5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, July 11

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, July 11.

(1) Macy's Top Teacher of the Year Award Gala

Florida Governor Rick Scott will be in Orlando on Thursday to attend the 2014 Macy's Top Teacher of the Year Award Gala.

"We are making great strides to enhance the quality of our education system, and it's working," said Governor Scott. "These achievements are a direct reflection of the hard work and dedication our teachers demonstrate on a daily basis. I am proud to join Macy's in recognizing Florida's great teachers for their commitment to enhancing our education system and enriching the lives of our students."

This year's winning teacher will be announced in front of an audience of their peers, family members and friend at 6:30 p.m. at the Hard Rock Live at Universal Studios Orlando.

The five finalists are:

  1. Citrus High School English Teacher Nancy Smith (Citrus County)
  2. Northwestern Middle School Reading Teacher Apryl Shackelford (Duval County)
  3. Lake High School English, Theater History and Dance Teacher Patricia Gair (Lee County)
  4. Westridge Middle School ESOL Language Arts Teacher Dorina Sackman (Orange County)
  5. Riverview High School Marine Science Teacher Katrin Rudge (Sarasota County)

A live stream of the awards ceremony will be available at gstreamtv.com/macys .

(2) 8th Annual Rays on the Runway

The Tampa Bay Rays wives and girlfriends host their annual fashion event on Thursday night that benefits the Children's Dream Fund.

During the 8th annual Rays on the Runway players and coaches, including Chris Archer, Alex Cobb, Sam Fuld, Jeremy Hellickson, Kelly Johnson, Matt Joyce, Evan Longoria, Matt Moore, Luke Scott and Ben Zobrist will model fashions by Tommy Bahama and Penelope T Boutique.

Since its inception, Rays on the Runway has raised $200,000 for the Children's Dream Fund to make dreams come true for seriously ill children living on the West Coast of Florida.

Tickets can be purchased at www.childrensdreamfund.org or by calling (727) 896-6390.

(3) Minnesota Twins vs. Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays will look to extend their season-high seven game winning streak at Tropicana Field on Thursday afternoon.

The Rays play a rare mid-week matinee game today.

Matt Moore will start for the Rays. He will be trying to win a fifth straight start for the second time this year.

The Twins are looking to stop their recent downward spiral. Minnesota has lost four games in a row and ten of their last eleven.

Mike Pelfrey will take the mound for the Twins. He has only made one start since coming off the disabled list for a back strain.

All children 14 years and under at today's game will receive a free Cheer Stix while supplies last. First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. For more information, visit raysbaseball.com .

(4) Chick-fil-A Invasion of the Cows

To kick off Friday's Chick-fil-A's Cow Appreciation Day, the restaurant chain will bring an invasion of cows to Tampa and Clearwater Beach on Thursday.

Starting at 8:00 a.m. the herd will ride atop one of Gasparilla's largest pirate floats to pass out free Chick-fil-A chicken biscuits and cow-themed giveaways at Lykes Gaslight Square Park in downtown Tampa.

The giveaways will then continue at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of Winter the dolphin, at 1:00 p.m.

On Friday, you can get a free meal at a local Chick-fil-A if you dress like a cow.

For more information on Cow Appreciation Day, visit www.chick-fil-a.com/Cows/Appreciation-Day .

(5) 7-Eleven Day

July 11 is known each year as 7-Eleven Day.

For the convenience store's 86th birthday, 7-Eleven will be giving away a free small Slurpee drink to customers from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at participating stores while supplies last.

This year's free promotion is almost double the size of the last year's 7.11 ounce birthday drink.

For more information, visit 7-eleven.com .

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