Letter from the Editor: Giving Season

Some glamorous ways to give back.

Shortly after becoming editor of Orlando magazine in 2012, I attended the opening of the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center at Florida Hospital for Children (now AdventHealth for Children). It was a moving event, with some of the youngsters who would be receiving vital bone marrow and stem cell transplants in attendance. The driving force behind the center was there too: Margaret Guedes, who founded Kids Beating Cancer in 1992, six months after her 9-year-old son died of leukemia. Her organization’s $1 million pledge launched the center and since then has donated millions more to help heal children and take the financial burden off their parents.

You can read more about Guedes in this month’s Women Who Move the City section. Kids Beating Cancer is just one of many magnificent organizations in our area that are community angels day in and day out—providing help to the sick, the hungry, the homeless (both human and animal), and a host of other causes. These groups hold various events throughout the year to raise money, and that’s where you come in: By buying a ticket, you can help those in need and have a great time doing it.

Every month, we include these happenings in our World of Good section. They range from Chefs Gala, which helps Heart of Florida United Way, to Reading Between the Wines, benefiting the Adult Literacy League. The May listings include the Spring Soiree from Runway to Hope, the group started by Mark and Josie NeJame that also helps kids impacted by cancer. Watching dozens of children walk the runway with celebrity escorts will do your heart, to borrow a phrase, a world of good. Also this month: Kids Beating Cancer is having a benefit concert at the Dr. Phillips Center featuring Jon Anderson of Yes fame. KBC will hold its annual Hats & Heroes Ball on Sept. 28 at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando.

One thing you’ll find at these one-of-a-kind happenings is superb cuisine—a perfect segue into this issue, which features our annual Dining Awards, including some of the restaurants and chefs whose dishes grace these galas. And believe me, this year’s dining edition is a keeper, with 20 recommendations from dining critic Joseph Hayes, 57 winners chosen by our readers, and four new inductees into our Dining Hall of Fame. Elsewhere, Michael McLeod previews the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, Lisa Beach looks at activities that can put your mind at ease—from breadmaking to gardening—and columnist Laura Anders Lee recalls the wondrous childhood memories of summer camp.

Back to food: Check out our feature The Mix for a blast from the past—the people and places on the culinary scene that were honored in our Dining Awards issue 10 years ago. Plus some photos from this year’s delightful cover shoot at the new Winter Park hotspot, Proper & Wild.


Categories: Column