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People & Places With Paula







Lois Silverberg, Harriett Lake, Meredith McWaters


The Deen of Country Cooking Has Seen the Light About Healthy Fare

Paula Deen has changed her ways. Now she wants you to change your ways as well.

The down-home Food Network star, famous for culinary concoctions that fairly bristled with butter, spoke to a crowd of more than 2,000 fans at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre recently to promote the Florida Hospital Healthy 100 project, which educates and motivates people to adopt healthy lifestyle changes.

Having recently shifted from chicken and biscuits to less calorie- and fat-laden recipes such as vegetarian gumbo, Deen was candid about the urgency she felt to improve her own eating habits after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which is often caused or aggravated by obesity, inactivity and diet.

Deen’s on-stage cooking presentation was delivered with her trademark cornpone humor and over-the-top Southern sweetness. But she was deadly serious when she recited some shocking statistics.

According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 26 million of us are afflicted with the disease. It costs about $245 billion annually in medical costs and lost productivity. What’s worse, one in four children in the U.S. is diabetic.

Luckily, Orlando is home to one of the largest and most comprehensive diabetes centers in the country. The Florida Hospital Diabetes Institute is celebrating 20 years of education, support and treatment.

Deen’s own Diabetes in a New Light campaign offers diabetes-friendly recipes that everyone will love, as well as resources on living with and managing diabetes.

Florida Hospital’s Healthy 100 initiative features a robust, interactive website with an eye-popping longevity calculator. Plus, a free Healthy 100-Tupperware Water iPhone Application helps you track crucial water intake. Simply enter your age, gender and weight to find out the number of daily water bottles recommended for you.

Also at the event, Florida Hospital’s Healthy 100 Approved program was unveiled, along with its initial 16 restaurant partners. Local diners will now be able to enjoy Healthy 100 Approved menu items vetted by Florida Hospital nutritionists, making the healthy choice the easy choice.

Participating restaurants include Chick-fil-A, the Citrus Club, Cocina 214, Healthy Bites Fitness Cuisine, Infusion Café, Nadia’s Café, Panera Bread of Orlando, Rangetsu, Savion’s Place, Simply Divine Food Truck, Sushi House Orlando, RusTeak Restaurant, The Taproom at Dubsdread, White Wolf Café and Yogurtiamo. Second Harvest Food Bank has also signed on.


Go to see more pictures and stories from these and other events held throughout Central Florida.


A spoonful of sugar may make the medicine go down, but the wind and rain swirling outside the all-glass downtown rooftop of the DoubleTree Hilton during a recent charitable event reminded me more of a scene from The Wizard of Oz than Mary Poppins.

The winds triggered a power outage — thank goodness for back-up generators — but were no match for the spirit of local supporters of Kids Beating Cancer who attended the Spoon Full of Sugar High Tea and Fashion Show.

3. Gail York, Donna Wood, Liz Kleppin, Leleen Rundgren, Amber Lavender, Cindy Moon, Davina Spillmann
4. Charlotte JeBailey, Shane Barr, Margaret Guedes

Community support has always been strong for Orlando-based Kids Beating Cancer, which has been helping youngsters stricken by the disease for two decades.

KBC has come to the aid of more than 5,600 children and raised more than $10 million, 99 percent of which goes directly toward the charity’s programs.

“Spoon Full,” was a stylish, well-attended event featuring an elegant tea service, a silent auction and a lively fashion show showcasing trendy styles from four fave Park Avenue boutiques: Liz’s, Bebe’s, Tuni and Lilly Pulitzer, each of which graciously donated time and talent.

“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” set the mood for the stage production as a bubbly lineup of models strutted their stuff in the latest spring styles. The models consisted of cancer patients, their families and local supporters.

1. Tari Kazaros, Donna Boyer
2. Front: Lois Silverberg, Harriett Lake, Meredith McWaters; rear: Dyan Goodman, Beth Schaan, Margaret Guedes

The indomitable presenting sponsor, community matriarch Harriett Lake, was on hand, sitting next to Meredith McWaters, president of Harriett’s foundation, “Friends of Harriett.”

Kids Beating Cancer founder Margaret Voight Guedes started the charity in 1992 in memory of her son, John, who lost his battle with leukemia earlier that year.

Guedes was instrumental in the development of the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center at Florida Hospital for Children, which houses the only pediatric stem cell transplantation program in Central Florida.


Go to see more pictures and stories from these and other events held throughout Central Florida.


The best-heeled women in Central Florida — well, 320 of them, anyway — turned out for A Pair to Remember, a luncheon and shoe auction benefiting Easter Seals Florida at The Mall at Millenia Orchid Court.

Fabulous footwear by Jimmy Choo, Alex & Olivia, Diane Von Furstenburg, Tory Burch and company isn’t often seen on silver trays, but I can tell you that they looked delectable as they were carried about that way, butler-style.

1. Meghan Hayes, Trevor Anderson, Martie Salt

The butlers were pretty delectable, too. There was Bob Frier, evening anchor at Fox 35 News; Robert Palmer, president of RP Funding; Stewart Moore, reporter and weekend anchor at WESH-Channel 2; Jorge Estevez, anchor and reporter for WFTV-Channel 9; and Jamie Watson, midfielder for the Orlando City Lions soccer team.

Emcees Scott McKenzie from WOMX-FM — better known as Mix 105.1 — and Martie Salt from WFTV kept the proceedings moving briskly. They were, of course, their usual charming and professional selves.

Even with all those stars in the room, however, I had a hard time keeping my eyes off those shoes. That is, until a touching video was shown describing Easter Seals’ mission to help people with disabilities or special needs and their families.

2. Bob Frier and fans
3. Jason Guy

After the video, produced by Massey Communications, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. And the heart-tugging presentation had its intended effect. A Pair to Remember netted more than $105,000, with a very generous matching gift of $25,000 from the Joseph and Kathleen Dreyfuss Charitable Gift Fund.

Now in its 65th year, Easter Seals Florida is the largest national nonprofit provider of services for individuals with autism and cognitive and physical impairments. Ninety-three cents of every dollar raised at A Pair to Remember benefits the organization’s programs and services.

This year’s event sponsors included The Bougainvillea Clinique, Century Link Prism, RP Funding, the law firm of Colling, Gilbert, Wright & Carter, Fields Auto Group, Publix Supermarkets Charities and Seminole Office Solutions.

In-kind sponsorships were provided by 9 Family Connection, The Mall at Millenia, Blue Martini, Mix 105.1, Orange Appeal, and tCreative.


Go to see more pictures and stories from these and other events held throughout Central Florida.

Native Floridian Paula Wyatt is an Orlando event planner, social-media expert and entrepreneur whose companies include Posh Able Events, Posh Able Image Builders and the nonprofit Posh Abilities. You can reach her at