| October, 2020

Boca Raton Historical Society’s 24th Annual Walk of Recognition–Nov. 4

Posted on 31 October 2020 by JLusk









The Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum will be honoring Teresa “Terry” Fedele, the late Jay H. Van Vechten and the Boca Ballet Theatre at the 24th annual Walk of Recognition ceremony on Wednesday, November 4 at 6 p.m. 

This year’s smaller ceremony will adhere to CDC guidelines, and will include face masks and social distancing, due to COVID-19.  Additionally, this year’s videotaped ceremony will be accessible on the BRHS&M website www.bocahistory.org.   This year’s honorees will also be celebrated, at the 2021 Walk of Recognition ceremony and reception, that will be held at The Addison in Boca Raton.

The Walk of Recognition event’s Presenting Sponsors are Marta and Jim Batmasian; the Committee Co-Chairs are Marta Batmasian and Joyce DeVita; and the Committee Members are Denise Alman and Ann Schauer.

Instituted in 1997, the Walk of Recognition award ceremony will highlight each inductee’s name–which will be inscribed on a granite plaque on the “Walk” or on the Wall of Honor (for those who are deceased)–which will be set into a commemorative monument, featuring the mission of the program, beneath the Mizner statue in Royal Palm Place in Boca Raton. The plaques are underwritten by Marta Batmasian, as part of her commitment to her community.

BRHS&M Executive Director Mary Csar states, “The Walk of Recognition is my favorite event because we have the opportunity to honor the outstanding individuals and organizations who have built our community.  We are proud to recognize people from all walks of life, along with a wide range of institutions and organizations, who have made a positive impact on the quality of life here.”



Boca Raton resident Teresa “Terry” Fedele is an extraordinarily dedicated volunteer, whose boundless optimism and “can-do” spirit, have made a significant impact on the community. Since moving to Boca Raton with her husband Jerry Fedele, from their native Pittsburgh in 2008, she has channeled her strong passion for health care and children to volunteer and lead numerous organizations. It is no surprise that her impressive CV boasts a long list of boards, committees, events, and organizations, where she has made a definitive mark by contributing her time and her talent.

Her noteworthy accomplishments include serving on many committees for the Boca Raton Regional Hospital, including the Go Pink Luncheon and the Hospital Ball, and acting as the coordinator for the Boca Raton Championship —  The Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health & Wellness Pro-Am. She is currently the Board Chair of FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing Advisory Board; Board President of the Caring Heart’s Auxiliary of FAU’s Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center (she has co-chaired their yearly Keep Memories Alive Walk since 2012); Board Member of the Lynn University Conservatory of Music; Board member of the YMCA of Boca Raton; committee member of the George Snow Scholarship Fund’s Boca’s Ballroom Battle (she was a dancer in 2017 and the top female fundraiser that year) and co-chairwoman of their Caribbean Cowboy Ball in 2014; member of the Soroptomist Club (she has co-chaired their Women of Distinction event for the past few years, was honored as a Woman of Distinction in 2015, and served as the event’s Honorary Chairperson in 2016); and member of Impact 100 of Palm Beach County.

Prior to moving to Boca Raton, Fedele forged an impressive career in health care in Pittsburgh. While she began her career as a registered nurse, she went on to hold various executive positions, including executive vice president of hospital operations for some of PIttsburgh’s leading hospitals.

When she is not volunteering, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and playing golf.


While the late Jay H. Van Vechten was known for his larger-than-life personality, his positive spirit, his world travels, his lavish Christmas parties, and his expertise in public relations, he was also distinguished by his true passion for helping people with disabilities. He was appreciated for transforming a beach picnic, for the disabled, into an extremely popular community event which attracted thousands of people each year. He chaired the American Disabilities Foundation, Inc. and he served as the executive director of his annual Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities.

Van Vechten launched The Bash–which has been known as the nation’s largest free event for people with physical disabilities and/or intellectual challenges–in 2009.  What was previously a smaller event, for people living in group homes, grew to include wounded soldiers and Purple Heart recipients. The Bash regularly draws over 5000 people, each year, who enjoy a day-long BBQ and rides on boats and yachts, along with a wide range of children’s activities. As an advocate for the disabled, he worked tirelessly to make Boca Raton a welcoming place for people with disabilities. He campaigned for handicapped parking and beach access, for the disabled, and he enjoyed celebrating individuals who had overcome handicaps and had accomplished milestones. He considered himself disabled, after suffering a fall in 2001.

Van Vechten had previously operated an award-winning New York City public relations firm–Van Vechten and Co.–specializing in medical, pharmaceutical, and health care clients for several decades. He relocated to Boca Raton, in the 1990s, and became a vital part of the philanthropic community along with his wife, Lowell.


Now in its 30th year, Boca Ballet Theatre’s vision can be described as inspiration through exposure. This Boca Raton organization was launched, in 1990, by a group of dedicated families. Two years later, Co-Artistic Directors, Dan Guin and Jane Tyree, joined them. Under their inspired leadership, the Company has blossomed while providing dance training curriculum, a wide range of outreach programs in the community, and professional performances. The Company is comprised of the performing arts entity–the Boca Ballet Theatre–and the School of Boca Ballet.

BBT joins world-class guest artists with well-trained aspiring youth dancers, on stage, to enhance the dancers’ training beyond the physicality of teaching ballet steps. Each season, BBT presents professional performances of The Nutcracker, including free performances for public school children; a full-length story ballet; and a reportory collection.  BBT’s production, of The Nutcracker, is the longest running in Palm Beach County. The School of BBT prides itself on providing high-quality instruction, in a safe and nurturing environment, with a stair-step approach for successful training and workshops for all ages. They have also created a nationwide workshop–The Artistic Directors’ Intensive Performance Workshop–to join artistic directors, from prominent professional ballet companies, with advanced dancers who are ready to be hired. Additionally, they have created the College Dance Fair, an annual nationwide event, which joins dancers–who are seeking a college experience–with nine top dance universities. BBT’s many outreach programs include free after-school introductory dance programs; scholarship programs for students who wish to continue training; and a certified dance program, of free classes, using effective dance movements to address Parkinson’s disease symptoms.


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 the education and advocacy of historic preservation in our community.

The BRHS&M is currently undergoing an extensive renovation, to historic Town Hall, in preparation for new immersive exhibits. The new exhibits will document both the development and growth of Boca Raton, from its origins as a small farming community, to the thriving residential and business community–with over 100,000 residents–that it is today.  The Museum is slated to reopen to the public by the end of 2020.  All funds that are raised, from the Walk of Recognition, will enable the Museum to provide ongoing programs and new and exciting exhibits for the community. The dynamic new design will allow for both permanent and changing exhibits, enhanced educational opportunities for adults and children, and a more rewarding visitor experience. 

For additional information, please go to www.bocahistory.org.

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The Haunted Arboretum brings a frightfully good time to Deerfield

Posted on 31 October 2020 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

In the pitch black with only a flicker of colored lights to guide my way, this reporter stumbled through the trees, through the fog trying to find my way through the tree zoo before they got me… They, being the ghosts and goblins, and clowns and creatures, that haunted the twisted pathways on the day before Halloween…

The day before Halloween, The Haunted Arboretum in Constitution Park in Deerfield Beach was ready to greet its next victims. The process of its transformation took three days, according to the City of Deerfield Parks & Recreation Manager II Adele Trizzino. She accomplished the task with the help of 12 staff members and 26 volunteers. They served up some screams to 200 people that night. 

Everything was socially distanced and people wore masks even though it was outside. Temperatures were also taken upon entry and hand sanitizer was available. 

Even Commissioner Michael Hudak and his wife, and Commissioner Drotsky braved the scary path…Did you?

Remember, these pics. were taken with a flash… think about encountering these creatures in the dark!

Some of the victims… ahem, I mean… visitors…

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Miami Book Fair is virtual this year!

Posted on 30 October 2020 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

This year, the Miami Book Fair is accessible right from your living room no matter where you live… and almost everything is free to watch! The fair will include plenty of book talks, Q&As and more, and even a virtual book marketplace. The events run Nov. 15 to 22 and will kickoff with Maragret Atwood, author of the well-known “Handmaids tale,” which has become a popular show on Hulu. This time she is focusing on a new book, this one is of poetry. Called “Dearly,” In Dearly, it is her first collection of poetry in over a decade, Atwood addresses themes such as love, loss, the passage of time, the nature of nature and – zombies.

   The format for this year’s event was talked about during a special Zoom happy hour on Oct. 8 in which Lisette Mendez, director of programs, and co-founder Mitchell Kaplan hosted the event and other staff members chimed in, sharing their favorite books and authors. That event also included a musical interlude by Richie Hell with art by his wife Francisca Oyhanarte. They also unveiled this year’s whimsical poster created bt Dan Santat, who is an award-winning children’s book author, illustrator and creator of Disney’s animated series “The Replacements.” The poster image is also available on cups, shirts and more on the Miami Book Fair website.

   Although the site does not really come alive until Nov. 15, starting Nov. 1, people will be able to go on the website and create their own personal watchlist and complete their profiles based on their interests, so they can be sent reccomendations, and they can begin browsing. But you can go ahead and register for free now.

   There will be a lot of great authors in attendance, including Dean Koontz, Chuck Flink, Lenny Kravitz, Jodi Picoult, Carl Hiaasen, Peter Wartman, Richard Blanco, Roxane Gay, Lee Child, Chuck Palahniuk, Dr. Peniel Joseph, Nikky Finney, Sarah Frey, Bari Weiss, James McBride, Emma Straub, poet Laureate Joy Harjo, Kalynn Bayron, Justin Reynolds, Walter Mosley, Rev. Barber, Fatima Mirza, Claudia Rankine, Chip Kidd, Bill Nye The Science Guy and Erin Brokovitch. Even Natalie Portman will be there with her new book “Natalie Portman’s Fables”.

   Visit www.miamibookfair.com or email wbookfair@mdc.edu. 

Pictured below: Authors Maragaret Atwood, Dave Barry & Car Hiaasen… just a few of the many great authors involved in this year’s Miami Book Fair.

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Deerfield helps those financially affected by COVID-19

Posted on 29 October 2020 by JLusk

The City of Deerfield Beach residential CARES COVID Relief Program is available to provide financial assistance to residents with rental, mortgage and/or electric utility payments. Funds are available to residents financially impacted due to COVID-19.
The Rental Assistance Program provides up to $15,000. Assistance includes rental arrears and rental payments to prevent eviction. The Mortgage Assistance Program provides up $15,000 in mortgage payment assistance. The Electric Utility Assistance Program provides up to $2,500 in electric utility assistance.
Applicants must complete an online application through an external portal available through the city’s website. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served, first-completed.  
All payments under the programs listed above will be made to landlords, mortgage companies or a third-party provider of utility services (i.e. FPL) and not to the tenants or property owners
Below is the link to the Residential CARES COVID Relief Program application
For additional information please contact the Community Development Department at 954-480-4464 or Jsalas@deerfield-beach.com , 954-480-6420 or sscott@deerfield-beach.com.

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Deerfield Chamber merges with GFLCC, holds Town Hall Nov. 5

Posted on 29 October 2020 by JLusk

DB Commissioners Todd Drosky and Joe Miller with the Chamber’s Betty Masi, & Denise Jordan. Photo provided by Denise Jordan.

Did you know that the Deerfield Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce (GFLCC) have merged? This seems to be the next step for the local Chamber, which already went through a rebranding. This newest change will go into effect Nov. 1 and they will be closing the Deerfield office.

When asked why they have made this move, Executive Director Denise Jordan said, “This was a successful integration strategy, years in the making for increasing market access, creating expansive opportunities for collaboration and innovation. Our goal is to deliver long-term value to all of our members in our Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber and Deerfield Beach as we move towards regionalization.”

Jordan also has another personal change she has announced. She will become the Senior Vice President at GFLCC and will be on the board at Broward Alliance.

They will become the Deerfield Beach Council at the GFLCC, joining other councils like the Downtown Council, the Council of Economic Advisors and the Women’s Council.

Dan Lindblade, the GFLCC President and CEO, said,“Welcoming the DBCC into our family strengthens our goal of regionalization to better serve more businesses across an expanded territory.”

Want to know more about what this change means to our community? The Chamber is holding a free virtual Town Hall on Nov. 5 from 9 to 10 a.m. The event information is listed on their website: www.deerfieldchamber.com.


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LHP issues restrictions for Halloween night

Posted on 29 October 2020 by JLusk

The City of Lighthouse Point has issued Emergency Order 20-09 for Halloween Night, imposing several restrictions, as follows:
  • No trick-or-treating shall be permitted after 9:00 p.m.
  • All persons engaged in trick-or-treating, including adult chaperones, shall wear masks that comply with CDC guidelines. The CDC recommends persons not to wear a costume mask over a cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, persons should use Halloween-themed cloth masks.
  • No uninvited persons shall approach a residence where there is an indication that uninvited guests, such as trick-or-treaters, are not welcome, including signage or lack of exterior lighting.
  • Groups of individuals shall be limited to a maximum of 10 people, including trick-or-treaters and chaperones.

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Fall Back–Daylight Savings Time Ends–Sunday, Nov. 1

Posted on 28 October 2020 by JLusk

Don’t forget to turn your clocks back an hour on Sunday, Nov. 1 at 2 a.m! So, that means an hour more of Halloween (or Harvest) festivities to enjoy!


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BCPS Launches App to Connect Students to a Mental Health Professional or to Report Abuse

Posted on 28 October 2020 by JLusk

As part of the Broward County school district’s T.A.L.K. campaign, which stands for Tell Another. Listening is Key., they have launched the T.A.L.K. App, which provides K–12 students with a confidential online form to request to speak to a mental health professional, or report abuse.

The app is available exclusively to BCPS K–12 students as an icon that appears on their personalized eLearning platform.

“The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the traditional classroom setting and created new and unexpected shifts in the lives of our students and families,” said Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. “The T.A.L.K. App serves as a solution to our District’s commitment to ensure students receive the help they need during this challenging time.”

Once a student submits a T.A.L.K. App form, they are connected to a mental health professional before the end of the next school day. 

If a student is in crisis and has an immediate need to speak to a mental health professional, they are advised to contact the following 24/7 resources:

  • First Call for Help, 954-537-0211
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255
  • Crisis Text Line, Text HOME to 741741

The T.A.L.K. App advises all students to call 911 if they have an emergency.

For information on mental health services provided by the district, visit: browardschools.com/mentalhealthservices.

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Missing man found dead in Deerfield

Posted on 27 October 2020 by JLusk

The Observer is sorry to report that the missing man in Deerfield was found dead.
At approximately 10:40 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, a man identified as Rawa Iskander Azzu Jani was found deceased at 1100 S. Military Trail in Deerfield Beach. Jani went missing from a shopping center located at 1337 S. Military Trail in Deerfield Beach on Tuesday, Oct. 20.
This is an active ongoing investigation. If you have any info., contact BSO.

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Pet Supermarket hosts 4th annual “Thanks for Giving” food drive for homeless pets

Posted on 27 October 2020 by JLusk

Get ready to help four-legged friends with the help of Pet Supermarket. All of their locations will be participating in this year’s annual “Thanks for Giving” pet food drive benefiting local animal rescues and shelters. The event will take place Nov. 1-30.  This is their 4th year for the event.

The $5 “Feed-a-Pet” promotion, sponsored by Lovibles® and Barker’s Complete®, provides customers with the opportunity to help donate pre-purchased cans of cat and dog food to the local animal shelters and rescues that partner with Pet Supermarket stores. This year, their goal is to donate 125,000 large cans of pet food to the animal rescues and shelters in Pet Supermarket communities.

“We look forward to working with our generous customers to help animals in need this holiday season,” said Director of Marketing for Pet Supermarket Aileen Bilyeu. “During these trying times in particular, our local shelters and the homeless animals need our communities to come together to show their support. We, at Pet Supermarket, want to thank you in advance for giving this November.”  

For more information about Pet Supermarket and the “Thanks for Giving” pet food drive, visit www.petsupermarket.com.


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