Skateboarders Show Determination at 2nd Annual Avalon Park Skateboard Fest

Avalon Park 2nd Annual Skateboard Fest from Megan Hyde on Vimeo.

In coverage this week, explored the world of skateboarding to learn just what gets members of this community so stoked for their sport.  As individuals gathered to participate at the 2nd Annual Avalon Skateboard Fest, the presence of comradery, dedication, and determination were in the air the entire day as skaters kept themselves and onlookers constantly watching their skills.  The day was hot with clear blue skies hovering above, as skateboard enthusiasts came together to compete in events such as distance races and show their skills with using various styles of boards.

Vendors provided Muscle Milk, Italian Ice, and churros for attendees to enjoy and the day also offered an award ceremony for event winners and trivia questions where victors scored board decor such as stickers, safety gear like elbow pads, and even skateboards. Exhilarated smiles were wide spread and excitement was rampant.  Those part of the festival skated away with stories and memories alike to share until the next time they glide along the pavement together.

School Crossing Guard’s Only Request to Drivers

Guarding School Zones from Megan Hyde on Vimeo.

The Florida Department of Transportation says “the primary responsibility of adult school crossing guards is to help children cross the street in a safe and efficient manner as the children walk to and from school.”  The site also advises, “drivers should always avoid in-vehicle distractions and, of course, abide by the speed limit, especially in a school speed zone.”

In coverage this week, spoke with a two-year veteran, a mother herself, who is in the role of elementary school crossing guard.  Cheryl Beverly talks about her commitment to safety before anything. Beverly shows up twice a day to ensure students and pedestrians at the crosswalk of Forsyth Road and Dominion Avenue in Orlando, Fla reach their destination.

Passing time with band The Passenger

The Passenger from Megan Hyde on Vimeo.

Fans chatting anxious and excited; conversation happening from one crowd to the next; anticipation is building and suddenly there is a shuffle to a stage as cheers and hollers roar loudly.  The crowd is pumped and the band is ready to jam.  It’s time to sing along to new and old favorites, clapping, cheering, dancing, and singing as loud as you possibly can.  This was the exact scene on Friday August 16th at The Social in Orlando, Fla.  Several bands took the stage for the night and enthusiasm was apparent from one show to the next.  One band, The Passenger, who attributes some of their musical styling to the sounds of :Weezer, Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World, and Nirvana” performed with an eagerness that rippled through the air and provoked the crowd around them to sway, dance, and actively enjoy the atmosphere.

The Passenger sat down with prior to this performance and shared personal insight on their musical journey.  Members Noah Kussack, Beau Rothman, Bennett Newsome, Manny Monteagudo, and Will Brotz each bring a love of music and a passion for performing whether during practice, in the studio recording, or hitting the stage to a packed crowd.  Formed in the summer of 2011, members have been contributing energized performances and a whole lot of rock and roll anthems to the music scene since.  The connection these musicians have when creating together is apparent, inspiring, and utterly contagious. Hear of more specifics from band manager, Alyse Cohen as well to learn insider perspective of these gentlemen who rock and most importantly, laugh together on this voyage.

Alafaya Trail Expansion Continues to Make Progress

Alafaya Trail Expansion Update from Megan Hyde on Vimeo.

In an article earlier this summer featured on, the road widening project occurring on Alafaya Trail was in full force. We discussed not only some of the reasoning behind the project with Chief Engineer Juan Curi, but we heard from residents in the community also offering their interpretation of living and driving amongst these developments.

Two months later, updates are offered consistently from Orange County District 4 Commissioner Jennifer Thompson, which helps to keep residents and visitors aware of everything from what is being worked on next, what has been completed, and what traffic adjustments to be on the lookout for.  This expansion and the steps necessary to assist with specific construction goals, such as preparing to add a five-foot wide sidewalk, and a 10-foot wide multi-use path, are coming to fruition weekly.

While the project is still projected to be completed by June of 2014, there are numerous opportunities to see the progress on this side of East Orlando.  In the video above two residents living within the construction, Danica Austin, who has lived in the area for several years, and Torrey Richardson who is a new resident within the last year, talk about things they notice commuting along this stretch.  Also, you can see what the travel this looks like for many.

Knights Toast Open for Members

UCF Club Knights Toast Toastmasters from Megan Hyde on Vimeo.

Whether you have a specific event to prepare for, or want to feel confident when called upon to provide an impromptu few words, there is an opportunity to work with others of a similar mind state.  “Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development.”  Toastmaster meetings serve as a chance to participate in more than a few trial runs at speaking among peers.  “A Toastmasters meeting is a learn-by-doing workshop in which participants hone their speaking and leadership skills in a no-pressure atmosphere.  Meeting participants also give impromptu talks on assigned topics, conduct meetings and develop skills related to timekeeping, grammar and parliamentary procedure.”

Knights Toast “is a newly forming Toastmasters Club located on UCF campus.”  Beginning this club just June 24, 2013, members meet on Monday nights and are looking to grow to become a bigger chartered group.  If you find yourself worried on how to go about joining a club like this, rest assured there is assistance from the very beginning.  When a new member joins they are not only provided a new member kit which “features a copy of the basic Communication and Leadership manual, general orientation materials and information regarding skill improvement in areas such as speech evaluation and the use of gestures,” but a mentor is also assigned to help guide the new member along the way.

This newly forming group of individuals each contributes to every assembly and are all working towards self- improvement while finding new opportunities to share their knowledge.   If you too have similar goals and would love to learn from others with similar ambitions, then mark your calendar to attend the next available meeting on an upcoming Monday evening.

MyCity Networks’ Hosts First Beauty, Health, and Wellness Awards in Central Florida

My City: Beauty, Health and Wellness Awards from Megan Hyde on Vimeo.

On Thursday July 25th, individuals in central Florida gathered for a night to honor businesses focused on beauty, health, and wellness services.  The event also provided an opportunity for those in attendance to learn of various businesses and services offered through each that they may not have been aware of otherwise.  The event was hosted by MyCityNetworksMyCityBeauty division, which is a branch of “the Florida based distinctive advertising company and caters specifically to the health and beauty market.”

MyCity Networks was founded in 2004 by two brothers, Nicholas and Andrew Cristo, and the intention behind their business was to assist other businesses “with a unique advertising package to target those who live in the area.”  Among the other divisions of MyCity Network in existence, individuals can follow MyCityEats, MyCitySocial, and MyCityCampus with each offering insight for their respective market.

On this particular MyCityBeauty occasion various central Florida personalities contributed support and were part of the evening’s activities. Entertainment personality J-Love and recording artist and model Roquois lent their talent to host both the fashion show and the award show of the night while basketball star Darrell Armstrong’s Foundation benefited with a raffle.  Everything from local artist prints to massages to dinners to trips to Cancun was up for grabs.


Wayne Summers Encourages and Educates on the CrossFit Community

CrossFit Country from Megan Hyde on Vimeo.

In the area of Oviedo, Florida, one CrossFit establishment, Crossfit Country owned by Wayne Summers, is a 20,000 square foot indoor and outdoor space and is a place for people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in training and exercise.  One main concept among Summers and his team that they emphasize to all CrossFit participants is to “Work out hard; Get in the best shape of your life; and help others to do the same.”  They are there to help and assist each person in the best individual way.

Summers shares that his background is in sports, particularly baseball, and he has been drawn to fitness his entire life.  Among many things, Summers has drawn inspiration from his father and brother, who despite being born with disabilities, maintained healthy practices of living and demonstrated the true definition of doing things when others believed it impossible.  Summers and the other trainers of CrossFit Country all share this passion for fitness as well as the want to help every person develop their own approach to participating in CrossFit.  He also believes the atmosphere of Crossfit Country has become the space it is because of the family vibe and appreciation those who attend form with and for one another.

CrossFit is best described “as that which optimizes fitness (constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity). CrossFit is also the community that spontaneously arises when people do these workouts together. In fact, the communal aspect of CrossFit is a key component of why it’s so effective.”  Some individuals find their way to CrossFit as a means of developing a unified work atmosphere to promote community and well-being; while others found the want to search for a new approach to fitness.  Several reasons may bring a person to this workout and this workout can be for every person to make their own. One common reality is that CrossFit allows for all people of various lifestyles and fitness levels to participate together.

CrossFit has become more popular over the years and the reason may be as simple as it “is a brilliant idea.”  The breakdown of CrossFit, as described above, allows for individuals to complete a full body workout in a shorter period of time and feel satisfied with that workoutOver the span of 2005-2012, “CrossFit crossed 5,000 affiliates worldwide, and has been doubling every two years.”  This directly correlates to an increase in popularity and demonstrates that CrossFit is far more than a trend but rather a steady, go-to method of exercise for many individuals.

Winter Park Vice Mayor Sarah Sprinkel and Citizens Meet for Coffee Talk

For the last eight years Winter Park city leaders have met outside of official meeting times to chat further with citizens during something known as Coffee Talk.  Coffee Talk allows individuals to discuss past, current, or new concerns with a member of the board over a cup of coffee, which is provided from local businesses.  To say it best, citizens can “espresso their thoughts” with city officials in a relaxed environment whether it be by preference or inability to attend City Council meetings.

For this year’s series, residents will have the opportunity to meet with Winter Park Mayor Kenneth Bradley, Commissioners Steven Leary, Carolyn Cooper, Tom McMacken and City Manager Randy Knight between now and December.  Each member will host a month between now and then.

The July meet up took place on Thursday the 11th at 8am and is the first of the 2013 series.  Vice Mayor of Winter Park Sarah Sprinkel was in attendance at the Winter Park Welcome Center with coffee in hand.  Interests for everything from traffic to growth potential for the city were discussed and insight was shed between both residents and Vice Mayor Sprinkel.  The first event began on a note of laughter, connection, community, and an occasion to get down to matters at hand in the intended relaxed atmosphere:

20130711_Coffee Talk Winter Park_MHyde from Megan Hyde on Vimeo.

Orlando Painted Red at Lake Eola

On Thursday June 27th people in the Orlando, Fla area gathered together for the Marriage Equality Rally at Lake Eola in the downtown area.  The event brought out many supporters both from the LGBT and Straight Allies communities to celebrate the recent events of two Supreme Court decisions related to DOMA and Prop 8.

The Orlando Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were one of the organizations also at the event.  This group is comprised of “men and women dedicated to the support, education, and development of our community.”  The Sisters mission statement explains that they are “an order of Post –Modern Nuns, dedicated to the promulgation of omniversal joy, and the expiation of stigmatic guilt.”

One sister, Sister Ambrosia Discordia, who is the Mistress of Rituals and Saints, attended the Rally to celebrate, appreciate, and spread more awareness.  Sister Ambrosia explains her presence, her motivation, and some ambitions moving forward.


20130627 Marriage Equality Rally from Megan Hyde on Vimeo.