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The Lake Mary Lifeline

The Lake Mary Lifeline

Get the latest Lake Mary news and find out what’s happening all around Seminole County from the most recent Lake Mary Life articles.

A Handoff to Autism

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Thanks to football legend and Florida resident Doug Flutie, founder of The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc. Lake Mary will serve as the local hub building awareness and helping families affected by autism.

Delivering Strength and Sunshine

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For the past five years, Lake Mary resident and cancer survivor Lisa Desjardins has been delivering bags filled with special comfort items to local cancer patients. She hopes that her sentiment will bring patients hope and happiness during an otherwise dark and uncertain time.

Tom-Tom

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We sat down with Tom Tomerlin and Tom Krueger – the economic development directors for the cities of Lake Mary and Longwood, respectively – to learn more about these fast friends (but sometimes friendly-foes) and the fascinating field in which they work.

People Make Parks

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We play in them, picnic in them, relax as we stroll through them, and admire their natural beauty. Our pristine local parks are part of what makes our community so great, but those parks don’t keep themselves. Here we’ll meet two of the hardworking – and often unseen – people who make our parks special.

Fun and Games

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The National Veterans Wheelchair Games came to Orlando this summer, and volunteers from the Rotary Club of Lake Mary helped make the event a smashing success.

Remembering Whitey Eckstein

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Seminole County recently lost one of its most memorable community servants. Join us as we pay tribute to a teacher, commissioner, husband, and father who never lost his passion for helping others.

Living Vickaryously

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Philanthropy is the fabric of this fantastic family, and teenage son Evan Vickaryous is now sinking his feet into one of the community’s most worthwhile charities.

Wish, Granted

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Thanks to some skilled grant writing, three attorneys are now on staff at SafeHouse of Seminole to help survivors of domestic abuse.

My Great Aunt Syl

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On the heels of her 100th birthday, Longwood resident Sylvia Hall sits down with her niece – LML’s associate editor Georgia Fojo to reflect on her life.

Their Year

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The Lake Mary High School girls’ water polo team plays for the state championship and leaves it all on the water

Let's Buddy Up

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The Buddy Up Tennis program based at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry gives players with Down syndrome the chance to make friends and have fun, but the volunteers who run it get so much more.

Wow!

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The WOW Legacy Group is helping local women in need rebuild their lives and Fall into Fabulous

His World's A Stage

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Plenty of area high schools put on fabulous plays, but this one was actually written by a classmate. Meet Crooms Academy playwright Cooper Valentine.

Sikh and You Shall Find

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Here in Seminole County, you don’t have to go far to immerse yourself in a one-of-a-kind cultural experience. Get to know the local Sikh community, which welcomes all with open arms.

His Own Claim to Fame

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Hall of Fame athletes have it, the intangible that separates them from other elite players and helps them transcend the game itself. Longwood’s Coury Knowles has his own version of it, too, and though he never took the field, he earned a rightful place with his teammates in the UF Baseball Hall of Fame

It's All About the Kids for the Heathrow Women's Club

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At their last luncheon meeting of the season, members of the Heathrow Women’s Club gathered to distribute the tens of thousands of dollars they raised during the past year. Whether it was a garage sale, a formal gala, movie night, or any of the club’s other fundraising activities, the generosity and hard work of the members is always impressive. And the funds they raise are always donated to a great cause, positively impacting the lives of disadvantaged children in our community.

We the People of Sanford Middle School

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Sanford Middle School’s We The People team is a group of 29 civic-minded eighth graders who compete in various trivia and debate competitions about the history and function of the United States government. And if you’re going to show off your Constitutional knowledge, there’s only one place to go...

"Art Should Be Available to Everybody"

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In Seminole County, several visual art groups bring color and creativity to the community on a regular basis. Here we showcase three of these groups – one a relative newcomer, while the other two have been around for decades. All three are brimming with talented artists who encourage and support each other as they help make our world a more beautiful place.

Living History

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The staff of the Goldsboro Museum is determined to keep the town’s rich history alive. Meet Francis Oliver who has spent decades collecting local archives, which are on display at the Goldsboro Museum – one of several projects of the Goldsboro West Side Community Historical Association, which Francis helped establish in 2009.

Who Put On The Heat?

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Lake Mary Life publisher, Sheila Kramer, shares chapter 4 of her ongoing adventure – downsizing and moving to Lake Mary's Griffin Park. Her latest update? A heated pool for year-round enjoyment is confirmed!

Join us in showering lots of love on these marvelous local moms

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In early March, Lake Mary Life conducted an online contest in search of the World’s Greatest Mom. We asked our Facebook followers to tell us in 100 words or less why their nominee deserved to win. We received dozens of beautiful nominations and found it impossible to pick a single winner – so we picked two! In honor of Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 13, we’ve compiled the nominations for World’s Greatest Mom to celebrate our winners and the many wonderful and fiercely-loved local moms in our community.

Stick the Landing

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Lyman High students reach for the stars at the recent Florida Student Astronaut Challenge and bring home a first-place trophy in one of the competition’s most difficult events

Teachable Moments

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He just swam the St. Johns River, from Sanford through Jacksonville. He once rode a bike – in his classroom – for more than seven hours straight. He’s built homemade cameras, weather balloons, and more. It may sound like weird science, but Lake Mary High physics teacher Luther Davis does it all for his students and the community.

ART on Patrol

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Have you noticed local cop cars emblazoned with anti-drug artwork? It’s all thanks to a partnership between the Sheriff’s Office and talented middle schoolers to celebrate Red Ribbon Week.

A Joyful Jubilee

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United Cerebral Palsy of Central Florida celebrates the 25th anniversary of its annual gala, with many more years of service in our community to come

Catch It To Cure It

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Colorectal cancer is one of the few cancers that is 90 percent preventable, says Dr. Ahmad Idris of Florida Hospital Medical Group in Altamonte Springs.

We Signed On The Dotted Line!

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The deed is done! After signing on the dotted line, Lake Mary Life business owners Sheila and Michael Kramer walked over to put the SOLD sign on the lot where their new home will be built in Griffin Park in Lake Mary. Read about their experience picking the perfect location for their custom home.

Act II

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Retirement is not for everybody, and it just didn’t work out for two local go-getters who found fulfilling new careers after their traditional working days were done

The Heart of a Star

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This young Winter Springs actress is traveling the world to promote her hit movie and shine a new light on homelessness right here in our community

The Big Band Era Lives!

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...And it resides right here in our community. Meet the modern-day big band leaders who are sharing The Great American Songbook with new generations of music lovers.

Let There Be Light

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Fresh off an appearance on a national TV show, these Alaqua Lakes residents share the secrets behind their unbelievable holiday lights display

Double Header

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A half-century after the original baseball team at Crooms Academy played its final inning, eager young players are bringing baseball back to Seminole County’s most historic high school

Two Is Better Than One

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One young man and one young woman from across the State of Florida are recognized every year for their performance on high-school AP exams. This year, Seminole County is home to BOTH!

The Jolly Trolley

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A new, free trolley service is up and running in downtown Sanford, and it’s the perfect way to peruse the city’s always-hopping street festival scene

A Fortnight in February

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Lake Mary Life Publishing's talented editor and business manager, Michael Kramer, takes his talents on the road as a touring jazz pianist with Michael Andrew & The Gershwin Big Band!

A Special Gift For a Special Someone

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Our community director Samantha Taylor surprises Publix grocery bagger, James, with swag from his favorite event – Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. Read on to see how one small act of kindness meant more to Samantha than you know.

We’ve Got a Thing For Manatees!

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Last year our art director, Heather Loomis, traveled about 30 minutes to Orange City Blue Spring Manatee Festival to view one of her favorite mammals – the manatee. Now, it’s your turn! Check out Florida’s only two manatee festivals happening this month. Manatee season runs from mid-November through March.

Sticking To It! – Lake Mary Life Publishing Staff Shares Their New Year’s Resolutions

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Our staff is pumped for 2018 and we’re feeling good about the things we want to achieve both personally and professionally. So, to make us a little more accountable and help you get to know each of us a little bit better, we’d like to share some of our resolutions. We’ve made an oath to stick to it – for real – and will update our readers on our progress in a couple of months!

Yes, Seminole County, there is a Santa Claus

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A little Christmas magic is all it takes to transform Longwood's Donna and Lowell Smith into Santa and Mrs. Claus. For 10 years, the couple has worked with community leaders to make sure the area's neediest children can experience a bit of that holiday magic for themselves.

Tis The Season... For Some Fun!

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Here is our list of the best holiday events to check out this season in and around Seminole County. Get excited for cooler days, hot cocoa, milk and cookies, twinkling lights, and a jolly good time.

Suds & Scopes at Hourglass Brewing in Longwood

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The Emil Buehler Planetarium at Seminole State College is hosting its first-ever Suds & Scopes at Hourglass Brewing in Longwood this Thursday, November 30th. It's a FREE event! There will be several telescopes set up outside the brewery as well as fun space trivia and prizes! Space art will also be available for sale.

Fall Festival Round-Up

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Autumn is officially here (as of September 22)! Check out the best places around Seminole County to celebrate all things Halloween and Harvest-time.

The Equifax Data Breach - What To Do

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From mid-May through July, hackers broke into Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, and accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for over 200,000 people. The following information has been provided by Greene, Dycus & Company, CPA’s on how you can protect yourself from the repercussions of this breach if you were one of the American consumers affected.

Ready, Set...Run!

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Fall is around the corner and that means the season of 5Ks and fun runs is almost here! Check out our roundup of races from September to December, happening throughout Seminole County.

10 Reasons Why I’ll Keep Traveling the World

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I’m back home from an incredible trip and I’ll admit I’m still catching my breath. In three of the most invigorating months of my life, I visited seven countries in Asia (three with my boyfriend and four with my sister), took a total of 20 flights, snapped over 5,000 photos, and had one epic adventure.

The Great American Eclipse of 2017

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Something exciting will be happening in our skies on Monday, August 21 - the first total solar eclipse visible in the contiguous United States since 1979! Although Central Florida is not in the line of totality, nearly 90 percent of the sun’s surface will be obscured by the moon for Seminole County observers of The Great American Eclipse of 2017.

Humans Of Seminole County

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Over the past few months, our staff members have captured and collected snapshots of locals who are out and about having fun (some even caught reading our magazine!) in our Lake Mary, Altamonte-Wekiva Springs, and Oviedo-Winter Springs communities. Take a look at our “Humans Of” pictorial and see if you recognize any of your neighbors!

Protect Your Pet From Canine Influenza

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Many pet owners in Central Florida may not be aware that a strain of the canine influenza virus is sweeping through our community. To help us better understand this potential health concern, one of the veterinary staff at Lake Emma Animal Hospital is here to answer our questions. You can also visit the hospital on Sunday, August 6th, from 9am to noon for their vaccine clinic to help protect your pet.

SCPS Announces Elimination of District Level Testing

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BREAKING NEWS: Seminole County Public Schools announced today that it plans to eliminate all district level testing in Seminole County elementary schools. This new direction will say bid goodbye to dozens of exams such as the Iowa Assessment and could save up to 10 hours in the classroom per subject for each student.

Community Leadership Academy Class of 2017-2018

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Last week, SCPS Superintendent Dr. Walt Griffin hosted the 2017 Leadership conference and invited the new Community Leadership Academy to attend. The Community Leadership Academy is a group of seventy-five local parents and SCPS alumni, college students, and business professionals who have been selected to receive a special behind-the-scenes look at our school district this year. As a former teacher, a mom of three children (two of whom attend an SCPS school), and the Education Editor for Lake Mary Life Publishing, Inc., I’m thrilled to be a part of it!

Our Favorite Vacation Memories

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Summer vacations. What families (especially kids) look forward to all year. Days filled with no routine, junk food, fun excursions, outdoor activities, and lots of cable. Here are a few of our staff's favorite family vacation memories (complete with some throwback photos!) for you to enjoy.

Our Adventures At Comic-Con

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There are many comic book conventions in the United States, but there is only one that is considered the place to be for all things geeky - it’s close enough to Los Angeles to attract the major studios and celebrities, more than 160,000 people attend, and the lines to get in have their own Twitter accounts - this place is San Diego Comic-Con. My husband and I went in 2011 and 2012 and had the most unbelievable experiences. This year we brought our oldest kids (Joey age 12, and Aaron age 9.) We left our three-year-old daughter back in Florida with her grandparents.

Back 2 School Fairs

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Seminole County goes back to school August 10th! Check out some of these fun, helpful, and educational Back-2-School Fairs coming up over the next several weeks.

Orlando Date Night Guide

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Did you see our recent guest article by Stephanie Patterson, managing editor at OrlandoDateNightGuide.com? The amazing ODNG team is constantly researching the best local activities, food, adventures, and locations for any couple’s date-night style – and if you haven’t noticed, they’ve garnered quite a following!

What to Enjoy in Sanford Every Month

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Sanford is growing by leaps and bounds - with seemingly a new business added almost weekly and special events popping up on a consistent basis. With all this new activity taking place in our own backyard, here’s a run-down of all the regularly-scheduled Sanford events you can - and should - add to your list of community outings.

Our Favorite Summer Movies

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As a homeschool kid with a stay-at-home mom and three younger siblings, summers growing up usually meant lots of out-of-the-house activities and family “field trips” to places like the library, the Science Center, The Orlando Rep, and friends’ houses that had pools. But one of us kids’ favorite outings was the $1 summer movie classics and double features that some local movie theaters would play. Thinking about some of our favorite summer movies, the Lake Mary Life Publishing staff offers up the ones we’ve watched on repeat for years.

Growing Where She's Planted

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In March, our very own Tracey Fojo (mother to our associate editor, Georgia), graduated from the Seminole County Master Gardener program. Despite being a longtime avid hobbyist gardener who has “gardened a good bit in life,” she sat on the idea of joining for several years. But now that Tracey, a native of Trinidad, is an official Master Gardener, she couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the program and all that she’s learned. “I’m coming to understand where we live now in a whole new way through gardening,” she shares.

Best Firework Roundup!

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Even though fireworks were invented in China at some point between 600 and 900 A.D., our national independence day just wouldn't be the same without them! Find the best local fireworks happening all over Central Florida with our Firework Roundup.

Drive-In Theaters and Outdoor Movies Round-Up

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Nothing screams summer more than a warm, balmy evening sitting outside watching a movie and munching on candy and popcorn while sitting in your car or on a blanket surrounded by family and friends. The nostalgic days of enjoying a drive-in movie theater close to home are almost over, but a few still remain in Florida to bring that sense of wholesome family entertainment to your summer. So while you’re out and about during your summer road-trippin’, stop off at one or a few of these vintage gems and enjoy summer the way it was meant to be - on the big screen.

Our Favorite Childhood Books

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When I was in elementary and middle school, my mom encouraged us four siblings (whom she all homeschooled from kindergarten through high school like a complete superhero) to participate in Book It! - the Pizza Hut summer book club. The general guidelines that I remember were for each age category you had to read a certain number of books and then you’d receive a mini personal pizza and a congratulatory pin. As a family who often visited Pizza Hut, especially on Sunday afternoons post church, and even knew the kind, red-headed waitress Nancy by name, it was a no-brainer.

Bring Fido This Summer!

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It’s summer! The kids are out of school and you’ve already got the mini-van packed and ready for a day at the beach, a trip to the theme parks, a hiking adventure on the weekend, and countless other fun family outings. But you don’t have to leave Fido behind on all of your excursions. Try some of these canine-friendly locations to bring the entire family together for those last golden rays of sunshine.

A Memorial Day Tribute to My Grandfather

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On July 2, 1942, almost seven months after Pearl Harbor, my grandfather, John Kubik, was inducted into the Army in Kalamazoo, Michigan. A fresh-faced 21-year-old, he was the third of seven children to his Czechoslovakian parents who immigrated to the United States when he was a toddler (we didn’t learn until my grandfather was in his 80s that he actually knew some of the native Czech language!). Although a farmer’s son, my grandfather always did have an engineering brain. And while in the Army, he put that brain to good use inventing a piece of valuable equipment still used today, even though he’s never been recognized for it.

Lake Mary Life Publishing Acai Bowls!

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It's Healthy Friday at Lake Mary Life Publishing...or is it?! Since a surprise visit by a local food truck a couple weeks ago, our Art Director, Heather Loomis, and Account Executive, Penny O'Connell have been obsessed with recreating a recipe for Acai Bowls. Now the health trend is sweeping our office...although not everyone is quite on board...

FRINGE Festival Local Stars

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The Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival--one of my all-time favorite events--is in full swing at venues in and around Loch Haven Park in Orlando. Seminole County is well-represented at the 26th annual festival, with riveting performances from a critically acclaimed Steampunk theater troupe and shows performed by three local high school thespian troupes.

Livin' the Lake Mary Life - Lauren Krebs

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It’s pretty clear we enjoy writing about life in Lake Mary, but we also love profiling the residents who are living the Lake Mary life in a unique or interesting way. And our new blog series Livin' the Lake Mary Life does just that. Join us as we introduce you to the people that make this city truly extraordinary.

A Talent to Revel In

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Alejandro Ruiz, a local artist who goes by the name Revel, is quite the attention-grabber. Revel is a speed painter who performs live at events across Central Florida and the United States. He paints fast, with the art turned upside down to boot! And by fast, I mean he often completes paintings in less than seven minutes. Other pieces clock in at five minutes or less.

Local Artist Recognitions

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As the arts writer / editor for Lake Mary Life Magazine and its sister publications, I am fortunate to have a front-row seat to the abundant artistic talent we have here in Seminole County. Recently, the creative skills of three lovely, local ladies garnered awards and attention from judges and fellow artists alike.

MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU CONTEST!

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We’re pretty big Star Wars fans around here (all the above photos are from LML staff members), so we couldn’t just let the official Star Wars holiday pass without doing something every bit as memorable as Darth Vader’s famous line.

Meet the Mompreneurs

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Are you crafty? Have you ever considered turning your craft into a business? Three local moms did just that. Using social media to promote their creative hobbies, they went from doing crafts for fun and friends to shipping orders all across the country. Besides their own budding businesses, the three things these moms have in common are creativity, passion, and a desire to learn.

Perks of the Job

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As a journalist, sometimes you hit the pavement just trying to get anyone to give you a quote. And then sometimes you meet amazing people who feed you lots of free food! While writing our 'Eat and Run' food truck feature for the May/June issue, our new associate editor Rebekah Grier was completely blown away by the generosity of Angelo's Italian Kitchen on Wheels who literally fed her one of everything off their menu...

A (B)RAINY DAY IN WASHINGTON

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I have always been fascinated by science. As a young lad, I took a liking to astronomy and even owned a telescope. Through the years, I have been a big fan of Don Herbert (Mr. Wizard), Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Bill Nye (The Science Guy).

Asia, Here I Come!

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Today’s the day I set off for the biggest adventure of my life – backpacking through Asia! I’ll be visiting seven countries in just under three months and, by some stroke of divine timing, I’ve managed to coordinate my trip to travel the first half with my boyfriend, Stefan (he’s in between jobs and currently abroad) and the second half with my little sister, Julia (she’s a recent college grad).

Great Scott- we met Lea Thompson at the Enzian

Featured Photo from Great Scott- we met Lea Thompson at the Enzian

Whenever I go to a bridal shower and they have that activity where you write down a date night idea for the couple, I always write “Go to the Enzian.” It is by far our favorite movie theater. For movie buffs, the Enzian play classics. For those who like independent films, it’s the only place in town you can see them. The theater even boasts one of the best restaurants and bars in town – Eden Bar. This week, the Enzian is hosting the Florida Film Festival.

Best Earth Day Events in Central Florida

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Earth Day is this Saturday, April 22nd! To celebrate, cities across Seminole County and Central Florida are hosting Earth Day events. These are wonderful family-fun outings and a great way to learn more about how to protect our health, the planet, and the people who inhabit the Earth.

A Fun Family Day, This Was

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Star Wars is a VERY big deal in my house. My husband grew up as a huge fan, and has definitely shared the love with our kids. Truth be told, I didn’t even see the movies until I started dating him in college. I wasn’t sure I’d like them – I’d always been a Star Trek fan. I was surprised, but it’s hard not to fall in love (even a little bit) with something that your partner is so passionate about.

Seminole County Moms Run This Town!

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Lake Mary Life magazine Art Director Heather Loomis shares her experience, and the inspiring encouragement, she's enjoyed by becoming a member of the mom's running group, Seminole County Moms Run This Town. Wether you're a leisurely walker or an experienced marathon runner, there's a spot waiting for you, too!

A Local Cupcake Crawl How-To

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To celebrate her sister Katie's birthday, Lake Mary Life's Rebekah Grier shares how she planned an epic (and delicious) Cupcake Crawl adventure, and where to go around town to get your sweet fix!

Meet The Editors

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Get to know our experienced, special topics editors: Jill Cousins, sports and wellness; Jill Duff-Hoppes, arts; and Pam Neff, education. They’re always on the lookout for great stories and want to hear from you, our readers.

On a Roll With Bike Donations

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After reading about the 7th Day ReCYCLEry in our January/February issues,Altamonte-Wekiva Springs Life and Lake Mary Life readers have donated more than 60 bicycles to the bike repair and donation charity run by Longwood residents Russ Durham and Rowland Kenna.

That's Right, I work for my Parents

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Today marks 42 years since Sheila and Michael Kramer (publisher and business manager) of our magazine, said “I do.” In honor of their anniversary, I thought I’d write about what it’s like to work for my parents at the magazine. I’ve officially worked for them since 2006, and it’s the best job I could have ever asked for.

Not Lions, Not Tigers, but a BEAR- Oh Mann!

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We know living in Seminole County that bear sightings can be a common occurrence. We couldn't believe this photo that photographer ValariC captured last year with a bear in the background! The Mann family was posing for their holiday card when a visitor decided to crash the party. Needless to say, that was the end of the photo shoot.

Live from my kitchen- Banana Bread you have to make

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Have you ever tried Facebook Live? My twelve-year-old, like most kids his age, is obsessed with YouTube, and live streaming. He wanted to go live on Facebook, so I thought- why not bake banana bread with the kids, and he could live stream it from my phone? We did. To my surprise, more than 1,100 people viewed it. Dozens of them asked for the recipe, so here it is... ENJOY!

‘Tis the Season to Run

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Is your New Year’s resolution to run/walk in a race this year? Well look no further, we have gathered all the races in Seminole County through May 2017 with the links to sign up and get more information. Happy running!

Local Costume Designer Creates a Transformation for the Stage

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In the January/February issue of Lake Mary Life, Rebekah Grier wrote about costume designer Sumalee Eaton's transforming dress for the show Cinderella at Seminole High School. After seeing the dress on YouTube, a high school in California called Sumalee to create a dress for them, and flew her out to see the show on stage.

Three local bloggers you need to follow

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In November, Lake Mary Life Magazine launched our new blog- The Lake Mary Lifeline. For two months, we've been sharing stories with our online readers in between our issues. In the January/February issue, I had the chance to meet with three super successful local women who have been blogging for years. They've made careers out of it, and their stories are fascinating

Cuddling For Life

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Have you ever heard of baby cuddling at Florida Hospital For Children? Today on the Lifeline, our publisher Sheila Kramer writes about her experience starting as a volunteer in the program, her training, and how it turned out to be far more rewarding than she ever imagined.

Behind the Scenes of our Cutest Cover Ever

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Chances are, if you receive our magazine in the mail you have already gotten your copy of our January/February issue. And chances are if you have received that copy, you cooed over the amazingly adorable quadruplet girls on our cover. We had a lot of fun shooting with Lizzy, Laurel, Brenna, and Robin- and we hope you enjoy this behind the scenes look at (quite possibly) my favorite day of work ever.

Win Dinner at Freds Market

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The holidays are here- and chances are you have family coming into town. Skip cooking and cleaning for a night and take them to Fred's Market Restaurant for a special taste of farm-to-plate freshness. Enjoy fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn bread, and all of your other southern comfort favorites.

Girls On The Run

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Today on the Lifeline, our fit and fabulous art director Heather Loomis shares how fun it was to be her niece's running buddy with a great program called Girls on The Run!

SCPS students participate in Drug Free Contest

Featured Photo from SCPS students participate in Drug Free Contest

Hundreds of Seminole County Public School students recently participated in a drug free contest featuring essays and art work. One of our favorite young people, Faith Hayden, was the winner of the the 7th grade essay contest. We loved her essay so much, we thought we would share it with you. Faith, who is a student at Millennium Middle School, was recognized at an awards ceremony, along with the other winners. She also received a $100 gift card to Target!

How to Help This Holiday Season

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Last issue, we helped you get in the giving spirit early by sharing what local nonprofits need in the months before holiday giving begins in earnest. Now, the green-and-red rubber is meeting the road, and it's time to help our local charities make the holidays merry for neighbors in need. From serving meals to sponsoring a wish list for a child in foster care, there are dozens of ways, both big and small, that you can make a difference.

One-Ring Circus - The story of what happened when I lost my wedding ring.

Featured Photo from One-Ring Circus - The story of what happened when I lost my wedding ring.

I got married 14 years ago. At that time I was tiny. I was a size zero (I even had my wedding dress taken in!) and my ring size was small (5½) – so small that our jeweler didn’t make the wedding ring we wanted in my size. To get around this, we had to order my husband’s ring and have a jeweler make mine using his as a pattern. We thought that was symbolic, and pretty neat.

A Tale of Two Presidents

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Today on the Lifeline, Michael Kramer writes about adventures he had with his family and two Presidents of the United States, and how a coincidence turned into a treasure hunt with an incredible reward.

Lake Mary Life Christmas Giveaway

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Lake Mary Life Magazine is giving away 4 free tickets to Orlando Shakespeare's production of Every Christmas Story Ever Told. To win, just comment below with your favorite Christmas movie. We'll draw a winner on Wednesday. Good luck!

Hello Holidays – Kick Off the Season This Weekend

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The holidays have arrived in Lake Mary and that means the city’s spectacular annual light display in Central Park is twinkling nightly! It also means that the calendar will be filling up quickly with school, work and family events. But before the holiday hysteria sets in, take a moment this weekend to celebrate the merry and bright as you kick off the season during these festive (and free) events taking place in Lake Mary and around Seminole County.

My Three-Year-Old’s First Trip to the Dentist

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I definitely do not enjoy going to the dentist. I dread it when my appointment is a few weeks away. So when it was time for my three-year-old daughter Billie to have her first appointment, I was certain she’d hate it as much as I do. Plus, she’s three. I was positive that there was no way the dentist could get her to lay still to have her teeth cleaned. .naturally I prepared myself for a morning of screaming and crying. As the appointment approached, I got more and more anxious about what I was certain would be an epic disaster.

Holiday Gift Idea From Walk on Water

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Are you looking for a creative gift idea for the holidays? When we saw this bag from Brighton at Walk on Water, we couldn't wait to share it with our readers. You can take any photo and print it on a leather bag. The quality is incredible, and the recipient will love it!

Zoo Tales

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I recently bought our family of five an annual pass to the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Sanford. We’ve been to the zoo a handful of times over the years with our three boys, ages ranging from three to ten. It’s outdoors, it’s educational, and the boys get to burn off that never-ending energy at entertaining spots including the Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Ground, KaBOOM! playground, and Zoom Air Adventure Park.

Longwood Dad Becomes Permanent Lead Singer For Chicago

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One of our most popular recent articles was about Longwood musician, Jeff Coffey. Jeff had put his music career to the side for over a decade to be home with his two sons Chase and Bryce. When opportunity knocked, Jeff answered, and filled in as lead singer/bass player for the band Chicago on their summer tour. Recently, the band announced that Jeff would be a permanent member of the band. He recently started on another tour with Chicago and the famous band Earth, Wind, and Fire.

Lake Mary Life Grandmas share their favorite Thanksgiving recipes

Featured Photo from Lake Mary Life Grandmas share their favorite Thanksgiving recipes

Thanksgiving is a few weeks away. Personally, it’s my favorite holiday. It’s the day my parents met 42 years ago. I’m hosting our family at my new home for the first time, and I needed some help deciding what to cook. I asked the three Grandmas in our office (Sheila, Penny, and Pam) for their favorite holiday recipes. They all look pretty amazing, and I can speak from experience that Sheila’s stuffing gets rave reviews every year! From our Lake Mary Life family to yours- Happy Thanksgiving, and happy cooking!

A Hero's Welcome at OIA

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Lake Mary Life's own Chip Colandreo was fortunate enough to tag along on the most recent Honor Flight. A full recap of his adventure and the experience of several local vets will appear in the Jan/Feb issue of LML, but for now, in honor of Veteran's Day, enjoy this brief video recapping the raucous welcome that was waiting for the Honor Flight vets upon their return to Orlando.

Donation Shopping With The Kids And How You Can Donate, Too

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In the November/December issue, I wrote a story about giving for the holidays. The story was designed to help readers navigate through all of the nonprofits in our area. I wanted to make giving as easy as possible. I highlighted a few local organizations that do great work in the community, listed what each nonprofit needs for the people it serves, and provided steps on how best to help out. I decided to follow my own advice and take my kiddos donation shopping this weekend.

Why I Felt Like a Proud Mom on Cover Shoot Day

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You know what I love most about attending our cover shoots? It’s not necessarily getting behind the scenes to stage the perfect picture (although that is absolutely what we strive for and a ton of fun). It’s having complete confidence that this story is The Chosen One. The one we hope makes a good first impression. The one we feel our readers will give pause to and say, “Wow!” Each cover story is carefully selected with the hopes of bringing pride and awareness of the greatness bubbling up all over Seminole County.

Honor Guards

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As another Honor Flight carries veterans from Central Florida to Washington, D.C., we pay tribute to the local Guardians who accompany them

ROAR: What a Friendly Web They Weave

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When one of Seminole County’s most worthwhile and sensitive charities needed a new website, local Web developers donated their time – and more than a little careful thought – to create a site that is as functional as it is discreet

How To Help This Holiday

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Last issue, we helped you get in the giving spirit early by sharing what local nonprofits need in the months before holiday giving begins in earnest. Now, the green-and-red rubber is meeting the road, and it’s time to help our local charities make the holidays merry for neighbors in need. From serving meals to sponsoring a wish list for a child in foster care, there are dozens of ways, both big and small, that you can make a difference.

A Beauty-ful Proposal

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While playing the role of Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Kaley McLean found herself living out a real-life fairy tale. Her boyfriend, Brenden McNeil, surprised Kaley with a marriage proposal on stage during a recent performance of the musical at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center in Sanford.

The Selfless Gift of Love

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I didn’t give you the gift of life, But in my heart I know. The love I feel is deep and real, As if it had been so. For us to have each other Is like a dream come true! No, I didn’t give you The gift of life, Life gave me the gift of you. While the origin of this touching poem is unknown, it captures the special bond between parents and their adoptive children. In honor of November being National Adoption Awareness Month, Lake Mary Life salutes two couples from our community who made the choice to adopt in the face of some extraordinary obstacles, and an organization that helps keep families together.

The Clubs Calling

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As water rose this summer over homes and businesses in Louisiana, so did the desire of local Rotarians to honor their motto by placing Service Above Self

Green Sweep

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Winning an international golf tournament is one thing. Winning every competitive event during the entire tournament week is another. Doing it all at 12 years old is downright incredible.

Mad Props

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In the Lake Mary High School drama department’s upcoming production of Noises Off, the actors and actresses will be the stars, but the incredibly elaborate set just might steal the show

Crystal-Clear

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Meet Lake Mary’s Crystal Candy, who earned legions of loyal fans pitching everything from quilts to vacuum cleaners on the Home Shopping Network

Thank You, Sheriff

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Local leaders pay tribute to Sheriff Don Eslinger on the eve of his retirement and share their thoughts on the man who quietly kept Seminole County safe for more than 25 years

Washing Off The Mud

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If you’re ready for this contentious election season to end, please raise your hand. Now pick the magazine back up and read about Bonnie Friedman, a local woman determined to make politics civil again.

In a Pickle

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Pickleball is taking the community by storm! Find out why this curious new game is a smash hit with friends and neighbors alike.

The UBER Situation

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Several Seminole County cities are banding together with ride-sharing service Uber to solve SunRail’s last-mile dilemma, and LML’s own Chip Colandreo takes it all for a spin

Cool Cruisin

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The Celery City Cruisers are one of Sanford’s longest-running car clubs, bringing classic rides and classic tunes to the city each month for the past 30 years

Proclamation Nation

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One of the year’s most famous “months” is on the horizon. October will rightly be awash in pink for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but September and October have a number of other official titles, too, some serious, some fun. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect during the next two months and why the monthly designations are such an important part of Americana.

Artists in a Supporting Role

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The Seminole Cultural Arts Council is preparing for another busy season. Find out how this group of art advocates is helping everyone in the county enrich their lives through the visual and performing arts.

Roscoe Rising

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An intrepid group of Lake Mary High students spent their summer building and launching a surprisingly sophisticated weather balloon

CZECHlist

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Local teachers are back from a whirlwind tour of the Czech Republic, where they picked up a number of new insights to share with their peers

These Are Our Shining Stars

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If Disney Dreamers & Doers are the best of the best among our local students, what do you call the cream of that crop? Meet Seminole County’s Disney Shining Stars, students chosen from among the district’s Dreamers & Doers who exemplify imagination at work.

Holiday Giving Starts Now

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The holiday season is when many of our local charities do the most good, but it’s not when they typically need the most help. That time is now. In this issue we highlight several area nonprofits and discuss what our community can do right now to help these charities prepare for a busy – and beneficial – holiday.

We Know What They Did This Summer

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How do you unwind after being named a top teacher in Seminole County? We catch up with the county-wide Teachers of the Year from our May/June cover to learn all about their grand adventures during summer break.

A Heart For Helping

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Thanks to this local family, what began as a community service initiative at Heathrow Elementary School has blossomed into Lake Mary’s newest nonprofit to aid neighbors in need

Voices of Courage

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When children battle a life-threatening illness, their parents must summon immense strength in the face of unimaginable fear. But as they fought for their own kids, these local moms also answered a call to help other parents, families, and the community band together to be brave as one.

Many Hands Make Life Work

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In the wake of the 2008 economic collapse, a number of local organizations rallied together to lift up those who had been knocked down. From their combined efforts, inspiring success stories have emerged, and one of the best belongs to Lake Mary’s Ray Kellogg.

Dad Rocks

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Now on a world tour with the iconic band Chicago, Longwood’s Jeff Coffey went from work-at-home dad to rock ‘n’ roll front-man almost overnight

The Battle Goes On

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For more than 20 years, Bonnie Donihi has been fighting ovarian cancer both out in the community and inside her own body. As she prepares to retire as the founder and executive director of the Women & Girls’ Cancer Alliance, find out who will take up this critical cause for local women in need.

Angel In Disguise

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When cancer robbed local speech pathologist Angel-Marie Carson of her own voice, she leaned on her profession and her community to emerge more capable and more caring.

Leap Year

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A globally competitive long jumper in his late 50s, Dr. Rich Konsens is proving that age is just a number on the tape measure

Angels Anoymous

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Discover the secrets of the Blue Skirt Society, a mysterious group of wealthy philanthropists with strong roots here in Seminole County

Healing the Wounds of War

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Those who remember World War II are becoming more rare every day. Women who served the war effort are rarer still. To find five of these women all living together in our community is remarkable enough to be considered a national treasure, and just such a treasure exists at Oakmonte Village in Lake Mary.

Art, By The Books

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Where can you find some of the most fun and fulfilling (and free!) art activities in Seminole County? Look no further than your local library.

Get to Know Griffin Farms

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One of the most exciting developments in Lake Mary history is about to break ground, and here’s your preview of the dining, shopping, and living opportunities that await at Griffin Farms Town Center

Healing the Wounds of War

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Meet five fascinating women who served as World War II nurses. These ladies, who are now residing together at Oakmonte Village at Lake Mary, share their rich history during and after the war.

Backyard Nature Adventures

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Sometimes it’s those simple backyard adventures that create the best summertime memories. And in our community, our nearby state parks and scenic trails are actually what make up our extended backyard. It doesn’t get much better than that. To help in creating those memories, Lake Mary Life recommends four local nature adventures where you and your family can discover (or rediscover) new paths and perfect places to dip your toes, all within short driving distance.

Fields of Dreams

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Seminole County’s new 15-field Sports Complex opens in May, bringing tens of millions of dollars in local economic impact this year alone

Class Party

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Join the celebration as we honor Seminole’s three countywide Teachers of the Year for elementary, middle, and high school. They are all innovative educators, they all bring boundless energy to their classrooms, and remarkably – for the first time ever – they all teach in Lake Mary schools!

Meet the Chalk Twins

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Meet Lake Mary’s most colorful twin sisters – Devon and Lexi Fulmer – professional chalk artists who share an unbreakable bond and unique talent. Flip to page 38 to read the charming story by Jill Duff-Hoppes about how this duo has successfully managed to merge a passion for art and entrepreneurship into a thriving business, creating beautiful artwork for all to enjoy.

The Town's Top Teachers

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Join us as we congratulate the Teachers of the Year from our local schools, men and women who exemplify the community’s commitment to quality education for each of our kids.

From Africa to Albania

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Imagine devoting 27 months of your life to public service in a foreign country. Imagine trying to learn a new language and adjust to a new environment while simultaneously impacting an unfamiliar community in need. When the initial excitement of being in a new place on a life-changing assignment fades, how does one cope with such immense change, challenge, and expectation all at once?

Getting Away From It All

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For most people, the idea of getting lost on a rarely traveled, rutted path in the middle of a forest is something akin to a nightmare. But for a group of four-wheel drive-loving locals who call themselves Florida Adventure Rigs (or FAR), that’s exactly what vacations are made of.

On Island Time

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Discover the Longwood-Lake Mary area’s vibrant Caribbean community and see how they’ve kept their traditions alive for more than 25 years

A SOCKcess Story

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Tanner Eaves is the young architect behind Lake Mary’s signature holiday sock drive, one of the community’s most inspiring homegrown charities.