| December, 2019

Barking in the New Year

Posted on 26 December 2019 by LeslieM

By Jo Jo Harder

It is hard to believe the holidays are almost over! But there is still time to celebrate, spend quality time with loved ones and to believe in the magic of the season.

But it would only be fair to say it’s that time of the year when people enjoy gifts! I firmly believe the biggest gift you can receive is to give.

Let’s keep in mind that not all gifts can be bought. Some of the best gifts … the ones that make life richer and brighter … cost next to nothing. For example, drop off baked goods at a local food shelter; offer to walk a neighbor’s dog; help a busy friend with errands; write a note of gratitude to someone who has made a difference in your life or organize a fundraising event for a local animal shelter.

America’s Top Dog Model ® recently had the honor of presenting a fundraising event for Awesome Greyhound Adoptions, Inc. of South Florida, while launching our 2020 Calendar and Contest.

If you are not familiar with Awesome Greyhound Adoptions, this wonderful 501c3 corporation founded by Barbara Masi is completely run by volunteers who are dedicated to finding responsible, loving homes for retired racing greyhounds.

Another program under the umbrella of Awesome Greyhound Adoptions is Hounds & Heroes. These highly-trained greyhounds are given the chance to find placement as pets, as therapy dogs or as fully-trained service dogs for veterans with PTSD or who need mobile assistance.

Join the party live on America’s Top Dog Model YouTube Channel to meet our 2020 top dog calendar models and learn more about Awesome Greyhound Adoptions. Check out these photos (below) of the fabulous fashionistas from this amazing charity event!

Sadly, this is my last column due to the closing of the Observer newspaper. I have enjoyed writing this column; and, if you enjoyed reading it, let’s stay connected! Visit americastopdogmodel.com to read my “top dog blog.” Sign up for my newsletter and follow America’s Top Dog Model on social media.

May the good times and treasures of the present become wonderful memories of tomorrow. Wishing you lots of love, peace, and happiness and may your New Year be merry and bright!

Jo Jo Harder, is a Boca Raton based author, stylist, producer, pet lifestyle expert, CEO and creator of America’s Top Dog Model Contest. Jo Jo has been at the helm of America’s Top Dog Model ® brand since 2005, and her unique approach to discovering, developing and managing top dog models has gained international attention. America’s Top Dog Model’s new reality series “How to Get to the Top” Season One, can be viewed on YouTube. www.americastopdogmodel.com.

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Bye Bye 2019

Posted on 26 December 2019 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen



The close of a year, a decade, an era –

events unforeseen

We say bye bye to 2019

Unique in its way of negative feelings

of mass escalation,

division, frustration

mind-sets opposed,

never converging

despite all the urging,

small hope for its merging

sizzling embers stoked,

poked, provoked,

To strong beliefs — we were all —



What did we teach as we limped to impeach

with so many not reached?

in our sun, some were beached

or cooking a meal,

or making a deal,

critiquing a kneel,

bereft of the zeal

required to heal

to help us congeal


As never before as we enter the ‘20s

with some folks on food stamps

and others with plenty

as never before we all need to find

more ways to be kind,

to walk a few steps

in the shoes of the other

to hear — not just listen

to the heart of a brother


And then — as has happened

so much in the past

shake hands and agree

that disagreements will last

but ought never to plunder

or tear us asunder


Here’s to the magic of old

hocus pocus

goodbye to the hatreds

And in this Christmas season

And always and more

May love be our focus

And on a personal note, a sad goodbye. For at least 20 years, I have been ranting and opining and remembering in these pages. At times, I couldn’t wait to “let it all hang out.” At other times, I sat at the computer paralyzed. Nothing came to me, until … until … it DID. I never knew who read it, or who cared, but it was good for me to do it. I will miss the deadlines. But, I will make my own deadlines. You will find me, if indeed you look, at www.emilyrosen424.com.

Thanks to you, Rachel, for your encouragement, and for all of you who managed to put out a much needed community paper for so many years. Your leaving is a major loss to Deerfield.

I wish those of you who need it a good job and those of you who are retiring a happy and productive after-work life.

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Pompano cheerleaders earn participation awards

Posted on 19 December 2019 by LeslieM

Alicia Solon, a member of the Pompano Beach Eagles Junior Prep Division Team, competes in the American Youth Football League Cheerleading Championships at the Watsco Center at the University of Miami. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

Alicia Solon is in her fourth year as a cheerleader for the Pompano Eagles team that cheers in the American Youth Football League.

Solon, 13, of Pompano Beach, was one of an estimated 800 cheerleaders who competed in the recent American Youth Football League Cheerleading Championships (AYFLC) at the Watsco Center at the University of Miami. The two Pompano Eagles teams – 9U and the Junior Prep teams, each scored participation awards.

“You have fun while you do it,” said Solon, a member of the Junior Prep squad. “Competitions like this help me improve. You have to have a lot of trust in each other and we build that through practice every day.

“I love cheerleading because I get to show what I can do,” Solon added. “It gives me a lot of energy.”

Solon, who said she’d like to cheer in high school and maybe in college too, also said she’d like to prove the doubters wrong who say cheerleading is not a sport.

“It is a sport because we work hard, just as hard as the football players,” said Solon, an 8th grader at William Dandy Middle School in Ft. Lauderdale. “We have to lift each other up and that is a weight.”

Pompano Eagles cheerleading coach Sharique McDonald brought two squads to the competition.

“The girls keep me on my toes every day,” McDonald said. “Every day, I learn something new from their little generation. I have to try and keep up just to stay in tune with them, but they keep me on my toes all of the time.”

She appreciates the daily improvement and dedication with the squads.

“That is like the best feeling ever,” McDonald said. “One of my girls has been cheering with me since she was 9 and couldn’t speak English when she first started. That was her first time cheering and, each year, she has excelled and pushes herself. They listen to my directions, and you can see they want it. The girls are what matters to me.”

McDonald also said there is a lot of focus that goes into the sport.

“You have to have a lot of discipline, and you can’t give up on yourself because you are going to take it to a whole new level with the stunting and tumbling, and your body is literally breaking down,” she noted. “You get bruised at practice and girls hit the ground hard and they get right back up and say, ‘I am going to do this.’ You can’t top that. The football players can’t top that and they have equipment.”

Pompano Beach’s Selena Sanchez, 6, who is a 1st grader at Pompano Beach Elementary School, received the prestigious Lisa Gager Spirit Award from the AYFLC. Gager was with the Sunrise program and passed away a little more than a decade ago, and the award was started in her memory for what she did in the cheerleading community.

“It is my first year as a cheerleader,” Sanchez said. “I like when we jump so high. And when we cheer at a football game, I like when people say we are good.”

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“The Swashbuckling Journalist & Information Scientist”

Posted on 19 December 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave


Santa Claus meets “Cinema” Dave.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13: 6-7

When I accepted the plaque for 20 years of service with The Observer, I admitted that “Flicks” has been a labor of love for me. I also became aware that I would not be writing this column for another 20 years. Like Dwyane Wade’s final year with the Miami Heat, I was hoping to have #OneLastDance. 

This columnist came to the revelation that the world had changed more than I have. (Case in point — does anyone know what the word “Flicks” means?) I am still the shy 10-year-old Davy from Huntington, Long Island, who moved to Deerfield Beach with his parents and Chrissy the dog in 1973. I live with chronic grief over the loss of my dad and my dog, yet I am sustained in my Christian belief that real love is eternal. We will meet again for a grand family reunion with my New York and Alabama families and dearly departed friends that I have written about in this column.

With decades of show business training, I am comfortable when the spotlight is thrust upon me. Actually, I am a private person and not emotionally demonstrative. I like having the separation from shy Dave Montalbano to Cinema Dave — that “swashbuckling journalist and information scientist.” The meek Montalbano is a working man with a deep love for his family, friends and pets, while Cinema Dave attends premiers, festivals and gets his picture taken with movie stars, music legends and American heroes.

Since 1999, our community has survived wars, rumors of wars, the 2000 Presidential Election, multiple hurricanes (with Hurricane Wilma being the most devastating), political corruption, shootings and my personal battles with a pesky puppet — Sinister Simon.

This column is older than actress Bailee Madison, Dwayne Wade’s NBA career and the Marvel Comic’s “The Infinity Wars Saga.”

Considering that major media have hired syndicated columnists from either New York, Chicago or Los Angeles for over a decade, I am proud to have claimed the title “the longest standing film columnist in Broward County.”  My intention was to write a film column that was not uppity or snarky, unless I thought my column was Saturday matinee popcorn eating fun. Then, I would report on a film and let the ticket buyer decide the value of seeing the movie. Afterall, some people love Madonna and some people love a King Kong movie. Both are entitled to their opinions.

This column has outlasted Blockbuster Video and Border’s Bookstore. It seems appropriate that a column titled “Flicks” closes in 2019. People do not go to movie theaters the way they did in 1999. Yet, I am thankful this year to share the communal experience watching Captain America battling the Mad Titan Thanos at the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Discovery & Science Autonation IMAX screen — A battle reminiscent of David versus Goliath, a mythic story that is close to this writer’s heart.

At my age, my heart is a current concern.  Given the sedentary lifestyle of being a swashbuckling journalist and information scientist, my medical doctors have prescribed more walking and swimming, which I will be doing in my free time, since I will not be writing a weekly column. After next week, “Cinema” Dave has no plans for public publishing, but I have learned by writing “Flicks” that writing is my innate talent, so, given my Christian belief and faith, my writing has been “born again.” It seems appropriate to end my penultimate column with Merry Christmas!

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Posted on 19 December 2019 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach

Dec. 4: A man and a woman reported their vehicle was stolen while the man was doing yard work. The incident was reported at 361 SW 15 St.

Dec. 4: A man was arrested for stealing $344 worth of merchandise from Walgreens at 1041 E. Hillsboro Blvd.

Dec. 5: A man reported that someone entered his vehicle parked at 120 SE 7 St. and stole a backpack with several items.

Dec. 5: A woman working at Deerfield Beach Storage at 950 S. Powerline Rd. reported that someone drove a truck over a chain link fence causing about $1,000 in damage.

Dec. 6: A woman reported that a neighbor cut down about $3,000 worth of bamboo plants on her property at 812 SE 9 Ave.

Lighthouse Point

Dec. 9: A credit card was found near the tot lot at 3500 NE 27 Ave.

Dec. 7: Police responded to an alarm call at 2730 NE 40 St. The perimeter was found secure.

Dec. 7: A resident found a machete on the grass across the street at 2622 NE 26 St. It was brought to the police department and placed into evidence for disposal.

(This is a partial list. For Deerfield Beach Crime Watch in full, visit www.DFB.City and click on “Sign Me Up” to receive the city wide report.)

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Posted on 19 December 2019 by LeslieM

Through Their Eyes exhibition

Thursday, Dec. 19, 4 to 7 p.m.

Historic Ali Cultural Arts Center

353 Martin Luther King Blvd.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Pompano Beach’s young artists submited artwork that reflects their view of the world through their eyes. Artwork was submitted in digital form, and staff provided assistance to those that needed help in digitizing their artwork. The public is invited to this free reception to see the artwork.

Marine Advisory Board Meeting

Thursday, Dec. 19, 6 p.m.

City Hall

150 NE 2 Ave.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Deerfield Beach’s mayor and city commission created the Marine Advisory Board and tasked its members with identifying programs, regulations and actions to encourage a healthy, and friendly, marine environment for the city’s residents and visitors. The Board will make recommendations to the mayor and city commission. For further information, please contact the city’s staff liaison to the Board, Patrick Bardes, at pbardes@dfb.city.

Food Truck Round Up

Friday, Dec. 20. 6 to 10 p.m.

Pompano’s Old Town

41 NE 1 St.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Come out on the third Friday of every month, right at the corner of Atlantic Blvd. & Dixie Hwy. Enjoy great Food Truck dining, full bar, live entertainment and so much more! For questions about how to become a vendor, please e-mail info@gourmettruckexpo.com.

Holiday Family Day

Saturday, Dec. 21, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Sample-McDougald House

450 NE 10 St.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Miss Christmas Joy reads Twas the Night Before Christmas

” with activities and gifts for the children. Free for children under the age of 12.

Pompano Green Market

Saturday, Dec. 21, 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

41 NE 1 St.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Presented by the Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) every Saturday in November through April, located on the corner of Atlantic Boulevard & Dixie Highway (Old Town Pompano). Providing the best and freshest local fruits and vegetables, juices, baked goods, seafood, gourmet teas, and coffees and other food items, as well as orchids, plants and health-related products and services from local businesses. Come out, shop and experience all the market has to offer, such as free yoga from 10 to 11 a.m., live music, special events, cooking demonstrations and workshops. Vendor Inquiries: greenmarketpompanobeach@gmail.com.

Vintage Fair

Sat, Dec. 21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Festival Marketplace

2900 W. Sample Rd.

Pompano Beach, FL 33073

Many vendors with great vintage items, handcrafted items, re-purposed and salvage. Look for the big tent on the corner of Sample Road and 27 Avenue in the Festival Marketplace parking lot. Free entry for customers. A rain or shine event.

Gold Star Annual Toy Drive

Sunday, Dec. 22, 3 to 6 p.m.

American Legion Hall

820 SE 8 Ave.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Food, games, toy giveaway and bounce house. For more information, call Stan Coven at 954-263-7100 or Robert Graham at 754-367-2520.

Winter Wonderland Toddler Time

Sunday, Dec. 22, 9:30 a.m.

Sky Zone

1834 SW 2 St.

Pompano Beach, FL 33069

Kids walking to age 5 can jump for 90 minutes, give Woody and Buzz Lightyear letters for delivery to Santa, enjoy sugar cookies and chocolate milk, create holiday crafts and get temporary tattoos! Parents do not need to purchase a ticket as only kids 5 & under will be permitted to jump at that time. $11.99 per toddler. Price does not include SkySocks, which must be worn and can be purchased for $2.99 per pair. Capacity is limited.

Movies in the Park — The Grinch

Friday, Dec. 27, 7 p.m.

Community Park/Multi-Purpose Field

1700 NE 8 St.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

The City of Pompano Beach Parks & Recreation Dept. invites you to the first ever Movies in the Park. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and come enjoy a featured presentation at the park under the stars on the fourth Friday of every month at Community Park. This is a free, family – friendly event. For more information, call 954-786-4111.

Save the Date:

Heavenly Orchids

Monday, Jan. 13, 12:30 p.m.

Emma Lou Olson Civic Center

1801 NE 6 St.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Come out for personal enrichment. Make new friends with a shared love of gardening, floral and landscaping design. Learn about the environment, civic projects, different gardening techniques and creating your own sanctuary. New members welcomed. For more information, call Hilde at 954-782-4121. First time guest welcome free of charge.

Free photos with Santa

Get your free photo with Santa at the Pompano Citi Centre, located at 1955 N. Federal Hwy. Bring your camera and get ready to feel festive. Santa will be there Thursday, Dec. 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as Friday, Dec. 20 to Monday, Dec. 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and even Christmas Eve, Dec. 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Listen to Linus

Posted on 19 December 2019 by LeslieM

As a little boy growing up, and still to this day as a husband and father of four, of all the television specials that have aired during the Christmas season, A Charlie Brown Christmas is my favorite. When I was a boy, my mom and I would search the TV Guide (younger readers may be surprised to learn that one actually had to consult a magazine or newspaper to see what would be on TV) to see when the Christmas special would air so we would not miss it. Today, we just pop in the DVD and watch it anytime we want . . . frequently during the Christmas season.

Even when this program first aired in 1965, our culture was consumed by materialism, even during the Christmas season, causing Charlie Brown to be deeply concerned that the Christmas season had been separated from the Christmas “reason.” From his sister Sally’s letter to Santa (requesting “$10s and $20s” if her Christmas wish list was too complicated), to Snoopy entering his garishly decorated dog house in a Christmas decorating contest, commercialism was edging the Christ out of Christmas. Charlie Brown’s disillusionment hit rock bottom when Lucy and the cast of the Christmas play sent Charlie Brown out to get “the biggest and shiniest aluminum Christmas tree you can get” as the centerpiece for their presentation.

The segment of the show that always caught my attention — and this was decades before I became a Christian — was when Linus responded to Charlie Brown’s despairing question: “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Linus’ words were taken directly from the King James Version of sacred Scripture:

And there were in the same country, shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

(Luke 2:8-14 KJV)

And with that being said, Linus picked up his blanket and shuffled off the stage, stopping by his friend to say, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.” Linus said it all! That is what Christmas is all about: the Christ Child, the only true reason for the season, the greatest gift the world has ever been given. And this precious gift is available to all those who will but place their trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Early on in my Christian walk, I was instructed to personalize the Scriptures. Here is how you apply this instruction to John 3:16. When you come to the word “world,” insert your name: For God so loved . . . you! Think about it this way. God so loved you that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, into this world to die for your sins so that He could have an intimate, personal and loving relationship with you for all eternity. That’s right, with you!

Jesus was like no other child ever born into this world. He was supernaturally conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary, as Isaiah 7:14 promised: The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. This would be “the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes” that Linus spoke of — a babe that was God clothed in human flesh.

Jesus, that little baby in the manger, was born to die. That manger, which is so much a symbol of Christmas, always stood in the shadow of the cross, where God’s justice would be fully satisfied by God’s only Son.

Throughout the month of December, I pray that you and yours will listen to Linus and have a very merry, Christ-centered, hope-filled Christmas season. Perhaps you will take some time to share this glorious gift of hope with someone who does not yet know the real reason for this Christmas season. You will not be sharing a cleverly invented story, like the ones created by Dickens or Dr. Seuss, as charming as they are; you will be declaring the irrefutable truth of the good news of the birth of Christ, the one that Linus initially shared with an estimated 15 million families on that night in 1965, and to hundreds of millions more in all the years since.

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. That’s what Christmas is all about: that God so loved you.

From the Boland family to yours: We wish you a very merry, Christ-filled Christmas!

Tommy Boland is the pastor for Cross Community Church located at 841 SE 2 Ct. in Deerfield Beach. For more information, call 954-427-3045 or visit www.thecrosscc.org.

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Defining Your Inner Child

Posted on 19 December 2019 by LeslieM

Your inner child is part of your personality that still reacts and feels like a child. If your inner child is happy and healthy, there usually is a part of you that feels and reacts to life in ways only a child would or could. The challenge is to learn to know, accept, connect and take care of your inner child in order to experience more curiosity, joy, wonder, spontaneity and creativity as an adult.

Ellen’s Inner Child:

Ellen, age 27, began seeing me for therapy because she said she was drinking too much alcohol and becoming depressed. In the past, she enjoyed meeting friends on weekends and enjoying a glass or two of wine, but, lately, she was drinking a bottle of wine by herself almost every evening.

Ellen’s parents died in a car accident when she was 10 years old. She then moved to Virginia from Florida to live with her maternal grandparents. Adjusting to this new life was difficult. She missed her parents and cried herself to sleep most nights. She especially missed her mother’s kind voice and her constant hugs and kisses. Ellen’s grandparents hired teenagers to watch her if they went out to dinner or visited friends. One of those teenagers told her she was a loser because she lived with her grandparents, and that made Ellen feel embarrassed. After speaking with a teacher about this bully, she felt better and continued to do well in school and dreamed about returning to Florida one day.

Ellen and I also spoke about her excessive alcohol intake and the physical and mental debilitation and damage it can cause. We discussed her thoughts, feelings and behaviors relating to alcohol and she realized that drinking excessive alcohol was not good for her and causing depression.

Ellen’s favorite holiday as a child was Christmas. She recalled that her mother pointed out to her that South Floridians wore sweaters, boots and coats around Christmas when the outdoor temperature went below 70 degrees. She remembered how they would both giggle when they saw someone who was not a South Floridian during the Christmas holiday wearing shorts and a T-shirt when the temperature was that low.

Ellen is working at caring and nurturing her inner child. The sad truth that her parents died when she was 10 years old hurt her, and then living with grandparents at a time when they wanted to live their lives without the burden of caring for a child was yet another tough reality we talked about.

The other day Ellen caught herself giggling while seeing a person wearing shorts and a T-shirt in the 65 degree south Florida weather while she was wearing a sweater, boots and a coat. The giggling made her feel child-like. Ellen’s inner child is now helping her adult self move forward in many good ways and she realized — change is possible!

Ways to reconnect with The Inner Child:

Laugh more often: Laugh out loud like a child would do. It will keep you healthy! According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter increases oxygen to the heart, lungs and muscles, as well as increase endorphins released by the brain which improve mood and reduce physical pain.

Play: Not a round of golf or a tennis match… Play for the simple pleasure of playing. Have a fun conversation with a friend, buy a sketchbook and colored pencils to draw like you did as a child, play a board game, toss a football or Frisbee on the beach, be creative and explore the art of play again. When the inner child is engaged in playing, answers to unrelated concerns can be revealed.

Be open to possibilities: As children we had to be open to meeting new people and having new experiences. We lose that openness as we age, and we become protective of our time and energy. The inner child lives for new experiences so expand your comfort zone, be open, be curious and be kind to what you normally would not take notice of or invest in.

Dr. Julia Breur is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private clinical psychotherapy practice in Boca Raton. Her website is www.drjuliabreur.com. For more information, e-mail info@drjuliabreur.com or call 561-512-8545.

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Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum’s Walk of Recognition

Posted on 12 December 2019 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Photos by Ryan Cohen

Every year, the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum (BRHS&M) chooses special individuals and/or institutions to honor by inscribing their name on a granite star on the Walk of Recognition (or listing them on the Wall of Honor if they are deceased). The stars are under part of the commemorative monument beneath the Mizner statue in Royal Palm Place. This accolade is given to people who have worked in some way to enrich the lives of the residents of Boca Raton.

The award was first created in 1997 by Marta Batsmanian, who was present at this year’s ceremony on Nov. 6 along with her husband Jim. The Committee Co-Chairs were Marta Batmasian and Joyce DeVita; and the committee members were Denise Alman and Ann Schauer.

After having a ceremony for placing the name, there was a reception at The Addison restaurant with over 130 in attendance. Following a presentation there for the honorees, guests enjoyed dinner-by-the-bite at food stations with live entertainment in the courtyard.

This year’s honorees were Arthur Adler, Kerry Koen, the late George Barbar, the late Dr. Merrilee Middleton, and Florida Atlantic University.

BRHS&M Executive Director Mary Csar stated, “The Walk of Recognition event was a great celebration of community in a beautiful setting at The Addison. All of the inductees, and their representatives, had powerful and moving stories about their contributions to Boca Raton. I think that every person, who attended the event feels very fortunate to be living in this community. We are proud to be able to recognize people from all walks of life, along with a wide range of institutions, who have made a positive impact on the quality of life here.”

Also mentioned at the event were the new renovations happening at the museum — their History Alive! project to renovate the museum and make it more state-of-the-art and interactive.

The mission and the purpose, of the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum is to collect, preserve, and present information and artifacts, relevant to the past and evolving history of Boca Raton, and to maintain a visible role in education and advocacy of historic preservation in our community.

For additional information, on the BRHS&M, call 561-395-6766 or visit www.bocahistory.org .

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Mendez makes Florida sports history

Posted on 12 December 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Kevin Mendez

Kevin Mendez is in a select company after he became just a third boys diver in Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) history to win four straight diving titles.

The Lighthouse Point resident and Pine Crest School sophomore joined Brian Gillooly of Gateway (Kissimmee), who won diving titles in 1990-93, and Mark Ruiz of Dr. Phillips (Orlando), who won titles in diving from 1994-97.

Coincidentally, he is the third diver from the school to win four in a row as he joined Pine Crest’s Carolyn Chaney, who won four straight titles in diving from 2011-14, as did another Panthers’ female diver in Joel Lenzi, who won in 1956-59. 

There were three other girls divers to win four straight, including Cherie Hammond (West Orange, Winter Garden) from 2007-10; Mary Hoerger (Miami Beach) from 1937-40, and Patty Kranz (Westminster Academy, Ft. Lauderdale) from 2007-10.

Mendez’s win in diving this year in Stuart at the FHSAA 2A State Championships gives the state championship diving title to the Pine Crest School for seven years in a row.

In addition to his FHSAA accomplishments, Mendez has been a stellar USA Diving junior diver, winning nearly a dozen USA Diving National Championship titles.

“Probably the best thing to happen to me was winning states because I came back two months before the high school season after taking a year off from the sport,” Mendez said. “I did not expect to win states.”

Ely boys expect to contend for state title

Blanche Ely’s Lamont Evans, right, tries to get past St. Andrew’s Landon Brody in a Kreul Showcase game at Monarch High School. Evans led the Tigers with 17 points and 5 assists in the 60-46 setback at the hands of St. Andrews. Photo by Gary Curreri

One thing is a given, the Blanche Ely boys basketball team stumbles in the early season Kreul Showcase basketball tournament and then rises to the occasion during the state tournament at the end of the year.

Lamont Evans led the Tigers with 17 points and 5 assists in the 60-46 setback at the hands of St. Andrews at Monarch High School as part of the Kreul Showcase, which featured many of the top teams in South Florida.

Even in defeat, coach Melvin Randall was pleased with his team’s performance. 

“Tonight, we finally played Tiger basketball,” Randall said after the game. “It’s small steps, but we will get there.

You will see a humungous difference in the coming weeks.”

Blanche Ely (3-1) was shorthanded in the contest as they were waiting for Iowa State commit Dudley Blackwell to become eligible after transferring from Huntington Prep (WV).

“We are always going to learn from a loss and keep growing,” Randall said. “St. Andrew’s is a good, well-coached ball club and a good team. It is a work in progress. We are young and inexperienced, but (this) week you will see a huge difference. All this, like it has been in the past, we learn from this. We watch the film, correct some of our bad habits and praise some of our good ones and move forward.”

Last year, the Tigers opened the season with a 62-52 loss to University School in the Kreul Showcase as both teams went on to win state championships. 

University School won the Class 5A state title, while the Tigers won a record eight state championships in March with a 57-52 win over Bradenton Lakewood Ranch in the Class 8A championship at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

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