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Orlando Honors its Veterans at the 20th Annual Veterans Day Parade

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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer leads the Orlando Veterans Day Parade in downtown Orlando Saturday, November 9, 2019. Photo: Leyton Blackwell/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – For 20 years Orlando has honored its veterans by with its annual Veterans Day Parade Saturday. This year’s parade theme was about honoring World War II veterans who fought to keep our country safe and free.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer walks in the Veterans Day Parade. Photo: Leyton Blackwell/Florida National News.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer walks in the Veterans Day Parade. Photo: Leyton Blackwell/Florida National News.

The city honored World War II veterans with grand marshals who fought during many famous battles during World War II. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando City Commissioners, and the Mayor’s Veteran Advisory Council highlighted the World War II veterans during the opening ceremony, allowing some of them to talk to the audience about what they’ve sacrificed and the battles that they fought in.

After the ceremony honoring World War II veterans, the parade commenced with Mayor Dyer and World War II veteran grand marshals leading the parade. Other groups up front included many of the different departments from the local and county government. The Orlando Police Department, Orange County Sheriff Department, and Orlando Fire Department had their honor guard marching and vehicles out.

Orlando Police Department Honor Guard walks in the Veterans Day Parade. Photo: Leyton Blackwell/Florida National News.

Orlando Police Department Honor Guard walks in the Veterans Day Parade. Photo: Leyton Blackwell/Florida National News.

Many veteran- and active duty military-focused organizations participated in the parade, including Lake Nona Veterans Club, Navy Exchange Orlando, Air Force Association, Women Veterans Helping Veteran Women, UCF Veterans History Project, and many more.

UCF Veterans History Project participating in the parade. Photo: Leyton Blackwell/Florida National News.

UCF Veterans History Project participating in the parade. Photo: Leyton Blackwell/Florida National News.

Also, walking in the parade were many ROTC and JROTC chapters from around Central Florida, including University of Central Florida and Florida State University. Several high schools had their JROTC chapters walking in the parade as well, including Oak Ridge High School Air Force JROTC, East River High School Army JROTC, Evans High School Navy JROTC and Colonial High School Air Force JROTC.

Falcon Battalion from East Rive High School walking in the parade. Photo: Leyton Blackwell/Florida National News.

Falcon Battalion from East Rive High School walking in the parade. Photo: Leyton Blackwell/Florida National News.

The annual Orlando Veterans Day Parade shows that Orlando cares about its veterans and honors them. The Orlando Veterans Day Parade is a great way that the community shows its support for veterans and all they have given to our country.

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Leyton Blackwell is a contributing photojournalist for Florida National News. | info@floridanationalnews.com

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Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness Coming March 2023

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WINTER PARK, Fla. (Florida National News) – Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness, inspired by the children’s TV host and icon, comes to Orlando in March 2023. This week-long series of events was announced today at the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation in Winter Park.

“Fred McFeely Rogers devoted his entire life to reminding us of some of the most important ideas of what it means to be human among humans: love, respect and kindness,” explained Buena Vista Events & Management President & CEO Rich Bradley. “Many of us find that nearly 20 years after Fred’s passing, it is important to focus on his teachings once again, perhaps now more than ever. This is a week to re-engage with his massive body of work with some folks, and to introduce his teachings to others.”

Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness begins March 20, 2023, the date which would have been Fred’s 95th birthday, and concludes on Saturday, March 26 with the Red Sweater Soiree, a community dinner to recognize ten ordinary members of the community who inspire and exemplify the affinity that Fred Rogers had for showing kindness to our “Neighbors”.

Mister Rogers Week of Kindness coming March 20-26, 2023. Photo Credit: Mike Brodsky (Florida National News)

Activities planned for the week will include early childhood education activities and faculty training, as well as events open to the public.

“The events will be offered free or at low cost,” continued Bradley. “This week-long celebration is not a series of fundraisers, but rather about once again remembering and sharing some of the great work that Fred Rogers created, not only in early childhood education, but in reminding us that we are all part of one big ‘neighborhood’. Fred taught us the importance of accepting our Neighbors just the way they are and engaging in kindness with our interactions. I can’t think of another period in my lifetime where we needed to reflect on those messages again more than today.”

“There are three ways to ultimate success,” Fred Rogers was once quoted as saying. “The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind. Imagine what our neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person.”

Many of the activities of Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness will be attended by members of the cast and crew of Mister Rogers Neighborhood, which ran from 1968 – 1975, and again from 1979 – 2001. David Newell, known as “Mr. McFeely,” the “Speedy Delivery” man, appeared at today’s media conference via video, and looks forward to visiting Central Florida next March.

David Newell, “Mr. McFeely.” Photo Credit: Mike Brodsky (Florida National News)

Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness is supported by the McFeely-Rogers Foundation, the Fred Rogers Institute, and Fred Rogers Productions. Details regarding the specific activities and venues will be released over the next few weeks.

For more information on the events, visit https://www.BuenaVistaEvents.com or https://www.MisterRogersWeekofKindness.com.

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Black Lives

Funk Master George Clinton: to Perform at ZORA! Outdoor Festival in Early June

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George Clinton. Photo via North Carolina's Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NC DNCR).

EATONVILLE, Fla. – At 81 years old, George Clinton, whose career started as a member of a Doo-Wop band influenced by Frankie Lyman & The Teenagers, has spanned over 60 years. He and his band Parliament Funkadelic are known globally for blending a cornucopia of music genres to create an original sound that is often imitated but never duplicated. Clinton and his band members’ work has influenced, been borrowed from, and has been sampled by an astonishing list of rap and funk rock artists including Public Enemy, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Red Hot Chili Peppers, LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, and a host of others.

Clinton’s reputation as a creative mastermind not only touches on his being a talented bandleader. It also includes his visionary artistry as a writer, producer, and consummate performer. And, his flamboyant personal fashion statements are considered nothing short of legendary.

On Saturday, June 4th, Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic will headline ZORA! 2022 Outdoor Festival of the Arts. Kim Waters and Tom Browne are featured guest performers on Sunday, June 5th.

ZORA! Outdoor Festival of the Arts begins on June 3rd and features programming for youth. All festival events take place in “The Preserve in Eatonville,” which is a natural habitat that has a historic and literary connection to Zora Neale Hurston.

Additional ZORA! Festival 2022 programmatic events are “Traditions” Weekend: Middle and High School Students Celebrate Black Music Month, happening June-17-18; and “HATitude! Cultural Flair,” an African and African American design event on October 29. HATitude! Cultural Flair is the festival season’s culminating event and is a fundraiser for P.E.C.’s Excellence Without Excuse (E-WE) Community Arts Lab and Learning Center programs for students K-12.

Information about all these programs is available at 2022 ZORA! Festival Season Schedule – ZORA! Festival (zorafestival.org).

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Servant’s Heart Ministry’s Hearts Against Hunger 5K Kicks Off Saturday, May 14

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Photo: Serving Hearts Ministry.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Servant’s Heart Ministry’s in-person 5K kicks of on May 14, 2022. Attendees can run, walk or stroll through the beautiful streets of Belle Isle in the Greater Orlando area to help bring awareness and support those in need. People can register as an individual or create their very own team. Grab your family, friends, co-workers, running groups, or church groups and make a difference today.

The entry donation fee of $35 provides two full weeks of groceries for one local family. Anyone and everyone can participate. Supporters can help the ministry reach its $40,000 goal by creating a fundraising page or creating a team through the event page.

Those who want to help even more can create their own unique fundraising page after they register to help the ministry reach their goal. Supporters will be able to customize it just the way they want and will be able to share it with others as well as on social media platforms.

As a special thank you, with every $35 donation/registration fee, the ministry will be gifting those registered with a t-shirt the morning of the event while supplies last. Shirt sizes may be limited.

When: Saturday, May 14, 2022
Where: Belle Isle, Florida (Central Florida)
Registration begins: 7:00 AM
Race begins: 8:00 AM

For more information, contact Servant’s Heart Ministry at 407-447-3022, or visit www.servantsheartministry.org

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