Pet Adoption Weekend asks folks to put Paws Over Politics

​Charlie is a dog available for adoption this weekend at Paws over Politics. (Photo by Whitney Boylston).

LEESBURG — With President’s Day approaching on Monday, a nonfit group committed to finding homes for abandoned, abused and stray pets is asking area residents to put “Paws Over Politics.”
In an effort to boost the adoption rate in Lake County, the organization L.E.A.S.H. Inc. is inviting people to come out to the Via Port Florida Mall in Leesburg this weekend to hopefully fall in love with a pet in need of a home.
And as President’s Day gets closer, they are encouraging people to spend the weekend thinking less about today’s political climate, and more about … well, just how cute those cats and dogs can be.
“With today’s contentious political climate, residents can celebrate Presidents Day, whether a Re’pup‘lican, Demo’cat,’ or somewhere in between, by opening their home to a new friend,” the organization based in Leesburg noted in a news release. Continue reading

Kristallnacht remembrance becomes a Readers Theater

"Lonely Woman" is a painting by Nadia Werbitzky, part of an exhibition of her work on display at the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center in Maitland.

“Lonely Woman” is a painting by Nadia Werbitzky, part of an exhibition of her work on display at the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center in Maitland.

MAITLAND — History can be vividly recreated for younger generations, through literature, live theater, and paintings that capture everything from the joys and triumphs to the horrific traumas of the past.
Literature, theater and art all came together on Sunday at the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center in Maitland, principally through the artwork of Nadia Werbitzky and the writings of her mother, Teodora Verbitskya.
Just as remarkable as the history that Nadia and her mother endured, though, was the story behind the exhibition at the Holocaust Center, and how the center was able to find, and restore, some of Nadia’s key paintings that were close to being lost forever.
On Sunday, the Holocaust Center presented a special Readers Theater called “Two Regimes,” as four actors read from the manuscript that became the book “Two Regimes -A Mother’s Memoir of Wartime Survival”. The book is the memoirs of Teodora Verbitskya and her young daughters, Nadia and Lucy, and their lives in Russia from the 1920s, as the Bolshevik Revolution was becoming an iron-grip dictatorship under Joseph Stalin, through the 1940s, when Germany invaded the Soviet Union in an attempt to make it part of Hitler’s Nazi regime.
The occasion was the Holocaust Center’s annual commemoration of Kristallnacht, the Nazi pogrom in Germany on Nov. 9-10, 1938. Continue reading

Assistance center set up for victims of Pulse attack

This memorial to the victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre was set up at Orlando's Lake Eola Park. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

This memorial to the victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre was set up at Orlando’s Lake Eola Park. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

ORLANDO – The Orlando United Assistance Center, designed to provide long-term assistance to people impacted by the Pulse shootings, opens today.
The center located at 507 E. Michigan St. will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s located at the corner of Osceola Avenue and East Michigan Street.
Created by the City of Orlando and the Orange County Government, the center is expected to hire numerous representatives from the Hispanic and LGBT communities to be on staff to help the survivors of the attack. To learn more, call 407-500-HOPE.
On Monday, the city of Orlando also announced that it had established a partnership with Heart of Florida United Way to manage the center. That will include managing all daily functions such as the oversight of the building and its staff.
Heart of Florida United Way will also be responsible for arranging a series of partnerships with various service providers who can help meet the needs of the people visiting the center. Those partnerships will include arrangements with the Victim Service Center, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida and Miracle of Love, Inc.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said Heart of Florida was chosen because it has a vast network of partners in the nonprofit sector whose services could prove to be vital to individuals and families impacted by the shooting massacre on June 12 that claimed the lives of 49 people and injured 53 others. Continue reading

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