PHOTOS: Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit brings fun and education to LGBTQ youth

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The City of Orlando, Zebra Coalition and LGBTQ organizations across Central Florida celebrated LGBTQ youth with the fifth annual Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit at Valencia College’s West Campus on Oct. 19.

Dozens of LGBTQ youth, parents, guardians, community leaders and local educators spent the day learning about topics such as queer history, politics and health services to name a few. LGBTQ organizations including Equality Florida, Hope & Help, QLatinx, UCF’s LGBTQ+ Services, GLSEN, One Orlando Alliance and more held a information fair providing information to the youth on what each of them do for the community.

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Watermark 25: Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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With this issue Watermark celebrates 25 years of publishing, 25 years of sharing information and helping to build a community. I am beyond proud to be a part of this organization.

As I sat down to write this column, I visited the words of Founder and Guiding Light Tom Dyer as he shared his thoughts on the 20th Anniversary of Watermark. It’s funny to see how much has changed, and how little has changed. We still operate with a small, dedicated staff who are as passionate about their work as they are talented. Watermark still focuses on local community news in its pages, offering a voice to stories other publications will not; and at times we still walk the fine line between financial gain and commitment to community partnerships.

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Bliss CARES partners community leaders with professional dancers to raise money for transgender housing

By : Jeremy Williams
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Bliss CARES, a nonprofit healthcare organization in Central Florida, has created a new dance competition to help raise money for transgender emergency housing.

“Sweet Dreams: Dancing for TRANSitional Housing” will partner 11 amateur dancers, all LGBTQ community leaders in Central Florida, with professional dancers for a night of fast-paced, fancy footwork at the DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Orlando on July 13.

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The Last Page: Brianna Rockmore

By : Rick Claggett
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To run a regional, niche newspaper you need to have a passion for the community you serve and a passion for how your newspaper is connected to that community. You can only hope that those who work with you share your enthusiasm. With Brianna Rockmore, Watermark won the employee lottery.

I usually write a narrative on this page after submitting questions to each employee, but I was so impressed with what Brianna had to say that I decided to use her words to show you who she is. As a self-described goofy class clown, Brianna sees things in a positive and funny way, using comedy to bring people out of despair and into a “full of life kind of way.” This is Brianna Rockmore!

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MBA Orlando selects 2019 board of directors, announces new RED Group

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Board members (L-R) Michael Deeying, Tom Yaegers, James Llewellyn, Brianna Rockmore, Sherri Absher and Dawn Kallio at the MBA Orlando holiday mixer. Photo by Jeremy Williams

ORLANDO | The Metropolitan Business Association (MBA Orlando) announced its new board of directors during its Holiday Business Connect mixer at the Tupperware World Headquarters Dec. 5.

The announcement was made by current MBA Board President Tom Yaegers and Executive Director Kellie Parkin.

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