 

13889 Wellington Trace, Suite A-13

Wellington, FL 33414

(561) 795-8976

www.facebook.com/shopthemixedbag

 

 

Backstreet Fashions

Boutique Clothing For The Stylish Woman

Backstreet Fashions is a privately owned store that has been around for more than 30 years with three locations in the South Florida area. The store prides itself on excellent customer service and getting to know its customers. That includes getting to know what you like to wear, and they can even call you when new merchandise arrives that fits your look.

Backstreet Fashions receives new merchandise every day, so the stock is always fresh. The store caters to women who want to look fashionable, trendy and stylish every day. You’ll also find an assortment of holiday and special occasion pieces, along with one-of-a-kind pieces that you won’t find in the big department stores and malls.

Can’t find your size? Backstreet Fashions can get it for you in size that range from 0-16 and XS-XXL, along with 1X-2X. In addition, the store sells handbags, jewelry and novelty items. Prices range from $29.50 to $110.50, so stop in soon and say hello.

 

2605 State Road 7, Suite A-430

Wellington, FL 33414

(561) 847-4167

 

Tyler Brooke

His Shirt, Her blouse

Tyler Brooke, located in the Mall at Wellington Green, has a very unique concept.

“We have created a retail experience for both men and women,” owner Henry Mosely explained. “It is the only place like it in the area to make shopping fun again. At Tyler Brooke, we encourage the client to do a fitting with us to help customize the proper attire for that event or need.”

Tyler Brooke has several price points in place. Items start as low as $50 up to $300, depending on what the client is looking for. “Men and women can purchase merchandise at Tyler Brooke,” Mosely said. “Some of our featured designers are Lilly Pulitzer, Robert Graham for men and women, Liverpool for men and women, Eight-X fashion shirts and our newest designer, Luchiano Visconti.”

Tyer Brooke also offers personal styling and consulting needs. In the future, the store plans to offer more concierge services for those clients who just cannot get away.

 

10300 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 226

Wellington, FL 33414

(561) 281-9522

www.tyler-brooke.com

 

She’s The One Unique & Upscale Clothing 

And Accessory Boutique

 

She’s The One is an upscale women’s clothing boutique established in 1987.

“The experience that we’d like to present to our clients is one of personalized service foremost, from the moment you enter our beautiful boutiques, the vibe will be friendly, comfortable and eclectic in style,” owner Ellen Onofrietto explained. “Our mission is to style our beautiful clients from desk to a dinner out — effortlessly. Our price range here is for everyone’s pocketbook.”

The store carries beautiful accessories, jewelry and handbags, starting at $30. “Our girl can also find an amazing imported lambskin leather jacket for $500,” Onofrietto added. “The variety is endless. She’s The One is a true ‘crossover’ boutique.”

By that, she means any generation can find something that they will fall in love with.

*We also offer one-on-one personalized styling in-store if needed, or by appointment,” Onofrietto said.


Marketplace at Wycliffe

4095 State Road 7, Suite R

Lake Worth, FL 33449

(561) 965-3111

 

 

The Red Balloon Current Trends To Designer Labels

 

The Red Balloon sells fashion accessories and clothing items for as little as one-sixth their original price. From size 00 to petites to curvy plus sizes, there’s an ever-changing mix of like-new to mint condition casual wear, workout wear and career wear, on up to cocktail and evening wear.

In business for 42 years at the West Palm Beach location, and 10 years at the Wellington location, the two outlets feature current trends to high-end designer labels and styles with a splash of on-trend vintage and designer vintage for true fashionistas. “We’re just a mom-and-pop, locally owned consignment store, where we don’t even make all the money that is sold every day,” owner Pat Snayd explained. “We do it because we really appreciate our loyal shoppers and consignors and love to give back as we can to them.”

The store is seasonal and follows the fashion cycle seasons. “Yes, even in Florida, we want change. Spring is February to April, summer is May through August or September, fall is October and November, and winter is December and January,” Snayd said. “Our vibe is a friendly, modern, clean, fashion-first, resale-rocks shopping experience. We have amazing staff if you’d like someone to help. If you just like to get lost in resale-therapy, we have plenty of space and items to allow for that.”

The Red Balloon takes in hundreds of items daily, Monday through Friday and gets them out onto the floor quickly. “Our price ranges are very reasonable. We are typically one-fifth to one-sixth of retail, depending on various details,” Snayd said. “Items still selling new in stores may be priced about one-half to one-third of retail. You can find a cute, trendy top for $4.99 to $13.99 or a sought-after designer top for $24.99 to $49.99.”

The store is a must stop for favorite accessories. “We get tons of handbags, both regular trend to high-end,” Snayd said.

Follow the Red Balloon on Instagram to be the first to see new designer items that are coming in daily. “First picks and designer items are in their own department, which is about one-quarter of our store,” she said. “The whole store is kept neat, clean and tidy.”

Customers can hold items in store or on social media. There is also a loyalty program, fun and innovative sales and in-store promotions and giveaways.

 

9120 Forest Hill Blvd.
Wellington, FL 33414
(561) 333-2515
www.shopredballoon.com

 

As you can see, Wellington’s style bar has been set high for the upcoming season. So, be sure to visit these local fashion leaders and get yourself ready for all the fun times ahead!

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Pilates Rocks Celebrates A Decade Of Keeping Wellington Residents Fit Balance Flexibility

Pilates Rocks Celebrates A Decade Of Keeping Wellington Residents Fit Balance Flexibility

There are many ways to get fit and stay active in Wellington. If you are inspired to perspire, popular outlets for an active lifestyle include walking, running, biking, swimming, tennis, golf, playing team sports or horseback riding. If you’re looking for something more unique, add Pilates to your list of fitness activities because Pilates complements every activity in your life.

Pilates Rocks, located at 3460 Fairlane Farms Road, has been providing this unique exercise and fitness routine to residents of Wellington and beyond for the past 10 years.

Under the leadership and direction of co-owners Elissa Salzman and Laura Minucci, it has been a great first decade for Pilates Rocks with another exciting, perspiration-filled, calorie-burning, core-building decade to come.

The co-owners come from different backgrounds. Salzman is a longtime equestrian, while Minucci is a trained physical therapist.

Prominent professional athletes in all sports are now doing Pilates, Salzman noted. Among them are global soccer legend David Beckham and NBA superstar LeBron James. Locally, a large number of people involved in Wellington’s world-class equestrian scene are active members at Pilates Rocks.

“Our membership includes so many jumpers and a large number of dressage riders,” Salzman said.

Minucci added that veterinarians, groomers, trainers and horse owners also enjoy their Pilates classes. “Once the word spreads around a barn about Pilates, everybody decides to do it,” she said.

As a way of commemorating its first 10 years, Pilates Rocks sponsored two Grand Prix jumping events in Wellington on Nov. 15 and Nov. 17. “It’s the right thing to do since the equestrian industry is an important part of our business,” Salzman said.

What’s so appealing about Pilates is that it works on and improves many parts of your body — your back, knees, shoulders, arms and especially your core. 

“Every type of movement comes from the core. In Pilates, we want you to feel as if your belly button is kissing your spine,” Salzman explained. “With Pilates, you will improve your core, as well as your balance, flexibility, strength and awareness. Pilates also helps your breathing.”

How does Pilates improve your awareness? “It shows you where parts of your body are moving from when you exercise,” said Salzman, a New York City native who has lived in Wellington for the past 12 years.

Pilates is just as much a mental exercise as it is a physical workout.

“You have to concentrate and think at Pilates,” Salzman said.

There are generally two types of Pilates — classical and contemporary. At Pilates Rocks, they include the attractive elements of both versions.

“We have stayed true to the Pilates principles, but we continue to add new, modern equipment to our studios,” Minucci emphasized.

Back in 2009, Pilates Rocks had one studio. In 2013, the business expanded by adding a second studio, which was necessary to accommodate high demand.

Another benefit of Pilates is that it helps with bone density. “With Pilates, my bone density gets better every year,” said Salzman, now 74 years old.

This is especially important for equestrian jumpers when their bodies are constantly moving on the back of a horse as it leaps over one obstacle after another.

Some of the well-known equestrians who have spent time at Pilates Rocks are jumpers Laura Kraut, Lauren Hough, Chris McCrea, Eric Lamaze and Andrew Bourns, as well as dressage riders Susie Dutta, Ashley Holzer and Todd Flettrich.

Membership at Pilates Rocks numbers roughly 200 people. The ages of members range from 15 to 85. While many members are female, Salzman noted that Pilates is becoming more appealing to men.

“The number of our male members is picking up, especially from the equestrian sports,” Salzman said.

One key aspect of Pilates Rocks is that it caters to the needs and demands of its members.

“We are open seven days a week,” Salzman said. “We open as early as 6 a.m., and we try to head home by 8:30 p.m. Though, we will stay open later if we need to accommodate a specific client.”

Some members are enrolled in group classes and some prefer private one-on-one sessions. The group classes feature no more than eight participants. With the private sessions, it allows instructors to focus on one specific part of a client’s body. Some members do both group and private sessions.

“We have three or four group classes every day, but we conduct private sessions every day, throughout the day,” Minucci said.

Two of the original members of Pilates Rocks — Barbara Cherry and Holly Lichtenfeld — are as actively involved now as they were 10 years ago.

“I do Pilates because it’s fun,” Cherry said. “I’m also fitter and happier. I do go to the gym twice a week, but it’s a different workout at Pilates Rocks.”

“I like the variety of the workouts,” added Lichtenfeld, who attends group classes at least three times a week.

Lichtenfeld said that Pilates has improved her health.

“Years ago, I injured my back while picking up my kids,” she said. “Doing Pilates has healed my back and avoided trips to a physical therapist or a chiropractor.”

Without a doubt, the atmosphere at Pilates Rocks is forever positive.

“We have a good vibe here. We have a good time,” Salzman said.

The principles of Pilates were developed nearly a century ago by Joseph Pilates. The owners of Pilates Rocks believe that if he were still alive today, he would be pleased.

“He would be very proud of our studio and what we do,” Minucci said.

Pilates Rocks is located at 3460 Fairlane Farms Road, Suite 12, in Wellington. For more info., e-mail info@pilatesrocks.com, call (561) 204-3185 or visit www.pilatesrocks.com.

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Urban Air Adventure Park Offers Great Entertainment For The Whole Family Indoor Fun

Urban Air Adventure Park Offers Great Entertainment For The Whole Family Indoor Fun

Families face many challenges when it comes to finding activities everyone can enjoy while getting some good, old-fashioned exercise. How does exercise compete with the digital distractions of games and streaming content, especially on oppressively hot days or when it is raining? The new Urban Air Adventure Park offers a solution right here in Wellington.

“I was introduced to Urban Air as a concept out of the Texas area, and I watched how they grew to become one of the more successful franchise opportunities in the country,” owner Bobby Kreusler said. “I loved the idea of what it was about — promoting family entertainment.”

Kreusler did extensive research into the brand, but what convinced him that this was the right local venture were conversations with people he knew personally.

“I asked about what families do with their kids for fun, and there was a common problem — not a lot of places to take the kids when it is raining or too hot,” he explained.

Urban Air offers a new option. “I watched people having fun with their kids,” Kreusler said. “I thought it was unique that mom and dad very often went out on the trampolines or did the warrior course. I really liked that and thought there was a need in this area.”

Kreusler is a native to the Palm Beach area, and he found the perfect location for his indoor park near the Mall at Wellington Green. It is surprisingly difficult to find spaces that fit the need for 30,000 square feet and 22-foot ceilings.

“It was really the perfect storm of opportunity. Factor in the strong community of families and schools in the surrounding area, and it seemed like the perfect spot to me,” he said. “We’ve been extremely pleased with the support from the community and from the turnout of our guests.”

Urban Air opened in April and has since started offering a new membership program through the franchise. For as little as $10 a month per person, guests can obtain unlimited access to the facility.

“The platinum package is a tremendous deal for families,” said Kreusler, who explained that guests can get full access to all attractions for an entire month for less than the cost of a two-hour visit. “We are known for parties, but also healthy, physical fitness.”

Kreusler also finds that the park offers a great way for families to play together in a way that works for their schedule.

“If the kids are playing on a soccer team, the parents very often can’t participate, whereas here, they can go around and do everything together as a family unit,” he said. “And they don’t have to wait around for a 6 p.m. game.”

A lifelong love of sports led Kreusler into the industry as an attorney, often representing entertainers, musicians and athletes, including many golfers on the PGA Tour. Sports aside, Urban Air is designed to be fun for all groups, not just families with kids.

“We do school field trips, spirit nights and special events for charitable corporations. Corporations can come to us for unique team-building events,” he said. “We are geared for people from all backgrounds.”

With 14 different attractions to choose from, kids and adults of all ages and abilities will find something they love. Urban Air is far more than just another trampoline park or indoor bounce house.

“I think the sky coaster is a really cool option — to be able to fly around indoors in your own little personal coaster is very cool,” Kreusler said. “But I love dodgeball. I’m competitive, and it’s fun to get in there. I’ve seen people do all different variations, like parents versus kids, and I can tell you after 10 minutes of bouncing around, you are absolutely exhausted. I don’t know how the kids do it.”

The adventure park also offers a ropes course, slam ball, a warrior course, the Pro Zone, virtual reality and a unique attraction called the Wipe Out.

“No one has that kind of diversity and selection amongst attractions,” Kreusler said. “We also have a full café with food, and beer and wine for the adults. We have televisions and places for adults to sit and relax, too.”

The facility is open seven days a week. Operating hours are Monday through Thursday, 4 to 8 p.m.; Friday, noon to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Urban Air Adventure Park is located in the Shoppes at Wellington Green at 10560 W. Forest Hill Blvd. For more information about activities, memberships and packages, visit www.urbanairwellington.com or call (561) 408-0809.

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2020 Great Charity Challenge, Presented By Fidelity Investments, Focuses On Partnerships Feb. 1

2020 Great Charity Challenge, Presented By Fidelity Investments, Focuses On Partnerships Feb. 1

With a growing national and global sense that partnerships are at the core of progress and impact, the Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments, will once again sharpen the focus on the power of united communities when it returns on Feb. 1, 2020 to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Having distributed $13.5 million to more than 240 Palm Beach County nonprofit organizations to date, the exciting event hinges on the generous support of the equestrian community and local business partners.

Through an open application process, the GCC encourages all Palm Beach County-based charities to apply to participate in the event’s 11th edition through Nov. 15. Following a thorough vetting process in partnership with Bank of America, the drawing of the first 24 charities will take place throughout Palm Beach County the first week of December. All selections will be posted live online through the GCC’s social media platforms.

The fortunate selectees will meet their randomly paired equestrian teams on Saturday, Feb. 1 to receive a share of the more than $1 million purse. The winning team’s nonprofit will receive $150,000, while all pre-selected participants are guaranteed a minimum grant of $15,000.

Founded in 2010 by Paige Bellissimo and Equestrian Sport Productions, the GCC has maintained its values of professionalism by being “impact-driven.” Transparency guarantees impartiality with its public lottery-style selection process, while 100 percent of the money raised gets distributed to local nonprofits.

Over the last five years, the relay-style show jumping competition has brought team spirit to a new level by incorporating themes into each yearly celebration. With riders dressed up in costumes and horses adorned to match them, this year’s theme of “Broadway Musicals” will pay recognition to the wisdom commonly found in these plays. From “You can change the world if you change your mind” (Kinky Boots) to “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise!” (Les Misérables) and “If you stand for nothing Burr, what will you fall for?” (Hamilton), all who attend the event will leave inspired to foster the change they wish to see in their own back yards.

“With Equestrian Sport Productions’ full support by covering 100 percent of the costs associated with hosting the GCC, to the generous donors who join in our mission to create a positive impact locally, the riders who donate their talents and horses for the evening, and all the way to the amazing nonprofits who work tirelessly to better Palm Beach County, the event is truly a showcase of the power of partnerships,” GCC Executive Director Anne Caroline Valtin said.

The GCC competition during the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center will offer free general admission and will be held Saturday, Feb. 1 starting at 6 p.m. Free parking will be located at 13500 South Shore Blvd. in Wellington at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival show grounds.

For the latest event information, application process and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.greatcharitychallenge.com and follow the event on Facebook and Instagram at @greatcharitychallenge.

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International Polo Club Palm Beach Looks Forward To A Competitive 2020 Season

International Polo Club Palm Beach Looks Forward To A Competitive 2020 Season

Another world-class season of polo is about to return to the grounds of the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington.

Beginning Sunday, Dec. 29 and continuing through Sunday, April 19, the 2020 season will welcome the best players and ponies from around the world to compete in the elite 18-goal and 22-goal tournaments.

The iconic venue spreads over 250 acres with seven state-of-the-art fields, a newly constructed polo arena, a spectator-friendly stadium and 7,000 square feet of indoor event space.

Based in the heart of Wellington, IPC offers both new and lifelong polo fans plenty of opportunities to enjoy the sport of kings. Each week, spectators are invited to attend the various matches held across the property with casual tailgating. On Sundays, guests can enjoy the exciting feature game on the U.S. Polo Assn. Field with even more hospitality options, including stadium seats, premium box seating, tailgates and field-side tables in the Veuve Clicquot Pavilion.

An impressive social scene and lavish brunch can always be found in the Veuve Clicquot Pavilion prior to the start of the traditional 3 p.m. match. Also returning this winter is the luxurious Celebrity Cruises Polo Lounge featuring all the VIP perks guests would expect to experience at a polo event. The enjoyable atmosphere, coupled with a perfect field-side view, makes the Pavilion and the VIP Polo Lounge two of the most enviable tickets during the winter season.

New this season include enhanced food and beverage options for all spectators and family-friendly ticket pricing. Lower-level sections in the stadium will now start at just $20 with an up close and personal view of the intense match taking place. Additionally, delicious new signature cocktails will be available for guests seated in the stadium and in general admission zones.

The 2020 season will feature an extensive competition calendar with three 18-goal tournaments and three 22-goal tournaments over the course of four months. The Herbie Pennell Cup will kick off the schedule on Dec. 29, followed by the Joe Barry Cup from Jan. 1 through Jan. 12. The Ylvisaker Cup tournament will take place next, from Jan. 11 through Feb. 2, concluding the 18-goal series. The decision to lower the tournaments from 20 goals to 18 goals was made so more teams and rising players could participate in the winter season.

The launch of the 22-goal Gauntlet of Polo series begins with the C.V. Whitney Cup tournament on Feb. 1 and continues with the start of the USPA Gold Cup tournament on Feb. 22 and the U.S. Open Polo Championship tournament on March 21. For the second year in a row, IPC will host the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship Final on Saturday, March 21 on the U.S. Polo Assn. Field 1 to benefit Susan G. Komen.

In its inaugural year, the Gauntlet of Polo sequence brought in a record number of participating teams to vie for the coveted $1 million prize and ultimate victory of three tournament wins. The Pilot Polo Team, led by Curtis Pilot, mastered the triple champion title, claiming each 22-goal tournament and, therefore, obtaining the coveted Gauntlet trophy.

“We’re very excited to welcome back the 22-goal tournaments. Last year, some of the best polo I’ve seen in years was played in these matches,” IPC’s Director of Polo Operations Jimmy Newman said. “The players were very competitive, and I think we’ll see that again in this season’s Gauntlet series.”

Also returning for the 2020 season is the International Polo School at IPC. Now in its third year, the school allows new fans of all ages to learn the rules of the game first-hand with individual lessons, simulation training and team practices. The USPA-certified instructors are currently booking daily lessons and looking for individuals to fill the amateur-friendly low-goal league. For more information on lessons and the league, contact Gates Gridley at jgridley@equestriansport.com or (203) 232-6935.

In addition to world-class polo, IPC is becoming a hotspot for other popular field sports and special events. This November, the IWLCA Presidents Cup, the world’s largest female lacrosse tournament, will be held at IPC. This event alone will welcome up to 400 high school teams totaling to 7,000 female athletes. Back in 2017, the Florida Sports Foundation named IPC the Large Market Sports Venue of the Year, after it held several rugby, football and field hockey tournaments. Brides have also turned their sights on the fields of IPC, booking their fall, spring and summer weddings in the Pavilion or right on the main field.

“We’ve definitely seen a rise in our event reservations over the last year,” IPC’s Vice President of Event Operations Vaneli Bojkova said. “IPC is such a unique venue that has those picturesque backdrops and exclusive experiences that brides are really seeking out these days to make their wedding different from others.”

The polo club offers an extensive list of services and floor spaces for events of all sizes and styles and is now booking for 2020 and 2021.

The International Polo Club Palm Beach is located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington. To learn more, visit www.internationalpoloclub.com.

International Polo Club 2020 Sunday Polo Schedule

December 29

Herbie Pennell Final (18 goal)

 

January 5

 Joe Barry Cup (18 goal)

 

January 12

Joe Barry Cup Final (18 goal)

 

January 19

Ylvisaker Cup (18 goal)

 

January 26

Ylvisaker Cup (18 goal)

 

February 2

Ylvisaker Cup Final (18 goal)

 

February 9

 C.V. Whitney Cup (22 goal)

 

February 16

 C.V. Whitney Cup (22 goal)

 

February 23

 C.V. Whitney Cup Final (22 goal)

 

March 1

 USPA Gold Cup (22 goal)

 

March 8

 USPA Gold Cup (22 goal)

 

March 15

USPA Gold Cup (22 goal)

 

March 21

U.S. Open Women’s Polo 

Championship Final (22 goal)

Saturday Afternoon Game

 

March 22

 USPA Gold Cup Final (22 goal)

 

March 29

 U.S. Open Polo Championship 

(22 goal)

 

April 5

 U.S. Open Polo Championship 

(22 goal)

 

April 12

U.S. Open Polo Championship

(22 goal)

 

April 19

U.S. Open Polo Championship Final (22 goal)
The International Polo Club Palm Beach is located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington.

For ticket information, visit www.internationalpoloclub.com/sundaytickets.

Tentative schedule, subject to change. Sponsors listed at time of print.

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2020 Winter Equestrian Festival Highlights World Class Competition At PBIEC

2020 Winter Equestrian Festival Highlights World Class Competition At PBIEC

With the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival on the horizon, Equestrian Sport Productions is ready to welcome the 41st annual show series to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington.

Notably the longest-running equestrian sport circuit in the world, WEF 2020 will feature 12 weeks of world-renowned hunter, jumper and equitation competition. The festival will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 8 and continue through Sunday, March 29.

“This will be an outstanding winter season,” said Michael Stone, president of Equestrian Sport Productions, which produces WEF and manages the PBIEC show grounds. “With the 2020 Olympic Games on the horizon, we are once again welcoming athletes from around the globe to the WEF stage. This circuit will surely be a great opportunity for them to test their skills with the best of the best.”

WEF 2020 is preparing to host 11 weeks of FEI-sanctioned competition out of 12 total weeks of competition, which is the highest caliber of show jumping in the sport. Many world-ranked and established athletes participate each year, making WEF, and Wellington, a hub for the most talented equestrians in the world.

“The circuit is always a valuable one. It’s a good start to the year to have our students and all of our horses together,” explained two-time Olympic team gold medalist and longtime WEF competitor Beezie Madden. “My horses are going to have a nice vacation in the fall, and then we will get them started up in Florida again. We have a nice farm [in Wellington] that belongs to [Abigail] Wexner, and it’s always a great place to be and to train.”

The return of WEF also means the return of the popular Saturday Night Lights series, which is free and open to the public. The events offer a cornucopia of entertainment for the entire family, including face painting, live music, food, carousel rides, a petting zoo, pony rides and more. Each Saturday night features the highlight class of the week, regularly including Olympians and the stars of show jumping.

The season begins with national level competition for hunters, jumpers and equitation riders. The crowd-favorite Battle of the Sexes competition returns on Saturday, Jan. 11, pitting a team of male riders and a team of female riders against one another. After completing several variations of jumping relays and competitions, one team will reign supreme.

WEF 2 (Jan. 15-19) features a CSI 2* competition, while WEF weeks 3 (Jan. 22-26), 6 (Feb. 12-16) and 10 (March 11-15) will host CSI 3* competition. CSI 4* competition will take place during WEF weeks 4 (Jan. 29 – Feb. 2) and 11 (March 18-22). Week 8 (Feb. 26 – March 1) will once again welcome the lively CSIO 4*, and Saturday night will host the historic Nations Cup, where teams of three or four riders represent their countries in a thrilling display of athletics that entertain the masses. The impeccable grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village, a horse and rider favorite, will see action this year during weeks 4, 6, 9 and 11.

The 2020 Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments, will be held during the fourth week of the Winter Equestrian Festival on Saturday, Feb. 1. GCC is a relay-style equestrian jumping competition with teams consisting of two junior/amateur riders combined with one Olympic or world-class rider. The 34 rider teams are randomly paired with 34 charities that serve Palm Beach County. The GCC has distributed more than $13.5 million to 240 local Palm Beach charities and nonprofit organizations since its inception a decade ago.

Hunter competition will also take place throughout the 12-week span, and welcomes back WCHR week, a favorite among the hunter community, during WEF 6 (Feb. 12-16). The season will continue to feature international hunter derby competitions, along with top equitation and hunter classes offered for children, juniors and adults of all levels.

The 2020 season is set to include four weeks of CSI 5* competition. The CSI 5* Grand Prix competitions will be hosted on Feb. 8, Feb. 22, March 7 and March 28. Riders will go head-to-head in the two-round format, concluding with an invigorating jump-off against the clock to determine the ultimate winner.

Originally incorporated during the 2017 season, each CSI 5* competition will also have a CSI 2* competition running parallel, and the grand finale, the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*, will be held during WEF 12, wrapping the circuit up with the most anticipated class of the season.

The festival will see thousands of horses competing throughout the winter circuit, and the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center looks forward to welcoming competitors back for an exciting winter season.

“Each year, we see the numbers flourish, welcoming new competitors, strengthening the circuit and solidifying the Winter Equestrian Festival as one of the most prestigious competitions in the world,” Stone said.

More schedule announcements for the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival will be released soon. For more information, visit www.pbiec.com.

Palm Beach International Equestrian Center 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival Highlights

WEF 1 “AA” — January 8-12

Saturday Night Lights – $75,000 “Battle of the Sexes”

Sunday – $75,000 Grand Prix

 

WEF 2 CSI 2* “AA” — January 15-19

Saturday Night Lights – $72,000 Grand Prix CSI 2*

Sunday – $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, $36,000 1.50m Jumper Classic

 

WEF 3 CSI 3* “AA” — January 22-26

Saturday Night Lights – $134,000 Grand Prix CSI 3*

 

WEF 4 CSI 4* “AA” — January 29 – February 2

Friday Night Stars – $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix Team Event 

(AGDF Show Grounds, Global Arena)

Saturday – $209,000 Grand Prix CSI 4* (AGDF Stadium, Derby Field)

Saturday Night Lights – 11th annual Great Charity Challenge, 

presented by Fidelity Investments (WEF Show Grounds, International Arena)

 

WEF 5 CSI 5* and CSI 2* “AA” — February 5-9

Saturday Night Lights – $391,000 Grand Prix CSI 5*

Sunday – $72,000 1.50m Jumper Classic and $50,000 Grand Prix CSI 2*

 

WEF 6 World Champion Hunter Rider Week

CSI 3* “AA” — February 12-16

Friday Night Stars – $134,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* (AGDF Show Grounds, Global Arena)

Saturday – $36,000 1.50m Jumper Classic (AGDF Show Grounds, Derby Field)

Saturday Night Lights – $100,000 USHJA/WCHR Peter Wetherill

Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular (WEF Show Grounds, International Arena)

Sunday – $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix and $25,000 National Grand Prix

(AGDF Show Grounds, Derby Field)

 

WEF 7 CSI 5* and CSI 2* “AA” Five Star Week — February 19-23

Saturday Night Lights – $391,000 Grand Prix CSI 5*

Sunday – $72,000 1.50M Jumper Classic and $50,000 Grand Prix CSI 2*

WEF 8 CSIO 4* “AA” Nations Cup Week — February 26 – March 1

Thursday Evening – WEF Sport Horse Auction (AGDF Show Grounds, Global Arena)

Friday Evening – $36,000 Under 25 Grand Prix Semifinal

Saturday Night Lights – $150,000 Nations Cup CSIO 4*

Sunday – $209,000 Grand Prix CSIO 4*

 

WEF 9 CSI 5* and CSI 2* “AA” — March 4-8

Friday – Pony Hunter Derby (AGDF Show Grounds, Derby Field)

Saturday Night Lights – $391,000 Grand Prix CSI 5*

Sunday – $72,000 1.50M Jumper Classic and $50,000 Grand Prix CSI 2*

 

WEF 10 CSI 3* “AA” — March 11-15

Saturday Night Lights – $134,000 Grand Prix CSI 3*

 

WEF 11 CSI 4* “AA” — March 18-22

Friday – Developing Jumper Classics (WEF Show Grounds, International Arena)

Saturday – $209,000 Grand Prix CSI 4* (AGDF Show Grounds, Derby Field)

Saturday Night Lights – $134,000 1.50m Jumper Classic Series Final

(WEF Show Grounds, International Arena)

Sunday – $50,000 Under 25 Grand Prix Final (AGDF Show Grounds, Derby Field)

 

WEF 12 Rolex CSI 5* and CSI 2* “AA” — March 25-29

Saturday – $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby (AGDF Show Grounds, Derby Field)

Saturday Night Lights – $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*

Sunday – $50,000 Grand Prix CSI 2* and $50,000 National Grand Prix

(WEF Show Grounds, International Arena)

 

Palm Beach International Equestrian Center Main Grounds

3400 Equestrian Club Drive, Wellington, FL 33414

 

Equestrian Village at PBIEC (AGDF Show Grounds)

13500 South Shore Blvd., Wellington, FL 33414

 

For more information, call (561) 793-JUMP or visit www.pbiec.com.

WEF general admission free, parking $20/car Saturday nights.

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