Downtown Waterfront Catalyst Site Design Workshop Saturday, April 9, 2016

Downtown Waterfront Catalyst Site Design Workshop Saturday, April 9, 2016

Please join us for a Design Workshop for the Downtown Waterfront Catalyst Site on Saturday, April 9th   from 12:00PM to 6:00PM at the Sanford Civic Center, 401 East Seminole Boulevard in downtown Sanford.  Your input is important!

The Workshop will have three phases:

·        12:00PM-1:00PM 

o   Meet the Planning Team.

·        1:00PM-4:00PM

o   Share your ideas at the Hands-On Design Session.

·        4:00PM-6:00PM

o   Development of Preliminary Design Concepts for the Catalyst Site.

Drop-ins are welcome!  Doors will remain open until 6:00PM to welcome residents and business owners to stop in a take part in the Design process!!

Seminole State student uses business capstone to enhance charity race In memory of her brother, Dawson’s Run 5K raises awareness for pediatric cancer

SANFORD, Fla. (March 29, 2016) – A Seminole State College of Florida student is taking advantage of the business, marketing and project planning techniques she learned to help turn a family tragedy into a source of positive action.

Kelsey Creager, who will earn her bachelor’s degree this spring from Seminole State’s Business and Information Management (BIM) Program, is using her capstone project as an opportunity to help raise awareness of an issue close to her heart: pediatric cancer.

The 25-year-old Geneva resident and her project group are working to expand the reach of the Dawson’s Run 5K, a race created three years ago in memory of her brother.

“My brother, Dawson, was diagnosed with childhood cancer in 2010 at the age of 11, while in fifth grade at Geneva Elementary School,” she says. “He endured 2 1/2 years of surgeries, constant chemotherapies and radiation. He took many steps forward in his treatment, and also many steps backward.”

After a hard-fought battle that exhausted all available treatment options, Dawson, then 13 years old, passed away on April 4, 2013.

Cancer is the second-leading cause of death among children, behind accidents. According to statistics compiled by the National Cancer Institute, about 15,780 children and adolescents 19 and younger will be diagnosed with some form of cancer each year, and another 1,960 are expected to die.

Spurred by the realization that pediatric cancer research often is underfunded or neglected, Kelsey’s parents, Susan and Michael, decided to honor Dawson’s memory by raising money and awareness to help others in similar situations. They created Dawson’s Circle of Hope, a Web-based community through which people can find information about pediatric cancer. Then, about a year after Dawson’s death, the Creagers, along with some family friends and supporters, teamed up with Geneva Elementary School to establish the Dawson’s Run 5K, which helps build awareness about and raise funds for the treatment of cancer in children.

In its first two years, the race raised more than $15,000.

All funds raised by the race were donated to The Truth 365, an award-winning campaign that uses social media and film projects to inform the public about the lack of funding and resources devoted to pediatric cancer research and treatment. According to the campaign, only about 4 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s annual budget of almost $5 billion goes toward researching treatment for pediatric cancer.

The focus of the final semester in Seminole State’s BIM Program is an award-winning capstone project in which student groups work in a real-world environment to solve organizational problems or enhance business models. Because the 2016 Dawson’s Run 5K will occur during her final semester, Kelsey and her capstone project group – Seminole State students Shannon McGluin, Mark Granger, Nikki Stafford and Jessica Holloway – worked with Seminole State Professor Christopher Beehner to create and implement a business model utilizing social media to help increase attendance and revenue from the 2015 event, which drew some 300 runners and raised about $10,000.

“When Kelsey and her group came to me about this project, I could see it was something they were really passionate about,” Beehner says. “Everyone was so excited about this great cause that I was happy to help them create a business plan that fit our project requirements.”

For the first time, in 2016, the race will be officially timed and take place on a certified course, which begins and ends at Geneva Elementary School. The race starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 2.

The Dawson’s Run 5K is one of two major campaigns the Creagers run each year. In September – National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and also the month of Dawson’s birthday (Sept. 10) – they run a T-shirt sale and fund drive at the annual Hometown Showdown football game between Oviedo High School and Hagerty High School. They also lead several smaller fundraisers throughout the year, such as ladies’ painting classes at The Winey Wench in Oviedo.

In all, the Creagers have raised about $50,000 to donate to The Truth 365.

“Most often, the very parents that are fighting for their children’s lives have to help fund the research to save their children,” Kelsey says.

To sign up for the Dawson’s Run 5K, visit the race’s RunSignUp page. Registration is $30, or $15 for Seminole County Public Schools students. To learn more about the Creagers’ story and the work they do,

“All of my capstone project partners and professors have been immensely valuable in planning the Dawson’s Circle of Hope 5K event in 2016 and helping to secure the success of our future 5Ks,” Kelsey says. “Dawson’s legacy will continue to live on through everyone’s efforts, and we will make a difference for children with cancer.”

The BIM Program, part of the Center for Business, Legal and Entrepreneurship, is one of six bachelor’s degrees offered at Seminole State College of Florida. The program’s award-winning capstone project connects students with industry leaders and provides the real-world experience that prepares them for successful careers in business and entrepreneurship. For more information, please visit the BIM Program website.


Photo: Seminole State student Kelsey Creager, seated on a Kawasaki dirt bike, leads participants in the 2015 Dawson’s Run 5K. Photo provided by

Media contact: Joseph Hunter, 407.708.2286,

Paw Park Ground Breaking Ceremony Monday, April 4, 2016

Paw Park Ground Breaking Ceremony on Monday, April 4, 2016

Please join us for the City’s Paw Park Groundbreaking Ceremony on Monday, April 4 at 9AMat Paw Park, located between 17-92 and Laurel Avenue, on 5th Street, Sanford, Florida 32771. Paw Park has the distinction of being Central Florida’s first off leash dog park and has been one of the City’s most popular and well used parks. The site is part of the City’s original parks system, created in 1877.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity awarded a Technical Assistance Grant of $25,000 for the Master Plan design of Paw Park Village. Littlejohn Engineering Co. developed the master plan design for the village. Revitalization of Paw Park is the centerpiece of the Master Plan.

The total project cost is $226,735, which is being funded by a $70,000 County US 17-92 Community Redevelopment Agency grant, $100,000 from recreation impact fees, and the remainder from second generation tax revenues.

The park redesign features a relocated and expanded small dog area, gateway entrances, on-street parking, and landscape improvements. The park will be closed for approximately 4 months while the improvements are underway.

For more information please contact Christine Dalton, AICP – Historic Preservation Officer/Community Planner at .

Seminole State earns second consecutive national diversity award

SANFORD, Fla. (Sept. 16, 2015) – Seminole State College of Florida is one of only five colleges and universities in Florida honored with a 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

The national honor recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. This is the second consecutive year that Seminole State has received the award. Only 92 colleges and universities in the nation were selected.

“Seminole State College faculty, staff members and students create a diverse learning community every day as they explore and understand many cultures,” says Janet Balanoff, the College’s Equity and Diversity/Title IX coordinator. “This award recognizes the College’s concrete results that change students’ lives.”

Balanoff says the College celebrates diversity and inclusion. Here are just a few highlights from 2015:

·         For the first time, based on enrollment during the 2014-15 academic year, Seminole State qualified as a Hispanic-serving institution (HSI). This means Hispanic students make up at least 25 percent of the College’s enrollment, reflecting the continuing diversification of Seminole County.

·         Continuing to rank nationally as a top college for degrees awarded to African-American and Hispanic students. About half of the College’s nearly 30,000 students are ethnic minorities.

·         Earning a Military Friendly School designation for the second consecutive year. Seminole State serves about 1,000 veterans and their dependents each year.

·         The LGBT student organization The Unity Gay Straight Alliance was named the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus 2014-15 Club of the Year.

·         Offering new programs to educate students and employees regarding their Title IX rights and responsibilities.

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected Seminole State College based on its exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives, including the ability to embrace a broad definition of campus diversity that encompasses gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, members of the LGBT community, first-generation college students and those who speak English as a second language.

Florida State University, the University of Florida College of Dentistry, Florida Coastal School of Law and the University of West Florida were the other Florida institutions recognized.

For more information about the 2015 HEED award, visit


Media contact: Joseph Hunter, 407.708.2286,