Overheard in Orlando: All the best gays

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Orlando Life highlights newbie gays
LGBTs made a respectable showing in the March 2014 issue of Orlando Life, which published a spread entitled Simply The Best: Tracking Down the Top Newbies in Rapidly Changing Central Florida. The magazine has called this the “Year of the Newbie.” At the top of the list is Ron Legler, who engineers the Broadway Across America series, runs the Abbey and is interim executive director for Orlando Ballet. Blue Starr is on the list for opening The Venue in an old yoga studio on Virginia Drive. The third mention was a shout out to Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan. She’s not a “newbie,” but her spiky new hairdo and makeover attracted a lot of social media attention. Sheehan said it was part of a “time for a whole new me” part of her life.

Hot host for Pride in Business Awards
The Metropolitan Business Association Orlando has tapped WFTV news anchor Jorge Estevez to host this year’s 3rd Annual Pride in Business Awards at 6:30-10 p.m. Friday, April 25 at the Renaissance Orlando at Sea World. Awards recognize Small Business of the Year, New Business of the Year, Corporate Ally of the Year, Businessman and Businesswoman of the Year, NonProfit of the Year and Community Champion. The Debbie Simmons Community Service Award is given in honor of the chamber founder. For  tickets, more information or to sponsor the event, visit MBAOrlando.org.

Orange TV tapes show on The Center’s new SAGE affiliate
Florida is a haven for retirees, so it seems appropriate that The Center brings a chapter of SAGE to Central Florida. SAGE (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders) is based in New York and the national organization offers support services and consumer resources to LGBT older adults and advocates for public policy change. In a taping for Orange TV, Randy Stephens, Executive Director of The Center, participated in a panel discussion to introduce SAGE and talk about health and home services, patient rights, elderly laws, end of life planning and long term facilities. The show, which was taped as part of Orange TVs Vital Living Forum, is scheduled to air in April. For more information on SAGE, visit SAGEUSA.org.

Mad Cow Theater appoints new board members
Good news is on the horizon for Mad Cow Theater. The organization said in 2014 that it will focus on fiscal stability and philanthropy. To that end, Mad Cow has added three new board members—State Rep. Joe Saunders (D-Orlando), Orange County Comptroller Martha Haynie and Dr. Alvin Wang, Dean of the Burnett Honors College and Professor of Psychology at UCF. “I can’t think of a better way to start 2014,” said Executive Director Mitzi Maxwell. “These people work tirelessly to shape and promote arts and culture in Central Florida. They will work this year to strengthen Mad Cow’s role producing great professional theater in downtown Orlando.”

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