Job seekers turn out in force at Central Florida Fairgrounds, ready to work.

Job seekers flocked to the Central Florida Fairgrounds on Wednesday for a job fair sponsored by Christian Help. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

ORLANDO – By 11:30 in the morning on Wednesday, the line had already started to grow quite long, and it only got that much lengthhier as the hour inched closer to noon.
That was when the doors of the Central Florida Fairgrounds opened to the crowd, but not for entertainment or recreational activities. Everyone in line was waiting eagerly for one thing: a job.
“There’s over 500 jobs here,” said Frank Masse, one of the organizers of the job fair held at the fairgrounds, who welcomed in the large crowd of employment seekers. “You hear me loud and clear – over 500 jobs.”
Not everyone who set up a booth or table at the job fair was, in fact, looking to hire. The event also included booths set up by local universities looking to recruit students, and by employment service agencies like Workforce Central Florida and OrlandoJobs.com ready to hand out information on resources available to those seeking employment.
But other employers were there, enough that a directory listing the contact information on each one was given to the prospective employees as they walked in the main door.
The list provided a diverse group, including Crime Prevention Security in Orlando, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, Florida’s Blood Centers, HomeTeam Pest Defense, and others.
The Central Florida Job Fair was organized by Christian Help, a faith-based ministry that provides a host of local services, including the fact that each year the ministry hosts this event, one of the largest job fairs in Central Florida. Continue reading

Family of shooting victim works to establish a new scholarship in his name.

Tiffany Dunnahoe works the table for the Levi Burch Schholarship Fund at the annual Game Feast sponsored by the Still Water Christian Life Center Church in Haines City. (Photo by Dave Raith).

HAINES CITY – Ingrid Burch recalls just how passionately her son Levi loved the great outdoors, sports, and all kinds of physical activities.
“His love was anything to do with hunting and the outdoors, but he was pretty much into any kind of sports,” she said. “Each morning he would go to the gym, play basketball, run back to the house, grab his golf clubs, go play golf, come back, and go hog hunting at night. That was one of his ambitions. He wanted to be a game warden.”
Today, Ingrid Burch runs the Levi Burch Foundation, which is in the process of starting a second scholarship in Levi’s name.
“We want to create a scholarship for criminal justice students, or for what Levi loved, which was the great outdoors,” she said. “We’re trying to make this something positive. We want to do something to help others.”
Continue reading

Haines City church fund-raiser offers different kind of ”bait” to draw in members.

More than 650 people turned out at the Lake Eva Banquet Facility for the 4th Annual Still Water Christian Life Center fund-raiser. (Photo by Dave Raith).


HAINES CITY – Pastor Mike Thompson could barely move through the hallway of the Lake Eva Banquet Facility – and it wasn’t because of the small size of the hallways in that huge building.
It was the enormous crowd that Thompson’s church, Still Water Christian Life Center, had attracted to the hall on Thursday, Aug. 16.
The pastor smiled as he glanced around at the turnout, which he said was great news for the church.
“We have 650 to 700 people here tonight,” Pastor Thompson said. “So yes, we’re very happy.”
A meal awaited the people who had shown up for the Haines City church’s annual fund-raising event, held to raise money for humanitarian causes, educational programs, and organizations that work to promote international justice.
“The church gets zero from this,” Pastor Thompson told the people seated inside the banquet hall, just moments before they began serving the meals. “All the proceeds from this tonight go to different missions and charities.” Continue reading

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