TONIGHT: Dwyer H.S. freshman to be featured on NBC Nightly News

Kayla Abramowitz, 14 of North Palm Beach, will be featured on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. You can watch with her at the Duffy’s on PGA Boulevard and U.S. 1. Courtesy photo

Kayla Abramowitz, a North Palm Beach teen who has collected items for children’s hospitals in all 50 states, will be featured on national news Monday night.

READ: North Palm Beach teen honored with national award

The William T. Dwyer High School freshman got the idea for her Kayla Cares 4 Kids nonprofit when she was just 11 years old after noticing a limited selection of DVDs during her own hospital stays for Crohn’s disease, colitis and juvenile arthritis. She founded the nonprofit in 2013 to collect entertainment and educational materials for kids like her.

RELATED: It’s more than business for this seventh grader

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, which starts at 6:30 p.m., will feature a large donation the charity made to Ronald McDonald House in Miami. Kayla Cares 4 Kids donated 31 DVD players – one for each family’s room, 100 DVDs and dozens of books, according to the organization. Support from the community, DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures and Philomel Books made the donation possible.

Kayla’s family and supporters are holding a watch party starting 6 p.m. at Duffy’s Sports Grill, 11588 U.S. Highway 1, in the Oakbrook Square Shopping Center in North Palm Beach. The shopping center is at the corner of PGA Boulevard and U.S. 1. The segment runs at the end of Nightly News.

Abramowitz is in the finance program at Dwyer. In 2015, she was named the National Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Pro golfer who withdrew from Masters has $2.9M North Palm mansion

Dustin Johnson walks off the 1st tee after deciding not to play in the opening round of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Thursday, April 6, 2017. The world’s No. 1-ranked player was forced to withdraw from the Masters on Thursday because of a lower back injury suffered less than 24 hours earlier in a freak fall at the home he was renting for the week. (Brant Sanderlin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 golfer in the world who withdrew from the Masters because of a freak fall, has plenty of Northern Palm Beach County real estate where he can recuperate.

RELATED: Pro golfer Dustin Johnson buys $4.95 million house in Palm Beach Gardens

The 32-year-old golfer in December bought a $2.9 million waterfront home with a private dock in the Harbour Isles in December, Realtor.com reported last week. The house has five bedrooms, six bathrooms and two half-bathrooms, according to Palm Beach County property records. Its other amenities include a boat lift and dock, elevator, BBQ, pool and patio, property records show.

Johnson, who won his last three tournaments, withdrew from the Masters Thursday because of injuries he suffered in a fall down a short flight of stairs at the home he was renting in Augusta, Ga., for the week.

RELATED: 2017 Masters: It’s a royal pain but Dustin Johnson can’t play

He told reporters he was wearing socks but no shoes when he went to move his car. He landed on his left side, where his lower back took the brunt of the impact, he told reporters. Sergio Garcia went on to win the tournament at Augusta National.

Johnson owns another mansion along the Intracoastal Waterway in unincorporated Palm Beach Gardens that he bought for $4.95 million in August 2015, according to Palm Beach County property records. He has a homestead exemption on that property this year, meaning it’s his “permanent residence.”

The Palm Beach Gardens-area home has five bedrooms, six and a half bathrooms, a wine room and pool. It also has a walkway to an islet and a private boat ramp.

The real estate should help accommodate Johnson’s growing family with Paulina Gretzky (Wayne Gretzky’s daughter). The couple announced in February that they are expecting their second child, a boy, GOLF magazine reported. Their first son, Tatum, was born in January 2015, according to GOLF magazine.

 

Thriving Meyer Academy student with autism stars at TEDx event

Benji Gans, a seventh-grade student at the Meyer Academy who is excelling despite autism, spoke at a TEDx event at the Benjamin Middle School last week. Photo courtesy of Belen Woods/SBS Agency

Benji Gans didn’t say a word until he well past his toddler years.

His parents were told he would never speak. But on Friday, Benji, a seventh-grade student at the Arthur I. Meyer Jewish Academy who is on the autism spectrum, took the stage in front of a room full of people at a TEDx conference to talk about how he’s succeeded. He was one of the keynote speakers.

RELATED: How a Meyer Academy student succeeds with autism

It was hard for him to learn to write, throw a ball or do anything that required him to use his hands, he said, according to a summary. Debby Gans, his mom, never gave up and worked to provide him with the speech, occupational and physical therapy that he needed.

Benji and Debby Gans pose for a photo at his TEDx talk at The Benjamin Middle School in North Palm Beach. Benji is a seventh-grade student at the Arthur I. Meyer Jewish Academy in Palm Beach Gardens. Photo courtesy of Belen Woods/SBS Agency

SEE ALSO: Palm Beach Gardens woman turns sweets into work for adults with autism

He put in a lot of hard work, and now his challenges are less than they used to be, he said. The therapies teach his body and brain to cooperate with each other. Spirituality, though, comes first, he said. Prayers bring him happiness and make him calm.

His advice for helping people with autism is simple: Always be patient. Share schedules and plans.

“Your brain processes a lot faster than mine does, so just be patient,” Benji said, according to a summary of his talk.

As a very young child, Benji expressed his discomfort with constant crying. He was paralyzed with fear. Routine sounds and everyday life bothered him. Debby Gans said she and her husband were told Benji’s social skills were severely impaired, so they should keep their expectations low and love him instead of spending money on unproven therapies, according to a summary.

She was undeterred. It paid off.

Benji even has strong foreign language skills. The principal at school once heard him speak Hebrew and mistook him for an Israeli, he said. He encouraged people to think of his story if a doctor ever tells them their child will never walk, talk, run or read.

“Hope is everywhere…Keep trying,” he said.

 

Boating course teaches basics of staying safe on the water

The Palm Beach Power Squadron is having a safe boating class in Lake Park.

A day or so spent in the classroom could go a long way toward returning home safely from a sunny afternoon at sea.

RELATED: A year after Tequesta teens tragedy, is boating safer?

The Palm Beach Power Squadron’s safe boating course is Saturday and Sunday at the headquarters, 1125 Old Dixie Highway, a half-mile south of Northlake Boulevard. The class from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a break for lunch covers knowing your boat, fueling procedures, navigation rules, anchoring, emergencies and other topics. Registration is 8:15 a.m. Saturday.

A review and 60-question exam starts at 2 p.m. Sunday. Passing the test earns a Florida Boating Safety Education ID card, which is required by the state for everyone born after Jan. 1, 1988 operating a boat of 10 hp or more. The course is $30 per person, but those 12 to 19 years old will be admitted free when accompanied by a parent.

For more information, call Bill Eldridge at 561-254-5609.

After plane in swamp, North County Airport back to business as usual

Planes continued to take off and land at the North County Airport Wednesday afternoon after one ended up in a swamp. (Sarah Peters/The Palm Beach Post)
Planes continued to take off and land at the North County Airport Wednesday afternoon after one ended up in a swamp. (Sarah Peters/The Palm Beach Post)

Aircraft continued to take off and land at the North County Airport off the Beeline Highway within two hours of an incident between two planes that left one in a swamp.

Details were scarce Wednesday afternoon, other than that no one was injured in the crash. Pilots who were flying at the airport during the incident said the emergency vehicles had cleared out by the time they landed. One said he saw yellow fleshing lights but no red ones from emergency vehicles, nor did he hear anything about the incident on his radio.

RELATED: Plane slides into swamp at north PBC airport; 2nd plane involved

A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office helicopter made rounds not long after the incident. Other than that, it was business as usual, with aircraft taking off and landing.

One plane slid off a grass runway 75 yards into a swamp. The planes did not crash, according to the sheriff’s office. It’s unclear what caused the incident.

A Signature Flight employee said he had limited information about the incident and could not speak about it. A county airports employee at the main building at the airport referred all comment to a spokeswoman.

Last month, a helicopter crashed at the airport. No one was injured.

READ: Helicopter crash at north county airport, no injuries

Be safe boating: Sign up for free class for teens this weekend

The Palm Beach Power Squadron is having a safe boating class March 4th and 5th in Lake Park.
The Palm Beach Power Squadron is having a safe boating class March 4th and 5th in Lake Park.

Here’s a class for people of all ages that could save lives when you’re enjoying an afternoon on the Intracoastal Waterway or the open ocean.

The Palm Beach Power Squadron’s safe boating course is 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 4, at the Palm Beach Power Squadron’s Headquarters at 1126 Old Dixie Highway, a half mile south of Northlake Boulevard, in Lake Park. The course will cover knowing your boat, fueling procedures, navigation rules, anchoring, emergencies and other topics, per the power squadron. There is a break for lunch.

RELATED: Broken-hearted parents of missing teens busy pushing for safe boating

A review and 60-question exam will follow at 2 p.m. Sunday,  March 5. Passing the exam earns boaters their Florida Boating Safety Education ID card, which is required by the state for everyone born after Jan. 1, 1988, operating a vessel with a motor of 10 hp or more, according to the squadron. The course is $30 per person, but students who are 12 to 19 years old will be admitted free when accompanied by a parent.

Registration is 8:15 a.m. Saturday. Call Bill Eldridge at 561-254-5609 for more information.

Looking for peace? Local talks aim to ‘rewrite the narrative of fear’

St. Mark's Episcopal Church & School is having its annual peace lecture series. This image is from the brochure.
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church & School is having its annual peace lecture series. This image is from the brochure.

There’s plenty to be afraid of in the world, but local faith and community leaders are talking about how to conquer fear and pursue peace instead.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church & School‘s “Path to Peace: Rewriting the Narrative of Fear,” lecture series started Thursday night, but it will have two more installments 7 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 23 and March 2. The free talks are in Coleman Hall at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church & School, 3395 Burns Road, in Palm Beach Gardens.

Temple Judea Rabbi Yaron Kapitulnik, Rev. John D’Mello and Imam Jazakallah Mohamed next Thursday will discuss how extremism has crept into all three of the world’s major religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism. The faith leaders will discuss how each of their communities addresses fear as they pursue peace, according to a brochure about the program.

Lastly, Compass Community Center CEO Tony Plakas will talk about the vulnerability of fearful teenagers struggling with sexual identity. Compass works with LGBT young people and the communities where they live. The Pulse nightclub shooting and other attacks are manifestations of fear.

The first talk was by Rev. Hannah Bonner, a United Methodist pastor who kept vigil for 80 days in a row outside the Waller County Jail in Texas where Sandra Bland was jailed and died while in custody. Bonner launched a movement that brings theology to bear on current issues about race and culture, according to her bio in the lecture series brochure.

Hello Kitty enthusiasts better get in line for truck’s visit to Gardens

The Hello Kitty Cafe will come to Downtown at the Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens Feb. 25. Courtesy photo
The Hello Kitty Cafe will come to Downtown at the Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens Feb. 25. Courtesy photo

You’ve heard of taco trucks, gourmet grilled cheese food trucks and even the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, but did you know Hello Kitty has a ride of her own?

The very pink Hello Kitty Cafe truck will appear 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 25 at Downtown at the Gardens, 11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Ave. It will be parked between Carl’s Patio and Golf Galaxy. This is its first time in Palm Beach County, according to a news release.

Packaged sweets for sale include a 3-piece Hello Kitty cookie set, a rainbow macaroon box set with a surprise character, a 4-pack of mini cakes and bow-shaped bottles of water. Souvenirs such as a Hello Kitty Cafe mug, pink t-shirt and the signature bow headband will also be for sale, according to the news release.

The mobile cafe has been making appearances at festivals and events since it debuted at a Hello Kitty Con at the Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Los Angeles in October 2014. The convention was in celebration of the Sanrio character’s 40th anniversary.

First, the truck is returning to Miami this weekend. It will be at the Dolphin Mall at 10 a.m. Saturday.

If you’re a devoted fan, you can follow the truck on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Celebrate late Valentine’s with daddy-daughter dance in Gardens

Daddy-daughter night or a scene from your favorite ’50s movie?

The organizers of Daddy-Daughter Date Night want to see the best poodle skirts, bobby socks and leather jackets Palm Beach Gardens has hiding in its closets.

Palm Beach Gardens' Daddy-Daughter Date Night has a '50s theme.
Palm Beach Gardens’ Daddy-Daughter Date Night has a ’50s theme.

The event is 6 to 8 p.m. March 3 at the Burns Road Recreation Center, 4404 Burns Road. It’s open to girls who are four years old and older and the man in their lives.

Registration is required and can be completed at pbgfl.com/recreation or at any recreation service desk.

The cost is $42 per couple (dad and daughter). The cost for additional an additional daughter is $12, according to the city.

Terrible twos? Not so much. Twisted Trunk has a birthday to celebrate

Stop by Twisted Trunk Brewing ds are painting pottery at Craft Haus. (Courtesy of Twisted Trunk Brewing)
Stop by Twisted Trunk Brewing Saturday to celebrate its second anniversary. (Courtesy of Twisted Trunk Brewing)

Now that it’s the weekend, it’s time to celebrate. A popular north county watering hole offers the perfect excuse.

Twisted Trunk Brewing is turning two. The brewery, 2000 PGA Blvd., Suite 5506 in Palm Beach Gardens, is having a party today to celebrate its second anniversary, according to a post on its Facebook page. There will be a double can release at noon, beer Olympic games and a pig roast. The band Hot Pink will perform 7 to 10 p.m.

READ: New brewery, Twisted Trunk, opens today in Palm Beach Gardens

There will be $4 beer all day, with $3 beers for the first 100 people dressed in Hawaiian gear. Hampton Forks will be selling Hawaiian food.

“Aloha Games” start at 2:30 p.m., according to a flier about the event. The Hawaiian shirt contest starts at 5 p.m.

Fran Andrewlevich and Matt Webster, the founders of Tequesta Brewing Company, opened Twisted Trunk Feb. 2, 2015. Tequesta Brewing Company was the first microbrewery in the county’s north end.

The Twisted Trunk name comes from the Banyan tree, which plays an important role in Palm Beach Gardens’ history. City father John MacArthur had an 80-year-old, 75-ton Banyan moved to the entrance of the city at Northlake and MacArthur Boulevards in 1961. A second, 40-ton tree was moved about a year later.