(PRESS RELEASE)_MIAMI – September 21, 2021 – Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, high-speed rail in America, is celebrating World Car-Free Day by joining forces with one of the nation’s most recognizable non-profits, Habitat for Humanity. For the first time, Brightline and Habitat for Humanity affiliates in South Florida are inviting drivers to donate their vehicles to become eligible for a year of free rail travel on Brightline. In partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Broward, Greater Miami, Palm Beach County, and South Palm Beach County, Brightline will offer a free 2022 annual pass to any individual who donates a vehicle to Habitat’s Cars for Homes program between September 22 and December 31, 2021. Those who want to participate in the Brightline-Habitat World Car Free Day free travel pass promotion can learn more here.
Every year on September 22nd, cities across the globe celebrate World Car-Free Day, encouraging motorists to give up their cars for a day. The event highlights the numerous benefits of going car-free to citizens—including reduced air pollution and the health benefits of walking and cycling in a safer environment. Habitat for Humanity’s Cars for Homes program takes this even further. All year long, Habitat accepts donations of vehicles from across the U.S. and dedicates the proceeds from their sale to help Habitat homeowners build strength, stability and self-reliance for their families.
(PRESS RELEASE)_ANGRA DO HEROÍSMO, TERCEIRA ISLAND, AZORES – Nature lovers, history buffs, and golfers can now venture to the Azores Islands, a Portuguese archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean, with ZeniTravel and explore the scenic vistas, magnificent historical sights, and local flavors of one of the world’s most beautiful, affordable, and sustainable destinations. These brand-new, seven-day guided vacations include a five-hour, round-trip, direct flight between Boston and the Azores, a selection of carefully curated tours, and a choice of lodging accommodations at various price points.
The Azores vacation options include those that are exclusive to Terceira Island as well as a tour featuring three full days on the archipelago’s largest island, São Miguel. All tours showcase the World Heritage Town of Angra do Heroísmo with lodging selections that include the new four-star Zenite Boutique Hotel & Spa, both on Terceira island. Tours can be booked "as is" or customized by one of ZeniTravel’s experienced tour designers.
ZeniTravel is now offering four new tours from Boston:
For more details and to book an Azores vacation with ZeniTravel, please visit zenitravel-america.com.
(PRESS RELEASE)_West Palm Beach is thrilled to announce the national tour of COME FROM AWAY, a Broadway musical about the true story of the small town that welcomed the world, will make its West Palm Beach debut at Kravis Center for a limited engagement November 16 - 21. COME FROM AWAY will go on sale October 2 at 10 am. Tickets are available online at kravis.org or by phone at 561.832.7469.
Kravis On Broadway is sponsored by Michael and Colleen Bracci.
The touring production of COME FROM AWAY will star Marika Aubrey (Lincoln Center’s South Pacific), Kevin Carolan (Disney’s Newsies), Harter Clingman (Peter and The Starcatcher), Nick Duckart (In the Heights), Chamblee Ferguson, Christine Toy Johnson (The Music Man), Julie Johnson (Memphis), James Earl Jones II (The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess), Julia Knitel (Beautiful), Andrew Samonsky (South Pacific), Sharone Sayegh (The Band’s Visit), Danielle K. Thomas (Avenue Q), Jenny Ashman, Jane Bunting, Amelia Cormack, Aaron Michael Ray, Kilty Reidy and Brandon Springman.
With a book, music and lyrics by Tony and Grammy Award nominees Irene Sankoff & David Hein, COME FROM AWAY is directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley (Come From Away), musical staging by two-time Tony nominee Kelly Devine(Come From Away, Rocky), with music supervision by Grammy nominee Ian Eisendrath (Come From Away), scenic design by Tony Award winner Beowulf Boritt (Act One), costume design by Tony Award nominee Toni-Leslie James (Jelly’s Last Jam), lighting design by two-time Tony Award winner Howell Binkley (Hamilton), sound design by Tony Award nominee Gareth Owen (End of the Rainbow), orchestrations by Tony nominee August Eriksmoen (Bright Star), music arrangements by Grammy nominee Ian Eisendrath and casting by Telsey + Company.
October Events at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens:
Fridays, October 1, 8, 15, 22
Sumi-e Ink Painting (Class)
Time: Floral – 10:30am – 12:30pm
Landscape – 1:30pm – 3:30pm
Cost: $70 (Morikami Members $65). Advance Registration Required.
Sumi-e is a form of Japanese ink painting brought from China in the 12th century. Primarily done in black ink, the name literally means "charcoal drawing" in Japanese. Students grind their own ink using an ink stick and a grinding stone and learn to hold and utilize brushes to create the primary sumi-e brush strokes. Floral and landscape classes will start with a review of the basic techniques before moving on to the main subject.
Saturdays, October 2, 9, 16, 23, November 6
Japanese Traditional Music: Koto (Class)
Time: Beginners – 10:15am – 12:15pm
Intermediate – 1pm-3pm
Cost: $155 (Morikami Members $150). Advance Registration Required.
Koto is a traditional Japanese stringed instrument first introduced to Japan from China in the 7th-8th centuries. Learn about the history, culture and techniques in how to play this exquisite instrument in this 5-week course. Instruments will be provided for participants to use in the class.
Sundays, October 3, 10, 17, 24, November 7, 14, December 5, 12
Nihongo: Introduction to Japanese (In-person class)
Time: Level I – 10:15am – 11:15am
Cost: $110 (Morikami Members $100). Advance Registration Required.
Nihongo: Introduction to Japanese is a beginner and lower intermediate program teaching Japanese speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students are introduced to Japanese culture and lifestyles through lessons and conversation. Levels I and II use Japanese for Busy People I (JBP I) and levels III and IV use Japanese for Busy People II (JBP II). Fall, winter, and spring sessions of each level should be taken sequentially as a series.
On Sept. 16, North Palm Beach residents were invited to provide input on a proposed multi-use project to be built at the corner of US Highway 1 and Yacht Club Drive.
Concept sketches, refreshments and representatives of the architectural firm involved, SpinaOrourke, were on hand at the North Palm Beach Country Club to field questions and talk about the site plan.
The five-story plan would include one and two-bedroom apartments, a pedestrian mall and retail space as well. The next step would be official approval from the city's planning commission, followed by technical specifications and construction.
If approved, Keith Spina, SpinaOrourke CEO, estimated it would be about two years to completion. With almost 500,000 new residents coming to Florida in the past year, new housing options are in big demand. Stay tuned! -- Gerry Barker
(PRESS RELEASE)_West Palm Beach, Fla. (September 17, 2021) – The YMCA of the Palm Beaches is pleased to announce that W. Colin Walker has joined as their newest board member. Walker joins a team of well-respected and highly involved community leaders committed to promoting youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.
Walker currently serves as a Director at Alex Brown’s Palm Beach office, a Division of Raymond James, and has over 20 years of diverse experience in financial services, commercial real estate, and private banking. He works with c-suite executives and exiting entrepreneurs, professional athletes and celebrities, and ultra-high net worth families and their family offices. He focuses his practice on those in need of an experienced, creative and committed advisor to design and implement custom tailored solutions to their needs. Walker believes in building value through structure which includes investment management, trust and estate planning, liquidity-event strategies, lending and philanthropy.
“Colin brings wide-ranging expertise and ingenuity to our board,” Tim Coffield, CEO and President of the YMCA of the Palm Beaches noted. “His experience and commitment to the community at large reinforces our goal of helping others develop mentally, physically, and spiritually so they can contribute, belong and thrive in our community.”
Prior to Alex Brown, Walker held executive roles with US Trust, First Republic Bank and CBRE. He earned his MBA (International Management) at Hawaii Pacific University, his BBA (International Business) and management certificates for Europe, Russia and Southeast Asia at University of Hawaii at Manoa.
In addition to his post as a board member for the YMCA of the Palm Beaches, Walker also sits on the corporate board of Jupiter Medical Center. He is also a co-founder of Scotch and Sharks, a South Florida 501c3 (Non-Profit) which is focused on member comradery while giving back 100% of their fundraising to local organizations that are making a positive difference in the community.
A resident of Jupiter, Florida, Walker is married with three children and enjoys golf, traveling and philanthropy.
YMCA of the Palm Beaches is located at 2085 S. Congress Ave., West Palm Beach, FL 33406. For more information, visit @ymcapalmbeaches, ymcapalmbeaches.org or call (561) 968-9622.
(PRESS RELEASE)_West Palm Beach, FL – September 17, 2021) In preparation for its star-packed 29th Season starting in October, the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is seeking interested Volunteers.
“With over 400 volunteers, the Kravis Center knows that the show would not go on without the dedicated corps of people who donate their valuable time to the Center,” says Usher Coordinator Karole Cooney. “While many volunteers have been with us since opening night, we are now seeking applicants to join the ranks and become an integral part of this vibrant theatre.”
There are volunteer opportunities as ushers, tour guides, and to work in data entry, the education department, and the administrative offices.
To become an usher, applicants must complete a training course about Kravis Center operations. The course includes information about emergency evacuations, seating, show procedures and customer service skills. The Kravis Center requires all volunteers to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and to wear a mask on property.
The next New Volunteer Orientation will be held at the Kravis Center’s Persson Hall on Wednesday, September 29 at 10:30 am and Thursday, September 30 at 6 pm.
Anyone interested in becoming a Volunteer is encouraged to download a printable Volunteer Application from the website fill it out and bring it to the orientation program. If unable to attend the orientation please mail the application to: Beth Foster, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL 33401.
The application is available online at kravis.org/volunteer.
Health and Safety:
The Kravis Center remains committed to the health and safety of our artists, staff, audience, volunteers, and guests. Like many other performing arts centers throughout the country, we have implemented new health and safety protocols to ensure the comfort and enjoyment for everyone visiting the Center. To learn more about our current health and safety protocols visit kravis.org/healthsafety.
(PRESS RELEASE)_WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Mama Bella Gourmet Market & Café will celebrate its official grand opening at 518 S. Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach with three days of scrumptious specials from Friday, October 1 – October 3, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily.
Guests visiting Mama Bella during the grand opening weekend can expect tastings and samples from their gourmet menu and wine selections, 20% discounts on all non-perishable items (excluding alcohol), drawings for $25 Mama Bella Gift Cards, and more.
Named after owner/developer Vladimir Fulman’s beloved mother, Mama Bella, the 75-seat, 3,750-square foot culinary emporium is a curated collection of the world’s finest gourmet foods, spices, and imported artisanal cuisine and ingredients. Mama Bella features a contemporary café and bar, European-inspired gourmet market and deli, international wines, specialty stone pizza, and an alfresco patio.
“We wanted to bring something new and uniquely European to West Palm Beach,” said Vladimir Fulman, owner of Mama Bella. “Like our city’s diverse neighborhoods, we want to celebrate ethnic diversity in every bite at Mama Bella.”
The full-service, European-inspired market and scratch kitchen rolls out a rotating, counter-service menu with an emphasis on global cuisine, including Italian, Russian, and coastal Mediterranean. Highlights include chicken croquettes, beef and mint cabbage rolls, and veal-and-beef meatballs. Dine-in and carryout options are plentiful, and include cured meats and salumi, artisan cheeses, seafood, chicken, as well as salad and soup options, homemade pasta, and sumptuous desserts.
Mama Bella’s sun-splashed café and bar is the perfect spot to convene over coffee or energy smoothies and a protein-packed power breakfast, including fork-tender eggs Benedict, vanilla brioche French toast, and fluffy pancakes, as well bespoke omelets, smoked salmon sandwiches, and a variety of Danish, muffins, and bagels. Diners can grab a sub or sandwich during lunch service including hot and cold creations like Mama’s Meatball Special, Rueben, or BLTA (thick-cut bacon, lettuce, beefsteak tomato, and smashed avocado on 7-grain bread). Dinner features culinary classics like Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Kiev, Spaghetti & Meatballs, and Vegetarian Lasagna.
The stunning wine room touts over 100+ national and international wines and champagne, featuring classic and lesser-known varietals from Italy, France, Greece, Israel, and Lithuania. Akin to the wine room, visitors can stock up on to-go essentials and tasty snacks, all which feature a transcontinental twist.
Hours are Monday–Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday–Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Mama Bella Gourmet Restaurant is located at 518 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach. For more information, visit mamabellacafe.com or call (561) 599-5500. Like us on Facebook and Instagram at @mamabellagourmetmarket.
(PRESS RELEASE)_MIAMI – This holiday season, Rail Events Productions and Brightline are celebrating the return of the immersive family-oriented experience THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at MiamiCentral presented by Walkers Shortbread! THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride will return beginning Dec. 11 through Dec. 30, 2021, departing from Brightline’s MiamiCentral Station. Seats are available to book starting Sept. 16. Tickets will be available for purchase online at miamithepolarexpressride.com. Guests are encouraged to book early as this beloved holiday tradition is expected to sell out.
The adventure of this holiday classic comes to life when the festive Brightline train departs for a journey led by a cast of talented actors. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of this story as they are whisked away on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ for a one-hour trip to meet and interact with Santa.
Once aboard, the conductor will work his way through the coach and punch golden tickets before hot chocolate and delicious Walkers Shortbread are served by dancing chefs. Passengers then read along with the classic children’s book, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg as Santa and his helpers board the train to greet and present each guest with the first gift of Christmas. During the trip, characters on each coach lead fantastic onboard entertainment – just like in the film. Specially choreographed song and dance will take place along with fun games and special character interactions. Each guest will take home a keepsake sleigh bell and souvenir golden ticket in addition to the wonderful memories made on this magical trip. Like the kids in the book, families are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride.
Wondering what’s new in 2021? See below:
Exact dates, times, and fares are available by visiting miamithepolarexpressride.com. Ticket prices range from $50 to $70, depending on the ticket type, date, and time of the ride.
Exploring what to see and do in North Palm Beach and the South Florida area. Your hosts are Pam and Gerry Barker.
GERRY PRONOUNCED GARY
Listen to Chapter One of "Panama Palmer"