‘Tis the season for sharing…germs

November 19th, 2014 by Brenda Bassett

(NC) – The hustle and bustle of the Holiday celebrations will soon be upon us. The office parties are already in full swing and store front windows are all decked out in holiday glitz. Your Christmas lights and decorations are up and all that is left is to do is entertain family and friends.

This time of year can be wonderful, but it also brings a certain amount of stress. The last minute shopping, family visits, kids running around the house, and over-crowded shopping centres is exhausting just to think about.

All of that added stress can also affect your immune system. Hugs and handshakes represent golden opportunities for viruses, parasites, and bacteria to join in the spirit of holiday sharing. You wonder how you will ever make it through the season without catching something.

And then you may ask yourself: Can probiotics really boost my immune system? The answer is yes.

According to Dietitian and nutritionist, Annie Jolicoeur, many clinical studies have demonstrated the benefits of probiotics in terms of preventing and treating the common cold, the flu, and gastroenteritis. “Taking probiotics reduces the severity and duration of symptoms like fever, coughing, runny nose, and even diarrhea. Therefore, it is recommended that all members of the family take probiotics every day,” she explained.

Jolicoeur recommends Probaclac as the ideal solution since it provides probiotic complexes that are designed specifically for every age group: children up to the age of 15, adults (can be taken from the age of 15), and older adults (age 50 and up).

Maintaining a healthy intestinal flora helps to protect against the penetration of bacteria, parasites, and viruses, Jolicoeur advised. “Did you know that the intestinal mucous membrane acts as the “cornerstone” of your overall health? Two-thirds of the immune-defence cells in your body are found there. Therefore, your immune system is enhanced when you take probiotics.”

Here’s a tip: she recommends you start taking probiotics at least 2 weeks before the holiday season begins, so that your body will be well prepared to ward off the oncoming germ attacks.
More information on the benefits of probiotics is available at probaclac.ca.

The future of the family road trip

November 11th, 2014 by Brenda Bassett

For families, time on the road is a part of life, whether you’re going for a family vacation or traveling to visit grandparents for the holidays. While time in the car together is nothing new, the way families are spending their time in the car and the tools that help get them safely to their destinations are rapidly evolving.

Nowadays, kids are less likely to pass the time playing 20 questions than they are to watch their favorite movie on an iPad. And while you might have once reached for the atlas to find your way, GPS systems or mobile phones have long since replaced your paper maps.

Each day new car and mobile technologies are improving the way families travel. New safety features, tools to help with directions, finding amenities, and increased entertainment options are available for passengers. But what if all of these helpful tools were integrated into one easy-to-use system within the family car?

Comprehensive in-vehicle systems designed to provide drivers with useful information may soon be the norm. Technology experts at Intel are currently working with automakers on in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems that have the potential to make the family road trip safer and more entertaining for everyone involved.

It is estimated that automobiles will be among the top three fastest growing Internet connected devices for Internet-based content by 2014, according to technology research form Gartner. This should come as no surprise given consumer demand for access to their digital lives anytime, anywhere, since the average American driver spends 18 hours a week behind the wheel. That’s over two months every year spent in the car.

So how exactly could this type of technology help traveling families? Here are a few examples of the types of travel-friendly features that experts at Intel are exploring with leaders in the automotive industry:

* Cars could have a driver’s side display that would be able to offer alerts about upcoming traffic signs and relay images about blind spots from cameras placed in a car. Alerts about upcoming stop signs or exits would be especially beneficial when driving in unfamiliar territory.

* What could be worse than a flat tire while on vacation? Emergency sensors connected to the car’s infotainment system could alert you immediately when a tire loses pressure, giving you time to safely pull over or make it to the next exit for help. The intelligent infotainment system could also provide directions to the nearest repair shop.

* Like to travel with other families? New connected cars will offer you the ability to connect with other cars in your caravan through GPS tracking.  No need to describe your location over the phone or two-way radio.

* Have you made a habit of streaming your children’s favorite shows through a subscription service like Netflix? Soon, these types of entertainment options could be standard in the car’s in-vehicle infotainment system, and music and video files could be kept in one place. You could even stream different movies on each of the backseat screens to accommodate everyone in the family.

To see more of what your family road trips might look like in the future, visit www.intel.com/automotive.

Simple home updates to make your neighbors green with envy

November 11th, 2014 by Brenda Bassett

Making a good first impression
Your home can’t look great if you can’t see it, so updating outdoor lighting is a great first step to achieving the best-looking house on the block. Chances are your exterior porch lights or street lamp may be rusty or faded. Luckily, you can bring new life to your lighting with a single can of spray paint. New Krylon Dual Paint and Primer is a one-step solution to easily transform any light fixture.  The unique formula primes the surface for adhesion, durability and coverage, while delivering a high-quality finish. Best of all, Dual is now available in specialty finishes, such as hammered and metallic, that are perfect for adding an extra dose of style. 
Still looking for more illumination?  Adding decorative lanterns to walkways or porches is an easy and inexpensive way to add charm and light. You can often find these pieces at yard sales, thrift stores or dollar stores and then simply paint them in a matching hammered or metallic finish for a bright and stylish look. 
Quick color
The front door is a focal point of your home – especially with the added lighting you’ve updated – so be sure that your doors and shutters are a vivid shade. If yours have been dulled by years of sun and weather, it’s time to update with paint. For metal doors and shutters, you can use a variety of spray or bucket paints in your favorite hue. However, for plastic shutters, Krylon Fusion for Plastic is the ideal choice since it bonds to plastic without the need for priming or sanding.
Simple%20home%20updatesA tidy and neat yard
No matter what the size of your front yard, a well manicured lawn is important to boosting your curb appeal. Simple one-weekend tasks like edging, trimming bushes and removing unsightly weeds can make a huge difference without a lot of work or cost. To keep your efforts looking great, spray weed killer to maintain a polished look for the rest of the season.  After the initial grooming, add new mulch and flowers in beds or in brightly painted pots for an extra pop of color and style. 
Fill in the blanks
The final task to a great looking home that will have your neighbors lusting, is to repair or replace any elements that have deteriorated over time. Walk around the perimeter of your home to check for cracks in bricks or concrete, stains on the driveway or sidewalks, and loose shutters or downspouts. Sprucing up these basics will not only make a big difference to the exterior appearance, but protect your home from damages in the future. 
Now, with all the home decorating and hard work complete, your neighbors will be green with envy when looking at your beautiful home and will be trying to keep up with you.
For more information on Krylon products or projects, visit www.krylon.com.
Caption 1: Outdoor lighting is a great first step to achieving the best-looking house on the block. 
Caption 2: Are your outdoor lights rusty or faded? Bring new life to your lighting with a single can of spray paint.

Anthony Bourdain talks last meal on earth, advice for restaurateurs; old-school cocktails

November 5th, 2014 by Brenda Bassett

(BPT) – TV’s best-fed hedonist, Anthony Bourdain, is keeping busy these days with his hit travel series “Parts Unknown,” his publishing career and an upcoming appearance at this year’s National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago. Love him or hate him, Bourdain is the biggest, baddest food dude on the planet. The self-proclaimed “chef slacker” shares his advice for restaurateurs and new chefs, and talks about his desired last meal on Earth and love of old-school cocktails.

Q. You have 24 hours left on Earth: Where would you go, and what would you eat?

A. “Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo. I would sit down in front of the greatest sushi master that I’ve ever met and eat whatever he puts down in front of me. That would probably take about 22 minutes, if past experiences are my guide. I’ve had it before, and it’s one of the greatest meals of my life. If I’m going to be shot in the back of the head after a meal, that would be a good way to go.”

Q. You’ve made it well-known that you started in the restaurant industry by washing dishes. What’s one piece of advice that you wish you could tell your former self about the restaurant industry?

A. “I was a very happy dishwasher! I just wanted to be part of it. I didn’t want to necessarily rule the world. I made a lot of decisions along the way where I chose to have fun rather than to excel. I chose to be a chef rather than the student of a really talented first-rate chef. I made a conscious decision not be the best that I can be. I was pretty set in my ways about the kinds of kitchens that I felt comfortable in and wanted to work in, and that was not conducive to me ever becoming a Michelin-starred chef. I think that the greatest lesson I ever learned in the restaurant business (and I learned it early) was: Show up on time. Whatever work, whatever commitment, you have, always show up on time to show the people who you work with the respect that you can at least do that.”

Q. Which chefs are most exciting to you now that you could see establishing future partnerships within your publishing career?

A. “For the chefs that I’ve published and hope to publish, it’s not just about the food. It’s people who are doing interesting things and who have an interesting story and point of view. The recent chef books I would have loved to publish would be Gabrielle Hamilton’s memoir (Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef) of The Joe Beef Guys. There are real voices there of people who are saying something new and interesting to create a whole world and mindset that explains the food. Generally speaking, I look for someone who has a powerful voice and can explain why they cook the way that they cook in a personal and dynamic way. Roy Choi’s book is coming out soon, and I think that he will be a good example of that.”

Q. What’s the best advice that you have for restaurateurs facing the challenges of today?

A. “Today’s restaurants need to have a concise vision of what they are good at and what they have to offer that is different from the guy across the street. Restaurateurs need to speak in a strong confident voice, saying, ‘I might not be good at some things, but I’m good at this, and this is what I’m going to do.’ I think the days of trying to be everything to everybody are over now. We have an empowered chef class now and a much more curious, daring and younger dining public. I think the future is going to be chefs who speak with a coherent, concise voice with a real identity. Own that this is what I do. More of like in Asia where you have the roast duck guy and the chicken and rice guy.”

Q. What do you look for in your favorite cocktail?-

A. “I am a big fan of cocktails, but if takes you more than 10 minutes to make it, there’s a problem. I’m an old-school guy: Give me a good Manhattan, old fashioned, or the perfect Negroni with the finest gin, vermouth and campari with maybe a slightly toasted almond zest, and I’m a happy guy. I think the standard for me is, is the drink that I’m about to make with bourbon better than bourbon?”

Stress management tactics for an improved self, inside and out

October 28th, 2014 by Brenda Bassett

Helping women everywhere discover the benefits of a holistic approach to skincare, the Simple brand (a range of facial skincare products that is perfect even for sensitive skin) launched the Simple Advisory Board, which is a group of noted lifestyle and wellness experts who help women care for their skin from the inside out. By focusing on different lifestyle choices that can impact skin like diet, fitness and stress management, women can look beyond their typical skincare routine for ways to improve their skin’s health and overall well-being. Women can embody the holistic approach to skincare in every way possible, which is why, when it comes to ingredients, Simple knows that what is left out is just as important as what is put in. This philosophy is the reason why none of the products contain dyes, artificial perfumes or harsh chemicals that can upset skin, just the purest possible ingredients for natural, healthy-looking skin.

Simple Advisory Board member, Dr. Josie Howard, is a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in psychodermatology, an area of medicine that focuses on the relationship between stress, emotional well-being and skin health. Below are Dr. Howard’s top tips for effectively and constructively managing stress to help minimize the effects it can have on your skin.

* Take a breather: Resting your body and mind is crucial to regulating blood flow and circulation, both of which are essential in achieving naturally healthy-looking skin. When you feel unusually anxious and stressed out, it may be a sign of exhaustion or fatigue. Find a calm and quiet space and take a few moments to “take a breather,” by meditating, napping or even just pausing from the busy day. Allowing both body and mind to take a break will keep your body feeling more regulated and your skin looking beautiful. Closing your eyes and focusing on the sounds and smells that surround you in that moment is a great way to center yourself in the present; a scented candle and soft music can be of great assistance with this exercise.

* Create a relaxation routine: Stress has a big influence on the health and appearance of skin and can show itself in many ways. When you are stressed, hormones in the body become thrown off balance. As a result, your skin’s ability to protect itself against environmental pollutants and irritants becomes compromised, leaving the skin more prone to breakouts, irritation and dehydration. There are many ways to create a sense of calm when things become stressful – listening to music, writing in a journal, or practicing yoga are great ways to constructively unwind. The trick is to pick an activity that works best for you and be sure to proactively make that practice a priority every day to effectively combat stress and improve your overall skin health.

Say it with a smile: Any level of emotional stress we experience can readily be detected on our face, whether it is seen through breakouts, irritation and even blushing. When we smile, we not only look better, less tired and more refreshed, but our brains also interpret this as a signal that we actually are feeling happy and content. Moreover, smiling can help others react to us in a more positive way, which can lead to less stressful experiences overall.

Take adequate rest: The notion of “beauty sleep” is not a myth: deep, restorative sleep is essential for growth hormone release, which is necessary for effective tissue repair in the skin. Stress can impair sleep quality, leading to a cascade of hormonal consequences that result in unwanted physical results – unhealthy food choices, weight gain and puffy skin. Over time, chronic sleep deprivation can leave skin looking pale and haggard, reducing its natural protective qualities. Dr. Howard advises removing electronics (even smartphones!) from the bedroom to keep stress triggers at bay and to step away from the computer and other electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime.

For more information about Simple Skincare and tips from Dr. Howard and the other Simple Advisory Board experts visit www.simpleskincare.com. While there, take the Simple Sense quiz to receive customized information and advice regarding skincare and holistic living.

It’s up to everyone to take action to help protect the nation’s waterways

October 28th, 2014 by Brenda Bassett

The Colorado River brings this global issue home. Stretching across seven states, it serves more than 30 million people– or nearly 10 percent of Americans – for their freshwater needs. But it no longer reaches the sea, with the last 90 miles nearly all dried up. In fact, it was named the “Most Endangered River in America,” by conservation group American Rivers.

Many businesses and organizations are setting up water conservation projects and asking for your help for the Colorado River, among other water efforts. Silk(R), the brand known for its best-selling soymilk, almondmilk and coconutmilk, has joined forces with National Geographic Society, Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Participant Media on Change the Course, a group project to conserve fresh water and preserve the ecological health of the heavily-dammed, diverted and overused Colorado River.

To help raise awareness of the Change the Course movement, Silk is challenging people to pledge to reduce water consumption at ReuniteTheRiver.com. Each pledge made will restore 1,000 gallons of water to the Colorado River, working to make the river healthy again.

To encourage pledges, Silk enlisted 3-D pavement artist Kurt Wenner to make a visual representation of the depleted Colorado River. The expansive art installation, totaling 32 feet by 64 feet of space, offers a visual understanding of the depleted Colorado River to help raise awareness for water conservation efforts. Unveiled in downtown Chicago in June, the installation drew hordes of people and led to nearly 1,000 new pledges.

In addition to efforts by businesses such as Silk, homeowners can also help contribute to water conservation efforts by making simple lifestyle changes such as:

* Appliance use – The toilet, washing machine and dishwasher are among the highest water-consuming appliances in a household. Only run the washing machine and dishwasher when full to make the most use of the water being consumed.

Manufacturers of these appliances have made great strides in developing new technologies that consume less water. For example, there are toilets that use less than two gallons of water per flush.

* Gardening and lawn care – Most landscaping plants only need an inch of water each week. If there is a sprinkler system installed, add a sensor to it that turns the sprinkler on only when rain hasn’t fallen for a set amount of time.

Installing a rain gauge in the yard or edge of the flower bed can help accurately measure how much water has fallen in a week.

Every household can help join the water conservation movement, bringing life back to rivers and waterways across the country and preserving freshwater resources. Take action now. For more information, visit ReuniteTheRiver.com.

Sites working to inspire real life change.

October 22nd, 2014 by Brenda Bassett

As Americans, we recognize the value of change; just look at the number of self-help books and websites that garner millions of devotees every year. But whether your goal is personal or a desire to change something in society, you have to begin somewhere – otherwise you may never begin at all.
It can feel daunting, even paralyzing, to tackle a major project. But the best place to start is at the beginning, and often that means making small changes. Mohandas Gandhi once said: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” 
That philosophy is the driving force behind initiatives like A&E’s “Real Life Change.” Sponsored by FreeCreditScore.com, RealLifeChange.com is an online community where people share their inspiration and what they are doing to make changes in their own lives and the world around them. Participants commit to make a change, and A&E makes a $1 donation to the person’s charity of choice.
Here are some of the top changes website users are making:
Building better spending habits – Do you tend to overspend because you must have the latest gadget? Perhaps you have trouble controlling how many clothes you buy. Improving your spending habits can start with a commitment to yourself to get impulse spending under control. If you’ve tried and failed before, you can find plenty of information online about taking control of your finances.
Improving your personal health – Losing weight is a common goal, but don’t forget there’s much more to good health than weight. Being active, getting good rest, managing stress and avoiding risky behaviors like smoking or substance abuse are all important components of good health. To improve your personal health, start with small, manageable goals like resolving to switch from regular soda to diet soda or replacing diet soda with water.
Improving your family’s health – While you’re on a personal quest for better health, it’s a great time to bring your family along too. Look for simple changes your family can make that will help improve their overall health, like incorporating fresh vegetables into every meal and spending one day every weekend on an outdoor family activity.
Building better relationships – Whether it’s being more cooperative with co-workers or more patient with our children, almost all of us can think of times when we wish we’d acted differently. Small changes can have a big impact on our interpersonal relationships. For example, simply vowing to listen – really listen – to what others say can provide great insight into what others are thinking and feeling.
Continuing your education – Maybe getting a higher degree will advance your career opportunities, or perhaps you want the sense of personal accomplishment that a degree can bring. For whatever reason you choose to do it, going to school – or going back to school if you left a degree unfinished – can have significant positive influence on your life.
And if you need any more inspiration to begin today, consider this quote from Theodore Roosevelt:
“The best thing you can do is the right thing. The next best thing you can do is the wrong thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”

Dining at Dadeland: Earls Kitchen + Bar

October 20th, 2014 by Hal Feldman

Next time you need a great night out for dinner or drinks, think local. Rather than driving to South Miami, Coral Gables or Brickell, you should head to Dadeland Mall instead. Yes, I said Dadeland Mall.

Among other restaurants in the mall’s new section, you’ll find an O!M!G! surprise by the name of Earls Kitchen + Bar. Started 30 years ago in Canada as a family-owned burger and beer join, Earls is now a premium casual dining restaurant with some impressive dishes. In Miami, it’s a flat out winner with its over-the-top personality and service.

From the moment you walk into the 400-seat 8500-square-foot eatery you’ll be impressed by its soaring ceilings, modern art pieces, open-air balcony and large energetic bar, but more so with the young, vibrant and incredibly friendly staff.

Restaurant Manager Andrew Goldsmith explains, “We have 61 Earls open in Canada, but only a handful in the States. We open a restaurant only when we can send the right people and continue the Earls culture.” To that end, they’ve sent a team of Canadians long-term to make sure its done right. “We want a genuine and authentic connection with people. It’s part of our core values,” boasts Goldsmith. They also cross-pollinate staff between locations so that the culture stays strong and vibrant.

From center: Emily Scott, our server Diana  and Andrew Goldsmith (and some of the chefs)
From center: Emily Scott, our server Diana  and Andrew Goldsmith (and some of the chefs)

Besides the amazing food, it is striking how the entire staff engages you. Simply put, Earls is special. Managers, chefs and other wait staff roam the floor to attend to your every need. Everyone seems genuinely happy to be working there. Earls trains everyone to be ‘partners’, not just staffers.

This happy feeling will quickly envelope you as well. Eating at Earls evokes fun and joy. “I’ve worked in other restaurants and it was awful,” expressed our server Diana, “I love Earls because we are treated right and they encourage us to interact and have fun with our guests.”

Romantic date night, birthday party or just a nice lunch break with friends, Earls forms its style and attentiveness to your event, with seating to match. Tables go from an intimate spot on the terrace to booths to group seating at a long table. Whether you are just two or twenty, Earls can accommodate.

On Thursday and Saturday nights, Earls has a DJ pump up the tunes, but not too loud. It gives a great vibe to an already vibrant and active environment. At the bar, Earls uses Vintap Wine’s distribution system to pour a variety of reds and whites from taps to ensure perfect wine-by-the-glass every time.

When it comes to the food, it’s clear Earls can satisfy the basic eater and the foodie. They still have their burgers and beer roots showing, but with inventive chicken, seafood and noodle dishes even the most discerning diner will be satisfied with the cornucopia of choice. I can attest the Earls Famous Clam Chowder is exceptional. The Slow Braised BBQ Back Ribs and burgers are also outstanding. Finicky kids can request the kitchen make off-menu items. But the core menu is what will keep you coming back with items like crispy Thai shrimp, dominical fish tacos, Atlantic salmon and a choice of grain-fed Angus steaks. The decadent desserts will also make your mouth water.

Dining Room Manager Emily Scott emotes Earls’ relentless pursuit of food excellence, “Everything is made fresh right here. I always say you can’t have too many cooks in the kitchen. We have a head chef who we call the quarterback of the kitchen and they ensure quality, consistency and perfect presentation.

Out front, we look for what we call unexpressed wishes and work hard to deliver the dining experience preferred by the guest.” When it comes to passion about where she works, Emily can’t hold back, “I love coming to work. We hire on personality and this place is a hotbed of awesomeness. Our partners (staff) are awesome and our guests are more awesome. For us, it’s all about go big or go home.”

When it comes to getting it just right, Emily continues, “If the food does not come out meeting our high standards or the guest is not happy for any reason, our standard of service dictates that we must ensure the guest gets exactly what they want. It’s the Canadian in us that makes us deliver happiness and the best customer experience possible. They’re going home full and with perfection achieved.”

Food pricing is moderate and affordable across the board, especially considering the quality, portions and overall experience. Meals range from $22 to 39, with less expensive sandwiches, burgers and noodle dishes. Desserts are $8. These Canadians really get it right and we’re lucky to have Earls in our neighborhood. I highly recommend you experience this bright and cheerful dining experience for yourself. Call 305-667-1786 or visit www.earls.ca for more information and reservations.

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Fall lawn tips that keep your yard looking great year-round

October 14th, 2014 by Brenda Bassett

(BPT) – Falling temperatures and shorter days don’t mean you can retire from lawn care for the year. In fact, the fall season is a critical time to nourish lawns and care for plants so they can survive winter and emerge even more vibrant when next spring arrives.

Before you store your lawn and garden supplies, consider these fall lawn tips that keep your yard looking great year-round:


Your lawn may not look like it’s doing much above ground during cool months, but below ground root systems continue to grow. That’s why most lawn care professionals recommend fertilizing once or twice in the fall – grass will store and use the extra boost of nutrients throughout winter. Fertilizers high in nitrogen are ideal for fall feedings.


Leaves and other foliage left on the ground can rot and deprive grass and other plants of moisture and sunlight. If you dread raking, a blower/vac is the ideal tool. Go eco-friendly with a rechargeable battery-powered option from Greenworks. With no cords and an easy push start, the innovative 40V Brushless Blower/ Vacuum blows up to 185 mph, plus it can vacuum four bags of leaves on a single charge.


Watering during fall is important to foster root growth and give plants a healthy drink before winter arrives. If you’re not experiencing at least 1 inch of rainfall a week, supplement with a sprinkler. Continue the same eco-friendly watering strategies you used throughout summer, such as watering in the mornings to reduce evaporation.


Have a few sparse areas in your yard? Fall is a great season for grass seed to germinate due to the cool, moist weather. Plus, because most seasonal birds have left, the seed is less vulnerable to being eaten. Over-seeding now not only fills in open areas, but it increases grass density to help prevent weeds next year. Loosen and prepare the soil, choose a high quality grass seed and water the area plenty so seeds reach maturity before winter.


Fall is a good time to trim trees and shrubbery before the harsh weather of winter hits. Save money with the DIY approach. Don’t be intimidated by chainsaws – because the easy-to-use GreenWorks 40V Brushless Chain Saw uses a rechargeable battery, there’s no gas or oil to mix. No gas means no excessive heat or vibration – the saw runs up to 65 percent cooler and vibrates up to 70 percent less than comparable gas saws. In addition, the innovative brushless motor provides this saw with enough power to cut a cord of wood on a single battery charge.


Aerating your lawn in the fall helps to open compacted soil and break down thatch that built up over the summer. The small soil plugs removed by the aerator loosen the ground so oxygen and water can better reach the grass roots. Aerators are available for rent at most rental stores and the job can typically be done in a few hours, depending on yard size.


As the weather cools, grass slowly goes dormant. Before winter hits, continue to mow as needed. When your lawn seems to have almost completely slowed its growth rate, mow one final time for the year, but set your mower at a higher height. This helps keep grass healthy until warm weather returns. Recommended mower heights for a final mow are 2 to 2.5 inches.

Rather than retreating from the crisp fall air, use the time to enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature while helping keep your yard looking its best. A few simple steps now will help your lawn look great today and into next year.

Palmetto High School’s Drive 4 UR School Event

October 13th, 2014 by Hal Feldman

Lilliam and Gus Machado show off a new Ford
Lilliam and Gus Machado show off a new Ford

Despite the odd spelling, Ford’s Drive 4 UR School campaign had a great impact on Palmetto Senior High School. On October 10, Gus Machado Ford of Kendall (15551 S Dixie Hwy.) hosted the PTSA and a ton of students, parents and community supports to take test drives of a new Ford vehicle. The program, sponsored nationally by Ford Motor Company, provided $20 to the school for each driver that got behind the wheel.

Gus and Lilliam Machado were all smiles as lines formed at their dealership. Anna Hochkammer, president of MPSH PTSA, was in constant motion making sure everything was just perfect, “I’m so excited to see that the whole community has come out to support us! We are very appreciative of Ford, Gus Machado and all of the participants for today’s event.”

Lines weaved throughout the showroom as the high school band performed, cheerleaders cheered and the panther mascots strolled the grounds. Lilliam Machado explained, “We’ve done this for about four years now and it’s our first one with Palmetto Senior High. This is the largest and most energetic one yet. We are very happy to be a part of our community and to donate to our schools.”

Gus Machado was very excited all day long. He danced on the driveway and drove a Ford convertible filled with the Palmetto Panthers and cheerleaders around. “I love that we are supporting our school and kids. We do lots of events throughout the year, but this is the most interesting and fun. Ford gives the school money for each test-drive and provides incentives to people who buy a vehicle through this program. It’s a win-win.”

Susan Rolnick is one of the hundreds of parents who did their part with a test-drive
Susan Rolnick is one of the hundreds of parents who did their part with a test-drive

Ford limits the program to 300 test-drives, but Gus Machado Ford pledged to donate $10 per driver beyond that limit.  In the end, there were 340 registered test-drives. That translates to $6400 raised. “We had an incredibly successful day,” exclaimed Hochkammer.  A check presentation is scheduled at the school on November 13.

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