NASCAR-IDrive Indoor Kart Racing Grand Opening.There is a difference between

There are people that imagine and never get to see the realization of their dreams. Others will dream and not rest until it is completed, sealed and signed. Today we saw a dream come true, we saw a group of people that dared to overcome all obstacles, every detail and completed a project that is the first of many to come, and this is just the beginning. We applaud their effort, and success  Continue reading


Orlando Magic Players Nikola Vucevic, Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton Take Youth on a Holiday Shopping Spree This Week

As they continue to rack up assists on the court, Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton are also dishing out assists off the court.

And while he continues to be an elite rebounder on the court, Nikola Vucevic is helping others rebound off the court.

On Tuesday, Dec. 9, the three Magic stars teamed up with PepsiCo. to take 100 children from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida on a holiday shopping spree. Each child received a $100 Walmart gift card and got the opportunity to pick out toys, electronics, clothes and other items while cruising the aisles with a few of their favorite Magic players.

“It’s a great situation to be here for me because I love kids,” Oladipo said. “For me to be able to do it (take kids on shopping spree) is a humbling experience.”

In addition to the shopping spree, PepsiCo. donated $2,500 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida to help support its programs. Continue reading

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Shoppers Can Find Great Deals on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday at Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores Shopping Center Announces Holiday Hours

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Holiday shopping is hassle-free at Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, where consumers can find factory-direct premium quality merchandise at savings up to 75% off (and sometimes more), easy store front parking and a head start on gift-buying.

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Meet the Brains behind Orion’s Spacecraft

Learn All About the Orion Spacecraft from Those Who Built It
Saturday, Dec. 6 – Sunday, Dec. 7

Orlando Science Center hosts some key players who paved the way for Orion’s test launch and made its premiere journey a success. Guests can enjoy special presentations from Lockheed Martin’s Joe Mayer, Adam Ayala and Barry Bohnsack. Continue reading


Orlando Magic Holds Holiday Garage Sale to Benefit the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation

-Children, families and friends will have the opportunity to take holiday photos with Magic Community Ambassador Nick Anderson and Magic Dancers-

Orlando Magic Holiday Garage Sale Benefiting the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation

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Dr. Phillips Center Announces Friday On Sales for Idina Menzel, Jay Leno, Sarah McLachlan



download (2)Tony award-winning actress, singer and star of Frozen, If/Then, Wicked and Glee, Idina Menzel, brings her 2015 global concert tour to Orlando. Continue reading

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10 Things You Should Know


  1. Orlando Magic set to play four road games this week
  • The Magic are slated to play a pair of back-to-back sets before returning to Amway Center next week. The team will take on the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, December 2 (10:30 p.m. EST) before heading to Los Angeles for a showdown with the Clippers on Wednesday, December 3 (10:30 p.m. EST). Orlando will then travel to Utah for a game against the Jazz on Friday, December 5 (9 p.m. EST) before finishing up the west coast road trip with a matchup against the Sacramento Kings onSaturday, December 6 (10 p.m. EST).
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Orlando City SC President Phil Rawlins Voted into USL PRO Hall of Fame Rawlins’ unprecedented success earns Hall of Fame honors

Phil Hall of Fame_FBOrlando City Soccer Club Founder and President Phil Rawlins has been elected into the USL PRO Hall of Fame, placing his name alongside 100 of the most influential figures in American soccer.

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Orlando Magic to Debut New “Pride Jersey” Alternate Home Uniforms on Wednesday

-Magic will feature the jerseys in select games this season-

The Orlando Magic will debut the new alternate Pride Jersey home uniforms at the Wednesday, November 26 game when the Magic host the Golden State Warriors, tip off set for 7:00 p.m. The Pride Jersey uniform will serve as the team’s fourth uniform to go along with their home white, road blue and alternate black pinstripe uniforms. The Magic will wear them for select home games during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Continue reading


140626203235-instant-analysis-no-4-aaron-gordon.1200x672Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon underwent a successful surgical procedure today to repair a fractured fifth metatarsal in his left foot, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced. Continue reading


The Orlando Magic This Week


10 Things You Should Know


  1. Orlando Magic slated to play four games this week
  • The Orlando Magic will play the first of four games this week tonight, November 17, when they take on the Pistons in Detroit (7:30 p.m. EST). Orlando will return to Amway Center for a showdown with the visiting Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, November 19 (7 p.m. EST). The Magic will finish up the week with a back-to-back set as they travel to Charlotte for a matchup with the Hornets on Friday, November 21 (7 p.m. EST) before hosting the Miami Heat in Orlando on Saturday, November 22 (7 p.m. EST).
  • Single-game tickets can be purchased online at www.orlandomagic.com, at the Chase box office at Amway Center, at all TicketMaster outlets, or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX. MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover accepted at all purchase points.
  • All regular season Orlando Magic games will be locally televised exclusively by FOX Sports Florida.
  1. Orlando Magic to host “Social Media Night” on November 19
  • The Orlando Magic and FOX Sports Florida will be hosting Social Media Night on Wednesday, November 19 when the Magic take on the Los Angeles Clippers at Amway Center (7 p.m. EST). Some highlights of “Social Media Night” include:
  • Two photo booths will be located on the Amway Center concourse. Fans can upload those photos using #PureMagicSocial. Photos will also be printed at the photo booth locations.
  • Fan Instagram and Twitter messages will be displayed on the Magic Vision (center hung video board) throughout the game.
  • Fans can tweet song requests during the game to @orlandomagic using #PureMagicSocial.
  • Postgame Q&A “tweet up” with Magic players Kyle O’Quinn and Tobias Harris.
  1. Holiday Ticket Plans now on sale through January 1, 2015
  • The Orlando Magic get in the holiday spirit offering fans special holiday ticket plans.  Magic fans can give the gift of games with the Holiday 4-Packs, offering fans the choice between two package options that includes two seats for four games in Amway Center starting as low as $79.  In addition, fans can upgrade to an Orlando Magic Flex Plan of seven games (or more) of their choice and receive a Vinnebago insulated bottle courtesy of International Diamond Center (IDC) and a Magic baseball cap. The Magic Holiday 4-Packs can only be purchased online at www.orlandomagic.com/holiday.
  1. Victor Oladipo returns to the court
  • Magic guard Victor Oladipo made his season debut against the Milwaukee Bucks at Amway Center on Friday, November 14. Oladipo, who finished second in the voting for the 2013-14 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, posted 13 points, three rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes of play after missing the first nine games of the season with a variety of injuries. Oladipo followed up that performance by registering 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists against the Washington Wizards on November 15.
  1. Vučević efficient & effective to start the 2014-15 season
  • Orlando Magic center Nikola Vučević has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in nine of the team’s 11 games so far this season.  Vučević has the most games shooting 50 percent or better from the floor (minimum 10 shot attempts) of any player in the NBA in 2014-15.
  1. Fournier’s big night
  • Newly acquired Magic guard Evan Fournier scored a career-best 28 points against the New York Knicks on November 12. This marked the fourth time Fournier has eclipsed the 20-point plateau in a game this season. As a member of the Denver Nuggets last season, Fournier scored 20-or-more points in a game four times in 76 games.
  1. Harris finding his groove on offense
  • Magic forward Tobias Harris scored 19 points on 8-of-11 (.727) shooting against the Wizards on Saturday, November 15. In 85 career games in which he has attempted at least 10 shots, his .727 shooting percentage on Saturday was tied for the third-best mark in a single game in his career.
  1. Magic play solid team defense versus Milwaukee
  • The Orlando Magic held the Milwaukee Bucks to 85 points on Friday night, marking the lowest point total they have allowed in any game during the 2014-15 season. Additionally, the Bucks shot 2-of-19 (.105) from 3-point range, which are season-lows both for 3-pointers made and 3-point field goal percentage for an opponent in a game versus Orlando this year.
  1. Magic Rewind No. 1 – November 12 at New York Knicks
  • Evan Fournier poured in a career-high 28 points, while Nikola Vučević tallied 20 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, as Orlando defeated New York, 97-95, at Madison Square Garden.  The game saw 14 ties and 35 lead changes.  Tobias Harris chipped in 12 points for the Magic.  Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 27 points, while JR Smith added 19.  Orlando held New York to just 43 percent shooting from the floor and committed only 11 turnovers.
  1. Magic Rewind No. 2 – November 14 vs. Milwaukee Bucks
  • Tobias Harris scored a season-high 26 points and added 10 rebounds, as the Orlando Magic defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 101-85, at Amway Center. The Magic were down 13 early in the first, but they went on a 17-9 run to end the first quarter and went into the half up three, 52-49. Orlando went on cruise control from there, leading by double digits for the majority of the final quarter. Nikola Vucevic added 18, Evan Fournier chipped in 15 and Victor Oladipo, in his first game of the season, scored 13 off the bench. Brandon Knight led Milwaukee with 24, while John Henson was the only other Bucks player to reach double figures with 10.

The Month at Orange County Government

Mayor Teresa Jacobs Launches Fourth Holiday Heroes Toy Drive  

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In keeping with the tradition of Orange County’s “neighbors helping neighbors” philosophy, Mayor Teresa Jacobs invites the community to bring a smile to the faces of children in Orange County who may not have a single present to open this holiday season.

Mayor Jacobs announced the launch of her fourth annual Holiday Heroes Toy Drive at the Orange County Board of County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

“For me, the best part of the holidays is seeing the joy on our children’s faces,” Mayor Jacobs said. “Together we can help restore the true spirit of the holidays, the spirit of giving and the spirit of neighbors helping neighbors. That’s what we do best in Orange County.”

Orange County citizens and employees will unite to help struggling families during the season of giving. Last year, the community collected more than 3,850 toys for area children and more than 2,600 were generously donated in 2012. Orange County hopes to exceed past collections to help as many deserving children as possible.

Donations will be provided to local families and children in need through the Orange County Neighborhood Centers for Families, Orange County Public Schools’ homeless program, the Community Food and Outreach Center, Wraparound Orange and the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation in Orlando.

Mayor Teresa Jacobs’ Holiday Heroes Toy Drive begins Nov. 11 and ends Dec. 8, 2014. Suggested donations include basketballs, soccer balls, model cars, trucks, sporting equipment, craft kits, junior board games, dolls, Barbie sets, LEGOs, Tonka toys, action figures and sets, skateboards, helmets and tea sets.

Citizens are also invited to join in celebrating the season at Orange County’s annual Holiday at Heritage Square event hosted on Dec. 4, at 6 p.m. at the Orange County Regional History Center, 65 E Central Blvd.

Mayor Jacobs will flip the switch to light up the heart of downtown Orlando with popular regional mascots and special princesses from blockbuster animated films. At this free and festive holiday celebration, guests will enjoy musical performances from Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker, Faith Assembly Church Choir, the Grand Avenue Elementary School Choir and the Hillcrest Elementary School Choir. FOX 35 is the official media partner and some of their well-known TV personalities will be at the event. Florida Dairy Farmers have also generously donated milk cartons for milk and cookies for the children. Photos opportunities with Santa Claus, holiday-themed crafts and more family fun will be available at the event.

Orange County Solidifies Partnership with Small Business Administration

unnamed (32)Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs recently signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum with the Small Business Administration (SBA), which extends vital assistance and training opportunities for local small businesses.

The memorandum, signed by Mayor Jacobs and SBA’s North Florida District Director Wilfredo Gonzalez, extends and formalizes Orange County’s lasting relationship with SBA and solidifies the shared goal of nurturing and providing assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses in the region.

“It important to help small businesses and entrepreneurs in our community achieve success,” Mayor Jacobs said. “These entrepreneurs are what help make Orange County such a fruitful and prosperous business community. The SBA does a fantastic job at providing the stepping stones for our small businesses to flourish.”

SBA provides aid, counsel and assistance to small business by providing financial, contractual and business development assistance and advocating on their behalf. The SBA promotes small business through education, training, work sessions, seminars and other activities conducive to Orange County’s economy.

“It is a top priority for this Administration and the U.S. Small Business Administration to strategically align with our community partners and local governments to better serve our small business communities,” Cassius Butts, Regional Administrator for the U.S. SBA said. “I am pleased beyond words to witness this historic strategic partnership between the SBA and Orange County. I commend Mayor Jacobs for her commitment to small business and to the entrepreneurial opportunities she supports every day.”

In 2013, Orange County allocated more than $1 million to fund economic development programs such as the Small Business Development Center, the local contingency of the SBA.

SBA provides counseling and technical assistance to entrepreneurs through its vast network of resources and community partners, including Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Veterans Business Centers, and SCORE chapters.

SBA recently funded two business accelerators in the Central Florida area, including Starter Studio, based out of Orlando, and Sunshine Labs, based out of Longwood. Each received $50,000 from SBA.

The SBA guaranteed more than $80 million worth of loans to Orange County businesses during fiscal year 2014.

Mayor Jacobs Joins Division of Building Safety at Iconic Construction Sites
Mayor Teresa Jacobs joined Orange County Division of Building Safety employee Vernon Ogden at the
construction site of I-Drive 360’s 400-foot-tall “Orlando Eye.”

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs lauded the continued success of the Division of Building Safety’s customer-centric, unnamed (33)One-Stop Permitting Office during the Division’s recent annual staff meeting held in the Board of County Commissioners Chamber.

“It is important to step back and see what works, and why it matters,” Mayor Jacobs said. “Public safety is number one and customer service is so important.”

The Mayor went on to commend the team regarding the quantity of positive customer feedback and compliments the County has received about the staff’s exceptional work and customer service.

Following the Division of Building Safety staff meeting, Mayor Jacobs joined several team members in an interactive tour at the construction site of the new, luxury apartment homes, The Courtney at Universal Boulevard. She participated in the inspection process while staff informed her about the details involved in performing safety inspections of soon-to-be homes.

“The goal is for the Mayor to understand the extent we go to in order to inspect and ensure the safety of buildings,” said Alan Plante, a building official for the Division of Building Safety.

The group continued the field visit with a stop at another inspection location, the I-Drive 360 construction site of the 400-foot-tall Orlando Eye. Mayor Jacobs was safely lifted by crane in a construction crate to take a closer look at the massive inner wheel. The observation wheel’s air-conditioned cabins will be able to hold dozens of guests in each car, offering them a bird’s eye view of Central Florida.

The observation wheel will become part of the I-Drive 360 entertainment complex, which includes headlining attractions like the Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds Orlando Wax Museum and the Sea Life Orlando Aquarium, as well as other unique shops and restaurants. The site is located on International Drive, just north of the Orange County Convention Center.

Goodwill Industries of Central Florida Announces Jobs Initiative for

Homeless in Orange County

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Lisa Nason, Chief of Strategy and Public Policy for the Office of Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Andrae Bailey, CEO of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness announce job initiatives for homeless.

In an effort to address homelessness in the region, Orange County and Goodwill Industries of Central Florida announced the launch of GoodSource Staffing Services – a temporary staffing and job placement program that will assist individuals who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of being homeless.

“Thanks to partners like Goodwill Industries, and by working with our many community partners, including the faith community, our social service and education leaders, the Regional Commission and more, we are committed to lifting our families and precious children onto the path of hope and self-sufficiency,” said Mayor Jacobs.

In addition to providing customized pre-employment training, GoodSource will screen, evaluate and place individuals with a variety of community employers. They hope to place 250 individuals in jobs within year one. Goodwill staff will identify program candidates with the help of community partner organizations and job placement specialists stationed at local shelters.

To launch the program, Goodwill is collaborating with the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, a network of leaders that mobilizes entities dealing with homelessness and poverty issues in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. Mayor Jacobs co-chairs the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness.

“Helping people with barriers to employment find jobs is central to Goodwill’s mission of building lives that work,” said Bill Oakley, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Florida. “Joblessness and homelessness are integrally connected — and by addressing both, we can help individuals find a more sustainable path toward a better life. At the same time, employers can access on-demand staffing options to quickly fill their specific needs. It’s a win-win.”

GoodSource Staffing Services will be operated out of Goodwill’s West Orlando Job Connection and Adult Learning Center at 3200 W. Colonial Drive. It will provide qualified candidates for the following positions: accounting, customer service, light industrial, administrative assistants, clerical, data entry and file clerks.

“GoodSource Staffing Services is a historic new program that is significant and different from anything we have seen before in Central Florida,” said Andrae Bailey, CEO of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness. “Similar to the concept of rapid re-housing, GoodSource offers rapid re-employment. A person experiencing homelessness who needs a job can go to GoodSource and start working immediately. The program’s focus on alleviating family homelessness will strengthen families and in turn, create a better community.”
Last week, Mayor Jacobs joined Florida Hospital at its announcement of the largest, one-time private donation to end chronic homelessness in Central Florida history — a momentous commitment that will change the way this unique population is cared for and supported in years to come. Lars Houmann, CEO and President of Florida Hospital, announced that Florida Hospital would generously commit $6 million over three years to address homelessness in the region.

At the Florida Hospital event, Mayor Jacobs also announced that she will lead an in-depth discussion regarding Orange County’s plan to impact homelessness as part of a scheduled Board of County Commissioners work session on Dec. 16. Orange County Government currently budgets $13.5 million towards homelessness, however, as announced at the press conference, Mayor Jacobs intends to work with the Board of County Commissioners to boost the funding to $15 million over the next three years for homeless housing, prevention and related family programs.

In addition to a proposed expansion of funding, Mayor Jacobs announced several key next steps. Working with the Central Florida Regional Commission for Homelessness, Mayor Jacobs has asked Dick Batchelor to lead a new committee focused on children and families who are homeless. Founder and President of Dick Batchelor Management Group Inc. and a longtime Central Florida resident, Batchelor is known internationally for his commitment to human rights, and renowned here at home for his tireless advocacy on behalf of children, families, domestic violence victims, our schools and more.

During his annual State of the City address, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced a bold goal of housing 300 of Downtown Orlando’s chronically homeless individuals in three years. The City of Orlando has committed $4 million over three years to support the “Housing First” model, a proven approach that provides housing with wrap-around supportive services to the chronic homeless.

These financial commitments are the kick-off investment of the “Impact Homeless Fund,” a new collaborative fund at the Central Florida Foundation. This fund will serve as a new public and private investment-solutions vehicle to help those facing homelessness in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties.

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MARLOW’S TAVERN BRINGS THE FLAVORS OF THE SEASON TO NEW MENU Tavern Favorites, New Entrees and Handcrafted Cocktails Highlight Winter Ingredients


Known for freshly prepared, upscale tavern fare and handcrafted cocktails, Marlow’s Tavern debuts the new winter menu to showcase the flavorful and abundant ingredients of the season.   The new menu offers hearty, yet light and satisfying dishes for a unique twist on tavern favorites and seasonal classics.
In addition to several new creations, Executive Chef John C. Metz revamped a few guest favorite dishes, including the Crispy Chicken Stack.
The new Crispy Chicken Stack is served with a Parmesan-barley risotto with caramelized mirepoix, seared wild mushrooms and sautéed spinach, complemented by roasted thyme gravy.
“Winter offers an array of fresh flavors to add seasonality, comfort, and dimension to each dish,” noted Metz.  “The Crispy Chicken Stack is one of our signature dishes, yet continually evolves to incorporate a new grain or flavor component to keep it modern and inviting for the foodie in all of us.”

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