Serving Wellington’s Veteran Community Wellington’s American Legion Post 390 Provides Social Outlet And Crucial Services For Veterans

Serving Wellington’s Veteran Community
Wellington’s American Legion Post 390 Provides
Social Outlet And Crucial Services For Veterans

Story by Deborah Welky | Photos by Denise Fleischman

Wellington is a community that is home to many veterans, and one of the primary organizations providing services and representation for those veterans is Wellington’s American Legion Post 390.

When American troops returned home from World War I, the U.S. Congress chartered a new organization, the American Legion, to be made up of and serve veterans who fought overseas in the Great War. Since then, successive waves of veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have found camaraderie and support through their local American Legion posts.

Wellington Post 390 was founded in 2008 by a handful of local veterans, including David Knapp, Tom Wenham, Brian Munsterteiger, David Benedict Schaffer, Peter Granata, Allen Ziker, James Napuli, Thomas Diocson, Thomas Clapp, Dorothy Mitchell, Justin Marcoux, Jeffrey Rhody, Dr. Carmine A. Priore, David Vazquez Sr., William Bischoff and Jamia Webb. David Knapp served as the post’s first commander, followed by former Wellington Mayor Tom Wenham.

A long line of local veteran leaders has worked hard to keep the post going and growing since that time. The post’s current commander is Jay Froehlich, who took over in July 2021.

In the beginning, the group met at various locations including, a local fire station and the old Wellington Community Center. It now meets monthly at the new Wellington Community Center, where it holds meetings at 6 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month.

When its charter was approved, Wellington Post 390 started out with just 24 members. It has since grown to nearly 100, including a strong core of active members, and a larger number of people who join the post for special events, such as Wellington’s annual observances of Veterans Day in November and Memorial Day in May.

“Getting members is not that hard,” longtime post leader John Isola said. “Getting members to do something, that’s where the work is.”

Isola ought to know. For the past 10 years, he has spearheaded fundraising for the group. With a background as a successful fundraiser for an athletic group in New York, the former firefighter knows how to rally the troops. And with all the support that the American Legion provides to veterans, families of veterans and the overall community, an active membership is key.

One popular fundraiser is a golf tournament held in September that typically brings in $6,000 in registration fees and $5,000 in raffles and other income. “I always check out the post’s new members to see if we find any golfers in the mix,” Isola said.

This year, Isola managed to up those figures to $6,700 in registrations and $5,500 in raffles. Of that income, approximately $2,000 is distributed annually among the sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters of Wellington’s veterans, firefighters and police officers who apply for the American Legion scholarship through their high school. If you know any graduating senior who may qualify, be sure to let them know.

“So far, in 10 years, the most scholarship applicants we ever had was four. The least we ever had was one. They all got scholarships,” Isola said. “We’ve never really had to eliminate anybody.”

The post’s other primary fundraiser is the 200 Club, which brings in $5,400 and distributes a total of $3,800 in cash prizes annually among those who “joined” the club by purchasing one of the 216 $25 tickets sold. With monthly drawings and winning tickets tossed back in for another chance, excitement among members stays high from January through December. The top prize is $125 per month, upped to $250 for December. But if you to join the 200 Club, get in early. By February, all the tickets are sold.

“We never had any money until I started the golf tournament,” Isola said. “If you spend more money than you make, you’ve got a problem.”

Together with some dues money that comes back to the local post from the state, Post 390 also uses its money to provide medication and housing for veterans, to keep potentially homeless veterans in their homes, to help out the families of veterans, and to support Boys State, where students are sent to Tallahassee to see their government at work.

But not everything that Post 390 does costs money. Current Commander Jay Froehlich is very proud of the post’s involvement in the schools, educating children and youth about keeping patriotism alive. Also crucial is its ongoing services for veterans in need.

“Our main focus is to help veterans get the help they need through the Veterans Administration,” Froehlich said. “We also participate in Veterans Court, where we take over the prosecution of minor criminal action stuff to get veterans back on the right track. We do so many things, it’s amazing. Between the children and the youth — the funds that we disperse to them — the dollar amounts are phenomenal. Through fundraisers, dues and contributions, we’ve been able to help veterans stay in their homes, to help with their medical bills, to help get them going — and we don’t even operate out of a building.”

Some American Legion posts, usually much older posts, have their own buildings with meeting rooms, storage rooms and often a bar. “They can serve dinner,” Froehlich said. “It’s more of a social thing.”

That would be a far-off dream for Wellington’s post, since building a building today would cost millions. Instead, Post 390 keeps its focus on supporting Wellington’s veteran community.

Froehlich also acknowledged the work done by the post’s auxiliary unit.

“It used to be called the women’s auxiliary,” he explained. “But women now serve our country, too. Now any spouse — male or female — and their children, can join.”

Whether or not they are a member of the American Legion, Wenham is seeking out former veterans to get them some of the recognition they so richly deserve.

Banners hung along Forest Hill Blvd. currently honor Wellington veterans with their name and photo in a program called Wellington Heroes.

“A granddaughter of one of our community residents was in a small town in Pennsylvania and saw these American Heroes banners on light poles,” Wenham said. “She took a picture and brought it back, hoping we could do the same here.”

If you are a U.S. veteran or know one who would like to be recognized on a banner, bring a photo of the veteran, preferably in uniform, to Wenham at the Wellington Community Foundation office in the original Wellington Mall.

“Last Memorial Day, we had about 12 to 14 banners up around the amphitheater down by the Wellington Veterans Memorial,” Wenham said. “Since last Memorial Day, we’ve had four or five more veterans apply, and those new banners are ready to be put up this coming Nov. 11, Veterans Day. We’d like to have more so we can rotate them on the poles throughout the year.”

For more information about the Wellington Heroes program, call Wenham at (561) 333-9843. To help Isola with his fundraising efforts, call (561) 795-2721.

For more information on Wellington’s American Legion Post 390, visit




Tell Us Your Story – Sara & James

Tell Us Your Story – Sara & James

“It’s hard to choose a favorite highlight from our wedding, but our vows were really important. I really wanted to keep the ceremony about our commitment to one another and God. We wrote our own vows, and the words we exchanged are something we will cherish forever. As well as leaving in a helicopter! That was also a highlight!”

Said I Do
February 29, 2020

Photography by
Mary McCarty

The Wanderers Club

Newlyweds Sara and James “J.C.” Solomon became engaged at the Wanderers Club in Wellington —the same place where they later held their wedding. “We were having Easter brunch with both of our families at the club, and we went down to the putting green before brunch while waiting for our table, and J.C. putted a ball into a hole,” Sara recalled. “When I went to grab it, the ring was in the hole! He’s a big golfer, so it was fitting for us.”

Their story, however, began one day at work. “I was a stenographer, and he was an attorney working on the case,” she said, adding that she knew he was the one right at their first date. “I vividly remember thinking, ‘I’m having dinner with my husband,’” she said.

J.C. knew after Sara met his family. “My mom came downstairs the morning after she met her and said, ‘Oh my gosh. I love her.’ My mom never really said she liked anyone I dated!” he explained.

The ceremony was held on Feb. 29, 2020, in the Wanderers Club ballroom, followed by a tented reception on the driving range. Sara wore a wedding dress designed by Galia Lahav Couture and was attended by her sister, Stephanie Czajkowski, as maid of honor. T.J. Solomon served as best man. The wedding was photographed by Mary McCarty with video from Starfish Studios. “For our first dance, our band did a special rendition of both our parents’ first dance songs — ‘Just the Way You Are’ by Billy Joel and ‘Have I Told You Lately’ by Rod Stewart. It was so special!” Sara said

The day was filled with special details, among them the handkerchief Sara carried. “It was given to me by J.C.’s nonna (his grandmother), and it was from his great-nonna,” she said. “It’s white and has a blue trim, so that was my something blue. It dried many happy tears that day.”

Nonna also provided the wedding favors. “JC’s 92-year-old grandmother homemade 400 of her Italian love knot cookies for our guests all by hand, all by herself, and we individually packaged them with a ‘momma’s cookie’ sticker. I’ll never forget how excited she was when she saw them all wrapped up nicely with her ‘name’ on them.”

Sara also loved the wedding photos of each of their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents at the lounge by the bar. “We have an amazing history of marriage in both of our families, and we really wanted to honor the lineage of people who have taught us what a successful marriage looks like,” she said.

Sara surprised everyone in attendance by singing “Living on Love” by Alan Jackson to thank her parents as they danced. “It was one of the songs my dad used to have me sing as a kid. The song was also so fitting for the evening,” she said.

The day ended, however, with just the bride and groom. “We had the room cleared out at the end of the night, and J.C. and I had one final dance alone before we left,” Sara said. “I’ll never forget those moments, just him and I, fully soaking in the beauty that was around us.”


Tell Us Your Story – Christie & Kyle

Tell Us Your Story  Christie & Kyle

“Our day was filled with special touches. We had a close friend of ours play the guitar while I walked down the aisle. The most memorable part of our wedding was the exchanging of our vows. We wrote our own, and it was a really special and intimate moment. I feel so blessed that we got to enjoy our fairytale wedding!”

Said I Do
June 9, 2018

Photography by
The Camera Wedding

International Polo Club Palm Beach

The wedding story of Christie and Kyle Finch began on the dance floor at a local bar and culminated at a beautiful celebration held at the picturesque International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington.

Christie and Kyle met through a mutual friend at a local bar. “I knew he was the one after our first kiss on the dance floor,” Christie recalled.

The happy couple became engaged while celebrating another milestone together. Kyle proposed to Christie in front of their family and friends at his own birthday celebration.

“We all sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to him, and when he blew out the candles on the cake, everyone asked what he wished for,” Christie explained. “He then he got down on one knee. I was caught totally off guard.”

The ceremony and reception were both held at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, with its many scenic, equestrian-themed sites, and a staff used to making sure that all the details come across with impeccable precision.

Aside from being the premier polo destination in the world, the 250-acre International Polo Club Palm Beach is known locally as a popular wedding venue. The IPC team is highly skilled at putting together these picture-perfect special events, creating new ways to make them exciting, fun and memorable.

That was certainly the case with Christie and Kyle. The bride wore a lovely dress she purchased from Bacio Bacio Bridal Salon in Wellington, just one of the many local vendors that helped Christie and Kyle create a day to remember for a lifetime.

As she walked down the aisle on June 9, 2018, Christie was attended to by her sister Lauren Warren. Kyle’s close friend Brandon Cox served as his best man. To make sure they would remember this special day forever, photography and videography were provided by the Camera Wedding. They enjoyed their first dance as husband and wife to the popular wedding song “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran.

It was a day filled with special touches, and none more so than when Christie was making her way down the aisle to meet Kyle at the other end. “We had a close friend of ours play the guitar while I walked down the aisle,” she recalled.

Although the entire day was special, some magical moments stood out.

“The most memorable part of our wedding was the exchanging of our vows. We wrote our own, and it was a really special and intimate moment,” Christie shared. “I feel so blessed that we got to enjoy our fairytale wedding!”

That is, of course, the goal of any wedding, and at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, the expert team was able to help Christie and Kyle turn their dreams into reality, making sure that their love shined through during this very memorable day.

After a wonderful reception, the couple headed to a relaxing Caribbean honeymoon at the all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.



Tell Us Your Story – Veronica & Javier

Tell Us Your Story Veronica & Javier

“God was so amazing to bring Javier at the right moment and during the hardest time of my life. My daughter, my sister, my mom and I contracted Covid-19 early this year. Javi was next to me all this time. He was living in Naples and used to drive back and forth. Even though we developed our relationship in such a short time, we always knew that we were meant for each other.”

Said I Do
September 3, 2021

Photography by
Matt Story

Wellington National Golf Club

Veronica and Javier Munoz were married on Sept. 3, 2021, but their story dates back more than 15 years. “We met in 2005 at my place of work, a bank in Palm Beach Gardens. Veronica was my client. While assisting her, I also learned that she was from the same town in Peru that I was from and that she also worked in home financing,” Javier recalled. “Throughout the years, we got to know and trust each other with mutual business clients. Life took its turns, and shortly thereafter I moved to Naples for a job promotion. Despite the distance and time, we remained in touch.”

They reconnected more recently, this time as friends, not business acquaintances. Veronica particularly recalled a trip to the South Florida Fairgrounds. “We had such a wonderful time with our two daughters (one from each) watching a laser show,” she said. “Then we came back home and talked and talked for hours until dawn! We had so much fun and discovered that we had so many things in common.”

They became engaged during a June trip to New York. “We had planned a family vacation that began in Niagara Falls,” Javier said. “The trip was so exciting, and it was also the first time that we’d be spending so much time together, so we were actually a bit nervous. Our daughters, Adriana and Isabella, helped us plan it, select the engagement ring and lay out the whole event. Once we reached the top floor of the Empire State Building, the girls pulled out a large sign I had brought with me, which read, ‘Veronica, will you marry me?’ She said yes, and everyone around us started to clap!”

The ceremony and reception were held at the Wellington National Golf Club with photography and video by Matt Story. Veronica’s cousin Maritza Arbocco served as maid of honor, while Javier’s son Christian was the best man.

“We planned our wedding in just a month and a week with help from our loved ones and the awesome staff at Wellington National,” Veronica said. “We had friends and family who came from different places and abroad, and even though we had a reduced number of guests due to the current situation, we had such a special wedding day and truly danced the night away!”

Veronica wore a dress she had found and saved to one day wear at her wedding. “I immediately fell in love with my dress when I saw it,” she said. “I actually bought it three years ago and knew then that this was the dress I would be wearing the day of my wedding.”

They danced to the Blue Danube Waltz, as well as a mix of “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran and “Dios Asi Lo Quiso” by Juan Luis Guerra. Wonderful memories from the day include arriving in style in a 1957 Rolls Royce and enjoying a fun conga line on the dance floor. “But most memorably, Javi surprised me by taking me to dance the national dance from Peru, called Marinera — a couple’s dance with handkerchiefs, hats and colorful costumes,” Veronica recalled.

Next up will be a delayed honeymoon. The couple hopes to visit Italy next year.



Tell Us Your Story – Casey & Rachelle

Tell Us Your Story – Casey & Rachelle

While the reception was still in high gear, and the guests were dancing, we took a moment to step back and take in the moment. Seeing all the people who had flown or drove into town during the pandemic to be there for our special day and share in our love and joy was so emotional and almost overwhelming To this day, we get a little misty thinking about.

Said I Do
June 20, 2020

Photography by
Jack Bates Photography

The Ben

Rachelle Cucca and Casey Williams were married on June 20, 2020, with a ceremony and reception at The Ben, Autograph Collection in West Palm Beach. It was the culmination of a long courtship that began in high school. “We met at a mutual friend’s house at a party in high school,” Rachelle recalled. “Although we flirted that night, we didn’t start dating until months later.”

Now years later, Rachelle couldn’t say exactly when she knew they would get married. “We never had an ‘ah-ha’ moment or some epiphany,” she said. “After three years of loving each other, we realized we were meant to be together forever.”

A romantic evening on the Intracoastal Waterway provided the backdrop for Casey’s proposal. Rachelle had always told Casey she wanted her family there whenever he proposed. To keep it a secret, she was invited to Bricktops, now the River House, under the guise of an anniversary party for Casey’s parents.

Casey asked Rachelle to take a walk on the dock while they waited for guests. Right there on the dock by the Intracoastal, he got down on one knee and proposed. She was surprised, cried and said, “Yes!” — not knowing that both families were inside watching from the window. A beautiful surprise celebration followed.

At the wedding ceremony, the bride wore a lovely dress by Justin Alexander Signature. Rachelle’s sister Jacquelyn Cucca was her maid of honor. Casey’s childhood friend Korey Klimezky was his best man. Still images and videography were done by Jack Bates Photography. They enjoyed their first dance to “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran.

It was a ceremony and reception filled with person touches. For example, the bride did not wear white, but her bridesmaids did. She also chose to walk down the aisle alone. Not wanting to miss any of their time with their guests, the bride and groom chose to take their photos — including bridal party and family — before the ceremony, so they could enjoy the cocktail hour on the rooftop of The Ben and its exquisite, panoramic views of downtown West Palm Beach, Palm Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

“While the reception was still in high gear and the guests were dancing, we took a moment to step back and take in the moment,” Rachelle said. “Seeing all the people who had flown or drove into town during the pandemic to be there for our special day and share in our love and joy was so emotional and almost overwhelming. To this day we get a little misty thinking about.”

Near the end of the reception, Rachelle changed into her mother’s wedding dress from her second marriage, and she and the groom danced to her wedding song. It was especially touching because her mother lost her husband seven years earlier.

The happy couple have yet to go on a honeymoon, but perhaps in the future. “We boarded a plane the next morning after our wedding and reported to work for new jobs Monday morning,” Rachelle said.


Patricia Miele International Polo Club Palm Beach

Patricia Miele
International Polo Club Palm Beach

The center of the polo world each winter, the beautiful grounds of the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington are also available to host special events, such as picturesque weddings.

As the director of catering at the IPC, Patricia Miele and her team aim to make any event extraordinary, for any occasion, size or theme, including full bridal packages. The expert staff ensures a successful and stress-free event.

The IPC team is highly skilled at putting together many different events, including weddings, and creating new ways to make them exciting, fun and memorable. Over the past two years, the team at IPC have become experts at creating weddings that take into account the latest safety precautions.

“We go out of our way to ensure what has become the ‘new normal’ doesn’t make the event feel too different from past wedding experiences,” Miele said. “Since IPC hosted a full season of safe events during the pandemic, we are prepared to implement those types of things for any event or couple that wishes to.”

IPC offers extensive menu options that include exceptional desserts, a customized bar service, as well as stunning florals to create an enchanting ambiance. The talented teams of artists design original events within a budget and timeline that works for clients.

The venue offers a unique setting, between polo matches being played in the background, to the beautiful lush-landscaped grounds, to brides being brought to the venue in horse and carriage. Long popular with equestrians, the venue is ready to add some extra horsey flair for couples who want it, such as full-size horse figures made out of greenery that have proved quite popular.

The site offers a wide array of locations for a ceremony and reception. Among them are the Veuve Clicquot Pavilion with its indoor space and covered outdoor patio, the polo field, the pool patio, the 7th Chukker and the Mallet Grille. Depending upon the size of your event, the staff can recommend the perfect location. For example, the pavilion with its sunset terrace can fit up to 400 seated guests. The Mallet patio or poolside is ideal for more intimate events. This space can fit 100 seated guests or 150 for a cocktail-style event. The 7th Chukker and Championship Terrace can accommodate 50 seated guests or 100 for a cocktail-style event.

When it comes to the menu, IPC offers custom creations for all palates. Some current trends are casual meals, farm to table, nostalgia foods and dessert tables. A fancy plated meal is typical for a wedding reception. “We believe it is one of the best days of your life and should be all about having the time of your life,” Miele said.

The International Polo Club works to make sure that the love shines through during a bride and groom’s memorable day.

“Clients trust us for our meticulous planning, management and execution of successful special events. Events, regardless of the size, require experienced hands for both the creative and practical details. Creating a seamless and memorable event that aligns with your goals and reflects your personality is what we do,” Miele said. “The International Polo Club is closely monitoring all guidelines to ensure that we are continuously providing a safe environment for our clients and their guests.”

Miele has seen many creative adaptations added to weddings, some that may even continue well beyond the pandemic. “Weddings are now adding the virtual element to allow guests who are unable to attend to watch the ceremony and reception from afar,” she said. “These virtual weddings have become more popular and have added a personal touch when some guests cannot attend.”

The goal is to allow the happy couple to enjoy the celebration while IPC takes care of all the details.

“Couples and their guests are more eager than ever to celebrate love — and one of life’s biggest moments — together, especially after long periods of isolation,” Miele said. “The International Polo Club is looking forward to being a part of their big day as they say ‘I do’ to their new life together as a married couple.”

The International Polo Club Palm Beach is located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington. For more info., call (561) 204-5687 or visit


Whitney Garcia The Wanderers Club

 Whitney Garcia The Wanderers Club 

The Wanderers Club, located in the heart of Wellington, is a unique wedding venue with so much to offer. From the beautiful terrace overlooking lush tropical landscaping to the elegant ballroom, the Wanderers Club is an ideal location for special celebrations.

Director of Catering Whitney Garcia works very closely with couples from their very first tour of the venue to the last dance of the night. Now in her second decade helping a bride’s dream turn into a reality, Garcia said this is her true passion.

“We are able to customize each couple’s experience while maintaining flexibility in each stage of the planning,” Garcia said. “The unique thing about the Wanderers Club is the vast property with countless areas available to our brides on their special day.”

The focal point is the recently renovated ballroom with its new design, which is light and fresh with just the perfect blend of modern and elegant. It truly takes your breath away.

Although the traditional plated dinner is always a popular choice for wedding receptions, the Wanderers Club offers many options.

“We offer some of the most fun and creative food ideas, and together we can customize the food experience like no other,” Garcia said. “The Wanderers Club is ideal for any event. We offer large and small packages for bar/bat mitzvahs to sweet sixteens to corporate events.”

Garcia is there to help brides and grooms navigate the current terrain in party planning while still offering a wonderful wedding experience. One of the biggest changes brought by the pandemic has been opening up more outside space for weddings.

“We have a beautiful, covered terrace that allows couples to host their wedding outside,” Garcia said. “We also have a large pool deck to host the cocktail reception, rehearsal dinner, ceremony or any type of event. Our outside space is so elegant and welcoming in the evening and makes guests a little more at ease during these unique times. During the wedding, we have increased staff to help reduce some of the guest interaction. For example, more cocktail servers mean less guests mingling at the bar.”

Some weddings have lowered their guest count, which allows them more room in the budget for fun elements, such as welcome cocktails, late night snacks, coffee bars and more.

“We also have some couples deciding to change their reception menu from stations to plated dinners,” Garcia said. “No matter what the couple decides, we are doing our best to work with each one in creating the wedding of their dreams in a safe environment.”

Yet one thing that truly has stayed the same is the affection and care that goes into every wedding at the Wanderers Club.

“The love and excitement that a wedding brings will always be the same,” Garcia said. “Couples are happy to be joining their lives together with their closest family and friends. It may not look like they originally envisioned, but they are still in love and ready to begin their lives together.”

With creativity, weddings today can overcome any obstacles and continue to shine.

“My hope is that couples will continue to dream big when it comes to their special day,” Garcia said. “It is one of the most special days of their lives and, although it may look a little different, it will still be full of love. I hope lots of fun, new ideas will come out of this challenging time.”

Whether your idea of a dream wedding is an elegant ballroom affair or a casual reception on the pool deck, the Wanderers Club has everything to make that dream a reality. From your first meeting with the staff to the last dance of the night, the club’s experts will be there to help you plan the perfect celebration that meets your needs, tastes and dreams.

At the Wanderers Club, the overall goal is always a beautiful, fun and memorable event that even the client can sit back and enjoy.

The Wanderers Club is located at 1900 Aero Club Drive in Wellington. For more info., call (561) 795-3501 or visit


Kara Martin Wellington National Golf Club

 Kara Martin  Wellington National Golf Club

At the Wellington National Golf Club, the professional staff enjoys helping clients achieve their vision, and that includes creating unique menus, proposals and assisting with making arrangements on the client’s behalf, such as hiring entertainment and arranging for rentals. They make sure that all last-minute details, including the coordination of timelines, floor plans and staffing, are complete in order to execute the event exactly the way the client has envisioned it.

The main point of contact for those planning a wedding at Wellington National is Kara Martin. Born and raised in Wellington, she has a degree in hospitality management from Florida State University.

“My background is in event sales, where I focused on weddings and large community events, in both Tallahassee and Wellington,” Martin said. “I’ve worked in many different branches of event planning, from small, family-owned catering companies, all the way to full corporate wedding planning.”

Wellington National has many great characteristics for all types of events, including weddings, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners and more. It is a large venue that in normal times can accommodate up to 300 guests. The ballroom has beautiful ceiling draping, as well as plank-style flooring, in addition to picturesque natural light, as it opens up onto a beautiful piazza, which is tropically landscaped and perfect for an outdoor ceremony.

“We have adapted to the new normal of large events, which includes limiting the seats at a table to 10 or less. Here, we’ve also adopted a new thing. We ask the bride and groom to group families together at tables, so we have tightknit groups who know each other rather than seating strangers together,” General Manager Ted Strelec said.

The team at Wellington National aims to be flexible with couples who choose to plan an event with them to create a special day, unique to the bride and groom. They are happy to customize menus and cocktails, and encourage them to outline their vision for that perfect day — then the team makes that vision come to fruition.

“Another new change that came from the pandemic is that we no longer offer walk-up, self-serve buffet service,” Strelec said. “In lieu of self-serve buffets, we have created manned action stations where our food and beverage team members serve the guests in a common area to eliminate contamination. This is the new normal for us.”

Wellington National’s clubhouse and surrounding areas are perfect for enjoying special events. “We have vast courtyard areas for open-air requests, and our grand ballroom is large enough to responsibly social-distance the tables while hosting an indoor wedding with space for a dance floor,” Strelec said. “It’s large enough to where we can put a party of 50 in there, set up the ceremony and have room for the DJ and the dance floor — all under one roof. We have a wall that divides the room, so we can close that wall for an intimate feeling during the ceremony, and then, while the guests turn out to do cocktails, we open the wall and convert to an open space.”

Not only is Wellington National a beautiful venue, the team is there to make things as easy and stress-free as possible, priding themselves on being flexible with almost every detail to ensure that each couple gets the day for which they have been waiting their whole lives.

This includes current adaptations such as Zoom or FaceTime broadcasts that allow family members who are not present to see the event live. “It has been a great addition for elderly family members or people in different countries to attend via technology,” Strelec said.

Strelec hopes that people who want to get married will find a way to have their special day regardless of what is going on in the world around them. “That is what we humans do best — adapt!” he said.

The Wellington National Golf Club is located at 400 Binks Forest Drive in Wellington. For more information, call (561) 333-5731 or visit



Debbie Liquori Wellington Community Center

Debbie Liquori Wellington Community Center

The Wellington Community Center, which was completely rebuilt in 2016, has become a popular event space for weddings and so much more. Debbie Liquori is the facility’s longtime administrative coordinator.

“For more than 15 years, I have helped guide members of our community through the room reservation and event planning process at our center,” she said. “The community center allows us the space and flexibility to host events of all types and sizes, everything from weddings to birthday parties, quinceañeras, bar and bat mitzvahs, small or large business functions, and more. If you can dream it, our team can help you do it.”

Liquori loves meeting with new clients and helping them work out the details of their special event.

“From that very first meeting, through the planning process, to the final dance of the evening, watching someone’s vision come together into a beautifully memorable experience is the most enjoyable part of my job,” she said. “It is a wonderful feeling to be able to come to work, truly love what you do, and help people plan for some of their most important life events. I am now helping clients who held their daughter’s sweet sixteen at our center plan for her wedding. Getting to be a part of her story, and watch it come full circle, is incredibly rewarding.”

The Wellington Community Center is a unique venue for a wedding location. Situated in the heart of the village and overlooking Lake Wellington, the facility offers a scenic backdrop for events of all kinds.

“Our newly constructed, paved Wellington Promenade along the waterfront provides an ideal space for wedding ceremonies, cocktail receptions and evening functions,” Liquori said. “Lighted columns and fountains further accent the natural scenery and graceful elegance of the site. Whether hosting an outdoor ceremony on the patio, or an event in the upstairs ballroom, guests will enjoy magnificent western sunsets, setting the stage for stunning event photos.”

The versatile Wellington Promenade is also a useful feature for couples looking for a more outdoor-friendly event with plenty of space for social distancing.

Liquori enjoys working with couples to customize their celebrations while keeping it as stress-free as possible.

“Many have a specific budget in mind, and I work with them to fulfill their goals,” she said. “Thankfully, our center affords a great deal of flexibility for events and budgets of all sizes. We can host large events, up to 225 guests, in our Grande Ballroom overlooking the lake, or smaller events with up to 150 guests in our ground level Lake View Room. All rentals include banquet tables and chairs, and multiple layout options for setup. The center also boasts a full catering kitchen with commercial ovens and refrigeration, and additional amenities such as a green room, portable stage and portable dance floor.”

Whatever additional items a couple may need, Liquori has a list of vendors that are ready to help, such as a DJ, a florist or a photographer.

She has seen that weddings nowadays are focusing on the simple. “People are planning simpler weddings. While there are definitely more elaborate weddings and celebrations, I find most trend toward simple and intimate,” Liquori said. “This is a very affordable facility that I think fits the needs of many people.”

She invites anyone planning a wedding or other special event to come tour the facility and learn more.

“The Wellington Community Center is very affordable, with beautiful scenery and amenities to suit the needs of all people,” Liquori said. “Our team takes pride in providing a positive experience for all of our guests and events. From booking to setup, and throughout every step of the planning process, we will help you see your dreams through to fruition. Repeat business is the highest compliment, and now that we have even more to offer, it keeps our customers coming back.”

The Wellington Community Center is located at 12150 W. Forest Hill Blvd. in Wellington. For more information, call (561) 753-2484 or visit


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