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IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR!

April 2018

VILLAGE EDITION

Revised tax rates and tax brackets may mean money in your pockets!

RECREATION THERAPY

Rescued horses are rescuing vets with PTSD

SUITED FOR SUCCESS The advice and expertise of Fross & Fross is known from Central Florida to Wall Street and all across America.


NO AVAIL W 6 MO ABLE N SP THS FINANECIAL *Subje CING ct to * month credit appro ly va

p See st ayment reql. Minimum ore for u detailsired. .


Beautiful Homes Begin Here!

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“I wasn’t 100 percent sure I was going to buy an automobile when I came to Plaza Cadillac, but then salesperson Teresa Matey came out and talked with me. She was not aggressive, but she was very knowledgeable. In fact, the entire staff was very welcoming and professional. I got a great deal on my automobile so I pulled the trigger and bought one.” — BILL GEORGE, THE VILLAGES

PLAZA C A D I L L AC 8893 US HWY 441, LEESBURG, FL 34788 // 352.787.1323 // PLAZACADILLAC.COM


(L–R): GREG YAGER, GENERAL MANAGER; BILL GEORGE; TERESA MATEY, SALES REPRESENTATIVE


the Sun

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Leading the Way in SUPERIOR

CATARACT SURGERY

With breakthrough technologies that restore vision from every distance.

As the first local practice to offer the industry’s most accurate laser cataract surgery and the

Board-certified ophthalmologists (from left to right):

Scot C. Holman, MD; Vinay Gutti, MD and Scott R. Wehrly, MD

only FDA-approved extended depth-of-focus lenses for crisp multi-range vision, Lake Eye remains at the forefront of advanced cataract treatment. Drs. Scott Wehrly, Scot Holman and Vinay Gutti combine world-class surgical experience and breakthrough technologies to restore healthy vision—and better lives—to countless satisfied patients.

Lake Eye—the clear choice for clear vision.

TAVARES • LEESBURG • THE VILLAGES • LADY LAKE

352-365-2020 • www.LakeEye.com •


DO YOU KNOW YOUR BEST

OPTIONS? FACELIFT, TEMPORARY FILLERS, OR PERMANENT FACIAL FILLERS

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

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


YOU’RE INVITED TO FIND OUT! Double Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

Free ImageLift seminars are being held at the following locations in April and May. Meet the doctor and enjoy free food, books, *drawings and door prizes. Raffle drawings for free filler, a $995-$1200 value

UPCOMING FACIAL BEAUTY SOCIAL MIXER APR 24 WATERFRONT INN, THE VILLAGES MAY 1

IMAGELIFT OFFICE LUNCHEON, THE VILLAGES

MAY 15 HILTON HOTEL, OCALA MAY 23 WATERFRONT INN, THE VILLAGES

CALL NOW TO RSVP - LIMITED SEATING

MEET THE TEAM!

WSJ

Bestseller!

FREE IMAGELIFT BOOK for first 20 callers! Limited quantities (Retail $14.95)

DR. RICH CASTELLANO

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

*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.

8630 East CR 466, The Villages 877.346.2435 // www.IMAGELIFT.com


APRIL 2018 // VOL.14 NO. 6 // F e a t u r e s

36 Taxes 101 Tax laws often are compelling, convoluted, or confusing. Here’s a course in the new tax law, which will affect tax planning for 2018. STORY: CHRIS GERBASI

46 Once upon a bargain Whether you enjoy the fun of searching for treasures on the shelves of a thrift store or plundering the local flea market, looking for a bargain can be an adventure. One man’s trash truly is another man’s treasure. STORY: LEIGH NEELY

58 The comfort of horses

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR! Revised tax rates and tax brackets may mean money in your pockets!

The Veterans Multi-Purpose Center in Groveland not only rescues horses, it rescues people. After a while, the horses and the people help one another.

Plus:

GET THRIFTY Finding the greatest deals and treasures at local thrift stores and flea markets

RECREATION THERAPY

Rescued horses are rescuing vets with PTSD

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR!

Revised tax rates and tax brackets may mean money in your pockets!

April 2018

VILLAGE EDITION

RECREATION THERAPY

Rescued horses are rescuing vets with PTSD

STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL

SUITED FOR SUCCESS The advice and expertise of Fross & Fross is known from Central Florida to Wall Street and all across America.

On the covers

Special Adve rtising Section

Expert Ask the

F I N A N C I A L S E R V I C E S

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Making the most of your financial holdings often requires knowlege the average person doesn’t. Find out from Style’s experts what might work for you.

LAKE & SUMTER STYLE PHOTOSHOP: JASON FUGATE VILLAGES EDITION PHOTOGRAPHY: FRED LOPEZ DIRECTION: JASON FUGATE

April 2018

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up front

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In The Know Person of Interest Outstanding Student This ‘N That

67 ON THE SCENE

68 72 73 74 78 81

The To-Do List Local Talent In Concert Social Spotlight Out+About Hi, Society!

91 Food & Drink

92 94 98 102 104

Quick Bites In the Kitchen Fork on the Road Saluté Dining Guide

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COLUM NS

16 From the Publisher 112 Final Thought

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THE YACHT-MASTER The emblematic nautical watch embodies a yachting heritage that stretches back to the 1950s. It doesn’t just tell time. It tells history.

OYSTER PERPETUAL YACHT-MASTER 40

rolex

oyster perpetual and yacht-master are ® trademarks.


*

From The Publisher

C o m m e n t s o r qu e s t i o n s ?

Our goal is to provide you with the best quality publication, so your feedback is vital.

The envelope budget system n the spirit

of this month’s financial issue, I decided to offer a bit of advice for those who have resolved to live within your means because you need to get out of debt or because you don’t want to get into debt in the first place. Consider the envelope budget system my husband Doug and I have. It is the perfect personal finance tool. It’s easy to use, requires no special software or expertise, and, if followed honestly, allows you to live within your means and set savings goals for the future. It’s really easy. First, figure out what you have coming in each month in wages and other payments. That is your monthly income. Second, break down expenses into two categories: must-pay and discretionary. Must-pay includes rent, student loan debts, credit card payment, car payment, utilities, phone, insurance. These items are most often the same amount every month and paid by check or bank draft, so you’ll not be making envelopes for these categories. However, you should note them on paper and be sure to pay them on time each month. Subtract must-pay from income to get your discretionary expenses. That is the total you have to spend on everything else, from food to clothing to saving for that boat. Make a list of all your monthly spending; remember to include things like entertainment, daily coffee shop trips, gifts for others, and savings for vacations or holidays. For every category possible (food or entertainment, for example), withdraw the cash for your monthly allotment. Put it in an envelope and write

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the total on the outside. Whenever you buy something, use the money and note it on the envelope. When the money’s gone for that month, you’ll have no more to spend in that category. If there’s some left over at the end of the month, you can carry it over or put it in another envelope or savings account. Unexpected income should be divided any way you like between envelopes: bulking up savings accounts, paying off debts, or padding a monthly expense budget that feels tight. The thing not to do is to spend windfalls outside the budget. Money for discretionary categories should be kept in your checking account money so they’re easier to pay with a check or debit to your account (such as a monthly charitable pledge). You’ll also want to transfer to your savings account any savings projects, treating and recording them the same way you do your must-pay savings. If you stick to the envelope system, you won’t need credit cards. You’ll be living on what you earn. And that’s not only a great feeling, it’s a recipe for financial success and security. We hope you find this month’s issue educational and helpful. Enjoy,

Kendra Akers


Kendra Akers PUBLISHER kendra@akersmediagroup.com Doug Akers PRESIDENT doug@akersmediagroup.com Jamie Ezra Mark CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER jamie@akersmediagroup.com

I believe we can live as

Editorial // Design // Photography

Leigh Neely Jason Fugate MANAGING EDITOR CREATIVE DIRECTOR leigh@akersmediagroup.com jason@akersmediagroup.com James Combs Josh Clark STAFF WRITER SENIOR DESIGNER james@akersmediagroup.com josh@akersmediagroup.com Theresa Campbell Volkan Ulgen STAFF WRITER DESIGNER theresa@akersmediagroup.com volkan@akersmediagroup.com Chris Gerbasi Michael Gaulin STAFF WRITER PRODUCTION DIRECTOR chris@akersmediagroup.com michael@akersmediagroup.com Fred Lopez CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER fred@akersmediagroup.com

emotionally healthy people in a healthy society.

contributors

Joe Angione Mary Ann DeSantis Diane Dean Fred Hilton

—ADIL A. MOHAMMED, M.D.

sales // marketing

Tim McRae VICE PRESIDENT, SALES & MARKETING tim@akersmediagroup.com Jacquelyn Singer William Carter ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE jacquelyn@akersmediagroup.com william@akersmediagroup.com Shaena Chastain SALES ASSISTANT Shaena@akersmediagroup.com Administration

Deb Matlock Aubrey Akers DIRECTOR OF CLIENT SERVICES ADVERTISING COORDINATOR deb@akersmediagroup.com aubrey@akersmediagroup.com distribution

Scott Hegg DISTRIBUTION MANAGER scott.hegg@akersmediagroup.com digital social media

Garrett Reardon DIGITAL SPECIALIST garrett@akersmediagroup.com Lake & Sumter Style is a proud member of

Florida Magazine Association

Leesburg Partnership

Leesburg Tavares Chamber South Lake of Commerce Chamber Chamber of Commerce of Commerce

WINNER OF

Lake Eustis Area Chamber of Commerce

Sumter County Chamber of Commerce

American Advertising Association

150+ AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE

Lake & Sumter Style. Published monthly by Akers Media, 108 South Fifth Street, Leesburg, FL 34748. All editorial contents copyright 2018 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” and “Special 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.

NICALE CARAVELLA, LCSW

WENDY WINKLEMAN, PH.D.

PAULA REILLEY, PHD, ARNP, CNS, MBA

ADIL A. MOHAMMED, M.D.

AHMAD GHASSAN BIZRI, M.D.

CATHY LAMBERT, DEBORAH LCSW HEWITT, LMHC

We provide psychiatric evaluations, diagnosis, psychotherapy, and management of the following mental health conditions:

Depression | Anxiety Disorders Bipolar Disorder | ADHD | Adjustment Disorder Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Memory Problems | Substance Abuse

Caring for your needs is our goal and your right. Two locations:

305 Skyline Dr., Suite-1, Lady Lake, | 104 E. Dixie Ave., Leesburg We accept most forms of insurance for your convenience

352.431.3940

harmonyunitedhc.com April 2018

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JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME The journey to a healthy heart begins with a single step. Village Heart and Vein Center’s newest cardiologist will ensure patients start off on the right foot. PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE



The human circulatory system is the the world’s most complex highway. It’s a crisscrossing roadmap with streets of all sizes, from major expressways such as arteries and veins to smaller surface streets in the form of capillaries. And just as highways get you where you need to go, your blood flows through this system to provide vital nutrients you can’t live without. Blood, like life, is made for the journey. But that journey isn’t always easy cruising. Unexpected things happen along the way. Traffic accidents result in roadblocks that trap you and thousands of other travelers behind the pileup. A blocked vein or artery may be life-

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threatening and require immediate medical attention. Complications happen, and are as much a part of any journey as the wind in your hair. That’s why Village Heart and Vein Center is equipped to handle any roadblock that can happen in the body. An experienced team of cardiologists treat problems that arise not only in your heart, not only in major arteries, but throughout your entire cardiovascular system. Through expertise and comprehensive care, they guide each patient through the most important journey of all: The journey toward better health.


MEET DR. TAMPIRA When Dr. Georg Couturier began searching for an interventional cardiologist to aid his growing practice, he didn’t have to look very far. He knew in his heart that longtime colleague and friend Dr. Saroj Tampira would be the perfect fit at Village Heart and Vein Center. Dr. Tampira’s extensive, specialized experience treating peripheral artery disease (PAD) makes an excellent addition to the practice’s already-comprehensive list of services. “I’m really glad I have the opportunity to serve residents of The Villages and surrounding areas,” says Dr. Tampira, who joined the practice in July 2017. “My goal is to develop meaningful relationships with them and help them get back to enjoying life.” Dr. Tampira is no stranger to the trials and rewards of a long journey. His own journey began when he moved to the United States from Thailand in 1973. He attended medical school at the University of Louisville, where he also competed a residency in Internal Medicine. He later completed fellowship training in cardiology at Tulane University, a private school in New Orleans. “I can perform difficult cases such as complete long blockages, severe calcification, or blockages below the knee,” he says. “I’ve also helped patients who have been to other interventionists and continued to have problems.” The two doctors first crossed paths in 2003 when Dr. Tampira recruited Dr. Couturier, coincidentally, to join his own cardiology practice in New Orleans. They worked together for three years before Hurricane Katrina destroyed the office and forced both doctors to journey to central Florida. To say Dr. Tampira is thrilled to reunite with Dr. Couturier would be an understatement.

“We’re good friends, and we enjoy working together,” Dr. Tampira says. “He’s an excellent cardiologist who always has a patient’s best interest at heart. We share the same philosophy in doing what is right for the patient, and nothing makes us happier than seeing patients get well.” Since he began practicing in 1978, Dr. Tampira has helped countless patients on their journeys to recovery from cardiovascular disease and PAD. Peripheral artery disease occurs when a buildup of plaque causes the blood vessels that supply the legs and feet to become hardened and narrowed. Symptoms may include achiness, pain, ulcers, leg fatigue and gangrene. “When I first started practicing, there was no training in opening leg blockages,” Dr. Tampira says. When PAD treatments were first introduced, Dr. Tampira saw the potential. He began attending cardiology conferences and seminars, and soon learned how to effectively open blockages using interventions such as balloon angioplasty and stents. “I received training from the ground up and have seen many breakthroughs over the years,” he says. One of those treatments is laser therapy, where a catheter emits highenergy light that vaporizes plaque and opens up blockages. Another treatment uses a Roto-Rooter, a drill that shreds plaque around the vessel. Dr.

Tampira performs both as outpatient procedures, allowing patients to go home on the same day rather than enduring a multi-day hospital stay. “As opposed to surgery, these procedures allow patients to enjoy less blood loss and a much faster recovery time,” he says. “My motivation throughout my career is to keep abreast of new techniques so I can deliver the best results possible to my patients. Blockages below the knee are challenging because it involves small blood vessels and longer blockages. I am very experienced in treating those types of blockages also.” Cardiovascular disease kills more Americans than the next five leading causes of death combined, according to the American Heart Association. The road to recovery can be long. But it’s comforting to know that Village Heart and Vein Center combines the newest technologies, advanced expertise, and personalized attention that patients demand and deserve. No matter what obstacles face you on your journey to health, the team of physicians, physician assistants, and advanced registered nurse practitioners possess the skill and knowledge to ensure any cardiovascular complication is thoroughly examined, completely understood, and successfully resolved. Village Heart and Vein Center is located at 8575 NE 138th Lane in Lady Lake. Call 352.674.2080 or visit villageheartandvein.com.

Dr. Georg Couturier


Celebrating 20 years 1998-2018 Specializing in: • Mini Face and Neck Lift with Smartlipo of Neck and Jowls • Xeomin/Botox/Juvederm/Belotero/Radiesse • Direct Neck Lift • Torn Earlobe Repair • Smartlipo (Laser Assisted Liposuction) • Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) • Arm Lift • Thigh Lift • Body Contouring After Weight Loss • Breast Augmentation • Breast Reduction and Lift • Skin Cancer Removal and Reconstruction


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Photo: Fred Lopez

Up Front Savannah Zuk believes in pursuing her dreams and she’s doing it with panache. SEE STORY on PG 28


* IuNpT HfErKoNnO Wt

Lake EMS is part of the county With a unanimous vote, Lake County commissioners voted to bring Lake Emergency Medical Services (EMS) into the county organization. “This is a truly great accomplishment for the county and our citizens,” Commission Chairman Tim Sullivan says in a press release. “By completing this transition, we will be able to eliminate costly duplication and reach patients faster, offering an enhanced service to our citizens at a lower cost.” The county and Lake EMS are working together with a twophased approach so the transition is made without interruption of service to the public. As part of the process, Lake EMS and county staff came together with municipalities, fire chiefs, local hospitals, and other key stakeholders to ensure all parties had their needs met with the partnership.

Ja m e s C o m b s’

1

A Williston man who shoplifted a pair of shoes at a Beall’s store in Sumter County bit the hand of an employee as he attempted to flee. I’d say this misguided fellow was taking a bite into crime.

2

A man is facing a charge of felony criminal mischief after admitting to deliberately driving a black truck through Open Door Baptist Church in Clermont and causing significant damage. Can we add an 11th commandment? “Thou shalt not drive through thy place of worship.”

3

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If Florida wildlife managers have their way, roaming monkeys will be removed because they are excreting a virus that can be dangerous to humans, according to a study. I can think of an appropriate name for monkeys that are unwantedly removed from their homes: Furious Georges.

4

The Lake County Animal Shelter recently offered a “Stayin’ Alive” disco extravaganza where residents could wear their favorite ’70s-era outfits and boogie with cool cats and groovy dogs. Interesting. I never thought cats or dogs would make good dancers since they both have two left feet.

5

A new Dairy Queen will open soon in Clermont at Highway 50 and Miss Florida Avenue. I guarantee that I’ll be there nearly every weekend. After all, Sundaes are meant for worship.

6

The Groveland City Council ousted the town’s mayor after discovering he was convicted 30 years ago for selling an ounce of cocaine to an undercover Philadelphia police officer. Under the Florida Constitution, felons are prohibited from holding office unless they receive a pardon, which the mayor had not. These two words should be remembered before anyone is ever hired or sworn into office: Background check.


Ground zero for Earth Day

Everything comes out in the wash If you picked “car wash” in the pool, you’re a winner! People love to play guessing games whenever indicators of an unknown new business pop up. So the “New Development Coming Soon” sign on U.S. Highway 441/27 near Griffin Road in Leesburg naturally raised curiosity. A new restaurant to replace the razed Sonny’s BBQ was a logical guess. Tampa-based Wagner Property Group, a retail developer that planted the sign, has clients including Chick-fil-A, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and Trader Joe’s. But no soap. Instead, a sign for Mr. Clean Car Wash went up at the site, which is next door to Foam Zone Car Wash. Let’s hope this doesn’t start a dirty car wash turf war.

Earth Day, which marks the beginning of the environmental conservation movement, has been celebrated April 22 each year since 1970. In Lake County, Earth Day Festival Mount Dora is scheduled from 9am-4pm Saturday, April 21, at Donnelly Park, 530 N. Donnelly St. The free event has a theme of “Living Plastic Wise” and is co-sponsored by Mount Dora Friends of the Environment and the Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce. The event will include music, earth-friendly vendors and exhibitors, yoga, a raffle, and more fun activities. For information, visit mountdoraenvironment.org.

Hurricane hotline The city of Clermont has created the Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands Hurricane Helpline at 352.708.5908. A group of volunteers in communications and marketing, along with Mayor Gail Ash, are working diligently in the aftermath of hurricanes in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The group is working with United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties and the Community Foundation of South Lake to organize existing resources directly for those in need due to the hurricanes’ devastating effects, according to Tracy Jacim, director of communications for the city. Tracy also is serving as hurricane marketing committee liaison. If you’re willing to serve as a volunteer for the committee, call Tracy at 352.241.7345 or 352.460.2229 or email tjacim@clermontfl.org for more information.

Fair time! The 97th Lake County Fair runs April 5-14 at the Lake County Fairgrounds, 2101 Highway 452, Eustis, and this fun, family-friendly event is filled with free entertainment, livestock shows, carnival rides, 4-H exhibits, and, of course, tasty food treats of funnel cakes, Philly cheesesteaks, corn dogs, elephant ears, and more. Fair hours are 5-10pm weekdays and 1-10pm weekends. Check lakecofair.com to view the fair schedule and deals.

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nt * PuEpR S fO Nr o OF INTEREST

S TAT

Stephanie Harris

S

Executive director of New Beginnings of Central Florida

In 1999, she earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Barton College in North Carolina.

New Beginnings is great because: This organization helps homeless people find themselves when they’re in a dark place. They’ve lost hope and have nowhere to turn. New

She joined New Beginnings of Central Florida January 2017. She served in leadership positions at other nonprofit organizations, including March of Dimes and Salvation Army.

Beginnings gives them a second chance, helps them regroup, and advances their skills so they can move forward in life. We give them a hand up; not a handout. Our goal is to help them re-enter the workforce and find permanent housing.

New programs under your leadership: I started a bridge housing program for families. It’s a bridge from where they are now to permanent housing. I felt this was important because there are a reported 1,600 homeless children in Lake County. One aspect of the program is assigning a financial mentor. Unfortunately, they don’t teach you in school how to balance a checkbook. They must learn to live within their means and monitor how much they spend.

She has two daughters: Madison, 23, and Tori, 15.

Important life advice: You never know what situation people are going through. Don’t be so quick to label them. Instead of judging them, treat them like a friend. Treat everyone with kindness.

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Secret to success: Surround yourself with knowledgeable people. It is OK not to always know the answer, but you want to have people at your side who do know the answer. Success story: One married couple with three children went through our program. They saved up enough money to buy a house and get the electricity turned on and then still had some money left in savings. Favorite quote: “It takes a village to serve a community.” Dogs or cats: Dogs. When I was in college, a stray dog walked into the yard of my professor and she brought it to campus. I ended up getting the dog and naming it Bailey. I once used Bailey in a video that advocated for dog shelters.

Guilty pleasure: I can always go for desserts such as chocolate-covered fruits.

Three words that describe you: Outgoing, giving, witty. Hobbies: I love dancing, as well as boating and Jet Skiing.

Photo: Fred Lopez

V I TA L


* OuUpT SfTrA NoDnI NtG S T U D E N T

S TAT

Savannah Zuk

S

Age: 18 // S EN I O R AT L EE S BU R G H I G H SCH O O L

Daughter of Ray and Sheila Zuk. Runs makeup business, Looks by Zuk, on Instagram, and also does photography, including maternity photo shoots.

My favorite subject: Spanish with Ms. QB. She always is so lively in the mornings; she makes sure learning another language is easy and fun.

Crowned Miss Leesburg in 2015.

What I enjoyed most during my reign as Miss Leesburg: Getting the chance to be actively involved in my community and volunteer. The Miss Leesburg program gave me the leadership role of a lifetime.

Maintains 4.3 grade point average.

Best advice I’ve ever been given: “Just do it,” by my friend Kat. You can’t let your fears hold you back. You have to just do it and know that there’s a chance you might fail, but you have to get back up and try again.

Favorite food: Buffalo wings from Ramshackles. I eat them at least once a week. Something most people don’t know about me: I am super big into art. I love to paint and draw constantly, whether I’m in class, drawing things across my notes, or even painting pictures across my friends’ backs. I love using art to just breathe and to be free.

Pet peeve: Hearing people eat and drink, and working in a restaurant, I get no break from that.

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If I could have dinner with anyone living or dead, it would be: Julianne Hough. She has been a huge role model in the dance world for me after I grew up dancing for 13 years. Overall, she’s a great role model to look up to, and I would love to be able to meet her.

Personal philosophy: I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and something that upset you today won’t matter tomorrow. I’m also a believer in pursuing your dreams to the fullest extent, no matter the opinions of others.

My inspiration in life: My mom. We butt heads constantly, but she will always be someone I can look up to as a role model. If I’m at least half of the amazing woman, mom, and friend that she is, I’ll know that I did something right.

Future goals: Graduate high school and attend college. I want to make a difference, whether it’s through the medical field or cosmetology field.

Favorite quote: “Though the mountains may crumble, you will not”—Isaiah 54:10.

Photo: Fred Lopez

V I TA L


BE AU TI FU L SM IL ES AR E CLOS

ER TH AN TH EY AP PE AR

WHEREVER YOU ARE… A BEAUTIFUL SMILE IS ONLY A SHORT DISTANCE AWAY AT Dr. David Wollenschlaeger (his patients know him as Dr. Dave) has put beautiful smiles on the faces of children and adults in Florida since 1990. For him ‘Word of mouth’ truly is the best advertising and all those happy smiles speak volumes.

33050 Professional Drive, Leesburg, FL 34788

352.787.6800 /// drdaveortho.com


* TUHpI S F‘ Nr’ oT HnAtT

A savage turkey breast and kill the wabbit Music’s charms are in the ear of the beholder. STORY: FRED HILTON

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A

little more than 300 years ago, a young British fellow named William Congreve wrote a play called “The Mourning Bride,” which contained the line, “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast.” Of course, that makes no sense whatsoever to us today. Nonetheless, the line has great appeal to 12-year-olds who snicker, guffaw, and poke one another when hearing the word “breast.” Hearing “savage breast” sends them into absolute hysteria. Those of us who aren’t hormonal-crazed 12-year-old boys like the lines from our plays to make sense, so we do what every red-blooded American would do: we change the line to something we like better. That’s why the line from Congreve’s play usually reads as “music hath charms to soothe the savage beast.” That doesn’t make a whole lot more sense but at least you can visualize a fellow playing a cello calming down a gang of chickens with Uzis or a guy with a tuba soothing an angry bear who’s armed with a crossbow. In our culture, music hasn’t had much of a soothing effect. To the contrary, music has terrified generations of parents. Go back 100 years and the parents of the 1920s kids were certain their offspring were doomed to eternal damnation for wearing flapper dresses and dancing the Charleston. A generation later, Frank Sinatra sent bobbysoxers into a frenzy, again convincing parents that the younger generation was doomed. The trend repeated itself when Elvis Presley came along. Elvis’ swivel

hips were considered to be the spawn of Satan. The Beatles were next, and they were even worse than Elvis because their hair was longer, there were four of them, and they talked funny. The Beatles were followed by years of hard rock, acid rock, heavy metal, and Seattle grunge, whatever on earth that is. All that music had one thing in common: scaring the wits out of parents. Parents were probably afraid of music’s effect on their children going back to the early years of our country. Folks in the early 1800s were likely convinced that “Turkey in the Straw” would lead to unmentionable orgies involving the Thanksgiving turkey. (Maybe Congreve was thinking of a “savage turkey breast.”) There was a brief period in music tastes when parents weren’t frightened. Disco music didn’t scare anybody but, unfortunately, it did rot your brain cells. Happily, classical music does not scare parents. While it’s not scary, you can learn a lot about people from how they listen to classical music. For example, the “William Tell Overture” is a brilliant piece of music that Gioachine Rossini wrote in 1829 for his opera “William Tell.” Poor Gioachine went to his grave never realizing that a little over a century later, his music would be recognized worldwide—but only in connection with the Lone Ranger. Maurice Ravel’s “Boléro” causes different responses in men and women. Middle-age men immediately think of

Bo Derek and drool. Women immediately feel the impulse to smack the guy who is drooling over Bo Derek. Classical music offers a great test for your personality. When you hear Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries,” what do you think of first: • A bunch of fierce Norse Valkyries singing on their way to Valhalla? • Vietnam War helicopters blowing up everything in sight in “Apocalypse Now”? • Or Elmer Fudd dressed like Siegfried and singing “Kill the Wabbit” while chasing Bugs Bunny who’s dressed like the Valkyrie Brünnhilde? Personally, I have to go with Elmer and Bugs. One final thing about music. Certain rules should always be observed in music. First, no woman should ever be allowed to sing “Danny Boy.” Not to be a sexist, but the song should be reserved for male Irish singers, particularly tenors. At the same time, “Amazing Grace” should be reserved for female singers. (Full disclosure time: for years, I thought “Amazing Grace” was a song about a woman named Grace.) Instrumental versions of “Amazing Grace” are acceptable. Believe it or not, the best version of the song is played on steel drums. One final, irrevocable rule: the song “What a Wonderful World” is exclusively for recordings by the late Louis Armstrong. No one else should sing it. Ever.

*

In our culture, music hasn’t had much of a soothing effect. To the contrary, music has terrified generations of parents.

April 2018

29


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VOL. 7 // ISSUE 2

352.435.HOME 10135 U.S. Hwy. 441, Suite 3, Leesburg, FL 34788 352.530.2665 1217 W Miller St., Fruitland Park, FL 34731 morrisrealtors.com


THERESA MORRIS 352.360.3736

THERESA@MORRISREALTORS.COM

THERESA SELLS A PROPERTY EVERY 29 WORKING HOURS!

STUNNING HOME ON PRESTIGIOUS GOLF COURSE with plenty of beautiful upgrades to include cathedral ceilings, granite counters, an office/den and more! This well maintained home offers plenty of space to entertain... your favorite part of the home will be the lanai, where it takes in amazing views of lanai and you will enjoy spending time in your private spa. CHAIN OF LAKES ACCESS! MLS# G4850610 // $364,750.

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VILLAGE OF HACIENDA - SOUTH! This stunning Santo Domingo model home has been meticulously maintained by the original owner! Foyer opens to formal living/dining rooms with carpet floors (replaced in spring 2017). Kitchen recently remodeled approx. 4 years ago. Relax in the Florida Room or step outside onto the screen enclosed lanai and enjoy a glass of iced tea! MLS# G4852607 // $249,900.

CHAIN OF LAKES ACCESS with golf course frontage! Foyer opens to great room with cathedral ceilings. Office/Den with french doors. Kitchen with plenty of cabinets, granite counters, new stainless steel appliances and more! Relax on the covered lanai and take in all the beautiful views of the maintained garden and lawn. 2 Car Garage plus Golf Cart garage. MLS# G4850620 // $317,000.

MESMERIZING HOME with chain of lakes access! Maintained 3/2 home on a beautiful 0.72 acre lot with new landscaping. Great room with volume ceilings and surround sound. Formal living and dining room. The upgrades are endless in this stunning home to include plantation shutters, granite counters, crown moulding and more! NEW ROOF in 2017. MLS#G4853864 // $299,900.

STUNNING 5+ ACRE ESTATE HOME! Room for everyone with 5 bedrooms and 4.5 baths! Separate formal living room with plantation shutters, crown molding and wood floors. Stunning kitchen with granite counters and island. Large great room with volume ceilings, recessed lighting, crown molding and wood floors opens through recessed glass sliding doors to oversized covered lanai area. Wonder upstairs to your in law suite... living room area leads to bedroom 5 with pocket door and private bath with walk in shower. Deep oversized 2 car garage with circular driveway and side entry. Inside laundry room with two sets of front loading washer and dryer whirlpool elite. This home is roomy beyond measure, CALL TODAY! MLS# G4853755 // $549,900.

CHAIN OF LAKES ACCESS Formal living and dining rooms with 12ft ceilings. Kitchen with deep closet pantry. Office/den with custom built in desk/cabinets. Family room with sliding doors opens to screened/ covered lanai with stunning views of the 18th green and clubhouse within walking distance. Irrigation system with 12 Zones. 2 car garage plus golf cart garage. 2 Separate HVAC Systems with 2 control Thermostats. MLS# G4852358 // $374,990.

CHAIN OF LAKES FRONTAGE! Double door entry with leaded glass opens to large foyer area. Formal living/dining rooms. Volume ceilings and 18’’ Porcelain tile thru-out. Living room is spacious with gas fireplace (can be wood burning), tray ceiling and recessed lighting. Kitchen features cherry cabinets and stainless steel appliances. Plenty of other upgrades to include central vac, crown moulding, security system, whole house water filter, speakers in each room with volume controls, ADA commodes, Whole house Aprilaire Electronic A/C filter system, new exterior paint 2016, and so much more! Boat dock leads to your beautiful boathouse with electric lift! Attached 2.5 garage (27x22) and detached RV garage/workshop. Bring the boats, rv and toys! MLS# G4853767 // $525,000.

POOL HOME! 3/3 home on a half acre lot offers tons of upgrades to include new windows throughout in 2016, Heat and Air replaced in 2011/2012 approx., and Electric panel newly installed. You will appreciate that the irrigation system and pool has a separate well = LOW WATER BILL! Security system. Formal living and dining room with laminate wood flooring. Entertain with the built in bar area in Family Room. Relax by the Pool and enjoy the peace and quite. MLS# G4852041 // $242,900.


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LYNN HAYNES

MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR PRODUCER LAKE FRONT POOL home with a private boat DOCK on Picciola Island on LAKE GRIFFIN. Pontoon BOAT and outdoor smoker included with the purchase of this home! This three bedroom two bathroom home has been tastefully remodeled with quality finishes in all neutral tones. Entertain family and friends in this open floor plan with views of the lake from almost every room. Relax by the fireplace in the living room, pool side or sit on your very own dock while enjoying the sunset on the lake. The renovated kitchen has solid wood soft close cabinets with pulls, stainless steel appliances and granite counters and sink.

352.516.0903

LYNN@MORRISREALTORS.COM

LAKE FRONT POOL home has a gorgeous setting with almost every room having a view of LAKE DORA on the chain of lakes. This 4/3 home has only had two owners and has been well cared for with upgrades throughout. Starting with the beautiful hardwood wood floors in the foyer, great room, dinette and custom kitchen that has been renovated. Entertain in the great room enjoying the lake views or the fireplace in the custom-built wall unit that can hold your treasures and television. Bring the outdoors in by opening the sliding doors that lead to a screened in lanai with tumbled paver pool deck being installed as you read this. Relax in the POOL, SPA or on your PRIVATE BOAT DOCK and watch the sun rise or set or both. Wake up to lake views from the master bedroom large enough for a sitting area with french doors leading to the pool deck. The master bath has an entry to the large walk in closet and granite counter tops with dual sinks, shower, jacuzzi tub and private toilet. Split bedroom plan gives privacy to family or guest with two bedrooms separate from the fourth bedroom that has a door to the pool bath. Inside laundry room leads to the side entrance oversized 649 sf garage. Whether you are down sizing or up sizing this home will stand the test of time from the inside out. Come enjoy the lake views today.

GOLF FRONT 2/2 one owner home in Royal Highlands with neighbors only on one side. Popular open floor plan is great for entertaining with laminate wood floors that lead to the Florida room with a golf course view. Kitchen has granite sink, closet pantry and breakfast bar which make it great for entertaining.

COME SEE THIS well cared for 3/2, one owner home in Bampton Village of The Plantations. Very private location at the end of the cul-de-sac with neighbors only on one side. Formal living and dining rooms are open to one another with laminate wood floors that lead to the dinette area, kitchen and family room.

Rich LeMoyne Regional Manager NMLS#333158

725 E Alfred St. Tavares, FL 32778 352.408.5999 cell //352.742.1077 fax

GRAND ISLAND 2/2 home in Eagle’s Landing that you enter through Wedgewood. You will think you are in the country with a half acre on a cul de sac but close to shopping, medical and dining. All neutral decor with the popular split bedroom plan and open dining and living room. Kitchen has lots of cabinets and counter space with room for a dining table or island. Directly off the kitchen is a four seasons lanai with vinyl enclosed windows.

We are committed and passionate professionals who puts our clients' best interests and satisfaction above all else. Our team’s determination to cater to our clients' specific needs coupled with our market expertise, attention to detail and superior negotiating skills allows you to receive first class service.

morrisrealtors.com

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DUCHARME LEVENSOHN RESIDENTIAL SALES

352.874.5906

KIM@MORRISREALTORS.COM

KIM CONNECTS… YOUR REAL ESATATE CONNECTION

ADORABLE, AFFORDABLE, AND A PERFECT PLACE for the winter months or all year around. 2nd floor location gives you a great view of pool. HOA includes exterior building, roof, basic cable, pest control, water, sewer, pool, & more! ONLY utility bill is electric and internet! $53,900

SPACIOUS AND SPECTACULAR! This truly stunning Lady Lake Home has peacefulness and beauty written all over it. From the moment you approach the gorgeous stone gated entry, you are blown away with this custom treasure. Boasting over 6,000 square feet, this home features a main house and detached two bedroom guest house situated over the large three car detached garage. Sitting on over 1.5 acres on Lake Berchfield, you have room to roam! Be prepared to be swept away when you open the front door and are greeted with a gorgeous wooden winding staircase and hand scraped wood floors. The Kitchen features gorgeous counters, top notch appliances, a convenient island, and spacious walk in pantry. Entertain with ease as you open the French doors to the large pool area with Summer kitchen, and oversized pool and deck with views of your peaceful property. Enjoy a private game room perfect for the pool table. The Master bedroom offers plenty of relaxation with a glass enclosed balcony suite. Washer and Dryer hook ups both upstairs and downstairs. You really must see this impressive home. The features are endless and the rooms are spacious. MLS# G4853859 // $789,000.

MAKE THIS CHESTERBROOK CONDO YOURS TODAY! This two bedroom condo is in Leesburg on the second floor. Chesterbrook offers a nice community pool, beautiful setting, and even a clubhouse. The monthly amenity fee includes water, pest control, trash, basic cable, exterior maintenance, lawn, pool and clubhouse. MLS# G4850160 // $45,000.

PRESTIGIOUS BELLA VISTA IN HARBOR HILLS - 2016 built home with 3 bedroom, 2 bath and bonus office area. Gorgeous porcelain wood style plank flooring, carpet and tile throughout. Gourmet kitchen with stunning quartz counter tops and an island. Spacious inside laundry room. Covered lanai for relaxing morning s or evenings and a 2 car garage with additional golf cart garage. So many features to this beautiful ‘new” home located within this gated community. Move in ready... MLS# G4854199 // $312,000.

Yes! We've got a loan for that!! Conventional | Jumbo | FHA | 203K | VA | USDA| FL Housing | Down payment Assistance| Reverse Mortgages and many more. We are your leaders in lending. meploans.com | NMLS#1936 | 5222 Andrus Ave Suite A Orlando, FL 32180

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Todd Levensohn | Sales Manager 321-287-5440 | NMLS# 299664


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COOPER HOWE RESIDENTIAL SALES SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS POPULAR 55+ COMMUNITY IN LEESBURG 2/2 newer HVAC unit, hot water heater, and refrigerator. Covered lanai to enjoy the outside. Oversized 1 car garage and all the walls have peg board. LOW MONTHLY FEES. Loads of activities to choose from. Indoor heated pool and spa, recreation buildings, tennis and more! MLS# G4849513 // $104,000.

352.267.0770

JOLEEN@MORRISREALTORS.COM

THE RESULTS WILL MOVE YOU!

ZONED RESIDENTIAL PROFESSIONAL 10.5 acres close to middle school. Priced to sell. Only $70,000 for 10.5 acres. MLS# G4851763 // $70,000.

LEESBURG’S HIDDEN SECRET! 55+ IN SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS. WATERFRONT WITH UPDATES AND UPGRADES GALORE!! Remodeled home situated on a cul d sac. Freshly painted, NEWER FLOORING, NEW KITCHEN CABINETS, NEW SOLID SURFACE COUNTER TOPS, updated bathrooms, new light fixtures, ALL APPLIANCES STAY EVEN THE WASHER AND DRYER. NEW ROOF IN 2004 AND NEWER A/C. 119 FEET ON THE WATER. MLS# G4853243 // $179,900.

FABULOUS FIND IN ROYAL HARBOR 55+ COMMUNITY WITH UPGRADES GALORE... 2220 SQUARE FEET OF LIVING AREA. IMMACULATE AND READY TO MOVE INTO WITH SO MANY EXTRAS. 3 bedrooms 2 bath split plan OPEN AND SPACIOUS with 2 car garage. MLS# G4852453 // $275,000.

WATERFRONT IN EUSTIS PRICE REDUCED TO $599.900. 5/4 - POOL HOME. Situated on over an acre with majestic oaks. Newer HVAC, roof, wood floors, resurfaced pool thats heated, freshly painted and more. UPDATES AND UPGRADES GALORE. ON LAKE JOANNA A SPRING FED LAKE. GREAT PLACE TO RAISE A FAMILY AND ENJOY THE OUTDOORS WITH FAMILY BBQ’S AND WATER SPORTS. MLS# G4843838 // $599,900.

Call about our 25 YEAR NO LEAK guarantee! “If you’re not Bone Dry, you’re all wet”

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FINANCING AVAILABLE

352.669.6607 www.bonedryroofingllc.com RC29027460

morrisrealtors.com

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MICHAEL BARRETT

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RESIDENTIAL SALES

352.255.5710

MICHAEL@MORRISREALTORS.COM

SUPERBLY SPACIOUS! Entertaining will be easy with over 4300 sqft to include a enclosed Florida Room with new Wood Plank like Tile Flooring. Upstairs Loft/Living Room and attached Mother In-Law Quarters. Main home features 4/4.5 baths and In law quarters offers a full kitchen, living/dining room, 2/1. Upstairs features a separate loft/living room. Sitting on over half an acre with a gorgeous yard, you will fall in love with this stunning home! Other incredible features to include LED lighting, wood floors, large open kitchen, cozy fireplace, upgraded fixtures and fresh paint inside and out. MLS# G4848682 // $359,000.

WELCOME HOME... to this CAMELLIA Designer home in The Villages with GOLF COURSE VIEWS and a fabulous location in the Village of SABAL CHASE. THIS BOND IS PAID! You will appreciate that this Camelia floor plan has been stretched...2179 sq. ft. The second you walk up to the pavered entry with the cozy front porch and custom awnings, you will immediately feel the upgrades of this home. Starting with the foyer, you will notice the crown molding, bead-board, PLANTATION SHUTTERS on all windows, and more. The tile flooring and stunning laminate make this home easy to clean! The office/den is being used as the third bedroom and you will love the upgraded murphy bed with custom built in desk that stays. The kitchen features upgraded cabinets with crown molding accents, under and upper counter lighting, subway tile backsplash, Upgraded stainless appliances including a GAS range, and corian counter tops. You may spend most of the time in the Extended Florida room with full view glass windows and pull-down blinds with a gorgeous view of the golf course. Bring the grill and enjoy a BBQ outside on the paver patio with the inviting Pergola. The master bedroom features double closets with custom built-ins and a large bathroom with Corian counters, double sinks, tile flooring, and a frameless glass enclosure shower. The guest bathroom is even upgraded with corian counter tops and a Jacuzzi style tub with solid surface walls. This home is truly inviting and gorgeous! MLS# G4848976 // $355,000.

INSPECTIONS:

• Move in walk thru inspection in writing along with photographs of the property conditions at the time of lease signing and when tenant vacates • B i-Annual inspection of occupied property

• Handle complete eviction process • Operate within the Landlord Tenant Law • C omply with Federal “Fair Housing Act”

• Handle repairs with licensed, insured and bonded vendors

FOR OWNERS:

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SERVICES Let us manage your rental property. Call us today at 352.365.6900.

TREY@MORRISREALTORS.COM

• Monthly and annual income and expense reports along with 1099 statement • We can pay mortgage payments from rental income if desired by owner

RENTAL ANALYSIS:

• R ecommendation on how to get the most from your property • A nalysis based on comparable properties and market movement

MARKETING:

• Online with Multiple Listing Service • Zillow.com • Yard Signage • Local media outlets (Daily Commercial, The Daily Sun, Style Magazine)

OCCUPIED PROPERTIES:

• A ll adult applicants are prescreened for credit, criminal and eviction history • A ll lease agreements are prepared by an attorney • C ollect and handle all payments (rent, security deposit, pet deposits) • Post late payment notices

TREY HALIDAY REALTOR® // PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

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352.365.6900


ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS Custom built pool home on half acre lot on the 15th hole of the Harbor Hills golf course. No detail has been overlooked in this gem. Home boasts 5184 sq.ft. including pool area, garage and open areas. Enter to find volume ceilings in dining room with plantation shutters; the living room is an open concept. Stunning Anderson hickory wide plank wood flooring, beautiful custom made moldings around windows and doors along with crown moldings on the ceilings. A traditional white kitchen with 42” cabinets, all top of the line new stainless steel appliances, (new) one level counters that are quartz but look like carrara marble and custom back splash is carrara marble to match. The open floor plan from the kitchen leads to the large family room that has the wood floors. There are two guest rooms, one includes built in cabinetry with a murphy bed. The Master suite offers serene views of the pool and golf course and is accented with a shadow tray ceiling with built in lighting. The Master bath also features the stunning quartz counter tops as well along with dual sinks, walk in shower, garden bath and over-sized walk in closet with wood plank flooring. Your paradise awaits beyond the back door with a 2,004 sqft outdoor area (featuring a salt water (33’ x 15’) pool) which has custom lighted columns and a tie beamed screen enclosed area. A 9’ wide by 7’ high custom stone fireplace with travertine marble hearth and top sets a cozy mood in the evening. SO MUCH MORE, ASK FOR BROCHURE FOR ALL EXTRA’S. Call Lena Williams 352636-4488, Camie Kennedy 352-408-4668 or Theresa Morris 352-360-3736. MLS# G4854102 // $599,000.

LUXURY RESORT STYLE LIVING ON CHAIN OF LAKES! NO HOA! You will be in awe as you pull up to this gated estate home on 5.5+ ACRES! Circular drive way leads you to your elegant double door entry to grand foyer with double staircase and massive volume ceilings. With over 8500+ sqft, there is plenty of room to entertain guests. Sunken great room offers a stunning coral fireplace and large windows for amazing views of your enormous pool deck and breathtaking views of Lake Harris. Gourmet kitchen with walk in pantry and stainless steel appliances. Breakfast bar with island opens to breakfast nook and bar with island. Plenty of room for guests with 5 Suites with their own bathroom! Fitness room with closet and bathroom with door to pool could be used as 6th suite. Main Suite downstairs offers a coral fireplace, separate sitting area with private courtyard, his/hers walk in closets, jetted garden tub, walk in shower and his/hers vanities. Head upstairs to your massive loft area with home theater, walk in deep storage closet, 4 Large Suites (3 with private balcony’s) and balcony overlooking pool and lake. Custom solar heated pool with spa. Summer kitchen with bar/grill to include smooth top burner, warming drawers, refrigerator, sink and granite counters. Covered boat dock with boat lift and fishing area on dock. 3 Car garage with walk in storage area. Home sits on 2+ acres and lot across from front of home is fenced to total 5.5+ acres... bring horses, cattle and livestock. THIS DREAM HOME IS JUST A CALL AWAY! Call Theresa Morris, 352-360-3736. MLS# G4854315 // $1,490,000. morrisrealtors.com

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STREM REALTOR®

352.978.3428

SCOTT@MORRISREALTORS.COM

SERIOUS ABOUT SELLING MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR PRODUCER

ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY NEAR THE VILLAGES! 100+/- acres! Beautiful rolling hills and elevations, no mineral right conflicts, low taxes, and it’s own private lake! This size, location, and beauty cannot be duplicated! Land cleared, save for some oak trees. Developers: This property has the potential for development into 5 acre tracts, many with lake frontage! Would also make the perfect homestead property! $1,250,000.

OWN A PIECE OF HISTORY! Grandeur, charm, and plenty of character define the acclaimed historic Berckman House, a landmark property just minutes from The Villages in peaceful Fruitland Park! Property features completely redone all ORIGINAL gorgeous hardwood floors. All tile work was refinished, some tile work handcrafted on site. Completely updated kitchen in 2016 with all NEW appliances. New drainfield in 2015 and ALL new plumbing from drainfield to all bottom bathrooms. 1 year old commercial grade water heater. All essential electric and outlets redone to be brought up to code. All existing light fixtures convey with the home. Roof was serviced in 2015 as necessary for code. Basement was waterproofed. Downstairs AC has a new coil and upstairs AC has been regularly serviced. Lanai was completely updated. New windows in the kitchen, hallway and upstairs. Whole house is wired for sound. Workshop/garage has been updated and has working AC and can be used as a separate office. PLUS-- Over one half acre corner lot with additional building lot is included in asking price, and is perfect for additional parking! Excellent location, just a couple miles from The Villages and all the amenities such as shopping, restaurants, and hospitals. This property would be perfect for the historic home lover looking for loads of character along with all the upgrades owner has already cpmpleted, and it’s zoning also allows for commercial/professional use at the same time - What more could you ask for! MLS# G4850083 // $214,900.

INCOME PROPERTY NEAR THE VILLAGES! Property consists of just under an acre along path of Villages development. 6 mobile homes on site, 5 currently rented with one owner’s unit currently used for storage. Net cap rate estimated at 12% GREAT INVESTMENT!!! $225,000 // MLS# G4853450.

26.10 ACRES mixed use development site on signalized corner of US HWY 441 & Sadler Rd. Deceleration/turn lane and cross traffic road cut already in place on 441 and Sadler Rd will be a main interchange to the new 429/Wekiva Expressway extension connection Mount Dora to metro Orlando and Sanford. Call Scott Strem. MLS# G4852054 // $2,600,000.

DIRECT FRONTAGE ON S. BAY ST/HWY 19S, IN HISTORIC DOWNTOWN EUSTIS! Building is 2,040 +/- sq.ft. on large corner lot with plenty of parking available. Property has a clean phase 1 study and 400 amp/3 phase electrical, zoned general commercial for a variety of uses! Very visible location in very busy high traffic area! MLS# G4835045 // $279,900.

PRICE REDUCED - ONE OF A KIND PROPERTY! 70 ACRES WATERFRONT ISLAND/PENINSULA NEAR THE VILLAGES! Property features over 3,300 waterfront feet on Little Lake Henderson with connections to adjoining waterways as well. Prime opportunity for residential, multifamily, commercial, or medical/professional related development. The newest Villages center/square is just 15 minutes away and property is also close to I-75 and other major thoroughfares, as well as major hospitals. Walking this land is like stepping back in time to Old Florida, with its majestic cypress trees, spanish moss, and pristine water frontage, property would make a beautiful retreat destination - owner even has survey showing 2 springs on the property! Historic downtown with shopping and restaurants and numerous waterfront parks and remarkable paved biking trails (including the famous Withlacoochee State Trail) are just 2-3 minutes from the property. Please call agent for more details on this awesome opportunity!

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Winter has a style all its own. REALTOR®

352.360.3492

COMPLETE MAKEOVER all stainless appliances, granite counter tops in kitchen, baths, and window sills. Vinyl planking on kitchen floors and wood laminate throughout. New ceramic tile on bathroom and lanai floors. New paint and crown molding. New ceilings, brand new ac & water heater along with new fans and fixtures. Garage is 20 x 18. No direct rear neighbors - backs up to common area and has beautiful viewes from every room. Leesburg’s friendliest community with so many amenities. Conveniently located close to major roads, hospitals and dining. Low HOA fees include basic cable and sewer. Move in ready, great price and location! MLS# G4850439 // $135,000.

VALERIE@MORRISREALTORS.COM

YOUR CENTRAL FLORIDA NATIVE 37 YEARS OF CENTRAL FL REAL ESTATE

LAKE EUSTIS Chain of Lakes canal front. Just 5 minutes to the lake. STUNNING Open Plan Home is just waiting for you to see it’s new makeover. Walk into the Gathering room and the first thing you see is a magnificent real brick masonry fireplace with raised hearth and pocket doors surrounded by Scraped Hickory Floors. All Fixtures, Fans and lights have been replaced. All walls have fresh paint, every window has new blinds and coverings. The kitchen was designed by the seller who cooks! 42” cherry custom soft close cabinets with lighting, all soft close drawers from counter granite tops down, new tile on the floor, marble back splash and all new stainless appliances. Move onto the Owners room with new carpet, walk in closet and a view of the beautiful back yard and water. Owners bath has been completely restyled with all new tiled shower, vanity and floors...with a European look. The guest bath has finish with decorator tile in bath and floors as well as new vanity. 2 Linen closets and big lighted closets in additional bedrooms show off all the storage available. Inside laundry is large enough for a flex room. Oversized garage /has built in storage and a floored attic with convenient half bath that has been remodeled as well. Boat House and Dock are newer with plenty of room for a pool in back yard. AC is newer with new garage door opener and attic stairs. Don’t miss this opportunity for water views and daily breezes come see me now. $350,000.

Winter has a style all its own. Jordan Holmes 55+ COMMUNITY offers a 3/2 home with double garage and brand new spa! All wood laminate and vinyl planked floors, new cabinets and Corian counter tops in kitchen, all new European style master bath, Lot and Lots of storage space and closets and a HOA of only $145 monthly includes your cable and sewer. NO IMMEDIATE REAR NEIGHBORS in this inviting yard that has trees well maintained. Heated indoor Olympic pool and charms from $25 outdoor pool, CloseSterling to Villagessilver and Mount Dora. $150,000.

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KWYNN NICHOLAS

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REALTORÂŽ

352.400.8686

KWYNN@MORRISREALTORS.COM

PLENTY OF PRIVACY yet just minutes the Villages! Foyer opens to living/great room with laminate wood floors and a stunning floor to ceiling stone wood burning fireplace. Kitchen features breakfast bar, tile floors and tons of cabinet storage. Spend most of your time entertaining on the covered and screened in lanai taking in your .52 acres of pure relaxation. Detached 2 car garage. Quiet location.. yet just minutes to The Villages Brownwood Square.. featuring food, shopping, and a movie theater! MLS# G4852772 // $199,900.

CHAIN OF LAKES FRONTAGE! Desirable well sought after neighborhood Palmora Park! This stunning 4 bedroom, 3 and a half bath home offers tons of space for the whole family! Foyer opens to living room.. get cozy by the gas fireplace. Dining area with gas fireplace, too. Upgrades to include new electrical upgraded, solid-core doors with glass knobs, crown molding, 5� baseboard, vintage hardwood floors, Italian tile imported by the builder for the dining room, a beamed ceiling and built-in entertainment center in the family room and two brick patios overlooking the oversized yard which is shaded by Majestic Granddaddy oak trees. Kitchen features granite counters, upscale appliances including a gas cooktop, double ovens (one with convection), microwave hood, a freestanding ice maker, refrigerator, a farm house sink, and cabinets galore! With appx. 138ft of direct lake frontage, you can enjoy lake days everyday from your own property! Complete with a dock and a boat house with 2 lifts! MLS# G4850789 // $499,900.

dawnahosier@brokerstitle.net

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ESTATE HOME... 10 ACRES! Gated entry leads you to this meticulously maintained estate home featuring a large barn with stables and workshops, multi-purpose facility, and more! You will immediately fall in love with the home inside and out! Plenty of room to entertain with formal living, dining rooms or outside by the pool with a stunning summer kitchen sure to impress. MLS# G4837198 // $1,099,000.


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CAMIE KENNEDY REALTORÂŽ

STONECREST Gorgeous 3/2 pool home on golf course. Formal dining and living, spacious Florida room and family room. Split plan. Laminate wood flooring and custom tile. Solar heated salt water pool under screen enclosure. Inside laundry and two car garage. Stunning home inside and out! MLS# G4853052 // $261,250.

352.408.4668

CAMIE@MORRISREALTORS.COM

CAMIE CAN!

HARBOR HILLS POOL HOME Stunning 3/2.5 home, with office/ den on golf course. Living room accented with tray ceiling and sliders out to screened in pool area. Roomy kitchen offers island, gas range, closet pantry and stainlesssteel appliances. Spacious Master suite with his/ her walk in closets. Guest rooms separated by Jack and Jill bath freshly updated with custom counter tops and cabinets. Pool area has views of golf course and separate hot tub. So much within this jewel! MLS# G4848097 // $369,900.

MOVE IN READY! Updated 3/2 split bedroom floor plan and open feel. Spacious living area. Kitchen with custom granite, stainless appliances and eat in nook. Guest rooms and Master have new carpet and fresh paint. Master has his and her walk in closets. Master bath with dual sinks, garden bath, and walk in shower. Screened lanai with views of Harbor Hills golf course. New AC (3 years), also new roof, new double front door and double pane windows. MLS# G4837075 // $229,000.

CORNER LOT IN HARBOR HILLS Striking home on over sized lot. Spacious feel with split bedroom plan and vaulted ceiling. Enclosed back room (Florida/ bonus room). Galley style kitchen with walk in pantry and custom granite. Master suite with his/her walk in closets. Tile and hard wood flooring with wood plank tile throughout. Can be a three bedroom but third bedroom is currently utilized as office without closet. Also, newer ac and water heater. A true gem! MLS# G4848680 // $264,900.

THE VILLAGES - VILLAGE OF SANTIAGO Great Location! 2/2 block/ stucco Courtyard Villa with newer (less than 5 year old) water heater. Ceramic tile and laminate throughout. Living/ dining room combo. Walk in closet in Master bedroom. Brick paver lanai and low maintenance landscaping! (no grass). Move in ready and waiting for you! MLS# G4851226 // $184,900.

HIGHLAND LAKES 3/2 block constructed home with no rear neighbors. New open concept kitchen with granite counter tops and custom back splash. Large enclosed Florida room plus extra screened lanai. Two car garage, inside laundry, newer roof (2012) and water heater (2016). Very well maintained - sure to impress. MLS# G4854135 // $202,000.

BROMLEY VILLAS LOCATION IS KEY! 2/2 Colony Patio Villa with inside laundry. Beautiful laminate wood flooring. No carpet in this house! Eat in kitchen with breakfast bar and closet pantry. Living/ dining room combination. Newer AC. Come take a peek! MLS# G4853091 // $162,000.

Rich LeMoyne Regional Manager NMLS#333158

725 E Alfred St. Tavares, FL 32778 352.408.5999 cell //352.742.1077 fax

We are committed and passionate professionals who puts our clients' best interests and satisfaction above all else. Our team’s determination to cater to our clients' specific needs coupled with our market expertise, attention to detail and superior negotiating skills allows you to receive first class service. morrisrealtors.com

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AMBER PRATT

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REALTOR®

407.921.8083

AMBER@MORRISREALTORS.COM

AMBER SOLD IT!

SPACIOUS AND SPECTACULAR! This amazing home offers plenty of privacy with the adjoining property being included for a total of acres. The open floor-plan features a great room concept and large island in the kitchen. The office has a large custom built in desk with bookshelves. The house offers bonus space that can be utilized as entertainment areas or a playroom. You will love the beautiful Spanish tile and stone fireplace. Invite friends over to enjoy the pool sports with a deep end in the middle. The screened porch spans the entire length of the house. MLS# G4848739 // $299,900.

MAKE THIS CHESTERBROOK CONDO YOURS TODAY! This two bedroom condo is in Leesburg on the second floor. Chesterbrook offers a nice community pool, beautiful setting, and even a clubhouse. The monthly amenity fee includes water, pest control, trash, basic cable, exterior maintenance, lawn, pool and clubhouse. MLS# G4850160 // $45,000.

BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME ON THIS BEAUTIFUL FRUITLAND PARK ACREAGE Emmaus Road offers a serene setting with a one way street. The homes surrounding this lot are beautiful and custom built. This community is close to The Villages and also feels like you are away from the hustle and bustle. MLS# G4853087 // $39,900.

3/2 HOME WITH ALMOST 2000 SQ.FT. on an oversized lot. This home in located at the end of the street. It features laminate wood floors and tiled bathrooms with NO CARPET! Close to shopping and restaurants. Pet and family friendly neighborhood. MLS# G4849655 // $179,900.

BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME HERE IN BEAUTIFUL LADY LAKE. The Oak Pointe subdivision is conveniently located in the beautiful rolling hills of Lady Lake with a short distance to The Villages and all of the amenities surrounding. With a single circle neighborhood, you will appreciate the closeness of a small community feeling. This is truly a great opportunity. MLS#G4839401 // $37,900.

VIEWS OF LITTLE LAKE HARRIS 2/2 in Howey with basement (roughly 1300 sq.ft. that could easily convert to living space). Wood floors, fireplace, updated kitchen and bathroom, 2 car carport and spacious inside laundry room. Magnificent views in this gem with charm! MLS# G4854212 // $175,750.

RESORT STYLE LIVING WITH GOLF COURSE FRONTAGE is found at this gorgeous and upgraded 3/3, plus 2 Car garage! You will enjoy many things from maintenance free lush lawn to private balcony views of well renown El Campeaon Golf Course! HOA IS OPTIONAL. Approx. 10 miles to turnpike, you can venture to Orlando fun and more! MLS# G4842841 // $329,900.

Yes! We've got a loan for that!! Conventional | Jumbo | FHA | 203K | VA | USDA| FL Housing | Down payment Assistance| Reverse Mortgages and many more. We are your leaders in lending. meploans.com | NMLS#1936 | 5222 Andrus Ave Suite A Orlando, FL 32180

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Todd Levensohn | Sales Manager 321-287-5440 | NMLS# 299664


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LAUREN FICKETT REALTOR®

EASY LIVING AVAILABLE NOW IN THIS ADORABLE 2/1.5 CONDO. OPEN FLOOR PLAN WITH LIVING/DINING COMBO. Recent updates to include all new paint, carpet upstairs, fans, fixtures, toilets, sinks, faucets, etc. Boat parking available in neighborhood. Just a few miles from Hope Boat ramp and Eaton’s beach! $125,000.

352.636.2167

LAUREN@MORRISREALTORS.COM

LEAVE IT TO LAUREN!

LAKE WEIR WATERFRONT HOME! This adorable 2/1 cottage is the perfect home for a weekend getaway or rental. Owner completely redid the home in 2008. New plumbing and electrical updates included. Main home is a 2/1 with open floor plan. Hard wood floors through out. Living/dining combo over looks lake. Kitchen with breakfast bar and closet pantry. Enjoy sunsets on your back open patio. Additional 1/1 was made for guest in small additional shed. The big seller of this home is the entertaining area. Bring the party here! Large kitchen area with bar. Pool table area. 2 additional bathrooms. Outdoor fire pit. Bring your boat! Large beach area is perfect for volleyball tournaments. Call today! MLS# G4847050 // $599,900.

COUNTRY LIVING with the conveniences of being just minutes to town! 5 acres! This custom built home was built in 2008 has 3 bedrooms 2 bath plus office/den. Open floor plan with large living area with fireplace and tray ceilings, gorgeous kitchen with upgrades galore and romantic master suite. Screened in porch and open patio. This home is a must see! $399,900.

BRING YOUR FAMILY, ANIMALS AND TOYS this house has room for it all! The first thing you will notice when you open the front doors is the 200 year old solid oak floors through out. Beautiful formal dining, Kitchen with granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and center island. Family room with built in book shelves, bar area and gorgeous full wall of windows with remote shade that will cover them all. Main home features two offices. Romantic master suite with sitting area, double fans, his and her closets, double sinks, garden bath and walk in shower. If you love to entertain or just have plenty of room outside, you will love this 3,300 sq ft outside. Pool with gorgeous rock spa, built in bar area with grill, ice maker, and mini fridge. Handicap accessibility. Full in-law suite with kitchen, dining, living, one full bedroom and bathroom. A man’s dream come true with this additional garage for all his toys. RV parking with electric hook up. All of this on 7 acres! 10 minutes to The Villages amenities! This truly is a rare find! $750,000.

N D G

ARE YOU GETTING READY TO BUILD A NEW HOME?

NEAL DEVELOPMENT INSPECTION GROUP

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JOAN DeFoe REALTOR®

352.516.6843

JOAN@MORRISREALTORS.COM

REAL ESTATE “LITTLE GIANT” // MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR PRODUCER // PREMIER AGENT

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR....THE RETIREMENT LIFE IS FOR ME in this lovely 2 Bedroom 2 Bath home that features large eat-in kitchen with Closet Panty and everyone’s favorite “COFFEE BAR”. Furnished, includes all appliances, including Washer & Dryer. Screened Patio and a Covered Open Patio. Don’t miss out on this awesome home located in Coachwood East. Call Joan at 352-516-6843 for your appointment. MLS# G4853856 // $62,500.

134 APPROXIMATE ACRES with majestic oak trees and beautiful scenic views await you at this stunning oversized parcel! Bring your fishing poles and enjoy “great fishing” from Horse Shoe Lake (a man made pond). Earn extra income while living the dream on this private property with a 2/2 manufacture home used as rental and also earn $$$ for leasing land for cattle! Priced below appraisal value at $938,000 on 9/17/15. What a steal of a deal! MLS# G4820643 // $749,900.

MORE THAN YOU COULD IMAGINE! Located on 14.85 Acres close to The Villages and Weirsdale. Home features 4/3 with 2 Master Suites, 2 Guest Bedrooms ,1 Guest Bath and Inside Laundry. Huge 1,000+/- Sq.Ft. Metal Building with 2 large double doors. Fenced, Fruit Trees, Well and Septic along with 2 picnic areas located at back of property. Give Joan or Theresa a call to view this extraordinary property. 352-516-6843. MLS # G4851715 // $289,900.

START LIVING THE DREAM in this amazing 2 Bedroom 2 Bath home with a remodeled kitchen and Master Bath. Located on a corner lot with approximately 1,300+/- Sq. Ft. of living area. Florida Room and inside laundry. Carport and 1 car garage with work shop and storage. Call Joan today and make an appointment. 352-516-6843. MLS #G4853059 // $84,900.

CRYSTAL CLEAR INSPECTION SERVICES Florida Licensed Home Inspectors NACHI Certified

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Certified Master Inspector FLHI3403 NACHI11033102

352.455.0352

PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT INSPECT BEFORE YOU INVEST 14

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LENA WILLIAMS REALTOR®

BREATHTAKING! 31 Acre private and gated estate lakefront home! 4 Bedrooms with 3full/2 half bath custom built 2 story home with no detail left out. Stunning woodwork on the 10’ ceilings, soapstone kitchen counter tops and sink. All new stainless steel appliances (2017), hand crafted Vermont cedar doors and so much more. Formal living/dining room, Plus downstairs offers a family room, master suite, another bedroom and guest bath. This one is sure to impress! MLS# G4841315 // $999,999.

BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME on this beautiful waterfront piece of property. If you have ever dreamed of living on the beautiful Harris chain of lakes, here is your opportunity. With almost 100 feet of lakefront, this is the absolute perfect setting. Don’t wait!! MLS# G4850317 // $125,000.

352.636.4488

LENA@MORRISREALTORS.COM

LENA SELLS!

FANTASTIC OPPORTUNITY! This home checks all the boxes... 3/2.5, a den, bonus room, and large air conditioned and enclosed Florida room! The oversized lot (.36 acres) offers a fenced backyard with storage shed. Inside features gorgeous laminate and vinyl plank flooring, vaulted ceilings, plantation shutters, and a flowing floor plan. Completely remodeled kitchen with newer appliances including a gas stove, brand new self close cabinetry, gorgeous granite, a custom built in pantry with pull outs and storage drawers, a built in serving bar/buffet with even more storage, new sink and faucet, and a beautiful look! All of this with such a fabulous location... and zoned for Treadway Elementary School! MLS# G4852599 // $243,000.

BREATHTAKING HOME WITH STUNNING DECOR and Remarkable Upgrades! Located on a gorgeous 0.42 acre lot in the gated community of Harbor Hills, this beautiful two bedroom two bath home includes a den/office (currently being used as a third bedroom). The premium lot has lush landscaping and sits in a quite cul-de-sac. There are loads of upgrades in this home and water access to the Chain of Lakes. Features include plantation shutters throughout, crown molding and 6 inch baseboards, double pane windows, tray ceilings, gorgeous newly installed granite, all upgraded and high end light fixtures, all new stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, newly installed subway tile and farm sink in the kitchen, Top of the line and upgraded plank floor tile, a tankless water heater, architecture shingle roof and more. The enclosed Lanai adds even more space to the living area if desired. The hall between the guest bedrooms features a built in desk. The large master bedroom and bathroom features plenty of storage with a very large walk-in closet, a garden tub, walk-in shower with built in seat, and double sinks. You will appreciate the extra long paver driveway and covered front porch at entrance. Enjoy incredible views from your glass enclosed lanai with sliders from the living room and kitchen area. Enjoy the amenities of this gated Country Club Community offering golf, tennis, a fitness center, racquetball court, beautiful clubhouse with pool.... all at your fingertips when you join the Country Club here. MLS# G4848722 // $269,900.

ADORABLE 4/2 HOME on Dream Lake! With over 1.5+ acres and 2200+ sqft, there is plenty of room to entertain. Enjoy relaxing days at home from your cozy back porch or take in beautiful lake views from your backyard! Living room with fireplace. Detached workshop for the handyman. This home is any farmhouse lovers dream! Dont miss this deal, CALL TODAY! $174,900

INCREDIBLY STUNNING! You have to see the upgrades and how well kept this incredible home is. This Silver Lake home is only minutes from banking, shopping, schools and much more. You will enjoy the privacy fenced yard with the newly resurfaced in ground pool... perfect for Summer fun! Relax on the custom deck in your backyard surrounded by palm trees. Located in an established neighborhood on a corner lot, this 3/2 home offers 2,220 sq. ft. of living space with an additional bonus room and screened lanai. Open floor plan is perfect for entertaining. Two-way fireplace in the living and family room. All major components are upgraded including the roof (apx 5 years old), Air Conditioning (Apx 5 years old), and Water Heater (apx 2 years old). MLS# G4853439 // $267,000.


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The new tax law looks good on paper for taxpayers’ returns—more or less. STORY: CHRIS GERBASI

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ou know the old adage about death and taxes, the only two certainties in life. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December won’t change that adage, but the pocketbook impact on Joe Taxpayer remains anything but certain. No less an authority than the Internal Revenue Service is grappling with understanding the new tax law, widely described as the “biggest tax change in 30 years” because of its scope and its effects. “We’ve had changes, but nothing as substantial as this,” says Rebecca Higgins, an IRS enrolled agent and a tax preparer in Bushnell. The IRS is issuing daily bulletins to preparers about all those sections and subsections, forms X, Y, and Z, and catch-22s that most “laymen” find difficult to grasp. Professionals say that while the law is clear, the IRS’ work—on its application, regulation, and implementation—is not yet completed. But most experts, from locals like Rebecca to global advisors such as H&R Block, agree

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on the bottom line: most taxpayers will pay less tax, with the key word being “most.” There is no “average taxpayer,” so whether your income taxes rise or fall depends on your situation. Here’s what is known about the new law, which starts with the 2018 tax year and extends through 2025: the big changes involve revised tax rates and tax brackets, an increased standard deduction, and the elimination of personal and dependent exemptions. And the law affects all taxpayers, from individuals to families to retirees to business owners. “I think for the most part, it is a good thing,” Rebecca

tax brackets remain but have been reduced (to 10, 12, 22, 24, 32, 35, and 37 percent), and the income thresholds for each bracket have been increased. So, for example, if a married joint filers’ income is $77,400, they now would be in the new 12 percent bracket instead of the old 25 percent bracket, according to a comparison chart at turbotax.intuit.com. One of the biggest questions for taxpayers is whether they are withholding too much tax or too little. For people with simple tax situations, the new tax tables are designed to produce, as closely as possible, the correct amount of tax

I think for the most part, it is a good thing. I think we’re going to see less people itemizing based on the fact that the standard deduction has doubled, so for the general public, that may allow more people to do their own taxes now.” —REBECCA HIGGINS, TAX PREPARER

says. “I think we’re going to see less people itemizing based on the fact that the standard deduction has doubled, so for the general public, that may allow more people to do their own taxes now.” The tax rate tables changed for all the filing categories, including single, married filing jointly or separately, head of household, and qualifying widow or widower. Seven

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withholding, according to an IRS news release. Many workers saw a little more money in their paychecks starting early this year as a result of the new tax tables. People don’t need to fill out new W-4s now. The IRS is encouraging people to check their withholding on the new 2018 Form W-4 and a new withholding calculator available at irs.gov. For 2019, the IRS anticipates making

further changes involving withholding. The IRS will work with businesses to encourage workers to file new W-4s next year, a news release states. Some of the smaller changes in the law, as well as a budget bill passed in early February, may affect 2017 filings, but taxpayers can always file amended returns, one local tax preparer says. The standard deductions now will be $24,000 for

married taxpayers filing jointly, $18,000 for heads of households, and $12,000 for single filers, according to the legislation. While the doubled standard deduction may sound great, the loss of personal and dependent exemptions could offset it. Someone with two or three kids probably won’t see much difference, but someone with several kids likely will


wind up paying more tax, Rebecca says. “I think in the long run, it’s going to be a wash for most,” she says. “It’s really hard to say until you have actual figures.” On the plus side, the calculation for the child tax credit has been revamped, with the qualifying age extended from 14 up to 17 at $2,000 per child. Once a child reaches 17, if they’re still your dependent, you can get a $500 credit for them, as well as for adult children with disabilities or parents living with you. The income level for the child tax credit also has been changed significantly, allowing more families to take advantage of it, Rebecca says.

The revised standard deductions have many taxpayers feeling like they’re losing their itemized deductions, even though that’s not necessarily the case, says Dawn Mainville, of Go Figure Tax Solutions in Leesburg. Naturally, she’s fielding a lot of questions from clients. “Everybody’s concerned about what’s to come,” she says. “They’re concerned about their tax planning and what to do for this year, and about how the new code is going to affect their bottom line.” The new tax law hasn’t made Dawn’s tax season busier, just different, and she likes it. She says she’s happy to help clients understand the new guidelines.

Naturally, if someone is going to prepare taxes, they need to be educated on the new law, too. Rebecca recently watched a webinar hosted by Bob Jennings, a nationally known certified public accountant and IRS enrolled agent with offices in Florida. He presented a continuing education course on the new tax law. Rebecca highlighted some of the other categories discussed: • A change to itemized deductions on Schedule A puts a $10,000 cap on taxes including real estate, property, and state income taxes. Since Florida doesn’t have a state income tax, she doesn’t expect this

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change will affect many people here; residents of states with high income taxes will be impacted, however. • Schedule A’s miscellaneous deductions, a catch-all for items such as tax preparation fees, investment advisory fees, and unreimbursed business expenses, also was eliminated. • An additional 20 percent “pass-through credit” is available for small businesses filing on Schedule C, farmers filing on Schedule F, shareholders in an S corporation, and partners in a partnership. Depreciation standards also have changed. If,

for example, a business buys a $5,000 piece of equipment, it now is automatically depreciated at 100 percent rather than depreciated over the course of its use, say five to seven years. This gives business owners a full tax write-off in the first year, balancing their cash flow side and their tax side. • If you divorce or modify your divorce agreement after Dec. 31, 2018, the person paying alimony no longer will get the deduction, and the person receiving alimony no longer has to claim it. This might unintentionally give someone less incentive to pay alimony if they can’t write it off.

• The 529 Plans for education savings accounts, previously only for college funding, now can be used for grammar school, up to $10,000 a year. ABLE Plans, or Achieving a Better Life Experience, also allow individuals to put up to $15,000 a year in accounts to assist disabled students who have special education needs. Additional items include: taxpayers without health insurance no longer will have to pay a tax penalty starting with the 2019 tax year; out-of-pocket medical expenses above 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income can be deducted for

It lowers the tax on businesses, and we’re seeing the result of that (with) businesses handing out bonuses and increasing wages without a government mandate.” —PAT GIANNINI, FLORIDA FAIR TAX REPRESENTATIVE

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2017 and 2018; and moving expenses are no longer deductible, except for members of the military. That’s a lot of changes. But it’s nothing compared to the drastic overhaul proposed by one group of income tax opponents. “It’s a move that’s better than what we had, but nowhere near as efficient and effective as what the Fair Tax would be,” says Pat Giannini, of Fruitland Park, a district representative for the Florida Fair Tax Educational Association, which is part of a longrunning national movement to get the Fair Tax approved. In a nutshell, the Fair Tax would eliminate business and personal income taxes and replace them with a 23 percent consumption tax on retail goods and services as they are purchased, Pat says. Payroll and estate taxes also would be eliminated,


tax filings no longer would be necessary, and the IRS would cease to exist. He does find some positives in the new tax law. “It lowers the tax on businesses, and we’re seeing the result of that (with) businesses handing out bonuses and increasing wages without a government mandate,” Pat says. “Businesses have more control over their dollars.” And he sees some negatives. “It does nothing to help the working poor, who pay a very high tax rate through their payroll taxes,” Pat says. “We believe no individual should pay any taxes till they’ve met the bare necessities of their family each month.” If the new law works in most taxpayers’ favor, however, they’ll have more money in their pockets and will be more likely to put money back into the economy, Rebecca says. She hopes the 2025 sundown date is extended so the law doesn’t revert back to the former rules, and that Congress will try to further improve, if not perfect, the tax code. “They said the intent was to be able to do your taxes on a postcard,” she says. “I don’t know that that’s on the horizon.” Once tax season is over, more clarification and updates are expected from the IRS, tax preparers say. At that point, professionals and taxpayers alike should have a better handle on how the new tax law adds up.

The Tax Institute of H&R Block, a global tax advisor, released these examples of new tax situations, but bear in mind this analysis was made before the Internal Revenue Service finalized its assessment of the new tax law.

$

PERSONAL AND DEPENDENT EXEMPTIONS: The elimination of this $4,000-plus benefit in 2018 for each taxpayer, spouse, and qualifying child or relative will affect most taxpayers. Personal and dependent exemptions reduce income. Without it, more of a taxpayer’s income is subject to taxation. For example, in 2017 a married couple would have to pay taxes on more than $8,000 of their income they previously wouldn’t have. If they have a tax rate of 15 percent in 2017, they would pay almost $1,000 in additional taxes. FAMILIES: The loss of personal exemptions will greatly affect families. However, taxpayers whose income falls under $400,000 if married filing a joint return, and $200,000 otherwise, will receive an increased child tax credit of up to $2,000 for every qualifying child. Families with dependents over the age of 17 also may qualify for a new family tax credit of $500 per dependent that does not qualify for the child tax credit. The increased child tax credit, new family tax credit, along with the larger standard deduction, may or may not make up for the loss of the personal and dependent exemptions. For larger families and families that previously itemized, the impact of the elimination of the personal exemption will be magnified.

2x

ITEMIZATIONS: Those who itemize will have fewer expenses to deduct and a higher standard to cross. The almost doubled standard deduction for individuals to $12,000 and to $24,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly could offset the loss of personal exemptions. Those who usually itemize deductions, including homeowners and residents of high-tax states, might no longer find it beneficial if the standard deduction is now larger than the expenses they can itemize. MORTGAGES: The new legislation limits mortgage interest deductions to the interest paid on a maximum of $750,000 mortgage taken out after Dec. 14, 2017. Taxpayers with a mortgage taken out before Dec. 15, 2017, can continue to claim interest on up to $1 million of mortgage debt. (In addition, only home equity loans that are used to procure your home or substantially improve it, not to pay off credit cards, for example, will be deductible as mortgage interest, according to Bushnell tax expert Rebecca Higgins.)

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Fross & Fros

EXCEEDING CLIENTS’ EXPECTATIONS

wea lt h

m a n a ge m e n t

PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

C

ompassionate. Considerate. Caring. Those words are echoed about the dedication that Fross & Fross Wealth Management provides to more than 800 families in The Villages and worldwide. Based in Lake Sumter Landing, identical twin brothers Robert “Rob” and Thomas “Thom” Fross founded their independent

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financial firm 16 years ago, allowing them to represent clients’ interests rather than services of a specific company. Since they offer objective, professional recommendations, they regularly appear on CNBC, FOX Business, CNN, Forbes, and other media outlets discussing financial matters. “The Fross & Fross team includes older brother Patrick Fross and Casey O’Rourke as additional wealth advisors along with Rhonda Frasier, office manager; Judy L. Gerbig, executive assistant; Jena L. Sullivan, Renee Hutchings, and Allison Norcutt, registered investment associates; Lisa Chisholm, Lisa McCarthy, and Debra Townsend, administrative assistants; Lisa Sams, director of first impressions; and Robin Kruse, front office administrator. “We truly care. It’s not just a numbers game,” says Thom. “Our clients mean everything to us. Once I got a phone call at 7 o’clock in the morning. A client lost a spouse and I was the first person called after 911. That’s what makes what we do worth it, it’s knowing clients know how much we care.” With the advent of computers, many companies are more focused on numbers, charts, and

“We truly care. It’s not just a numbers game.” —Thom Fross

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graphs. Rob notes Fross & Fross believes clients deserve the personalized connection of talking to their advisor about their goals. The firm specializes in serving high net-worth investors. “Communication is our real strength,” Rob says. It’s not unusual for team members to help a new widow with paperwork or educate a client who has never written a check about household financial matters. “Maybe they just want to know if they are alone, they are going to be taken care of,” says Rob. “We are a full-service financial firm, we’re going to step in with a very holistic approach of fully understanding their budget needs, what their bucket list items are, and helping them achieve their goals while they still have the time and energy to do those things.” Money worries were on the mind of the pair’s late grandmother, who died at 93 but ran out of money in her early 70s. “It is our goal to make sure our clients never face that,” says Thom. “I would say the common thing we hear from clients is they’ve never had this type of relationship with an advisor, and to us it is very personal. Helping clients achieve their goals, whether long-term or short-term, is very satisfying.” Clients are more than just clients at Fross & Fross. “We often ask ourselves, ‘If this were Mom and Dad sitting here, what

advice would I give them?’ If we treat clients like family, we treat them the way we would treat our parents,” says Patrick. “We make a personal connection and clients thank us regularly. They appreciate knowing they can go golf, take trips and cruises, go visit their kids up north, and not worry about their money management, because we worry about it. The best compliment is they bring their kids to us to manage their kids’ money; they refer friends to us, and referrals are just a wonderful compliment.” Casey has found clients value the personal connection. “We are friends with our clients, we are family, and they appreciate that. We meet with them regularly and get to know them,” Casey says. “Trust is very important, and it happens naturally. We pride ourselves in going the extra mile.” The firm continues to grow due to happy clients’ referrals. “I remember when we had $30 million under management and now service over $550 million,” Thom says. “It was never our goal to be so large. We tried to stay small and take care of clients, but we became big because clients appreciate the personal touch. The growth naturally happened because our clients didn’t keep us a secret.” “We have the most amazing clients,” adds Debbie. “I love working for Rob and Thom. They are a delight to work for and they are very considerate, all about family, and I love working with my coworkers. We are a team here.” The firm’s average client is a Villager in early to mid 60s who just retired and has short- or long-term financial goals. Fross & Fross advisors believe it’s important to hear clients’ goals before structuring their finances to meet them. “Mortality tables tell us 1 in 3 could be alive at 95, and in some cases, people have a valid concern on whether they will have enough money, even wealthy ones,” Rob says. Some clients tell us they’ve heard stories from parents who grew up


during the Great Depression—how horrible it was—and they worry about losing it all. Many of the same clients also remember the recent financial crisis, hailed by many economists as the worst since the Great Depression. “Two of the three worst market crashes in history were in the last 18 years, and that is fresh in their minds after going through the dot.com bubble burst and then the housing/ credit crisis,” —Rob Fross says Thom. “A lot of retirees are still experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder from what happened. They are very concerned about being sure their portfolios can withstand turbulent times in the market.” “There are no mulligans in retirement,” Thom added. “Most clients have never retired before; this is unchartered territory for them, and this is the one and only shot they have. Fortunately for them, we’ve gone through this process with hundreds of clients. It’s not unchartered territory for us. We’ve retired with client after client and they are leaning on us for our expertise. “ Fross & Fross advisors say they are optimistic about the market. “Communication with clients about what is going on in the economy, in the market, and why it’s happening is the real strength at Fross & Fross,” says Rob. “When the market

“Communication to our clients about what is going on in the economy, in the market, and why it’s happening is the real strength that we have at Fross & Fross.”

gets turbulent, communication is most vital. We are now eight years into the bull market, and it hasn’t been all peaches and cream, but it’s important to know when to tune out the noise and not let the volatility of the market drive emotions.” A statue of a bear and bull on a teeter totter graces the front office entrance of Fross & Fross. “We were trying to illustrate the delicate balance between the bear and the bull market,” says Thom. “You can’t go in with blinders on thinking we’ll be able to balance the two; we have to structure the portfolio to plan for the market doing well, but at the same time have protection set in place for the market not to do well.” He says one of the biggest challenges retirees face is knowing the generation before them had defined benefit plans—they retired with a pension. “In many cases our clients’ investments are their pensions, so in order to maintain their lifestyle, they must be sure the value of their portfolio remains stable or grows to

keep up with inflation. Our clients are sophisticated. Their money has been in the market, so they fully understand market risks,” Thom says, adding their clients value aiming for better returns in the market than what fixed investments provide. “They can afford a level of risk, and the way we structure our portfolios is clearly finding the level of risk they can accept, and then customizing the portfolio. That is where we specialize.” Because of the current low interest rate environment, Thom notes to stay risk free might result in a “miniscule” retirement since CDs are not producing enough income nor do they offer inflation protection for many clients. Casey says he was drawn to work as a wealth advisor at Fross & Fross because of its stellar reputation. “It’s a household name and a firm that customizes for each client. It’s not a one-size-fits-all. We take the time to discover what our prospects’ needs are and our existing clients because their situation is forever changing and evolving,” Casey says. “We continue to monitor the changes in the market and the economy.”

FROSS & FROSS PROVIDES ACCESS TO ALL TYPES OF INVESTMENTS AND THE FOLLOWING FINANCIAL SERVICES: • • • •

Comprehensive financial lifestyle planning Legacy, estate, and philanthropy planning Tax minimization strategies Risk management and asset protection

• Enhanced portfolio reporting • Frequent communication and education • VIP access to private client events

Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor. Member FINRA & SIPC.

Fross & Fross we alt h

m a na gement

910 Old Camp Road, Lake Sumter Landing 352.205.7800 | frossandfross.com

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Thrift stores and flea markets are found in abundance in Lake and Sumter counties. They’re great places to practice ‘the art of the deal.’ STORY: LEIGH NEELY

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Thrift stores and flea markets are

10sutcciepssfsul

Photo: Fred Lopez

places where people go to buy unique items, and shopping at both is somewhat of an art form. Many people do it daily. Others just meander through for the fun of looking at the many different items all in one place. Whichever shopper you may be, you’re always looking for the best deal. Jennifer Clark, of Tavares, is an expert. “Shopping has always been my thing,” Jennifer says. “I’ve always been a haggler, and I will walk away if I don’t get the price I want.” According to the Oxford Dictionary, the term “flea market” came from the French originally. A market in Paris that specialized in secondespecially if it’s higher than it hand goods was called marché should be. “That’s the times aux puces, which translates to when I usually walk away.” “market of fleas.” She doesn’t always haggle, Though she does frequent though. If she believes the item thrift stores, Jennifer is she wants is reasonably priced, happiest when she’s outdoors she pays for it without quesgoing from booth to booth at tion. However, to be a successa flea market. ful haggler, she says, you have “You have to remember to do enough of that kind of an item is only worth what shopping to be able to look at somebody is willing to pay for an item and know its value. it,” Jennifer says. “That’s what “Some people will put you keep in mind as you’re some nice stuff out front just going from booth to booth. to lure shoppers in. It’s the And you have to be willing to old ‘bait and switch’ type of walk away if you can’t get the deal that many retailers do,” price down to what you want. she says. “They advertise a Remember, you want it; they refrigerator for a great price, want to sell it, and you’ve got but when you get there, they to find a mutual area where only had two of them, but you’re both happy.” they’ve got a great deal on a Jennifer says yard sales also bigger, better item.” are fun for haggling. “People The beauty of the bigger have that stuff sitting in their flea markets is the quantity yards because they’re ready and quality of vendors. Not to get rid of it,” she says. If only is there a great selection they don’t really want to sell of items from each vendor, it, they’ll stick to their guns the variety of the vendors when it comes to the price, means better shopping.

Webster Westside Flea Market, 516 NW 3rd St., has been around for more than 50 years, and shoppers say it’s the place where you can find anything from jewelry, clothing, or boutique items to electronics, tools, or fresh produce. Not only can you get your fill of shopping, they have a great restaurant called Farmer’s Market Restaurant, where you can get a great buffet lunch. Like the market in Webster, the Eustis Flea Market is one of the most popular in the area. It is also referred to as the Lake County Farmer’s and Flea Market. Peruse its Facebook page, and you’ll find comments from buyers and sellers who are happy with business here. The market is open from October through May at 2101 County Road 452, and always has huge crowds. The North Lake Flea Market, 2557 U.S. Highway 441 in Fruitland Park, is open yearround. Vendors set up under

for rage or ga sales yard e: HGTV Sourc

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available, it’s possible you’ll get a better price. “Most people will haggle with you at yard sales,” Jennifer says. “Some won’t budge on their price, and, if it’s not worth it, that’s the time to walk away.” Like most thrifty shoppers, Jennifer loves all the thrift stores in town. She and her partner, Lari Thaw, print two versions of “Savvy Shopper.” One is a “Thrift Directory for Leesburg, Lady Lake, Fruitland Park, & Beyond,” and the second is “Golden Triangle Thrift Directory.” They are free, and you can pick them up in most thrift shops. You’ll find addresses, phone numbers, and descriptions of the type of items the stores offer. The good news is the variety of vintage and thrift stores is almost endless in this area. Vintage stores usually have retro items, old photos, clothing from another era, and possibly collectibles. You may also find old magazines, books, hats, and jewelry. Thrift stores have an array of essential items that are slightly used but mostly in good shape. You’ll find everything from kitchen items to furniture to electronics priced well below

Photo: Fred Lopez

the big oak trees hanging with lacy Spanish moss, which means you won’t be out in the direct sun as much. Again, this is a popular market in the area where you’ll find all kinds of bargains. It’s open every week, Friday through Sunday. One side note: if you’re really into shopping in thrift shops and flea markets, you can plan vacations around it. A number of travel agencies will set up a tour of “The Best Thrift Shops and Flea Markets” in places like Sicily or Cannes, France, or you can stay in the States and go to Nashville, Tennessee, or Maine. Jennifer says if you’re going to a big event that’s set up for a special occasion, it may be best to wait and go on the last day. “People are tired and want to pack as little as possible for the trip home. They’re willing to go low to get rid of it. You can find one-of-a-kind items for probably a third of the price,” she says. If you do go during the early days and see an item you really like but don’t want to pay the higher price, get a phone number and call back near the end of the flea market. If the item is still

new items. Watch out for tags marked “as is,” and be sure to ask what that means. Thrift-store shopping works well if you’re moving into a new dorm or getting your first apartment. Stores normally have bed frames, sofas, chairs, coffee tables, end tables, and most any furniture item you’d need. Patricia Tracy owns Umatilla Southside Thrift Store & Flea Market at 749 S. Central Ave. Actually, when you go into this thrift store, you’ll probably see three generations of this family with grandmother, mom, and daughter available to help you. “We’ve got a lot of regulars over the years,” Patricia says. “I’ve still got customers who started coming 18 years ago when we opened. We’ve got a little bit of everything.”

On Wednesday from 4-8pm and Friday and Saturday from 6am-1pm, they also stage an outdoor flea market, which brings in more customers. “It’s a friendly atmosphere here, so people like it,” says Natilia Perkins, Patricia’s mother. Patricia adds, “We have a lot of good customers, and we become friends with them. They make our best friends.” LCM Thrift Store at 100 W. Ardice Ave., Suite 2A, in Eustis, also is a ministry— LCM stands for Life-Changing Ministry. The store is well organized and covers 23,000 square feet. There are plenty of large items like beds and sofas, clothing, jewelry, and decor items. “I think it’s fun to see what has come and what I can use,” says Sue, a

Tips for donating items to thrift stores

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Always wash any clothing before donating it.

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2 Be sure any utensils, 3 Be sure furniture is not dishes, or cookware are usable and do not have chips, cracks, or dents in them.

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broken or stained, and that items such as recliners, sofa beds, or swivel rockers do not have parts that don’t work.

4 If you want a tax deduction, 5 Many of the larger organizabe sure to ask for paperwork. Most stores offer it freely; however, it must be a registered nonprofit organization.

tions or stores will send a truck to your home to pick up large items such as furniture, TVs, automobiles, or boats.


4 Tips for

buying

clothing at flea markets and thrift stores

1 Search pockets and other hidden places for objects. 2 When you wash the clothes, add baking soda to absorb any odors. 3 Look closely for stains, tears, and care instructions for material. 4 Be careful with vintage clothing. It can easily be ruined. You may want to hand-wash. Beware of putting used clothing, especially vintage clothing, in the dryer. 5 Check the laundry instruction tag to be sure of correct water temperature.

snowbird from Ohio, who was shopping with her friend Pam from Indiana. “I always come when I’m down here, and I always take things back home with me.” However, this particular store is not only for shopping. A ministry of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, it is closed on Saturday, but bustling the rest of the week. “We have lots of business, and we have a good crew working here,” says Jane Gibart, a volunteer at the store. “On Tuesdays, we have free food—bread and sweets. We have the most food on Wednesday and Sunday, when we have pizza and wings and fresh produce.” Tracy Branch, of Umatilla, likes the large selection of items available at LCM Thrift Store. “You find stuff you don’t normally find—unique items,” she says. “I come once a week because you never know what you’re going to find, and if you don’t come, you might miss it.” Treasure Mart is at 308 W. Ardice Ave., just down from LCM Thrift Store, which brings up another point Jennifer made: thrift stores are not competitive like other retailers. “They

know people who like to shop in thrift stores are going to go to as many as they can. They don’t worry about it,” she says. “We have people who come in nearly every day,” says Ashley Barnhart, of Treasure Mart. “Our Yeti cups are very popular because he buys the patterns I’ve never seen before. We sell a lot of jewelry, too, along with furniture, especially to small businesses.” Michael Tedesco is assistant manager at Our Mother’s Attic in Wildwood, a ministry of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. He says the store also is busy every day. “Our proceeds provide for the food pantry and soup kitchen and for other outreach programs in the church, along with the Lazarus Clinic,” he says. The Lazarus Clinic is a program of Catholic Charities of Central Florida and the San Pedro de Jesus Maldonado Mission. In Lady Lake, Ye Olde Thrift Shoppe is operated by volunteers of The Villages Regional Hospital Auxiliary. “Our shop is always busy, and merchandise changes from one hour to the next,” assistant manager Curt Kroll says.

As shift leader, Joan Wicklas manages the volunteers who work at the store. “We have regulars who come in all the time. I had a fashion show using clothes from the shop at one of the recreations centers, and one of the ladies wore her own clothes in the fashion show, and donated them later,” Joan says. “People come in often because we sell items quickly. It usually comes in and goes out the same day.” Ye Olde Thrift Shoppe, at 106 W. Lady Lake Blvd., is a nonprofit organization, and proceeds go to provide equipment and items needed at The Villages Regional Hospital. Don’t forget the back side of the thrift stores: it’s a great place to donate good, usable items. You can get a tax form so you can claim your donation on your taxes, and you can help a charitable organization at the same time. It’s time to do spring cleaning or maybe you’re ready get new furniture, and a thrift shop is one of the best places to donate items. Of course, you can always have your own garage or yard sale and enjoy the fun of haggling with buyers on a sunny Florida day.

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Decide on a tim e when prices w ill be slashed. No n eed to keep anythin g. April 2018

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SURVIVAL ON THE HUDSON RIVER Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger was an experienced aviator: a former Air Force F-4 ‘Phantom’ pilot who wrestled military aircraft when engine “flame-outs” happened. Years of training prepared this hero to exhibit unnerving skill when the ultimate situation demanded. With his team of co-pilot and crew, Sully ensured that every passenger would walk (not swim) away from death’s door.

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Certainly the aircraft on that day was well designed and maintained. But that “bird” did not make the difference: rather, it was the combined knowledge of those professionals strapped within that fuselage. Radiation cancer care truly differs from the portrayal of a treatment machine somehow transformed into a life-saving “craft” whose performance and price tag cause spell-bound viewers to expect

something magical to happen: it won’t! Put decisions for care where they count. Let’s compare “flight crews” and experience. The Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute (RBOI) has four Villages radiation oncologists whose total expertise approaches 150 years, a nurse practitioner with almost 20 years, three PhD physicists where local competition has none, and 12 physics staff


personnel. RBOI continues to hold American College of Radiology accreditation, the most respected recognition awarded a comprehensive cancer center. Since Moffitt’s departure, we are the only radiation facility on The Villages campus with such accreditation—an honor we have attained for 22 years. This is your life. Sound medical decisions are only found when you interact with physicians.

With that in mind, bring this article to our office, and be scheduled to meet with one of our physicians for a second opinion...without cost.

Call now!

Norman H. Anderson M.D. Radiation Oncologist | CEO

The Villages 352.259.2200 Ocala 352.732.0277 Timber Ridge 352.861.2400 Inverness 352.726.3400 Lecanto 352.527.0106 RBOI.com

April 2018

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Expert Ask the

F I N A N C I A L S E R V I C E S

Making money doesn’t mean just getting an annual raise. Money management is often a maze of confusion. Get expert advice from local financial counselors on what you need in your portfolio. PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

April 2018

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Expert Ask the

Securities Brokerage Tracy Belton BELTON FINANCIAL // 352.253.5244 // BELTONFINANCIALGROUP.COM // 531 W MAIN ST, TAVARES, FL 32778

Q.

What determines the makeup of a client’s portfolio?

A.

The criteria for investing includes income needs, risk tolerance, the client’s investment experience, and their short-term and long-term goals. How someone chooses to invest depends on their net worth and income needs. If they don’t want to lose the principal on their investment, then they shouldn’t invest in stocks. If they want to invest and they need immediate income, what I try to do is fill the gap between their current income and their expenses with investment income. You generally get a better yield in stocks than you do in bonds and CDs, so they might want to consider stocks in their portfolio. Income from bonds is fixed; it doesn’t change. Stock dividends can potentially increase with inflation. I believe the old formula based on age no longer applies. That formula said that if you’re 70, you should have 70 percent in bonds and 30 percent in stocks, and if you’re 30, it should be 30-70, and so on. That formula is out. When interest rates

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afraid of the stock market, depending on their tax bracket. I may recommend tax-free bonds. But everyone’s income needs are different and everyone’s goals are different. There is no onesize-fits-all formula. Anyone looking for guidance with their investments needs to make sure they’re talking to financial advisors who are securities-licensed and securities-trained.

have fallen as low as they’ve fallen, people can’t live on that formula. It’s also driven by risk tolerance. If a client is petrified by the market, then they shouldn’t get into stocks. Most seniors have been through the Depression, they’ve seen bad markets, and most of them still invest in blue chip, dividend-producing stocks. I recommend bonds when a client is

Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ and CFP® in the U.S. Views expressed are the current opinion of the author, but not necessarily those of Raymond James. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Fixed income investments may involve risks including market risk if sold prior to maturity, credit risk, reinvestment risk and interest rate risk. Dividends are not guaranteed and will fluctuate. Investing always involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss. No investment strategy can guarantee success.


Expert Ask the

Investment Management FIRST WEALTH ADVISORS // 352.259.3204 Scott Windsor CITIZENS WWW.CITIZENSFB.COM/CITIZENS-FIRST-FINANCIAL-SERVICES.HTM

Q. A.

What should I do when my investments become more volatile?

Volatility has definitely increased this year. In 2017, the S&P 500 had an intra-year low of -3 percent and finished the year up 21.83 percent, including dividends. As of the end of February 2018, the S&P has already had an intra-year low of -10 percent and is currently up around 2 percent. YCharts and Broadridge. Since the market lows of 2009, the S&P has had decent returns every year except two: Including dividends

the S&P returned 2.11 percent and 1.38 percent in 2011 and 2015, respectively. With this type of performance since 2009 it is easy to be complacent. Ycharts and J.P. Morgan Insights Guide to the Markets. Since 1980 and including 2018 there have been 22 intra-year lows of -10 percent or more, almost 58 percent of the time. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. J.P. Morgan Insights Guide to the Markets. This is a good time to review your goals and objectives with an

advisor that takes a complete view of your financial situation. Not only your investments, but your liquidity, debt, personal risk management, tax situation, and estate plan. Every aspect of your personal financial situation has an impact on the appropriate investment allocation. Assess the risk your portfolio is exposed to relative to your goals and objectives. Be sure you understand what you own and the true risk exposure. Often, I see an allocation of mutual funds that actually hold the same stocks, which increases risk for the investor due to a lack of diversification. Just because mutual funds have different names doesn’t mean they are different from a risk perspective. Be sure to invest within the range of your personal risk tolerance. This can be determined with a short questionnaire. However, an experienced advisor can provide guidance on the level of risk you will be comfortable with by discussing your personal situation in detail. Even if you are invested appropriately for your goals and objectives, you may need to reevaluate your ability to handle the risk. If you are utilizing a dollar-cost averaging plan, such as your 401k salary deferrals, why not think about increasing your contribution to take advantage of market pullbacks? You

can defer up to $18,500 in 2018, plus an additional $6,000 starting the year you turn 50. Now may be a good time to look at adjusting your allocation to the appropriate mix of stocks, bonds, and cash. An experienced advisor can assist you with determining that appropriate mix. The British economist John Maynard Keynes stated, “Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.” So, clearly define your goals and objectives for you and your family. Understand your risk tolerance or “investor utility.” Work with an experienced advisor who will formulate a plan for you, not just sell you the latest hot investment product. Finally, review and monitor your progress toward you goal every six months, if not every quarter.

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The products have changed a lot over the last 20 years. They are more flexible than they’ve ever been and provide tons of choices for interest earnings potential and withdrawal options. Annuities are offered by insurance companies and are contractually-bound to distributing you your money. In placing your money with the insurance company, you are getting some sort of guarantee it’s a matter of determining which guarantees are most important for example: income, interest, principal protection, death benefit etc. There are different types of annuities and a lot of carriers with a lot of different product offerings that are not all created equal, so It is really critically important that if you are going to add insurance products to your portfolio, to work with someone who truly specializes in them. I’ve built my career on educating people on how annuity products work, and

I’m a Certified Annuities Specialist©. I have been doing this for 12 years, and I know the products up, down, backwards, and sideways. It’s important to become well informed. We offer workshops, Annuities 101 and Annuities 102, where I go through every nook and cranny on annuities and life insurance. I don’t sugar coat it and really there’s no reason to. Annuities are not “complicated” they just don’t work like everything else and it’s taking the time to understand them. Our goal is to help you have a deeper understanding of how these products work. Visit tbfinancialgroup.com to learn more.

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Recreation

very Sunday from 9-11am, military veterans and civilians are invited to the Veterans Multi-Purpose Center at the Circle B Ranch to learn how to help rescued horses reintegrate and heal from traumatic backgrounds of abuse and neglect. In turn, the ranch owners believe the experience is therapeutic for people. There is no charge to participate in the program at the ranch, 16540 Lake Stewart Drive in Groveland. “Recreation therapy is not about fun and games. It’s about living. Being out in the fresh air, being with others who have walked in his shoes,” says Bob Bambury, executive director and U.S. Navy veteran, who runs the charitable veterans support program with his wife, Marge. Their 15-acre recreational site also is home to their seven rescue horses— Trinity, Tigger, Peanut, Stoli, Cowboy, Red, and Slim—and the property is filled with an equine obstacle course and a small, picturesque lake. In addition to being a place for veterans to develop coping strategies, the ranch is a popular “go-to” place for children and adults served through LifeStream Behavioral Center to participate in equine therapy. LifeStream is the not-for-profit organization

THERAPY Veterans and children bond with rescue horses to rebuild their lives at a Groveland ranch. STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL // PHOTOS: FRED LOPEZ

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“We are not about spreading awareness of mental health concerns; we are about

doing something about it.”

—BOB BAMBURY


that provides a full array of behavioral health services in Central Florida. “This is a quiet, safe place to explore life either by working with horses, going on the lake in our pontoon boat, fishing, swimming…a place for families to gather together to share their strengths, weaknesses, to rebuild what was once thought lost,” Bob says. “We are not about spreading awareness of mental health concerns; we are about doing something about it.” There are no medical forms, requirements, or the need for a doctor’s prescription to participate in the ranch activities. Recreational therapy is touted as a holistic healthcare approach, and Bob says studies show participating in outdoor recreation

“We love people, we love to help people, and we do not do this for money, but

program; boating trips and sports fishing on a 24-foot pontoon boat; weekend retreats and camping for veterans and their families; picnic facilities with barbecue areas; educational classes on filing for serviceconnected disability

we do it for love.”

—MARGE BAMBURY

programs can improve psychological well-being. Their free program includes equine-assisted activities; substance use disorder recovery and relapse prevention

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compensation; and Sunday morning cowboy church. The Bamburys began working with veterans 27 years ago, focusing on those diagnosed with “chronic adjustment disorder,”

which Bob says has become the Veterans Affairs’ preferred term for posttraumatic stress disorder. Noted as a debilitating condition, chronic adjustment disorder afflicts an estimated 7.7 million American adults, according to the National Institutes of Health. Among this population are those who acquired the disorder in combat. Veterans Affairs states the disorder affects 30 percent of Vietnam veterans, 10 percent of Gulf War veterans, 11 percent of Afghanistan veterans, and 20 percent of veterans returning from Iraq. Chronic adjustment disorder can cause disabling symptoms such as depression, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, crying spells, and anxiety. Bob believes the VA term of chronic adjustment disorder makes sense over PTSD. He feels people may have been misdiagnosed with PTSD, when the condition might have been a borderline disorder, bipolar, or something else.

The Bamburys also provided transitional housing for homeless veterans in Fort Lauderdale for 15 years. “In doing that, I learned an awful lot about people, the psychology aspect of it,” Bob says, while Marge worked for the Miami Rescue Mission for 21 years. After the funding for the homeless program in Fort Lauderdale ended, the couple became interested in working with horses and wanted to observe the similarities of chronic adjustment disorder symptoms between horses and adults. They also wanted to offer a practical process to assist in the healing for both veterans and horses. “To begin understanding, we all see the horse as a majestic, proud symbol of power and courage,” Bob says. “We see the veteran dressed in uniform, and once again we see a majestic symbol of power and courage. It is hard for us to see the pain, fear, uncertainty


and confusion that can exist inside both. The after-effects of trauma can vary in symptoms and severity, and to date, there is no cure, only coping strategies.” He notes there is not one method that fits all traumatized veterans or one that is best for traumatized horses. “But, we know that traumatized horses can learn to recover trust, cooperate, accept, and live a life with undue stress,” Bob says. “This is accomplished by letting the horse live a life as normal as possible to what nature intended and putting systems in place for the horse to feel safe.” He believes he has learned three important things a horse needs to be comfortable in its environment. “The first is a sense of predictability; second is controllability, the horse needs to feel he has some control over his environment to be calm and comfortable. We like to keep the stall doors open at nighttime so they can come and go as they want. We don’t like to lock them in; they are not meant to be locked into their stalls, so they come and go and that is a little bit of control over the environment; and the third thing is escape-ability, a horse has to be able to feel that he can escape,” Bob says. “If you provide all three of these to the horse, the horse will be comfortable, and things will go smoothly. If you miss one of them, you have chaos. Our belief is the same needs apply to both human and horses. Without all three, life is chaotic.”

In a therapy session, he says a veteran with chronic adjustment disorder can work with a horse experiencing similar conditions. “You take the vet who is so angry and put [him] with the horse who has the same symptoms, and we are going to work with that horse to get him to trust us. We are dealing with so much similarities,” he says. “As the veteran works towards developing a bond with the horse, the veteran uses his own knowledge of his condition toward developing a new sense of trust in the horse,” Bob continues. “He achieves success with the horse by applying compassionate understanding, patience, and reassurance. And in return, he’s learning so much about himself by being part of the healing horse.” The couple believe events that traumatize humans are easy to understand, but that it may take some deeper understanding to realize what can be upsetting for a horse. “Consider a foal who is weened too early and separated. A yearling is being worked before he has any understanding. How about a mature horse? Parents may decide to get a horse for little Johnny or Sue,” Bob says. “They go to a ranch and see a beautiful horse that looks calm and relaxed. They make the purchase, and when the horse gets to his new home he is a different horse altogether. He might be dangerous. Left

with no option, the parents sell the horse and the process starts all over again.” Bob says what happens is the horse was adjusted to his former home and someone removed him from his setting, He was taken to a strange place and expected to be just fine. “Comparing this to a child going from foster home to foster home. How about the horse whose owner used a whip to try to train him?” Bob says. “Compare this to a child being abused. How about the horse who is kept in a 10-by-10 stall all day? He eventually loses all sense of purpose.” The Bamburys believe it’s easy to see similarities between traumatized horses and veterans, and they believe they understand horses since they have been around them for years. “We see the horse from a different perspective than many therapists would because there is limited experience on the therapist’s part about horses,” Bob says. “My thoughts are, and have always been, that horses can display the same symptoms that a veteran can with post-traumatic stress. Horses can be traumatized. Bearing that in mind, we came up with the idea that we would show a traumatized veteran how we can deal with a traumatized horse and we have this horse regain trust in people, and in return, it’s going to rub off.” It all comes down to trust, he says. “You have to learn to trust the horse and the horse has to trust you.”

The Bamburys generate the trust with an obstacle course on their property. Soon, the horses follow the couple’s lead of walking on a bridge and performing other moves. The couple reward the horses with loving strokes on their neck, and they teach others how to do the same. In turn, displaying trust, the horses mimic some of the Bamburys’ actions to show they accept Bob or Marge as their leader. When Bob crosses one ankle over his other, his horse, Trinity, immediately follows and does the same. It’s easy to sense the horse’s trust. The Bamburys are devoted to working with horses, veterans, civilians, families, children, and all who can benefit from equine therapy. “Bob and I are both humanitarians,” Marge says. “We love people, we love to help people, and we do not do this for money, but we do it for love. A lot of the people who come here, after they are done with whatever it is that they are doing, they volunteer, so that has been a great reward.” To learn more about the Veterans Multi-Purpose Center, visit vetsmpc.org or call 877.791.8603.

April 2018

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Meet Dr. Karen Thompson, Lake County’s only female cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon Leesburg Regional Medical Center extends the welcome mat to Chicago native Karen Thompson, DO, 51, a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon who was drawn to Leesburg for more opportunities to perform cardiac surgeries. She was impressed LRMC has been on the forefront of new and emerging technologies. PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

600 E. Dixie Avenue Leesburg, FL 34748 LeesburgRegional.org

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“I was really excited that they are already the area’s leading heart care program and that LRMC offers minimally-invasive procedures, such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement, for patients who do not qualify for open heart surgery.” She says the TAVR procedure involves using a catheter, usually through the groin, to insert a new valve into place. Currently, TAVR is geared for high-risk patients who need aortic valve replacements but cannot undergo traditional open-chest surgery. This may be due to the patient being older, having a history of heart disease, frailty, or other health issues. Oftentimes TAVR is needed because the patient has narrowing of the aortic valve opening that has restricted his or her blood flow and heart function, causing significant fatigue, etc. “For a lot of our elderly patients, it’s a nice alternative,” Dr. Thompson says, adding patients are usually only in the hospital three to four days.

Patients experience shorter recovery times since TAVR is less invasive. “I anticipate that five to 10 years from now we will perform this procedure in low-risk patients as well,” Dr. Thompson says. “Our field is constantly changing; new technology is always knocking on the door. The momentum is generally to go the less invasive route, and who wouldn’t want a less invasive procedure?” Dr. Thompson says TAVR involves more behind-thescenes preparation and decision making for the medical team, including the cardiologist, surgeon, and the anesthesiologist. “It’s still an operation, but only with the chest closed,” she says. Dr. Thompson strives to keep abreast with the latest surgical advances and procedures, but she feels it’s more important to know if new technology provides patients with the best possible treatment and outcome. “You have to evaluate, in my opinion, is this really good for the patient? To do

it the right way, you have to put patients first,” says Dr. Thompson, who graduated with honors from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. As a doctor of osteopathic medicine, DOs are fully licensed physicians who practice in every medical specialty, from prescribing medications to performing surgery, and through her residency and clinical rotations, Dr. Thompson became more devoted to cardiovascular and thoracic surgery. She completed her fellowship at the University of Mississippi. Having 20 years’ experience in the medical field, she moved to Florida earlier this year from the New Orleans area to join partners R. Duane Cook, MD and Robert Richardson, MD at Leesburg Ocala Heart Institute, 700 Doctors Court, Leesburg, which is in the same vicinity as LRMC. Dr. Thompson says she felt right at home hearing that her colleagues have gone on mission trips and were open about their faith.


“I want to do some elements of mission work,” she says, also pleased that many of LRMC’s medical staff volunteers with the Community Medical Care Center, a not-for-profit clinic in Leesburg that offers free primary care, specialty care, and dental care for uninsured adults and children (ages three and up) with incomes below the federal poverty level. Another big draw to coming to Leesburg was knowing LRMC performs an average of 700 open-heart surgeries each year. “This place has excellent, outstanding outcomes, and they have good surgeons and a good team,” she says. “The volume helps. Just like anything else, the more you do it, the better you get at it.” She relishes helping people with heart disease improve the

quality of their lives, and she treasures getting to know her patients, listening to them, and proposing procedures. “Patients say they love my bedside manner,” says Dr. Thompson. “The biggest compliment to me after I’m done talking to patients is when they say, ‘You’ve explained things so well. Thank you for taking the time to explain.’ She’s grateful to be with a practice that allows her to be busy, primarily focused on heart surgeries and working with partners who share her interests. “I had been praying for the right job,” she says. “It just all came together; I never questioned this is where God wants me to be.”

KAREN THOMPSON, DO Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon


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F e at u r i n g

6 Taxes are forever Retirement means no taxes, right? Maybe not. Plus

2 Kicks with sticks He’s the drummer in the bands. Ted Skolits has drums, will travel.

4 Villagers prove ‘oldies’ are ‘coldies’ Does your blood get thinner in Florida?


* MVESEtT yAlVeI L L A G E R

Kicks with sticks Ted Skolits finds his beat playing drums for Villages bands. STORY: CHRIS GERBASI // PHOTO: FRED LOPEZ

T

ed Skolits never imagined he’d be working so hard in his 60s. Most Villagers focus on R&R—rest and relaxation. But Ted focuses on a different R&R—rock ’n’ roll—playing drums in two bands while also working part time. In fact, he’s playing more gigs now than during 15 years of early adulthood when by day he was a mild-mannered computer programmer for RCA and J.P. Morgan, and by night a drum-pounding, Led Zeppelin-loving rocker in a New Jersey band called Kicks. “That was always my outlet,” says Ted, who was influenced by his dad’s big band favorites, like drummer Buddy Rich. Family kicks replaced musical kicks until Ted relocated to Central Florida and discovered the “unbelievable” talent in The Villages. “There are so many good musicians here that it makes us want to be better and better,” he says. “You can’t just slide by. You have to be on top of your game here. There’s such good competition and so much talent.” Ted drums for Flashback, led by singers Ralph DiNome and daughter Dawn DiNome, and a newer band, No Regrets. He loves the variety of playing Flashback’s 1950s and ’60s pop, and No Regrets’ ’70s and ’80s rockers. Ted also can list “producer” on his credits. One Sunday, he listened as the pastor at North Lake Presbyterian Church in Lady Lake described the plight of children living in Ocala National Forest. Much like Jake Blues in “The Blues Brothers” film, Ted experienced a divine epiphany— “The band!” Thirty-eight years after he and his brothers last performed a Blues Brothers routine in Jersey, Ted got the band back together “on a mission from God,” as Elwood Blues would say. They staged benefit concerts for the forest children, and in February raised money for the church’s Operation Homebound meals program. Ted’s brothers John and Rob performed as Jake and Elwood, respectively, backed by local musicians and relatives, including Ted’s children Teddy, Kevin, and Katie. One comedy bit included his mother, Terry, 91, of the Village of Silver Lake. While the show was time-consuming, Ted’s not taking a breather. He bought an electronic drum set so he can practice at home. “Here we are, we think we would be retiring and just relax,” Ted says. “No. Here I am, I want to do better and I’m getting the opportunity.”

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Villagers prove ‘oldies’ are ‘coldies’ STORY: JOE ANGIONE

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Age is the great tolerance breaker: As we age, we’re less able to take cold weather, to exercise, to work, to remember and think clearly, and also less able to roll with the punches life throws at us.

4

inter is officially over—what there was of it this year. Before moving to The Villages, my wife and I were accustomed to colder winters. We worried Florida’s heat would be difficult, if not impossible, to bear. There were friends who told us our blood would become thinner and we’d get used to the hot weather. But our first few years here gave no indication we were adjusting to the heat. We kept air conditioning on all year—at considerable expense. We were outdoors as little as possible. And in the so-called winter months, we laughed to see longtime Villagers riding their golf carts wearing snow jackets, gloves, woolen hats, and even sporting lap robes to brave an occasional 50-degree day. What happened to them? Did their blood eventually thin and make them chill easier? Could this happen to us? Dr. Robert Vyge, a board-certified internist at Beaufort Memorial Hospital in North Carolina, says, “No. The concept of developing ‘thinner blood’ by moving from a colder Northern climate to a warmer Southern climate is only a myth. People may often feel colder at times after moving to the South…but it has to do

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with a person’s tolerance for cold weather changing, and perhaps to a loss of some ‘insulating’ fat that may disappear after being more active in a warmer climate.” Although blood-thinning doesn’t happen, after five or six years, we, like most Villagers, lost our tolerance for the cold. Florida’s tropical weather ceased to be a sweaty inconvenience. Unfortunately, weight loss wasn’t a factor. My wife and I tacked on some “retirement pounds” that accumulate no matter where you live. Most likely, age reduced our tolerance for cold and explains our acclimation to Florida’s warmth. Age is the great tolerance breaker: As we age, we’re less able to take cold weather, to exercise, to work, to remember and think clearly, and also less able to roll with the punches life throws at us. In the Angiones’ house, adapting to Florida’s warm weather is saving us some money. Our A/C is on only at night, and we’ve lost interest in expensive ski trips, cruises to Alaska, or exploring Antarctica. Last Christmas, my wife did the unthinkable. She bought us a lap robe for our winter early-morning golf dates. “Oldies” really are “coldies.” It’s kind of embarrassing.


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Many people believe you don’t file tax returns after retirement with a fixed income, but that may not be the case. STORY: LEIGH NEELY


ou may not make enough income in retirement to pay taxes, but John Krier, district coordinator for Villages TaxAide, says you still need to file a return. “Filing a tax return can help you avoid identity theft,” John says. “File as early as you can but be sure you have all your tax documents when you file. Filing early prevents others from using your Social Security number to file a false claim and steal your identity. You also have the IRS documents to prove you are who you say you are.” Identity theft continues to be a problem, especially for seniors who often give out confidential information on the phone without realizing it’s a scam. Villages Tax-Aide is part of a national organization sponsored by the AARP Foundation, the charitable arm of the American Association of Retired Persons. This was

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7


the organization’s 50th year of offering free tax-filing help to anyone of any age, but it was especially designed to help those 50 and older. Villages Tax-Aide is in its 20th year and prepares returns in Lake and Sumter counties. All the workers in Villages Tax-Aide are volunteers. They receive training from the AARP Foundation and are certified by the Internal Revenue Service. If you feel you cannot be a tax preparer, volunteers also serve as client facilitators, technical support providers, management assistants, greeters, and bilingual interpreters. Last year, The Villages had 129 volunteer counselors and 49 client facilitators who helped more than 18,000 people with their 2016 federal tax returns. Please note, everything done for you by these AARP Foundation volunteers is strictly confidential. This is a safe environment to file your tax return free with knowledgeable tax preparers. However, it is the taxpayer’s responsibility to get the tax return to the IRS. For 2017 taxes, if you made $10,400 and are under age 65, you must file a return. Remember, everyone gets at least one deduction. Single persons or married persons who file separately can claim $6,350 as a standard deduction. Married couples filing jointly

may claim $12,700, and those who are single with dependent children may file as “head of household” and claim $9,350. Other exceptions also increase the deduction. See irs.gov for other questions. The number of documents and information required are too long to list here but can be obtained by going to villagestaxaide.com for the complete list. You also can make an appointment through this website. Any questions you may have can be answered by emailing taxaid@aarp.org anytime. Retirees can be taxed on their Social Security income as well as pension benefits if what they make exceeds minimum earnings set by the Internal Revenue Service. “If you have an IRA, you must start taking that out at age 70½, and that will be taxed,” John says. “If you sell any assets—stocks, bonds, what have you—that will be taxed. Just about any income you have is taxable from a federal standpoint. From a state standpoint, Florida doesn’t care. They don’t have an income tax.” John says problems occur for many people when they reach that magic age of 70½ because they’re required to take minimum distributions of pension, IRAs, and so on. You pay taxes on the amount you’re receiving, and it increases your Social Security, making

If you have an IRA, you must start taking that out at age 70½, and that will be taxed. If you sell any assets—stocks, bonds, what have you—that will be taxed. Just about any income you have is taxable from a federal standpoint.” — JOHN KRIER, DISTRICT COORDINATOR

8

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it taxable. If your total income becomes much higher, you may go into a higher tax bracket. Upon the death of a spouse, the partner can file a joint return the year the spouse dies. After that, you must file as a single person. “That’s a significantly higher tax rate,” John says. “In addition, you lose the personal exemption for your deceased spouse, and you lose the standard deduction. All of a sudden, your income goes up and your tax rate goes up and this often gives people a big shock when they see their tax bill.” John says it’s vital for couples to discuss finances, even if only one spouse has handled them through the years. It’s important to know where all papers are kept, such as old tax returns and any papers related to current income from pension, stocks, and so forth. Even if you don’t know procedures for filing taxes, learn where everything related to taxes is kept and be aware of income and regular bill payments. Another problem many people in The Villages face is the sale of their primary residence when moving here. “In general, the IRS allows a $250,000 exclusion per person. If you have lived in the house for at least two of the past five years that you’ve owned it—and not rented or leased it—in most cases, you won’t even receive any tax paperwork on the house. If it exceeds $500,000, that additional money becomes taxable,” John says. “When this comes into play, somebody who might live in California or New York may think they’ve got it made coming to Florida, where housing is much less expensive, but they’ll be taxed on the sell.” Another area taxpayers need to keep an eye on is home energy credits. According to

the IRS website, the maximum lifetime limit is $500, so if you have previously used credits for windows or a furnace, you have less than you may think to take as credit. “Be careful about what energy credits you’re looking for, and don’t take the contractor’s word for it that you’re going to get a big energy credit for windows or whatever,” John says. Another big issue for today’s retirees is caring for dependents. Many grandparents are raising grandchildren, or they have a grandchild living with them. “What the law says is that you have to provide more than half their support. That doesn’t mean just more than half of running the house,” John says. “What that means is you pay more than half of their share of the household costs.” The household costs allotted is $10,000 per person. If you have a grandchild living with you that is making $20,000 but paying none of the household costs, that means that child’s income is considered $30,000. That person cannot be called a dependent. “If they’re making an income, they should be contributing to the household costs,” John says. Regarding this, you must have Social Security numbers for every person being named on your tax return. “The IRS is getting more and more particular about this because of identity fraud,” John says. “If you have dependent children in the home, be sure to acquire a Social Security number for them.” One final note: “All of this is also going to change somewhat next year,” John says. “Until we get closer to the next filing season, we really won’t know all the changes that have come about with the new tax law.”

Here is a list of places to find free help from AARP volunteers with filing your income tax or with tax questions. Sumter County Panasoffkee Community Library  1500 County Road 459   Lake Panasoffkee  Villages Public Library at Pinellas Plaza  7375 Powell Road  Wildwood 

Lake County  Goodwill  1855 S. Grand Highway Clermont  W. T. Bland Library  1995 N. Donnelly St.  Mount Dora   Leesburg Library  100 E. Main St.   Leesburg   Hawthorne Marina  100 Hawthorne Blvd.  Leesburg  Town of Lady Lake Library  225 W. Guava St. Lady Lake   Fruitland Park Library  205 W. Berckman St.   Fruitland Park  

The Villages Colony Cottage Recreation Center  510 Colony Blvd.   La Hacienda Recreation Center  1200 Avenida Central 

Paradise Recreation Center  1403 Paradise Drive

Mulberry Grove Recreation Center 8445 SE 165th Mulberry Lane


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* BVOSOtK yR lE VeI E W

‘Minced, Marinated, and Murdered: A French Culinary Mystery’ By Noël Balen and Vanessa Barrot. A tour of Paris highlighted by visits with great chefs is marred when the chefs keep turning up dead.

*

It’s obvious Noël Balen and Vanessa Barrot know their French cuisine and how to mix up a good murder mystery that leaves you guessing the secret ingredient.

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his is the first book in the Gourmet Crimes series from Le French Book, a publisher that translates popular French novels into English. The translator for this book was Anne Trager, founder of the company. My first word of caution is don’t read this book when you’re hungry. The incredible French cuisine is discussed in great, mouth-watering detail, and getting something to eat may be the only reason you put this book down. “This is exactly what I’ve been talking about,” Laure said. She started pointing. “Jambon persille—ham in aspic with tons of green parsley, crispy pork cracklings, pistachio and morel sausage; caillettes, or pork meatballs with spinach; pressed calf-muzzle salad; boudin blanc sausage with foi gras; slices of other local dry sausages; and red-wine-braised sabodet sausage.” Food writer Laure Grenadier is on assignment for her magazine in Lyon, the city considered the capital of French gourmet food. She and her photographer are treated to the best meals and interview the most

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successful chefs. However, something else becomes a priority when the chefs they have interviewed turn up dead. In addition to working as a sleuth and digging into the crimes, the writers provide amazing history of French cuisine and how the chefs prepare the food. Paco Alvarez is Laure’s photographer, and the two of them work well together, whether on a story or solving a crime. The books also delve into the personal lives of the two, which makes their sleuthing more difficult yet more interesting. When Laure begins uncovering secret rivals and tense disputes among the chefs, she fears the police theory of a serial killer may not be hitting the mark. As she was close friends with all the victims, she puts all her effort into discovering who murdered them while working on the article for her magazine. Whatever happens, deadlines must be met. This is an entertaining novel, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series. I especially like it because I’m in the magazine business, but it’s also entertaining reading. It’s obvious Noël Balen and Vanessa Barrot know their French cuisine and how to mix up a good murder mystery that leaves you guessing the secret ingredient.


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THE TO-DO LIST //

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LOCAL TALENT //

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IN CONCE RT //

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SOCIAL SPOTLIGHT //

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OUT & ABOUT

SEE STORY on PG 72

On the Scene

From a silver badge to gold jewelry.

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April APRIL 1-22

Bleed for your art “Red” at The Studio Theatre at Tierra del Sol, 806 San Marino Drive in The Villages. An artist asking someone else “What do you see?” can lead to the artist questioning his art. Tickets available at thesharon.com. Shows at 7pm. For tickets, go to thesharon.com. APRIL 2

A time to sing “Don’t Tell Nonnie” Open Mic & Cabaret NIght at The Studio Theatre in The Villages. Doors open at 7pm; show time 7:30-10pm. Bring sheet music or choose from the selections; Whitney Morse and Gary Powell will perform their favorite cabaret numbers. $15 includes a beverage. APRIL 6

A storytelling tour Join storytellers on a folktale tour through swamps and cabins, meet colorful characters, and experience old Florida. Free and open to the public at the W.T. Bland Public Library in Mount Dora.

APRIL 5-7

Smile like a Cheshire cat See the rock musical version of “Alice in Wonderland” at The Villages Charter High School. Alice faces the fears and challenges of growing up while trying to stay true to herself. Show time: 7pm. Tickets: $10 purchased at thesharon.com.

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Farmer’s Markets Saturdays The Saturday Morning Market on Leesburg Towne Square, 8am-1pm

APRIL 8

Zoom, zoom It’s time once again for the Festivals of Speed at Mission Inn Resort in Howeyin-the-Hills. See an amazing array of vehicles you may never see anywhere else: vintage, exotic sports cars, all makes and models. 10am-4pm. Admission: $20; children 12 and under free. APRIL 7

Good food, good times Taste of Lake County 2018 will have eight chefs competing for a $1,000 prize! You get to vote on your favorite dish. Tickets include one dish from each competing chef with everything locally sourced and seasonally fresh. Presented by Women’s Care Florida, The Women’s Centre for Excellence. Lake Catherine Blueberry Farm, 5849 Lake Catherine Road, Groveland. Tickets: $15-$40. APRIL 7

Going for the finish line The Amazing Race for Charity has teams of two completing 20 challenge stations. They can be as simple as solving a puzzle, reciting the Miranda Rights, or building a two-person tent, which may take as long as two hours to finish. All proceeds go to local charities. Go to amazingraceforcharity.com for details.

forms at fruitlandpark.org, city hall, or the recreation office. Call 352.360.6734 for info.

APRIL 14-15 APRIL 10

Music for spring Enjoy an evening of masterpieces at The Villages Philharmonic Orchestra’s Easter Concert. Feed your heart, mind, and soul with this beautiful music. Show time: 7pm. Tickets: $20$60 available at thesharon.com. APRIL 12-15

Tell me a story The Florida Storytelling Festival is at Lakeside Inn, 100 N. Alexander St., Mount Dora. Enjoy storytelling concerts, youthful voices and the family fun tent, story swaps, a story cruise on Lake Dora, and visit the story store. APRIL 13-14

APRIL 7

A day to play Fruitland Park Day starts at 10am and lasts all day. The annual BBQ Cook-Off tasting begins at noon. Enjoy a Jeep show, laser tag, a rock wall, free bounce houses, food trucks, and more. Participate in the parade, rent a booth ($20 nonelectric/$40 electric), or be a BBQ master. Registration

2pm and 7:30pm. Tickets: $45-$100 at thesharon.com.

‘Oh, What a Night’ See the Tony- and Grammy-winning musical “Jersey Boys” at the Sharon Morse Performing Arts Center. It’s the story of the group the Four Seasons that featured Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy Devito, and Nick Massi. See what happened behind the scenes of their massive success. Show times: April 13, 7:30pm; April 14,

A weekend of the blues Revel in a weekend of blues at the Winery at Lakeridge Winery, 19239 U.S. Highway 27 in Clermont. Blues musicians perform on an outdoor stage with a wine and cheese bar inside. Tours and wine tasting also available. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. Admission: $5 adults; children 12 and under free. Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm. APRIL 18-19

One singularly sensational show Here’s your chance to see the fabulous “A Chorus Line!” from the great composer Marvin Hamlisch. A look behind the scenes of a Broadway play. Show time: 7pm. Tickets: $45$90 from thesharon.com. APRIL 19-20

Cowboy songs The Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra presents the Home on the Range Concert, including “A Cowboy Serenade,” “Grand Canyon Suite,” “Dances with Wolves,” and “Rodeo” among others that will bring back

Brownwood Farmer’s Market 2726 Brownwood Blvd. Wildwood, 9am-1pm Tuesdays Lady Lake Farmers Market Lady Lake Log Cabin 106 S. U.S. Hwy. 441/27 9am-1pm

Ongoing Events Every Saturday in cold weather months Historic weapons Dade Battlefield Historic State Park presents a Ranger History program that includes the firing of historical weapons. $3 park entrance fee for up to eight people in a vehicle. Bicyclists and pedestrians, $2. Starts at 10:30am. For info, dadebattlefield.com. 1st Friday Street Party Every month in downtown Eustis with e’s Ther o do! t e r o m .70 d on p ue Contin

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entertainment, live music, and activities for all ages. 6-10pm. 2nd Friday Art Splash Features artists and performers on the sidewalks of downtown Mount Dora., 6-8pm 2nd Friday Acoustic music Hear live local musicians free from 7-9pm at Leesburg Center for the Arts, 429 W. Magnolia St.

memories of the beloved westerns. April 19 at Epiphany Celebration Anglican Church, 1724 South Bay St., Eustis. April 20 at Family Christian Center, 2500 South U.S. Highway 27, Clermont. Tickets: $15-$42 (an additional $3 at door). APRIL 20-29

They’re having a baby “Nine Months” follows a couple having their first child in a gentle romantic comedy at Moonlight Players Theatre, 735 W. Minneola Ave., Clermont. An original show written by local Thomas J. Kline. Shows are at 8pm FridaySaturday, and 2:30pm Sunday. Call 352.319.1116 to reserve tickets. APRIL 27-29 APRIL 21

2nd Friday Movie in the Park Free family movie starts at dusk Donnelly Park Downtown Mount Dora

Hit after hit They’ve been entertaining since 1968, and now they’re coming to The Sharon—The Commodores. Their Grammy-winning song “Night Shift” brought them to national prominence. Show time: 7pm. Tickets: $50-$150 from thesharon.com.

1st Saturday Wine Tasting Stroll Starts at Maggie’s Attic on Alexander St. and 4th Ave., 6-8pm

Hear the rumble The 22nd annual Leesburg Bikefest is the world’s largest motorcycle and music event! Downtown Leesburg fills 30 blocks with concerts, vendors, bikini contests, bike shows, and stunt shows that include eight venues. The fun never stops!

APRIL 21

Fresh veggies Author D.S. Venetta and Leesburg Partnership invite schools and students to the first School Garden Farmer’s Market in Leesburg’s Towne Square. Get fresh-from-the-garden vegetables grown by local students. 10am-1pm, 510 W. Main St. Free event.

2nd Saturday Food Truck’N Flick Entertainment Leesburg Town Square 3rd Wednesday PAWS Reading Dogs, W.T. Bland Library, Mount Dora

APRIL 22

For information on being a vendor, go to mountdoraenvironment.org. APRIL 26-28

Dance, dance, dance The Villages Charter School’s Spring Dance Recital is always an anticipated event. Show times: April 26-27, 7pm; April 28, 2pm and 7pm. See thesharon.com for more information.

APRIL 29

Experimental theater No rehearsal, no director, a different actor for each performance, and a script in a sealed envelope on stage. “White Rabbit Red Rabbit” premiered in Edinburgh, Scotland, and has been translated into 25 languages. Show time: 7pm. Tickets: $25 from thesharon.com.

3rd Thursday Mount Dora Food Trucks, Downtown Mount Dora

Celebrate Earth Sponsored by Mount Dora Friends of the Environment, Earth Day is filled with activities and entertainment to remind everyone how good the Earth is to us. 9am-4pm at Donnelly Park.

4th Saturday Classic Car Cruise-In, Downtown Eustis

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

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* LOOnC ATL hT AeL ESNcTe n e

Puttin’ on the glitz A former police officer’s new job is a gem.

*

For goldsmiths, it is also a privilege to give back to the community. Earll donates some of his pieces to nonprofit organizations for auction at fundraisers.

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STORY: JAMES COMBS // PHOTOS: FRED LOPEZ

S

itting at a jeweler’s bench, Earll Bean looks through the lens of his magnifying visor and carefully saws tiny grooves into the surface of a meticulously crafted gold ring. For the next several hours, he will touch beautiful gemstones, pound metal into a desired shape, and use interesting tools such as a propane torch. The bench is a favorite spot for Earll, who is immersed in an old and steadily fading art form—goldsmithing. The budding artist forges metal and gems into a variety of shapes and sizes to make rings, necklaces, charms, bracelets, and other wearable jewelry. Creating sublime jewelry for clients who appreciate its unmatched feel and look is a challenge he openly embraces. “I love goldsmithing because you’re giving the customer a part of yourself,” says Earll, owner of Hooked Jewelry Designs in Leesburg. “I visualize what the final piece will look like and then have an opportunity to make it come to life. It is very rewarding to construct a piece from scratch that meets a client’s exact specifications.” Earll became intrigued with goldsmithing 10 years ago while an officer with the Leesburg Police Department. During his lunch hour,

he visited Jeff Clark, a master goldsmith who owned a jewelry shop at 2403 W. Main St. Jeff, the mentor, passed down his skills and closely guarded secrets to Earll, the apprentice. “I gave him an assignment to make something out of copper and he made a beautiful ring,” Jeff says. “Once it was complete, I showed the ring to a fellow master goldsmith and he said Earll has wonderful hands. He did an incredible job.” So incredible that Jeff recently handpicked Earll to inherit his business and continue his legacy. The timing was ideal for Earll, who retired last December after 30 years with LPD. “Master goldsmiths like myself are very private when it comes to sharing our knowledge and skills,” Jeff says. “I’ve been doing this 42 years and have only taught three people outside my family. Sitting at a jeweler’s bench is a privilege.” For goldsmiths, it is also a privilege to give back to the community. Earll donates some of his pieces to nonprofit organizations for auction at fundraisers. “This profession is steeped in Christianity and I want to continue that tradition,” Earll says. “I enjoy using my talent to help people in need.”


On The Scene IN CONCERT

DATE

TIME

ARTIST

VENUE

4/5

7pm

Daniel Heitz Band

Pisces Rising, Mount Dora

4/6

5pm

Marcille Wallis and Friends

Lake Sumter Landing, The Villages

4/6

7:30pm

Riders in the Sky

Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale

4/6

9pm

Lonie Carter

JJ’s Lounge, Sorrento

4/7

10am

The Bawdy Boys

Renaissance Festival of Central Florida, Sorrento

4/7

4pm

Patrick Gibson

Lake Catherine Blueberry Farm, Groveland

4/7

7pm

Kenny Hess

Highland Lakes Resort, Leesburg

4/7

7pm

Maiden Voyage Band

American Legion, Mount Dora

4/7

7pm

Daniel Heitz Band

Pisces Rising, Mount Dora

4/7

7:30pm

John Conlee

Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale

4/9

8:30pm

Jason Crabb

Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center, Leesburg

4/10

7pm

The Villages Philharmonic Easter Concert

The Sharon, The Villages

4/13

2pm

Dave Trezak

4/14

7:30pm

The Devonshires

Leesburg Regional Medical Center North Campus, Leesburg Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale

4/14 4/14 4/15

8pm 8pm 10am

Brian Smalley Da Boys The Heartfelt Quartet

Mount Dora Brewing Company, Mount Dora Ruby Street Grille, Tavares Altoona First Baptist Church, Altoona

4/25

7:30pm

Jeff Whitfield

Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

4/26

9pm

Dan Rodz

The Oasis, Sorrento

4/27

10am

Joe Santana

Leesburg Bikefest, Leesburg

4/27

11am

Black Water Swamp Band

Leesburg Bikefest, Leesburg

4/27

Noon

John Poper

Leesburg Bikefest, Leesburg

4/27

2pm

Michael Hartman

Leesburg Bikefest, Leesburg

4/27

3:30pm

Justin Heet

Leesburg Bikefest, Leesburg

4/27

4pm

Dreams the Band

Leesburg Bikefest, Leesburg

4/27

7pm

The Bird Dogs

Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale

4/27

8pm

Blue Stone Circle

Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

4/27

9pm

Sound Theory Band

The Oasis, Sorrento

4/27

9:30pm

Jasmine Cain

Leesburg Bikefest, Leesburg

4/27

10pm

Tom Keifer

Leesburg Bikefest, Leesburg

4/28

10am

The Accuzed

Leesburg Bikefest, Leesburg

4/28

6pm

The Mae West Band

Leesburg Bikefest, Leesburg

4/28

6pm

Manfredi Rocks

Blackwater Inn, Astor

4/28

7:30pm

T. Graham Brown

Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale

4/28

8pm

Jimmy Hunter

Lake Harris Hideaway, Tavares

4/28

9pm

Sound Theory Band

The Oasis, Sorrento

4/28

9pm

Scott Stapp

Leesburg Bikefest, Leesburg

4/29

2:30pm

Colt Ford

Leesburg Bikefest, Leesburg

*

Bands subject to change. Email inconcert@akersmediagroup.com to submit an event. Submissions must be received by the ninth of the month prior to month of the event (example: Oct. 9 for Nov. issue).


* SOOnC I ATLhSeP OST LcI eG HnTe

A different realm

New Renaissance Festival of Central Florida is up to the challenge of entertaining crowds. STORY: CHRIS GERBASI

R

enaissance fair regulars have three simple tips for first-time visitors: Don’t miss the jousting competition. Be sure to watch the human chess match. Buy a turkey leg and eat it. Otherwise, no plan is needed. When the Renaissance Festival of Central Florida makes its debut this month, guests can stroll the grounds of the “kingdom” and take in the unusual sights and sounds of another place in time. The five-day event runs from 10am-11pm April 7-8 and 13-15 at 31600 Camp Challenge Road in Sorrento. Renfest, as it’s called, is a fundraiser for the host site, Camp Challenge, which

is an Easter Seals camp for special-needs children and adults. Tickets range from $21 for a one-day pass to $200 for an all-access pass and can be purchased at renfestcfl.com. Free admission is offered to any special needs guest who is, was, or could be a Camp Challenge camper, and the festival fully complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Festival executive director Jim Boyle anticipates up to 30,000 people will enter the world of adventure, fantasy, period music, and performers in the “Realm of Doolan.” Jim says “doolan” is Gaelic for “challenge,” which is fitting given the locale. “We have crafted the story to make Doolan a tremendously special place, so special, in fact, that Queen Elizabeth I has decided to have her coronation in 1559 in the Realm,” he says. The Realm includes five kingdoms, each with its own iconic attraction and themed


pub. Vendors, games, activities, entertainment, food, and beverages will be at each kingdom:

The Royal Kingdom includes the Village Green home of the Revelers Mainstage, the Joust Arena where valiant knights joust for the queen’s favor, a Birds of Prey exhibition, • a giant chessboard with multiple live combat shows, as well as the queen’s coronation. The Kids’ Kingdom has a bounce house, petting zoo, camel rides, puppet show, and kid-friendly • stage shows. Viking Kingdom will house the weapons training area, where the festival’s Vikings train guests in axe and knife throwing, bow and arrow, and other

traditional combat. This area hosts the Norse Pub, where guests can hear live Viking and traditional Norwegian music all day. The Pirate Kingdom is home to the Privateer Pub, often frequented by Blackbeard, Captain Jack, and mermaids. The pub features live pirate and nautical music provided by local musicians.   Fantasy Kingdom is where all the nonhuman creatures reside, and is home to the iconic Dragon Encounter, the Fairy Forest, and the Unicorn Encounter.

The Dragon Encounter is a “live” life-size dragon in a set built to look like a dragon’s cave, Jim says. The attraction is hosted by one of Her Majesty’s Royal Knights and built so the dragon and knight can safely engage with guests as they ask questions and take photos. Acts such as sword fighters, jugglers, acrobats, fire eaters, strolling musicians, comedians, and bawdier acts like the Medieval Madams represent the “last vestige of the vaudeville circuit,” says

talent director and performer Arthur Rowan. (See the full lineup at renfestcfl.com.) He recruited about two dozen acts to fill six stages, along with street musicians and volunteers to portray inhabitants of the town so visitors feel like “wherever they go, they’re in a living, breathing kingdom that they can play in,” Arthur says. Arthur and his wife, Kelly Morris Rowan, will perform a musical act and as street greeters. As an actor who appeared in the “Spamalot” national touring company, Arthur says nothing quite compares to renaissance fairs. “I’ve had the privilege of performing before very large crowds,” he says. “And far and away, the best thrill I get is from fairs because you’re performing in front of the crowds and the audience is right there.” That connection between patrons and performers makes everyone feel welcome, and each day is fresh and spontaneous, Arthur says. “It’s a place where anything could happen— in a good way,” he says. This new fair will light up the night at 7pm on two Saturdays, April 7 and 14. Electric Renfest will include lights, fire acts, electronic dance music, and VIP experiences geared less toward the family and more for adults, Jim says. He’s optimistic about the success of the inaugural event. “The Central Florida area has and attracts some of the best talent worldwide,” Jim says. “Our goal is to bring a totally immersive experience to our guests no matter where they are in the fair—whether they want to hit as many stage shows as they can or just sit in one place and watch ‘what happens next’ in our streets.”

* “The Central Florida area has and attracts some of the best talent worldwide.” — JIM BOYLE


* OOUnT +TA BhOeU TS c e n e

Islands you can drive to STORY: MARY ANN DESANTIS

A

lmost everyone daydreams about vacationing on an island. However, expensive airfares have made flying a nightmare for families—not to mention the hassle of packing your favorite beach gear into suitcases. Luckily, Florida has many beautiful islands accessible by vehicle. So, load up your snorkeling gear, beach umbrellas, and economy-size containers of sunscreen. And, of course, swimsuits will be needed at these less-crowded destinations that offer a lot more than just surf and sand.

FLORIDA KEYS: STOCK ISLAND

Since 2001, my husband and I have owned a timeshare on Key West’s north side overlooking Cow Key Channel, a quiet narrow strip of water surrounded by mangroves, and the only sound we hear is the buzz of Jet Skis. Rather than heading to the overcrowded, overpriced touristy restaurants on Duval Street, we cross back over the bridge to Stock Island, where we find some of the best seafood in the Keys. Seriously, we spend more time there than we do on Duval Street.

Stock Island, FL

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*

Stock Island is also home to the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden, which began as a Depression-era tourist attraction.


* OOUnT +TA BhOeU TS c e n e

FLORIDA PANHANDLE: PERDIDO KEY

Just about as far west as you can go in Florida lies Perdido Key, home to the whitest sand you will find in the state thanks to the Gulf Island National Seashore. With a name like Perdido Key, people often think this island is in the Florida Keys, but it’s actually a

Perdido Key, FL

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32 miles back up U.S. 1 toward Marathon. You’ll have everything you need there with beach showers and covered picnic areas. Stock Island is also home to the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden, which began as a Depression-era tourist attraction. You can also find eclectic art galleries on Stock Island, including COAST, a creative collective workspace with open-air studios, and Collections featuring jewelry, art, and furnishings. And if things get too quiet on Stock Island, downtown Key West is only 15 minutes away. Stay: Stock Island is getting a lot of attention now that its first two hotels opened just last year. Both the Oceans Edge Resort & Marina and the Perry Hotel are ready for visitors.

few miles from Pensacola via Highway 98 and the famed Blue Angel Parkway. In Spanish, the name Perdido means “lost,” and indeed this island is the place to lose your cares. In addition to beach time at the pristine Johnson Beach on the National Seashore (where a weeklong pass is $15 for a carload), outdoor enthusiasts will find miles of trails at Big Lagoon State Park and Perdido Key State Park. Eat: Situated on the state line is the legendary Flora-Bama Bar & Restaurant, open since 1964. You’ve heard about it in Jimmy Buffett songs, and the oysters and live music make the waterfront grill a memorable stop. When you tire of seafood, head to Jellyfish Restaurant on the second floor of the Villaggio Shopping Center for the smoked meatloaf. While the seafood, fish tacos, and fried green tomatoes at Jellyfish are awesome, it’s the meatloaf that my family talks about long after we’re home. Do: Perdido Key has plenty to do when you want a beach break. The National Naval Air Museum, just over the bridge toward Pensacola, is a must-see, especially for Blue Angel fans. In fact, check the schedule because the elite Navy flying team practices

Perdido Key photo: Tony DeSantis; Amelia Island photos courtesy AmeliaIsland.com

Key West residents once kept their livestock on the island, hence the name. Today, people describe it as “the way Key West used to be” before the cruise ships and maddening crowds arrived. Its restaurants are weather-worn, casual, and worth every cent. Eat: On a sunset cruise a few years ago, we asked the boat captain where he ate. Without hesitating, he replied, “Hogfish Bar and Grill,” and it has since become one of our favorites. An open-air restaurant on Stock Island’s Front Street, Hogfish Bar has every kind of fish sandwich imaginable, but no visit is complete without trying the signature hogfish, a local snapper that cooks up flaky and sweet. Do: There’s no denying you’ll have to drive a bit to get to a beach, and my favorite is Bahia Honda State Park about


at 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and admission is free for both the practices and the museum. Visit Uncle Sandy’s Macaw Bird Park in north Pensacola, near Highway 90, to help feed the beautiful rescue birds in an all-

volunteer sanctuary. The Perdido Kids Park also keeps the little ones entertained. Stay: There aren’t many chain hotels on the island. It’s mostly vacation rentals and Air BnBs. Contact Perdido Key Vacation Rentals.

EAST COAST: AMELIA ISLAND

featuring both savory and sweet crepes with flavors from around the world. Lulu’s at the Thompson House serves New Orleans and Charleston-inspired dishes in a cozy coach house. Do: It’s not too late to plan to attend the 55th annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival on May 4-6. If you want to visit on a quieter weekend, you’ll have more time to explore the historic district and the Amelia Island Museum of History. For a retro step back in time, stop by the Fernandina Pin Ball Museum in Sadler Square to play on some vintage machines. Book time with Kelly’s Seahorse Ranch to ride horses on the beach at Amelia Island State Park. Stay: Elizabeth Pointe Lodge offers refined Southern hospitality everywhere…from wraparound porches to exquisite rooms. It has been featured as one of Southern Living’s Great Inns of the South. Amelia Island has many other accommodations to fit all budgets.

An hour north of Jacksonville, Amelia Island had me at my very first Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival about 15 years ago. This historic island separated from the mainland by the Amelia River has 13 miles of pristine beaches and 40-foot dunes, lush golf courses, and many old Victorian homes. The charming town of Fernandina Beach is the hub of the island with great boutiques, restaurants, and lots of history. The town is anchored by two state parks. Fort Clinch State Park on the north end of the island not only has a 19th-century brick fortress for exploring, but also several miles of beach, paved bike trails, and six miles of hiking trails. Amelia Island State Park on the southern tip has 200 acres of unspoiled wilderness with beaches, salt marshes, and coastal maritime forests. Eat: The Patio Place on Ash Street is a dog-friendly bistro, wine bar, and creperie

Amelia Island, FL

Mary Ann DeSantis Mary Ann DeSantis has written for Style publications since 2006. She was recognized with first-place Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards for Travel Writing in 2017, 2016, and 2012.

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k o o L r u o U plift Y

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SEE OUR LATEST VIDEO

THANK YOU, DONNA! YOUR KIND WORDS CONTINUALLY INSPIRE US TO KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

THANKS LAKE COUNTY FOR 35 YEARS OF SUPPORT!

d a water pump replaced that was under warranty and the service was very fast and we were kept well informed. • Our service rep, Brad Bai s very efficient and courteous. • Quick service on Volt. Had a water pump replaced that was under warranty and the service was very fast an were kept well informed. • Our serviceYOU’LL rep, BradLIKE BaileyBETTER was veryTHAN efficientOUR and courteous. • Quick serviceEXPERIENCE on Volt. Excellent job…staff is WHERE THE ONLY THING PRICE IS THE BUYING ITSELF entive. • Lenny was great to work with and was on top of my service. • We have experienced all facets of your dealership. We had our old viced there and Brad Bailey was great and the reason we came to VG when we decided to buy a new vehicle. Our salesman Mike Bradner wa nding and explored every option to get us the price we wanted. Tony, in Finance was also great. All in all the best car buying experience we h d in a long while. We would highly recommend VG to anybody. • Service dept got the truck in and out in record time. Everyone is always v fessonal and friendly. • Doug Tutin always delivers, my father deals with him and so do I. Our family will always use him for our vehicle ne Wayne was amazing and I will go back to him and Vann Gannaway Chevy for future vehicles. Have already began recommending to friends. alership ever. • Doug Tutin is by far the most courteous and helpful salesman I have met. His kindness, no pressure tactics and great deme de for the most pleasant car buying/leasing experience. Great asset to your company. Will refer “At andVann will come back! •I know Rick and Gannaway, so Tony made l very comfortable andIconfi dent about buying my new truck. They both went out of their way to many make itofatheir greatnames, experience! WHAT HAVE TO SAY like Thank Joe you Rick a y! • Roc did an excellentGANNAWAY job on my car. • The time was finally right for a me and I am VERYand happy with my purchase the experience. Bonnie. They’re not and pushy ABOUT VANN ch so that I brought my mother in today and we got her a new Chevy as well. Thank you to Dougand andalways Tony (fiexplain nance) complicated for making this a stream DONNA CAREY SANFORD, d pleasurable experience. • Rick was greatFLwith being patient on the amount of time needed tothings make aso purchase. • Wow! What a differenc I understand.” visiting other dealers in the area. Everyone was very friendly and helpful without being pushy to sell something. Thank you very much! • G ndly service. They’ll get the job done when they tell you. • My husband and I traded in our 2011 Silverado for a new 2015 Silverado. This i purchase with Delores Herman at Vann Gannaway Chevrolet and as always was a great experience. I recommend this dealership for any car needs. • Awesome experience. Delores did an excellent job showing us vehicles and helping us make a good decision. • Once again th Vann Gannaway went out of their way to repair the shifter in my Corvette. They got the parts overnighted and had me back in the car the next s very pleased with the the sevice manager as well as the techs. • I needed a new key FOB and didn’t have an appointment but Dwayne and k care of me right away. Can’t say enough about the quality of service and the friendliness of sales at this dealership. I would highly recomm • Service was great! Brad in service took care of me and Melvin made sure I was taken care of. Yolanda in Accessories took care of getting dshield tinted since my sunvisor was not long enough. I love the great service I always receive at Vann Gannaway! I am so very glad I boug from them! God bless them all! • This is the best place to buy a car and have a car serviced. My sales rep (Joe Kauk) and my mechanic (S


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Taking care of business Held in the Leesburg Community Building in Venetian Gardens, this event gave everyone a chance to see the variety and skills of people doing business in Leesburg. Local restaurants provided free food and attendees won door prizes and even got to play games. The free events attracted a large crowd to learn about businesses in the area that make up the Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce. PHOTOS: CREE HOWARD

Jessica Schwartz, Kristen Wotton and Dr Dee Spurlock

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A crafty fair! As always, the 33rd annual Mount Dora Craft Fair brought thousands of people into the streets of the “festival city.” More than 400 exhibitors had unique, handcrafted items for purchasing those special holiday gifts. The historic community always comes alive with this event as it’s one of the favorites for locals and visitors from out of town. Along with crafts, there was plenty of great food and enjoy entertainment. PHOTOS: BROOKE AKERS

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Saluting the vets The Veteran’s Charity Ball, sponsored by the Leesburg Rotary Foundation, was held at the Leesburg Community Building in Venetian Gardens. Everyone enjoyed dancing, raffles and a good time. All proceeds benefited the Leesburg WWII Memorial. PHOTO: NICOLE HAMMEL


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‘Swing’ in at Zellwood Station PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

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njoy a fun game of golf on a unique course. Feast on scrumptious cuisine prepared fresh by an experienced chef. Sip on your favorite cocktail with family members and friends. All these activities can be enjoyed at Zellwood Station and Country Club, a 55+ community located on U.S. Hwy. 441 between Mount Dora and Apopka. If you’ve driven past the community and never stopped, you simply don’t know what you’re missing. It all begins with the golf course, which was built in 1974 and is known for its well-maintained greens and elevation changes. The 6,500yard course was recently featured in Golf Magazine’s “ultimate golfer’s guide to Florida, A to Z.” That’s probably because it vastly differs from most courses throughout the state. For starters, it features rolling hills and 40-foot elevation changes. Secondly, large pine and oak trees dot the landscape. Finally, the back nine plays around a 25-foot sinkhole affectionately named Crater Junction. No wonder the course draws members of the National Women’s Golf Association each year

Zellwood Station and Country Club 2126 Spillman Drive, Zellwood 407.886.0000 zellwoodstation.com

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to participate in a threeday tournament. “Our course has a very unique layout,” says Chuck McLoone, who serves as Zellwood Station and Country Club’s PGA professional. “Because of the large trees, this course is more like golf courses that you find up north rather than Florida. Another great thing is that you rarely have houses on both sides of the fairway. Golfers who come here love the open land.” Of course, golfing is not the only reason to visit Zellwood Station and Country Club. The community also features the ever-popular Whistle Stop Restaurant and Lounge, which serves dinner on Wednesday and Friday, breakfast on Sunday morning, and lunch Tuesday through Sunday. Diners get to enjoy scrumptious food prepared by chef Buddy Monetti, who spent 20 years as a chef of Walt Disney Restaurants. Wednesday night’s all-youcan-eat buffet rotates between fish, Italian cuisine, pizza and wings, and fried chicken. A different special is offered each Friday, including an end-of-themonth prime rib dinner with

baked potato and salad for $16.95. For lunch, the club prepares favorites such as Philly cheesesteaks, reubens, burgers, and the large Crater Junction Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich. Pancakes, eggs, omelets, and much more make for a wonderful Sunday breakfast. “We offer $25 plates for $15,” says Chuck, who also serves as the restaurant’s general manager. “Our prices are very affordable for senior living. I definitely want Lake County residents to know we have a wonderful golf course and restaurant they need to check out.”


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Food & Drink

A spread worthy of Grand Oaks.

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* QfUoI CoKdB I&T EdS r i n k NEW

EUSTIS

Follow the smoke Barnwood Country Kitchen & Smokehouse relocated this year from Eustis to a new hot spot at 3725 W. Old U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora. Owners Dan and Elaine Backhaus acquired the former Betty’s Greenhouse Restaurant property between Mount Dora and Tavares, about three miles south of their previous location, according to their website. Barnwood cooks delicious barbecue meats low and slow over smoldering wood, and diners also can purchase award-winning barbecue sauces and seasonings. For more information, call 352.630.4903 or go to barnwoodbbq.com.

Flower power Cali’flour Foods, which describes itself as “the mother of cauliflower pizza” (not sure who the father is), recently introduced the Collagen Wrap, according to a news release. The sandwich wrap is paleo and low-carb through a combination of cauliflower, collagen, egg, chia flour, and a pinch of salt. The collagen provides protein, the cauliflower adds nutrients, and the egg has a healthy dose of the right fats. The Cali’flour Foods website shows its products are available at the Green Apple, 175 S. Rolling Acres Road, Lady Lake, and Health Basket, 18040 U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora.

THE VILLAGES

THE VILLAGES

According to bringfido.com, The Villages has plenty of dog-friendly restaurants these days. The list includes Gator’s Dockside, PDQ, Ricciardi’s Italian Table, Fiesta Grande Mexican Grill, Sonny’s BBQ, Johnny Rockets, and Bluspoon Yogurt. For a full listing, go to the website. It’s always a treat to take your furry pal along for dinner!

The Villages seems to attract a never-ending list of restaurants that automatically make you hungry. You might feel like a burger, fries, and shake when a new Culver’s restaurant opens at Southern Trace Plaza, according to The Villages commercial property management website. Final touches recently were made to the restaurant at Preston Drive and County Road 466, near the Publix supermarket center. The menu for Wisconsin-based Culver’s includes ButterBurgers, premium chicken, shakes, and frozen custard. Culver’s website states that the trademarked ButterBurgers come from a Culver family recipe in which the bun is buttered and lightly grilled till it is toasted. Mmm, buttery.

And a bone for doggie

Better with butter


L AKE PANA SOFFKEE

Fish gotta swim Catfish Johnny’s Restaurant is a place where you can enjoy great hometown tastes, but keep in mind the restaurant will be closing for the season April 24. It’s open from 10:30am-8:30pm Tuesday-Saturday. Some daily specials include: Tuesday—allyou-can-eat wings, $12.95; Wednesday—all-you-can-eat perch, $9.95; Thursday—fish and shrimp combo, $9.91; Friday—all-you-can-eat whole catfish, $12.95. If you’re fishing for some food seafood, try Catfish Johnny’s Restaurant, 2396 N. Highway 470 in Lake Panasoffkee.

Table for one Mia Wilchcombe, family and consumer sciences agent for the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension in Lake County, wants to help people fix healthy meals for one or two people. She knows it’s sometimes difficult to do because most recipes are prepared for four and some people just don’t enjoy leftovers. In her blog on the UF/IFAS website, she offers these tips for buying food for one or two people: 1

Purchase grains (especially whole 3 grains) in bulk and freeze small packets.

2

Buy fresh fruits and vegetables in small amounts and at various stages of ripening. Also take advantage of frozen or canned fruits and vegetables.

4

If you buy meat in bulk, freeze in one- or two-portion packets and don’t forget seafood, eggs, beans, nuts, seeds, and soy products for protein. Buy milk a pint or quart at a time.

Watch the upcoming events section of the sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/lake/ website for periodic classes on healthy cooking for one or two to get even more information and recipes.

LEESBURG

Savoring Stavro’s The family-owned Stavro’s Pizza, 755 N. 14th St., Leesburg, has been drawing packed crowds since 1982. Getting fresh, tasty lunch specials for a few bucks is always a treat, and Style editors savor the Bruzzi (baked spaghetti) topped with melted cheese. You can get the pasta with meatballs or sausage for $4.50, or mushrooms for $4.75, and it comes with garlic bread. Another favorite is the finely shredded and julienned Greek salad served with a large of slice of pepperoni pizza, and a beverage for $5.75.

Egg salad time!

Egg salad week begins (no surprise) the Monday after Easter, and Mia Wilchcombe, family and consumer science agent with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension in Lake County, provided this healthy egg salad recipe from wellplated.com. The extension has used the recipe in its program, Cuisine from the Roots Up: From Hen to Table.

Healthy egg salad 4

hard-cooked eggs, plus

1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt

2

hardcooked egg whites (save the extra yolks for another use or discard)

1

3/4 cup diced celery (about 3 medium stalks)

teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1

tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Peel the eggs and cut into a rough dice. Place in a large mixing bowl, then add the celery, Greek yogurt, mustard, salt, pepper, and dill. Stir to combine. Serve on toasted bread with tomatoes and arugula or placed on top of salad greens.

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& drink * IfNoToH d E KITCHEN

Cooking with Cody

Young sous chef has enjoyed travels and working on magician David Copperfield’s private island in the Bahamas. STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL // PHOTOS: FRED LOPEZ


Lobster ceviche Ingredients:

1

live lobster, 1 about 1 1/2 pounds total Kosher salt

1

small shallot, minced

2

tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1

tablespoon finely minced jalapeño pepper 1/2 tablespoons juice from about 2 limes Extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, kill lobster by inserting a large knife into its head and splitting it in half. Tear off claws (with knuckles) and tail by twisting away from lobster body, using a clean kitchen towel to grip. Discard body. Prepare an ice bath by adding 2 quarts of water and a quart of ice cubes to a large bowl. Drop tail and claws into boiling water. Boil tail for exactly 1 1/2 minutes, then transfer to ice bath. Boil claws for a further 1 1/2 minutes (3 minutes total), then transfer to ice bath. Carefully shell lobster and transfer meat to a cutting board. Slice lobster tail into thin slices and roughly chop claw and knuckle meat. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add shallots, cilantro, jalapeño, and lime juice. Toss to combine and season to taste with salt. Plate ceviche and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.

C

ody Workman loves to talk food. He also has a knack for keeping calm during stressful times in the kitchen, thanks to music, and he relishes free time to enjoy fine dining with his girlfriend, Tarah Philotoff, who’s also a chef. “It has been a fun life and I have experienced a lot; this career allows me to travel to work,” says the Mount Dora High School graduate. “People are surprised I’m so young, coolheaded, and how far I have gotten. The hardest part is dealing with the stress level of the kitchen and the long hours. A normal day in the kitchen is 12 to 14 hours for one shift, and if you pull a double, it’s like 16 hours. You cope as long as you stay busy.” One way he copes is listening to music playing in the background. “I just shut my brain off. Music helps drown everything else out, and be able to focus and be creative,” he says. “It helps to focus on cooking and just have fun.” He traces his love for the kitchen back to childhood days. “I grew up cooking; my grandmother was a baker, so I already had the knack for cooking and being in the kitchen,” says Cody, who cherishes fond memories of going to Nebraska to spend summers on Grandma Mary Lou’s family farm, where her huge garden was overflowing with fresh raspberries and strawberries, and her “root cellar was canning heaven.” “When she was baking, I was the only of my siblings allowed in the kitchen because I was the only one who didn’t keep eating everything,” Cody says. “And I followed instructions.” He also followed instructions from chef John Bell, his culinary teacher from 2007-11 at Mount Dora High, where Cody honed culinary time management skills. “John pushed management of timing, food orders, being in charge of a group of people. He had a lot of meetings, so I was in charge of the other students during the class periods. In the mornings, he would give me a clipboard and he would tell me, ‘This needs to be done for tonight’s catering,’ and I wouldn’t see him until that night’s dinner. It was a good experience,” he says. Cody gained more experience at Lake Technical College. “I did my year there and it was a lot of fun; I did a lot of experimenting and a lot of baking,” he says, which landed him a job at the Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café, a German restaurant in downtown Sanford. “I worked a year there and learned a lot about how 12 guys can work in a confined space. We were shoulder-to-shoulder and we stayed open some nights three hours past our open hours because people were still coming in,” he recalls.

*

Cody’s experience in St. Croix opened the door for an invitation to work for magician David Copperfield on his private, high-end island in Exuma Islands, Musha Cay at Copperfield Bay in the Bahamas.

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& drink * IfNoToH d E KITCHEN

Cruzan Johnny cake Directions:

3

cups flour

2

tablespoons sugar

1

tablespoon baking powder

½

cup shortening

1½ teaspoons salt

2/3 cups water or milk

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening or rub in with fingers. Add water or milk slowly, just enough to make soft dough. Knead a few times until dough is smooth and hold together. Let rest for 10 to 20 minutes. Shape into rounds. Flatten in your hand or flatten out, prick with fork. Make sure that your oil is hot. Fry at medium-high heat over stove, turning several times, until brown and crusty on both sides. it should take 15 to 20 minutes. If baking, bake at 350 degrees until done.

Cody’s coworkers practically pushed him out the door when he got a phone call from John asking him to come work as a sous chef at an island restaurant in St. Croix. John was invited to be the head chef and felt he could count on Cody to run the restaurant when he wasn’t around. While in the Caribbean, Cody enjoyed the island life and spearfishing for lionfish. “Once you cut their spines off, it is one of the best-tasting fish I have ever tasted. It’s white flesh, a smaller fish, but it is delicious,” he says. His experience in St. Croix opened the door for an invitation to work for magician David Copperfield on his private, high-end island in Exuma Islands, Musha Cay at Copperfield Bay in the Bahamas. “I spent four years working on that island. It was interesting, and I learned how not to sleep,” Cody says, grinning. “There was only two of us in the kitchen cooking for 24 guests on average.” Guests would rent the island while Cody would cook breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktail snacks, and midnight snacks during most of the guests’ visits. “We learned how to work with what we ordered, and how to work with less sleep. You had to to think on your toes constantly,” he says, recalling a boat captain friend would

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dive for lobster. “And a lot of the guests liked the fresh sushi.” Cody resided on the island when guests were staying there or when the head chef was on vacation. “The longest I was there was five months straight,” he says. “The first year, I was at the island twice a month, back and forth, so I lived pretty much in airports.” Cody also cooked for the celebrity magician a few times and enjoyed dining with him twice. “He’s very nice and a generous guy.” Cody has since slowed down his time at Copperfield Bay to pursue more culinary avenues. The sous chef has been told he has experienced more exciting moments in his short career than many chefs twice his age ever encounter. He has done cooking demonstrations and prefers “to throws things together until it tastes right. Sometimes I will go by smell. If it smells good, looks good, I know it will be good.” He admits he often forgets to write down ingredients of popular dishes he makes. “I am really bad with writing recipes,” Cody says, recalling it was a challenge when a head chef asked him to whip up some dishes that had been big hit with island guests in the past. “I was just lost because I couldn’t remember what we did!”


Ropa vieja Ingredients:

2

pounds of chuck (ask your butcher to cut it taller than wider so you get long strands of beef along the grain or flank steak)

1/2 cup dry white wine 1

cup chicken broth chicken broth has a stronger/deeper flavor than beef broth

1

large yellow onion thinly sliced

1

16-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1

of each large green red and yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

1

6-ounce can tomato paste

2

bay leaves

1

large carrot cut in half

1

large stalk celery cut in half

1

cup Lindsay Naturals Green Olives rinsed and drained (you can slice them if you prefer)

4

cloves garlic minced

2

teaspoons dried oregano

2

teaspoons ground cumin

2

teaspoons sweet paprika

1

teaspoon smoked paprika

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 cup thinly sliced Lindsay Roasted Red Peppers drained

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 cup Lindsay Pimientos drained

2

2

easpoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

tablespoons Lindsay Capers rinsed and drained

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Pat the beef dry and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a little oil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Once very hot add the beef and brown generously on all sides. Transfer the beef to a plate. (Do not discard the drippings and blackened bits in the pot, they are key to the flavor.) Add the sliced vegetables to the pot and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until caramelized. Add the garlic and spices and cook for another minute. Add the white wine and bring it to a rapid boil, deglazing the bottom of the pan (scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan). Add the broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and bay leaves. Simmer for 5 minutes. Return the roast to the pot along with the pieces of carrots and celery. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 3-4 hours or until the beef is fork tender and falls apart easily. Discard the celery, carrots and bay leaves. Transfer the beef to a plate and shred it. Stir in the olives, roasted red peppers, capers and pimientos. Simmer uncovered to thicken the sauce for 30 minutes. Stir in the parsley and add salt and pepper to taste.


d & drink * FfOoR o K ON THE ROA D

THE BISTRO

Say cheese … burger The Bistro at Grand Oaks Resort and Museum offers a great selection of food. STORY: JAMES COMBS // PHOTO: FRED LOPEZ

L

*

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egendary singer Jimmy Buffett would be proud. I recently enjoyed a cheeseburger in paradise. It’s just that this Kentucky boy’s idea of paradise isn’t a laid-back beach party. I need something that reminds me of my roots—a place where white fences surround gently rolling pastures and horse-drawn carriages make their way around winding roads. That’s precisely what I found during my visit to The Bistro, located at the Grand Oaks Resort and Museum in Weirsdale. The beautiful sights and delicious food both explain why a large crowd assembled there for lunch on a sunny February day. Jimmy and I both love cheeseburgers. However, we don’t see eye-to-eye on what makes the perfect one. He likes his “medium rare” with “lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and

French fried potatoes.” I prefer mine cooked medium with a liberal amount of mayonnaise and dipped in ketchup. And, unlike Jimmy, I leave off the “onion slice” and “big kosher pickle.” We do agree on “a big warm bun and a huge hunk of meat,” and The Bistro delivers both to perfection. While Jimmy admits to “eatin’ sunflower seeds,” he’d likely find The Bistro’s crab rangoon much tastier. This popular appetizer is a deep-fried Asian dumpling stuffed with cream cheese and crab meat and served with a sweet chili sauce. The only downside: I ate too much and likely packed on a few additional pounds. Unfortunately for me, there is no woman to blame. As Jimmy sang in another song: “And I know, it’s my own damn fault.”

The Bistro // 3000 Marion County Road, Weirsdale // 352.750.5500


4

1/2

Forks

(Out of a possible 5)

E VANS PR AIRIE COUNTRY CLUB

Ask for the BIG salad! Rustic restaurant offers generous portions and unique flavors. STORY: CHRIS GERBASI // PHOTO: FRED LOPEZ

R

emember the “Seinfeld” episode when Elaine made a big fuss because she couldn’t get a big salad at Reggie’s Diner? She’d have no complaints at Evans Prairie Country Club, where all the portions are big. Of course, rundown Reggie’s is a far cry from the club, with its rustic yet elegant bare wood structure, paintings of birds filling the walls, and a large patio overlooking the putting green and a boggy marsh—a place for the golfing elite, like Kramer. It’s hard to imagine being “wowed” by chicken tenders, but even the jaded “Seinfeld” gang, especially Newman, would have raved about the sesame chicken tenders. They were extra crispy on the outside and extra tender on the inside, in a drizzle of Asian-style sesame sauce. Don’t bother getting ranch or bleu cheese; they would only destroy the great flavor.

Another appetizer, a side of chili, was somewhat generic but still tasty and mildly spicy. (“No soup for you!” on this visit.) You want big? Try the fried haddock sandwich, with a filet hanging over each end of a warm, toasted bun. The haddock was fresh, not zapped, and the ample size and delicious flavor give customers their money’s worth. Then there’s Elaine’s Big Salad, or rather the Southern chicken salad, with choice of fried, grilled, or blackened chicken. You might need a knife for this. The salad was loaded with toppings—chunks of tomato, onions, croutons, bacon bits, cheddar cheese—and smothered in ranch dressing. Get out! The one complaint: the cramped booths. There’s no way Kramer could get out of one without falling!

Evans Prairie Country Club 1825 Evans Prairie Trail, The Villages 352.750.2225 Hours: 8am-9pm daily

FORK REPORT:

Casual dining $$ Seated immediately (lunch hour) Wait for meal: 10 mins. OUT-OF-THE-ORDINARY STARTERS: ($6.99-$11.95): Potato and cheddar perogies, lemon chicken strips, loaded chili potato skins, grilled chicken quesadillas, wings. LUNCH ($8.95-$17.95): Flatbreads, apple bacon turkey wrap, lemon caper haddock, knife and fork meatloaf, Norwegian salmon. How Fork On The Road Works Our reviewers are objective and unbiased. This is not a paid feature. Our reviewer makes one unannounced visit and we pay for our meals.

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d & drink * FfOoR o K ON THE ROA D

IRENE’S ICE CREAM & DELI SANDWICHES

Coneys and cream Hidden gem serves a classic lineup. STORY: CHRIS GERBASI // PHOTO: FRED LOPEZ

A

lunch trip to Irene’s Ice Cream & Deli Sandwiches in Leesburg is like traveling to Detroit by way of upstate New York. Huh? That is, if you get the quarter-pound beef hot dog with the “Michigan sauce” on top. The sauce apparently is a Michigan recipe but made in upstate New York, which is disturbing to a former Michigander. But wherever it comes from, the sauce is a slightly spicy heap of finely chopped ground beef that is indeed reminiscent of toppings at Detroit coney restaurants. Irene’s gives the plump dog a signature touch by grilling it and lightly toasting the bun. It’s so good, one may not be enough. Order six. Or 50. After a trip to the North, head south for a Cuban. The delicious authentic sandwich of ham, pork, cheese, pickles, mayo, and mustard comes panini-pressed in fresh, toasted bread. The side of potato salad, of the yellow mustard variety, is cool, crisp, and chunky. Save room for a scoop of DeConna Ice Cream in a choice of 12 flavors and waffle or wafer cones. The sweet and chocolatey Moose Tracks or chocolate chip cookie dough hits the spot just fine. Irene’s has a chill retro vibe, combining an oldfashioned ice cream shop with a classic deli diner. And from 5-7pm Tuesdays and Thursdays, Irene’s serves a mouth-watering dinner menu that includes Salisbury steak, pork schnitzel, sweet and sour meatballs, and barbecue dishes. Irene’s is in a small business center that’s easy to miss while whizzing along at 60 mph on U.S. Highway 27, but make the effort to find it. It’s worth the trip…to Leesburg, Detroit, or wherever the menu takes you.

Irene’s Ice Cream & Deli Sandwiches 4120 Corley Island Road, Leesburg // 352.315.1118


& Drink

Napa Valley:

Open for business

Napa Valley rises from the ashes of last October’s wildfires to rebuild stronger and better. STORY: MARY ANN DESANTIS

T

he scorched scenes of California’s wine country dominated news programs in October 2017. I was heartbroken to think Napa would never be the same again. How wrong I was. Napa Valley is as vibrant as ever with lush landscapes and welcoming wineries. All the wine regions—not just Napa Valley— need tourists to return and connoisseurs to buy wines for recovery to be complete. “The story is not what we lost, but what we saved,” says Jennifer Gray Thompson, executive director of the Rebuild North Bay Foundation, an organization of business, community, and environmental leaders focused on recovery and rebuilding. “Our spirit is part of this story. We are not a tragedy, but a triumph.” Jennifer was part of a panel that spoke in February at the 2018 Symposium for Professional Wine Writers in Napa Valley. Economists, viticulture experts, and winemakers assessed damage to the industry and reassured writers that Napa, Sonoma, and other nearby counties are rebuilding faster, better, safer, and greener than ever before. Public perception has been the biggest battle since the fires were extinguished. Outside California, many people pictured Napa Valley as a burned-out battleground. The fact is, only 7.2 percent of the total acreage in Napa Valley burned. Out of Napa’s 500 wineries, about 50 reported direct effects from the fires and only 10 wineries reported significant damage, according to figures released by Dr. Robert Eyler, dean and professor of economics at Sonoma State University. “Vineyards turned out to be really great firebreaks,” Jennifer says. “Only one winery was totally destroyed.”

Napa Valley phtos: Mary Ann DeSantis; Culinary Institute of America photo courtesy of Culinary Institute of the Arts

* SFAoL UoTdÉ


Residential areas took the brunt of the devastation with just over 600 homes destroyed. For the most part, hotels and restaurants in the valley were spared. The danger now is the economic fallout if tourists stop visiting Napa Valley and people avoid buying the wines.

WHAT ABOUT THE 2017 VINTAGE?

Only about 5 percent of the grapes were left on vines during the fires. Those grapes

have been sent to University of California at Davis for analysis to see what kinds of juice they’ll produce. Winemaker Christopher Carpenter is watching that research closely. “I don’t know where the wines are going. We’ll need the analysis of what’s going to happen before we ever bottle,” explains Christopher, who worked around the clock with his crews to get his grapes harvested as the fires approached.

“We are winemakers and we’ve got one shot at this,” he says. “None of my guys missed a beat because they knew this was our livelihood.” When the 2017 vintages are released, Christopher says winemakers will have confidence in them. “The premium wines will show effects before it’s time to bottle them, and we’re not going to bottle something that is bad,” he says. “We are only going to release the best we have to offer. Our reputation depends on it.”

COPIA IS DOWNTOWN NAPA’S NEWEST CULINARY DESTINATION

REST YOUR PALATE WITH SOME SIGHTSEEING

With more than 500 wineries in Napa Valley, it’s impossible to get to them all—nor do you want to. Take time to experience these Napa highlights between tastings.

COPIA: Downtown Napa’s newest destination is the ultimate stop for experiencing food, wine, art, and events under one roof. Presented by the Culinary Institute of America, Copia even offers cooking classes for visitors. OXBOW PUBLIC MARKET: Next to Copia is the famous Oxbow Public Market, filled with individual shops and casual restaurants

as well as a craft brewery (in case you are tired of wine).

stop at a winery or just ride through the valley and back.

NAPA VALLEY WINE TRAIN: A leisurely ride on a vintage railcar is a great way to enjoy Napa Valley’s beautiful landscapes, even in late winter when the mustard cover crops turn the vineyards into seas of yellow. Passengers board in downtown Napa and can choose to

DOWNTOWN NAPA AT NIGHT: Follow the Napa ARTwalk program brochure to see unique sculptures in this revitalized city that offers a variety of bars and restaurants. NAPA VALLEY MUSEUM YOUNTVILLE: The museum

houses three galleries dedicated to local history, world-class art exhibitions, and a showcase space for local artists. ST. HELENA: If you are driving the Highway 29 wine route, stop at this charming town filled with boutiques to walk off those wine calories and pick up some souvenirs. Stop at

Model Bakery for a cappuccino and pastry or Goose and Gander for lunch. CALISTOGA MUD BATHS: Grapes aren’t the only things to benefit from Napa Valley’s rich volcanic ash soil. Head to Calistoga in the northern end of the county where a number of spas offer therapeutic and rejuvenating mud baths.

Tasting notes defined Each month, Saluté will offer a tasting term that is commonly used to describe a wine. This month, we start with one that many people may confuse when they discuss the 2017 vintage.

SMOKY VS. SMOKE TAINT Smoky bouquets and flavors are the result of aging or fermenting wines in oak barrels that have been charred or toasted prior to filling. Smoky is a good quality because it adds flavor and aromatic complexity to wines. It’s often a characteristic of cabernet sauvignons. Smoke taint occurs when grapes are still on the vine and can occur between veraison (ripening) and harvest if the vines are exposed to excessive smoke. Winemakers say you know smoke taint as soon as you taste it as it’s akin to a wet ashtray.

Mary Ann DeSantis Mary Ann DeSantis has written for Style publications since 2006. She was recognized with first-place Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards for Travel Writing in 2017, 2016, and 2012.

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Food & Drink DINING GUIDE

Dining in your city Astatula Race Car Diner 25641 Monroe St. 352.253.6940 Astor Blackwater Inn Williams Landing 55716 Front St. 352.759.3802 Castaways Restaurant 23525 US State Road 40 352.759.2213 Sparky’s Place Restaurant 24646 State Road 40 352.759.3551 Bushnell Chuck’s Odd Cuples Café 117 W Belt Ave 352.568.0408 Hong Kong Restaurant 2229 W CR 48 (352) 568-8888 Howie’s Family Restaurant 840 N. Main St. 352.793.8582 TJ’s Family Restaurant 412 W. Belt Ave 352.793.8877 Waller’s Restaurant 138 Bushnell Plaza 352.793.2592 Clermont 801 City Grille 801 Montrose St. 352.394.6911 Akina Sushi Bar & Asian Fusion Bistro 4300 S. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.243.8988 Bubba’s Catfish 1800 S. Hwy. 27 352.708.6142 Calabria Ristorante 13900 County Road 455 407.656.5144 Cheeser’s Palace Café 707 W. Montrose St. 352.404.9431 Corelli Italian Restaurant 1042 E. Hwy. 50 352.989.5924 El Cerro Restaurant 811 W. Hwy. 50 352.241.9884 Flippers Pizzeria 2523 S. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.242.2214

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G’s NY Pizza 12346 Roper Blvd. 352.243.8900 Green Garden 1790 E. Hwy. 50 352.243.2077 Guru Restaurant 2400 S. Hwy. 27 352.241.9884 Legends Grille & Tavern 1700 Legendary Blvd. 352.242.1910 Lilly’s on the Lake 846 W. Osceola St. 352.708.6565 Lyn’s Ice Cream & Sandwich Shoppe 824 W. Montrose St. 352.536.9935 Napolis Pizzeria 556 S. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.243.7500 Robata Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar 1500 Oakley Seaver Dr. 352.404.9688 The Crooked Spoon Gastropub 200 Citrus Tower Blvd. 352.404.4808 Troy’s Cuban & Deli 1200 Oakley Seaver Dr. 352.241.4295 Uncle Kenny’s BBQ 157 Hwy. 27 352.394.1225 Eustis 1884 Restaurant & Bar 12 East Magnolia Ave. 1.800.856.1884 Dam Smoker Barbeque 36721 County Road 19A 352.357.6555 Haystax Restaurant 15439 Hwy. 441 352.489.0510 Jeannie’s Place 209 E. Gottsche Ave. 352.359.0027 Kiku Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar 15211 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.483.8288 King’s Taste Bar-B-Que 503 Palmetto St. 352.589.0404 Maria’s Latin Dinner 1 N. Eustis St. 352.357.5555

LaCabana Mexican Bar and Grill 2060 S. Bay St. 352.357.4600 NightOwl Caribbean Restaurant 929 S. Bay St. 352.589.0256 Stavro’s & Sons of Eustis 2100 W. County Road 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 Great Pizza Company 23 E. Magnolia Ave. 352.357.7377 The Oyster Troff 936 N. Bay St. 352.357.9939 Tillie’s Tavern & Grill 31 E. Magnolia Ave. 352.602.7929 Tony’s Pizza & Subs 2760 E. Orange Ave. 352.589.9001 Valentina’s Sandwhich Factory 132 E. Magnolia Ave. 352.408.9608 Fruitland Park 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 Groveland Coyote Rojo 214 W. Broad St. 352.557.8999 James Barbeque 262 W. Orange St. 352.557.4050 Ikaho Sushi Japanese 7965 SR 50, #900 352.557.8988 Red Wing Restaurant 12500 S. State Road 33 352.429.2997

Howey-inthe-Hills JB Boondocks Bar & Grill 704 S. Lakeshore Blvd. 352.324.3600 Lady Lake Bamboo Bistro 700 Hwy. 441 352.750.9998 Lady Lake 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 The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. 514 Hwy. 441 352.614.9000 Leesburg Bloom’s Baking House and Restaurant 610 W. Main St. 352.787.1004 Cafe Ola 400 N. 14th St. 352.365.0089 Cedar River Seafood 8609 S. U.S. Hwy. 441 352.728.3377 Chesapeake Bay Grill 4467 Arlington Ridge Blvd. 352.315.0066 Cousin Vinnie’s Family Sports Restaurant 10700 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.253.2442 Cuba Pichy’s 10401 US Hwy. 441 352.365.2822 Dance’s BBQ 1707 South Street 352.801.8885 Frank’s Place 201 N. 1st St. 352.323.1989 Gator Bay Bar & Grill 10320 County Road 44 352.365.2177 God Café 300 W. Main St. 352.801.7447 Great Chicago Fire Brewery & Tap Room 311 W. Magnolia St. 352.474.2739

Habaneros 3 Mexican Restaurant 10601 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.315.1777 HP Grill 1403 S. 14th St. 352.314.0006 Ichiban Buffet 10301 Hwy. 441 352.728.6669 Irene’s Ice Cream Sandwiches and Deli 4120 Corley Island Rd. 352.315.1118 Jamaican George 2402 W. Main St. 352.455.1898 Johnson’s Pizza Place 4120 Corley Island Rd., Ste. 300 352.801.7250 Kountry Kitchen 1008 W. Dixie Ave. 352.323.0852 La Palma Mexican Grill 1690 Citrus Blvd. 352.323.1444 Lilly’s Super Subs 2339 County Road 473 352.343.4663 Magnolia’s Oyster Bar 201 W. Magnolia St. 352.323.0093 Ms. T’s Place 305 Pine St. 352.431.3217 Naples Italian Restaurant 1107 W. North Blvd. 352.323.1616 Osaka 1401 Citrus Blvd. 352.728.0788 Pine Street Bar-B-Que 408 Pine St. 352.728.1293 Plantation Oaks Restaurant 4720 Plantation Blvd. 352.530.2680 Ramshackle Café 1317 N. 14th St. 352.365.6565 Rodello’s Italian Restaurant 26736 US Hwy. 27 352.319.8093 San Jose Mexican 1337 S. 14th St. 352.805.4174


Sip Restaurant and Wine Bar 707 W. Main St. 352.435.7840 Southern Gourmet 314 W. Main St. 352.409.7512 Stavros Pizza 755 N. 14th St. 352.326.4202 Takis Pizza Restaurant 1205 N. 14th St. 352.787.2344 The 24 Tap Room 1107 W. North Blvd. 352.315.0198 The Florida Porch Café 706 W. Main St. 352.365.1717 The Old Time Diner 1350 W. North Blvd. 352.805.4250 Turner’s 114 S. 5th St. 352.530.2274 Two Old Hags Wine Shoppe 410 W Main St 352.435.9107 Vic’s Catering 352.728.8989 Wolfy’s 918 N. 14th St. 352.787.6777 Wrapsody 712 W. Main St. 352.801.7239 Mascotte Minneola Grill 117 W. Washington St. 352.394.2555 Napoli’s Pizzeria 556 Hwy. 27 352.243.7500 Rainbow Restaurant 704 E. Myers Blvd. 352.429.2093 The Surf Bar and Grill 650 Hwy. 27 202.527.0100 Minneola Jack’s Barbecue 100 S. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.394.2673 Lil Anthony’s Pizza 205 N. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.394.1516 Tiki Bar & Grill 508 S. Main Ave. 352.394.2232

Mount Dora 1921 by Norman Van Aken 141 E. 4th Ave. 352.385.1921 Anthony’s Pizza 17195 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.357.6668 Barnwood Country Kitchen and Smokehouse 3725 W. Old US Hwy 441 352.630.4903 Beauclaire Restaurant at Lakeside Inn 100 N. Alexander St. 352.383.4101 Bocce Pizzeria 925 E. First Ave. 352.385.0067 Breezeway Café 411 N. Donnelly St. 352.702.7898 Cecile’s French Corner 237 W. Fourth Ave. 352.383.7100 Cody’s on 4th Cafe 111 E. 4th Ave. 352.735.8426 Copacabana Cuban Cafe 320 Dora Drawdy Way 352.385.9000 Eduardo’s Loko Tacos Mexican Restaurant 226 Alfred St. 352.742.1181 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 & Sushi 116 E. 5th Ave. 352.385.5470 Let’s Do Lunch 426 N. Donnelly St. 352.735.4577 Mount Dora Pizza & Subs 2718 W. Old U.S. Hwy. 441 352.383.5303 One Flight Up - Coffee, Dessert & Wine Bar 440 N. Donnelly St., Ste. 100 352.758.9818

Pisces Rising 239 W. 4th Ave. 352.385.2669 PizzAmore’ 722 E. 5th Ave. 352.383.0092 Shiva Indian Restaurant 140A W. 5th Ave. 352.735.4555 Sidelines Sport Eatery 315 N. Highland St. 352.735.7433 Sugarboo’s Bar-B-Que 1305 N. Grandview St. 352.735.7675 The Goblin Market 331-B Donnely St. 352.735.0059 Whale’s Tale Fish House 2720 W. Old U.S. Hwy 441 352.385.1500 Zellie’s Pub 4025 N. U.S. Hwy. 19A 352.483.3855 Sorrento Del Franco Pizza Place 31436 CR 437 352.383.8882 Gi Gi’s 25444 State Road 46 352.735.4000 Tavares Angelo’s Italian Restaurant 2270 Vindale Rd. 352.343.2757 Buzzard Beach Grill 12423 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.253.5267 Hurricane Dockside Grill 3351 W. Burleigh Blvd. 352.508.5137 Lake Dora Sushi & Sake 227 E. Main St. 352.343.6313 Mary’s Kountry Kitchen 15945 County Road 448 352.343.6823 O’Keefe’s Irish Pub and Restaurant 115 S Rockingham Ave. 352.343.2157 Palm Gardens Restaurant 1661 Palm Garden St. 352.431.3217

Ruby Street Grille 221 E. Ruby St. 352.742.7829 Sunrise Grill 462 E. Burleigh Blvd. 352.343.7744 The Hideaway 11912 Lane Park Rd. 352.343.3585 The Villages Amerikano’s Grill 998 Del Mar Dr. 352.633.8027 Bavarian Brewhaus 2738 Brownwood Blvd. 352.399.5516 Bravo Pizza 1080 Lake Sumter Landing 352.430.2394 Chengs Chinese and Sushi Restaurant 4050 Wedgewood Ln. 352.391.9678 China Gourmet III 343 Colony Blvd 352.750.4965 City Fire Brownwood & Paddock Square 352.561.2078 Fiesta Grande Mexican Grill 297 Colony Blvd 352.751.0400 Giovanni’s 3439 Wedgewood Lane 352.751.6674 Margarita Republic 1102 Main St. 352.753.4600 Mezza Luna Italian Restaurant and Bar 320 Colony Blvd. 352.753.3824 NYPD Pizzeria 4046 Wedgwood Ln 352.750.1994 RedSauce 1000 Canal St. 352.750.2930 Ricciardi’s Italian Table 3660 Kiessel Rd. 352.391.9939 Sakura 265 Colony Blvd 352.205.7393 Takis Greek and Italian Restaurant 13761 U.S. Hwy. 441 N. 352.430.3630 The Lighthouse Point Bar and Grille 925 Lakeshore Dr. 352.753.7800

VKI Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar 1004 Old Mill Run 352.259.9887 Umatilla Fish & Chix 100 N. Central Ave. 352.669.7145 Gator’s 9 N. Central Ave. 352.669.6969 Greg’s Haystax 526 Umatilla Blvd. 352.669.1555 Nicky D’s Pizza 325 N. Central Avenue 352.669.2400 Old Crow Real Pit Bar-B-Q 41100 State Road 19 352.669.3922 Quarterdeck 801 Central Ave. 352.669.4662 Shanghai 531 N. Central Ave. 352.669.2004 The Mason Jar 37534 State Rd. 19 352.589.2535 Umatilla Tavern 605 N. Central Ave. 352.669.1325 Wildwood 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 Traditions Café 3107 Hwy. 44 352.748.1077 Woody’s Bar-B-Q 1220 S. Main St. 352.748.1109 Yalaha Yalaha Bakery 8210 County Road 48 352.324.3366

Country Club Restaurants Clermont Sanctuary Ridge Bar & Grille 2601 Diamond Club Road 352.243.0411 Legends Grille & Tavern 1700 Legendary Blvd. 352.243.1118 Howey-in-the-Hills Mission Inn Resort El Conquistador Nicker’s Clubhouse Restaurant 10400 CR 48 352.324.3101 Mount Dora The Country Club 1900 Country Club Blvd. 352.735.2263 The Villages Belle Glade Country Club 446 Moyer Loop 352.205.8208 Cane Garden Country Club 1726 Bailey Trail 352.750.0627 Evans Prairie Country Club 1825 Evan’s Prairie Trail 352.750.2225 Glenview County Club 3914 Glenview Rd. 352.753.0077 Hemingway’s at Havana Country Club 2484 Odell Circle 352.430.3200 Legacy Restaurant Nancy Lopez Country Club 17135 Buena Vista Blvd. 352.753.1475 Orange Blossom Country Club 1542 Water Tower Circle 352.751.4501 Palmer Legends Country Club 1635 Palmer Way 352.750.4499 Tierra Del Sol Country Club 806 San Marino Dr. 352.753.8005 Wildwood Continental Country Club 50 Continental Blvd. 352.748.3293

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Food & Drink DINING GUIDE

Barnwood Country Kitchen and Smokehouse

tion! a c Lo ours w e N and H

Barbecue, American (Traditional), Southern // 3725 W Old US Hwy 441, Mount Dora // 352.630.4903 Tue-Sat: 7a.m.-3p.m., Closed Sun & Mon // barnwoodbbq.com // facebook.com/barnwoodbbq Mouth-watering barbecue. A family-like atmosphere. Old-fashioned service. Those are three qualities that patrons of Barnwood BBQ and Country Kitchen in Eustis experience upon each visit. Owners Dan and Elaine Backhaus have discovered that the recipe behind delicious barbecue is cooking meats low and slow over smoldering wood. That method has served them well, both for their restaurant and food truck business. Diners can also purchase Barnwood’s delicious, award-winning barbecue sauces and special seasonings. Popular breakfast items include a ham-and-cheese omelet, smoked sausage omelet, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and a variety of breakfast combinations. The restaurant’s equally delicious lunch items include a three-rib sandwich, pulled pork sandwich, beef brisket platter, smoked country sausage platter, mushroom Swiss burger, and grilled Reuben sandwich. Burgers, soups, and salads are also available. Be sure to top off your meal with one of Barnwood’s popular desserts, which include fruit cobbler and dark-chocolate brownies Awards: Lake & Sumter Style magazine’s No. 1 BBQ Restaurant, Best Judged Chicken, Best Judged Ribs, Best Judged Brisket (tie), and thirdplace in Best Judged Pork (April 2015) Top Entrée (pulled pork), Lake Eustis Chamber of Commerce food contest (2015 and 2016).

Cousin Vinnie’s Family Sports Restaurant Open seven days a week: 11am–9pm // Food, Spirits, Music, Sports 10700 U.S. Hwy. 441, Leesburg // 352.253.2442 // CVinnies.com Cousin Vinnie’s is located on U.S. Hwy. 441 across from Home Depot. Owner “Cousin” Vinnie Vittoria and his family have created a unique atmosphere by combining a “Sports Bar” with a “Family Restaurant”. As soon as you walk into Vinnie’s you will immediately notice why they are famous for outstanding comfort food and service! Their 35+ wing sauces have awarded them voted BEST WINGS in Lake & Sumter County every year since opening in 2008. In 2017, Vinnie’s was also voted BEST SPORTS BAR! Every Monday Night from 6 – 10 they host Texas Hold’Em Tournaments, Tuesday night is “Family Night” from 5–8p.m. when kids 12-and-under eat free. Wednesday night is “Trivia Night” when the fun starts at 6:30p.m. with prizes given to the top 3 teams. A few menu items offered are (never frozen – 80/20) ½ lb. burgers, personal pan pizzas, amazing rib-eye Philly cheese steaks, healthy wheat wraps, fresh homemade chicken salad and 15 awesome appetizers, including Cousin Vinnie’s Signature Secret Shrimp! Central Florida’s families simply can’t get enough of their deep-fried Ice Cream, Twinkies and Snickers Bars! Cousin Vinnie’s also offers, a small arcade for the kids, free Wi-Fi, great music, and an enthusiastic staff ready to exceed your expectations.

Gio’s Deli and Mercato 3975 County Road 201, Oxford // 352.748.5558 Mon-Wed 10A.M.-6 P.M. // Thurs-Sat 10 A.M. -8 P.M. Buon Appetito! There’s no need to travel to Italy to enjoy scrumptious homemade breads, pasta, fresh sandwiches, meats, cheeses, desserts, pastries, and foods from an Italian market—it’s all available here at Gio’s Deli, where our chef Giovanni earned his culinary degree in Italy. After opening Giovanni’s Ristorante & Pizzeria in The Villages in 2004, Gio has expanded with the deli bringing more of the old world to The Villages area to enjoy! Gio’s can cater a special family meal of lasagna, spaghetti with meatballs, chicken parmigiana or baked ziti, or call us when you need a special party platter or desserts for a social gathering. We get raves over everything from our homemade cheeses, bruschetta, and sweet treats of cannoli, lemon mascarpone cake, cheesecakes, strawberry tiramisu and more. Come check us out!

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The Goblin Market Restaurant & Lounge 331-B Donnelly Street (Rear Alley), Mount Dora // 352.735.0059 // GoblinMarketRestaurant.com Lunch: Tue–Sat 11am–3:00pm // Dinner: Tue–Thu 5–9pm, Fri–Sat 5–10pm, Sun 11am–3:30pm Nestled on a back alley in downtown Mount Dora, the Goblin Market Restaurant has been charming locals and tourists alike since 1996. The restaurant, housed in a renovated warehouse, features three intimate, book-lined dining rooms and a full-service lounge furnished in soothing, muted tones with tasteful modern art. The private, tree-shaded courtyard and garden patio are open year-round for al fresco dining. Low lighting and “new age” music add the finishing touches to the restaurant’s casual elegance. Owners Vince and Janis Guzinski embrace a simple philosophy of offering the highest-quality products, served in a unique and romantic atmosphere by a personable and attentive staff. The Goblin Market’s wine list and menu represent a refreshing mix of ideas from its culinary team. The diversified origins and background of each member ensure exciting menu offerings and nightly selections. Join us for our new “lighter fare” dinner menu, gourmet soups, salads, and sandwiches. Tuesday–Thursday from 3–9pm (regular dinner menu also available).

Guru Restaurant and Catering 2400 S. U.S. Hwy. 27, Suite 101, Clermont // 352.241.9884 Monday-Saturday 4pm-10 pm // Closed Sun. Guru Restaurant and Catering is the “go-to” place for a wide array of mouthwatering Indian fare, everything from appetizers, clay oven-baked Indian breads, Biryani specialties, chicken, seafood, lamb, beef entrees, and 12 different vegetable dishes for vegans to enjoy. Many diners rave about our Chicken Tikka Masala, featuring boneless chicken cooked in a clay oven, dipped in tomato sauce with onion, and flavored with aromatic herbs. All of our chefs are renowned for their creative combinations of spices and sauces, so let us cook for you!

La Palma 1690 Citrus Blvd., Leesburg // 352.323.1444 // LapalmaGrill.com Open Daily 11am – 9pm // Lunch Specials: 11am – 3pm Owner Raudel Torres invites you to a delicious dining experience at the La Palma Mexican Grill. The recipes used for these unique dishes are a blend of old-school traditions from Mexico, combined with culinary inspirations and trends from California and Louisiana. Flavorful, homemade Mexican entrees such as Tacos Azteca, Carnitas, Fajitas, and Tamales and much more are timeless and prepared with only the freshest ingredients. Sit in the comfortable dining room or enjoy the outdoor view on the new patio deck. Fast and friendly service, reasonable prices, and three-for-one margaritas all day every day mean exceeding customer expectations. In addition to in-house service, catering is available for large parties, or meetings. Daily specials available on the website, lapalmagrill.com. ts! hi Nigh Mariac hts from ig Tuesday n d kids an 6pm-8pm eat free! r) e d n u d (10 an

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Food & Drink DINING GUIDE

Mom & Dads 304 U.S. Hwy. 441, Lady Lake // 352.753.2722 Tue-Sat 4pm–9pm // Closed Sun & Mon This little place in the heart of Lady Lake is a local favorite. All the food at Mom & Dad’s is authentic and homemade, from the famous sauce to pastas to the incredible desserts. Made from scratch in-house ravioli and lasagna. Many diners automatically order Spaghetti al la Bruzzi, which is the house specialty. This baked spaghetti has a meat sauce, mushrooms, and three cheeses. Add to that the homemade bread Papa prepares every day, and you’ve got a memorable meal. You can’t stop with the entrée, however. Mama’s homemade cakes are amazing! Moist and delicious German Chocolate, creamy, luxurious Red Velvet, Cannoli, and who doesn’t love Spumoni. If you’re looking for a great Italian dinner that will remind you of home and all the goodness of eating there, try Mom & Dad’s. Mom & Dad’s also offers a full gluten free menu featuring pizza, lasagna, ravioli, and desserts all made in-house from scratch.

Rodello’s Italian Restaurant 26736 U.S Highway 27, Leesburg // 352-319-8093 // Rodellos.com Open Daily: 11am-9pm Chef Amadeo Avila invites you to enjoy authentic and fresh Italian cuisine in a friendly, comfortable dining environment at the new 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 specials on Chef Amadeo’s menu, available on the restaurant’s website, Rodellos.com.

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

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The Whistle Stop at Zellwood Station 2728 Cayman Cir., Zellwood // Tue-Sat 11am-7pm // Sun 11am-5pm // 407.814.7005 Located in the rolling hills of Zellwood Station is Whistle Stop Restaurant and Lounge. With a scenic view of the community’s beautiful golf course, the restaurant is open Sunday morning for breakfast, Wednesdays and Fridays for dinner, and Tuesday through Sunday for lunch. Diners can satisfy their taste buds on various food items prepared by a former Disney Chef, including Reubens, burgers, Caesar salad, and a large pork sandwich.

Yalaha Bakery 8210 State Road 48, Yalaha // Open daily 8am-7pm // 352.324.3366 The family owned German Bakery since 1995, is an award-winning Bakery that offers to customers high-quality German products made with the highest culinary standards. Fine European pastries and breads are made with organic flours, chocolates, and spices, butter, and imported European ingredients. Take home tortes, tarts, and wonderful pretzels, but before you go home, enjoy something from our delicious deli menu. We serve breakfast from 8-11am and lunch and dinner are served 11am-7pm. Enjoy German specialties like Nurnberger breakfast, Hunterschnitzel with Spätzle, Bratwurst, Reuben, Quiche, typical German soups, and maybe Semelknoedel (bread dumplings with mushroom sauce) for lunch or dinner. We offer a fine selection of German beers and wines. Whatever time of day, you’ll find something you love at Yalaha Bakery. On the weekends you can come and enjoy various events and music concerts on Saturdays and Sundays at our Beer Garden. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter or via our website www.yalahabakery.com A German Bakery Like No Other!

Would you like to see your restaurant in our dining section? Call us at 352.787.4112

LAKE & SUMTER

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F i na l T h oug h t

My generation We were young and in love and everybody said it wouldn’t last. STORY: LEIGH NEELY

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f you’re old enough to remember The Who singing “My Generation,” then you’ll fully understand what I’m saying. I graduated from high school in June 1969 and I married in August. Why? Well, one reason was I knew I’d never get out of my father’s house without a husband at my side. When I mentioned living with roommates in an apartment, he said… well, let’s not get into that. I don’t think my

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conscious mind knew I was marrying for that reason, but it hit me years later that it definitely played into my insistence that we needed to marry and get on with our lives. Fortunately, all the naysayers were wrong, and next year, we’ll celebrate our 50th anniversary. However, so many things that should have changed remain the same. Every time I see women march on TV, I can’t help but remember the proud, strong voice of Helen Reddy singing, “I am woman, hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore.” It’s great to see the younger generation carrying on the tradition of creating public awareness of issues related to women, and many of them are marching beside their mothers and grandmothers. However, it makes me sad that they’re marching for the same issues that we did in the ‘60s and ‘70s. I remember interviewing a woman who worked for Eastern Airlines in the ‘60s. She was told during her orientation with human resources that her pay would not be as much as the men who did the same job because they “had families to support.” Though those words are not spoken aloud today, that same attitude still permeates the job market, at every level. We know Millennials are living with their parents because they can’t afford their own housing on a starter salary. It doesn’t make sense in the 21st century for such struggles to be continuing. To all those young women marching with unity and a strong belief system, I say, “Bravo.” Make us—your mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers— proud to see you fight for the right. And to quote Sonny and Cher, “The Beat Goes On.”


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STYLE Magazine, Village Edition, April 2018  

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STYLE Magazine, Village Edition, April 2018  

Every month. Everywhere.