MARCH 2017

There are so many reasons that we are proud to call Orange County  Our Home for Life. In addition to our thriving and robust economy, we share a strong culture of service - one that our citizens, towns and cities, faith-based organizations, non-profits, community partners, and businesses have all played a role in nurturing and creating. Orange County's "neighbors helping neighbors" philosophy lives throughout our communities and has helped make us stronger and more united than ever.

We are so fortunate to live in an inclusive community surrounded by world-class attractions, diverse entertainment options and phenomenal arts and cultural offerings. We also have a variety of fun, family-oriented programs and events coordinated by Orange County that will make a splash this summer with our children and youth. 

Orange County's Regional History Center is once again hosting its  Adventures in History summer camps,   where students can learn about animals, participate in dance and drumming workshops, visit local museums via SunRail and explore downtown Orlando's history. For details and registration information, visit .

Orange County Parks and Recreation's Camp Scooter Program will also feature unique summer program experiences at Barnett Park, Orlo Vista Park, Fort Gatlin Recreation Complex and Capehart Park. For dates and registration, visit .  And be sure to mark your calendar for our July "Movie in the Park" events, featuring "Zootopia"   and "Sing."

Our Environmental Protection Division's environmental Volunteer & Internship Program (eVIP) also offers students a way to engage with Orange County's natural beauty. eVIP volunteer opportunities include cleaning up watersheds, restoring habitats, labeling storm drains, educating other residents, sampling water bodies, internships and more. For information on eVIP opportunities, visit

To learn more about the many accomplishments and milestones we have achieved together, please join us at the State of the County Address, which will be held at i-Drive 360, home to the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, on International Drive on Friday, April 7 at 9 a.m. To reserve your seat, visit

As always, thank you for your continued involvement in local government and we'll see you at the State of the County!


Teresa Jacobs
Orange County Mayor
PulsePoint Apps Launch Brings Life-Saving Technology to Orange County

On Valentine's Day during National Heart Month, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orange County Fire Rescue partnered with the University of Central Florida to launch two lifesaving apps - PulsePoint Respond and PulsePoint AED.

PulsePoint Respond notifies users through their mobile device that someone nearby is in need of CPR. The application also directs them to the closest publicly-accessible automated external defibrillator (AED), for potential use while emergency crews are responding to the scene. The notification can only be sent by a participating 911 system, which has also dispatched emergency personnel. Notifications are only sent when an individual is in cardiac arrest in a public area.

PulsePoint AED enables users to upload a photo and mapped location of an AED, which is then available to all users during an emergency. An AED is a device that checks an individual's heart rhythm when experiencing cardiac arrest and then delivers a potentially life-saving electric shock to restore the individual's normal heart rhythm. Today's AEDs are very easy to use, with many designed to provide step-by-step instructions to the user.
Remembering the Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Commemorating Black History Month

Orange County hosted several community events in January and February to honor and commemorate the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Black History Month, which celebrates our nation's African-American heritage.

In January, Orange County participated in the City of Orlando 2017 MLK Holiday Parade in downtown Orlando. The annual event brings the community together to remember the courage, triumphs and teachings of Dr. King. Mayor Teresa Jacobs also welcomed former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young to Orange County  in January for a conversation on diplomacy and international relations. 

Continuing its annual tradition, the Black History Committee of Orange County held its community lunch on February 17. To conclude Black History Month, Mayor Jacobs and District County Commissioners participated in the Eatonville MLK Parade on February 18. Learn More >
Sixth Annual Jazz in the Park Recognizes Outstanding Community Organizations

March marked Mayor Teresa Jacobs' sixth annual Jazz in the Park celebration at the majestic Cypress Grove Park. The event brought together Orange County citizens to listen to the cool sounds of jazz music and enjoy free entertainment in a family-friendly environment as service organizations were acknowledged for the work they do in our community.

More than 1,000 citizens were in attendance, including representatives from many different community organizations, volunteers and Orange County Government. The event began in 2012 to recognize citizens and service organizations and the tremendous impact they have in the Central Florida community. Learn More >
Dr. John C. Hitt Celebrates 25th Anniversary at the University of Central Florida

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs joined the University of Central Florida and community leaders to celebrate Dr. John C. Hitt's 25th anniversary as the University's president on March 1. During a packed celebration at UCF's Student Union, Mayor Jacobs issued a proclamation in President Hitt's honor. Several presentations were also made to honor President Hitt's service to Central Florida and a special award was given to his wife, Martha.

In March 1992, President Hitt outlined his five key goals for the growth of UCF, including the commitment to offer the best undergraduate education in Florida; obtain international prominence in graduate study and research; provide a global focus to curriculum and research programs; become more inclusive and diverse; and become America's leading partnership university.

In addition to being the second largest university in the nation, with a population of more than 64,000 students, UCF is renowned for the success of its partnership programs, the competitive strength of their academic curriculum, athletic program development and community relations under President Hitt's leadership. Learn More >

Groundbreaking Celebrates New Steinmetz Hall and Green Room at Acclaimed Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts DrPhillips

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs joined community leaders at the spectacular Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts (DPC) in March to celebrate the groundbreaking of DPC's historic Phase II construction project, including Steinmetz Hall and the Green Room.

The Steinmetz Hall will be a 1,700-seat acoustical theater that will be the future home of the Orlando Ballet, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera Orlando, ushering in a new era for local performers. The hall is named after Chuck Steinmetz and Margery Pabst Steinmetz, two local philanthropists who committed $12 million toward the project in 2015. The Green Room will provide a large rehearsal room and performance space, more lobby space, and is the result of a generous $5 million gift by Joyce and Judson Green.

DPC is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization operating the state-of-the-art performing arts center in downtown Orlando. The two-block community destination features the 2,700-seat Walt Disney Theater, 300-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, Seneff Arts Plaza, Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts, the DeVos Family Room and other event rental spaces. The Dr. Phillips Center is a private non-profit collaborating with the City of Orlando, Orange County, the State of Florida and generous donors.  Learn More >

Pulse Remembrances and Tributes Make Enduring Mark on Orange County

On February 27, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs was honored to join New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and local dignitaries, as well as the New Orleans LGBT Hospitality Alliance and the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp., to celebrate Mardi Gras.

Mayor Jacobs was in New Orleans at the invitation of Jeremy Cooker, Vice President of Marketing and Special Projects for New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, who invited her to the Mardi Gras celebration during a special ceremony in October 2016, when Orange County received a one-of-a-kind fleur-de-lis sculpture honoring the Pulse victims and families.

This year, Mardi Gras included a Pulse remembrance, and welcomed Pulse survivor Leo Melendez in the procession. Leo sustained devastating injuries and spent several weeks recovering at Orlando Regional Medical Center. Since being released, he has moved back to his hometown in Louisiana to be closer to his family and continue his recovery. Mayor Jacobs was privileged to join Leo on a Mardi Gras float hosted by the Krewe of Orpheus, and to proudly represent Central Florida.

Orange County Government continues to remember and honor the legacies of the 49 innocent victims who lost their lives in the Pulse Nightclub tragedy, and continues to honor the Pulse victims and survivors with a series of tributes, events and remembrances - all of which have left an indelible mark on the people and history of Central Florida.


Join Us at the 2017 State of the County
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs will host her 2017 State of the County address on Friday, April 7 at 9 a.m. at I-Drive 360, Orlando's new $250 million attraction and entertainment destination, home to The Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, the world-famous Madame Tussauds Orlando, SEA LIFE Aquarium and Skeletons: Animals Unveiled!
News Worth Noting ... NewsWorthNoting2

Orange County's Heroin Task Force released the Heroin Educational Toolkit in March. The Toolkit was developed as part of the Orange County Heroin Task Force comprehensive community education strategy recommendation to increase awareness and education about the heroin problem facing communities across our nation. The Toolkit is intended to increase awareness about the dangers and risks of heroin use, the emerging trend of Fentanyl, the signs and symptoms of an overdose, overdose prevention and the life-saving medication Naloxone and substance abuse services information. The Toolkit information can be used by youth, young adults, parents, caregivers, friends and the community to educate, engage and prevent heroin use and heroin overdoses and overdose-related deaths.  

To request your copy of the Orange County Heroin Educational Toolkit, please email Carol Burkett at the  Orange County Drug Free Office, or call 407-836-7335.
Mayor Jacobs welcomed German Consul General Annette Klein to Orange County. Klein serves as Germany's representative to the State of Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Orange County congratulated Valencia College on its 50th Anniversary. Watch the special message to Valencia College.  

Mayor Jacobs joined community leaders at the   kick off for the Lake Nona Institute's 2017 Impact Forum at the UCF College of Medicine in February. Each year, more than 250 of the nation's top CEOs, healthcare innovators and thought leaders gather in Lake Nona for the Lake Nona Impact Forum to discuss innovative solutions to create sustainable health communities.