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By Meg Laughlin, Times Staff Writer Monday, January 18, 2010 10:54pm   PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — On Monday, Mike Wnek, from Auburndale, pulled off something rarely seen on the streets of Port-au-Prince since the earthquake. He got drinks and food to hundreds of people outside in Petionville. "We have seen no one, no U.N., no U.S., not anybody with food and water for the people out here," said Calas Jean Guteau, a Petionville policeman, who helped with what he said was the first distribution in the area. What Wnek did on the streets of Petionville — bankrolled by the First United…
By Meg Laughlin, Times Staff Writer Friday, February 26, 2010 4:13pm FOND PARISIEN, Haiti — In this land of amputees, hope is a metal crutch. You see them reflecting the sun by day and car headlights by night, as people hoist themselves along roads, thankful to be vertical. Gleaming Vs of aluminum poke out from rice bags and plastic jugs on tap-tap roofs. They lie in truck beds among bundles of cane and wood strips. What you don't see are artificial limbs. Nearly two months have passed since a catastrophic earthquake killed an estimated 230,000 people and made amputees of…
By JENNIFER FICKLEY-BAKERLEDGER CORRESPONDENT Published: Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 12:01 a.m. Last Modified: Friday, August 13, 2010 at 2:32 p.m.   Lakeland resident Cindy Skop has been a photographer for New York Times Co. publications, including The Ledger, for more than 10 years, and has photographed a wide variety of subjects during her career. But the photo assignment that stands out the most in her mind was the experience of accompanying Ledger religion editor Cary McMullen to Haiti in February, where the two shadowed Auburndale businessman and philanthropist Mike Wnek on his effort to deliver aid to the earthquake-devastated…
By Meg Laughlin, Times Staff Writer Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:45pm On the anniversary of the earthquake that killed more than 230,000 Haitians — many of them in the ruins of their own homes — an unlikely alliance has formed to bring safe, sturdy housing to a village near Port-au-Prince. The players: former Tampa Bay Bucs placekicker Martin Gramatica, his brothers Bill and Santiago, and Mike Wnek, an Auburndale developer who has helped build schools and orphanages in Haiti for more than a decade. The Gramatica brothers, all former kickers, are now in the building materials business in Sarasota. Their…

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