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March 21, 2013

Fundraiser to help man who lost eight horses in barn fire

A tragic barn fire on March 9 took the life of eight of Omar Cepeda’s prize horses. Now the International Polo Club Palm Beach and polo hall-of-famer Tim Gannon are having a cocktail reception Saturday, March 23 at the exclusive Mallet Grill.

Cepeda's best horses perished after an electrical overload caused a barn to catch fire. The horses, some of them valued at $50,000 each, could not be saved by Palm Beach County Fire Rescue's 31 firefighters and nine fire trucks. Saddles and other equipment were lost in the fire. Immediately, Cepeda received tack and stable supplies from The Tackeria in Wellington and various other items from other friends.

Dave Offen of the Polo Players Support Group, Inc. said in a release although the loss falls outside the scope of the foundation, its Board of Directors are coming to the aid of Cepeda by trying to raise $100,000 through a special group, Friends Of Omar, asking for a minimum donation of $1,000.

"Omar is a great horseman and a true gentleman on and off the field," Offen said. "Omar relies on selling horses as his primary source of income and was counting on selling all or most of this group as a very large part of his overall yearly income.

Those who have already pledged at least $1,000 are: Tim Gannon, Steve and Ginny Orthwein, Phil Heatley, Tony Coppola, Joe and Diana Dimenna, Nic Roldan, April Clark, Richard Schechter, Neil Hirsch, Beau and Dea Van Metre, Scott Swerdlin, Jim Braden, Phillip Staples, Bart Frye, Gerry Spitler, Barb Uskup, Nick Brien, Joe Meyer, Jim Whisenand, Tom Sikes, Doug Matthews, John Ingram, Harley Stimmel, Bill Farish, Don Dufresne, Scott Devon, John Walsh, Steve Felker, Barbara Wyatt, Dennis Trescott, Mike Egan, Team USPA Players, Cliff Sifton and Mason Phelps.

Any and all donations will be appreciated. Make checks payable to Omar Cepeda. The checks may be brought to the cocktail reception or mailed to David Offen, 11924 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 22-287, Wellington, FL 33414.


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March 13, 2013

Fundraiser at Chick-fil-a to benefit local mother with cancer

Sharon Vomero, a mother of three who was recently diagnosed with stage three cancer, needs your help to cover her mounting medical fees, and helping can be as easy as eating chicken. The Chick-fil-A restaurants in Royal Palm Beach and The Mall at Wellington Green are hosting a Spirit Day today.

A percentage of sales from the Spirit Day events will go toward the Vomero family to offset medical fees. Additionally, customers can donate $1 to spin the spinning wheel from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. for a chance to win a prize. Restaurant hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Chick-fil-A at Royal Palm Beach and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at The Mall at Wellington Green.

Locations :
Chick-fil-A at Royal Palm Beach, 206 S. State Road 7

Chick-fil-A at The Mall at Wellington Green, 10300 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington

Call 561-333-4242


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August 29, 2012

Roadways under water until Friday or Saturday

During last night's council meeting Village Manager Paul Schofield told the council that water levels should return to normal in the village by Friday or Saturday, unless we get more rainfall.

When Tropical Storm Isaac traveled through Wellington late Sunday night and Monday it dropped about 13 to 16 inches of rain, which was almost double the amount of rain Wellington received from hurricanes Frances and Jeanne. The flooding has caused an estimated $1 million in damage to public properties, according Schofield.

“The rainfall far exceeded our systems,” he said. “We are set up to handle 12 and half inches from a 100-year storm.”

Some of the worst flooding was on South Shore Boulevard, Schofield said, with parts of Lake Worth Road being impassable. The flooding affected neighborhoods, including Binks Forest, Oakmont, Castellina and Aero Club, while the worst damage happened in the equestrian communities.

“Palm Beach Point has some of the lowest land and is under a significant amount of water,” Schofield said. “Houses and barns look like little islands.”

He said that if property owners were pumping water off their land that they should stop because this would saturate the already overloaded canals.

“If you are pumping stop…unless you want the roads to stay under water longer,” he said.

He noted during discussion that the village hadn’t indentified homes whose living areas had been flooded.

Schofield also said that the village had begun pumping water last Wednesday in preparation of the storm.

“The village is pumping 700,000 gallons of water per minute and is dumping 1 billion gallons of water per day,” he said.

He also stressed that all drinking water continues to be safe and that normal garbage pickup would resume.

“The areas they missed they will come back to,” he said.

Road flooding had been decreased by about 40 percent from its peak Monday, according to village staff, but had experienced a set back with the rainfall on Tuesday. Although roadways were better Schofield suggested that residents not drive unless necessary.

During the discussion Vice Mayor Howard Coates voiced concerns from residents about clogged drains. Schofield said that his crews had been working 24/7 cleaning all drains and inlets.

“You can’t have this amount of rainfall and not have some blockage,” Schofield said.

Councilwoman Anne Gerwig asked if there would be an allowance for yard waste. Schofield said that the village would be a little more lenient.

“Wellington is on the [state's] radar,” Mayor Bob Margolis said.


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August 28, 2012

Wellington emergency road map online and on smart phones

A Wellington Road Status map has been posted on Wellington’s website that includes information about road closures, flooded streets and which routes are passable.

To view the map, residents should do the following:
1. Go to
2. Click "No" on the "Open In ArcGIS Explorer Online" popup.
3. On the vertical contents table on the left side of the map, click on the right icon "Show Map Legend" to view the legend.
4. Use your mouse scroll wheel to zoom in and out and your left mouse button to pan.

To view the map through the ESRI Application on a smart phone or other mobile device:

1. Touch the “Maps” button in the upper left.
2. Type "Wellington" in the search window and hit “Enter."
3. In the list of maps that appear, scroll down and select "Wellington Road Status.”
4. Touch the arrow on the left side of the screen to see the map legend.
5. Pan and Zoom as needed.

There are several stalled vehicles in Wellington due to the flood conditions. Residents are encouraged to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary driving. Drivers are encouraged to proceed with caution on all roads in Wellington and surrounding communities.

Residents with emergency needs can contact the Wellington’s Emergency Services line at 561-791-4037. Residents are encouraged to visit and select the Emergency Management button on the home page for a complete listing of storm-related updates.


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February 7, 2012

California Pizza Kitchen to help Autism Speaks

Munch on pizza and help raise money for Autism Speaks. The fun will happen Feb. 13 and 14 with the Mall at Wellington Green, The Gardens Mall and the Town Center of Boca Raton California Pizza Kitchens participating. Be sure to visit Walk Now for Autism Palm Beach’s Facebook page to get a copy of the flier, which needs to be presented to your server so that 20 percent of your check is donated.


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About This Blog

Although not a native Floridian, Wellington/Royal Palm Beach Forum reporter Nadia Sorocka has called Florida her home for most of her life. She went to school in Palm Beach County graduating from John I. Leonard High School and Palm Beach State College. After receiving her Associate of Art degree she attended the University of North Florida in Jacksonville and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Communications in 2004.

Nadia was able to combine her two passions - education and journalism - when she became a staff writer for Forum Publishing Group. Her column, Class Notes, allowed her to voice concerns with the education system as well as highlight positive aspects.

In February 2011 she became the reporter for the Wellington and Royal Palm Forums. She enjoys getting to know the people who call the western communities their home.

She may reached at or 561-351-6112.


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