CITY OF HEROES
Patriotism amid pandemic: Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer honors everyday heroes this Fourth of July
ORLANDO, Fla. – This July Fourth weekend is going to look a little different at Lake Eola Park in Orlando due to the COVID-19 pandemic. News 6′s Justin Warmoth sat down with Dyer to talk about the decision and what things will look like in Orlando moving forward. Dyer said the decision to cancel the in-person display was a tough one, but an equally important one. He said these community allies are another example of what makes the Orlando community strong. “I’ll be thinking about all the heroes that we’re showcasing and be thinking about how proud I am to be the mayor of the great City of Orlando,” Dyer said.
Orlando Pastor offers words of hope during global pandemic
Orlando – The pandemic has been a rough time for so many, from financial fallout, loss of business, family, friends or even food insecurity. Pastor Ken Green of Prince of Peace/Principe de Paz Lutheran Church in Orlando offered some words of hope to help the community get through. “During this coronavirus and during this social distancing and a time of, really, isolation, you have a loneliness at times and even if you’re connecting with people, there’s something that’s just so different,” said Green. The religious leader said sometimes faith can provide support in a time of great need. “God (is) ultimately somehow in the middle of all this mess,” Green said, adding that’s who he believes is in control.
Teacher goes above and beyond during pandemic distance learning
A teacher could be a hero.’ A hero is someone who just acts to help something else.”So by her own definition, the Princeton Elementary School fifth grade science teacher is something of a hero. But as far as she's concerned, she's really just someone who takes care of her students. It’s science,” Mohr said. She said she's already been exploring different options to make sure she's able to do so safely, but ultimately, she will do whatever she has to to make sure those students get what they need. “They’re my cubs, you know, they’re my children for that 180 days and more than that, really,” Mohr said.
Second Harvest volunteer works full-time to combat food insecurity during COVID-19 pandemic
Heroes like Alex Medina, who has pretty much turned volunteering to help feed the community with Second Harvest Food Bank into a full-time job. "So I'm always thinking about the person who needs food and the people that are needed to get the food where it's needed," said Medina. The volunteer captain puts in full-time work at Second Harvest every week. "There's food insecurity of some sort everywhere around us," said Medina. In this pandemic, Medina said his faith and volunteer work have helped him have peace and trust that organizations like Second Harvest will help meet the ever-increasing needs of the people.
Retired nurse gets results for Orlando-area with Meals on Wheels
ORLANDO, Fla. – For those dedicated to a lifetime of service, retirement doesn't mean a stop to their efforts. “The Army hospitals, military hospitals were full and so they were sending those soldiers back directly from the battlefield and I’m working the orthopedic floor,” Fisher said. She retired 20 years ago and dedicated her time to traveling the world with her husband of 44 years. But three years ago, her travel companion --a retired Air Force veteran -- passed away. A couple of years ago, Fisher started volunteering for the Meals on Wheels program in Orlando.
Lawyer works to save the arts during COVID-19 pandemic
Orlando – Orlando was really built on performances and the arts, beginning with Walt Disney World. “Last year I took over as chair for the board for United Arts of Central Florida,” said Lynch. “United Arts is the sort of largest funding organization of over 60 arts organizations in Central Florida.”United Arts of Central Florida (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.) "United Arts does a campaign every year, it's called United Arts Collaborative Campaign," said Lynch. United Arts of Central Florida (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)
Veteran works with veteran-based organization to promote healing through helping
For Marine Corps veteran Dustin Bird, helping other veterans find food during this pandemic is his biggest mission lately. Bird has been spending a lot of his time volunteering through his organization, the Orlando 1st Service Platoon of The Mission Continues. Some people are very grateful to receive the food,” Bird said. "I think one of the beautiful things about my organization, The Mission Continues, was it reminded me how important that connection is," said Bird. "Prior to meeting The Mission Continues, I struggled with PTSD for many years, just had a rough separation from the military after leaving Iraq.
Orlando firefighter volunteers the day before deployment
ORLANDO, Fla. – Serving the community is so important to one Orlando firefighter paramedic and Navy reservist, he volunteered at a local COVID-19 testing site the day before being deployed. "I'm an Orlando city resident also as well as working here, and I feel like it's the same thing just working for my country as well as my community," said Acevedo. "And it just makes me feel like I'm a productive citizen of our great nation and our great city here in Orlando." He even volunteered the day before he shipped out for at least a nine-month-long deployment at Guantanamo Bay. I think if you treat everybody as a hero, I think it helps with the mutual respect.”
Nurse shares experiences working on COVID-19 front lines
Orlando – Felicia Haines has been on a dedicated COVID-19 team at the downtown Orlando AdventHealth campus since the first surge of cases in Central Florida. We kind of compared it to that a little bit but it’s totally different than the flu in just that initial, seeing how sick the patients really were, that’s just really jarring. But being able to participate and help in any capacity that I could find my way into was really fulfilling, honestly. We don’t really know what the next day is going to be like but we still show up and do what we’re supposed to do, kind of, like, that integrity. You do the right thing when no one is looking and we show up to work and that’s what we do.
You can always do a little more: Veteran at the helm of new Orlando organization benefitting vets
That's because Orlando has been chosen to become home to the nation's first local chapter of the Gary Sinise Foundation. One of the men at the helm has spent years working to honor veterans. As a retired Army colonel that served for 30 years, Connors knows firsthand what Americas military heroes have been through. You know, its the organization that produces the bowl games that we have in town and other events like the Florida Blue Florida Classic. Here in Florida, theyve served 46,000 meals to first responders, to the Orlando V.A., to Orlando Health, said Connors.
Navy veteran serves his community through Salvation Army
For the past 24 years, the grandfather of three has been volunteering for the Salvation Army. When asked what the organization means to him he had this to say:"It means salvation for one through Jesus Christ. "And the Salvation Army, we're saved to serve, so that's what we do." A servant who has also seen tears of joy during the Salvation Armys Angel Tree event, where families less fortunate receive gifts donated by the community for Christmas. Carr said he appreciates the recognition, but is happiest when hes in the background, just serving the community he loves.
Woman takes talent for sewing to save lives
Orlando Once just for healthcare workers, face masks are now a part of everyday attire because of the coronavirus. Hogan is the Development and Marketing Manager for Downtown Arts District, but shes found a second passion as a volunteer face mask maker. So when her friend and professional tailor reached out to help create face masks, she grabbed her sewing machine and answered the call. So Hogan, along with more than 200 others created Orlando Face Mask Strong. Mask created for Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)
Orlando church works to serve community during pandemic
ORLANDO, Fla. As we continue to navigate this pandemic, people are finding themselves in tough spots. Green is the senior pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. It's a church that's dedicated to service. Prince of Peace/Principe de Paz Lutheran Church (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.) Prince of Peace/Principe de Paz Lutheran Church (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)
Activist: Now is not the time to slow down in the fight for racial equality
Orlando – More protests have been happening all around the nation fighting against racial inequality in the wake of the death of George Floyd. But for some, the fight for racial equality isn’t a new one-- it’s one they’ve been working toward for years. We do at the school outreach, we did stuff with the youth in the JDC," said Mulrain. But Mulrain said more recently, what he called a ‘perfect storm’ has contributed to more people coming forward to speak up about racial inequality. "It's great to see that the whole country is finally in accord, it's like everyone's doing stuff," he said.
Man lives at Amway Center for 45 days to lead Orlandos PPE effort
In April, the City of Orlando partnered with the Amway Center to turn the facility into a huge PPE warehouse. "I was here 45 days and 44 nights," Dennis Beatty said, showing News 6's Candace Campos the space. Primarily how they would handle the PPE coming in that had been ordered to keep the frontline staff, support staff, families and patients safe.Three days later, he moved into the Amway. Amway room (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.) Anything from the ventilators to the thermometers, but we also did all of the various gloves, nitrile gloves, vinyl gloves, surgical gloves, gowns of various types, he said.
Urban farms provide fresh produce during coronavirus pandemic
ORLANDO, Fla. Urban farms on neighborhood street corners and rooftops have been a source for fresh produce during the coronavirus pandemic. The urban farms rely heavily on volunteers, which Friedline admits has been an extra challenge during the COVID-19 outbreak. Even with some limitations, the team and the support of Infinite Zion Farms, has provided truck beds full of fresh produce to charities that have been delivering to seniors in Orlando. "Oftentimes it's hard for the elderly to be able to get out during this time, or they just don't have the finances to be able to go out and get fresh produce," Friedline said. From collards to onions, okra, and lettuce, urban farms have become an essential resource for healthy foods.
Ever wonder who keeps the City Beautiful sparkling? Meet the Clean Team
ORLANDO, Fla. Ever walked around the City Beautiful and wondered how it stays so sparkling clean? Rondale Silcott said the answer is with the Clean Team. During the heat of a steamy June afternoon, members of the Clean Team suited up with backpacks full of disinfectant spray spread out along Orange Avenue. From parking meters to trash cans, sidewalks, and downtown businesses - the Clean Team doesn't miss an inch. He said his team has always worked hard to keep the city looking beautiful, but now with the coronavirus pandemic, the focus in on safety.
Share your everyday hero nomination with News 6
ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 has teamed up with the city of Orlando to honor members of the community who are everyday heroes, especially those that have gone above and beyond for their neighbors during the coronavirus pandemic. Do you know someone who has gone the extra mile to help get results for others? Submit a photo or video of your honoree and describe how they have been doing their part for others this year. Be sure to include their name and your contact information in case we need more details. Nominated heroes could be featured as part of the special airing Saturday, July 4, on News 6 and ClickOrlando.com.
Our City of Heroes: A July 4th Celebration
ORLANDO, Fla. This year, Fourth of July celebrations may look a little different, but theres some added meaning. News 6 has teamed up with the city of Orlando for a special 90-minute show entitled Our City of Heroes: A July 4th Celebration.Typically, the city presents a grand fireworks show at Lake Eola each year, with up to 150,000 in attendance. But Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said this year, because of COVID-19 concerns, things are going to look a little different. The special runs from 8-9:30 p.m. Saturday, July 4, and will feature a compilation of the brightest and biggest fireworks from the past several years at Lake Eola. Youll be able to watch on News 6 or right here on ClickOrlando.com.
Cities across Central Florida cancel or reschedule Fourth of July fireworks shows amid COVID-19 pandemic
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Many cities in Central Florida have canceled or rescheduled Fourth of July fireworks shows amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Orlando has also canceled the city’s Fourth of July fireworks show, the show would have been held at Lake Eola. Deltona postponed the city’s fireworks show and have moved the show to Labor Day weekend in September. New Smyrna Beach has also postponed the city’s fireworks show. DeLand is considering rescheduling the city’s fireworks show.
Winter Park goes virtual for Fourth of July celebration due to COVID-19 safety concerns
WINTER PARK, Fla. The city of Winter Park announced Thursday that it would not be holding its Fourth of July celebration in the traditional sense but would be hosting the event virtually instead. The change comes as health officials caution against large gatherings as new cases of COVID-19 continue to be reported across Florida. City officials havent shared many details about the virtual celebration but said more details would be posted to their website soon. Across Central Florida -- including in including in Port Orange, Altamonte Springs, Deltona and New Smyrna Beach -- July Fourth celebrations have been canceled or postponed as large gatherings are discouraged. Orlando has canceled its annual Fireworks at the Fountain event at Lake Eola but instead, a compilation of the biggest and brightest pyrotechnics will be aired on News 6.
Orlando mayor cancels Fourth of July fireworks show
ORLANDO, Fla. The 4th of July fireworks show at Orlandos Lake Eola Park is the latest victim of the novel coronavirus. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said Tuesday afternoon he has made the decision to cancel this years Fireworks at the Fountain. Every year, News 6 and ClickOrlando.com broadcasts the fireworks show live. This July 4th, News 6 will present a pre-recorded compilation of the brightest and biggest fireworks from the past several years at Lake Eola. To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6s coronavirus newsletter or go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.