boca summer camps

Boca Mom Talk: Stellar Summer Camps for Every Kind of Kid

2017 Summer Camp Picks

What I wouldn’t give to head off to summer camp this June. Kids don’t know how good they have it. Fun activities, color wars, campfires, s’mores! Camp is the best! Some campgrounds are even capitalizing on parents’ nostalgia by launching adult summer camps complete with luxury amenities and cocktails, but that’s a topic for another blog post…

Here’s the Boca Mom Talk on the local South Florida camps I’m digging this summer and why you should send your Boca kids packing.

Summer of STEM

Kids getting hands on with science at Wacky Wild Science. Photo courtesy of Wacky Wild Science.

Kids getting hands on with science at Wacky Wild Science. Photo courtesy of Wacky Wild Science.

Ensure your child doesn’t fall into a “summer slump” by registering them for STEM camp! Wacky Wild Science invites campers (ages 6-8 and 9-12) to go on a wild educational adventure. Your child will interact with live land and ocean animals, conduct awesome experiments, become an archaeologist, make volcanoes erupt, travel through space in a mobile planetarium and more! The camp, located at Saint Andrew’s School in central Boca, is run by a locally owned STEM-based education service with 11 years’ experience inspiring students throughout South Florida. I’m seeing tons of STEM-oriented programs being integrated into Boca Raton schools. This camp is sure to give your child an educational edge.

Summer of tumbling

Twisters' gymnasium and playroom. Photo courtesy of Twisters.

Twisters’ gymnasium and playroom. Photo courtesy of Twisters.

Time to get physical! If your Boca kid loves climbing, jumping, running and flipping, then they will have a BLAST at Camp Twisters.  In Twisters’ state-of-the-art facility in east Boca, safety-certified staff will teach your child to tumble through professional gymnastics instruction. The camp also features arts and crafts, movie time, games—and the icing on the cake? Plenty of air conditioning!

Summer on stage

Courtesy of Showtime

The cast of a production of “Into the Woods” at Showtime. Photo courtesy of Showtime Performing Arts.

Let your child’s inner star shine all summer at east Boca’s Showtime Performing Arts camp! Your Boca kid will learn and fine-tune their performance skills with South Florida theatre professionals. Located in Royal Palm Place in downtown Boca, Showtime has two main summer camp sessions and several mini sessions featuring performances from Moana, Cats and Glee. If your child is on the younger side, Showtime is also featuring a 12-week performance program on Saturdays where Boca kids can “let it go” courtesy of the class’ Frozen theme.

Get ready Boca moms! Because school’s (almost) out for SUMMER!


Visit www.modernbocamom.com for even more summer camp tips! And be sure to subscribe to Modern Boca Mom’s weekly e-newsletter: http://bit.ly/mbmsubscribe

Michelle Olson-Rogers, a native to Boca, is the founder of ModernBocaMom.com, a lifestyle website for the stylish & modern South Florida Mommy. Modern Boca Mom features family events, activities, classes, fitness, dining, travel, home improvement and shopping options—as well as a weekly MOMpreneur spotlight! She and her husband Andrew have one daughter, Avery.
fakawi

Where the Fakawi? Ride Your Bike Through Who-Knows-Where Next Month

 

fakawi

The Fakawi ride last year. Photo provided by Jimmy Toural.

The Fakawi Gravel Grinder is the annual mountain bike ride that takes local riders off-road to see remnants of Old Florida. The 50- and 30-mile routes meander through networks of levees, horse trails and abandoned farm roads.

This year’s event starts at 8 a.m., Sunday, May 21, at Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida. For those who don’t want to do the 30- or 50-mile courses, there’s a 12-miler out and back on the levee.

Sunrise resident Jimmy Toural started the Fakawi ride. A competitive mountain biker, Toural and his friends were looking for ways to add miles to their bike rides to and from Markham Park. “I found some trails and thought it would be a good idea to set up a ride with some friends, and we did,” he said.

The event’s name came naturally, as Toural’s friends were constantly perplexed by where they were on the web of back-road trails. “We were just messing around, and a lot of the people that have been living in the area for years had no clue where they were,” Toural claimed. His friends kept asking, “Where the f*** are we?”

A lightbulb went off in Toural’s head: “Fakawi—that’s the name.”

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The Fakawi ride last year. Photo provided by Jimmy Toural.

Since the first official Fakawi in 2010, which attracted 75 riders, it has become a legendary event for local cyclists. Attendance has grown to several hundred. I can attest to that; I did it last year (the 30-mile loop), and thought it was a blast. Toural, who is 42 years old and is vice president of the Miami-based Galloway Office Supplies, said he added the 30- and 12-mile options because word of the Fakawi reached families, and now kids do the ride with their parents. It’s a family affair, but it also offers hardcore riders a competitive option. It costs $20 to enter.

A few words of wisdom: Don’t attempt this ride on a bike with skinny tires (a traditional road bike), unless you enjoy making contact with gravel or have amazing skills. Bring lots of water. Riders, according to Toural, should be prepared to ride two to three hours for the event, and while there’s water in a few places along the course, it tends to be hot. Bring food to keep you energized during the ride. And if it has been raining the days prior, be prepared to get muddy. Most of all, be prepared to have fun!

The fun continues after you’ve finished and hosed off your bike. There will be food and music at Markham Park—a big party. For more information or to sign up, to wherethefakawi.com.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.
33

Dress to Impress at Trainerspace This Saturday

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Trainerspace, Boca’s newest (sexiest) gym run by military veterans will host an All White Party at its facility in Boca Raton on Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

There will be food from Fit Foodz, cocktails and a performance by Adriana Foster and Digital Vibez, a nonprofit that helps children become active and healthy through fitness, dance and technology. A prize will be given to the person who wears the funkiest sneakers to the party, so dress to win. All proceeds raised from the event will benefit Eat Better Live Better, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing, reducing and reversing childhood obesity.

Tickets purchased in advance are $15 and $20 at the door. You can register in advance here.

Trainerspace is a fitness center that focuses on scientifically guided, individualized personal training to help people reach their fitness goals. This space is not just a high-end, luxury gym. Owner Cary Reichbach and director of business development, Logan Skees, an Army vet and a Marines vet, respectively, have a greater mission in mind. They see the gym as a platform to serve others.

They are doing this by forming a foundation, which is in its grassroots phase right now. Its mission is to provide veterans with tools to allow them to help themselves, Reichbach said, particularly helping younger veterans reintegrate back into society after combat. Both Reichbach and Skees believe traditional veteran services like those the Department of Veterans Affairs offer do not address the root of most veterans’ issues. The foundation’s approach is focused on alternative, holistic therapies like acupuncture, sensory deprivation, massage therapy and more to help veterans deal with post traumatic stress.

Reichbach said that vets are perceived as liabilities. They are heavily invested in prior to service in the military, and then when they return home they have very little investment or support.

“What if we take those people and do a 180 and make them into one of the greatest assets in the community?” Reichbach asked.

While the Trainerspace Foundation is in it’s 18-month research and development phase, which will guide its approach to reaching its goal, Skees said that it expects to help 10 to 12 combat veterans during that time. Additionally, the gym wants to give back to the community as much as it can, and Skees said he wants Trainserspace to be known as an ethics driven company.

Also occurring Saturday, April 8 will be the first “Future Warrior Fitness Program,” which exemplifies the staff’s dedication to giving back and military service. Trainerspace partnered with local high schools and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) programs to bring the aspiring cadets into the gym for an intensive training session. The students will have the opportunity to train with Trainerspace’s military veteran fitness instructors at the facility.  “We have to help them [the JROTC students] prepare for reality,” Skees said.

To learn more about Trainerspace, visit trainerspace.com.

Shayna is the Web Editor of Boca Magazine. She is a 20-something sorta-recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in journalism. Most of her time is spent fawning over cats and kittens; cooking food at home for her family; and observing Florida’s greatest asset: nature.
ultramarathon

This 71-Year-Old Runs 100-mile Races, Directs KEYS100 Ultramarathon

With 100-mile, 50-mile and 50-kilometer ultra race distances, and the option of a six-runner, 100-mile team division, the KEYS100 is not for the faint-hearted.

The course for the 10th annual KEYS100 on May 20 and 21 spans from Key Largo to Key West (for those running the 100-miler). The shorter 50-miler begins in Marathon and the shortest 50K in Big Pine Key, both also ending in Key West.

An ultramarathon or ultra race is a footrace that is longer than the average 26.2 miles.

Bob Becker, KEYS100 ultramarathon race director, originally designed this event after Badwater 135, a 135-mile race through Death Valley in July. Not surprisingly, it’s one of the toughest footraces in the world.

KEYS100 race director, Bob Becker. Photo by Alexis Berg.

KEYS100 race director, Bob Becker. Photo by Alexis Berg.

“The idea was to make the heat in the Keys in May a difficulty factor in this race—and not simply the 100-mile distance,” Becker, a Fort Lauderdale resident, wrote to me in an email.

Even for those running less than 100 miles, it’s a daunting undertaking. The training, with attention to hydration, nutrition, salt and electrolyte replacement—even what clothing and gear are needed—make this race anything but an afterthought.

But it’s not impossible.

Becker will be 72 years old in April. He ran his first marathon in 2002 and his first ultra distance in 2005 to celebrate his 60th birthday.

“That was the Marathon des Sables, a seven-day, 160-mile stage race [a race completed over a number of days] through the Sahara Desert in Morocco. After 115 miles the medical team realized I had a fractured femur and would not let me complete the race. In spite of that huge frustration… I fell in love with the people and culture of ultramarathon racing,” Becker said. “The camaraderie, the support for each other in spite of the competition, were totally inspiring. I was hooked.”

By 2007, Becker ran his first 100-mile trail race (typically held on hiking trails) and has since completed lots of ultra distance races, including Badwater 135 three times.

“In 2015, I celebrated my 70th birthday by completing the Badwater Double, setting the age record by 11 years. The Double included running the 135-mile race, then summiting Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states; then returning to Badwater Basin, which is the starting point (and namesake) for the 135-mile race,” he said. “Last November, 2016, I completed Mt. Gaoligong Ultra in Tengchong, China. Located in the far southwest corner of the country, this 77-mile race was a difficult mountain race with over 45,000 feet of combined elevation gain and loss, and one of the most inspiring and emotional experiences of my life.”

Bob Berg at the finish line of the Mt. Gaoligong Ultra. Photo by Alexis Berg.

Bob Becker at the finish line of the Mt. Gaoligong Ultra. Photo by Alexis Berg.

Becker said that it’s important for him to inspire people to get off the couch and become active.

Once you’re off the couch, even running 100 miles is possible.

“When talking with newer runners in particular, I ask them to think back to their first effort to run a mile. It wasn’t easy,” Becker said.

Taking that up a notch and completing a 5K (3.1 miles) might have seemed unimaginable.

“That same notion is true at any race distance,” he said.

Runners thinking about competing in ultramarathons should train properly, which means emphasizing time on one’s feet, as well as strength training and core building. It should include integrating good walking technique and learning what kinds of food and fluids work best during the long runs.

“There is no magic to running an ultra, and people of all sizes, shapes, ages and backgrounds do them,” Becker said.

Becker believes in hard work but emphasizes fun and celebration. The rock band Sister Hazel is running the Keys100 as a relay team, making the trek to Key West. Then they will perform Sunday afternoon at the annual post-race party.

There will be aid stations on the course and water stops about every five miles. Runners can participate with or without their own support crews, according to race information. The race fee for the 100-miler is $265, including the signup cost. That will increase after April 30. The shorter distances cost less, and spots for all races are limited.

For more about how to participate or volunteer, go to: http://www.keys100.com/index.php.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.
Samy Goldfarb

Running For a Cause in the Run From the Rays 5K

Samy Goldfarb

Samy Goldfarb

Samy Goldfarb was diagnosed with melanoma 15 years ago, when he was only in his early 30s. His father also had melanoma, which was detected early, and his father’s twin sister died from the skin cancer.

It runs in the family.

But for two years, Goldfarb has participated in a different kind of “run.” The annual Run From the Rays 5K.

“This charity and race is very important and meaningful to me,” Goldfarb wrote in an email.

The 5th Annual Run From the Rays is Sunday, April 23 and starts at the Spanish River Athletic Complex in Boca Raton at 7 a.m.

Goldfarb, of Boynton Beach, says that because of his family history for the cancer, he has had frequent dermatology checkups since college. “I consider myself lucky,” he said.

A triathlete, Goldfarb finds it hard to stay out of the sun when training. But he takes precautions, like training early in the morning before the sun comes up. He said when he can’t avoid the sun, he wears sunscreen, hats and even arm sleeves as an extra shield from harmful UV rays.

“I think most people think that melanoma is something that they only have to worry [about] later in life,” Goldfarb said. “Few people know that melanoma is one of the most common types of cancers for people in their 20s and 30s.”

The opening ceremony from the Run From the Rays race in 2016

Run From the Rays has local roots. Boca Raton residents Fran and Nathan Nachlas, a Boca Raton facial plastic surgeon, decided to help their son Jake, who was a freshman at Pine Crest High School, start a meaningful community project in 2012. The Nachlas family founded the nonprofit foundation SafeSun, recruited two more Pine Crest families to join in the charity’s mission and made sun safety a priority.

At this year’s run, there is also a 1-mile competition, which starts at 8 a.m., and a virtual run for those who can’t make it but want to donate to the cause. Race officials will mail virtual runners a T-shirt and finisher medal from the race.

The cost to participate in the 5K, which is 3.1 miles, is $30. The one-miler is $20 for adults and $15 for teens 16 and younger. And the tab for virtual runners is $30.

Event proceeds benefit selected charities through the SafeSun Foundation. The charities chosen offer screening, treatment, education and research for melanoma and other types of skin cancer. Among the past beneficiaries is Melanoma Research at Moffitt Cancer Center, which has partnered with Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Lynn Cancer Center.

Fit Foodz Café will provide runners and walkers with a post-event breakfast.

Kids with Race Proceeds 2016

Proceeds from the race in 2016.


To sign up for Run From the Rays, click here. Those interested in getting involved in the cause or in sponsorships should visit www.safesunfoundation.com.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.
florida experience

How to Give Out-of-Towners the Quintessential Florida Experience

Experiencing the Florida Everglades with family

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January to April in Boca Raton is what I have affectionately dubbed “houseguest season” for my family. My friends and in-laws travel down south in droves to escape the cold and enjoy Boca’s enviable winter weather. I’ve discovered that having houseguests kind of forces me to be a tourist and do what I call, the “Florida things” while they are visiting.

Growing up in South Florida, heading to Cape Canaveral, the Miami Zoo or a theme park was totally standard for school field trips and summer camp. But for our guests visiting from places like Maine and New York, that’s all 100 percent original stuff.

My sister-in-law’s boyfriend made his first ever trip to Florida in January, and I decided the one thing he had to do while he was here was see an alligator. And the best place to see a gator in its natural habitat? The Florida Everglades.

My family and I drove down to Everglades Holiday Park in west Broward County (about a 40 minute drive from Boca Raton) and purchased tickets for a 1-hour airboat ride and gator show. Children under 3 are free, by the way. I slathered my daughter with SPF 50 and mosquito repellant and we boarded the airboat—after taking our complimentary souvenir photo, of course.

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The Everglades Holiday Park fleet of airboats is unique because each has a covered passenger compartment so you can enjoy your ride across the “River of Grass” in pretty much any weather. I guess my sunscreen precaution was a little overkill. The boat starts off slow but grows into an all out thrill ride zipping across the Everglades at top speeds while your guide searches for gators. My 3-year-old absolutely LOVED IT.

We chose a cool day for our Everglades adventure which meant that the alligators were hiding out. Finally, during the last 20 minutes of our tour, we got lucky and came face to face with three different American alligators! It was amazing and, I could tell, really impressive for our visitors.

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After your airboat ride, you can choose to eat lunch at one of the food vendors on site (think bar food), enjoy an exotic animal encounter or see a live Gator Show. My family chose the latter and were not disappointed.

The Gator Boys Alligator Rescue of Animal Planet fame performs stunts and tricks for visitors while offering information about the conservation and preservation efforts surrounding the American alligator and the wetlands it calls home. You will leave the park knowing more facts about alligators than anyone you know, which I’m sure will come in very handy for our Maine guests someday.

Everglades Holiday Park is open 7 days a week (rain or shine) starting at 9 a.m. with the last airboat departing at 5 p.m. Be sure to add this to your family’s adventure to do list, Boca moms! It’s major Florida fun!

My daughter, Avery.

My daughter, Avery.


Visit www.modernbocamom.com for even more Florida things to do with kids! And be sure to subscribe to Modern Boca Mom’s weekly e-newsletter: http://bit.ly/mbmsubscribe.

Michelle Olson-Rogers, a native to Boca, is the founder of ModernBocaMom.com, a lifestyle website for the stylish & modern South Florida Mommy. Modern Boca Mom features family events, activities, classes, fitness, dining, travel, home improvement and shopping options—as well as a weekly MOMpreneur spotlight! She and her husband Andrew have one daughter, Avery.
sea turtle awareness month

How You Can Help Loggerheads During Sea Turtle Awareness Month

Sea turtle release in Juno. Photo courtesy of Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

Sea turtle release in Juno. Photo courtesy of Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

March is Sea Turtle Awareness Month, and the staff at Loggerhead Marinelife Center and Gumbo Limbo Nature Center are working hard to educate the public about the dangers of single-use plastics on our beaches.

Out in the open ocean many sea turtles struggle to survive amid the plastic that pollutes the water—the churning cloud of bottles and bags that float on the waves. These single-use plastics are what their name implies: they are made to be disposable and generally used only once.

“Single-use plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats that sea turtles face every single day,” said Hannah Deadman, a spokesperson for the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. “Our rehabilitation staff has seen nearly 100 percent of our sick or injured sea turtle patients with some form of plastic impacted inside of them.”

How you can help

Loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings. Photo courtesy of Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

Loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings. Photo courtesy of Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

Take at look at your lifestyle

  • Reduce your use of single-use plastics like grocery store shopping bags and water bottles. “Simple acts like bringing a reusable water bottle or reusable bag with you make a huge difference in reducing the impact of plastics in our oceans,” said Deadman.
  • Knock down sandcastles and fill in holes from umbrellas and chairs before you leave the beach—otherwise sea turtle hatchlings risk falling into the holes while making their trek to their ocean habitat.

Get educated!

Both sea turtle rehabilitation centers (Loggerhead in Juno and Gumbo Limbo in Boca) offer a variety of programs this month.

  • March 12 – Loggerhead Marinelife Center will host an eco-adventures tour where participants will be able to see local wildlife up close and personal. While immersed in nature, guides will inform people about the many ways they can help sea turtles and other marine life.
  • March 25 – Loggerhead will host its 14th annual TurtleFest this year, which will feature artists, bands, conservation awareness,  interactions with sea turtles and more.
  • March 31 – Marine conservationist Dr. Kirt Rusenko will present a lecture as part of Florida Atlantic University’s Frontiers in Science Lecture Series. It is titled “Light Pollution: Effects on Sea Turtles and You.”
  • You can also learn more about marine life conservation by attending one of Gumbo Limbo’s many programs this month, such as walking through the butterfly-laden Ashley Trail while learning about the different fauna native to South Florida.

Although sea turtles struggle with human-caused threats, there’s hope for them.

Thanks to ongoing community support and involvement, research biologists at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center said 2016 was an improved year for loggerheads. In just the 9.5 miles of beach that the center monitors there were more than 15,000 loggerhead nests discovered! So many nests burst with life, in fact, that it was a record-setting year for loggerheads in the Sunshine State.

Jonathan Kendall is a published writer with bylines in the Miami New Times and the New Times Broward-Palm Beach. He was born and raised in sunny South Florida and is a graduate of Harvard University, where he studied journalism under several Nieman Fellows.
sea turtle

Why Crowds Flock to Rehabilitated Sea Turtle Releases

With a crowd of more than 400 people cheering around them, Mayor Mort and Reilly scuttled across the warm powder-like sand of Juno Beach. As they drew closer to the ocean, the briny foam of the ocean teased their beaks.

With an abrupt toss of the waves—and roar of applause from the spectators—the loggerhead sea turtles were back in the their native underwater world. In the far distance toward the horizon, the surface of the churning Atlantic shimmered.

Sea turtle release by the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Photo courtesy of the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

Sea turtle release by the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Photo courtesy of the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.


The Valentine’s Day release of the pair may have ended with a short trot to the water, but it was a scuttle some time in the making—just months before both sea turtles were found sickly and on the verge of death.

Reilly, the smaller of the two, was found back in October in a power plant canal in St. Lucie county. The adolescent turtle had numerous barnacles embedded on its body, indications of prolonged inactivity due to anemia. Feeble and emaciated, veterinarians at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach deemed Reilly to be chronically debilitated.

Mayor Mort, who was named in loving memory of Juno Beach’s late mayor, Mort Levine, was also discovered in St. Lucie. Mort, like Reilly, was lethargic and anemic, but unlike his younger counterpart didn’t just have barnacles (hundreds of them!) on his carapace, but also had leeches too.

Thousands of leech teeth were puncturing Mort’s shell, sucking blood. Heavy infestations of such organisms can be a death sentence for a sea turtle.

At the Loggerhead Center, both turtles were immersed in fresh water for the first few days of their stay, a treatment that causes many of the parasites to detach. Since neither seemed to have much of an appetite when they first arrived, they were given parenteral nutrition—intravenous sustenance—until they were able to eat again for themselves.

Mayor Mort in his "hospital room." Photo courtesy of the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

Mayor Mort in his “hospital room.” The black object on his back is the tracking system the center uses to chart his course in the wild. Photo courtesy of the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

Slowly, over the course of many weeks, and with the added help of antibiotics and iron supplements, the pair began to show progress in their healing. When they were finally released earlier this month, Mayor Mort and Reilly became part of the dozens of sea turtles—like Betty White, Nemo, and Dory—that the Loggerhead Center successfully rehabilitated this past year.

The beach releases, which are free to attend, have become nothing short of a spectacle for many locals, such as Sarah McDonald, a student at Florida Atlantic University’s Honor’s College. She says that every release is an emotional experience for her.

“It’s exciting to follow [a sea turtle’s] whole story and road to recovery,” she says. “As a marine biology major, you learn a lot about the disruption that mankind can put on our oceans, so it’s a great feeling to see the other side of that: being able to help rather than harm the animal.”

Over the years the rehabilitation efforts have not only helped the turtles, but have also helped catapult the Loggerhead Center to local stardom. In 2016 alone the facility welcomed more than 300,000 visitors, many from around the world—that is as many as the Perez Art Museum receives annually!

As more people come to learn about the center’s mission to help marine animals (through e-blasts, social media channels, and news stories) the attendance of each release has steadily grown.

Hannah Deadman, a spokesperson for the marine life center, says that the large turnouts are a testament of the local community’s support for sea turtles and coastal environments.

As to why many of the observers of the releases are regulars, Deadman tells Boca Raton the reason she believes the events continue to be so popular: “Watching a wild animal return to its home never gets old!”

As for Mayor Mort and Reilly, the duo are expected to do well back in their aquamarine world. “Since we have medically cleared the turtles for release, we are hopeful that the turtles will do well in their wild ocean home—just as sea turtles should be,” Deadman says.

Mayor Mort was tagged with a satellite tracker before release so that biologists can see the turtle’s movements in the wild. If you’re interested in checking out how Mort is faring out in the open ocean, you can so do by visiting: www.marinelife.org/track.

Jonathan Kendall is a published writer with bylines in the Miami New Times and the New Times Broward-Palm Beach. He was born and raised in sunny South Florida and is a graduate of Harvard University, where he studied journalism under several Nieman Fellows.
free yoga

Free Yoga This Weekend at Delray Marketplace Amphitheater

free yoga

Local yoga instructor and physical therapist Bea Gruman will be teaching a free yoga class at the Delray Marketplace Amphitheater, at 14851 Lyons Road, Delray Beach, Sunday, Feb. 26 at 2:30 p.m.

The event, called Yoga in the Park, is for all levels of yoga experience. People only need to bring a mat and towel.

While the class is free, any donations made at the event will go to support Lynn Cancer Institute and Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

The inspiration for the event came from a local network of teens, called Teens of Pink Ribbon. Teens of Pink Ribbon was founded in 2014 by Fern Duberman, a Boca Raton resident, professional interior designer and cancer awareness advocate. The group has evolved into a growing network of local teens and adults committed to wellness, education and fundraising, according to Duberman.

“[Teens of Pink Ribbon] is dedicated to advancing awareness and education about cancer, genetics, lifestyle choices, prevention, treatments and technological innovations [for] teens and adults, as well as fundraising to support local medical facilities and resources,” Duberman says. “This specific event was created by the teens, and Delray Marketplace went along with the idea and donated the space!”

Boca Raton resident and yoga instructor Katherine Karageorges Sharp, who is a cancer survivor, will close Yoga in the Park with meditation.

“My yoga practice really brought me to my meditation practice,” Sharp tells Bocamag.com. “Since beginning a regular meditation practice, I feel happier, lighter and more grounded. I am less reactive to external events—things I cannot control.”


Gruman teaches yoga at Synergy Fitness Boca, Life Time Athletic and Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton.

For more information about Teens of Pink Ribbon, go to: http://www.teensofpinkribbon.org/. For more about Yoga in the Park, email Duberman at fduberman@aol.com.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.
bullying

Anti-Bullying Martial Arts Class Free for Local Kids

Bullying is a scary thought for kids, parents and grandparents. I know that, as a grandparent, I’d like to do something to help my grandson feel less vulnerable and more empowered in school.

Well, here’s an idea. And it’s free.

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The Institute of Human Performance (IHP) is offering a free anti-bullying class, Saturday, Feb. 25 at 11 a.m. to noon, with Danillo “INDIO” Villefort, a professional mixed martial artist, world-class judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.

The class is designed to empower children, ages 5 years and older, by combining self-defense skills, self-awareness and self-confidence, Villefort says.

Villefort doesn’t teach these classes because he was bullied when he was a kid. He does it because he was the bully.

“It’s something that makes me feel really ashamed.” Villefort says. “That’s why I teach kids how to protect themselves. It’s the very [least] I can do. My real mission is to create bully awareness and turn a bully into a shepherd.”

There’s more to the February 25 class at IHP. Instead of sitting around and waiting for their kids to finish the program, parents who attend can work out with an IHP trainer for free. IHP performance coach Marc Saint-Preux is offering a free functional training class to keep parents fit, while their children learn to bully-proof their lives.

To register for the free class, call Villefort at 954/290-1376 or IHP at 561/620-9556. To learn more about Villefort, go to IndioMMA.com.

IHP is at 1950 NW Boca Raton Blvd., Boca Raton.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.