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SEP '21

VILLAGE EDITION

OPERATING ROOM - OPERATING ROOM

OPERATING ROOM - OPERATING ROOM

John Williams, Jr., MD Alfred Cook, Jr., MD

Many AOI patients can recover and rehab at home following hip, shoulder, and knee replacement surgery.


Superior cardiac care from leaders in health. Backed by the experts at UF Health, our cardiac team delivers the superior care you need close to home. As part of the most experienced program in the area, we perform thousands of lifesaving procedures each year, provide a full range of diagnostic services and are consistently recognized as an Accredited Chest Pain Center by the American College of Cardiology, delivering a proven level of expertise in advanced cardiac care.

Learn more at: TheVillagesHospital.org

Close. Caring. Connected.


COMBINED EXPERTISE FOR

HEARTFELT CARE. By bringing Orlando Health’s century-strong care to Lake and Sumter Counties, your family has easy access to a nationally recognized team whether you’re at home or on the go. We’re proud to offer care and support from our awarded healthcare system to all our neighbors. As we expand expert care across Central Florida, our entire team has one purpose: caring for your family with all our heart.

OrlandoHealth.com/FHV

ORLANDO HEALTH IS NOW PARTNERS WITH FHV HEALTH.


GET HIP!

LIVE LIFE PAIN FREE, AGAIN. At Advanced Orthopedics Institute we specialize in hips, knees, shoulders, ankles, wrists...and golfers. If you are experiencing hip pain, playing a round of golf, climbing stairs, walking through the grocery store, even driving can be a challenge. Our experience has expanded the boundaries of possibility in joint replacement, providing you with the most effective solutions for your unique needs, so you can get back to doing what you love most. Get moving. Call 352.751.2862.

G E T A-O K W I T H AO I


John T. Williams, Jr., MD

1400 N US Hwy 441, Suite 552 | The Villages, FL 32159 phone 352.751.2862 | fax 855.420.1047 | goaoi.com

Alfred J. Cook, Jr., MD


“List with me in September, and I will personally cover $1000 of your closing costs!” —SHARON BASSETT, OWNER/BROKER

MY RESULTS: MY HOMES ARE AVERAGING

21 Days ON THE MARKET!

MY 2021 YTD SALES:

11 Million MY 2020 SALES:

19 Million

Sharon Bassett, Owner/Broker

352.307.2925 / BassettPremierRealty.com Spruce Creek Professional Plaza / 10935 SE 177th Place, Suite 201, Summerfield

Sharon Bassett, Owner/Broker


ACRES PRIME DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY 41846 STATE ROAD 19, UMATILLA, FL 32784

1500 ft. of LAKE FRONTAGE, already zoned for commercial along State Road 19 with Agricultural zoning for the back portion. This property includes: 2 Bedroom, 1 Bath Wood Frame Home built in 1915 with approximately 1,050 SQFT. The value is in the land. Well and Septic are on the property. The electric is connected to the Home. Shop located behind the home for extra storage. $1,395,000 | MLS#G5037483


IMAGELIFT COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY Facial and cosmetic plastic surgery in Tampa and The Villages®

The ImageLift Guarantee: • We utilize the latest technology. • You will see our proven track record for natural results. • FREE CONSULTATIONS - Simply answer a few questions and we’ll immediately start guiding you through your very own ImageLift Experience™! FACELIFTS (SURGICAL AND NON SURGICAL)

FACIAL POLISHING (CO2, IPL, SKINPEN MICRONEEDLING)

FACIAL SCULPTING (FILLER, WRINKLE RELAXERS)

DR. RICH CASTELLANO

is a Double Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon as seen on:

Schedule your appointment today!

352.227.1501


YOU ARE INVITED! UPCOMING SEMINARS

FOLLOWING CDC GUIDELINES ON SOCIAL DISTANCING EXCLUSIVE SEMINAR PRICING

Katie had ImageLift, Laser, and filler treatments. Results are typical and do vary.

BROWNWOOD HOTEL

Thursday, September 16th @ 2pm 3003 Brownwood Blvd.

WATERFRONT INN

Thursday, September 23rd @ 2pm 1105 Lake Shore Drive

CALL NOW TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT! •

Liz had ImageLift, Laser, and filler treatments. Results are typical and do vary.

Masks are required for guests and staff Must have reservation to attend

Kathy had a Laser ImageLift. Results are typical and do vary.

8630 East CR 466, The Villages www.IMAGELIFT.com

*Patient and any other person responsible for payment has a right to refuse to pay, cancel payment, or be reimbursed for payment for any other service, examination, or treatment that is performed as a result of and within 72 hrs of responding to ad for the free, discounted fee, or reduced fee service, examination, or treatment.


SEP'21 V.17

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CONTENTS 1 of 2

FEATURES

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A budding industry Treadwell Farms has received rave reviews for the medicinal benefits of its CBD products. For owners Glen and Jammie Treadwell, cultivating hemp means cultivating hope for people seeking pain relief. STORY: JAMES COMBS

040

Painting a brighter world Through her organization, Artist With A Purpose, Semeion Richardson teaches people, especially kids, how to express themselves and work through mental health issues using art. STORY: ROXANNE BROWN

059 SPECIAL ADVERTISIN G SEC TIO N

Ask the Expert Receive sound advice from industry leaders who shine in their respective fields.

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We Listen. We Care.

352.350.1161

TBFinancialGroup.com 3261 U.S. Highway 441/27, Suite F-2, Fruitland Park, FL 34731

Annuities 101 Workshop for September September 30th @ 9:30 a.m. BROWNWOOD HOTEL & SPA 3003 BROWNWOOD BLVD, THE VILLAGES Seating is very limited and by RSVP only TB Financial Group Inc. is a licensed insurance agency for life, health, and annuities. We are not securities licensed. We are not tax advisors. Our seminars are very general in nature and not meant to replace the advice of your CPA, Tax Preparer, Investment Advisor or Attorney. We will not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax or legal professional for these matters.


SEP’21 V.17

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CONTENTS 2 of 2

DEPARTMENTS

first

026

021

THE HIT LIST 022 PERSON OF INTEREST 026 OUTSTANDING STUDENT 028

agenda

070

085

IN THE KITCHEN 086 FORK ON THE ROAD 090 SPIRITS 092 DINING GUIDE 094

028

073

069

TO-DO LIST 070 LOCAL TALENT 073 ATTRACTIONS 074 HI SOCIETY 076

menu

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074

112

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090 092 SEP '21

L AKE & SUMTER

columns FROM THE PUBLISHER 016 FINAL THOUGHT 104

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SEP '21

VILLAGE EDITION

E ON TH R C OV E

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OPERATING ROOM - OPERATING ROOM

OPERATING ROOM - OPERATING ROOM

John Williams, Jr., MD Alfred Cook, Jr., MD

Don Eagle, M.D. Aegis Medical Group AL SO

ART THERAPY

Semeion Richardson helps kids express themselves without words

A BUDDING INDUSTRY

Treadwell Farms is successfully harvesting hemp.

DUCK DYNASTY

John Harris has won numerous duck stamp contests.

Many AOI patients can recover and rehab at home following hip, shoulder, and knee replacement surgery.

Lake and Sumter Style

Village Edition

Photo: Douglas Tyler Model: Don Eagle, M.D. Aegis Medical Group

Photo: Anthony Rao Models: John Williams, Jr., MD and Alfred Cook, Jr., MD Advanced Orthopedic Institute


Stop

treating

your AFIB.

!

W NO

EN OP

Leave the pills behind. Technological advancements in recent years have made treating AFib with medication a thing of the past.

Contact us today! Christopher Jones, M.D.

Our team will show you how easy it is to say goodbye to medications for AFib, forever. Vatsal Inamdar, M.D.

352.674.2080 | villageheartandvein.com 8575 NE 138th Lane, Suite 203, Lady Lake 708 Physician Court, Suite 2, Leesburg


FROM THE PUBLISHER

Football fever It’s time for college football in the South.

ew things define Southern culture more than God and family. However, you certainly have to throw college football into the mix. In the South, college football is a big part of our lives. Conversations about gridiron greats and memorable games occur anywhere and everywhere. Though we sometimes place unreasonable expectations on our favorite teams, it’s not always about winning. Even the occasional losing season doesn’t stop Southerners from showing up every week for love of the game, love of the school, and love of the Deep South way of life. Growing up, I couldn’t wait for college football Saturdays to watch my beloved Miami Hurricanes. Back in those days, ‘Cane players had a cocky swagger that produced big results on the field. Miami won national championships in 1983, 1987, 1989, 1991, and 2001. Miami also advanced to the national championship game in 1986, 1992, and 2002. I’m hoping this is the season Coach Manny Diaz can get Miami back on track and recapture its former glory. I know other fans of in-state schools are looking forward to this college football season as much

as I am. Gator fans are wondering whether this is the year Dan Mullen leads UF to its first appearance in the College Football Playoffs. Seminole fans are hoping coach Mike Norvell can have a breakout year after FSU has suffered through three straight losing seasons. Those questions—and many more—will start to be answered this month. There’s something else that excites me about this upcoming season. Some universities have put coronavirus in the rearview mirror by announcing their stadiums are returning to full capacity. Watching games last year with mostly empty stadiums made marquee games lose their luster, their buildup, and everything else. I hope everybody enjoys this college football season and extend my most sincere wishes that their favorite teams fare well. And remember, next time somebody calls you a derogatory name because you’re from the South, just remind them of this little fact: Universities located below the Mason-Dixon line have won 15 of the past 16 national championships. Sincerely,

Have a story to tell? We’re always looking for stories about people who live and work in our area. Send suggestions to editorial@akersmediagroup.com

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Kendra Akers Doug Akers

OWNER/PUBLISHER kendra@akersmediagroup.com

AT YOUR SERVICE

PRESIDENT doug@akersmediagroup.com

DESIGN / PHOTOGRAPHY / EDITORIAL Michael Gaulin James Combs

SENIOR DESIGNER michael@akersmediagroup.com

STAFF WRITER james@akersmediagroup.com

Volkan Ulgen Theresa Campbell

ART DIRECTOR volkan@akersmediagroup.com

STAFF WRITER theresa@akersmediagroup.com

Megan Mericle Roxanne Brown

GRAPHIC DESIGNER megan@akersmediagroup.com

Douglas Tyler

DIGITAL ART DIRECTOR douglas@akersmediagroup.com

SEP '21

VIDEOGRAPHER anthony@akersmediagroup.com

OPERATING ROOM - OPERATING ROOM

Alfred Cook, Jr., MD

/

M A RK ETIN G

Tim McRae

VICE PRESIDENT, SALES tim@akersmediagroup.com

Melanie Melvin Shaena Long

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING melanie@akersmediagroup.com

Don Eagle, M.D. Aegis Medical Group AL SO

ART THERAPY

Cindy Peterson

ADVERTISING COORDINATOR shaena@akersmediagroup.com

ADMI N IS TRATION Aubrey Akers Simmons OFFICE MANAGER aubrey@akersmediagroup.com

OPERATING ROOM - OPERATING ROOM

John Williams, Jr., MD

Semeion Richardson helps kids express themselves without words

CON TRIBUTIN G Nicole Hamel P H OT OGRA P H ER

SALES

VILLAGE EDITION

CON TRIBUTIN G WRITER S

Anthony Rao Joe Angione STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/ Kathy Porter

STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER nicole@akersmediagroup.com

SEP '21

L AKE & SUMTER

STAFF WRITER roxanne@akersmediagroup.com

A BUDDING INDUSTRY

Treadwell Farms is successfully harvesting hemp.

DUCK DYNASTY

Many AOI patients can recover and rehab at home following hip, shoulder, and knee replacement surgery.

John Harris has won numerous duck stamp contests.

Hot off the press! The latest editions of Lake & Sumter Style, Village Edition Style, and Welcome to Lake County.

Get yours Subscriptions: Order a subscription of your favorite magazine to be delivered directly

to your home for just $84. Each subscription includes 12 consecutive issues of Lake & Sumter Style and Village Edition Style. Choose 2 or more magazines for $108 per year. To order, call 352.787.4112 or mail us at: Subscriptions at Akers Media, P.O. Box 490088, Leesburg, FL 34749. Change of Address: If you are a seasonal resident or have moved, send your address change request to general@akersmediagroup.com or mail us at: Subscriptions at Akers Media, P.O. Box 490088, Leesburg, FL 34749. Back Issues: Order a single issue by mail for $8. To pick up a back issue from our office, please call 24 hours in advance.

DI S TRIBUTION Scott Hegg

DISTRIBUTION MANAGER scott.hegg@akersmediagroup.com

Digitize your life Visit the Apple or Android app store today and download the Lake & Sumter Style online magazine app for your mobile device.

Akers Media is a proud member of

Winner of 200+ Awards for Excellence

Lake & Sumter Style. Published monthly by Akers Media, 108 South Fifth Street, Leesburg, FL 34748. All editorial contents copyright 2021 by Akers Media. All rights reserved. Lake & Sumter Style is a registered trademark of Akers Media. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. For back issues or billing information, call 352.787.4112. Return postage must accompany all unsolicited manuscripts and artwork if they are to be returned. Manuscripts are welcomed, but no responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited materials. “Paid Promotional Feature” denotes a paid advertising feature. Publisher is not responsible for claims or contents of advertisements. The ideas and opinions contained in this publication do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of Akers Media.

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Prostate Cancer: When Should You Test? PA I D

PROM O T IO N A L

F E AT U R E

P

rostate cancers tend to grow slowly. Some tumors never become a problem, but this is not always the case. One monitoring tool is a blood test for prostatespecific antigen (PSA). PSA is released into the bloodstream from cells in the prostate, a walnut-sized gland that makes seminal fluid for carrying sperm. Elevated PSA levels can indicate cancer. Ejaculation can temporarily increase PSA, so avoid it before any PSA test. A digital rectal exam is also used in diagnosis. Early-stage disease usually has no symptoms, but they can show up later. Symptoms include more

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frequent urination, especially at night, or straining to empty your bladder; blood in urine or seminal fluid; new onset of erectile dysfunction; discomfort or pain when sitting; or, less commonly, pain or burning during urination. Other symptoms can occur if cancer has spread beyond the prostate. The American Cancer Society recommends that screening begin at age 50 for men at average prostate cancer risk, who are expected to live for at least ten more years. Screening can begin as early as age 40 for men at higher risk. Talk with your doctor to see what’s right for you.

What is PSA Velocity? Elevated PSA readings could indicate the presence of cancer, but another important measurement is how fast those readings increase. The speed of increase is called PSA velocity. Studies show that if a PSA velocity is over 0.35 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter) per year, and if the patient has prostate cancer, it is more likely to be aggressive.


What to Do After Diagnosis Treatment options for prostate cancer include:

248,530 Estimated new prostate cancer cases in 2021

Monitoring only, especially for early stage, slow-growing disease. Surgery and/or radiation therapy (external beam or brachytherapy, the insertion of radioactive seeds). RBOI has successfully treated prostate cancer for 30 years. Hormone therapy (androgen deprivation therapy or ADT), especially if the tumor is large or cancer is more likely to return. Chemotherapy or immunotherapy if prostate cancer no longer responds to ADT. Side effects may include incontinence, bone pain and weakness, and sexual problems, but these can often be prevented or managed.

Did You Know? Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men in the U.S. other than skin cancer. Thanks largely to the PSA test, 98 out of 100 men are expected to survive the disease five years after diagnosis, excluding the risk of dying from other causes.

12.5% Chance of a man developing prostate cancer during his lifetime

3,245,430

Know Your Risk Prostate cancer represents 13.1% of all new cancer cases in the U.S., and some men are more at risk than others. The disease is rare in men younger than 40, but the risk rises rapidly after age 50. In the U.S., diagnosis occurs most commonly between ages 65 and 74. Family history is a major risk factor. A man is two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer if his father, brother, or son has had it. Prostate cancer is more prevalent in African American men, who are also more than twice as likely to die from the disease as men of other races and ethnicities. This difference may be due in part to lower socioeconomic status, lack of health care coverage, and unequal access to health care services and improved treatment options.

Men living with prostate cancer in the US in 2018

3.1% Average annual decrease in new prostate cancer cases from 2009-2018

Patient-centered radiation oncology close to home The Villages 352.259.2200 Ocala 352.732.0277 Timber Ridge 352.861.2400 Inverness 352.726.3400 Lecanto 352.527.0106 RBOI.com

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H O M E FO R S U N DAY F O OT B A LL

NFL AND SEC PAC K AG E

W I N N E R 2021

35 2 .2 5 3 .2 4 4 2 CVI N N I E S.COM

COVID-19 Testing PCR and Rapid Tests available!

To schedule a testing appointment call 352-391-5200. Most insurance accepted, including Medicare.

352.391.5200 ExceptionalUrgentCare.com Mon-Fri 9am- 5pm | Sat 9am-3pm

Convenient Location!

John Im, D.O. Graduate of Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

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13767 US HWY 441, Lady Lake Next to Takis in front of Bealls. Golf cart accessible! HIPAA Compliant | Not for use with emergencies - Call 911 | Internet access required


Cheerleader and gymnast Jaymie Nobles aspires to become an FBI agent.

first PEOPLE. COMMENTARY. NEWS.


THE HIT LIST

A PERMANENT REMEMBRANCE This month marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11. On that dreadful day, we witnessed the true face of evil, leaving images that are forever etched in our minds. Men and women jumping from the World Trade Center and plummeting to their deaths to avoid being burned. Planes exploding into fireballs as they hit the twin towers and Pentagon. The “missing” posters that lined New York City’s streets with pictures of mothers, fathers, children and first responders. But there was one bright spot in an otherwise dark day. Aboard United Flight 93, a group of strangers banded together some 35,000 feet in the air and launched a counterattack against the hijackers. By doing so, they officially waged the first battle in the global war on terrorism. Their selfless sacrifice thwarted the plane from reaching its likely intended target, the Capitol Building, and killing hundreds of people on the ground. People like former Wildwood resident Jerry Bingham will never forget. His son, Mark Bingham, 31, was among the 40 passengers and crew who died when the plane crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pa. Ten years ago, Style interviewed Jerry, who now resides in Tennessee. There’s little doubt in Jerry’s mind that Mark was one of the passengers

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who courageously stormed the cockpit in an attempt to regain control of the plane. Mark, who stood 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 220 pounds, was physically fit. He was a rugby player at the University of California at Berkeley, playing on two national championship teams in the early 1990s. Later in life he continued playing the grueling contact sport by becoming a member of a San Francisco rugby team. “He was a great athlete and very competitive,” Jerry said during the interview. “Plus, he confronted a mugger and wrestled a gun from his hand. He’s not the type of person who would sit back and do nothing in a situation like that.” Indeed, those aboard Flight 93 achieved the first of many victories in the war on terror. They boarded the flight as passengers and forever became known as citizen soldiers, embodying the spirit of Americans and providing hope on a day when we needed it most.


HISTORY COMES ALIVE The doors are open to one of the most recognizable houses in Leesburg. In June, the City of Leesburg held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the reopening of the Mote-Morris house, which was damaged by a fire in February 2018. Tours of the home will resume this month. The Mote-Morris House was built in 1892 by E.H. Mote, a developer and hotel owner from Washington, D.C., who served eight terms as city mayor and one term in the Florida House of Representatives. Known for its Victorian Revival architecture, the home contains some interesting features. Among them is an L-shaped stairway leading to three bedrooms on the second floor, a clawfoot tub made of cast iron and a four-story turret, or small tower.

A LITTLE LOVE FOR PLANT-BASED LOVERS P H IL LY SUB

Hug a Vegetarian Day is Sept. 24, according to juleeho.com, and vegetarians are known to follow diets that exclude meat, poultry, and seafood while vegans eliminate all meat and animal products in their diets, including dairy or eggs. Luckily, more restaurants are providing dishes with vegetarians and vegans in mind. One of those is Loving Heart, 781 E. Highway 50, Clermont, which has been described as “vegan lovers paradise.” The menu has just about every food imaginable, and it’s all 100% vegan. The eatery’s Asian dishes of crispy fried spring rolls, pad thai, pho, veggie dumplings and vegan beef noodles are made from soy protein. American-style dishes include soy chick’n nuggets, vegan corn dogs, and soy protein BBQ sticks made with an in-house special BBQ sauce. The black bean burrito, Philly sub and sloppy joe with avocado, jalapeño and soy protein are options, too. Diners may also find the egg and dairy-free desserts like flan, hummingbird cake, marble cake, coconut cake, carrot cake or cheesecake, or a smoothie an appealing way to finish off a meal.

TWO REIGNING MADISONS

Madison Rowland

Madison Wilson

Madison Rowland, a sophomore at Leesburg High School, and Madison Wilson, a 2021 graduate of The Villages High School and now a freshman at Florida State University in Tallahassee, are both local representatives in Florida’s Hometown USA Program, Inc., a non-profit educational organization. The program aims to educate youths on volunteerism and inspire them to make a difference in the lives of children, youths, and the elderly. Madison Rowland is the daughter of Charlotte and Herb Rowland. Her interests are baton, LHS Majorette, FFA Club, and her favorite subject is agriculture. She aspires to become a crime scene investigator. Madison Wilson is the daughter of Amber Wilson and Justin Wilson. She enjoys dance, travel, and wakeboarding. She has served as an assistant dance and soccer coach, and she wants to become a real estate agent. As Florida’s Hometown USA representatives, both girls have visited and entertained at nursing homes, children’s hospitals, veteran’s hospitals, charity events, and at other activities throughout the state. The program is partnered with 27 facilities throughout Florida. Madison Rowland and Madison Wilson will end their reign on Nov. 15 when new representatives are chosen.

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THE HIT LIST

DID YOU KNOW? September 4 is National Wildlife Day. Here in Lake County, our preserves and parks are teeming with wildlife of all sizes. This is a perfect opportunity to go on a wildlife walk and learn about local species. Lake Louisa State Park—Hikers can enjoy more than 20 miles of hiking trails through thick Florida vegetation. Plenty of opportunities are available for wildlife viewing, and this is also a popular area for birding. 7035 U.S. Hwy. 27 Clermont, FL. 34714 Alexander Springs Recreation Area—In addition to a 67-unit campground, campers can swim or canoe in the crystal-clear spring and walk the 1.1-mile Timucuan Trail named after an Indian tribe. Visitors may see alligators, white-tailed deer, and red-shouldered hawks. 49525 County Road 445 Altoona, FL. 32702 PEAR Park—Enjoy a guided hiking tour with Lake County Park Rangers or simply discover this amazing 318-acre park by yourself. It is home to 160 species of birds and 40 species of butterflies. 4800 University Avenue Leesburg, FL. 34748 Flat Island Preserve—Hike at this 2,300-acre conservation area located in the Okahumpka Marsh and enjoy old ancient oak trees and unique birding opportunities. Flat Island Preserve features two wooded islands as well as a 440-foot boardwalk leading to a canoe launch. Here, hikers may see raccoons, armadillos, and non-poisonous snakes. 2301 Owens Road Leesburg, FL. 34748

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PRO BASS FISHING CIRCUIT RETURNS TO LEESBURG IN 2022 The top professional bass fishing circuit in the world, Bassmaster Elite Series, will kick off the 2022 season in Florida, starting with events on the St. Johns River in Palatka, Feb. 10-13, and the Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, Feb. 17-20, according to B.A.S.S. officials. From Florida, the trail will visit six more states in seven months, ending on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in late August of 2022. “We’re proud to have the kind of schedule that allows fans from so many areas to enjoy and celebrate the great sport of professional bass fishing,” B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin says in a news release. “With events in seven states from Florida, north to New York, and west to South Dakota, it will be a true test of our anglers’ ability to compete on all types of fisheries. It’ll also provide an incredible variety of entertaining scenarios for our fans, both in attendance and watching live on the multiple platforms that are now available to them.” The trip to the Harris Chain — a collection of eight lakes connected by rivers and canals — will be the first for the Elite Series since 2011. The fishery, which ranked 10th in the Southeastern Division of Bassmaster magazine’s list of 100 Best Bass Lakes, has been a common destination for other B.A.S.S. events in the past, however, with the most recent being a Basspro.com Bassmaster Southern Open won by Keith Tuma in the spring. “We’re thrilled to host the Bassmaster Elite Series on the Harris Chain of Lakes right here in Lake County,” adds Steven Clenney, interim director of Visit Lake. “Our lakes have some of the best bass fishing in the country, and as Bassmaster tournaments return year after year to our area, it reminds us how thankful we are to have this resource in our backyards.”


A ROLL A DAY… KEEPS THE TASTE BUDS HAPPY “Rollin with the Homies,” celebrated its grand opening in Clermont July 1, and its offerings are unique and delicious egg rolls in a variety of tasty flavors restaurant chefs roll fresh daily. Before opening, Rollin with the Homies’ egg rolls could only be found at the Clermont Farmer’s Market on Sundays but now, it has its own spot inside The Downtown Exchange, located at 639 8th Street in downtown Clermont. Its owners are Jess Nicole, Brittany Lynn and Dahyana Cosme, and on Facebook, the restaurant’s motto is listed as “Giving eggrolls a whole new meaning.”

Various sweet or savory flavor selections of egg rolls, and dipping sauces to go with them, include buffalo chicken dip, BBQ pulled pork, loaded baked potato, bacon cheeseburger, banana cheesecake, apple pie, blueberry cream cheese and more. Certain flavors have a permanent spot on the restaurant’s menu, but other flavors are rotated weekly, so visit often to see what’s new. Hours (subject to change) are 12 noon – 7 p.m. Thursdays, 12 noon – 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sundays. Visit Rollin with the Homies on Facebook and Instagram to see more.

Dahyana Cosme

THE FAIREST OF THE FAIR

Chloie Sebree

Mackenzie Mulligan

The 2021 Miss and Teen Lake County Fair Pageant (ages 13-19) was held on July 24 and the winners are Mackenzie Mulligan, Miss Lake County Fair 2021 and Chloie Sebree, Teen Lake County Fair 2021. Judging was based on poise, personality, overall appearance, and communication skills and winners receive a crown, trophy, embroidered sash, and a photo shoot by Bonnie Whicher Photography. This year, Lake County Fair Association officials proudly announced that the Miss Lake County Fair winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship, provided by Florida’s Hometown USA Program, paid to the college of her choice. Information about the pageant says the purpose of the Miss Lake County Fair Pageant is to select two local young ladies to represent the fair, so winners Mackenzie and Chloie are expected to have a busy year ahead of them. The two will work with fair officials on community outreach, parades and other appearances leading up to and promoting the 101st annual Lake County Fair, scheduled for April 7-16, 2022. A note to parents in application documents for the pageant reads: “We wish to instill in each girl an appreciation of her own special qualities and abilities, which will lead to increased self-confidence.”

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PERSON OF INTEREST

PEO PLE

Lance Sewell Orlando Health South Lake president inspired by family, community and values instilled by leaders who served before him. INTERVIEWER: ROXANNE BROWN

≈ PHOTO: NICOLE HAMEL

L V I TA AT S ST

• Awarded bachelor’s in business administration and master’s in accountancy from Belmont University

in Nashville, Tennessee in 1997 and 1998. • Lives in Clermont.

Background with South Lake Hospital: I started as the director of finance in 2006 with South Lake and was promoted to chief financial officer in 2007 where I was able to lead the patient business, health information management, supply chain and be the information services, strategic planning, and financial planning liaison with Orlando Health until our transition to full integration with Orlando Health in 2019. I was named president of Orlando Health South Lake in December 2020 and have enjoyed being a part of the community since 2006.

Thoughts about most recent promotion: I was truly blessed and humbled to be named president, as this organization has had some positive leaders who have built a solid foundation for South Lake and integrated successfully with Orlando Health.

Hospital leaders I admire: I am constantly reminded of the leadership and collaboration the four leaders who assisted the initial integration of South Lake into Orlando Health in 1995. These leaders were collaborative and community-minded and dedicated to providing a place where the South Lake community could receive advanced quality services close to home. These gentlemen were Oakley Seaver, Mike Conley,

• Favorite food is enchiladas. • Family includes wife/best friend Jodi of 23 years; two children Evie, 20, and Isaac, 17.

George Hovis, and Don Wickham, and several have roads or buildings named after them on or near our main campus.

Advice I’d give my younger self: Learn to be vulnerable earlier and lose the anxiety button on perfectionism. If I could have dinner with one person, it would it be: My mom who passed away when I was 17. I’d like to let her meet my kids and wife.

Something important people don’t know about Orlando Health South Lake Hospital: Our team of physicians and staff have been named an A grade by Leapfrog for the past three years as well as being named a 100 Top Hospital in the Medium Community Hospital category which includes 774 hospitals across the country.

What I like most about south Lake County: The collaboration and sense of community by the business owners, our home and access to the trails.

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OUTSTANDING STUDENT

PEO PLE

Jaymie Nobles Former cheerleader and state gymnastics champion aspires to become an FBI agent. INTERVIEWER: THERESA CAMPBELL

≈ PHOTO: NICOLE HAMEL going that pushed us to be the best and work the hardest.

My current goals: To make the

Biggest influence in my life: My parents. It’s hard to even put into words what great inspirations they are to me. They have taught me so many great life lessons, they push me no matter how hard things get, and they believe in me even when I don’t believe in myself because they want me to be the best version of myself.

What I enjoyed most at First Academy: The atmosphere. Everybody was always very nice, and the teachers were very helpful and truly wanted to see you succeed.

Advice to freshmen high school students: Once you

L V I TA AT S ST

• 2021 graduate of First Academy-Leesburg with a GPA of 3.9. • Daughter of Jayson and Karah Nobles of Leesburg. • Won top cheerleading honors in 2018-2020 from Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders; Florida High School Athletic Association state semifinalist in 2019. • Florida State Gymnastics Champion on floor and vault in 2014, floor and beam in 2015, and floor, beam, vault, and all-around in 2016-2018. • 2021 recipient of Randy Jones, Sr. Memorial Scholarship, and awarded academic scholarship from the University of Alabama, where she will attend in the fall.

Know an outstanding student? Fill us in!

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get to your senior year and start applying to colleges, you will very much see that your freshman year is just as important as the other years.

My motivation to make good grades: Nearly all my friends had the same classes, and we always had a healthy competition

University of Alabama’s cheer team my sophomore year, and I plan on majoring in criminology because I hope to become a special agent for the FBI.

Favorite food: My dad’s macaroni and cheese. In my free time: I spend it with friends, driving around listening to music or getting dinner and just hanging out.

What I envision for my life in 10 years: I’m hopeful that I will be getting close to applying to the FBI Academy, if I have not applied already. But whatever I may be doing, I hope I enjoy it wholeheartedly.

What I would do with $5 million: I would make sure my parents are taken care of completely, as a gift of appreciation. Nothing I could ever do would be able to show them how thankful I am for them. They always took care of me and went above and beyond, so I would use that money to take care of them.

Email your recommendations to theresa@akersmediagroup.com


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Joel Gonzalez, APRN Since the start of his nursing career in 1998, Joel Gonzalez has treated countless hospitalized patients with great care and compassion. The only difference today is that in December 2020, Joel transitioned into outpatient care as a nurse practitioner with Cardiovascular Associates of Lake County, where he sees patients with Dr. Adina Ion, a primary care physician at the practice’s Leesburg office. “I’m enjoying the transition and I look forward to caring for people looking for primary care in the area,” Joel says. “My goal is to provide compassionate care while addressing your health care needs with the utmost respect and integrity.”

L-R: Miguel Bryce, MD, FACC; Adina Ion, MD; Rama Krishna, MD, FACC, FSCAI; Theresa Mills, MD, FACC;

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Tony Pagano, General Sales Manager (left) Robby Giovanetti, Salesperson (right)

Jim & Diane Brill

P L AZ A CA D I L L AC We’ve had a lot of full-size GM SUVs, the new Escalade is by far the best. It’s exceeded all expectations. The tech is incredible, the interior is gorgeous and we get compliments on it everywhere we go. The best part however is the dealer experience. Our salesperson, Robby, is kind, cooperative, understanding, and always has the answer to my questions. Everyone at the dealership - sales, parts, and service, are all helpful and great people. —JIM AND DIANE BRILL

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Tony Pagano, General Sales Manager (left) Mitchell Smith, Salesperson (right)

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By operating a hemp farm, a Umatilla family is helping give flower to the people. STORY: JAMES COMBS

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≈ PHOTOS: NICOLE HAMEL


Product photo, courtesy of Threadwell Frams.

s Jammie Treadwell enters a 25,000 square-foot greenhouse in rural Eustis, her eyes light up as she walks past rows of healthy green plants with cane-like stalks and greenish-yellow flowers. In recent years, Jammie and her father, Glen Treadwell, both longtime farmers, have turned over a new leaf. Now, they’re cultivating hope. Through their company, Treadwell Farms, the fatherdaughter duo became involved in a budding industry—hemp farming. Their mission: create organic CBD products to improve the quality of lives of those suffering from ailments and teach the industry to other farmers interested in hemp production to help their family businesses remain sustainable. “We feel this plant is unique in its ability to offer so much potential and so much hopefulness,” Jammie says. Just a few years ago, a hemp farm would have been illegal in Florida. That changed in June 2019 when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law to create a state hemp program. With deep agricultural roots—the Treadwell family has been farming in Florida for more than 100 years—Glen and Jammie changed their company’s focus from producing florist-quality flowers to hemp.

“We already had farming skills, so we decided to use those skills to grow something that would help people and allow us to be part of an evolving industry,” Jammie says. “Why wouldn’t we do that? We’re just applying our skills to a new crop.” That decision was not made on a whim. They spent countless hours conducting research about hemp and even traveled to Israel to learn more about the crop. In addition, the Treadwells familiarized themselves with the hemp-growing process when a family in Oregon asked for their assistance in setting up and operating a hemp farm. “We taught commercial farming to them,” Jammie says. “We helped them tilt, lay rows, and taught them about electrical and water infrastructure. We learned just as much from them. It was a good relationship.” Those experiences helped finalize their decision to produce hemp in Florida, where the crop can be grown year-round. In May 2020, they started planting hemp after becoming one of the first farms in Florida to receive a hemp cultivation license from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Inside their greenhouse, which was completed in spring 2021, numerous fans provide airflow to ensure water does not enter the flowering buds and cause them to harbor mold or disease. Wet walls produce chilled water drips to control temperature and keep the plants from drying out in the Florida humidity. The Treadwell’s office and processing is located in a former citrus plant in Umatilla. They carefully monitor the plant throughout the entire growing process, which typically takes three months from seed to harvest. This ensures the plants pass inspection by an independent third-party lab and are free of molding or bug infestations, pesticides, heavy

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metals, and microbials. They stray from using toxic chemicals and pesticides to create an organic product. Once harvested, the Treadwells extract CBD, short for cannabidiol, from the flower of hemp plants. CBD, which is touted for its anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and seizure-suppressant properties, contains little to no tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the mind-altering chemical in marijuana that creates a natural high. Their most popular product is the tincture drops that come in three flavors and contain 1,200 milligrams of CBD oil. The Essential Blend features MCT oil from coconuts and sunflower lecithin, the Citrus Spice includes orange, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon, and Evening Blend comes with valerian root, vanilla, chamomile, and lemon balm. “The drops are the best way to take CBD,” Glen says. “When you swish it in your mouth some of it will absorb in the mouth membranes, and then you can swallow it and the rest goes through your digestive system. It’s like getting a quick and slow release at the same time.”

Glen and Jammie also create CBD salves, extracts, and bath bombs, all of which can be found at local health stores such as Jeff ’s Health and Nutrition in Leesburg, Bay Pharmacy in Eustis, and three locations in Mount Dora—Health Basket, The Healthy Buddha, and The Juice Box. They are one of a handful of hemp farmers in the state to label their products with the “Fresh from Florida” seal. “We think the products we’re making are advanced in their simplicity,” Jammie says. “If people purchase products grown in Florida, they can rest assured it was tested multiple times throughout the process. They don’t have to buy CBD products from a gas station. Instead, they can buy quality products made here in Florida.” Jammie stands firmly behind her products because she has experienced the medicinal benefits of CBD oil. In 2012, she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder that produces chronic inflammation of the thyroid. Her symptoms improved four years later when she began taking CBD oil tincture drops.

“WE THINK THE PRODUCTS WE’RE MAKING ARE ADVANCED IN THEIR SIMPLICITY.” — JAMMIE TREADWELL

Jammie and Glen Treadwell

“I began sleeping better, I felt less inflammation in my joints, and I didn’t have to take as much over-the-counter medication to control my pain,” she says. “I don’t have as many flares.” Hemp proponents say CBD acts on the body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates cell activity, pain, and inflammation and helps the body adapt to outside stressors. Within this system are two cannabinoid receptors: CB1, located in the brain and central nervous system; and CB2, found throughout the body on cells associated with the immune system. Plant-based cannabinoids from hemp activate the CB1 and CB2 receptors produced naturally in the body, giving the endocannabinoid system a boost and providing the medicinal benefits behind CBD. Though manufacturers cannot claim the products will treat or cure any diseases, the Treadwells have heard plenty of success stories. One of them comes from Becky Greene, whose daughter, Autumn, began experiencing seizures four years ago. Before long, the former straight-A student’s grades began dropping, and her memory and focus became impaired. One year ago, her neurologist gave Autumn a choice: he was either going to increase her anti-seizure medication or allow her to try CBD oil. Autumn opted for CBD tincture drops, which she purchased from Treadwell Farms. That proved to be a life-changing decision. “The CBD oil took about a month to kick in, but we started noticing changes in her,” says Becky, a resident of east Lake County. “Her grades went back up, her memory improved, and she is now fully functioning. CBD oil gave me my child back, and now I’m taking it to help manage stress.” In addition to helping people with medical problems, the Treadwells are equally excited about promoting the hemp industry in Florida. They paved the way for other


Inside photo, courtesy of Threadwell Frams.

farmers to be successful growers by creating the Florida Hemp Farmers Coalition and providing advocacy, education, and support. So far, they have helped 10 hemp farmers in Lake and Orange counties obtain their license, start a hemp farm, and troubleshoot problems. Each of those farmers has enjoyed more than one successful harvest. “We really care about the community, and it pains us to see agricultural lands turn into housing developments,” Jammie says. “This is our small way of supporting expansion into a new industry people are excited about. It has been reinvigorating for us. It’s not just about us being successful but everyone involved being successful.” Success is certainly attainable. The tsunami of CBDinfused products has hit the U.S. with such force that sales are projected to reach $29.5 billion in 2022, according to the

BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research. More than 1,200 independent health food stores—as well as pharmacies and convenience stores—are selling CBD products that come in sublingual drops, gel caps, vape oil, gummy candies, and other attractively packaged potions. The versatile plant is also used for cooking, body lotion, fabrics, textiles, rope, fuel, and building material. Glen and Jammie hope to build partnerships with local businesses and maximize hemp’s potential. “We are excited to work with a community of farmers, a community of businesses, and a community of entrepreneurs who come up with an idea to use hemp in some form,” Jammie says.

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*Wireless provider data and text rates may apply. All accounts are subject to approval. Credit union programs, rates, services, terms and conditions are subject to change at any time without notice. Certain restrictions and limitations apply. ©2021 VyStar Credit Union. 6/18/21 11:30 AM


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Membership is open to anyone in Alachua, Marion, Lake, and Sumter counties.4 Offer subject to change without notice. There are costs associated with the use of this card. For specific information call 800-367-6440 or write us at P.O. Box 147029, Gainesville, FL 32614. 1. Rewards are credited based on purchases with CAMPUS Platinum Rewards Mastercard. Cash advances and balance transfers do not qualify for rewards points. 2. Rewards are credited based on purchases with CAMPUS Platinum Rewards Mastercard. Cash advances and balance transfers do not qualify for rewards points. $750 in purchases is tracked per billing cycle from the date of card opening. 3. Balance Transfer promotional rate available 7/1/2021-10/15/2021 only. Promotional Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for Balance Transfer is 3.9% and will be effective for 12 billing cycles after the cycle in which the transfer takes place; then the rate on transferred balances will change to the then-current purchase APR consistent with the Cardholder Agreement. The Annual Percentage Rate is a variable rate for Platinum Rewards Mastercard and is based on the Wall Street Journal Prime Rate (index), plus a margin. The margin is based on certain creditworthiness criteria. The APR is as low as 10.15% as of 3/17/2021 which is determined by adding together the index and the margin applicable to the card type and the consumer’s credit. The APR could change without notice. APR not to exceed 17.99%. 4. Credit approval and initial $5 deposit required. Other restrictions may apply. Mastercard and the Mastercard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated, used pursuant to a license. Insured by the NCUA.


Local artist strives to make a difference using art and touches many lives along the way. STORY: ROXANNE BROWN

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≈ PHOTOS: NICOLE HAMEL

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awyer, 4, was at Leesburg’s Rodgers Park recently on a beautiful Saturday afternoon with her grandmother Juanita Petty and brother Luke, 9, and she could not wait to leave. No, she wasn’t upset, sick, hurt or even tired; she was just very excited about the experience she had while there and the work of art she created as a result. “Let’s go, let’s go so I can hang up my picture,” says Sawyer, explaining how she could envision the perfect spot on the wall in her room at Grandma’s house for hanging the bright and colorful painting of flowers, grass, a rainbow and a sun she’d just created at the park. Juanita, taken by Sawyer’s excitement says she takes her grandkids to the park often, but on that particular visit, they were treated to something special after running into Semeion Richardson, founder of Artist With A Purpose, a non-profit she established with a goal of encouraging children to paint and express themselves through art. On that Saturday, Semeion was there leading one of her organization’s Pop-up-Art at the Park events, where she brings art into the community by setting up easels, blank canvasses, paints and brushes for any child who wants to create a masterpiece on the spot. “We just came up here to play when they asked us to join them and the kids were thrilled because they love to paint,” says Juanita.

“We never expected anything like this to happen, but it’s really cool and something the kids won’t ever forget.” For Semeion, the purpose behind the Pop-Up-Art experiences she creates is two-fold – she provides a free mobile service for kids who may not be getting very many opportunities for art at school and teaches them how to use art as a way of expressing their feelings, but in such a fun way that they don’t even realize they are doing that. “You never know what kids are going through, just even in their homes in general. I mean, take a look at what’s happening in society now. You’re seeing things every day that are bad,” says Semeion. “Everyone want to be in a happy place, in a place where they can feel joy and love and I just thought that was something I could bring but I what I did was put a twist on it.” She continues: “it’s more connected to mental health, but I don’t ever tell them that when I go out into the community. I just go out there to build more relationships in the community, to chill with them and their families, paint and play games with the kids.” At one time, Semeion, a 1999 graduate of Leesburg high School, worked as an art teacher at a local school, but she lost her job due to unfortunate budget cuts. Semeion also holds an associate’s degree in commercial art and a bachelor’s degree in human services and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in behavioral analysis. After she stopped teaching, Semeion was left searching for ways to continue giving back

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and now, uses what she’s learned in her career, her schooling and her life experiences to do it. “I had been an art teacher for so long, so I just decided to start a whole mission for it,” says Semeion. “Without art at school, I noticed the kids in the heart of my community were not getting the kind of art I got taught growing up as a kid and so I said, “Hey, let me just take some of the money I have and bring art to the community in a different way.” That’s when Semeion felt inspired to continue teaching, but in the way she remembers it being taught to her as a kid. “I was really taught art, just the whole meaning of it, why it’s important to lean shapes, to mix colors, to learn science with it, plus teachers when I was growing up, they were involved in the community beyond school walls.” With that in mind, Semeion says she began collecting items like paints, canvasses, brushes, easels, and other supplies needed to get her mobile program started. “I called it “Artist With A Purpose,” because I felt art was really more of a purpose than a job. It really means a lot to me,” says Semeion, explaining that at each pop-up event, she has the kids who show up paint a couple of pieces together, then sells them to raise funds for more supplies to keep it going.

Semeion says for her, the best part of what she does, is seeing the enjoyment on kids’ faces. “These kids are so excited, and they just open up to me and to art. You would think I’ve seen them every day,” Semeion says. Orlinda Littlejohn, a childhood friend of Semeion’s who was at one of her events for support, calls what Semeion is doing “a game changer for the community.” “She brings a positive and hopeful vibe that needs to continue to blossom in children and people, and she’s bringing people in the community together and it’s a wonderful thing, period,” says Orlinda of Semeion, adding, “To be here in the moment of it all and see how she creates and brings this magic to life is pretty rewarding.” Besides her Pop-Up Art events, Semeion also works with different organizations to spread the word about purpose and dealing with mental health through expressive art via art gallery shows, teaching one-on-one art classes, volunteering and more. Artist with A Purpose also collaborates with other organizations like the Mount Dora Center of the Arts, the Leesburg Center for the Arts, Head Start centers, and churches and Semeion continues to reach out to other places like nursing homes, colleges, public schools, and foster homes, to talk about mental health awareness and what can be done to help people going through dark times. She knows firsthand art is a good source for dealing with all kinds of things, explaining that when she was a child, she personally used art to “paint” her feelings. A few years ago, she used art to get through the grief of losing her mom despite a hard-fought battle with cancer. “Grief is a hard thing. My mom died of cancer, but she’d always taught me to build on purpose. Regardless of what you see or feel, and I actually used my art to become better. Whatever issues I felt when I was little, I was painting them and I always felt like, ‘Wow, this really works,’” she says. “It’s like art and


poetry; I used it kind of like people who write in journals or people who write poetry. And now, I use it for helping people deal with mental health issues or kids who may be dealing with ADHD, autism and other things.” Semeion adds: “My goal is to create an atmosphere of change, of betterment, through art because there are emotions kids or even adults can’t explain in words, but they can paint and express themselves using art in different ways to share how they’re feeling.” Semeion says personally, her feelings are most evident in the colors she uses for her pieces. “Most of my artwork is abstract, so it’s not necessarily pictures I draw. It’s a whole process discovering how I feel inside. If I’m happy that day, I’ll paint with yellows or blues or if I’m angry or upset, I put blues with reds or orange,” Semeion says. “Whatever it is, I feel better after painting.” And that’s not all. Through a family member, she heard of Yvon and Monalisa Baptiste who operate The School of the Hands of God, in Haiti. Semeion was touched by Yvon’s efforts to help find ways to provide families with clean drinking water, and children with shoes, clothing, and schooling, and she knew she wanted to be a part of it. She

also decided to involve local children and others to help where they can. “The school was started in 2010 after three earthquakes hit Haiti and Haiti has never been the same since,” Semeion says. “During the pandemic, I really had time to focus on it, and on getting more involved with helping in their efforts.” This year, Semeion is working to try to raise enough funds to purchase 400 tennis shoes for the kids in Haiti who walk about 12 miles to and from school everyday. Semeion wants to purchase plain white quality shoes that she and volunteers from throughout the community are painting in all different colors and designs. In October, the shoes will be shipped to Haiti for the students. “I’m just trying to teach kids here how to serve others and show them how different things are there,” she says, adding that she sees pictures and videos of the kids and hopes to meet them one day. “There is a lady going next year who is donating violins to the students and who will teaching violin to the kids, and I would like to come along to do art with them.” Here, she is also searching for a venue where she can set-up a studio to work and teach out of, and where she can display the artwork created by way of her organization.

Until then, she will continue with her pop-ups, art supplies in hand, to reach as many kids in the community as possible and she thanks all the people in her life who’ve helped her along the way to help others. “It’s like I’ve built this tree and when you have a tree with so many branches, the seeds fall and then another tree grows,” Semeion says. “I’m just being one tree right now, but my goal is to just drop seeds so that everybody can have that growth and accomplish whatever their purpose is because they should just do it and this, what I’m doing right now, is mine.” For more information or to donate funds or supplies to the cause, visit theartistwithapurpose.com or follow Artist With A Purpose on Facebook. Semeion Richardson

“I FELT ART WAS REALLY MORE OF A PURPOSE THAN A JOB. IT REALLY MEANS A LOT TO ME.” —SEMEION RICHARDSON

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WHAT’S IN A NAME? Compare the Google ratings for Robert’s of Ocala to other funeral homes. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!

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Benefits of Outpatient Joint Replacement • Recovery is in the comfort of your own home • Reduces risk of infection and exposure to communicable diseases • Pre/post-surgical education guides you through a successful recovery

Ideal Candidates are: • Highly motivated and able to follow post-surgical instructions;

John T. Williams, MD Dr. Williams is at the forefront of hip and knee replacements and revision surgeries nationally. As director of the Einstein Medical Center Total Joint Program, in Philadelphia, he introduced some of the most-advanced surgical techniques available to reconstruct and replace hips in adults. He now performs most of his total knee and hip replacements on an outpatient basis for patients who are good candidates.

• Generally healthy, active and independent; • Supported by a strong network of family and friends If hip, shoulder or knee pain is affecting your quality of life and holding you back from participating in activities you once enjoyed, outpatient joint replacement surgery may be the solution. We’re here to provide you with life-changing relief.

Call 352.751. 2862 Today! Alfred J. Cook, Jr., MD

“We’re not just treating knees, shoulders, and hips. We’re treating grandparents and golfers, kayakers and workers, weekend warriors and elite athletes. And we’re not going to be satisfied until we relieve their pain. We have the expertise to help them enjoy the lives they love, again.“

Dr. Cook is among the nation’s leaders in reverse shoulder replacements to restore rotator cuff function, performing more in a year than many orthopedic surgeons do in a lifetime. The majority of his shoulder replacements are now being done as outpatients. These types of revolutionary procedures are helping patients who are “pseudo paralyzed” from their conditions return to the sports and activities they most enjoy.


AOI INTEGRATES ITS APPROACH TO GETTING YOU BACK IN MOTION

Regenerative Therapy | Onsite X-Ray | Outpatient Physical Therapy

Megan Benoit, MSN, FNP-C, APRN, RNFA Megan works with Dr. Williams, seeing patients, providing pre- and post-op education and care, visiting patients in the hospital and assisting in surgery. She believes in a holistic approach to patient care and listens carefully to patients’ concerns, needs and opinions. Outside of the office she enjoys bowling, fishing and going to the beach.

Heather Fleming, MSN, APRN-C, RNFA Heather works with Dr. Cook in clinic and the OR, and is excited to help educate her patients, prepare them for procedures, and coordinate their home health, rehab, transportation and other care needs. She is currently working toward her Doctorate in Nursing Practice.

Regenerative Therapy (PRP) Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) uses a patient’s own blood, which is drawn in our office and spun in a centrifuge, to stimulate the body’s natural repair process. PRP can help regenerate tissue in damaged joints, tendons or ligaments. It is used to reduce pain and swelling, increase range of motion, speed recovery, Increase flexibility, and recover mobility. PRP is helpful in treating arthritis, bursitis, chronic pain, degenerative conditions, fractures, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, sprains, and more.

Physical Therapy Conditions that cause pain or limited mobility often benefit from specialized orthopedic physical therapy. We help patients regain mobility, strength and range of motion and also focus on making sure patients heal quickly and safely after injuries and surgery.

Onsite X-Ray Sean LeClerc, RT(R), has the expertise and knowledge in orthopedic imaging to make your experience better. X-ray images are made during your appointment to see the extent of your injury or how well you are healing.

1400 N US Hwy 441, Suite 552 | The Villages, FL 32159 phone 352.751.2862 | fax 855.420.1047 | goaoi.com


A DVA N C E D O R T H O P E D I C S I N S T I T U T E OUR SERVICES SPORTS MEDICINE TOTAL JOINT REPLACEMENT OF THE HIP, KNEE AND SHOULDER REVISION TOTAL JOINT REPLACEMENT EARLY INTERVENTION AND CARTILAGE REGENERATION STEM CELL TREATMENT

FRACTURES OF THE UPPER AND LOWER EXTREMITIES PHYSICAL THERAPY AND SPORTS REHABILITATION BRACING AND ORTHOTICS ONSITE X-RAY PRP SOFT TISSUE AND JOINT INJECTIONS

AOI INTRODUCES ITS OWN LINE OF CBD PRODUCTS Benefits include: • Minimal (if any) side effects • Few known medication interactions • Reduced inflammation throughout the body not just joints, muscles and tendons.

AOI CBD products are available to patients and non-patients by visiting the office during normal hours, and include: People who suffer from arthritis and other types of joint pain may have considered cannabis-based treatments, such as cannabidiol (CBD) oil, as an alternative to opiod and other prescription medications. They may also be unsure about which ones to buy, and where to buy them. After considerable research and due diligence, AOI has introduced its own line of CBD products to give patients a healthier alternative for pain relief.

• Pain Management CBD Salve • Full-Spectrum CBD Sublingual Tincture (Peppermint and Natural) • CBD Salve/ Pain Stick • Massage Oil Lotion

SHARON L. MORSE MEDICAL CENTER

1400 N US Hwy 441, Suite 552 | The Villages, FL 32159 phone 352.751.2862 | fax 855.420.1047 | goaoi.com


HEALTH EDITION Style has brought together a number of medical experts to answer questions about various health issues. Find your answers here from the dedicated health professionals in our area. PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

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Family Practice Dr. Donald Eagle

Aegis Medical Group / 352.448.1984 / 18540 U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora / aegismedicalgroup.com

You’re a hands-on doctor. Why do you prefer face-to-face interaction? Half of what I do in treating patients is based on what I observe through their body language and interaction with me. I just don’t get that with a telephone or video conference. Also, patients will come into my office and they’ll have a physical complaint, which oftentimes is a headache. I can look at them and say, ‘What else is going on in your life?’ I can just see something is wrong in them, whether it’s a psychological stressor, family issues, or personal issues. When I have that feeling, the patient oftentimes breaks down in tears and opens up about the problem they are experiencing. That is more important than the headache

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because I cannot fix that until I can help them get through what’s overwhelming them emotionally. You cannot get that if you’re not face-toface with the patient. ’

Q. What makes you

passionate about your career? A. There are two things. I feel I’m good at my job because I’m a devout Christian and I feel it’s a calling from God. This is my niche in life. Some people wake up each morning, go to work, and cannot stand their job. That’s not me. I love what I do, being part of people’s lives, and helping them. I move them in a different direction towards a better quality of life, be


it physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Also, I love being part of people’s families. I’ve been a family doctor in this area for more than 20 years. My patients who were children when I started are now parents and bringing their kids to me. I am integrated in their family. I don’t just talk to them about their blood pressure or cholesterol levels. I ask them questions like ‘How’s your family?’ and ‘What’s the latest news with your family?’

Q. Why do you enjoy

being part of Aegis Medical Group? A. It’s a great organization that lets me take care of my patients the way I see fit. Each patient is different and has different

needs, so I don’t implement a cookie-cutter approach. I really strive to treat patients the way they want to be treated. I wear blue jeans to the office every day. I’m not a suit or tie guy. Patients tell me all the time that they’re happy I wear blue jeans because it makes them feel more relaxed.

Q. Tell me

something about yourself that not too many people know? A. Last year I was a grandfather to three children. This year, I’m a grandfather to seven children. I accused my six daughters of having a COVID baby-making party. I’m now going to birthday parties

all the time and rolling on the floor with the babies. When my 3-year-old granddaughter visits, we play on the swing or go in the backyard and throw rocks. Another thing is that I’m originally from the San Francisco Bay area. I had always wanted to live in a small town and feel that Umatilla is the perfect location. We just built our retirement home here and moved in last November. I love my family, my home, my church, and my life. I am blessed beyond my wildest imagination.

Q. What are some

of your hobbies? A. I like to hunt. My wife’s

all the time. I have a summer kitchen where I smoke and grill meats. I love cooking Mexican food and barbecue, too. Seriously, I cook all the time. I might make simple things like macaroni and cheese or more involved dishes like chicken enchiladas and tacos. I also make a Mexican meatloaf that’s to die for. Traveling with my wife is another hobby. Before COVID hit, we took a 13-day cruise on the Mediterranean Sea and spent four days in Rome. We had the time of our lives. We also spend weekends in St. Augustine at least two or three times a year. The history there is just amazing. We spend plenty of time at the beach, as well.

family has a 1,300-acre property in the Panhandle where we hunt. I also cook

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Pet Health Dr. Cara Erwin-Oliver Belleview Veterinary Hospital / 352.347.3900 / Emergency line: 352.266.0836 / 10725 SE 36th Ave., Belleview / belleviewveterinaryhospital.com

What should you look for when purchasing a puppy? The first thing people need to decide is what breed they would like to purchase, and this should be done according to their lifestyle. People who live in apartments probably should get a lower-energy breed. You also need to decide what your expectations for companionship are going to be. Do you want a dog you can go out jogging with or do you want a dog that is going to wait at home for you and sit on your lap? Then you need to decide whether you want to buy a purebred registered puppy or one of our designer breeds, which is usually a cross between two or more breeds. Once you decide on a breed, you need to research that breed, not only for its behavior and your expectations, but also for health issues that genetically

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run in that breed. A good source is your veterinarian, such as the veterinarians at Belleview Veterinary Hospital. Speak to your veterinarian about your desired breed and they can give you some good techniques or questions to ask the breeder. Now it’s time to research your breeder, and that may involve going to the internet or social media. Remember, not everything you read there is true, but it’s a tool that can be used. Ask the breeder for references, such as other families that have purchased animals from the breeder and the breeder’s veterinarian. Ask their veterinarian about any health issues their dogs may have and make sure they’re cared for properly. Visit the puppy and its environment to see the living conditions and health of the puppy. Do not purchase a puppy without a Florida state

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health certificate. The health certificate is not only going to let you know that the puppy was physically checked out by a veterinarian before the date of purchase, but it will also guarantee a warranty within the statutes of the pet lemon law. It’s illegal for breeders to sell a puppy without a health certificate in Florida, and without one, you also have no reconciliation if there’s a problem. When a veterinarian issues a health certificate, it means the puppy is in good health and fit for sale, it’s

free of intestinal parasites and received its first set of vaccines and a deworming. Further vaccines will be needed, usually within the first two weeks of purchase. The doctors and staff at Belleview Veterinary Hospital can help guide you through this process to make sure you wind up with a healthy, happy puppy.


Retina Care Dr. Ruwan Silva

Florida Retina Institute / 352.357.1203 / floridaretinainsitute.com

What are common retina problems people should know about? There are three common problems: age-related macular degeneration, floaters, and diabetic retinopathy. If these are caught early, people can do very well. We encourage people with any visual symptoms to visit their local eye doctor. The most common symptom we ask patients to look for is any change in their vision. If they start to notice blurriness, then we encourage an immediate eye exam. And as people get older, the typical age of onset for age-macular degeneration is 60 years or older, they may start to notice some blurriness in their vision. It is important to get it checked relatively quickly. With the onset of a certain type of macular degeneration, people often notice it as a smudge in their vision, and there is no pain associated with it. Usually there is only one eye that is affected, and many people ignore the symptom until it is too late. Another symptom that can be problematic is floaters. Everybody gets floaters at some point in their life, if they live long enough, and they should be evaluated at the onset of these. When you start to get floaters in your eyes, it signifies an aging change with the gel in the middle of your eye. Some people see

them as dots, a snowstorm, or strings in their vision, and when it occurs it unfortunately increases your risk of getting a retinal detachment. Regarding diabetic retinopathy, we have great treatment if it is diagnosed early. With the incidence of diabetes increasing, the population getting older and people living longer with diabetes, we want to make sure they are getting an annual eye exam once they have a diagnosis of diabetes. There are important things you can do for your eyes:

blood glucose, make efforts to get it well controlled. No. 3: If you have intermediate or advanced-level macular degeneration, there are eye vitamins that can be helpful. However, the vitamins are not for everybody; they’ve been tested and only shown to be effective for a small patient population. If you want to take eye vitamins, it’s important to make sure you are not wasting your money, time, and energy. Check with your eye doctor to make sure they are appropriate for you.

No. 1: Never smoke, and if you have started smoking, it is best to stop. No. 2: Maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you have either high blood pressure or

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Home Healthcare Kandi Blakeslee, Community Liaison (L) Lory Baxley, Head Of Business Development (R) Lake Centre Home Care / 352.315.0050 / 310 Market St. Leesburg / golchc.com

We always hear about the importance of vitamin C. With that said, how does vitamin D play a role in our health?

When people discussed the health benefits of vitamin D in the past, the conversation always focused on bone health. These days, however, scientists are conducting research and finding that good health is correlated with sufficient vitamin D levels. Vitamin D has been left in the dark for many years, but the coronavirus outbreak has brought it to the forefront. Symptoms of low vitamin D levels are fatigue, bone and joint pain, muscle weakness, and even depression. Researchers have found that vitamin D plays a role in oral health, the immune system, respiratory health, insulin production, bone health, inflammation, and cognitive health. It’s obvious that vitamin D plays a big factor in our overall health. Moreover, a study conducted in 2021

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by the University of Florida revealed that patients with vitamin D deficiency are two to four times more likely to be COVID 19 positive. Ten years ago, a study was conducted on how many people were vitamin D deficient in the U.S. Forty-two percent were deficient. In Florida, you’d think people wouldn’t be as deficient because vitamin D is derived from sunlight. However, the same study found that 38 percent of people in Miami were vitamin D deficient. To find out your vitamin D level, you must get a lab done by a physician’s order called the 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D test. Fortunately, there are easy remedies for low levels. Certain foods and beverages are high in vitamin D, including salmon, mushrooms, egg yolks, fortified milk, and orange juice. You can also spend time out in the sunlight without

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using sunscreen and making sure an efficient amount of skin is exposed to the sun’s rays because it absorbs through your skin. You can also take supplements. The National institute of Health recommends up to 600 International Units (IUS) a day for adults ages 19 through 70 and 800 IUS a day for adults 70 and older. We want our patients at Lake Centre Home Care to be as healthy as possible. Everyone is always looking to tackle big health problems,

but we’re focusing on the easy things people can do to improve their health. Increasing your vitamin D levels is not difficult. Also, we have the flu season coming up, and a low vitamin D level is correlated with the susceptibility of infection.

LAKE CENTRE HOME CARE


Regenerative Medicine Dr. Mohammed Elamir

AVIV Clinics / 844.399.2848 / 2955 Brownwood Blvd., Ste. 100, The Villages / aviv-clinics.com

What are the key benefits to the AVIV Medical Program towards regenerative medicine? The Aviv Medical Program perfectly complements the active lifestyle that retirees in The Villages and surrounding active adult communities desire. Our clinic focuses on optimizing our clients’ health span, or the number of years a person remains in good health and free of chronic illness and cognitive decline. The three-month program includes several components. There’s an initial in-depth assessment where physicians evaluate a client’s cognitive, biological, chemical, and physical functions. They also undergo 60 hyperbaric oxygen treatments (five days a week for 12 weeks) and are treated through individualized medical programs designed by a team of physicians. A final assessment at the end of 12 weeks determines how much a patient has improved cognitively and physically. As previously mentioned, The Aviv Medical Program includes a researched protocol that includes a specific science/ regiment of oxygen sessions that stimulate stem cell production. For example, if we’re focusing on the brain, we can improve nerve fiber tracts in the brain and help optimize the function of brain cells. As a result, we can help your cognition, processing speed, memory, and executive function. Our program also stimulates

angiogenesis or the creation of new blood vessels. As we age, all of us lose small blood vessels in the brain. That’s what leads us to those senior moments. We walk into the kitchen and ask, ‘Why did I walk into here?’ The creation of new blood vessels in the brain helps get blood to the cells. Also, those stem cells can be used for muscle regeneration, thus improving cardiovascular endurance, speed, strength, and range of motion. What makes the Aviv Medical Program stand apart is that clients are routinely assessed and treated by a team of neuropsychologists, internal medicine physicians, physiologists, physical therapists, and dieticians who all work under one roof. This comprehensive, team-oriented approach helps ensure

clients receive optimal cognitive and physical performance. We have access to each other as clinicians and all the clients have access to us. This leads to superior outcomes and proves that aging is no longer a barrier to maintaining physical health, mental acuity, and an active lifestyle. We see tremendous improvement in clients who have completed the Aviv Medical Program. From a mental standpoint, their brain function is better, their memory has improved, and they are more focused when carrying a conversation. From a physical standpoint, they lose weight and are more toned. I’ve had stroke patients come in on their first day using a wheelchair and leave following their final treatment with a cane.

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Hospice Care Diane Anderson, Volunteer Services Manager

Cornerstone Hospice / 866.742.6655 / cornerstonehospice.org

Why are volunteers important to Cornerstone Hospice and the local community?

Cornerstone Hospice provides quality allaround medical and emotional care for patients and families being affected by a life-limiting illness and we provide services in several Central Florida counties, as well as counties in north Georgia. At Cornerstone, we care for patients wherever they are. We go into their homes, we go into any long-term care or skilled-nursing facility, and we also have our own hospice houses. Either way, caring for them involves many people, including nurses and doctors, chaplains, social workers and who in our organization, we call the magic makers – our volunteers – all working together to relieve any physical pain or mental anguish a person may be going through at end of life to make sure they are able to have a peaceful transition.

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Traditionally, volunteers with any organization provide services not administered by paid staff and Cornerstone is no exception to that rule. Volunteers fill a variety of roles for us that range from light support positions in an office setting to more direct care with patients and their families. In either scenario, volunteer services are designed to make the hard times a little less hard and oftentimes, our volunteers bring something unexpected to our patients and families who are going through probably the toughest moments of their lives, and that’s joy. We have over 600 volunteers and they provide real comfort and joy and they do it without medicine, tools, or anything other than great compassion and empathy. A hospice volunteer is a very special gift because they show up at a time when so many others leave.

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There’s a quote I have up in my office that’s from Cinderella, that says, “Where there is kindness, there is goodness, and where there is goodness, there is magic,” and that’s kind of our department’s motto. Our volunteers are really the magic makers of our organization and there are many programs they can choose from to directly impact and make a difference in the lives of our hospice patients and families and

that can be very rewarding for themselves. There is really no one-sizefits-all in hospice care, it’s very individualized, but what we always try to do is design our services to meet our patients’ needs. Personally, I’ve always been a big believer that big change takes small steps and I think one of the best first steps to make is to make a positive change in the community in which you live, and our volunteers do just that.

If interested in volunteering, please visit cornerstonehospice.org and navigate to the volunteer section, where there is an application to fill out or email danderson@cshospice.org.


Dermatology Dr. K. Wade Foster

Why Do You Need a Dermatologist? Your skin plays one of the most vital roles in your life. Serving as the first line of defense against illness, it also protects your organs, helps regulate your body temperature, and communicates the status of your overall health by the way it appears at any given moment. As skin diseases affect one in four Americans each year, *it’s important to establish a relationship with a dermatologist and visit their office for a skin exam on an annual basis. Dermatologists treat more than 3,000 diseases of the skin, hair, and nails, including anything from acne to eczema, rosacea, hives and allergic reactions, warts, rashes, precancerous lesions, skin cancer and more. Some of

these skin conditions are harmless, yet irritating, while others can pose lifethreatening risks. Do you have a skin disorder that needs attention? Start by visiting a dermatological specialist. With an expert team of physicians, APRNs, and PAs, Florida Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centers (FLDSCC) diagnoses and treats skin cancers as well as all the skin conditions cited above. Our staff can help identify chronic skin diseases and infections, while simultaneously tackling aging skin, wound care, and a multitude of other skin, hair, and nail concerns. FLDSCC’s Medical Director, Dr. K. Wade Foster, is also fellowship-trained in Mohs micrographic surgery, the most effective technique for most types of skin cancers, with minimal scarring or risk.

Florida Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centers / fldscc.com

Mohs is a state-of-the-art treatment that allows surgeons to remove and analyze cancerous tissues, layer by layer until the cancer is completely removed. It offers the highest cure rates of any surgery, with little to no discomfort, and the greatest preservation of normal tissue. By seeking the expertise of a dermatologist, you can take the first step in safeguarding the skin you live in. By receiving an annual skin exam, your dermatologist can go over pertinent medical history with you, check for any changes, and recommend the best treatment options for a healthful future. Experience a positive difference in your health by scheduling an annual skin exam today. FLDSCC has many convenient locations throughout the state, and our offices are currently offering free skin cancer screenings for new patients. Contact FLDSCC today for your next free skin cancer screening. For more information, visit www.fldscc. com, or call (855) FLD-SKIN. *American Academy of Dermatology facts and figures 2021.

LADY LAKE 836 County Road 466 352.750.4614 CLERMONT 3725 South Highway 27, Ste. 105 352-717-0644

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Gastroenterology Dr. Mariana de Jongh, M.D.

Gastroenterology Associates / 352.751.4885 / 1400 US HWY 441, Suite 531, Lady Lake

Why is getting a colonoscopy important?

Colonoscopy is a procedure that can be considered both diagnostic and screening. A screening colonoscopy joins other tests that are performed when no symptoms are present. It is the gold standard for identifying and removing pre-cancerous polyps, as well as identifying colon cancer in its early stages.

Q. When should I

have one? A. A screening colonoscopy is recommended for everyone age 45 and older. Once that initial colonoscopy is performed, there will be a recommendation regarding when the next one should occur. Most commonly, they are done at the three, five or 10-year mark depending on the findings. Sometimes your gastroenterologist

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may need to re-evaluate at the three, six or 12-month mark, although that is a lot less common. Diagnostic colonoscopy is performed when gastro symptoms such as rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, change in bowel habits, diarrhea, constipation, weight loss and inability to make it to the bathroom are present, among others. Another very common indication is anemia. This can be performed at any age and is even performed in children by pediatric gastroenterologists.

Q. What is it

all about? A. Practically speaking, one could say having a colonoscopy can be split into two phases: “the prep” and “the colonoscopy.” There are very detailed instructions patients go home with regarding the prep.

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It includes limiting some foods in the days leading up to the procedure and a liquid diet on the day before the procedure. The evening before the colonoscopy and sometimes the morning of the colonoscopy patients will drink their bowel prep. This is something that has come a long way over the years. In the past prepping for colonoscopy almost always involved drinking an entire gallon of bowel prep. Although this is still available, a majority of gastroenterologists have transitioned to newer preps that are much lower volume and act faster leading to high patient satisfaction regarding this aspect of colonoscopy. Once it is time for the colonoscopy, patients are surrounded by their gastroenterologist, as well

as a skilled anesthesia and nursing team. They are comfortably sedated for the entirety of the procedure. It is very common for patients to wake up wondering if we have even started because they feel so well! After having a colonoscopy there are very few restrictions, the main one being no driving until the following day. There are no food restrictions following the procedure and most patients go enjoy a very nice meal afterwards to celebrate that it is all over!


Dental Dr. Ishbel Nieves (L) / Dr. Poonam Popat (R)

Highland Lakes Dental / 352.326.4404 / 26540 Ace Ave. Leesburg / Leesburgfloridadentist.com

What is the importance of making regular dental visits and preventing oral decay? Dr. Ishbel Nieves. We are not meant to lose our teeth. We still have to eat, we still have to speak, and we do many other things that will be affected if we lose our teeth. It’s also less expensive to prevent an issue from happening rather than waiting for a problem to become bigger. Not addressing oral health issues can also affect your overall health, including the way you digest food if you don’t have enough teeth to chew food properly. People think if something doesn’t hurt in the moment it’s not serious. Sometimes cavities are so small you don’t feel them. Still, it’s better to have a small filling rather than a bigger one that can lead to needing a root canal or needing to have a tooth pulled. It’s a simpler procedure that is less traumatic. I would like to emphasize that patients only spend a few hours with us each year. To maintain optimal oral health, it requires good home care, including proper flossing and brushing, as well as a healthy diet.

Dr. Poonam Popat. It’s not just decay that we address. We also treat periodontal disease and misalignment of teeth, which can cause multiple issues. We have a periodontist, Dr. Marissa Cruz, who comes into our office three times a month. She specializes in the supporting structures of the teeth. That’s a big plus for us and the patient because we don’t have to refer patients out. I’m very interested in taking care of pain and helping patients avoid needing emergency treatment. It’s not as easy to fit in an emergency treatment. If we have a full schedule of patients and a patient comes in with pain, it’s hard to get that patient in and address their concerns. Therefore, when a patient comes in for a new patient exam, we are thorough with all their treatment needs because they want some say in how their treatment goes. We also educate patients to prevent those emergency treatments. For us, dentistry is more than a career; it is a passion. Oral health has a direct correlation to overall health, and we want to keep our patients as healthy as possible.

We focus on your health and happiness to deliver an ideal dental experience.


Eye Care Mohammed K. ElMallah, M.D.

Ocala Eye / 352.430.3356 / 1950 Laurel Manor Drive, Suite 250, The Villages

Why is Ocala Eye the expert in eye care? Ocala Eye is the largest eye care practice in North Central Florida with offices throughout the Villages, Ocala, and Dunnellon. Whether patients need a routine eye exam, glasses, cataract surgery, or to be seen for a more complex or advanced issue, Ocala Eye promises comprehensive, patient-

centered care conveniently under the umbrella of one practice. Each provider at Ocala Eye is board certified and has undergone rigorous training and education in their individual fields of specialization. They’ve gone to the finest institutions our country has to offer and they’ve trained at places like Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Yale, Stanford,

and more. It’s amazing to get a group of people with that kind of training all in one place. Today, Ocala Eye has five optometrists and thirteen ophthalmologists. Since opening our doors in 1971, Ocala Eye has strived to exceed the expectations of all our patients. Creating a culture that focuses on patients-first, compassion, and training – we’re able to ensure patients have the best people taking care of them, their eyes, and their vision.

Q. What does

Ocala Eye’s 50year anniversary

mean to the communities it serves? A. A lot of medical practices come and go; they stay around for 10-15 years and then they close. With our practice, we’ve been able to create a continuing legacy and that speaks volumes. Our history is such that when a surgeon joins our practice, they stay until retirement. And of the 220 people we employ, we have staff who have been with the company for well over 35 years. Our roots in the community run deep and


will continue to do so as we grow. Our 50-year anniversary symbolizes our commitment to our patients, employees and the communities we serve. It is a testament to our unwavering dedication to our mission of providing comprehensive, state-ofthe-art eyecare employing a compassionate patientcentered approach.

Q. What services

do you offer? A. We do it all. We have five outstanding optometrists, so people can come see us for a regular eye exam once a year and get fitted for glasses, sunglasses, or contacts. At the heart of our practice, we have 13 highly skilled ophthalmologists. Our ophthalmologists perform cataract surgery as well as LASIK and other refractive surgeries. Our ophthalmologists also provide subspecialty care such as macular degeneration treatment, glaucoma surgery, corneal transplants, and cosmetic eyelid surgery.

Additionally, Ocala Eye houses full-service hearing and aesthetic departments and has its own AAAHC accredited surgery center. We take care of patients from early childhood all the way through their older years when they may need additional care and services.

Q. Tell us about

your upcoming expansions?

open by the end of the year and the other – a larger office and surgery center – set to open by the end of 2022, will be coming to Fenney on the south side of The Villages. For a long time, we were mainly based in Ocala with a single location in The Villages, but with these expansions, we are truly in The Villages. It’s us showing our commitment to The Villages and to our patients in that area.

Dr. ElMallah specializes in cataract and glaucoma surgery. He is the only glaucoma specialist in The Villages, Marion County, and the surrounding areas. Outside of surgery, Dr. ElMallah enjoys educating and training other physicians in his field, overseeing Ocala Eye’s research department, volunteering his time with local nonprofits, and spending time with family.

A. Currently, we have one office in The Villages located in Laurel Manor and are excited to share the current plans to build two more in other parts of The Villages. One will be in Spanish Springs, which we hope to

A special thank you to our COO Zora Harrison. Your leadership and love for our patients and employees are never unnoticed.

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Orthodontics Dr. Dave Wollenschlaeger & Dr. Chris Wollenschlaeger

Wollenschlaeger Orthodontics / 352.787.6800 / 33050 Professional Drive, Leesburg / drdaveortho.com

Why is an orthodontic evaluation by an Orthodontist important?

Maybe you have been told that you would benefit from orthodontic treatment by friends or family and possibly even by your general dentist. So why consult with an orthodontist? Orthodontists are the specialists within the dental profession whose focus is on creating healthy, beautiful smiles for children, teenagers and adults by properly aligning teeth and jaws. About 6 percent of those who graduate from dental school go on to become orthodontists by graduating from an accredited two-to-three year orthodontic residency program. Does extra education really make a difference in how an orthodontic problem is treated, or in the outcome? While there is some instruction regarding orthodontics in dental school, it is minimal. So yes, an orthodontists’ extra and

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intensive education makes a big difference. If your dentist says he or she can provide orthodontic treatment, you may want to consider seeking a second opinion with an orthodontist. The orthodontist’s expertise guides him/her in recommending the type of treatment best suited to correct your specific orthodontic problem. Having been trained in many techniques such as surgical orthodontics, expansion appliances, miniimplants(TADS), and of course braces, orthodontists are not limited to a single kind of appliance, such as Invisalign. Orthodontists are uniquely qualified specialists and have the skills and experience to give you a healthy and beautiful smile. Dr. Dave and Dr. Chris Wollenschlaeger, a father-son duo practicing in Leesburg, are devoted to the highest standards of care for patients of all ages. The doctors, along

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with a team of highly trained and skilled clinicians, utilize state-of-the-art procedures and comprehensive treatment plans to achieve optimal dental health while enhancing and maintaining the natural beauty of their patients’ smiles. Did you know that a space created by the removal of a tooth may sometimes be closed with braces? Orthodontic treatment can provide not only a confident smile, but also can help improve one’s bite, make your teeth fit better, and decreases the risk of future, and potentially costly dental problems. Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain, and can contribute to tooth enamel wear, difficulty in chewing and/ or speaking, and excess stress on supporting bone and gum tissue. Without treatment, many problems simply become worse.

Many patients find that orthodontic treatment is more affordable than ever. At Wollenschlaeger Orthodontics, we offer a free consultation to discuss treatment options and costs, and a variety of payment plans. Employers may offer dental insurance plans with orthodontic benefits, and/or the option to set said pre-tax dollars in a flexible spending account or other health savings account. “We treat our patients like they are family members”, Dr. Dave says of the personalized attention and consistency provided to patients. “Every time you come to our office you will see either me or Chris.” With Dr. Dave and Dr. Chris it’s a family affair.


Insurance Julie Graham(L) / Susan Brisbin(R)

352.735.7795 / 411 N. Donnelly St., Ste. 300, Mount Dora / healthandretirementadvocates.com

Co-Founders & Independent Agents

I am turning 65 soon, how do I make the transition to Medicare?

Congratulations! This is a big milestone and deserves a celebration. Here are a few things every new 65-yearold should know:

1. If you are already drawing Social Security, you will automatically be enrolled into Parts A and B. Your Medicare will begin on the 1st of your birthday month and your monthly payment will be automatically deducted from your Social Security check.

2. If you are still working and have an employer group health plan (EGHP), most likely you will NOT need Part B. You will “delay enrollment” until you are ready to retire. Plan to contact Social

Security about 3 months in advance. Your employer will confirm creditable coverage and arrange for your Part B to begin the first of the month after your EGHP ends. Cobra does NOT count as EGHP, consult a licensed agent before electing Cobra if you are 65 or older.

3. Once your Medicare Parts A and B are in place, you may select additional coverage such as Medicare Advantage (MA), Medicare Supplement (Medigap) and/or Part D plans.

4. If you recently moved here, even if you came from neighboring counties, a change in location can open up new plan options. You have 63 days after you

report a change of address to select new coverage if available, so be sure to reach out to a local agent and inquire.

5. For those already enrolled in a Medicare plan, the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is right around the corner (October 15 - December 7)! During this time, everyone with Medicare can review plans for the upcoming year and make changes that will become effective on January 1st. 6. Finally, if you are happy with your current plan, you do not need to do anything. Your plan will automatically renew. If you would like to “Ask the Expert” in person, we will be presenting Making Medicare Easy, an educational seminar series focused on teaching the basics and providing useful tools in the selection of additional products. These will be held every Wednesday in September, beginning on the 8th, at 10am and 2pm at the Donnelly Park Building in the heart of historic downtown Mount Dora. More information about these events can be found on our website. Come out and see us; we would love to meet you!

Not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. By contacting us you agree that a licensed agent may call or e-mail to discuss Medicare Advantage, Prescription Drug Plans or Medicare Supplement Insurance.

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Cardiology Dr. Saroj Tampira

Village Heart & Vein / P: 352.674.2080 / F: 352.674.2177 / 8575 NE 138th Ln., Ste. 203, Lady Lake / villageheartandvein.com

What is the difference between superficial veins and deep veins and how do you treat deep vein blockages?

Superficial veins are below the skin’s surface and carry blood from surrounding tissues to the deep vein. Deep veins are beneath layers of tissue and muscle. The role of deep veins is to pump blood to the heart. When deep veins in the legs become clogged or narrowed, blood coagulates, making it difficult for blood to flow properly. This can lead to leg swelling, ulcerations, and leg pain when walking. Some physicians only treat superficial veins. Patients should know that if their superficial vein is treated and their symptoms have not improved, it could mean they are suffering from deep vein occlusion, which means that a vein has blockage. Occlusion of the vein is usually caused by an artery that runs across the vein and

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puts pressure on the vein. I encourage these patients to be evaluated. In other cases, patients are told they have lymphedema, or swelling due to build-up of fluid in the body. Sometimes, it turns out that the real problem is blockage in a deep vein. Fortunately, I’ve been treating deep veins for 10 years. Patients undergo a procedure in an outpatient surgery center. The procedure takes about one hour, and then the patient recovers for about two hours before returning home. During the procedure, I place a stent, which is a metal mesh tube, to expand against blocked or narrowed vein walls. They act as a scaffold to keep veins open, resulting in improved blood flow from the legs to the heart. Stents are both safe and successful in the treatment of

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venous diseases. Compared to more invasive surgeries, stenting offers several advantages, including less recovery time, minimal risk of complication, and the ability to undergo the procedure in an outpatient surgery center rather than a hospital.

Many people with vein occlusion are suffering without a proper diagnosis or without knowing where to seek treatment. At Village Heart and Vein Center, we are proud to offer them effective treatment so they can feel better and enjoy a higher quality of life.

Village Heart & Vein Center is a full-service cardiology practice that provides its patients with the very highest standards of medical and compassionate care.


CENTRAL FLORIDA PLASTIC SURGERY A PLASTIC SURGERY SPECIALTY BOUTIQUE In a younger face, we typically see the heart-shape or V-shape look of youth. With age, gravity, and loss of skin elasticity, we can observe the stigmata of old age: nasolabial and marionette lines, jowl formation, and a turkey gobbler neck.

CENTRAL FLORIDA PLASTIC SURGERY A PLASTIC SURGERY SPECIALTY BOUTIQUE

drserra.com

We can reestablish that heartshaped look of youth with Face InNeck a younger face, we typically see the heart-shape or and Lift with Smartlipo. This procedure combines a face V-shape look of youth. With age, gravity, and loss of and neck lift with laser liposuction skin elasticity, we can observe the stigmata of old age: along the jawline and neck using nasolabial and marionette lines, jowl formation, and a Smartlipo technology.

turkey gobbler neck.

With today’s modern technology, youWe cancan trulyreestablish look on the outside the that heart-shaped look of youth with way you feel on the inside. Call for Face Neck Lift Smartlipo. This procedure your free and consultation with with Dr. Serra to find out if Face and Neck with combines a face and Lift neck lift with laser liposuction Smartlipo is right for A New You!

along the jawline and neck using Smartlipo technology.

With today’s modern technology, you can truly look on the outside the way you feel on the inside. Call for your free consultation with Dr. Serra to find out if Face and Neck Lift with Smartlipo is right for A New You!

M.D. FACS

American Board of Plastic Surgery AmericAn Society of PlAStic SurgeonS

American Society of Plastic Surgeons AmericAn Society of AeSthetic PlAStic Surgery

American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery AmericAn BoArd of PlAStic Surgery

drserra.com | 352-259-0722

American College of Surgeons

AmericAn college of SurgeonS

drserra.com | 352-259-0722

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villages PEOPLE. PLACES. EVENTS.

Think outside the theme park Forget the high prices and long lines. Local places can provide Villagers with plenty of thrills.

Tee-riffic accomplishment During a three-year period, Villager Marlene Dignan played on all 72 golf courses in The Villages.

This hobby’s a breeze The sky is the limit for The Villages Cloud Chasers Club, a group of people who love flying kites.


MEET A VILLAGER

PEO PLE

Different strokes Villager meets her bucket list goal of playing golf on all 72 courses in The Villages from May 2018 to March 2021. STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL

illager Marlene Dignan has a passion for golf; however, she had no interest in it decades ago. “I didn’t like it at all,” she says. She was back home in Pittsburgh for Father’s Day the first time she golfed. Her family had started an annual golf outing, and Marlene wanted to be with them. “I never really got connected much with the ball.” After moving to Arizona in 2005, she decided to give golf a second shot when a title company offered free golf lessons. In the process, Marlene became friends with Rose, another new golfer. “We played a couple times a week in the summer when the rates were the lowest and fell in love with the game. Because we were newbies, our way of determining the winner was the amount of golf balls we found in the shrubs and sand,” she says, grinning. From Arizona, Marlene and George, her husband of 44 years, moved to Florida, first settling in Palm Harbor. Once George learned of The Villages and more golf opportunities

Do you know an interesting Villager?

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≈ PHOTO: NICOLE HAMEL for his wife, he arranged for them to stay in Brownwood to experience The Villages lifestyle for a weekend. The rest, as they say, is history. The Dignans fell in love with The Villages and chose to the move into the Village of Liberty Park. “I said to myself, ‘I’m going to golf all the courses here in The Villages and it will become my new bucket list.’” Marlene made it happen. The first course she golfed was Gray Fox at Red Fox Executive Golf Course on May 5, 2018, and she completed her goal on March 23, 2021, golfing on Osprey at Evans Prairie Country Club. “I learned I loved playing the championship courses because I love to hit them long. For me, 162 yards was the longest and farthest I have ever hit,” she says. “But the more you play, I believe the better you get.” Marlene now aspires to form a group with other Villagers who have golfed all 72 courses. “Perhaps we could be one of the first to go and golf the new courses together. Wouldn’t that be fun?” she says. Those interested in the being part of the golf group are encouraged to email Marlene at we2blessed@gmail.com.

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L-R: Dr. Julio Ugarte Dr. Steven Rivers Dr. Erin Dariano Dr. Anthony Desmarais

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IN THE VILLAGES

CO MMENTARY

On your mark, get set… STOP! Expansion set to double Villages size by 2040, so will roads become one big traffic jam? STORY: JOE ANGIONE

hen I moved to the Villages in 1997, there were 12,000 homes spread compactly on both sides of Route 27/441. Most were singleand double-wide manufacturerbuilt units in the Village of Orange Blossom Gardens. The Spanish Springs commercial area was almost completed, and larger, site-built homes were springing up in Hacienda Hills. The Villages seemed big then. But today’s Villages is enormous compared to when I moved here. Now there are more than 132,000 residents living in 70,000 homes spread across 32 square miles. Longtime residents like me are finding that getting around in the Villages becomes more difficult each year. The extra heavy traffic on Village roads normally seen during the “snowbird” season has now become routine throughout the year. Snowbirds don’t seem to be going back north anymore. Crime and soaring living costs up there have driven many former birds to nest here all year long. This has led to daily congestion on roads like Morse Blvd., El Camino Real, Buena Vista Blvd., Avenida

Central, Routes 466 and 466A. Often, there’s a few minutes wait to gain access to a major road or street from my village. And if I’m going to a doctor’s appointment, I add another 10 minutes to find a parking space. Getting around won’t get any easier from now on. But Villages management continues to promote an active, on-the-go lifestyle that means residents are constantly in their cars and golf carts. The Villages is the new “mecca” for people fed up with life in big cities like New York, Boston and Chicago. To accommodate them, Villages management has expansion projects divided into three areas: In Area A, the original Village of Southern Oaks, 24,845 new homes are planned, along with 2.5 million square feet of commercial space. Area B, south of County Road 470, will see 18,413 more homes built and 2.3 million square feet of commercial space added. Area C, south of the Coleman federal prison, will expand by 16,191 additional homes and about 3 million square feet of commercial space. Future traffic resulting from these expansions is expected to generate 35,932 additional vehicle trips daily by 2040. New roadways are planned for these areas, but it’s unknown if this road construction can handle all the new traffic. Village travel may require more patience than ever before.

Joe Angione loves to share stories of his adventures. If you want to contact him, email joeangione@aol.com

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GETAWAY

Hit the r ad Hey, Villagers! Here are nearby day trips close to home that you may enjoy.

COMPILED BY JAMES COMBS, ROXANNE BROWN, AND THERESA CAMPBELL

≈ PHOTOS: NICOLE HAMEL AND ANTHONY RAO

he Villages has a plethora of exciting and fun things to do in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown, but sometimes it’s nice to get away and explore other attractions in Lake and Sumter counties. Style staffers found the following places to be enjoyable outings that you may want to experience with friends or when the grandchildren come to visit!

THRILLING RIDE Gliding 35 to 55 mph in an airboat across Lake Panasoffkee and experiencing fun, sliding corner turns through marshes into the peaceful swamps and natural springs of the Withlacoochee River system are among the thrills Swamp Fever Airboat Adventures provides. Guests often marvel over the natural beauty and tranquility of the swamp, and they also delight over seeing wildlife, from big to small alligators sunbathing, turtles resting on logs, and a variety of birds. Swamp Fever Airboat Adventures was started in 2015 by Captain Ron Duboise– who has 50-plus years of air boating experience–and his wife Pamela. “We try to give everybody the real thrill of ‘Old Florida’ and it’s something you can’t see from the road,” says Pamela. “It’s something you have to experience on an airboat.” Guests are also treated to another thrill before or after their tour: the chance to meet Swamp Fever’s resident alligators Alli, Josephine, or Wyatt up close. If they wish,

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guests can hold and be photographed with one of the gators. Yes, the gator’s mouth is taped shut, and Alli, Josephine, and Wyatt are accustomed to being held and photographed with visitors. Swamp Fever Airboat Adventures is located 4110 NW 42nd Place, Lot 1, Lake Panasoffkee. Call 352.643.0708 or visit swampfeverairboatadventures.com.

Jessica Himes


Peter Closi

SEAPLANE RIDE ADVENTURE Those seeking an unforgettable experience should look to the sky as Jones Brothers Air and Seaplane Adventures in Tavares is famous for providing “the ride of your life.” The company offers a variety of scenic seaplane flightseeing tours, from a 15-minute touch and go on the water with aerial views of Mount Dora and Tavares, to fly-in breakfast, lunch, and dinner excursions, and full-day trips to other locations. Among Jones Brothers’ most popular adventures are a 45-minute Gator Tour for spotting wild gators over Lake Apopka

on the way to Orlando attractions; a Seaplane Bar Hop, a four-hour hop to different waterfront watering holes and restaurants with live music and cold brews; a 30-minute Sunset Celebration flight of breathtaking sunset views across vast areas of Lake Harris and Lake Griffin and the wilderness of the Ocklawaha River and Ocala National Forest before turning back across Lake Yale and Lake Eustis in time to fly into the sunset across Lake Dora. “The experience of splashing in and out of Lake Dora is exhilarating,” says Tavares City Administrator John Drury.

Peter Closi, president of Jones Brothers, agrees: “It’s something most people have never experienced in their life and cannot be compared to any other sort of conventional flying.” Another fun seaplane/water adventure is a lunch fly-in to Lake Weir, which includes taxiing up to the beach so passengers can enjoy lunch at Eaton’s Beach Sandbar & Grill. The eatery features Florisiana cuisine and menu selections inspired by deepseated culinary roots of Cajun, Creole, Low Country, BBQ, and Spanish cuisine. To learn more about seaplane adventures, visit jonesairandsea.com.

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GETAWAY

Maureen Potter, Sarah McCullough, and Dieter Grube

Maureen Potter

Clermont Historical Society Board Members

Sarah McCullough

WINDOW INTO THE PAST The Clermont Historic Village Museum, located at 490 West Ave. on the shores of Lake Minneola, provides a glimpse into the area’s rich history and the people who lived it. There are six historical buildings that people can browse through at their leisure or volunteer docents can provide guided tours. The buildings include a Train Depot built around 1925 and a World War II museum housed inside an original Quonset Hut built in 1943 by the military. Both buildings stand in their original locations. There is also the first Cooper Memorial Library built in 1914 for $600 and named after Alice Cooper, the woman who donated the land on DeSoto Street for it, an outhouse replica built by a local boy scout’s Eagle Scout project and the Herring Hooks Schoolhouse, a replica of Clermont’s first one-room schoolhouse built in 1881. The Kern House was built around 1885 on Montrose Street by Alexander Kern, a New Jersey farmer and one of the founding fathers of Clermont who constructed the house in a northeastern style to entice his wife into coming down with him, and The Townsend house, built around 1895 on State Road 50, that was

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home to James and Sallie Townsend, the first African-American family to permanently settle in the area. The Townsends were entrepreneurs and built deep roots in the area. James built a church that still exists today and a school for Black children and Sallie, known to all as “Aunt Sallie,” became a mid-wife, who is said to have delivered more than 1,000 babies, both Black and White. According to members and volunteer docents with the Clermont Historical Society, visitors – many from out of the state or country – oftentimes comment about how unique the antique village is and about how the contents of each building transport them back in time. The Village is open to the public from 1-4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays for tours. A $5 donation is requested for each adult over 12 and special tours for groups or schools can be arranged by appointment by calling 352.242.7734. For more information, visit www.clermonthistoricvillage.org. If interested in extending the trip and adding more to it historically, other nearby museums to visit while passing through Clermont include the Florida Citrus Tower, located at 141 S. Highway 27, and the Presidents Hall of Fame, located at 123 N. Highway 27.


OLD FLORIDA CHARM Premier Boat Tours in Mount Dora offers a picturesque view of Old Florida, down a one-mile stretch of the Dora Canal, the waterway that links Lake Dora to Lake Eustis. Visitors are often treated to sights of wildlife, including sunbathing alligators, a few baby alligators, water snakes, osprey, turtles, bald eagles, white egrets, anhinga, and more. The “Old Florida” views and feeling the breeze is one way to enjoy a relaxing afternoon or one-hour sunset evening cruise. Passengers have included foreign exchange students from China and Australia, and a majority come from all over Florida to experience this attraction. Premier owner Tudor Barratt-Scands says the pontoon rides are popular with Villagers, and some have return three or four times a year with different visitors. He says one customer enjoyed it so much that he booked 10 boat tours in one year. It’s been reported that several retakes for the classic Humphrey Bogart/ Katherine Hepburn movie “African Queen,” originally filmed in Africa, were shot on the Dora Canal in 1951 since the jungle-like setting was considered ideal. Premier Boat Tours depart from the dock at Lakeside Inn in Mount Dora. The company has two luxury, all-weather pontoon boats and one smaller pontoon, which are regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard. Life jackets are underneath passengers’ seats, and the boats are easily accessible with one small step. Those with push wheelchairs and walkers can ride on the vessels. The two-hour daily tours begin at 100 N. Alexander St., Mount Dora. Reservations are required by calling 352.434.8040 or visiting doracanaltour.com.

SPLISHIN’ AND A SPLASHIN’ If you’re an avid diving enthusiast, forget about traveling to the Cayman Islands, Cozumel, or the Great Barrier Reef to enjoy an underwater adrenaline rush. Alexander Springs Recreation Area, located in the Ocala National Forest near Astor, offers year-round diving opportunities in its crystalline waters. Think of it as Mother Nature’s version of an outdoor swimming pool. Bluegill, catfish, turtles, kelp-like vegetation, and rock outcroppings are some of the beautiful sights that await novice and experienced divers alike. Alexander Springs isn’t known only to locals. Divers from as far away as Belgium, France, and Germany have visited to enjoy its peaceful and serene underwater world. Because there are no complex cave systems to navigate, the spring is an ideal destination for beginners looking

to descend to new depths. In fact, Alexander Springs is a popular site for dive training. Divers who visit Alexander Springs must be certified and show proof of certification. Alexander Springs is one of only 27 first-magnitude springs in Florida, meaning it gushes 100 gallons of water per cubic second from under the ground. Water temperature remains 72 degrees year-round. In addition to diving, visitors can hike the Timucuan Trail, a 0.9-mile loop featuring two observation decks offering beautiful views of the spring. Other attractions include a 68-site campground, a large picnic area, and a sand-beach shoreline where visitors can swim or work on the perfect tan. Alexander Springs is located at 49525 C.R. 445 in Altoona. For more information, call 352.669.3522.

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GETAWAY

NATURALLY INVIGORATING Lake Griffin State Park is the epitome of a hidden gem. Fact is, some Lake Countians are unaware of its existence. Perhaps that’s because few would assume a natural wonderland could be located off bustling a bustling highway in Fruitland Park. Once you’ve discovered it, you’ll want to come back. Lake Griffin State Park is home to Florida’s second-oldest oak tree, estimated to be between 300 and 500 years old. The tree is home to several species of birds, and historians speculate

the tree may have been a landmark for Timucua Native Americans who frequented the area before settlement. Two trails give hikers an up-close view of Florida’s natural habitats, including swamp and sandhill terrain. Along the way, visitors may see racoons, bobcats, squirrels, opossum, and hawks. Don’t worry about the sizzling summertime heat. Spanish moss-draped oak trees provide adequate shade. Other popular attractions include a guided pontoon boat tour of Dead River Marsh, a tributary of Lake Griffin. It’s as

educational as it is fun because guides share interesting facts about Florida’s flora and fauna. The pontoon boat tour lasts a little over an hour and costs $15 per person. Kayak and canoe rentals also are available. Single kayaks cost $10 per hour, and canoes and double kayaks cost $12 per hour. A 40-site campground allows visitors to stay a few nights, while picnic tables and a playground entertain families who come for a day. Lake Griffin State Park is located at 3089 U.S. Hwy. 441 in Fruitland Park. For more information, call 352.360.6760.

HOW SWEET IT IS Like a fine wine, Lakeridge Winery gets better with time. Lakeridge officially opened its doors in February 1989 and has become the largest winery in Florida. The winery attracts thousands of visitors each year. Some come to take guided tours inside the two-story, 28,000 square-foot facility, where they learn the finer points of winemaking and taste some of the company’s most popular wines. At the conclusion of the tour, visitors stand on all sides of a tasting counter, which looks similar to a bar minus the seats. They sample a variety of Lakeridge Winery’s finest red and white wines made from Muscadine and hybrid grapes. He explains what dishes go well with each individual wine. The gift shop, located on the first floor, sells wine paraphernalia such as glasses, bottle stoppers and bottle coolers. Patrons can also purchase items such as barbecue sauce, Buffalo wing sauce, tomato salad dressing and Mexican salsa.

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Most of the wine is made from Muscadine grapes, which are native to Florida and produce a sweeter, fruitier taste. The variety of Muscadine grapes used include the Carlos and Welder (both white grapes) and Noble (red grapes). In March, the grape vines start to flower, and the harvest season begins in June and continues throughout the summer. Lakeridge Winery is located at 19239 U.S. Highway 27 in Clermont. For more information, call 352.394.8627.


DOWN ON THE FARM For 40 years, Uncle Donald’s Farm has provided an enjoyable experience for countless children and adults. Today, the farm is owned and operated by three sisters—Beth Morris, Donna Morris, and Jeannette Morris. The 50-acre property is a working farm where the owners sell fresh eggs and produce products such as goat milk soap. However, the farm doubles as an attraction, allowing the public to see more than 250 animals that include both livestock and wildlife. From the parking lot, visitors walk down a short path shaded by leaning oak trees. Before long, a symphony of animal sounds fills the air. Turkey gobbles. Duck quacks. Geese honks. Rooster crows. From there, they enter into the main farm, where themed areas separate the typical barnyard residents from wildlife.

The farm’s “Poultry Path” leads visitors past chicken coops containing various breeds. Marvel at the beauty of Rhode Island Reds, a stately chicken with a chestnut red body and glossy black feathers. Admire the sheer size of the Jersey Giant, the largest chicken breed in the U.S. that can weigh up to 15 pounds. Learn about the French Black Copper Marans, which lay chocolate-colored eggs. The ”Wildlife Area” features deer, as well as a Florida panther and coyote. Never fear. They’re safely behind a fence. Other animals include a 200-pound African tortoise, a Nubian goat, miniature horses, and red-tailed hawks. Generous donations and money from admission fees help the Morris family keep the animals well fed and ensure they have a permanent home. Uncle Donald’s Farm is located at 2713 Griffin Ave. in Lady Lake. For more information, call 352.753.2882.

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SOCIAL CLUB SPOTLIGHT

PEO PLE

Flying high Kites leave some Villagers on Cloud Nine.

en Stokes is happiest when gentle breezes swirl in the air. Gazing skyward, he watches in admiration as his agile, colorful kite dances peacefully in the blue Florida skies. A resident of The Villages, Ken is a kiteflying enthusiast who took up the hobby as an 8-year-old Cub Scout. He has flown a kite in nearly every state. “Before moving to The Villages 10 years ago, my wife and I lived in our RV full-time,” Ken says. “Wherever we’d stop, I would get a kite out if the wind was blowing and fly it. I had four kites when I moved to The Villages, and I thought that was a lot. Now, I have around 30.”

Today, Ken enjoys the hobby with other kiting enthusiasts. He is a member of The Villages Cloud Chasers Club and has served as president for three years. The club boasts 48 members who learn the finer points of kite making and kite flying. What amazes new members the most, he says, is the relative ease of mastering the sport. “Many new members attempted to fly kites as children and often did so unsuccessfully,” Ken says. “That is probably because nobody taught them the basic rules. You don’t have to run to fly a kite; you just need a decent wind. Once you’ve mastered the basic concepts and see your kite flying like a dream, you derive pure pleasure from it.” Members gather to fly each Tuesday and Thursday at The Villages Polo Club from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Monday, Wednesday,

Kite Making with kids at the Wildwood Park & Recreation Community Center Summer Camp.

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VST Y L E • S EP ' 21

and Saturday at the Everglades Recreation Complex from 2-5 p.m. On those days, the sky becomes quite a spectacle. With limitless overhead space, kite flyers unspool more and more string until their kites float as high as 300 feet. Kites of all shapes— square, triangle, and rectangle—fill the air with their vibrant colors. Typically, members use three types of kites: a single-line kite, which is ideal for beginners, a single-line fighter kite, known for their agility and maneuverability, and two- or four-line sport kites, which are famous for their acrobatic stunts, loops, and dives. One of Ken’s favorites is a $200 four-line sport kite sporting red, white, and blue colors. “This kite flies forward, backward, upside down, side-to-side, and diagonally,” Ken says. “Believe it or not, it’s actually one of the easiest kites to fly once you get used to it.” Like Ken, other club members bring a wealth of kite-flying experience. Gregory Lamoureux formerly owned Seaside Kites in Boston and is currently a member of the American Kitefliers Association. He has flown kites for 30 years. “I love the fun, the thrill, and the relaxation of being part of this club,” Gregory says. “There are no egos here. We love coming out and sharing knowledge with whoever comes to play with us.”

Group photo of kids provided by Gregory Lamoureux. Photo of Cloud Chasers club members by Nicole Hamel.

STORY: JAMES COMBS


Although residents must reside in The Villages to be a club member, everyone is invited to join the Cloud Chasers on days they fly. Be forewarned, though. Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate. “One of the most important pieces of equipment we have is a lawn chair,” Ken says. “Kite flying can quickly turn into a social gathering on days the wind isn’t blowing.”

That’s OK, though. For club members like J.B. Buranosky, just being outside among friends brings a feeling of euphoria. “Kite flying is an excellent substitute for work,” J.B. says jokingly. “Seriously, it’s hard to have a bad day when you’re flying a kite. Being in the sunshine and being around like-minded people helps you forget about your worries. It’s an escape.” For more information, visit thevillageskiteclub.weebly.com or call Ken Stokes at 925.200.1601.

Greg, Ken (president of club), Kay, Judy and Jeff

Want to see your club in Social Club Spotlight? Send your suggestions to james@akersmediagroup.com

JAMES COMBS

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BOOK CLUB

REVIEW

The Dutch House By Ann Patchett. An engrossing saga spanning five decades that focuses on a brother and sister affected by devastating family matters. STORY: KATHY PORTER

aeve Conroy is a math genius, and her younger brother Danny is our engaging narrator. Their father Cyril, a man of very few words, has established a successful real estate business in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and in whose footsteps Danny wishes to follow. At the end of World War II, their father buys an impressive hilltop mansion nicknamed the Dutch House. The former owners were the VanHoebeeks who spared no expense in designing and decorating the home, including a front entrance made almost entirely of glass. The house is an integral part of the story. Not long after the Conroys move into the Dutch House, their mother Elna, who hates the excesses of the house, deserts the family to work with the poor in India. Maeve and Danny are devastated and cling even closer to each other, especially after Maeve develops diabetes. After divorcing their mother, Cyril, their father, remarries Andrea, who has two daughters of her own.

Although an astute businessman, Cyril seems powerless against Andrea’s whims and actions. She makes life miserable for Maeve, Danny, and the faithful household help. Maeve and Danny’s world collapses when their father suddenly dies. Andrea takes over his real estate business and she expels Maeve and Danny from the Dutch House. They are thrown into virtual poverty. How they cope with this turn of events and continue to live their lives is the crux of the story. There are comments about the premise of Andrea’s actions that deprive Maeve and Danny of their inheritance. They make the point that the probate court system takes charge of assets when dependent children are involved when someone dies intestate. Also, the book does propel the reader back and forth in time. Some readers had difficulty with this aspect of the book. “The Dutch House” is Ann Patchett’s eighth novel and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. There is no question that Patchett tells a good story, and we root for Maeve and Danny as the years go by. However, we all wish we could visit the Dutch House and luxuriate in its magnificence.

Eager to find out how Maeve and Danny fare?

“The Dutch House” can be found at Walmart, Target, Books-A-Million, or on Amazon.

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agenda EVENTS. TRAVEL. PEOPLE.

From baseball cards, figurines, vinyl records and retro video games to a place to relish them, Not Just Cardboard is paradise for collectors and gamers.

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THE TO-DO LIST SEP

25

AC TIVIT Y

TAKE A HIKE Enjoy a guided hiking tour along PEAR Park’s River Trail, which meanders along the Palatlakaha River. The 318-acre park is home to 160 species of birds and 40 species of butterflies. Sep. 25 @ 9 a.m. / PEAR Park, 4800 University Ave., Leesburg. Call 352.516.7456 for more information.

sep. 2021

SEP

9

AC TIVIT Y

This might bug you

How much do you know about insects? What are their life cycles like? What do they eat? Come to Ellis Acres Reserve and let staff take you on a hike while introducing you to various Florida insects. Sep. 9 @ 10:30 a.m. / Ellis Acres Reserve, 25302 County Road 42, Paisley. Call 352.516.7456 for more information.

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SEP

18

FESTIVAL

BECOME CULTURED It’s all about salsa at Clermont’s annual Sips and Salsa Festival. Cultural cuisine will be available in a variety of exquisite dishes, accompanied by live salsa music and dancing. Other activities include a chihuahua race, a domino tournament, and a kid’s zone.

sep.

ON STAGE Enjoy quality entertainment on the many stages of Lake and Sumter counties.

Sep. 18 / Waterfront Park, 330 3rd St., Clermont. Call 352.708.5975.

TIME FOR SOME LAUGHS

9/10-10/3

Sonnentag Theatre at the IceHouse presents “Cahoots,” a funny tale about two young couples whose dinner party manners are stripped away when seething jealousies boil over. Sonnentag Theatre at the IceHouse, 1100 N. Unser St., Mount Dora. Call 352.383.4616 for more information.

GREAT MUSIC COMES ALIVE

10/2

The State Theatre in Eustis presents “The Best of Michael Russo: You Haven’t Seen Anything Yet.” Michael is a solo artist who performs doo-wop, Motown, and fabulous songs from the disco era that will have you dancing in the aisles. The State Theatre, 109 N. Bay St., Eustis. Call 352.357.7777 for more information.

SEP

18

SH O PPIN G

ALL OR NOTHING

OLDIES BUT GOODIES

9/10-9/26

To kick off its centennial anniversary season, The State Theatre presents “The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd,” a vaudeville production that explores 1960s British society class structure via antics of two comic figures competing in “the game of life.”

Renninger’s Antique Center and Flea Market is hosting its popular Antique and Vintage Fair. Visitors can shop the pavilions and tents full of antiques and vintage goods. Even if you don’t make a purchase, the sights, sounds, and smells are always fun. Sep. 18 / Renninger’s Antique Center and Flea Market, 20651 U.S. Hwy. 441, Mount Dora. Call 352.283.8393.

ONGOI NG EVENTS Events are subject to change and cancellation.

EVERY SUN

EVERY SUN

EVERY MON

EVERY TUE

Clermont Farmer’s Market 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Downtown Clermont

Downtown Mount Dora Village Market 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Mount Dora

Webster’s Farmer’s Market 6 a.m.-2 p.m. 524 North Market Blvd., Webster

Lady Lake Farmer’s Market 9 a.m.-2 p.m. 250 Rolling Acres Rd., Lady Lake

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THE TO-DO LIST

sep.JAMS Move to the beat of one of your favorite performers at one of these great concerts or local venues! SEP

25/26 FESTIVAL

COME SEA FOR YOURSELF

9/5 @ 7 p.m.

9/18 @ 1 p.m.

THE VILLAGES PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA The Sharon, The Villages

JIMMY HUNTER Lake Harris Hideaway, Tavares

9/19 @ 4 p.m. C.O.D. FLORIDA Hurricane Dockside Grill, Tavares

9/10 @ 5 p.m.

Few things taste as divine as freshly cooked seafood. Plenty of it will be served up as Mount Dora’s 6th Annual Seafood Festival, where more than 100 exhibitors will prepare shrimp, oysters, and much more. Attendees can also enjoy live entertainment and visit the Olde Port of Mount Dora Pirate Village. Sep. 25-26 / Simpson’s Cove and Gilbert Park, downtown Mount Dora. Visit mountdoraseafoodfestival.com.

C.O.D. FLORIDA Grand Oaks Resort, Weirsdale CRYSTAL VISION DUO Cody’s Original Roadhouse, The Villages

9/12 @ 7 p.m. CARL PALMER’S ELP LEGACY Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale AUDIENCE OF ONE The Fellowship Church, Leesburg

9/17 @ 5 p.m. MACK LIVERMAN Hurricane Dockside Grill, Tavares

9/17 @ 6 p.m.

To have an event considered for the calendar, send a short text description along with a color photo (if available) 45 days in advance of event to: calendar@akersmediagroup.com or Lake & Sumter Style Calendar, P.O. Box 490088, Leesburg, FL 34749

CRYSTAL VISION DUO Cody’s Original Roadhouse, The Villages

9/11 @ 5 p.m.

9/16 @ 11:30 a.m.

Let us help you get the word out!

9/24 @ 4 p.m.

CRYSTAL VISION DUO Lake Veterans Club, Tavares

9/17 @ 9 p.m. SEPTEMBER DOGS Frank’s Place, Leesburg

9/25 @ 5 p.m. CRYSTAL VISION DUO Hurricane Dockside Grill, Tavares

9/25 @ 5 p.m. C.O.D. FLORIDA Grand Oaks Resort, Weirsdale

9/26 @ 1 p.m. MANFREDI ROCKS Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

10/1 @ 5 p.m. C.O.D. FLORIDA Hurricane Dockside Grill, Tavares

10/1 @ 7 p.m. ALLISON SPEER Village of Faith, Wildwood

10/1 @ 8 p.m. SEPTEMBER DOGS Crossroads 44, Eustis

EVERY THU

1ST FRI

1ST FRI

2ND FRI

2ND SAT

4TH SAT

Lake County Farmers & Flea Market 8 a.m.- noon 250 Rolling Acres Rd., Lady Lake

Eustis First Friday 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Downtown Eustis

Clermont First Friday Food Trucks 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. 685 W. Montrose St., Clermont

Graveland Farmer’s Market 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Lake David Park, Groveland

Plaid in the Park 5 p.m.-9 p.m. 230 W. 4th Ave., Mount Dora

Eustis Classic Car Cruise-In 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Downtown Eustis

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LOCAL TALENT

PEO PLE

Fowl play When it comes to painting, one local artist has some serious game. STORY: JAMES COMBS

ctors have the Oscars. Musicians have the Grammys. Wildlife artists have the Federal Duck Stamp Contest. John Harris has created his own duck dynasty. Since the 1980s, John, a painter who lives on an 11-acre property south of Mascotte, has been a regular participant in the competition, the only art contest sponsored by the federal government. He also competes in statesponsored duck stamp competitions. John is a three-time winner in the Florida Duck Stamp Contest, a two-time winner in both California and Louisiana, and won Oklahoma’s contest two years ago. In 1998, he finished second in the Federal Duck Stamp Contest. Each victory is another feather in his cap. “I love these contests because of the high caliber of competition,” says John, a member of the Society of Animal Artists. “It’s an opportunity to test my talent against the best artists in the country.” The competition exists because waterfowl hunters are required to purchase a federal duck stamp and state duck stamp as part of their annual licensing requirement. Entries must consist of a two-dimensional design and may be in any media except photography or computer-generated art.

≈ PHOTO: NICOLE HAMEL

Though John and other artists receive no compensation for their work, they have the satisfaction of knowing their small stamps make big impacts. Millions of dollars are generated in sales to restore and preserve waterfowl habitat. “I love getting out in the wild and watching birds fly because it’s aweinspiring,” John says. “I’m witnessing God’s creation.” Art has always been a big part of John’s life. He painted in high school as a hobby and later earned a degree in ceramics from the University of Florida. In the mid-1980s, he became intrigued by wildlife art after seeing two paintings that appeared in an issue of Florida Wildlife Magazine. The front cover featured a turkey painted by artist Bob Binks and the back cover showcased a canvasback duck in flight by artist Robert Steiner. “I became inspired when I saw that,” he says. “Several years later I started entering duck stamp contests. By about the fourth year I was finishing ahead of my idols. That motivated me to keep improving.” In addition to duck stamp competitions, John also paints several wildlife portraits each year. He doesn’t have to look very far for inspiration. His property is home to sandhill

Do you know of a talented person in our community? Email their story to james@akersmediagroup.com

cranes, owls, ducks, turkey, deer, foxes, and bobcats. “I usually spend between 50 to 60 hours on each one,” he says. “I want the viewer to feel the same emotional response I feel. I try to make each one real and beautiful.”


ATTRACTIONS

H O B BY

Treasure trove Leesburg man finds joy in collecting for the collectors and giving gamers a place to do what they love. STORY: ROXANNE BROWN

≈ PHOTOS: CINDY PETERSON

ark Roberts, an avid Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots fan, has been collecting baseball and football cards since he was a kid all through the 1970s and ’80s, and now, at the age of 58, he’s still at it. The only difference is that today, he’s not eagerly tearing open brand-new packs with high hopes a card with one of his own heroes materializes but keeps an ongoing collection of cards he trades and sells at “Not Just Cardboard” in Leesburg. “The name of my store came from when parents would come in and say, ‘How come this card is $100 when it’s only cardboard?’ and I’d say, “You know, it’s not

Mark Roberts

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just cardboard, it’s about teaching your person, whether it’s a kid or adult, to get a lifelong affinity for a team, or a player, no matter what.” Mark continues, “In the 70s, we used to throw the cards up against the wall and flip them, or put them on our bike spokes so they’d make noise when we rode, but people don’t do anything like that anymore, because they are too valuable, the packs cost too much. They’re an investment.” For card collectors, Not Just Cardboard is already an attraction considering the large selection Mark has available at any given time, but that’s just a fraction of what one can find once they walk through the doors and into 7,000-square-feet of what could be considered a collector’s heaven. Everywhere you look, there are comics, figurines and toys of every imaginable character, vintage to current, vinyl records galore, retro video games, DVD’s, jerseys and sports memorabilia, and much more. Besides that, Mark has recently transformed the bottom half of the multi-level storefront into a movie buff and gamer’s


paradise, accented with sports, movie and music related furnishings, décor and memorabilia. Coming soon, customers will be able to hop onto an elevated stage for karaoke on various nights each month, sit and watch one of about a thousand old DVDs, listen to records or just chill with a comic in hand while enjoying a drink, popcorn and pizza fresh out of the pizza oven, before returning upstairs for more shopping. “I thought now is a good time to do this so people can get out of the house and have a place to do something different that’s not very expensive,” Mark says. Most of all, people into card games like Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon, Yugioh, or any board game for that matter, can play with like-minded friends for as long as their hearts desire, or until it’s time for Mark to lock the doors, whichever comes first. Mark says his main gaming night is Friday, starting at about 8:30 p.m. after his store closes, but additional nights are always an option. “Local guys complain about having to drive to Clermont, Mount Dora or Ocala for gaming nights when I’m right here in Leesburg,” Mark says, explaining that he plans on working his way up to paid tournaments. “I’m putting a table on the stage so that the gamers can have their championship games up higher, so people stand around the stage and watch them play.”

In all, Mark talks passionately about everything he’s doing at his newest place in downtown Leesburg on Main Street, opened in October 2020. Mark’s actual business, however, is going on 11 years, having started in a 600-square-foot building on U.S. Highway 27 near Leesburg High School. Before that, Mark only sold baseball and football cards, alongside his father Jim Roberts (now deceased), who dabbled in other collectibles at the Webster Flea Market where they rented space together. It was also Jim who got Mark into the card business in the first place. Mark says after he finished college, joined the Marine Corps, and was awaiting deployment oversees to Japan, his dad suggested he take cards with him. Service members would come to Mark for individual cards, then trade with each other, and later, he began selling cards at a military exchange. When Mark was shipped home to North Carolina, he brought more than 500,000 of the handheld treasures with him. In Leesburg, where he once served as a police officer for nearly six years, Mark says he wants to get more involved with the downtown partnership, local events, and the community, and most of all,

wants to continue feeding his every customer’s passions. Mark says purchasing old treasures people no longer want, excites him because he’s bringing relics back to life in the hands of new owners. “Collecting is something people enjoy, and I saw the need for what I am doing. They invest their money and hearts into it and I invest in what I call ‘kitsch,’ because I have fun finding things people want to have for their collections,” Mark says. “People like coming in here because it makes them feel good.” IF YOU GO

NOT JUST CARDBOARD 208 W. Main Street, Leesburg Hours: Mon.-Tue. 11a.m.-7p.m. Wed.-Fri. 11a.m.-8p.m. and Sat. 10a.m.-6p.m., with special hours for gaming and special events as posted. For more information, you can visit leesburgcolletibles.com, find them on facebook and instagram or call 352.431.3494.

Know of a cool local attraction you’d like us to feature? Contact us at least three months in advance and provide all the details to roxanne@akersmediagroup.com.

ROXANNE BROWN

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Ileanne Buigas (Museum Coordinator), David Gonzalez (DJ), and David Lopez

Wendy Feikert and Mike Gottlieb

Lou, Erika and George Buigas

Wendy Wit and Sandy Sinder

Tom Miranda, Paula Eldered, and Clara Schneider

Lori Lockman and Brian Poloniecki

A RT T O T H E M A X @ LAKE COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART ≈ PHOTOS: NICOLE HAMEL. Lake County Museum of Art, 213 Ruby St., Tavares, hosted a ticketed fundraising reception on June 25 featuring a vast collection of work from world-renowned artist Peter Max. Several local Peter Max collectors were at the event sharing their personal original collections and anecdotes about meeting the artist. LCMA offers regularly changing fine art exhibitions and art classes for adults and children. The museum is free to the public and open noon to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

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CHAMBERS CELEBRATE BUSINESS AFTER HOURS @ MOUNT DORA ≈ PHOTOS: NICOLE HAMEL. Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty’s newly renovated castle at 1898 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora, was the perfect location for the joint Business After Hours networking event on June 24. Members of the Tavares Chamber, Lake Eustis Area Chamber of Commerce, and Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce took part in the realty’s open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony. The evening festivities also featured live music, food, spirits, and raffle giveaways.

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E 'S WHER ?! M Y P IC


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menu FOOD. DRINKS. REVIEWS.

Sud’s Saloon may be a small bar, but it’s big on great drinks, great friends, and great times.

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IN THE KITCHEN

RECIPE

Spreading good vibes Mother-daughter duo whip up nutritious beverages at Pure, their Clermont café. STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL

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≈ PHOTOS: NICOLE HAMEL


“I LOVE JUST GETTING TO TALK TO EVERYBODY AND MAKE EVERYBODY’S DAY FEEL GOOD; JUST BEING A BRIGHT LIGHT IN PEOPLE’S DAY IS FUN.” — K A RY L N N H O R N U N G

oving from Arizona to Clermont and starting a new business during the coronavirus pandemic may seem crazy, but it has been “a great adventure” for Stacey Coronado and her daughter Karlynn Hornung, 16. The pair runs Pure, at 1046 E. Highway 50, in Clermont, conveniently located in Home Plaza near CF Fitness, and their café draws regulars, including the gym crowd, who come in for postworkout shake. Some of their most popular selections include the S’More Abs and Chunky Monkey, both with 33 grams of protein, or the energizing teas, collagen refresher drinks, and iced protein coffee, billed as “an energizing coffee with a purpose,” and packed with 15 grams of protein. Many Pure fans are happy the café lists the macronutrients “macros” of all its drinks, showing the amount of protein, carbohydrates, fats, in each one, along with the calories. “People comment on the drinks being healthy, and those in the nutrition world

want to know the macros of what they are putting into their bodies,” says Stacey. “We put it right on our menu; we are very transparent on what we are serving and what our macros are.” Boosters can be added to the beverages, too, to provide probiotics, B12/B6 energy, collagen beauty boost, electrolytes, aloe, immunity, and fat-burning. “A question we tend to get asked is if our shakes are made with milk, which they are not. All are made with ice and water, and we are asked of the protein that is used, and we use a soy or whey, or a light quinoa or chickpea,” says Stacey. Opening Pure has widened the mother and daughter’s circle of friends and customers. “The community has been super welcoming,” says Stacey. “It has been exciting,” adds Karlynn, a junior at Minneola High School. “I love the people; I have always been a people person. I love just getting to talk to everybody and make everybody’s day feel good; just being a bright light in people’s day is fun.” Karlynn also has had fun experimenting with different flavors for Pure’s beverage offerings, including creating the Minneola Hawk (her favorite energizing tea) made with tropical

fruit, blue blast (a sugar-free drink mix), coconut, and pineapple, and she’s whipped up drinks named Eastridge Knight, Southlake Eagle, Liquid Gold, Cherry Limeade, Polar Ice, Citrus Tower, and the Florida Sunset. “The base of our products is Herbalife Nutrition,” says Stacey, who lost 42 pounds in five months by following Herbalife two years ago. “I started using the products and I just fell in love with them, and I decided I wanted to become a distributor.” Stacey’s success with Herbalife was catalyst to starting Pure. She has friends in Arizona who have a popular nutrition café, and when her family relocated to the Sunshine State in 2020 for her husband’s new job in Orlando, Stacey felt it was the ideal time to sell her four hair salons and start Pure. “When I first came out here, I saw the beautiful hills, and it reminded me a lot of my hometown,” recalls Stacey. “It was homey, and everybody was friendly, and people were waving. We decided on settling in Clermont, and we didn’t know anything about the community, but it was just a good feeling I had when I was here.” The family closed on their Clermont home on March 13, 2020, “and then the world shut down on March 17,”

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IN THE KITCHEN

adds Stacey, recalling the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Regardless, COVID-19 didn’t stop the mother and daughter from making Pure a reality, and they are thankful for the community support that allows for the café to thrive. “My friends that have the café in Arizona came out here and helped us open and had a grand opening with us and around the bar,” says Stacey. “Our goal is to train people behind our bar so they can open the next café.” The mother-daughter business partners interact with people everywhere they go. “We’re in the community, and we’ll pop up at gyms, downtown, and different places to make people know who we are,” says Stacey of handing out invitations and discounts. Even Pure’s website notes: “We are spreading our good vibes and dropping teas around town! You want us to come to your business and bring you some complimentary energy?” “We popped up for the Friday Night Lights at Clermont CrossFit for their CrossFit Open and that went really well,” adds Karlynn. “And now we have a massive CrossFit community that we love; they are amazing people.” The pair believes Pure has been good for their mother-daughter relationship. “The experience has made us stronger,” says Karlynn, while Stacey is pleased her daughter doesn’t view the café just as a job but as her business.

“We set aside a certain amount each day to make sure we have everything covered for the next month,” says Stacey. “If we don’t have that amount, we don’t get paid, and she understands that at 16 years old, and having those conversations in the beginning was a little rough, but it evolved to, ‘OK. I understand the business now. I understand inventory, and I understand we have to order cups.’” They continue to experiment with new flavorings and obtain recipes from other Herbalife fans in other states. Stacey’s favorite drinks on the Pure menu include Purple Rain, an energizing tea featuring pomegranate, coconut, and grape. “It’s really good, and my favorite collagen refresher is the Florida Sunset featuring tropical flavors of watermelon, grape, and coconut. Anything with grape in it, I’m gonna love it,” she says. “On our loaded teas, I love the Very Berry Lemonade, which has pomegranates, wild berry, strawberry, lemonade. On the iced protein coffee, the Salted Caramel is my favorite, and on the protein shakes, it’s definitely the Reese’s.” Karlynn plays sports in school, Olympic power lifting and she throws shot put and disc for track. Her favorite of Pure’s loaded tea offerings is the Southern Gentleman, a tropical fruit with peach, strawberry, and watermelon. “It’s my go-to drink if I am in a hurry and I’m hungry.” When she goes off to college, Karlynn says her mom will do just fine in running Pure on her own.

RECIPES FROM PURE

Pure provides recipes of its beverages for customers and Style readers to make at home. Those who become VIP members can sign up to become a preferred member with Herbalife and get the products Stacey and Karlynn use for a 20 percent discount. The items can be shipped to your door. However, one does not have to become an Herbalife member to make the beverage recipes; the ingredients and products can be purchased retail or at the Pure café. “Our Smurf Juice is a collagen refresher, so it has B6 and B12 vitamins, electrolytes, collagen for hair, skin, and nails, and it is full of electrolytes. It is blue and an orange color, and so the layers are really pretty, and we do sell a lot of that one,” says Stacey. Stacey says Pure’s Oatmeal Butter Pecan protein shake is hearty, tasty, and popular. “It has oats, pecans and it’s very healthy and it just has that feel and it tastes like it shouldn’t be healthy,” she says, adding it can keep you feeling food for up to three hours. All of Pure’s protein shakes are available in 16 ounces, 24 ounces, or 32 ounces. “They are a meal replacement, and if you decided to use more protein, you’ll be fuller longer,” says Stacey, adding the 16-pounce size is the most popular with customers, featuring 250 calories, 24 grams of protein, 18 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of fat.


IF YOU GO

O AT M E A L B U T T E R P E C A N PROTEIN SHAKE INGREDIENTS:

PURE

2

scoops Formula 1 Pralines and Cream

1046 E. Highway 50, Clermont.

2

scoops Protein Drink Mix Vanilla

1

teaspoon sugar free pudding mix-butter pecan

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 407. 969.8237

SM URF JUICE Place water in a cup add the following Herbalife ingredients: INGREDIENTS: 12

/

teaspoon H30

12

/

teaspoon Collagen Beauty Booster

1

tablet of Tropical Liftoff

1

tablespoon oats

2

pecans

18

/

teaspoon Blue Blast beverage enhancer

1

cup water

18

/

teaspoon Coconut beverage enhancer

/

teaspoon Blue Raspberry beverage enhancer

5-6 ice cubes

18

DIRECTIONS:

DIRECTIONS:

Blend all ingredients well and enjoy.

Mix the H30, Collagen and Tropical Liftoff well. Fill to top with ice. In another cup of 8 ounces water, add the remaining ingredients. Pour over top of ice and enjoy.

MOCHA ICED COFFEE INGREDIENTS:

2

scoops mocha coffee

8

ounces water

DIRECTIONS:

Mix well. Top with sugar-free mocha syrup and sugar-free creamer.

Hey, readers! Do you have favorite recipes or know a chef we should profile? Comment on this article or send story ideas to theresa@akersmediagroup.com.

THERESA CAMPBELL

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FORK ON THE ROAD

REVIEW

Farmfresh goodness Local farmer takes organic farming to a higher level then serves what he reaps to the community with a side of heart. STORY: ROXANNE BROWN

≈ PHOTOS: NICOLE HAMEL

hen eating out, there’s nothing like knowing that every item on your plate was made using only the freshest of ingredients. At OrganicaWorld, there’s no question about it. Owner Colin Farnum, explains that anything purchased from OrganicaWorld’s open-air market or served at its “farm-to-table” restaurant, starts with produce grown right on his farm. If it is meta or something he doesn’t grow, it comes from other farmers. “We are what’s called community supported agriculture (CSA), so we deal with other farmers in the area by trading with them. We give them some lettuce and they give us something back,” Colin says. “Things like apples, pineapples we get back from other places, because those things are impossible to grow here in Florida, but we trade out with everybody we can.” With that, OrganicaWorld is at the top of its game making a difference by giving people a place where they can shop and eat fresh. “We are the largest hydroponic greenhouse operation in Florida, so everything we grow, we grow in one of two 350,000-square-foot greenhouses out back,” Colin says. “And oh my gosh, the food we grow tastes like it’s another level in terms of nutrients because we deliver all the nutrients through the hydroponic system.” Colin, originally from London, moved his family to Groveland about eight years ago. They purchased the 160-acres where OrganicaWorld sits today and began growing lettuce, at a rate of about 160,000 heads per week, plus heirloom tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, habaneros and more. The produce is all grown hydroponically in closed greenhouses by collecting rainwater off the roofs that goes into 2-million-gallon tanks located underneath them. Colin says the water is then fed with nutrients and filtered through the hydroponic system. “It’s amazing and you can taste the difference,” he says. Colin plans to build additional greenhouses for growing hemp seeds, to be cultivated by local hemp farmers, then transformed into hemp blocks that can be used in place of concrete for building affordable houses. He also wants to enclose and add A/C to the restaurant modeled after farm-to-table restaurants and experiences he and his wife enjoyed while traveling. “We decided that we wanted to offer a unique dining experience like nowhere else around here really, and people just love it,” Colin says. “I came up with all the recipes, based off family recipes, and trained all my staff to prepare them.” There’s also a huge open-air market where people can purchase CBD products Colin Farnum carrying a hemp block.

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“WE ARE THE LARGEST HYDROPONIC GREENHOUSE OPERATION IN FLORIDA.” — CO L I N FA R N U M

and things like fresh organic fruits and vegetables, local honey, salsas, barbecue sauces, jams and jellies and homemade cider in flavors like blueberry, strawberry, and peach. A large freezer section is stocked with dozens of frozen meals prepared fresh at OrganicaWorld that people can take home and reheat later. CSA members are offered discounts. Most of all, people can order off the farm’s restaurant menu, then sit and eat on the patio alongside nature, or take it to-go. Lunch hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on open days and entrees include a grilled veggie platter, chicken, angus beef brisket, pulled pork or veggie burritos, baked or fried chicken, wings, ribs, hamburgers, veggie or brisket burgers, and a nice selection of salads served with homemade dressings. Beans, coleslaw, seasonal rice, grilled veggies, herb potatoes or French fries are the sides, and brisket, burnt ends, pulled pork, chopped chicken, ribs, and fried chicken can be ordered by the pound.

Recently, Style photographer Nicole, my daughter Julissa and I were there and ordered the grilled veggie platter with herb potatoes and coleslaw, a brisket burger on brioche with beans and fries and a smoked quarter chicken with grilled veggies and rice. We were very impressed by the literal ‘falling-off-the-bone’ tenderness of the baked chicken and with the grilled veggie platter, that featured what was probably the freshest and most perfectly cooked cauliflower, zucchini, bell pepper, onion and broccoli combo we’ve ever had. Not only that, but the organic agave, ginger, and garlic sauce they were tossed in, blew our minds. “I like vegetables, but sometimes even at restaurants, they can be plain, but not these. The sauce gave them a not too sweet, perfect and delicious flavor,” Julissa says, adding that the sauce, which had seeped into the rice, was very welcomed. Nicole liked the beef brisket and says: “It had a nice smoked taste to it and the barbecue sauce on it was the perfect amount.”

Colin, a self-proclaimed foodie, takes great pride in the way the food at OrganicaWorld is prepared and served. “We make everything here from scratch, and we smoke the brisket for 14 hours so that when it’s served, it’s perfect,” he says. “Some people eat here, and a lot of people come on weekends to order the beef brisket and the pulled pork by the pound to take home, but either way, we are happy to serve them fresh, quality and great tasting food.” IF YOU GO

ORGANICAWORLD 3145 Austin Merritt Rd., Groveland Hours (subject to change): 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wed.-Sun. (Closed Mon. and Tue.) For more information, to book tours or to order from the market or restaurant, call 352.435.4570 or visit organicaworld.com.

Let’s do lunch or dinner Tell us about a great restaurant by emailing roxanne@akersmediagroup.com

ROXANNE BROWN

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SPIRITS

REVIEWS

Raising the bar Tasty drinks and fun times await customers at Sud’s Saloon in Clermont. STORY: JAMES COMBS

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≈ PHOTOS: NICOLE HAMEL

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rom the tap, a golden liquid flows into a glass with milky white bubbles rising to the top. Craft beer enthusiast Eric Brown brings his nose to the glass, inhaling the wonderful aroma. Eric knows a good craft beer when he tastes one. After all, he has been brewing beer professionally since 2005 and recently moved from Colorado to Lake County to become brew master at Clermont Brewing Co. Of course, there are times when Eric ventures to taprooms and small bars to try the wide range of delicious craft beers readily available on the market. One of his favorite stops is Sud’s Saloon, which has 14 rotating taps of harder-to-find craft beers produced at breweries throughout the country. Eric visits there several times a week. “The selection at Sud’s Saloon is fantastic, and I like how they always rotate their beer choices,” Eric says. “By coming here, I’ve been introduced to many beers that I had never heard of before.” Those words are music to the ears of Mark and Shari Spahn, who excitedly opened Sud’s Saloon on Oct. 3, 2020. Starting a new business venture during the coronavirus pandemic came with some risk, but for the Spahns, that risk brought great reward. “We’ve been open less than a year and already have made some lifelong friends,” Shari says. It’s easy to see why. The Spahns are personable and connect well with all customers who come to Sud’s Saloon, located in the basement of Montrose Street Market. With only six red stools, the bar is small and unpretentious, but don’t be too quick to judge a book by its cover. In the case of Sud’s Saloon, size doesn’t matter. The make-orbreak details aren’t the number of stools or square footage, but how cool the vibe is and how much personality can be packed into a small space. Sud’s Saloon is the kind of place where visitors want to be because of its tasty drinks, friendly folks, and great conversations. “We are a little bar with really big beer,” Shari says. “We wanted to fill a dive bar niche where people could come and enjoy a warm, friendly atmosphere.” Mark and Shari offer something for all palates. There are high-end craft beers from popular breweries throughout the country, as well as traditional favorites such as Pabst Blue Ribbon, Miller Lite, and Coors Banquet. The selection of white and red wines includes Pinot Noir from California, Pinot Grigio from Italy, Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington, and Riesling from New York. Cocktail lovers who appreciate serious mixology can enjoy a bloody Mary, margarita, mimosa, tequila sunrise, and cinnamon whisky. Flights are offered for those desiring small servings of various beers, wines, and mimosas.


Shari and Mark Spahn

“WE’VE BEEN OPEN LESS THAN A YEAR AND ALREADY HAVE MADE SOME LIFELONG FRIENDS.” — S H A R I S PA H N

“We try to cater to everybody,” Shari says. One beer always on tap is Dragon’s Milk, an American Imperial-style stout beer brewed by New Holland Brewing Company in Michigan. The beer, which is aged in a bourbon barrel, is made with Madagascar and Indonesian vanilla beans. Its taste brings together a delicious harmony of bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla that will leave one wanting more. Be careful about overindulging, though, because the drink contains 11 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). The Spahns also sell lots of beer and seltzers brewed by Untitled Art, an off-shoot of Octopi Brewing, a contract brewery in Waunakee, Wisconsin. One of Untitled Art’s most-popular drinks is the Espresso Honey Imperial Milk Stout, which is brewed with espresso beans, local honey, vanilla beans, cocoa nibs, and milk sugar. “So many people who come here enjoy the products produced by Untitled Art,” Shari says. “It’s a high-end quality and tastes delicious.” The Spahns, who are former Wisconsinites, not only attract customers who appreciate tasty drinks but also fans of collegiate and professional teams from Wisconsin. Expect to see fans

donning the popular cheesehead hats during Green Bay Packer games. “We’ve discovered that there are a lot of folks from Wisconsin who now live in Clermont,” Shari says. Customers also come for Thursday night bingo and compete for a free pint of beer or bottle of wine. “That’s always a fun night, and everybody has a good time,” Shari says. Fun is virtually guaranteed at Sud’s Saloon, a place where customers can soak up camaraderie with like-minded people and have a world of creative flavors and innovative ingredients at their finger—and tongue—tips.

Do you know a place where we can drink? Comment on this article or send story ideas to james@akersmediagroup.com

JAMES COMBS

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DINING GUIDE

dine

OUT

From classic diners and lakeside restaurants to fine dining and everything in-between, Lake County’s culinary scene is booming. Your favorite meal is sure to be served with a side of hospitality. Denotes locations where you can find Lake & Sumter Style

A S TAT U L A Race Car Diner 25641 Monroe St. 352.253.6940 ASTOR Blackwater Inn 55716 Front St. 352.759.3802 Castaways Restaurant 23525 US SR 40 352.759.2213 Sparky’s Place Restaurant 24646 SR 40 352.759.3551 Williams Landing 55716 Front St. 352.759.2802 BUSHNELL Beef ‘O’ Brady’s 2586 W CR 48 352.568.7000 Darryl’s Diner 2237 W CR 48 352.444.2318 Howie’s Family Restaurant 840 N. Main St. 352.793.8582 TJ’s Family Restaurant 412 W. Belt Ave 352.793.8877 CLERMONT Akina Sushi Bar & Asian Fusion Bistro 4300 S. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.243.8988

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Cheeser’s Palace Café 707 W. Montrose St. 352.404.9431

Lilly’s on the Lake 846 W. Osceola St. 352.708.6565

Clermont Brewing Co. 750 W Desoto 321.430.2337

Oakwood Smokehouse & Grill 230 Citrus Tower Blvd. 352.394.0036

Corelli’s Italian Restaurant 1042 E. Hwy. 50 352.989.5924

Robata Japanese Steak House & Sushi Bar 1500 Oakley Seaver Dr. 352.404.9688

Crooked Spoon Gastropub 200 Citrus Tower Blvd. 352.404.7808 Devenney’s Irish Pub 16909 High Grove Blvd. 352.432.3925 El Cerro Restaurant 811 W. Hwy. 50 352.241.9884 Friar Tuck 16640 Cagan Crossings Blvd. 352.404.6818

Root and Branch Bistro and Bar 1200 Seaver Dr. 352.708.4529 Sanctuary Ridge Bar & Grille 2601 Diamond Club Road 352.243.0411 Sarah’s Greek Cuisine & More 16640 Cagan Crossings Blvd., Ste. 305 352.404.8031

G’s NY Pizza 12346 Roper Blvd. 352.243.8900

Southern on 8th Kitchen & Bar 801 W. Montrose St. 352.394.7777

Gators Dockside 1200 Oakley Seaver Dr. 352.242.1825

The Outpouring Coffee 2560 E. Hw.y 50 352.989.4406

Goomba’s Pizzeria 2395 S. Hwy 27 352.989.4403

Troy’s Cuban Deli 1200 Oakley Seaver Dr. 352.241.4295

Guru Restaurant 2400 S. Hwy. 27 352.241.9884

Uncle Kenny’s BBQ 157 Hwy. 27 352.394.1225

Legends Grille & Tavern 1700 Legendary Blvd. 352.243.1118

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EUSTIS Jeannie’s Place 209 E. Gottsche Ave. 352.359.0027 Gators Dockside 15241 US Hwy 441 352.357.1255 Kiku Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar 15211 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.483.8288 LaCabana Mexican Bar and Grill 2060 S. Bay St. 352.357.4600 Nalan Sultan Mediterranean Grill 1 N. Eustis St. 352.357.4444 NightOwl Caribbean Restaurant 929 S. Bay St. 352.589.0256 Stavro’s & Sons of Eustis 2100 W. CR 44 352.589.9100 Taki’s Pizza House 2824 S. Bay St. 352.357.0022 Thai Sushi America 925 N. Bay St. 352.357.1949 The Crazy Gator 402 N. Bay St. 352.589.5885 The Oyster Troff 936 N. Bay St. 352.357.9939

Tillie’s Tavern & Grill 31 E. Magnolia Ave. 352.602.7929

La Hacienda Restaurant 10400 CR 48 352.324.3910

Tony’s Pizza & Subs 2760 E. Orange Ave. 352.589.9001

Nicker’s Clubhouse Restaurant 10400 CR 48 352.324.2718

F RU I T L A N D PA R K Fruitland Park Café 3180 US Hwy. 441/27 352.435.4575 ibar-be-que Express 3170 Hwy. 27 352.315.4227 Legends Cafe 2468 U.S. Hwy. 441/27 352.728.0006 Mystic Ice Cream 1217 W. Miller Blvd. 352.812.1366 NY Deli N Diner 3325 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.365.0051 Rae Rae’s Restaurant 2468 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.323.1595 Stavro’s 3223 US Hwy. 441 352.315.0028 The Rose Plantation 200 Rose Ave., Fruitland Park 352.805.4340 G R OV E L A N D Coyote Rojo 214 W. Broad St. 352.557.8999 Ikaho Sushi Japanese Restaurant 7965 SR 50, #900 352.557.8988 James Barbeque 262 W. Orange St. 352.557.4050 Lil Anthony’s Pizza 7965 SR 50 352.429.7499 Red Wing Restaurant 12500 S. SR 33 352.429.2997 H OW EY- I N THE -HILLS JB Boondocks Bar & Grill 704 S. Lakeshore Blvd. 352.324.3600

L A DY L A K E Bamboo Bistro 700 Hwy. 441 352.750.9998 El Ranchito 1 Lagrande Blvd. 352.750.3335 Harbor Hills Country Club 6538 Lake Griffin Rd. 352.753.7000 Mom & Dad’s Italian Restaurant 504 S. U.S. Hwy. 441/27 352.753.2722 OakWood Smokehouse & Grill 860 S. Hwy 27/441 352.751.5640 Takis Greek and Italian Restaurant 13761 U.S. Hwy. 441 N. 352.430.3630 LEESBURG Breakfast Station 2229 Citrus Blvd. 352.315.0291 Brick & Barrel 209 W. Main St. 352.431.3069 Brooklyn’s Pizzeria 27405 US Highway 27 352.728.2020 Coffee Snob 1101 W. North Blvd. 352.460.4570 Cousin Vinnie’s Family Sports Restaurant 10700 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.253.2442 Donut King 708 S. 14th St. 352.805.4888

Great Chicago Fire Brewery & Tap Room 311 W. Magnolia St. 352.474.2739 HP Grill 1403 S. 14th St. 352.314.0006 Ichiban Buffet 10301 Hwy. 441 352.728.6669 Kountry Kitchen 1008 W. Dixie Ave. 352.323.0852 La Palma Mexican Grill 1690 Citrus Blvd. 352.323.1444 Lilly’s Super Subs 2339 CR 473 352.343.4663 Magnolia’s Oyster Bar 201 W. Magnolia St. 352.323.0093 Main Street Cantina 205 W. Main St. 352.435.7279 Mamma Mia Pizza 755 North 14th St. 352.326.0101 Mammoth Oak Brewing Company 1107 W. North Blvd. 352.326.0100 Mrs. T’s Place, Southern Restaurant 305 Pine St. 352.431.3217 Mystic Ice Cream 314 W. Main St. 352.812.1366 Naples Italian Restaurant 1107 W. North Blvd. 352.323.1616 Oakwood Smokehouse & Grill 2775 U.S. 27 352.435.4633 Arigato Steak House 1401 Citrus Blvd. 352.728.0788

Frank’s Place 201 N. 1st St. 352.323.1989

Pine Street Bar-B-Que 408 Pine St. 352.728.1293

Gator Bay Bar & Grill 10320 CR 44 352.365.2177

Plantation Oaks Restaurant 4720 Plantation Blvd. 352.530.2680

God Café 300 W. Main St. 352.801.7447

Ramshackle Café 1317 N. 14th St. 352.365.6565


Rodello’s Italian Restaurant 26736 US Hwy. 27 352.319.8093 San Jose’s Original Mexican Restaurant 1337 S. 14th St. 352.805.4174 Sip Restaurant and Wine Bar 707 W. Main St. 352.435.7840 Sully’s Smokehouse 10820 CR 44 352.483.7427 Takis Pizza Restaurant 1205 N. 14th St. 352.787.2344 The Florida Porch Café 706 W. Main St. 352.365.1717 The Mojo Grill & Catering Co. 9925 US-441 352.787.0494 The Old Time Diner 1350 W. North Blvd. 352.805.4250 Turners 114 S. 5th St. 352.530.2274 Wolfy’s 918 N. 14th St. 352.787.6777 MASCOTTE Napoli’s Pizzeria 556 S. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.243.7500 Rainbow Restaurant 704 E. Myers Blvd. 352.429.2093 MINNEOLA Lil Anthony’s Pizza 205 N. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.394.1516 Minneola Grill 117 W. Washington St. 352.394.2555 Napoli’s Pizzeria 556 Hwy. 27 352.243.7500 The Surf Bar and Grill 650 N. Hwy. 27 202.527.0100 Tiki Bar & Grill 508 S. Main Ave. 352.394.2232

MOUNT DORA

Shiva Indian Restaurant 140A W. 5th Ave. 352.735.4555

Lake Dora Sushi & Sake 227 E. Main St. 352.343.6313

BlueFin Grill & Bar 2738 Brownwood Blvd. 352.571.5344

Anthony’s Pizza 17195 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.357.6668

Lake House Bar & Grill 315 N. Highland St. 352.735.7433

Mary’s Kountry Kitchen 15945 CR 448 352.343.6823

Cane Garden Country Club 1726 Bailey Trail 352.750.0627

Barnwood Country Kitchen & Smokehouse 3725 W. Old US Hwy 441 352.630.4903

Sugarboo’s Bar-B-Que 1305 N. Grandview St. 352.735.7675

O’Keefe’s Irish Pub and Restaurant 115 S Rockingham Ave. 352.343.2157

Chengs Chinese Restaurant 4050 Wedgewood Ln. 352.391.9678

Orange Blossom Country Club 1542 Water Tower Circle 352.751.4501

China Gourmet III 343 Colony Blvd 352.750.4965

Palmer Legends Country Club 1635 Palmer Way 352.750.4499

1921 Mount Dora 142 E. Fourth Ave. 352.385.1921

Beauclaire Restaurant at Lakeside Inn 100 N. Alexander St. 352.383.4101 Café Gianni 425 N. Alexander St. 352.735.3327 Cody’s on 4th Cafe 111 E. 4th Ave. 352.735.8426 Copacabana Cuban Cafe 320 Dora Drawdy Way 352.385.9000 Fiesta Grande 421 N. Baker St. 352.385.3540 Frog & Monkey English Pub 411 N. Donnelly St. 352. 383.1936 Highland Street Café 185 S. Highland St. 352.383.1446 Jeremiah’s 500 N. Highland St. 352.383.7444 J.K. Thai Garden 116 E. 5th Ave. 352.385.4700 Let’s Do Lunch 426 N. Donnelly St. 352.735.4577 Magical Meat Boutique 322 N. Alexander St. 352.729.6911 Mount Dora Pizza & Subs 2718 W. Old U.S. Hwy. 441 352.383.5303 Olive Branch Grille 115 W. 3rd St. 352.729.6734 One Flight Up 440 N. Donnelly St., Ste. 100 352.735.1446 Pisces Rising 239 W. 4th Ave. 352.385.2669 PizzAmore’ 722 E. 5th Ave. 352.383.0092

The Bavarian Haus 433 N. Alexander St. 352.735.8387 The Country Club 1900 Country Club Blvd. 352.735.2263

Puddle Jumpers 111 W Ruby St. 352.508.5862 Ruby Street Grille 221 E. Ruby St. 352.742.7829

Mezza Luna Italian Restaurant and Bar 320 Colony Blvd. 352.753.3824 NYPD Pizzeria 4046 Wedgwood Ln 352.750.1994

Chop House at Lake Sumter 1045 Old Camp Rd. 352.750.6000

RedSauce 1000 Canal St. 352.750.5272

Gators of Umatilla LLC 9 N. Central Ave. 352.669.6969 Greg’s Haystax 526 Umatilla Blvd. 352.669.1555 Old Crow Real Pit Bar-B-Q 41100 SR 19 352.669.3922 Shang Hai Restaurant 531 N. Central Ave. 352.669.2004 The Mason Jar 37534 State Rd. 19 352.589.2535

Evans Prairie Country Club 1825 Evans Prairie Trail 352.750.2225

Ricciardi’s Italian Table 3660 Kiessel Rd. 352.391.9939

W I L DWO O D

Sunrise Grill 462 E. Burleigh Blvd. 352.343.7744 Tavares Ice Cream 214 E. Main 352.508.5342

Fiesta Grande Mexican Grill 297 Colony Blvd 352.751.0400

Sakura 265 Colony Blvd. 352.205.7393

Continental Country Club 50 Continental Blvd. 352.748.3293

The Hideaway 11912 Lane Park Rd. 352.343.3585

Giovanni’s 3439 Wedgewood Lane 352.751.6674

Whale’s Tale Fish House 2720 W. Old U.S. Hwy 441 352.385.1500

Tiki West Raw Bar and Grill 118 W Ruby St., Tavares 352.508.5783

Glenview County Club 3914 Glenview Rd. 352.753.0077

OX F O R D

THE V I L L AG E S

Pho Saigon 11707 N. US Hwy. 301 352.492.9423

Amelia’s 1105 Lake Shore Drive 352.750.8265

Habaneros Mexican Grill 3551 Wedgewood Ln. 352.633.2080

SORRENTO

Amerikano’s Grill 998 Del Mar Dr. 352.633.8027

Hemingway’s at Havana Country Club 2484 Odell Circle 352.430.3200

Belle Glade Country Club 446 Moyer Loop 352.205.8208

Legacy Restaurant 17135 Buena Vista Blvd. 352.753.1475

The Goblin Market 331-B Donnely St. 352.735.0059 The Pizza Shop 925 E. First Ave. 352.735.3411 Vincent’s Italian Restaurant 5914 Orange Blossom Trl. 352.735.4578

Del Franco’s Pizza 31436 CR 437 352.383.8882 Lisa’s Kountry Cafe 23911 CR 46 352.735.3380

Margarita Republic 1102 Main St. 352.753.4600

TAVA R E S Bella Nona Pizzeria 280 Silverado St. 352.508.9370 BTW (Burgers, Tacos & Waffles) 115 E. Main St. 352.508.9287 Fish Camp Lake Eustis 901 Lake Shore Blvd. 352.742.4400 Hurricane Dockside Grill 3351 W. Burleigh Blvd. 352.508.5137 Kalua Hale Beach Bar 181 S. Joanna Ave. 352.609.5910

The Lighthouse Point Bar and Grille 925 Lakeshore Dr. 352.753.7800 Tierra Del Sol Country Club 806 San Marino Dr. 352.753.8005 VKI Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar 1004 Old Mill Run 352.259.9887 Wolfgang Puck Kitchen + Bar 3003 Brownwood Blvd. 352.626.1500

China Jade 420 W. CR 44 352.330.5913

Cotillion Southern Café 101 N. Main St. 352.748.1223 Los Magueyes Mexican Restaurant 346 Shopping Center Dr. 352.461.0577 O’Shucks! Oyster Bar and Grill 1016 S Main St. 352.399.2200

U M AT I L L A

Roberto’s Ristorante & Pizzeria 2468 Burnsed Blvd., 352.626.1059

Combat Café 831 S Central Ave. 352.483.0250

Traditions Café 3107 Hwy. 44 352.748.1077

Fish & Chix 100 N. Central Ave. 352.669.7145

Woody’s Bar-B-Q 1220 S. Main St. 352.748.1109 GOOD GRUB

Brooklyn’s Pizzeria

THIS MONTH'S EDITOR'S PICK

Family owned and operated, Brooklyn’s Pizzeria in South Leesburg prides itself on bringing customers true New York-style pizza. Scrumptious garlic knots are a great way to start your meal, and you can try daily specials like one XL 18” Pizza with 1 Topping and 10 wings for $24.99. Try gourmet pizzas like the Super Deluxe with pepperoni, Italian sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms, ham and black olives, the Chicken Bacon Ranch with grilled chicken, hickory smoked bacon and zesty ranch, or a classic Hawaiian with ham and pineapple. If you want something to complement your (pizza) pie, they also serve beer & wine or you may want to try a side of honey BBQ or roasted garlic butter chicken wings. Brooklyn’s also serves classic pasta dishes with marinara, alfredo, pomodoro and vodka sauces, and a selection of calzones, strombolis and pepperoni rolls, which are made with melted cheeses and your choice of toppings with a side of marinara sauce. 27405 US Hwy. 27 / 352.728.2020

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DINING GUIDE

Mom & Dad’s Italian Restaurant 352.753.2722 | 304 US-441, LADY LAKE Mom and Dad’s Italian Restaurant in Lady Lake has the distinct honor of calling itself a true family-owned restaurant. In fact, five generations of family members have represented the restaurant since its humble beginnings in May 1962. As many generations of customers have dined there throughout the years thanks to the outstanding service and scrumptious dishes such as Spaghetti a la Bruzzi, Delmonico steak, and lasagna. This food savvy family prepares everything from scratch, crafting everything with love to satisfy your taste buds.

La Palma Mexican Grill

Wednesday-Sunday 4pm-9pm Closed Monday and Tuesday.

Full Gluten-Free Menu

Open Daily 11am–9pm

1690 CITRUS BLVD., LEESBURG | 352.323.1444 | LAPALMAGRILL.COM The entire staff invites you to a delicious dining experience at La Palma Mexican Grill. The recipes used for the restaurant’s unique dishes are a blend of old-school traditions from Mexico, combined with culinary inspirations from California and Louisiana. Homemade Mexican entrees such as Tacos Azteca, carnitas, fajitas, Chori Pollo, tamales and more, are flavorful and prepared with only the freshest of ingredients. Sit comfortably in the beautiful dining room, the festive bar, or outside on the patio deck with a serene view of the grounds and of the fun wild animals that can be spotted in the trees. Enjoy fast and friendly service, reasonable prices, three-for-one margaritas all day, every day, and a party room, available by reservation, for large parties or meetings. Full menu at lapalmagrill.com. AK! Call for daily specials. BWWAA

Lunch Specials 11am–3pm

Margarita Mondays! Enjoy $5 margaritas all day every Monday.

’clock It’s five ohere! somew

Rodello’s Italian Restaurant 26736 U.S HIGHWAY 27, LEESBURG | 352.319.8093 | RODELLOS.COM Chef Amadeo Avila invites you to enjoy authentic and fresh Italian cuisine in a friendly, comfortable dining environment at Rodello’s Italian Restaurant. The recipes used for his dishes are a blend of old-school traditions from Italy—the restaurant is named for a city in the old country—with new culinary inspirations that Chef Amadeo has learned during many years in the restaurant business. Flavorful, homemade Italian entrees such as Pistachio Crusted Lamb, Salmon Saltimbocca, Lobster Ravioli, Shrimp Risotto, and many others are classics and prepared with only the freshest ingredients. The lunch menu features personal pizzas, calzones, subs, and pasta. Sit in the spacious dining room or enjoy drinks or desserts like delicious gelato in the cozy lounge, which features a full bar, wine menu, and an array of specialty cocktails. Always look for new features on Chef Amadeo’s menu, available on the restaurant’s website, Rodellos.com.

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Open Daily 11am-9pm


Custom-made, fresh sandwiches, salads, and flatbreads made right before your eyes. The “healthy” alternative to fast food.

Subway SUBWAY.COM LADY LAKE | 208 W. GUAVA ST. | 352.750.4929 EUSTIS | 469 PLAZA DR. | 352.357.7827 MOUNT DORA | 18870 U.S. HWY. 441 | 352.735.4376 LEESBURG | 2013 CITRUS BLVD. | 352.787.6442 10135 U.S. HWY. 441, SUITE 4 | 352.326.3234 27405 U.S. HWY. 27, SUITE 4 | 352.314.8847 THE VILLAGES | 1580 BELLA CRUZ DRIVE | 352.750.9600 8796 S.E. 165TH MULBERRY LANE | 352.750.9991 1070 LAKE SUMTER LANDING DRIVE | 352.205.8535 349 COLONY BLVD. | 352.391.1657 WILDWOOD | 480 W. GULF TO ALANTIC HWY. | 352.748.8800

Lunch: Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner: Tuesday-Saturday Taking reservations from 4:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The Rose Plantation 200 ROSE AVE, FRUITLAND PARK | 352.805.4340 THEROSEPLANTATION.COM Enjoy an early 20th Century dining experience at The Rose Plantation, located in a home built in 1917. This charming and delightful restaurant on Fountain Lake serves up outstanding dishes with a side of elegant ambiance, starting with the glass-enclosed garden room and veranda, eclectic china, live piano, fine silverware, linen tablecloths, and the rose garden out front. The chefs are given creative freedom to make memorable dishes such as grilled scallops, half-roasted duck with sweet potato mash, rack of lamb, and crab cakes with cauliflower puree, black bean, corn relish, and key-lime avocado crema. All dishes are upscale in both quality and presentation. Customers can also choose from 140 varietals of wine. The restaurant, which seats 128 guests, includes private dining rooms for small parties. Four additional dining rooms will be added within one year.

Would you like to see your restaurant in our dining section? CALL US AT 352.787.4112

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E R N N2 0 2 1 W I

Steps toward greatness Ankle and Foot Center of Central Florida offers cutting-edge solutions. PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

panish moss drips off an oak tree. A bird dives gracefully into the water to catch a fish. Gentle waves quietly crash against the shoreline. You don’t have to go camping or hiking to enjoy these spectacular sights. If you’re a patient of Ankle and Foot Center of Central Florida, just glance out a large, round window in one of the patient rooms and enjoy an pristine view of Lake Frances. While doctor’s offices are typically stress-inducing locations, the views at Ankle and Foot Center of Central Florida bring a sense of calmness and peace for patients and employees alike. That’s a point of pride for Dr. Joanne Balkaran, who moved her practice to its current location in May 2020.

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“I love giving patients a natural Zen experience,” she says. “Patients come here knowing that they’re going to receive proper care, proper diagnosis, and proper treatment. But they also leave here with peace of mind and feeling good about themselves. Our staff enjoys these spectacular views as well, and that puts them in a happy frame of mind and allows them to treat patients to the best of their ability.” It’s fitting that two innovative, forward-thinking podiatrists like Dr. Balkaran and Dr. Larry Suecof would create such a serene setting to complement their innovative techniques and cutting-edge technology to achieve outstanding patient outcomes. Ankle and Foot Center of Central Florida does everything with patients’ best interest in mind. Here’s a closer look how the practice stays abreast in the latest podiatry trends.


Dr. Joanne Balkaran

“PATIENTS COME HERE KNOWING THAT THEY’RE GOING TO RECEIVE PROPER CARE, PROPER DIAGNOSIS, AND PROPER TREATMENT. BUT THEY ALSO LEAVE HERE WITH PEACE OF MIND AND FEELING GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES.”

Dr. Larry Suecof

—DR. JOANNE BALKRAN

Minimally invasive surgery Dr. Balkaran is board-certified in foot surgery, wound care, and ankle reconstructive surgery. However, she realizes not everyone can afford the downtime of staying off their feet for weeks or months after undergoing traditional surgery, which requires a long incision and plates, screws, wires, or some other form of hardware. Therefore, she is now offering minimally invasive surgery for procedures such as bunions and hammertoes. Though minimally invasive surgery is not for everyone, it is a wonderful way to achieve lasting results with limited scarring, pain, and downtime. “Minimally invasive surgery allows the bone to heal natural with splinting and proper post-op care,” she says. “It’s resultsoriented with fast recovery. We can fix the foot without traditional long incisions, big bone cuts, and screws and plates. We get the same results and patients are back on their feet faster.”

Laser therapy Drs. Balkaran and Suecof also treat patients with a Class 4 Multiwave Locked System (MLS) laser in order to reduce inflammation, promote healing, and eliminate pain. The laser, which is FDA approved, uses concentrated light energy to stimulate the body’s natural healing process and increase

blood flow for faster healing and natural pain relief. The laser can also be used to speed up the healing process for postsurgical patients. A wide range of conditions can be effectively treated with the laser, including achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, neuropathy, arthritis, tendon tears, sprains and strains, and wound care.

Regenerative Medicine Sometimes, conservative treatments do little to relieve patients of ankle and foot pain. However, in these cases, patients are still reluctant to undergo surgery. Fortunately, Ankle and Foot Center of Central Florida offer patients several options for pain relief and healing: amniotic fluid injections. An amniotic liquid allograft is derived from the amniotic liquid within the placenta to reduce inflammation, promote tissue repair, and facilitate the regrowth of damaged tissue. It can help treat conditions such as sports injuries, joint pain,

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tendonitis, fasciitis, and muscle and meniscus tears. In a separate procedure, Ankle and Foot Center of Central Florida performs adipose injections into the fat pad of the foot to repair diseased or injured tissue. These injections can also be used to treat diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers, and tunneling wounds. Dr. Balkaran says regenerative medicine has brought promising results to her patients.

“Though I am surgically trained, I’m now veering toward treating patients with less cutting to get the same results. Regenerative medicine represents the direction I’m heading with my practice.” The doctors are also licensed to dispense medical supplies, including scooters and walkers for post-operative care. Other products include compression socks, orthotics, and flip flops with orthopedic arch supports. Patients can also undergo in-office circulation tests and nerve damage tests.

One big family Once their visit is complete, patients of Ankle and Foot Center of Central Florida leave with a smile that beams with pride—a smile that was not only created through the use of leading-edge podiatric techniques but also by the friendliness of the staff.

They realize what matters most in the world of medicine: relationships and trust. Just ask Natasha Crouch, who serves as the practice’s medical assistant. “I love working with patients,” she says. “That’s the entire reason I got involved in this field. The patients love us, too. Even if they don’t have a formal appointment, they stop in to bring us snacks and say hello.” Or ask Gina Miller, who has been working alongside Dr. Balkaran since 2010. “The amazing thing about Dr. Balkaran is how she genuinely cares about each patient, whether that patient is receiving routine footcare or undergoing surgery. Dr. Balkaran’s positivity and cheerful spirit trickles down to the staff, and that’s why we take care of our patients to the best of our ability.”

352.385.7718 / 1865 Nightingale Lane Tavares / theankelandfootcenter.com

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“THEY TOLD ME I HAD AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE AND I NEEDED TO BE ON IMMUNOSUPPRESSANTS FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. I WAS NEVER GOING TO ACCEPT BAND-AID MEDICINE.”

W I N N E R 202 1

—GRETTA ELLIS

Gretta Ellis Gretta Ellis knows firsthand how battling a disease brings about physical and mental struggles. She also speaks from experience when she tells patients that making lifestyle changes can lead to a disease-free life. Last May, Gretta opened Ellis Integrative Family Practice in Tavares. She blends traditional medicine with natural approaches to treat gastrointestinal problems, autoimmune diseases, inflammation, and chronic disease. “I always wanted to own my own practice,” she says. “For me, this is a dream come true.” But it was a dream that almost never materialized. In her mid-20s, Gretta was sick for two years with food intolerances and chronic inflammation. Migraine headaches, stomach pain, and back pain became constant companions, and she found herself weighing 95 pounds. Endless trips to doctors produced no answers. “They told me I had autoimmune disease and I needed to be on immunosuppressants for the rest of my life. I was never going to accept band-aid medicine.” Instead, Gretta attended Hippocrates Health Institute, a world-renowned, holistic health center in West Palm Beach. She underwent food intolerance testing, learned about guthealing protocols, and started the Autoimmune Paleo Diet. That proved to be a life-changing experience. Before long, Gretta no longer required medication. “God put me on this planet to go through something really bad then turn it around to one day help other people,” Gretta says. “Having this practice is my purpose in life.” Gretta is an advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) who earned a master’s degree in nursing from Purdue University

Global. Having an autonomous nurse practitioner license allows her to prescribe medication for illnesses such as colds and flus. However, she also offers services not found at most family medicine practices, including bioidentical hormone replacement, a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, an IV room for hydration and immune system support, Botox and fillers, and a weight-loss program. “Though my practice is relatively new, we’ve had great response,” Gretta says. “We are booking as far as two weeks out, and patients far away as Georgia and North Carolina are coming here. We preach quality of life over quantity of life. As people age, we want them to enjoy life rather than be in a wheelchair, lose their eyesight, or undergo surgeries.” Gretta also operates a Facebook group called “The Gutzy Practitioner Support Group.” Members post recipes and lifestyle tips while encouraging others enduring medical hardships. “We’re helping people with autoimmune diseases change their lifestyle and come off their medications,” Gretta says. “It’s great to have this Facebook group because there are lots of people out there who, like me, have trouble finding answers to their problems.

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FINAL THOUGHT

CO MMENTARY

Just say no … to Facebook Some habits must be broken. STORY: JAMES COMBS

ello, my name is James, and I’m a Facebook-a-holic. It’s a terrible addiction. Unlike the high produced by drugs, Facebook consistently delivers a devastating low. The daily dose of hard-core political opinions, boring status updates, goofy selfies, and annoying invites have made me question humanity. I thought I had kicked the habit. I was clean for 45 days. No posts. No scrolling through my news feed. No communication on Facebook messenger. Today, I relapsed. I made the monumental mistake of reactivating my account to see what I’ve been missing. Not much, apparently. Here’s what my news feed looked like today.

hashtags #luckywoman, #lovemyman, #theloveofmylife, #heisthebest. • Kevin posted a news story about a silverback gorilla that wandered from Africa to London and uncovered the real identity of Jack the Ripper. • Susie posted “Prayers, please” but didn’t tell us why. • Bob, a staunch conservative, referred to Joe Biden as an “amiable dunce.” • Katherine, a bleeding-heart liberal, referred to Donald Trump as a “racist pig.”

• Brian provided the first of 13 status updates that give us play-by-play details of his mundane day. “Driving to work,” he wrote.

• Teddy shared his GoFundMe page to help fund his dream vacation to Hawaii.

• Brittany posted nine pictures of her children. They haven’t grown much since the 11 pictures she posted yesterday.

• Debbie has been a real downer with her hypochondria. Today, she woke up constipated. The day before that she had an awful migraine headache. The day before that she thought she had testicular cancer.

• Larry fished for compliments by posting a photo of his muscular body and writing, “I feel fat today.”

• Rick invited me, an avid meat lover, to like his Facebook page, “Go Vegetarian Today for a Healthier Tomorrow.”

• Patricia was depressed and used a frowning emoticon to reinforce her mental state. When worried friends asked her what’s wrong, she responded, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

• Billy Bob Ray posted a photo of his dinner: liver smothered in sardines and potted meat.

• Richard posted a picture of his car’s temperature gauge and made an earthshattering announcement: “Florida is so darn hot in the summertime.” • To commemorate his upcoming birthday, Billy asked friends to donate to his favorite charity, “Save the Whales,” without making a donation himself. • Jane declared that she has “the best hubby in the world” followed by the

• Timothy made an emotional blackmail post. “This is a cat named Bob. Bob was abused and lost sight in both eyes. This is a test to see how many likes and shares Bob can generate. If you refuse, you must hate animals.”

I’ve seen enough. I’ve had enough. This time, I’m deleting my Facebook account. I promise. Right after I comment on Debbie’s post and offer the perfect cure for constipation.

Hey, readers! Is there a particular subject that you would like me to write a commentary about? Tell me, via email, at james@akersmediagroup.com

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JAMES COMBS


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