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J OURN EY OF A LIFETIME Over forty years ago, Dr. Saroj Tampira followed his heart and embarked upon a career journey that finally led him to the Village Heart and Vein Center. His arrival completed the vision of the Center founder Dr. Georg Couturier to provide total care for patients with heart and/or vascular diseases. Dr.Tampira’s journey literally began with a medical degree earned at Madihol University—the number one university in Thailand. Internship and residency at the University

of Louisville Hospital followed. In 1978 he completed a Fellowship with Tulane University in New Orleans. His specialty is interventional cardiology—clearing and repairing blocked veins and arteries—and he is one of a very select group of talented cardiologists skilled enough to pursue blockages below the knee in individuals who need help.Today, many patients and procedures later, all of us in Central Florida are fortunate indeed that his heart and his journey brought him here.

The Oaks Professional Center, 8575 NE 138th Lane Call for a consultation 352.674.2080 / heartofthevillages.com


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A CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT IN

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Janet McCulloh may have been a “World’s Perfect Woman,” but her eyesight wasn’t so perfect. Then Dr. Vinay Gutti told Janet about the FDA-approved Symfony® intraocular lens, the only extended depth-of-focus IOL that seamlessly improves vision at all distances. Unlike most patients, Janet didn’t have cataracts—she just wanted her lovely eyes to be free of glasses. Since getting the Symfony® IOL, Janet’s vision has improved to nearly 20/20 at all distances. If you’re active, vibrant and ready for better vision, call Lake Eye and ask about the Symfony® extended range of vision lens. It’s a beautiful thing to behold.

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Janet McCulloh “World’s Perfect Woman” 2016


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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 July and August. Meet the doctor and enjoy free food, books, *drawings and door prizes. Raffle drawings for free filler, a $995-$1200 value

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TB

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Annuities 101 Seminars for July Seating is very limited and by RSVP only

July 12th & 25th The Waterfront Inn | Lake Sumter Landing, The Villages TB Financial Group Inc. is a licensed insurance agency for life, health, and annuities. We are not securities licensed. We are not tax advisors. Our seminars are very general in nature and not meant to replace the advice of your CPA, Tax Preparer, Investment Advisor or Attorney. We will not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax or legal professional for these matters.


JULY 2018 // VOL.14 NO.9 // F e a t u r e s

36 On the street where you live Living it up in Lake and Sumter counties doesn’t just mean picking the best city or town, it means choosing your best happy place. Maybe it’s the lakeshore or the golf course or you want a place where you can have horses and plant a big garden. Whatever you’re looking for, you can find that place in this area. STORIES: LEIGH NEELY, JAMES COMBS, THERESA CAMPBELL, CHRIS GERBASI

50 The future is now The First Tee golf program instills values, builds character, and promotes healthy habits for youngsters ages 7-18. STORY: CHRIS GERBASI

On the cover ILLUSTRATION: JASON FUGATE

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23 up front

24 26 28 30

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

59 ON THE SCENE

60 62 64 66 68 73

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The To-Do List In Concert Local Talent Social Spotlight Near & Far Hi, Society!

87 Food & Drink

88 90 94 98 100

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

COLUM NS

16 From the Publisher 112 Final Thought

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It’s not what you do but how you do it… That’s been Jason Paynter ’s mantra as a successful employee in both the public and private sectors. A lifelong Lake County resident, Jason spent 25 years—including 13 years as a lieutenant—with the Tavares Police Department. He gained valuable management, leadership, and organizational skills. Following retirement, he was hired at Electrical Works to oversee the company’s day-to-day operations and overall business development of the company. Always leading with a servant’s heart, Jason has decided to run for Lake County Clerk of Courts. He hopes to put his experience to good use. “Government plays an important role in our daily lives, and having the right person with the right heart can make a positive impact on the lives of Lake County residents.”

POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT PAID FOR AND APPROVED BY JASON PAYNTER, REPUBLICAN, FOR LAKE COUNTY CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT


*

From The Publisher

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

’ve lived in this area all my life, graduating from Leesburg High School and raising my family here. I know personally just what a family-oriented area this is. But it has also become a very popular place for retirees to find that all-important “second hometown.” When we decided to talk about the best places to live in Lake and Sumter counties, we knew we couldn’t do it by cities and towns. Let’s face it, every place in this area is a great place to live, depending on what you want to have around you when you’re at home. Instead, we decided to talk about places in the country, where you can have horses, cows, or chickens. Or how about your dream house

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

on a golf course where you can meet friends and play every day? Of course, some people enjoy living on the water. In Lake County, that gives you more than 1,000 options! It’s easy to find your dream home in Lake or Sumter counties. Just think about what you want and look for a builder or development that offers what you want in your home. Whether it’s an active social life or a place to fish off your own dock, there’s a special place for you in this cozy part of Central Florida. Summer is a wonderful time for fresh produce. You can create cool, refreshing salads that are highly nutritious from the wonderful fruits and vegetables grown near where you live! We’ve got some great recipes to share this month. If your children have expressed an interest in playing golf, check out our article about The First Tee Program. Here, aspiring golfers not only learn how to swing correctly and evaluate a hole for the best putt, they learn valuable lessons about building character and healthy habits. It’s available in two locations in Lake County. You see, that’s why it was so easy for our staff to write about the beauty of living in this area. From Clermont to Astor in Lake County and Tarrytown to The Villages in Sumter County and everywhere in between are some of the best places in the world to call home. Until next month,

Kendra Akers


HARMONY UNITED PSYCHIATRIC CARE

Kendra Akers

Caring for your needs is our goal and your right.

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

Editorial // Design // Photography

Leigh Neely MANAGING EDITOR leigh@akersmediagroup.com James Combs STAFF WRITER james@akersmediagroup.com Theresa Campbell STAFF WRITER theresa@akersmediagroup.com Chris Gerbasi STAFF WRITER chris@akersmediagroup.com Anthony Rao STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER anthony@akersmediagroup.com

Jason Fugate CREATIVE DIRECTOR jason@akersmediagroup.com Josh Clark SENIOR DESIGNER josh@akersmediagroup.com Volkan Ulgen DESIGNER volkan@akersmediagroup.com Michael Gaulin PRODUCTION DIRECTOR michael@akersmediagroup.com Nicole Hamel STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER anthony@akersmediagroup.com

contributors

Joe Angione Fred Hilton Mary Ann DeSantis Fred Lopez 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 OFFICE MANAGER 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.

L-R: 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, LCSW; DEBORAH HEWITT, LMHC

MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT CENTER We Conduct Dementia Testing, ADHD Testing, Traumatic Brain Injury Testing and Learning Disability Testing.

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July 2018

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Celebrating 20 years 1998-2018 Specializing in: • Mini Face and Neck Lift with Smartlipo of Neck and Jowls • Xeomin/Botox/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: Anthony Rao

Up Front

Rachel Williams shines as Sunshine State Scholar SEE STORY on PG 28


* IUNpT HFErKoNnO Wt

Ja m e s C o m b s’

New life for bucket truck

facts on the Fourth When the Declaration of Independence was signed in July 1776, the estimated U.S. population was 2.5 million. Today, about 325 million people live in the United States. Two signers of the Declaration of Independence were future presidents, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both of whom died on the Fourth of July in 1826. The origin of fireworks is traced to ancient China, and today the United States imports about $300 million of fireworks from China. Almost all U.S. flag exports go to Mexico. ¡Viva América! Source: census.gov

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Instead of retiring a bucket truck from its fleet, SECO Energy has donated it to Lake-Sumter State College to give hands-on experience to students earning associate of science degrees in electrical distribution technology. A material handler bucket increases crew productivity and safety, and it’s also the primary method of installing transformers and other pole top equipment, according to a press release from LSSC. “SECO helped finance the inception of the college’s electric utility lineworker program, from which a number of our employees graduated,” Jim Duncan, CEO of SECO, says in the release. He also notes the timing is perfect since many of SECO’s techs with more than 30 years’ experience are starting to retire. “We want to replace them with local students who want to stay in the area, work for a competitive, growing company, and raise their families here. For that reason, we felt that breathing new life into our partnership with Lake-Sumter State College with the truck donation was a sound investment.”

1

The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension in Lake County recently offered a program called Alternative Crops for Central Florida. The program taught attendees how to grow perennial flowers for brewing craft beer. Flowers and beer? That’s what I call pitcher perfect.

2

After receiving a call that a Leesburg man had beaten his girlfriend, law enforcement officers sent in a police dog to subdue the man. Talk about taking a bite out of crime!

3

A Umatilla High School student was arrested for bringing a combat-style knife to school. It’s time for government to implement some common-sense knife laws. Look, you can buy all your meat pre-sliced, pre-chopped, and pre-diced. You can use a spoon to spread butter or peanut butter. You don’t need knives in your home. Background checks, blade-length limits, and a ban on fully automatic switchblades are a good place to start. We can no longer allow knifehappy politicians to be bought by the NRA (National Restaurant Association).

4

Employees of Lake County Mosquito and Aquatic Plant Management are reminding residents about the health risks of mosquitoes since they’re more active during this time of year. I’m not a big fan of mosquitoes. In fact, when I see one, I typically shout, “Bite me!”

5

Two Lake County residents discovered a gopher tortoise covered in red paint and took the animal to a wildlife rehabilitation center. Painting a turtle? Seriously? I hope the perpetrator ends up having a “brush” with the law over this.

6

A Leesburg woman was arrested after admitting that the father of her baby was her biological brother. Despite this setback, the woman says she will transform her life and hopes to meet a good man. Let’s just hope it’s not at her next family reunion.

Take the survey Lake County’s public transit service wants to hear from you. LakeXpress offers a fixed-route system that provides public transportation throughout the county on a regular schedule at designated bus stops. County officials say they are in the process of updating the transit service’s 10-year development plan from 2019 to 2028. Residents are invited to participate in an online survey about

Lake County transit services at surveymonkey.com/r/ lakexpresssurvey. The survey, along with in-person interviews of riders, are some of the ways the public can offer their feedback on public transit needs. For more information about LakeXpress, call 352.742.1940 or visit ridelakexpress.com.


LEESBURG

A soft landing City Manager Al Minner says, “The city of Leesburg is extremely proud of the new seaplane ramp. It was funded primarily by the city’s airport fund but received grants from Lake County and the Florida Department of Transportation.” The ramp at the Leesburg International Airport provides yet another

access point to the city for business and leisure visitors and direct access from Lake Harris to the airport. It is one of the main parts of the airport’s master plan. “The ramp was built as an economic development incentive to encourage Wipaire to locate their headquarters in our community. Wipaire

is one the nation’s largest manufacturers of civil aviation floats,” Al says. “So not only does the seaplane ramp improve the transportation services that are offered at the airport, it was another major accomplishment in leveraging the airport to be an economic incentive which can bring new investments and jobs to the region.” Being multi-modal means Leesburg’s airport provides an advantage for the aviation industry and may bring more airport tenants. The ramp is designed to accommodate both amphibious and straight-float aircraft.

MOUNT DORA

At home with Bowie

A museum in Mount Dora is a portal into the private world of the late David Bowie, an innovator in music, film, and style.

WILDWOOD

Tip a city cop The city of Wildwood quickly pulled together an event to celebrate the Florida Special Olympics Torch Run, according to Erika Corley, the city’s special event planner and park/recreation administration specialist. Wildwood officials and the Wildwood Police Department hosted, seated, and served residents of the community at Oakwood Express restaurant to raise funds for the torch run. In only two days, they raised $1,725.38 for the games and the participating athletes. City officials then sent a group of

Wildwood officers to the start line of the Sumter Torch Run. This included two cyclists and four runners. The Special Olympics were held in June. “It was a fantastic day and a great way to represent Wildwood,” Erika says.

“Space Oddities: Bowie | Sottsass | Memphis” is on exhibit through October at the Modernism Museum, 145 E. Fourth Ave. The collection includes more than 75 examples, many from Bowie’s estate, of unique postmodern home furnishings created by Memphis, a radical design group founded by Ettore Sottsass in the 1980s in Milan, Italy. This exhibition is the largest gathering of Memphis objects ever presented in a U.S. museum, according to modernismmuseum.org. For ticket information, call 352.385.0034.

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nt * PUEpR S FO Nr o OF INTEREST

Whitney Boylston Director, Office of Animal Services, Lake County V I TA L

S TAT

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

S

I wanted to be a funeral director.

Born and raised in Eustis; graduated from Leesburg High School.

What motivated you to take this job?

Former school teacher.

Following Hurricane Katrina, I was watching Anderson Cooper on CNN, and I saw a dog up in a tree. I volunteered to go with the Humane Society of the United States to rescue animals. I became involved with the Lake County Animal Shelter because I saw a spark of hope for improve-

Single and one of five siblings. Furbabies: one cat and five dogs.

ment and change. I founded LEASH Inc. (Love. Enrichment. Adoption. Shelter. Health), and when they made the commitment to be a no-kill shelter, it was a good time for me to switch jobs. I feel this is my community and our shelter.

What happened after Hurricane Irma? With any severe

weather event, you have stray animals. We were at critical capacity with more than 200 animals. We made an appeal and the community showed up and adopted or fostered to get homes for the needy pets.

What do you love most about your job? The matchmaking. I love finding the perfect pet for a family and watching them begin their new life together.

Your hero? Dr. Julie Levy, from the University of Florida, who is a leading national expert on cats and animal shelters. She has done a lot of amazing work.

Three words that describe you: Determined,

passionate, innovative.

What do you hope other people learn from you? That when a community comes together for a common goal, it’s absolutely achievable.

Guilty pleasure? Potato olés from Taco John’s. The closest one is in Elizabethton, Tennessee, but I drove up there to get some.

If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Jane Goodall, if she brought a chimpanzee.

Something about me no one knows: I dropped out of mortuary school.

Pet peeve: People who expect or demand change but are unwilling to be a part of the solution.

Favorite hobby or outside interest:

Secret to your success: Creativity and a positive attitude.

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Photo: Anthony Rao

Knitting, paddle boarding, camping, shooting at the gun range, photography.


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* OUUpT SFTrA NoDnI NtG S T U D E N T

Rachel Williams

Senior // EUST IS H I G H SCH O O L

Proud accomplishment: Being a Sun-

V I TA L

S TAT

shine State Scholar allowed me to attend a two-day program with other juniors throughout the state. We brainstormed solutions on solving problems affecting Florida today, such as citrus greening, E. coli in our waterways, and how to transition to renewable energy. I enjoyed meeting other students.

S

Other achievements:

One of only 100 Florida high school juniors selected as a 2018 Sunshine State Scholar for her work in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Earned 18 college credits between her freshman and junior years. Maintains a weighted 5.0 grade-point average. 2018 National Merit Scholarship semifinalist.

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I am an author and have two self-published books. I wrote the first one, “Radioactive,” as a high school freshman. It’s a novel about a young woman with powers and abilities. The second, “The Human Experience,” is a poetry book that focuses on three themes: wonder, wistfulness, and witness. Both are published under my pen name, Rachel Elisabeth.

Advanced Placement courses you’ve completed: Human geography, biology, world history, psychology, art history, European history, environmental science, U.S. history, and language and composition.

Future plans: I want to attend medical school and then determine my area of specialization. I’m leaning toward cardiology because my aunt is a cardiologist. Last summer, I was able to job-shadow her and will again this summer. I will likely attend either the University of Florida or University of Central Florida. Hero: My parents. They both escaped the oppressive communist government in Vietnam and came to the United States for a better life. Their struggles, perseverance, and work ethic

inspired me to excel in everything I do.

Guilty pleasure: Reading classic novels. It’s a guilty pleasure because I start wondering whether I should be studying or going over a lesson in one of my textbooks.

Pet peeve: People who don’t say thank you.

Hobbies: Writing, hanging out with family and friends, walking downtown Mount Dora, reading classic novels, and spending time with my brother.

Describing my generation: My generation is very progressive and innovative. We’re very forward-looking and think about the endless possibilities for the future. And although we seem to always be immersed in technology, kids in my generation do have lots of compassion.


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

Where do I sign up, Mr. President? You never can have too many secretaries of whatever.

*

Aren’t there plenty of other vital parts of American life that warrant having a Cabinet position? 30

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STORY: FRED HILTON

F

orget about “E Pluribus Unum” and “In God We Trust,” the real motto of the United States is “More Is Better.” We started out with 13 states. Now we have 50. We started out with an annual fed-

eral budget of about $27.50. Now it’s around $4 trillion. This obviously means we need to have more members of the president’s Cabinet. George Washington had only four members of his Cabinet, but with that $27.50

federal budget, that’s all he could afford. All four of Washington’s Cabinet members did a pretty good job, in particular Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, who moonlighted and wrote a


hit Broadway play. Later, when he was president, Washington’s Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase, which included the French Quarter. That, alone, made him a hero. Secretary of War Henry Knox didn’t fight any wars, but he had lots of gold, and Attorney General Edmund Randolph probably did something cool although no one knows what it was. With “more is better” in mind, we now have 15 Secretaries of Something or Other in President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, along with a handful of other fine folks who head up various departments but don’t have the “Secretary of” title. Now, no one would ever question the secretary of the interior, the secretary of health and human services, the secretary of labor, and other secretaries do important and noble things. But aren’t we overlooking some important areas? Aren’t there plenty of other vital parts of American life that warrant having a Cabinet position? These, to name just a few, should be part of the president’s Cabinet: Secretary of Furbabies: As a nation, we spend some $61 billion on our critters. Our homes are filled with millions of dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters, goldfish, and icky lizard-like things. We love them all dearly, but they have no voice in Washington. This will be the most important addition to the Cabinet.

Secretary of Pizza: We spend almost as much on pizza as we do on our pets—$37 billion a year, and that’s a lot of pepperoni. The secretary of pizza will address a number of important issues, such as: Should there be a national pizza? Deep dish or thin crust? Are anchovies poisonous? Secretary of Television: Considering the hundreds of hours that Americans fritter away staring at the one-eyed television monster, we definitely need even more federal meddling than we already have. At least 75 percent of the programming on TV is already stupid, inane, disgusting, vile, or a combination of all four. With the help of a few seasoned federal bureaucrats, there’s no reason we can’t reach 100 percent. Secretary of Silly Walks: This new Cabinet department is a tribute to our friends across the Atlantic, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” and the troupe’s wonderful sketch on “The Ministry of Silly Walks.” John Cleese, the brilliant comedian who does the sketch, will be the honorary secretary of this new department. If you’ve haven’t seen the Monty Python routine, then run to your computer and Google it. Watching John Cleese is a much better way to waste your time than reading this silly article. Secretary of Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens: This important new Cabinet position will meet

a clear need in American society. The department will prevent people from being grumpy, angry, nasty, or any of those other disgusting emotions that people keep exhibiting. If you’re angry or grumpy, you just need to hear Julie Andrews sing a few lines from “My Favorite Things.” Who can be unhappy when they hear Julie sing about “creamcolored ponies and crisp apple strudels, doorbells and sleigh bells, and schnitzel with noodles.” Anger is no match for “bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.” The cost of the department will be relatively low. The only expenditure will be for the placement of kiosks around the country where anyone can pop in and play some happy words from good old Julie. Secretary of Payoffs, Graft, and Under the Table Cash Flow: This department sounds bad at first but it actually will be very effective and save money for the government. We know there are thousands of sleaze balls throughout government who are stealing from us in one way or another. We just localize them all in the same department and they steal from each other. Secretary of Eating, Wine Tasting, and Sleeping: People already are lining up for positions in this new Cabinet department. Don’t bother applying to head the department. Just call me Mr. Secretary.

Fred Hilton Fred Hilton spent thirty-six years as the chief public relations off icer/spokesman for James Madison University in Virginia and ten years prior as a reporter and editor for The Roanoke Times in Roanoke, Virginia. He and his wife Leta are now happily retired in The Villages.

July 2018

31


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F e at u r i n g

6 Finding home Plus

2 Music man John Linde knows how to write music from the heart.

4 Early bird or night owl? Rise and shine or out late, sleep in.


* MVESEtT yAlVeI L L A G E R

Music man John Linde writes family-friendly songs that touch the soul.

Issia Pope, Trap Watkins, Rob Hutchinson, John Linde, Tyler Linde and Mike Saldana

*

John has been asked to write rap songs to address the negativity of drugs, and he recently penned two songs for a TV pilot.

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N

ew York native John Linde has had an extensive career in entertainment as a songwriter, record producer, and screenwriter. But the talented Villager is not resting on his laurels just yet. “My entire life, I have been in the music business,” John says. “This is my passion, this is my personality.” As a drummer, he toured with bands in the late 1950s and ’60s throughout the United States and Europe. He turned to writing and producing and worked with hall-of-fame songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller on songs for the Drifters before he was offered his own label with Capitol Records in California. One of John’s recent projects involved crafting “We Are Special,” a familyfriendly rap song performed in May by a 40-member choir, rapper Trap Watkins, and National Football League player Clint Hart during the opening ceremonies of the 46th annual Special Olympics Florida Summer Games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex’s Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista. The ceremonies included a jet flyover, torch lighting, fireworks, and lots of fanfare. “It was very, very moving, and the athletes are special,” says John, who was

touched by the excitement from the crowd when “We Are Special” was performed. “The kids went nuts. They were dancing, clapping, and really got into it. The reception was tremendous.” The feedback validated what he’s known for a long time: rap songs reach the younger generation. “This was the longest and hardest song to write because of the components and logistics. I ended up working with about 70 people when it was all said and done, and in five different studios,” he recalls. “There were a lot of bumps in the road, but we got it done.” John has been asked to write rap songs to address the negativity of drugs, and he recently penned two songs for a TV pilot, “Beyond Scope.” He spends a few hours a day writing and often records at Atlantic Hills Studios in Winter Park. “There are a lot of things happening for a good purpose,” says John, who moved to The Villages in 2005 with his wife, Sandra. John also is proud to have written “Before God,” a 1987 Quest Studios film made in Orlando, and the dedication song for the women’s memorial at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. “Near the wall is a beautiful statute of nurses cradling a dying soldier,” John says.

Photo provided by John Linde

STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL


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* IVNSTtHyE lV eI L L A G E S

Rise and shine Early to bed, early to rise can make a Villager… STORY: JOE ANGIONE

G

*

Are you a night owl or an early bird? There’s no right or wrong in either. Your circadian rhythm makes that decision for you.

4

et up in the dark. Although the old cliché says going to bed early and rising early makes a man “healthy, wealthy, and wise,” there’s absolutely no proof of that. These three benefits don’t necessarily result from your sleep habits. Hard work can make you feel tired enough to turn in early, but nearly everyone in The Villages is retired. So, it isn’t the effects of work that make us creep into bed right after watching the 7pm news. But it could be boredom that makes us sleepy early. Some of us just don’t have enough to do in retirement to stay alert and keep busy until late. They’ve neglected to plan for full and active golden years. Early birds do rule the roost here in The Villages. Social and entertainment events begin early and end when younger folks are just stepping out for a night on the town. This is best because nothing good ever happens after midnight, as your mother used to say. When my wife and I first moved to The Villages, a neighbor who got up at 4:30 every morning spent his time until dawn propping up everyone’s newspaper against their front door so when opened, the paper fell right in at their feet. It was a kindness his circadian rhythm allowed him to do for us. What makes people night owls or early birds is their circadian rhythm, or sleep/ wake cycle. It runs in your brain like a 24-hour internal clock, cycling between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It’s set according to the period of the day when you’re most active and expend the most energy. If you rise early, you’ll expend most of your energy earlier in the day, and you’ll want to retire early. If your most active

time is later in the day, you’ll likely be awake until late at night. Our circadian rhythm is set by how we’ve always lived our lives. Light and darkness also tend to influence our circadian rhythm, and for most people, their sleep/wake cycle usually coincides with the cycle of daytime and nighttime. But you’re not a prisoner of your circadian rhythm. It’s possible to change it, for example, when your work schedule moves from days to the night shift. Your circadian rhythm often changes when you get older. Aging and the various health problems that come with it can make you less able to sleep for long periods. And so, even night owls find themselves waking before sunrise, after only a few hours of sleep. Are you a night owl or an early bird? There’s no right or wrong in either. Your circadian rhythm makes that decision for you. Should you care that the “early bird catches the worm?” I’d rather sleep in and catch a big plate of bacon and eggs after the sun comes up.


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DORIS VAIL

Living in The Villages is not just about finding a home, but also finding a lifestyle that suits people in many different ways. STORY: LEIGH NEELY

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T

he Villages has come a long way from the mobile home park that once was Orange Blossom Gardens. Developer Harold Schwartz originally envisioned a place where people had access to everything they needed while using a golf cart. As a result, every village has easy access to retail stores, doctor’s offices, golf courses, and restaurants. Many residents also enjoy being a part of the more than 2,700 clubs available for any interest. And let’s not forget the almost 100 miles of golf cart paths. Style asked a variety of residents, “What are the best things about living in The Villages?”

ACCESS AND ADVENTURE

When Doris Vail retired from the U.S. Navy, she needed a place that didn’t require her to drive a car due to macular degeneration, an eye disease. The Villages fit that need perfectly. She can get around wherever she needs to go in her golf cart. Added to that, Doris is an adventurous person and has no problem finding great activities to do in her community. “I love playing golf. I play as much as possible, and that’s one of the reasons I came to The

Villages,” Doris says. “I also enjoy bowling and have bowled in the Senior Games. This year, I won myself a gold medal.” Doris says she also appreciates the entertainment and liveliness of the town squares. “I mostly go to Lake Sumter Landing, but I also enjoy going to Brownwood and Spanish Springs as much as possible. I really enjoy the live music.” Her club activities include being a member of the Tri-County Women Veterans, Navy Bainbridge

“Whether you’re 60 or 80, you can become a belly dancer, a clown, or join a band. The opportunities are tremendous.” —BARBARA FISIER

Doris Vail photo: Anthony Rao; Barbara Fisier photo: Nicole Hamel

A NEW YOU

For Barbara Fisier, The Villages offers a golden opportunity to achieve personal growth. “The first thing that comes to mind when you think of The Villages is that you can reinvent yourself,” says Barbara, a resident of the Village of Amelia. “Whether you’re 60 or 80, you can become a belly dancer, a clown, or join a band. The opportunities are tremendous. There’s no pressure, just possibilities.” Barbara says she and husband Charlie came to The Villages with two cars, but quickly became a one-car, one-golf-cart family. “We trade off when one of us needs the vehicle,” she says. “He plays golf weekly, so he needs the golf cart a lot.” The one negative Barbara sees is the growth of The Villages, but at the same time she understands the lure for more residents. Still, it can

Women, which consists of women assigned to the ship, Bainbridge, and three women’s golf groups. “I also like to travel, and it’s easy to get in and out of The Villages,” Doris says. “It’s just a great place to live, and I would love to do more, like play pickleball and volleyball, but I know my limitations.”


get crowded. “I understand why they do it, and it’s a wonderful lifestyle that everyone wants, but I’m happiest just to stay on my side of The Villages, especially during season. But anywhere you live, there are going to be things you don’t care for, and

the plusses well outweigh the minuses here.” In addition to being a clown as part of The Villages Clown Alley #179, Barbara is also a member of the American Association of University Women and works on the organization’s fundraisers

for scholarships. She belongs to a book club and plays bridge and mah-jongg. “The good thing is we have our family down here now,” Barbara says. “We have three daughters, three granddaughters, and three great-grandchildren.”

BOB AND LINDA STEHMAN

PEOPLE WHO NEED PEOPLE

Bob and Linda Stehman moved to The Villages in 2008 and haven’t looked back. Not only do they enjoy all The Villages has to offer, their grown children love visiting their parents’ Village of Bonita home, too. “We like that there are people from all over the world living here,” Bob says. “We can always find someone to get together with and learn about them and where they lived.”

8

“We can always find someone to get together with and learn about them and where they lived.” —BOB STEHMAN


Photos: Anthony Rao

Linda agrees, loving that she can walk across the street to meet with friends rather than calling across town and setting a time when they can get together. “We play a lot of trivia, cards, and games. I used to do Zumba Gold, but now we do more with our friends, and we travel with them, too.” The Stehmans especially enjoy how close The Villages is to other points of interest. “We’re not that far away from Tampa, Orlando, or the beaches. We also love being so close to Universal and the other parks,” Bob says. Bob was involved in a theater group when the couple lived in Pennsylvania and is very happy to continue with the theater groups in The Villages. “Right now, I’m director of ‘Nuncrackers,’ and it’s a lot of fun.” “Nuncrackers: The Christmas Musical” is part of the “Nunsense” series of shows. Bob is especially excited because they’ll be using some children from the charter school in The Villages for this holiday production. Linda enjoys helping people renovate their homes. In Pennsylvania, she worked in marketing at a large retirement community and brought that knowledge of construction with her. “She has helped several people because she knows which walls can come down to give them a more open look,” Bob says. But overall, it’s the convenience that appeals to the Stehmans the most. “It’s just so easy to get together with friends, and that’s what we love to do,” Linda says. “Our children love coming here,” Bob adds. “Our son and his wife spent their honeymoon in our house because we were out of town. They have friends in their 70s, and they come here for every vacation. Our daughter comes every chance she can.”

KAREN NEHRENZ

NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Karen Nehrenz and her late husband moved 25 years ago to the Village of Mira Mesa and into the seventh house built on Chula Vista. Now she lives in the Village of Rio Grande and says she wouldn’t live anywhere but The Villages. “It’s such a good place. You’re able to meet people and be as active physically and socially as you want to be,” Karen says. For 18 years, Karen was a member of the Bell Chords, who were barbershop quartet-style singers. “We had a wonderful run while it lasted, but we decided we wanted to do other things.” One of her favorite things to do is work with the club known as Busy Hands, Happy Hearts. She is currently president of the group that provides knitted and crocheted items to about 45 different facilities. “We provide items to hospitals, emergency rooms, for new babies at Leesburg hospital and Marion hospital,” she says. “We do all the nursing homes, providing afghans for residents.” Karen says she and her late husband enjoyed all the amenities The Villages offer. “If you want entertainment, you can go to the squares or go to the Sharon or the Savannah Center. They have all kinds of activities at the recreation centers, and they’re all so nice.” Since she is somewhat physically limited now, Karen relies on the help of the chairs provided for access to pools. Once she’s in the water, she is able to do water walking, which is her favorite exercise. “All of my friends live here now,” she says. “Those in Ohio, where I formerly lived, are acquaintances. Some friends I’ve known since I lived on Chula Vista. We keep in touch via email.” Living in the same retirement community for 25 years means she proudly says, “This is home now.”

9


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* LVI VSItNyG lHeE A L T H Y

Older women and sexual health Good health means you may never say, ‘Not tonight.’ STORY: HANNAH BRAYE

M

any people believe older women stop wanting sex because they lose interest. However, a study done by the North American Menopause Society revealed that the problem most often is fear of pain. Menopause often causes a number of problems for women, including lower urinary tract problems. Vaginal dryness, infections, painful sex, and decreased libido are common (but often little spoken of) experiences of many women as they approach menopause and beyond. Interestingly, women in many other cultures don’t seem to suffer to the extent that women in the West do, indicating diet and lifestyle factors may play an important role. A growing body of research indicates having a healthy microbial balance in the gut and vagina may help prevent uncomfortable symptoms.

12


A common issue associated with aging is vaginal atrophy and dryness, which in turn can lead to less pleasurable or painful intercourse. This is caused by a reduction in circulating estrogen levels, approaching menopause and beyond. Estrogen is required to stimulate the proliferation of lactobacillus bacteria in the vagina, and studies highlighted a variation in the composition of vaginal bacteria, with lower levels of beneficial lactobacilli, in menopausal women with signs of vaginal atrophy and dryness. Having adequate levels of lactobacilli also creates an acidic environment that protects women from infection. Low levels caused by declining estrogen may lead to conditions such as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and urinary tract infections. While probiotics are well known to help restore gut lactobacilli levels, studies indicate they also help restore the urogenital microflora, replenishing lactobacilli levels. Vaginal dryness, infections, and pain during sex can hamper arousal. Coupled with changes in hormone levels as women get older, it’s not surprising that many women report reduced feelings of sexual desire. Recent research is finally exploring the relationship between gut bacteria and hormone balance. Modulating the gut microbiome through probiotic supplementation is a novel way

to support healthy hormone balance and potentially rekindle your sex life. Many symptoms experienced by women relate to the natural reduction in estrogen levels as they age, so taking steps to support estrogen production may help alleviate symptoms. Stress reduction is important, too. The amount of estrogen produced by the ovaries declines during menopause and instead, adrenal glands, which sit on top of our kidneys and produce stress hormones such as cortisol, must pick up the slack. Estrogen production continues at a lower level through menopause into post-menopause. Relaxing allows the adrenal glands to focus on producing estrogen instead of stress hormones. It may be the time to take up yoga, meditation, spending time outdoors, and being sure to take time for yourself. Eating a balanced diet of whole foods with lots of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and proteins, and foods containing phytoestrogens may also help. They are found in flaxseeds and organic whole soybean products such as fermented tofu, sesame seeds, fenugreek, beans, and lentils. Taking a daily multi-strain probiotic supplement, such as Bio-Kult Advanced Multi-Strain Formula, containing 14 different strains (including eight lactobacilli), is also recommended to help support a healthy microflora in the gut and vagina.

*

A common issue associated with aging is vaginal atrophy and dryness, which in turn can lead to less pleasurable or painful intercourse.

Hannah Braye Hannah Braye is a technical advisor at Protexin, manufacturer of Bio-Kult. A qualified nutritional therapist, she studied for three years at the College of Naturopathic Medicine in Bristol, United Kingdom, is a member of the British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy and is listed on the Complementary and Natural Health Care Council’s approved accredited register.

13


* BVOSOtK yR lE VeI E W

“Beneath the Ruthless Sun” By Gilbert King. A true story of tragedy due to racial bias. STORY: DIANE DEAN

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King believes equality in schools and voting rights are issues still related to racism.

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he Bookworm Book Club hosted an evening with Gilbert King, author of “Beneath the Ruthless Sun,” an account of the 1957 rape of a wealthy woman in Okahumpka and the injustice directed at suspects. Initially, nearly every black man in an area known the Quarters was taken in. Racism and corruption, including falsifying evidence, rose again, as they did in King’s previous Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Devil in the Grove.” Jesse Daniels, 19 and mentally deficient, was charged with a rape he did not commit and sent to the Florida State Hospital for the Insane in Chattahoochee for 17 years. There was no trial. Sheriff Willis McCall, leader of this atrocity, was in King’s prior book. However, Gordon Oldham, the state attorney, was the real culprit behind the conspiracy to railroad Jesse, who still slept with his teddy bear. Mabel Norris Reese was the heroic crusading reporter for the

Mount Dora Topic (until political pressure aimed at advertisers closed it down) and the Daytona Beach NewsJournal. King describes Reese as “a reporter with a fondness for bebop glasses and a history as a troublemaker for the powers-that-be was about to begin a long and ruinous crusade to run the whole lawless gang out of gas.” Reese revealed the unfairness and exposed the corruption. She was rewarded with crosses burned on her lawn and her pet poisoned. Eventually, she was given the “Courage in Journalism” award. Others who were in the fight to free Jesse: Evvie Griffin, eventually a Lake County sheriff; Richard Graham, Jesse’s pro bono attorney; and Al Albright, an FBI agent who investigated McCall. King noted, “after the 1954 decision on Brown vs. Board of Education, the activity of the Ku Klux Klan resurged, Sheriff McCall achieved more power, white supremacy groups became active.” King believes equality in schools and voting rights are issues still related to racism. Five years of research through hospital records, legislative transcripts, court documents, and personal interviews are in the story and leave no doubt of his devotion to exonerate Jesse Daniels. The author lays out the atrocities by law enforcement which, in the readers’ eyes, convict those guilty of taking “away his childhood,” as Jesse described it.


When you retire, your money should keep working. Someday you’ll stop working, and at that point, you’ll have to depend on your retirement income. To work toward building that income, you’ll need a strategy. The Lake Sumter Group at Morgan Stanley can help you create a strategy for goals like retirement, estate planning and leaving a legacy. Let’s put your money to work. Call us today to set up an appointment.

(l to r): Gregory, Nicole, Michael

The Lake Sumter Group at Morgan Stanley Gregory Prevatt, CLTC, CFP® Portfolio Management Director Senior Vice President Financial Advisor gregory.prevatt@ morganstanley.com

Michael Monteith, CFP® Senior Portfolio Manager Vice President Financial Advisor michael.monteith@ morganstanley.com

Nicole Silberstein Client Service Associate nicole.silberstein@ morganstanley.com 832 Lake Sumter Landing The Villages, FL 32162 352-751-7845 • 800-447-6036 fa.morganstanley.com/lakesumter

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Clients should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for matters involving trust and estate planning and other legal matters. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP,® CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the US. © 2018 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC. CRC 2119557 MAR013 05/18 CS 9253230 05/18


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Home is where your heart is—on

the lake, among good friends, with outdoor activities, with a sociable lifestyle, and they’re all in Lake and Sumter counties.


THE WERLIN FAMILY

Goin’ up the

COUNTRY

Farm living is the life for some Sumter County residents.

N

ot far from busy downtowns, some people seek an oasis on farmland, where they can raise a couple of kids and a couple of cows. Brad Werlin and his wife, Amber, found that environment at Sumter Crossing, off County Road 214 west of U.S. Highway 301 in Oxford. It’s a gated community of ranchettes, with single-family homes on parcels of two to eight acres. “I wanted more of a rural feel—country and more spacious—and she wanted a neighborhood feel for our two kids,” says Brad, adding that the family keeps two miniature cows as pets. “This brought the best of both worlds.”

The family-friendly development is home to residents ranging in age from young parents to retirees. Kids can ride bikes in the streets and romp in open spaces, and adults have a short commute to The Villages, where Brad owns a business. “It’s near The Villages, but you literally don’t feel like you’re in the hustle and bustle,” he says. Elsewhere in north Sumter County, Oak Hill is another popular destination for homebuyers, says Billie Faye Smith, co-owner of Smith & Smith Realty in Wildwood. Oak Hill, north of State Road 44 and west of Interstate 75, has tracts of farmland up to 15 acres. That gives residents some elbow

STORY: CHRIS GERBASI // PHOTO: ANTHONY RAO

room as growth sprawls in all directions. “Everybody wants all the conveniences of The Villages, but they also want that rural feel,” Billie Faye says. “I hear that every day. They want to be close to The Villages but not have somebody right on top of them.” In south Sumter, Bushnell and Webster are prime spots for individual farms and communities with large parcels. Eagle Ridge Estates, a gated community with about 35 properties of 10 acres each, is in horse country on County Road 476 in Bushnell. That’s a far cry from the busy beltway of Washington, D.C., where Rebecca and David Higgins formerly

lived. They were attracted to Eagle Ridge because Rebecca grew up in a small town, and David wanted a lot of land. Only dachshunds roam the Higgins range, but neighbors have horses and cows. “We’ve enjoyed it here,” Rebecca says. “It’s very peaceful and certainly not congested like the D.C. area, and that’s the main thing for us.” The relative tranquility of Sumter must be appealing: residential listings are down, Billie Faye says. “It’s a seller’s market,” she says. “There’s a bigger demand than inventory.”

July 2018

37


WALLY AND SALLY NEBEL

SECURITY

and privacy

Gated communities are not just for the super-wealthy.

Q

uiet and peaceful neighborhoods, a sense of security, a variety of recreational amenities, and homes in diverse housing styles are the appeals of gated communities. Luckily, one doesn’t have to be a multimillionaire to live in a gated neighborhood in Lake and Sumter counties. “It’s pretty affordable; the median price point of $200,000 to $300,000 for the homes,” says Leslie Hanson Rotarius, broker associate at Catherine Hanson Real Estate Inc., based in Sorrento. “The number one reason most people purchase in gated communities, or even with an HOA (homeowners association), is that it maintains the property

38

lakeandsumter

.com

value,” Leslie says. “They want a little bit of control over how people maintain their properties; you’re in a community where most of the values are the same.” Wally and Sally Nebel enjoy living in the 55-plus gated community of The Plantation at Leesburg, which has been their home for 13 years. They spent 10 years traveling in an RV doing church mission work, sightseeing, and visiting friends in different states before settling in Leesburg. “We were lucky to look at gated communities in Arizona, California, Texas, and all over in Florida,” Sally recalls. “We love how The Plantation is laid out in 30 various-size villages, from eight homes

STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL // PHOTO: ANTHONY RAO

to 100-plus homes. The village concept gives each village a small-town feeling where people are really neighborly and get to know each other well.” Her community also has three activity centers, each with a swimming pool, workout rooms, tennis and pickleball courts, and two 18-hole golf courses. “People looking for a gated community should take every opportunity to look at many different ones,” Sally says, in order to find the right fit for them. Mount Dora Realtor Cheryl Hilty-Huth says people who love being on the water are drawn to the gated community of Lakes of Mount Dora, which is filled with navigable

lakes and islands that are interconnected. More than 70 percent of the 950-plus planned single-family homes in the community have water access or water views. “Lakes of Mount Dora is designed around 178 acres of scenic lakes,” Cheryl says. “Residents can drive boats directly to the clubhouse.” The retirement community also has a state-of-the-art fitness center, game room, arts and crafts, reading room, tennis, softball, aerobics, dance lessons, resort-style pool, miles of walking trails, a fitness trail with exercise stations, and other amenities.


SUMMER homes

MOUNT DORA HISTORIC INN AND COTTAGES

Vacationers come from afar to enjoy Lake County.

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ount Dora Historic Inn and Cottages is one of several Lake County premises offering vacation rentals where guests can enjoy local attractions at their home away from home. “We have a lot of repeat guests who come and stay with us several times a year, and some have been coming for many years,” says Melonie Cole, the innkeeper who finds guests love that the quaint cottages are within walking distance of downtown. The cottages are equipped with full kitchens, family rooms with cable TV, private bedrooms and bathrooms, outdoor living areas, and Wi-Fi. Some of the cottages are pet-friendly.

STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL // PHOTOS: NICOLE HAMEL

Guests come from all over the globe to experience Florida in Lake County. “We had a lady recently from Denmark,” Melonie says. “She stayed seven nights and she came and met her father’s family for the first time, and she’ll be coming back at Thanksgiving.” Special friendships are often forged among the guests, she says, especially those who stay at the inn. “We don’t do a continental breakfast, we do a sit-down breakfast, and everybody eats together,” Melonie says, referring to the gourmet morning meal served at a big table for eight. “So people make new friendships. They have really great conversations.

Some people have met and come back the same time the next year to see each other.” Clermont offers several vacation rentals, including Clermont Cabanas on Lake Minneola, a new community that opened in February. It features two units with one bedroom and a bath, a sleeper sofa that can sleep up to four people, a state-of-the-art kitchen, a washer and dryer combination, and more amenities, all located on the Coast to Coast bike trail and near Waterfront Park. “People are extremely excited about it and love that it’s all brand new and beautifully decorated. Everyone who has stayed with us says it’s a little

hidden gem in Clermont,” office administrator Laura Mancine says of Clermont Cabanas, owned by Nicky Martz, a broker with Florida Plus Realty. “All of our reviews have been amazing,” Laura adds. “We’ve had tri-athletes with the NTC (National Training Center) stay with us, seniors 55 and up, and folks from other parts of the country who stay with us while they are looking for a new home.”

CLERMONT CABANAS ON LAKE MINNEOLA

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SOCIAL

is more than media

Many people move to communities to find like-minded people and spend time on activities they never had time for before retirement.

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n active social life after retirement is something most people want, and young families look for a neighborhood near schools and parks to enjoy with other families. Social events and activities make meeting new people easier and more pleasant. In this area, you can’t mention “social activities” without thinking of The Villages. The retirement community has grown steadily since it began in the 1970s as Orange Blossom Gardens mobile home park. With more than 2,700 social clubs, a variety of sports, theater groups, and clubs representing most states, The Villages

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is one of the biggest social centers in Florida. “I really enjoy the social part of The Villages,” says Paula Chalifoux, who lives in the Village of Collier. “I just came back from a hula hoop class, and I also do cardio drumming. You go to these groups and find people who have the same interests you do. It’s kind of like high school, where you’re starting a new social web. Some you click with and some you don’t.” Hawthorne at Leesburg is another 55-plus community that offers various activities, from the Aviation Club to woodcrafting. About 2,000 residents from 40 states and foreign countries live

STORY: LEIGH NEELY // PHOTO: FRED LOPEZ

at Hawthorne, according to its website. Some are yearround; others are seasonal. “They can play softball or pickleball and, of course, enjoy pool activities,” says Katrina Berlin, program secretary for the community. “They have about 109 clubs that keep residents busy.” For family life, the towns of Bushnell, Lake Panasoffkee, and Wildwood are among the 2018 Best Places to Raise a Family in Sumter County, according to niche.com, which reviews and ranks schools and neighborhoods throughout the country. If you’re a history buff, you usually can find a historical society in any

of these communities. For example, Webster is the oldest incorporated town in Sumter, established in 1855. The Sumter County Farmer’s Market is one of the most popular gathering places and, according to the town’s website, it was organized by a group of area farmers in 1938. Whatever type of social atmosphere you’re looking for when searching for a home in this part of Central Florida, you’ll have no trouble finding it. It may be as easy as checking the website of the Realtors Association of Lake & Sumter Counties.


In the

SWING

of things

When it comes to golf course communities, Lake County is definitely up to par.

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n an overcast May morning, Ed Carls sized up his shot before teeing off on the ninth hole at Otter Creek Golf Course in Leesburg. He reared back with his driver and hit the ball 200 yards, all while keeping his head down and displaying textbook form. Not bad for a 95-year-old man. “I play golf two or three times each week,” says Ed, who moved to The Plantation at Leesburg 23 years ago to enjoy ample golfing opportunities. “It’s all about enjoying friends, fresh air, and exercise.” Given his age and enthusiasm for the sport, Ed is a perfect illustration as to why so many love the game. Simply put, it can be enjoyed by people of all ages. “Living in this retirement community makes golf affordable and convenient,” Ed says. That’s a big draw to many of Lake County’s numerous active adult communities, which give retirees an opportunity to hone their swinging technique and practice the perfect putt. By paying a monthly membership fee, they can enjoy the sport until their hearts are content. “They can hop in their golf carts, drive to the pro shop, sign a piece of paper, play 18 holes, and then head back home,” says Justin Mouser, head golf professional at The Planation at Leesburg.

STORY: JAMES COMBS // PHOTO: ANTHONY RAO

The community’s 190 members have their choice of contrasting courses. Cranes Roost, the less challenging of the two, is wide open with few troublesome trees. Conversely, Otter Creek Golf Course features the daunting 13th, 14th, and 15th holes, which force golfers to hit over water hazards and play their shots around oak trees and pine trees. “I refer to those three holes as Otter’s Revenge,” says Nick Slattery, general manager of both golf courses and the Plantation Oaks Restaurant. “They are three of the hardest holes in the entire county.” Other local active adult communities feature popular courses where narrow fairways, sloped greens, and strategically placed bunkers test the skills of even the most seasoned golfers.

• Mission Inn Resort and Club in tree-lined fairways, was rated by Howey-in-the-Hills is home to Golf Digest as a four-star course. El Campeón, which in 2017 was named as Florida’s top course by • The Villages, featuring 11 championship and 32 executive Golf Advisor, a leading source of courses, is one of the world’s golf course ratings and reviews. premier retirement destinations • The 18-hole golf course at Harbor for golf enthusiasts. Hills Country Club, featuring oak


A

SHORE

bet

LAKE EUSTIS

People from all over the world inquire about Lake County’s ample opportunities for luxurious lakefront living.

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ibrantly colored sunsets, a paradise of recreational pursuits, and the serenity of sounds of waves crashing along a shoreline. Indeed, living on a waterfront is like vacationing at home year-round. Few places offer ample opportunities for lakefront living like Lake County. “Having a home on the lake is soothing to the soul,” says Jeanne Abernathy, who resides in a home on Lake Eustis. “You can rest, relax, and disconnect from electronics. It’s a great feeling when your noisiest neighbors are blue herons and osprey.” Jeanne knows from experience that countless

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others desire that same lifestyle. As a Realtor with ERA Grizzard Real Estate who specializes in lakefront real estate, she receives inquiries from potential homebuyers as far away as the United Kingdom, Alaska, and Hawaii. “People like that Lake County is centrally located and has a variety of different waterfront living opportunities,” she says. For instance, homebuyers can choose to live on a canal or private, spring-fed lakes such as Lake Gertrude in Mount Dora or Lake Dalhousie in Umatilla. They also have options to buy homes on larger bodies of water that are part of the Harris Chain of Lakes and the Clermont Chain of Lakes.

STORY: JAMES COMBS

Moreover, active adult communities such as Royal Harbor, situated on Little Lake Harris, and Lakes of Mount Dora, featuring manmade waterways, are popular with boaters, fishermen, and anyone else who enjoys a waterfront lifestyle. Other options include mobile home parks near canals and condominiums with lake views. Of course, there’s a hefty price tag associated with waterfront living. A site-built home on a canal could cost up to $350,000. To purchase a home on the Harris Chain of Lakes, buyers may shell out anywhere from $800,000 to $1.3 million. Still, money does not deter

people from seeking a luxurious lifestyle. “Our buyer pool is so big because we constantly market our waterfront listings,” says Lauralyn Lane, a Realtor with ERA Grizzard Real Estate who also specializes in lakefront properties. “Some buyers look for up to two years. They ask about the fishing, the sunsets, and boating opportunities.” There’s another popular question: How many alligators are in the lakes and is it safe to go swimming? Lauralyn provides a standard answer. “I tell them that’s why we have swimming pools.”


The great

OUTDOORS

With year-round great weather, enjoying the outdoors at home makes living in Lake and Sumter counties almost perfect.

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he weather in Lake and Sumter counties is so nice, residents can participate in outdoor activities all year. There may be a few days too cool for watersports, but golfing, cycling, canoeing, boating, tennis, and any other outside fun are usually available. The advantage of living in this region is that you can bring the outdoor fun to your home. The Enclave at Lakeside Landings in Sumter County is built around beautiful Lake Miona. Amenities include a resort-style pool, gated community, state-ofthe-art gym, and activities every weekend. This Oxford community is for everyone from newlyweds to families to retirees. Eric Luplow, sales manager, says the development makes homeownership better. “We

do outside maintenance for homeowners, so they don’t have to worry about doing the yardwork, which means they can enjoy all we have to offer.” In addition to the pool with waterfalls, there are playgrounds, outdoor fitness equipment, dog runs, and sidewalks throughout the property that are great for a leisurely stroll or for fitness. Enjoying the outdoors is a big part of Talia Werhly’s life. Her home in Tavares offers easy access off the kitchen to the outdoor area she loves. “I sit out there all the time and watch TV, enjoying the Florida

STORY: LEIGH NEELY // PHOTO: ANTHONY RAO

summer. It’s an outdoor retreat for me.” This area leads to the family pool that her 6-year-old daughter, Zoe, and friends appreciate. “We have a slide in our pool grotto that the kids love, and I can easily watch them and enjoy my personal time, too.” Talia, whose husband is Dr. Scott Werhly, says they also like outdoor entertaining. With two tables that each seat 10 people, there’s plenty of room to enjoy whatever is prepared on the gas grill.

“Since school is out, some of the parents ask me to pick up their children after camp,” Talia says. “I don’t mind because they can use the splash pad or swim in the pool, and I’m right there with them.” Another element of outdoor living the Werhlys love is the fire pit. “The other night, my daughter wanted to make s’mores and it was raining, but we lit the fire, took the stuff for s’mores outside, and enjoyed it under the screen in the rain. It’s just our summery, outdoorsy getaway.”

THE ENCLAVE AT LAKESIDE LANDINGS


The dream community Harbor Hills Country Club is a great place to wake up in.

PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

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rospective homebuyers dream of living in the perfect community, where the community is filled with custom-built homes made from top-rated brand-name materials, and neighborhoods are distant from crowds and traffic, yet still close to businesses and attractions. That dream community is Harbor Hills Country Club, a premier custom homebuilder and golf community in Lady Lake. In fact, Harbor

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Hills has been named the “Dream Community” in the Home Builders Association of Lake-Sumter’s Parade of Homes for three straight years. This annual event typically includes 20 to 40 homebuilders judged in various categories. Harbor Hills is a private resort-style community that offers an alternative to the high prices and amenity fees of other developments. The picturesque location features scenic winding roads,

peaceful open spaces, nature landscaping, and the safety of a gated community. Harbor Hills Country Club consists of about 680 homes and will reach a total of 949 at build-out, says Michael Rich, president and general partner of Harbor Hills Development. More than 20 different model homes range from 1,580 to 3,282 square feet, and are priced from the mid$200,000s to over $1 million; and custom homes are a specialty at Harbor Hills.


“We do custom and semi-custom homes,” Michael says. “We do personalization, we will make changes to the existing floor plans, which is something that today’s customer really wants. We’re not a cookie-cutter builder where every house looks the same.” Harbor Hills homes are made with brand-name products, including CertainTeed roofing shingles, Clopay garage doors and LiftMaster garage door openers, and energy-efficient low-E double-pane windows, Michael says. Driveways throughout the community are built with pavers, not concrete,

average new home (100), or the average pre-owned home (130). “That means the electric bills in Harbor Hills will be 30 to 40 percent less than in new homes built somewhere else or in a pre-owned house,” Michael says. Harbor Hills is a multigenerational community, from young couples with children to retirees, all with diverse backgrounds. It’s a vibrant alternative to nearby age-restricted communities, in a location that’s off the beaten path yet close to all the action. “We’re close enough to The Villages to take advantage

“We’re close enough to The Villages to take advantage of the shopping, medical facilities, grocery stores, town centers, and all the other facilities that The Villages brings to this area.” — MICHAEL RICH

which tends to crack under the hot Florida sun. “Using brand-name products allows us and the homeowner to sleep well at night,” Michael says. “They know that if there is ever a problem, they have the power of the builder company and the power of the manufacturer behind them.” Harbor Hills homes also are designed to be highly energyefficient. HERS, the Home Energy Rating System, assigns homes a performance score; the lower the number, the more energy efficient the home. Harbor Hills homes are rated in the low 60s, Michael says. That’s well below the scores for Energy Star homes (70), the

of the shopping, medical facilities, grocery stores, town centers, and all the other facilities that The Villages brings to this area,” Michael says. Harbor Hills offers a true gated community with controlled gate arms at manned gatehouses, where each visitor is stopped to provide a copy of their driver’s license, so no one can simply enter and drive through the community undetected. Of course, Harbor Hills also has a luxurious clubhouse as the centerpiece for a par-72 championship golf course that is rated 4 stars by Golf Digest. The course is designed with

ARREZZO 3 MODEL HOME

scenic elevations, panoramic views of Lake Griffin, and extra-wide oak tree-lined fairways in a tranquil setting. Tennis, yoga, aerobics, swimming, and social activities are among the other pursuits for members who want to maintain their healthy and balanced lifestyle. The clubhouse amenities include tennis courts, pickleball courts, a junior Olympic pool, a fitness facility, and a pro golf shop. After playing, members may dine at The Signature Grill, which serves favorite dishes using only the freshest ingredients, and hosts special events and social gatherings. Harbor Hills also offers a private marina, dock, and boat ramp, giving members a chance to enjoy fishing opportunities or simply take a ride on the Harris Chain of Lakes. The goal for Harbor Hills Country Club is to provide residents with high-quality homes that reflect their personal style, along with first-class amenities and superior customer service. Harbor Hills Country Club is a dream come true. Let Harbor Hills build your dream house.

Harbor Hills Country Club 6538 Lake Griffin Road, Lady Lake 32159 352.753.7000 harborhillsclub.com

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Meet

Nancy Olsen Nancy spent her entire life in Seattle until her two daughters in Florida decided she needed some care with her everyday living. Benton House won them over with its beautiful, clean environment, a small, homey feeling, and a layout all on one floor so Nancy can easily find her way around the community. In a short time, Nancy has come to realize the benefits of senior living. She participates in the walking club and baking, and also enjoys regular musical entertainment and occasional outings to dinner and plays. “I like it very, very much,” she says. “The food is good. The staff is very polite and if I need help, they come right away.” Nancy also loves her one-bedroom apartment and the ability to move around as she pleases, and her daughters see that she’s making new friends in her new community. Nancy says she would recommend Benton House to other seniors and their families. “It’s an excellent place to be and it has become home,” Nancy says.

A place of love and support… 352.241.9994 // 16401 Good Hearth Blvd., Clermont // BentonHouse.com FL Assisted living Facility # 12491


Mieluz Grand Hall Mieluz Grand Hall is a family owned event venue designed to win your heart and take your breath away. We are known for our ability to make your “special day� spectacular. Our venue options maximize your choices while saving you time and money. All of our packages include linens, chairs and chair covers, crystal chandeliers, up-lighting, party lights, spotlights, large dance space, vintage beer and wine bar, a food and beverage management team, design and decorating service. We would love to make your dream reality. Let us be your one-stop for any event! We help you with your hair, nails, makeup, dress and the planning and decor of your special event let us create your dream a reality. Call us now and ask to schedule your tour!

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Prostate Problems? As men mature, the prostate grows from a walnut-sized gland to sometimes as large as an orange. This growth causes outflow problems from the bladder in the passing of urine, resulting in symptoms from a slow stream, getting up at night to urinate, or even worse—the constant urge to urinate, even to the point that urination begins before they reach the bathroom. These inconvenient, and often embarrassing symptoms, can be resolved by proper treatment of the enlarged prostate. PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

Dr. James Young is a very successful urologist who has been practicing in Lake County since 1982. “The treatment of BPH (an enlarged prostate) has always been my focus, and that is the primary reason I moved to Florida when I finished my medical training as Chief Resident of Urology at the University of Arkansas. I looked at Florida as being the largest ‘prostate ranch’ in the United States, so I began my practice from scratch in Eustis in 1982.” For many decades, the only treatment for BPH was a surgical procedure, the TURP, more commonly referred to by men as a “roto-rooter.” Dr. Young performed more 3,000 of these procedures, however they were very invasive, required anesthesia, hospitalization, and could have serious complications, including massive bleeding and at times, death. Then medications were approved that relieved symptoms but after a period of time, the medications lose their effectiveness or caused side effects, usually sexual in nature. There had to be a better way. In the late 1990’s a new procedure, transurethral

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needle ablation of the prostate (TUNA) was approved by the FDA. “I was never a fan of jumping on new technology quickly because, as we know, not everything delivers the results as promised,” says Dr. Young. However, after the procedure was used for five years, Dr. Young began doing TUNAs, later known as Prostiva RF therapy. This procedure was done in the office under local anesthesia with few complications. The procedure worked by inserting wires into the prostate, then low frequency radio waves were transmitted through the wires and heated prostate tissue to 115 degrees Celsius. This heat was transmitted in a conductive manner (radiate from the wires) but the heat dissipated rapidly as it traveled away from the wires. The heat was reduced by the formula of 1/r2 with r being the distance from the wires. Basically, cores of prostate tissue surrounding the wires were destroyed. Dr. Young had tremendous success with Prostiva RF therapy and ultimately did almost 3,000 procedures. His success with Prostiva gave him the distinction of being placed on

Castle Connelly’s Top Docs list for five consecutive years. However, more than five years ago, Dr. Young heard rumors of a new technology that was similar in some ways, but completely different in others. This new therapy was FDA approved in 2015 and was known as Rezum. “Even though I have a reputation for not jumping on new technology, I completely understood the science behind Rezum, so as soon as it was available to me, I switched to this procedure immediately. The science driving this technology is fascinating. Using low frequency radio waves, water is transformed into steam and then nine seconds of steam is infiltrated into the prostate tissue, once again in the office under local anesthesia. The major difference is the heat is transferred in a convective, as opposed to conductive manner. As Einstein said, “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed.” So once the steam is infiltrated into the prostate, and returns to liquid, it releases all the energy that changed the water into steam. This is a tremendous amount of energy and destroys much

more prostate tissue than the conductive heat did conveyed by Prostiva. There is much less discomfort with Rezum and when patients leave the office (usually in under 30 minutes), they experience no pain what so ever. Since June 2016, Dr. Young has performed just under 300 Rezum procedures, almost twice as many as any other urologist in the United States and many, many more than any other urologists in the state of Florida. “The results have been so amazing and the patients have been so happy that Healthgrades.com notified me that based on my recent reviews and clicks on my site, I am now ranked in the top 100th percentile of all urologists in the United States. While I am very proud of that, it is also very humbling. I personally think this is biggest leap forward in the treatment of BPH that I will see in my lifetime.” ________________________________

JAMES W. YOUNG III, M.D.

Board-certified Urologist Practicing in Lake County since 1982 with extensive experience in evaluation and management of prostate problems.


COMPREHENSIVE CARE If you are a first-time patient of Dr. Young, you will receive a detailed examination. “When I see a new patient I perform physical examinations and properly evaluate the patient’s symptoms, thus diagnosing the underlying problem(s),” Dr. Young said. “Next, I describe to the patient what’s normal and then explain what is abnormal with him. Lastly, I teach him his treatment options. If I’ve done a good job of teaching, he will select the correct option for himself.” While prescribing medications for enlarged prostate can be done by primary care physicians, only urologists are trained to thoroughly evaluate the bladder and prostate (including ruling out prostate cancer), as well as providing extremely effective minimally invasive, office-based therapies as alternatives to lifelong medical therapy. With an office staff with nearly as much experience as

the doctor (many have worked with Dr. Young for 25 years), you don’t spend a great deal of time waiting to see him. “We pride ourselves in being timely in seeing our patients. We respect our patients’ time as much as we do our own. Patients appreciate this; many of our patients tell me I have the best office staff on the planet. I consider that a huge compliment.” So if you are waking up at night and have difficulty falling back asleep because you’re worried what may be wrong, then it is time to check in with Dr. Young and have him examine you. “Many men accept frequent bladder urges as part of aging. And while it is part of the aging process, it’s not like death and taxes. There is something you can do about it.”

James W. Young III, M.D. Nationally recognized board-certified urologist

PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING Annually over 50 years of age (At age 40 if family history or African American)

Introducing Rezum Therapy for enlarged prostate.

Prostate Evaluation Center Available for second opinions for BPH and Prostate Cancer

For more informaiton and to see actual patient testimonials, please visit:

ProstateEvaluation.com 808 HIGHWAY 466, LADY LAKE, FL 32159 P: 352.751.0040

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Medicare, TRICARE, and most medical insurances accepted.

July 2018

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®


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S

imple introductions and handshakes are the first lessons for young golfers, age 7 and up, who are just starting out. It’s a small act of etiquette, but that’s how golf begins out on the course at the first tee. Along the way, across 18 holes, golf can be a taskmaster in teaching—and testing— positive traits. “Character, integrity, all these things are what kids really need to learn, and they need to start at an early age,” says Meredith Yaun, a longtime instructor and former professional golfer. The values and lessons learned from golf are well-known to Meredith. Now she’s instilling those values in youngsters ages 7-18 through the First Tee, a national educational program delivered both on the golf course and in schools. The First Tee is designed to help more kids play golf while also teaching them nine core values and nine healthy habits—a nice round of 18—all of which can be incorporated into everyday life from childhood on into adulthood. “I don’t know if kids are being taught these core values at school. You learn them at home. I learned from a young age and now I get to impart this [to children],” says Meredith, who also emphasizes to her fledglings that golf can be a path to higher education through scholarships.

The First Tee is a nonprofit youth sports organization formed in 1997 through a partnership among the U.S. Golf Association, the men’s and women’s professional tours, and other golf entities. The program is taught in all 50 states and served 5 million children at 1,200 golf facilities in 2017, according to its website. The First Tee of Central Florida, based in Winter Park, covers Lake, Orange, Seminole, and Osceola counties. Since

“Character, integrity, all these things are what kids really need to learn, and they need to start at an early age.” — MEREDITH YAUN, GOLF INSTRUCTOR

it was founded six years ago, the chapter has shared its youth development programming with more than 90,000 youngsters in 123 elementary schools, 22 after-school programs, and on 10 golf courses throughout the region. On those courses, the chapter has 500 to 600 participants in the Golf & Life Skills Experience Program. The chapter expanded last year into Lake, bringing that program to Kings Ridge Golf Club and Green Valley Country Club, both in Clermont. Alondra Vargas, a 12-year-old from Clermont, joined the program at Kings Ridge in May and almost immediately

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noticed improvement in striking the ball. She’s been golfing for less than a year, and she found she liked the First Tee’s approach to instruction, where kids learn something different each week. “I really loved the First Tee, it was so cool, I don’t know why, but it was different. I’m learning a lot,” she says. Alondra, who plans to continue participating in golf and the First Tee, agrees that the program teaches more than just the mechanics of the sport. “You learn to be respectful and you learn behavior on the golf course, because you don’t want to be doing anything wrong. You want to be the best you can be,” she says. “You learn confidence and sportsmanship, and I really like that, too.” Off the course, the First Tee National School Program brings golf and core values to elementary gym classes as part of the curriculum, and DRIVE is an after-school program designed for children participating in organizations like the Y and the Boys & Girls Clubs. The students use modified equipment that makes it easier to learn the four basic shots of golf. These outreach programs are not in Lake County schools yet, but the chapter is working to make that happen, Executive Director Tom Lawrence says. They serve as a starting point for potential golfers. “We hope kids get excited about the game of golf and join the First Tee or another golf program,” he says. Meredith became the First Tee’s lead instructor at Green Valley in 2017 after meeting with Tom and program director Sherry Dircks. “They try to find the right people to implement the program, not just anybody. They want to make sure it’s a good fit,” Meredith says.

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Meredith, of Lake Minneola, has the credentials. She played for 10 years on the Women’s Professional European Tour in the 1980s and ’90s, and has taught both juniors and adults for more than 20 years for the city of Clermont Parks and Recreation Department. “I was excited for something new. I believe in the First Tee,” she says. In the spring, Meredith attended a training seminar in Richmond, Virginia. “It’s extremely professional how they want you to teach golf in every aspect: physical, mental, social, eating habits,” she says. The First Tee golf and life skills clinics last eight to 10 weeks. The lessons are learner-centered, she says, and include many games on the practice greens to create a fun atmosphere in which to learn. The kids also get a physical workout with strength and agility exercises before practicing chipping, putting, and the rest of their game. Each week’s lesson incorporates one of the nine core values: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, and judgment. “We start with the core values and ask, how do we apply this to school, to the golf course, and at home, and they’re thinking and answering,” Meredith says. In addition, children are encouraged to make the right choices through nine healthy habits within three categories: physical—safety, energy, and play; emotional—vision, mind, and family; and social—school, community, and friends. Players use traditional equipment in the Golf & Life Skills Experience Program and learn the game of golf in a more detailed way than in the school program, Tom says. The program was developed by experts in the field


of positive youth development, and the life skills include interpersonal communication, self-management, goal setting, and overcoming challenges. As the children advance through the program, the lessons are adapted to their ages, Tom says. For example, goal setting comes around age 12 or 13, as children set goals not only for golf but also for healthy lifestyles and future careers. Similarly, self-management skills help the students take what they’ve learned on the golf course, such as overcoming adversity or coping with disappointment, and transferring those lessons to the classroom and their lives, he says. “Our ultimate hope is that young people will get involved at age 7, 8, 9, or 10, and stay involved through high school as they prepare for their young adult lives,” Tom says.

“We start with the core values and ask, how do we apply this to school, to the golf course, and at home, and they’re thinking and answering.” — MEREDITH YAUN, GOLF INSTRUCTOR

While players like Alondra are a little young to start thinking about their futures, success stories are emerging from the relatively new Central Florida chapter. Five First Tee participants, including two this year, have graduated high school, and one has received national honors. Topanga Sena, a graduate of Cypress Creek High School in Orlando, was selected as one of 20 young women from around the country to join the KPMG Future Leaders Program. The program gives top female high school seniors the opportunity to enhance their personal growth

through college scholarships, a leadership development retreat at Stanford University, a mentoring relationship with a woman business leader, and an introduction to golf, a news release states. Topanga was captain of her high school women’s golf team, thrived in international baccalaureate classes, and gave back to the community through volunteer activities. Tom says Topanga received financial assistance to get into the First Tee, and probably would not have ever chosen golf as her sport otherwise. Now, she will receive a $10,000 a year scholarship for four years to attend Rollins College in Winter Park. That’s why Meredith preaches the importance of using golf as a vehicle to a college scholarship and future success, whether it’s on the course or in another profession. Her recent training seminar featured a man who had participated in the First Tee as a child and is now a golf professional. She’s watched her own children succeed in the sport, and sees her students working toward scholarships through golf and academics. “I try to instill in them that if you work hard, you can do this,” Meredith says. And at the end of the day, the First Tee youngsters learn some simple, yet important, lessons on the golf course, she says. “They know how to shake hands, look each other in the eye, and say, ‘Good match.’”


Grand Oaks Manor New, affordable luxury homes near Villages offers amenities residents love PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

Cindy Shackleton

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Tony Hauser


Willow Model

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ony and Jane Hauser can thank their GPS for unexpectedly directing them to their beautiful new home in Grand Oaks Manor, which they instantly fell in love with after they had put $10,000 down on another house in The Villages. The former Clermont residents were leaving the Lake Sumter Landing area of The Villages when their GPS directed them out a back gate down Rainey Trail that turned into County Road 472. The Hausers were so intrigued by Grand Oak Manor’s picturesque view that they couldn’t resist making a U-turn to go back and check out the community at 4594 County Road 472 in Oxford. Once they did, they saw an inviting 13,000 square foot clubhouse with catering kitchen and state-of-the-art gym, a saltwater beach pool with a hot tub, unique designed homes, serene nature setting with walking trails, two dog parks, kids’ playground, community fire pit, and more. “We fell for Grand Oaks Manor,” Jane says, recalling she and her husband also were impressed by the stellar craftsmanship, top upgrades, and amenities of the Serenity home they visited (and purchased in October 2017), which was $150,000 less than a similar floor plan in The Villages. Adding to the couple’s excitement was learning there was no age restriction and no bond to pay. “Not having a bond is what convinced us to walk away from the $10,000 we had put down in The Villages,” Jane says. “We knew we were going to lose it, but it didn’t matter when we added up the cost of the bond for over 30 years. We feel so blessed to have found our Grand Oaks Manor home. It’s such an amazing quality house.” Tony raves over all of Grand Oak Manor’s home designs, the tall ceilings, 8-foot-tall doors, high-quality cabinets, updated and creative floor plans. The pair was also thrilled that the $150 a month homeowners’ fee included lawn care along with being able to enjoy the community amenities of the pool, clubhouse, gym, etc. “The fact that the homeowners’ fee includes lawn care is unheard of,” Jane says.

They also love that Grand Oaks Manor is five minutes away from the restaurants and shops at Lake Sumter Landing. “We have people living here from age 3 to retirees,” adds Cindy Shackleton, the first Grand Oaks Manor resident, who is a licensed sales agent, and a former Villager. She believes Grand Oaks Manor is the ideal neighborhood for Villages employees to live with their families. Grand Oak Manor’s move-in ready, concreteblock homes range from two to five-bedrooms. Priced $250,000 and up, they are built by Michael and Camilla Orem for popular South Florida developer Milton S. Jennings. “All of our homes are customizable homes, meaning if you want to change something more to your liking that can be done,” says Cindy, who owns a 1,786 square-foot villa which overlooks one of the scenic parks. She had a 12foot slider installed so she could enjoy an entire wall as a picture of the park. “The houses are just spectacular,” she says. “The thing that was so important to me was the customizable part; I was able to make it my own from the beginning.” Cindy also appreciated not having to pay a bond like she had to do in The Villages. “We don’t have a bond since Grand Oaks Manor is part of Oxford, so we have city streets and city water,” she says. Once Grand Manor is fully developed, it will be a 100-acre community with 400 homes. As both a resident and sales agent, Cindy noted on Grand Oaks Manor’s website that she was so happy with her home and the enjoyable buying experience that she wants to make others aware of the location and amenities. “Come take a tour. I believe you too will love Grand Oaks Manor,” she says. Tours are available seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. To learn more about Grand Oaks Manor, visit grandoaksmanor.com or call 352.748.1773.

Amenities

July 2018

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Mieluz Grand Hall does it all

Every occasion and every guest is special at this banquet center. PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

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Mieluz Grand Hall Mount Dora Plaza Shopping Center 2728 W. Old U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora 32757 352.874.2661 mieluzgrandhall.com

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bride and groom’s wedding day. A girl’s 15th birthday. A couple’s milestone anniversary. All of these occasions are meant to be memorable days. Mieluz Grand Hall makes sure that these events are not only spectacular but also stress-free, owner Zuleim Murillo says. Her business prides itself on being a “onestop shop” for all of the clients’ needs. The hall has been open for three years, and Zuleim has been in the decorating and event planning business for about six years. “I just love creating and decorating and helping the client create whatever they have in mind for their special event,” Zuleim says. Mieluz Grand Hall is a banquet, event, and performance center that covers 35,000 square feet and has

capacity for several hundred guests. The space is complete with a stage, kitchen, and three bars. The hall also is a wedding venue with a suite for brides and grooms, while staff takes care of planning, hair, nails, makeup, and dress. The summer months are popular for weddings at Mieluz Grand Hall, which also hosts many quinceañera parties, which are 15th birthday celebrations for Latin girls. The hall also can accommodate private events, cultural gatherings, corporate conferences—basically, any type of party or occasion. For all of these events, Zuleim and her staff provide everything that is desired, from invitations, décor, and floral arrangements to food and entertainment, such as DJs. The customized options at Mieluz Grand Hall maximize

a client’s choices while saving time and money. All of the packages include the use of a large dance space, vintage beer and wine bar, a food and beverage management team, design and decorating service, as well as linens, chairs, crystal chandeliers, and lighting. Executive chefs prepare meals that fit the client’s needs and budget without compromising quality or presentation. Zuleim, who named the hall by using the reverse spelling of her name, also puts her stamp on the business by developing personal relationships and always putting the client first. “We want to be like a onestop shop,” Zuleim says. “We take care of everything, from the beginning to the end of the event. We do everything for clients so it’s a stressfree event.”


A lifestyle that fits you!

A PLACE WHERE YOUR LIFESTYLE ALWAYS COMES FIRST.

This master-planned community carefully encompasses the lifestyle of both all-ages as well as those 55 and better. With a superior amenity package, you have the freedom to explore your passions at a value you can appreciate. Come discover why thousands of homebuyers are moving to Clermont!

Inspired 55+ Living 1010 Braewood Drive, Clermont, FL 32715 352-415-4237

1,722 to 2,930 Sq. Ft. 2 to 3 Bedrooms 2 to 3 Baths 1 Story Homes 2 to 3 Car Garage From the $230s

Single-Family Homes 516 Bellflower Way Clermont, FL 34715 352-415-4235

HIGHLANDRANCHFL.COM Old Highway 50 and Blackstill Lake Road Clermont, Florida 34715 Offer void where prohibited or otherwise restricted by law. All information (including, but not limited to prices, availability, incentives, floorplans, site plans, features, standards and options, assessments and fees, planned amenities, programs, conceptual artists’ renderings and community development plans) is not guaranteed and remains subject to change or delay without notice. Maps and plans are not to scale and all dimensions are approximate. Please see a Taylor Morrison Sales Associate for details and visit www.taylormorrison.com for additional disclaimers. Š March 2018, Taylor Morrison of Florida, Inc. All rights reserved.

1,838 to 4,180 Sq. Ft. 3 to 6 Bedrooms 2 to 3.5 Baths 1 to 2 Story Homes 2 to 3 Car Garage From the $250s


Beacon College Beacon’s growth continues with new dorms. PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

Beacon College has become, well, a beacon for the city of Leesburg. Not only does the college provide a quality education with a variety of degree programs, it is unique. As the first accredited college offering four-year degrees designed to meet the needs of students who learn differently, the college has made its mark in the national job market. Beacon College is one of the few colleges enjoying enrollment growth; therefore, Leesburg too has experienced growth. The college acquired several weathered storefront buildings and spruced them up with new facades to match the school architecture that are now part of the campus. There’s also the lovely Virginia and Robert Durand Gardens that will be opened by the end of the month. In addition, the school offers

* Our goal is to provide the best space to give our students the skills they need to work on their own

Beacon College 105 East Main Street Leesburg, FL 34748 855.220.5374 Toll free Beaconcollege.edu

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dormitory living for students within easy walking distance of the academic buildings . “The new residence hall we recently opened houses 74 students on three floors,” says Steve Muller, vice president of institutional development and communications. “ Each floor consists of single rooms in five-room clusters with two bathrooms and a lounge. Part of the architecture, the arches, are there in tribute to the Herlong building that was previously on the property.” Steve says there also is a small kitchen downstairs and a program room that can be used for classes, and lectures, as well as a recreational area. The Resnick Alpern Plung Residence is the first of two dorms that will expand the college’s housing that includes Village Apartments, Woodward Street Apartments, and Beacon

Commons. The second dorm will be four stories and have community dining facilities on the first floor. “We have a great relationship with the city of Leesburg in allowing us to expand our offerings to more students,” Steve says. “Beacon College primarily enrolls students with learning disabilities, ADHD and qualified students on the autism spectrum. Learning specialists help students become independent learners.” The enrollment when President George J. Hagerty took over in 2013 was 187; this fall, Steve says the college is expecting between 380-400 students. “Our goal is to provide the best and most appropriate space to give our students the skills and strategies they need in order to pursue successful careers,” Steve says.


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THE TO-DO LIST //

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IN CONCE RT //

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LOCAL TALENT //

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SOCIAL SPOTLIGHT //

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NEAR & FAR

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Photo: Anthony Rao

On the Scene Local musician brings peace and comfort to hospice patients. SEE STORY on PG 64


* TOHnE TTOh- DeO SL cI S eT n e

July

J U LY 1 - 3 1 J U LY 1

Patriotic fun Dade Battlefield Historic State Park will have a Patriotic Family Fun Day that includes live music, games, and relays. There will be a pet parade at 6pm along with food vendors and old-fashioned, handcranked ice cream. 4-8pm, free admission, 7200 County Road 603, Bushnell.

Longest-running musical Victory Productions presents: “The Fantasticks,” the world’s longest– running musical, at The Studio Theatre Tierra Del Sol, The Villages. Monday-Friday 4 & 8pm; Saturday and Sunday 3 & 7pm. Tickets: $40. See thesharon.com for info. J U LY 3

It’s America’s birthday “Happy Birthday, America 2018” is happening from 5:30-9:30pm at Wildwood Community Center, 6500 Powell Road. Sticks & Bones will be doing live music plus there will be games and activities and food trucks—Dawg House Concessions, Something Cheesy, Lafamiglia Pizzeria, Tasty Kettlecorn, and many more! Fireworks begin at 9pm.

J U LY 3

Celebration in the park It’s Freedom on the Waterfront with lots of old-fashioned fun at Elizabeth Evans Park. The fun begins at 5pm with live music, activities for kids, and fireworks at dusk. Presented by the Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce and the city of Mount Dora. J U LY 3

A grand old flag Fireworks over Lake Minneola for Red, White, & Boom from 6-10pm at Waterfront Park, 100 Third St., Clermont. Lots of traditional American fun for all ages, and the day ends with fireworks over Lake Minneola.

J U LY 1

Hometown celebration Celebrate the Fourth of July at Ferran Park, 250 Ferran Park Drive, Eustis, from 5-9:30pm. Live music, vendors, a kids’ zone, food, a water show on Lake Eustis, and spectacular fireworks over the lake at 9:30pm. J U LY 1 - 1 6

Male menopause? Victory Productions presents: “Happy 50ish—The Mid-Life Musical Comedy.” Male menopause is a laughing matter at The Studio Theatre Tierra Del Sol, The Villages. Monday-Friday 4 & 8pm; Saturday and Sunday 3 & 7pm. Tickets: $40. See thesharon.com for info.

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J U LY 3

Classic cars to water skiing The South Lake Fourth of July Festival is 9am-9pm at Lake David Park in Groveland. The classic car show is 8am1pm. A Barefoot Water Skiing Competition will feature world champions from 9am1pm. Look for games and inflatables from 9am-6pm, and the Mr. & Miss Firecracker Pageant at 10am. Opening ceremonies are at noon, and Dancing Dragons Martial Arts appears at 1pm. See the hula hoop contest at 3pm; Overdue Bill and the Collectors at 3:45pm; watermelon eating contest at 4pm; Audra Jones at 5pm; and country music artist John Anderson at 7:30pm before the 9:15pm fireworks.


J U LY 3

Taking flight Festivities begin at 3pm in Tavares with a water ski show at Wooton Park. At 5pm at Main and Ruby streets, watch the parade and a seaplane flyover, which is followed by another water ski show at 6:45pm. Blue Stone Circle Band and the Island Boys Band provide music throughout the afternoon and evening. Fireworks begin at 9pm. Park free at the Lake County parking garage at Maud Street and Sinclair Avenue. Tavares water taxis will be available: $5 one way and $10 round-trip. No reservation needed. If weather prevents fireworks show, it will be at 9pm July 4. J U LY 3

In the gardens A day for the family at Venetian Gardens, 201 E. Dixie Ave., Leesburg, with ice cream, fireworks, and baseball. Everybody’s all-American Jim VanFleet and the Reign Band start the festivities at 6pm along with the baseball game at Pat Thomas Stadium where the Leesburg Lightning will play the US9 Armed Forces team. Free ice cream at 7:30pm

served by city officials and staff, and the fireworks end the day with a bang at 9:15pm with free flags and apple pie. J U LY 4

76 trombones The annual Independence Day Parade begins at 10am in beautiful downtown Mount Dora. It starts at the corner of Donnelly and Seventh and runs to Charles Avenue.

J U LY 7, 1 4 , 2 1 , 2 8

Music and drink It’s live music every Saturday at Lakeridge Winery, from noon-4pm. See Ronnie Duncan Band, Shawline, Jeff Whitfield Band, Mike Quick Band, and more. Admission is free and it’s new music every week at 19239 U.S. Highway 27 N., Clermont.

J U LY 4

BBQ and music, too Celebrate the Fourth of July at Collins Community BBQ picnic at noon; residents are asked to bring a dish to share. There will be live music, a casting and cornhole tournament, and activities for children under 12 including sack races and water balloon tossing. Everything begins at 9am at Cadwell Park, 1 Cassady St., Umatilla. Every kid attending gets a prize! J U LY 1 4

Fame Stardust Memories: The David Bowie Tribute is back performing at the

museum on July 14. Experience an immersion of all things Bowie. Enjoy the music of one of the most exciting 80’s icons while viewing our latest exhibit. Modernism Museum Mount Dora, 145 East 4th Ave. For info: 352.385.0034. J U LY 2 2 - 3 1

Doo-wop, doo-wop Victory Productions presents: “Life Could Be a Dream,” the doo-wop musical, at The Studio Theatre Tierra Del Sol. Monday-Friday 4 & 8pm; Saturday-Sunday 3 & 7pm. Tickets: $40. See thesharon.com for info.

Ongoing Events Farmer’s Markets Brownwood Farmer’s Market Saturday, 9am-1pm 2726 Brownwood Blvd., Wildwood Lady Lake Farmer’s Market Tuesday, 9am-1pm Lady Lake Log Cabin 106 S. U.S. Highway 27/441

Every Friday Wear Red Fish Fry Enjoy a fish fry at AMVETS Post 2006, 500 N. Canal St., Leesburg. For more info, see amvets2006. com. 5-7pm 1st Saturday: Wine Tasting Stroll Starts at Maggie’s Attic at Alexander Street and 4th Avenue. 6-8pm (79pm in summer)

2nd Friday: Art Splash Features artists and performers on the sidewalks of downtown Mount Dora. 6-8pm 2nd Friday Acoustic music Live local musicians at Leesburg Center for the Arts, 429 W. Magnolia St. 7-9pm

2nd Friday: Movie in the Park Starts at dusk at Donnelly Park, downtown Mount Dora.

3rd Thursday: Mount Dora Food Trucks Downtown Mount Dora.

2nd Saturday Food Truck N Flick Night Leesburg Towne Square.

Every Thursday Family game night Tavares Public Library, 315 N. New Hampshire Ave. 6-8pm.

3rd Wednesday: PAWS Reading Dogs W.T. Bland Library, Mount Dora.

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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* IONnC OTNhC EeR TS c e n e

DATE

TIME

ARTIST

VENUE

7/6

5pm

Mai Tatro and Moonlight Drive-In

Eaton’s Beach, Weirsdale

7/6 7/6

7pm 7pm

Daniel Heitz Band Greg Pando

Pisces Rising, Mount Dora The Mojo Grill, Belleview

7/6

8pm

Defenders of Daisies

Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

7/7

7pm

Lonie Carter

American Legion, Mount Dora

7/7

9pm

Lindsey Brown

Oasis Saloon, Sorrento

7/8

7:30pm

Defenders of Daisies

Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

7/9

7pm

Iron City Worship

Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center, Leesburg

7/11

7:30pm

Jeff Whitfield

Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

7/12

7:30pm

Donnie Lee

Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

7/13

8pm

Highway Starz

Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

7/13

9pm

East Side Rock

Oasis Saloon, Sorrento

7/14

8pm

Da Boys

Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

7/14

9pm

East Side Rock

The Oasis, Sorrento

7/15 7/18 7/19

7:30pm 7:30pm 9pm

Defenders of Daisies Jeff Whitfield Crystal Dagger

Ruby Street Grille, Tavares Ruby Street Grille, Tavares Oasis Saloon, Sorrento

7/20

9pm

10,000 Papercuts

Frank’s Place, Leesburg

7/20

9pm

Sound Theory Band

Oasis Saloon, Sorrento

7/21

7pm

The Band 2PM

Trout Lake Nature Center, Eustis

7/21

7:30pm

David Allan Coe

Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale

7/21

7pm

Maiden Voyage Band

American Legion, Mount Dora

7/21

9pm

Sound Theory Band

Oasis Saloon, Sorrento

7/27

8pm

The Machine

Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

7/27

9pm

Lonie Carter

JJ’s Lounge, Sorrento

7/27

9pm

Bar Fly

Oasis Saloon, Sorrento

7/28

8pm

Da Boys

Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

7/28

9pm

Lonie Carter

JJ’s Lounge, Sorrento

7/28

9pm

Bar Fly

Oasis Saloon, Sorrento

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).

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ub o Se *S m

W BLE NO ILA THS A N AL * um AV O CI NG. Minimd. 6 MSPE NCIpprovtarlequiareils. A redit aymenfor det FINject toncthly peastore


* LOOnC ATL hT AeL ESNcTe n e

Music that soothes the spirit The haunting tones of the Native American flute can bring peace, comfort, and joy. STORY: LEIGH NEELY // PHOTO: ANTHONY RAO

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The Artist Way is a spiritual path, and it helps all genres discover or rediscover their art. —DEB ALMY

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eb Almy is a musician who has been playing the Native American flute since 2011. She became familiar with the instrument while working at Justamere Trading Post in Leesburg many years ago. Deb says with a laugh that she originally had to practice on the back porch because one of the family dogs didn’t care for the tones. “The sound of it will draw you,” Deb says. “You either love it or hate it. I’ve never found anyone in between.”

Dave McCullum and Joann Fuller owned the store, and Dave helped Deb learn to play. After practicing and developing her skills, Deb has her own CDs and participates regularly in festivals and other events. “Dave is our mentor of the flute circle at the (Leesburg) arts center. He had to quit playing with us due to health problems, but we have visiting members that go to the homes of those who can no longer get out. It’s never more than

two or three, and we play for them because the flute circle is a family,” says Deb, who has a large family of her own that includes her husband, Tom, six children, and nine grandchildren from infants to age 20. One program of the Leesburg Center for the Arts that Deb especially enjoys is Artist Way. A program designed by Julia Cameron, Artist Way helps artists of any type “unleash their inner creativity.” Deb has participated in the class three times, and one of the exercises is writing three pages of whatever comes to mind every day. Deb says some of the stories that she shares on her CD, “Musings,” came from those writing exercises. “The Artist Way is a spiritual path, and it helps all genres discover or rediscover their art,” Deb says. Deb uses her flute to help others in many ways. She and other members of the flute circle play in nursing homes and for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. She will also play at the bedside of hospice patients to offer comfort and peace. Riverwind Flute Circle meets at 6pm the second Thursday and from 10am1pm the first Saturday of each month at the Leesburg Center for the Arts, 429 W. Magnolia St. “The Saturday session is more like an improv jam session, and we invite everyone to bring their instruments,” Deb says.


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EQUAL HOUSING

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Open house event occurring at select properties only. Specials and incentives apply to new homes sold by Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. or an affiliate, priced at $20,000 or more. Offer cannot be combined with an other offer or discount. Not valid for previous contracts and/or sales. Homes can be owned by Equity Lifestyle Properties. Additional restrictions may apply, see sales associate for further details. Must meet residency requirements.


* SOOnC I ATLhSeP OST LcI eG HnTe

SHAWLINE

Let it go to your head

MIKE QUICK BAND

JEFF WHITFIELD

RON DUNCAN

Sounds of music, aroma of wines fill the Lakeridge Winery estate this month. STORY: CHRIS GERBASI

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“It’s a delight to have an intimate setting with the customers.” —BOBBY BLACKMON

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usic, as well as wine, has brought together old friends and new friends for more than two decades at Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards. The annual free Summer Music Series is scheduled for each Saturday afternoon in July on the grounds of the winery, 19239 U.S. Highway 27 N., Clermont. Bands perform on the outdoor stage and solo acts play at the Wine & Cheese Bar upstairs in the winery.

“The fans keep coming back and they bring new fans with them,” says blues guitarist and vocalist Beautiful Bobby Blackmon, a regular at Lakeridge festivals. “I can’t remember how many selfie pictures I have taken with the customers during my breaks or how

many autographs I have written on my CDs.” The popular summer shows typically attract 1,500 to 2,500 visitors who enjoy listening to the music, roaming the festival site, and checking out the Wine & Cheese Bar, says Jose Cabranes, assistant manager for events and promotions at Lakeridge. “We try to introduce new bands to the area, along with everybody’s favorites,” Jose


BOBBY BLACKMON

says. “It’s nice for people to have something to do every single Saturday.” The musicians represent a wide range of local talent from Central Florida performing at one of the largest outdoor venues in the region. Bobby, who lives in Leesburg, has a “huge fan base” in Central Florida, Jose says. Bobby and his B3 Blues Band have played contemporary blues and funky Southern soul for more than 10 years on Lakeridge’s outdoor stage. This month, he will fly solo at the Wine & Cheese Bar. “I have also performed solo to packed crowds. It’s a delight to have an intimate setting with the customers,” Bobby says in an email. The Texas native also has appeared regularly at B.B. King’s Blues Club in Orlando, traveled to blues festivals around the state and the country, and played locally at Leesburg Bikefest and in The Villages. Bobby’s music can be found on YouTube,

Pandora, Spotify, iTunes, and other music sites. Lakeridge remains one of the musician’s favorite stops both onstage and off. “The staff is friendly, and the wine tasting tour is a highlight,” Bobby says. “Great all-around hospitality.” Another musical mainstay in Lake County is guitarist and singer Jeff Whitfield, a Central Florida native who will perform both solo and with his band during the Summer Music Series. Jeff has played at Leesburg Bikefest and the Myakka River Blues Festival and is a regular at live music venues around the county. Jeff forms a hard-hitting trio with Jerry Marotta on drums and Bobby Croft on bass, playing his original music plus blues, rock, and soul covers, the winery website states. They released an album, “Choices,” in 2015. Jeff refers to his work as “music for your soul, organic and honest tunes that you can connect to in a personal way.”

Among others, the summer lineup also includes Shawline, a seasoned blues band based on Florida’s west coast; the Ronnie Duncan Band, which plays reggae, island, rock, ’50s, and ’60s music; and the Mike Quick Band, a funky jam band from DeLand. And don’t forget the wine list. Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, which opened in 1989, is the largest winery in Florida and covers 127 acres. The winery produces the native varieties of the red noble, bronze Carlos, and welder muscadines, along with vinifera grapes including chardonnay, pinot grigio, and cabernet sauvignon, according to its website. Earlier this year, Lakeridge also brought out a petite sirah, one of its reserve wines with a limited number of bottles, Jose says. Lakeridge wine, beer, soft drinks, and a variety of food are available for purchase at the summer concerts, along with complimentary winery tours and tastings. The 45-minute tour includes a brief audio-visual presentation, a guided walking tour of the facility, a taste of Lakeridge’s unique premium wines, and a stop at a gift shop featuring all Lakeridge wines, gourmet food selections, and wine accessories. Shoppers also can expect to see some new merchandise for the summer, Jose says. Lakeridge Winery has set up Saturday as a good day to enjoy wine, friends, and song.

Summer Music Series

(all shows noon-4pm) Outdoor stage JULY 7: Ronnie Duncan Band JULY 14: Shawline JULY 21: Jeff Whitfield Band JULY 28: Mike Quick Band Wine & Cheese Bar JULY 7: Beautiful Bobby Blackmon JULY 14: The Rusty & Laurie Wright Duo JULY 21: Joe Hand JULY 28: Jeff Whitfield For more information, visit lakeridgewinery.com or call 800.768.9463.

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* NOEnA RT&hFeA RS c e n e

All aboard! Amtrak’s passenger service through the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains provides a relaxing and picturesque ride into the historic railroad city of Roanoke.

Photo courtesy of Amtrak

STORY: MARY ANN DESANTIS


D

Photo: Sam Dean Photography - Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge

ecades ago, I rode the train every summer to see my grandparents in Pennsylvania. The trip always was an adventure. Then I became an adult and long train rides didn’t fit as easily into my Yuppiepacked schedule. Now that I’m older and look forward to some quiet time, the idea of five or six hours of uninterrupted train travel sounded delightful. A chance to ride Amtrak’s newest route into Roanoke, Virginia, from Washington, D.C.’s historic Union Station provided a chance to see just how much train travel has improved since my 1960s-era excursions. The

opportunity to sit back and enjoy the Virginia Blue Ridge scenery without any TSA security lines or traffic congestion also was enticing. And the complimentary Wi-Fi appealed to the many millennials aboard just as it did to me. Amtrak, in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and Norfolk Southern, expanded the Northeast Regional passenger route into Roanoke from Lynchburg in October 2017. For the first time in four decades, passenger rail service returned to the city, which is nestled in a picturesque valley

surrounded by the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains. Luckily for Central Floridians, riding trains the entire distance is an option—a long overnight option with a transfer at Union Station. Both the Silver Meteor and the Silver Star offer national service from Florida. Or, you can fly into D.C., and then board the late afternoon Northeast Regional #171 train to Roanoke. “People can stay overnight in D.C. and enjoy a day or two of sightseeing before leaving,” says Kimberly Woods, who handles corporate communications for Amtrak. “Then, you can get as relaxed as you want on the train.” Indeed, it was easy to relax in the quiet, modern car that provided a much smoother ride than I remember from train rides of my childhood. I was able to complete some work, relax with a glass of wine from the Café Car, watch a gorgeous Blue Ridge sunset, and even nap a little before arriving in Roanoke. And believe me, I needed all my energy to take in all the city had to offer.

HOTEL ROANOKE SETS THE TONE

When the Northeast Regional arrives in downtown Roanoke around 10pm, the

Roanoke, VA

*

It was easy to relax in the quiet, modern car that provided a much smoother ride than I remember from train rides of my childhood.

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* NOEnA RT&hFeA RS c e n e

Known as the “Grand Old Lady on the Hill,” the AAA FourDiamond Hotel Roanoke is an urban resort.

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Hotel Roanoke has shuttles waiting for its guests. After all, the hotel was built in 1882 by the Norfolk and Western (N&W) Railroad for that very reason—to pick up passengers who spent the night and resumed their journeys the next morning. Today, the Northeast Regional leaves Roanoke early the next morning for its return trip to Washington, D.C., but most arriving passengers elect to stay a few days to take in Roanoke’s railroad heritage. Known as the “Grand Old Lady on the Hill,” the AAA Four-Diamond Hotel Roanoke is an urban resort. The lobby’s historic pieces and elaborate artwork may seem formal, but the contemporary services, luxurious modern rooms, and amenities make guests feel right at home. In fact, the hotel has been branded as the “people’s hotel,” opening its doors for community events,

tours, and some of the best food in Roanoke, including the traditional Sunday brunch and the signature 1940s-era dish, peanut soup and spoonbread.

SHOWPIECE FOR DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION

Roanoke has a wealth of museums and historic venues devoted to rail history (see sidebar), but the city offers much more for visitors. Roanoke made a miraculous recovery from the downtown blight of the 1970s because of concerted community efforts to bring arts and culture back downtown. Surveys showed that residents would support a cultural center and, indeed, they have. The Center in the Square is a seven-story nonprofit cultural center built in a former feed-and-seed warehouse. I made several visits to the center because

there was so much to see and do. Highlights include a children’s museum like I’ve never seen before, a 6,000-gallon coral reef aquarium, the Harrison Museum of African American Culture, a science museum, a pinball museum, and the Mill Mountain Theatre, which hosts well-known shows by professional actors year-round. “We started with five organizations, and now we have 10,” says Jim Sears,

Roanoke Hotel photo courtesy of The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center - Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge; Taubman Museum photo courtesy Taubman Museum of Art; Mountain biking photo courtesy of Roanoke County Parks, Recreation & Tourism - Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge; Roanoke Star, O. Winston Link Museum and Virginia Museum of Transportaion photos by Mary Ann DeSantis

*


president and general manager for the Center in the Square. “We opened in 1983, and 40,000 visitors came that first weekend.” After a 2013 renovation and expansion, the center is

bigger and better. It also is a lesson in how to revitalize downtowns. More than 350 new businesses have opened in the Farmers’ Market District, where the Center in the Square is the showpiece.

Roanoke may be the current end of the line for the Northeast Regional (plans to expand into Blacksburg are underway) but it’s the perfect stop for a Blue Ridge vacation.

Other ‘can’t miss’ Roanoke attractions The Roanoke Star, a landmark since 1949, sits atop Mill Mountain, where you’ll have spectacular views of Roanoke Valley and beyond. Easy walking trails surround the area.

O. Winston Link Museum features exquisite photography by Link, a commercial New York photographer who made more than 20 trips to Virginia at his own expense to capture N&W railroad images. His wall-size murals grace the former depot where railroad enthusiasts as well as photographers can easily lose track of time.

IF YOU GO If you fly into Reagan National Airport, you

can catch the Northeast Regional train at either Union Station in Washington, D.C., or at the closer Alexandria, Virginia, station. If you’ve never seen Union Station, however, it’s worth the additional 20 minutes or so (by

Virginia Museum of Transportation contains the largest collection of diesel locomotives in the South. Located in a former freight station, the museum has expanded its collection to include automotive, aviation, transit, and other artifacts.

Taubman Museum of Art is an architectural wonder filled with more than 2,000 art treasures. My favorite area was the permanent collection of decorative handbags by the late Judith Leiber.

Uber or taxi from the airport) to go there. Opened in 1907, Union Station is a national treasure. And as your train leaves D.C., you’ll catch glimpses of the Washington Monument, the U.S. Capitol, and the Jefferson Memorial. visitvbr.com // amtrak.com

Explore Park has 1,100 acres and 14 miles of trails for nature lovers. Located at Milepost 115 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the park is open to the public at no charge.

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.

July 2018

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A place where recovery is key You’ll find compassion, essential care, and a safe road to recovery at TVRH Rehabilitation Hospital. PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

D

TVRH Rehabilitation Hospital 1451 El Camino Real The Villages, FL 32159 352.751.8516 thevillagesregionalhospital.org THE VILLAGES is a federally registered trademark of Holding Company of The Villages, Inc. and is used under license. The Villages® Regional Hospital is part of

iscovering that inpatient rehabilitation is needed can often be confusing for a patient and their family, especially after a traumatic incident like a stroke, spinal cord injury, or joint replacement. However, there is a place that offers excellent therapy in a caring environment during your journey back to good health. TVRH Rehabilitation Hospital is part of The Villages® Regional Hospital, located on the fifth floor. It is a 30-bed acute-care, inpatient rehabilitation center designed to aid those with chronic conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, amputation, neurological disorders, and knee or hip replacement. Using this facility means you have easy access to hospital services such as diagnostic testing and physician oversight by a board-certified physiatrist. The rehabilitation hospital includes a physical therapy gym, communal dining hall, and an activities-of-daily-living suite. While in the hospital, patients receive around-the-clock care. Delaine Guitian, OTR, MBA/HCM, Director of Rehabilitation Services, including the rehabilitation hospital, cited a 2014 study conducted by the ARA Research Institute— an affiliate of the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association—that

noted patients achieved better results with inpatient rehabilitation facilities. There were many significant differences. For example, the average length of stay in post-acute care was 12.4 days versus 26.4 days while in a skilled nursing facility. “Patients must have a medical reason to be admitted here, but we do things like helping stroke patients learn to manage their blood pressure,” Guitian says. “When you look at the differences in cost, acute rehabilitation may cost more initially, but the outcome is better. The patient gets well faster, goes home quicker, and stays home longer.” She notes patients seem to respond better when they realize the TVRH Rehabilitation Hospital is a short-term facility. “Our therapists and nurses provide quality care with great outcomes,” Guitian says. “Patients need to know they can request to come to TVRH Rehabilitation Hospital. While there are a number of options that may be provided by a patient’s doctor and/ or case manager, the patient has the ultimate choice.” Visitors are welcomed in the TVRH Rehabilitation Hospital at any time. “Walk-ins are welcome,” Guitian says, “or you can call and make an appointment. We provide hope, and we have the best care here. We think you’ll find a quicker and more comfortable path to recovery in our facility than anywhere else.”


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Hearts For Our Hospital “And the Beat Goes On…” was the theme of the 12th Annual Hearts for our Hospital Gala held in February at the Savannah Center. This annual black-tie fundraiser had over 400 guests in attendance and was hosted by The Villages® Regional Hospital Auxiliary Foundation. The event raised over $400,000 in net proceeds that will further the mission of the auxiliary’s foundation to improve the quality of patient care and scholarships. PHOTOS: NICOLE HAMEL

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Women veterans luncheon The Tri-County Women Veterans meet monthly at the Palmer Legends Country Club. The group is for female veterans from any branch of service. The monthly meetings keep members informed of ongoing charitable activities and events planned for veterans. All female veterans are welcome and encouraged to become a part of this resourceful group of women. PHOTOS: LEIGH NEELY

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DI NI NG GUI DE

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How to pair the right wine with the right fish. SEE MORE on PG 98


* QFUoI CoKdB I&T EDS r i n k

THE VILLAGES

Calling crème brûlée lovers

Those who can’t resist crème brûlée have a valid excuse to savor the classic French dessert on July 21— National Crème Brûlée Day—so says foodimentary.com. The dessert features a delicious and contrasting taste sensation between a brittle caramelized topping and a smooth, creamy custard beneath. It’s noted as the No. 1 dessert at Goblin Market Restaurant and Lounge in Mount Dora and also at Legacy Restaurant at Nancy Lopez Country Club in The Villages.

NEW

THE VILLAGES

Diving in One Villages restaurant location has “traveled” from Spain to Germany to the deep blue sea. Bluefin Seafood Grill & Bar is moving in at 2738 Brownwood Blvd., the former home of Las Tapas and Bavarian Brewhaus at Brownwood Paddock Square. The site’s new owner, FMK Restaurant Group, announced a September

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opening. Bluefin’s menu will focus on fresh seafood and aged steaks. FMK promises a “comfortable and classy environment,” including a dining area with candlelit tables, an elegant cocktail bar, and a large indoor/outdoor bar. Perhaps the third time will be the charm.


CLERMONT

Sad news for catfish lovers in the area. Bubba’s Catfish House, off U.S. Highway 27 in Clermont, has permanently closed its doors. You see, it wasn’t just the catfish, it was the homemade banana pudding and the snickerdoodle peach cobbler.

NEW

MOUNT DORA

Fully baked

It’s not like an online shop is a half-baked idea, but Terese Roth must have wanted a bigger bite of the market. Her online business, Allyson A Bake Shop, sells premium baked goods for parties, business meetings, and other occasions. Now she has expanded to downtown Mount Dora, replacing Cupcake Delights at 122 E. 4th Ave., according to allysona.com. Cupcake Delights owner Judy Owens had put the property up for sale in September 2017, so she could focus on her bakery on Anna Maria Island. Terese’s best sellers online are crumb cake muffins, lemon scones, peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies, and vanilla pound cake, all of which sound like good, fully baked ideas.

LEESBURG

Food truck fare and ‘Blue Crush’ Food Truck and Flick Night at Towne Square in downtown Leesburg will feature a summer theme at the 5pm July 14 event, featuring six to seven gourmet food trucks, live music, and the free movie “Blue Crush” shown on a 24-foot inflatable screen in front of City Hall. “We will have our classic car cruise-in, too, on Main Street, drawing 60 to 100 cars,” says Cat Reel, of the Leesburg Partnership. “People love this event. They find it very relaxing and fun.”

A smoothie against cancer

Smoothie King worked with the American Cancer Society to create the “Daily Warrior,” according to a press release. This drink was created to help people who are having trouble meeting their daily caloric and nutritional needs during cancer treatments. It is a blend of fruits and vegetables and includes protein, fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium to provide the energy needed to power through the day. Smoothie King scientists, working with input from the American Cancer Society, developed the drink as part of their “Smoothies with a Purpose” program.


& drink * IfNoToH d E KITCHEN

Cool, refreshing, nutritious Extension agent Mia Wilchcombe turns salad greens into main summer dishes. STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL

M

ia Wilchcombe’s job as an extension agent at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Lake County Extension allows her to teach classes on nutrition, chronic disease and prevention, and family resource management. “I enjoy nutrition the most and teaching others about their health and well-being,” says the 28-year-old mother, who often hears from other young parents asking how to get their kids to eat vegetables.

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Photo: Nicole Hamel

Mia’s 3-yearold daughter, Mackenzie, eats broccoli and avocado, but she picks at lettuce. “I found if I make smoothies and put spinach in the smoothies with strawberries and Mia Wilchcombe ice, it’ll blend up to the red color, and that is kind of how I trick her to drink her vegetables.” Hiding peas or other smashed-up veggies in some spaghetti sauce is another way she advises to get children to eat vegetables. “Most kids won’t detect it,” she says. Mia has been fascinated for years by the vital role nutrition plays in overall good health. “I was actually a premed student and felt it would be great to know about the nutritional aspects of everything, because it can be very preventative for a lot of different diseases,” says Mia, who graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in food science and nutrition, with concentration on nutritional science. She went to the University of South Florida for her master’s in biomedical sciences. However, once she got a taste of upper-level medical classes, she noticed the focus was more on treating certain diseases rather than understanding the patient as a whole. She wanted to make more of an impact in helping people, so Mia began working as a nutrition educator for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program for the Florida Department of Health in Lake County, which led to her current job of the past two years as a county extension agent. Mia teaches many public and private classes throughout the year at the extension office in Tavares, libraries, and other sites throughout the county. She led a Steps to Good Health for Teens program in June in Groveland, where she highlighted nutrition-rich foods, along with healthy drinks that can be made in the blender to enjoy while exercising.

Very berry fruit salad Ingredients:

2

cups chopped fresh strawberries

1½ cups raspberries, sliced in half 1

cup fresh blueberries

1

tablespoon fresh

lime zest 1

tablespoon lime juice

3

tablespoons jam/ preserves (Wild blueberry jam or any preserves)

Directions:

Place all ingredients in large bowl and gently stir. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. Can be served with cinnamon tortilla crisps, flatbread, or chips. Source: findingzest.com/very-berry-fruit-salsa/easy-berry-fruit-salsa-recipe/

“I love the choosemyplate.gov concept,” she says of a wholesome, healthy diet, where half of the plate is filled with fruits and vegetables, and in the summer, Mia notes salads are a super-convenient way to eat light and healthy, and work in more servings of vegetables and fruit. Slender and fit, Mia strives to practice what she preaches regarding eating healthy and fitting physical activity into her daily lifestyle. She joins many other nutrition educators who encourage people to savor the health benefits of vegetables and fruits (especially dark green

Classes with Mia 10am Aug. 18 – Lake County Extension Center, 1951 Woodlea Road, Tavares “UF Roots UP Series: Fruit of the Vine” Join Mia and Dr. Juanita Popenoe as they discuss the fruits of the vine. Learn how to grow and harvest, and the health benefits associated with hops and grapes. 10am Sept. 10 – Cooper Memorial Library, 2525 Oakley Seaver Drive, Clermont “Florida Fall Flavors” Mia will share ways to incorporate Florida fall flavors at meal time. This class will discuss nutritional content of the foods, where to purchase them locally, and how to make them part of a healthy diet.

July 2018

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& drink * IfNoToH d E KITCHEN

*

I was actually a premed student and felt it would be great to know about the nutritional aspects of everything, because it can be very preventative for a lot of different diseases. — MIA WILCHCOMBE

Cranberry walnut coleslaw Ingredients:

1

(1-pound) head cabbage

3

medium carrots

1

cup walnuts

1/3 cup cider vinegar

¼

cup canola oil

1

tablespoon sugar

1

teaspoon celery seed

¼

teaspoon salt

1

cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Rinse cabbage and carrots. Thinly slice cabbage. Peel and grate carrots. Chop walnuts. In a large bowl, use a fork to whisk together vinegar, oil, sugar, celery seed, and salt. Add cabbage, carrots walnuts, and cranberries. Toss to mix well. This coleslaw keeps well for up to 1 day. Source: UF/IAF Family Nutrition Program uff np.org/wordpress1/2016/07/21/recipe-of-the-month-cranberry-walnut-coleslaw/

and orange vegetables) and legumes—those popular salad ingredients—in their diets. Eating a salad before a meal has health benefits. Since salad greens tossed with other raw veggies and fruits are high in fiber and rich in other nutrients, a salad can aid in feeling full and eating less of the remaining meal, ultimately helping in weight loss. WebMD also notes evidence that nutrientrich plant foods contribute to overall health, and those who frequently eat salad greens with raw vegetables have higher blood levels of powerful antioxidants (vitamin C and E, folic acid, lycopene, and alpha- and beta-carotene). Researchers attribute the consumption of fruits and vegetables towards lowering the risk of many diseases, including cancer. A study from the National Cancer Institute suggests a diet rich in fruits and vegetables lowers a person’s risk of developing cancers of the head and neck, even for people who smoke and drink heavily. Foods found to be particularly protective include beans, peas, string beans, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, apples, nectarines, peaches, plums, pears, and strawberries. Mia preps many healthy meals in advance, and she enjoys eating a variety of salads and produce that is in season. “It’s the freshest, the best, and cheapest,” she says of enjoying the seasonal fruits and vegetables. Mia encourages residents to always look for the “Fresh from Florida” logo on fruits and vegetables in season at grocery stores. For July, she says the produce that will be in season includes avocados, star fruit, guava, mango, mushrooms, passion fruit, peanuts, and watermelon. Mia says summer salads can be turned into more wholesome meals. “Fruits and veggies are great, but sometimes they don’t get you as full as you would like,” she says. “So, incorporate some protein. Some cheaper proteins are canned beans, or you can go with some leaner protein of chicken or fish to top it off.” Here are her suggestions of ingredients:


Turning salads into a main meal 1

Choose salad greens: romaine, red leaf, green leaf, spinach, spring mix, iceberg, cabbage, arugula, dandelion greens, or baby beet greens.

2

Add vegetables/fruits: broccoli, carrots, beets, olives, corn, celery, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, sprouts, peas, bell pepper, cauliflower, radishes, pineapple, apples, pears, mangoes, strawberries, dried cranberries, oranges, grapes, raisins.

3

Add a protein source of cheese or another protein-rich option: mozzarella, feta, Parmesan, blue cheddar, cottage choose, kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans garbanzo beans, almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, pine nuts, chicken or turkey, beef or pork, tuna or salmon, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hard-boiled eggs.

4

Add some crunch: croutons, seeds, nuts, crumbled tortilla chips, pepperoncini, small crackers.

Mia advises to be cautious of bottled salad dressings that can add a lot of calories to your salad. “You definitely want to watch that,” she says. “If you go to the grocery store, look on the nutrition label and make sure the dressing has wholesome ingredients, and that it is low in sugar, sodium, fat, and low in calories.” Dressing can be made at home, too, she says, such as using olive oil, flavored vinegar, or fresh squeezed lemon or lime. “My personal favorite is super-easy, and it takes less than one minute to make,” she says. “I mix 2 to 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar with 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, and it’s a tangy dressing that I put over my salads.” “July is watermelon season, and I found a watermelon and spinach salad recipe in our ‘Simply Florida: A Taste of Flavors from the Sunshine State’ cookbook that was created by all the UF/IFAS agents in Florida,” she says, adding the cookbook is filled with extension agents’ favorite dishes. The book is available through ifasbooks.ifas.ufl.edu/p-436-simplyflorida-a-taste-of-flavors-from-the-sunshinestate.aspx

Watermelon and spinach salad Ingredients:

6

cups torn fresh spinach

3

cups cubed seedless watermelon

1

cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1

slice turkey bacon crispcooked and crumbled Best paired with balsamic vinaigrette.

Source: “Simply Florida: A Taste of Flavors from the Sunshine State”

Classic French vinaigrette 3-4 parts oil 1

part acid: vinegar and citrus

Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together vinegar and any additional seasonings or flavorings. Add in olive oil and whisk or shake in a small jar with lid.

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5

BTW

Burgers, tacos, waffles, oh my!

Forks

(Out of a possible 5)

BTW 1115 E. Main St. Tavares 352.508.5202 Hours: Noon-10pm Tuesday-Thursday; noon-11pm FridaySaturday; noon-10pm Sunday. Closed Mondays.

This may be a bad place for a diet, but it’s a great place to eat! STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL // PHOTOS: NICOLE HAMEL

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rab plenty of napkins because BTW— Burgers, Tacos, Waffles—is a darn fun place to eat in downtown Tavares. Just know that you may get a little messy savoring the yummiest burgers, tacos, and waffles down to the last bite. I was joined by two friends for lunch, and we found the restaurant’s funky industrial décor inviting, and BTW’s menu filled with unique items, such as fried cheese curds, charro beans, tater tots, and smashed Brussels sprouts. Taco lovers like me are bound to find BTW elevates tacos to a new level—beyond the traditional Mexican fare—and with catchy, cute names. I chose the Trailer

Fork report:

Casual dining. $$ // Seated immediately (lunch hour) Wait for meal: 12 minutes OUT-OF-THE-ORDINARY STARTERS: ($5-$10): Smashed Brussels sprouts, gigantic pretzel, fried cheese curds, poutine. ENTREES: ($7-$13): Fry baskets, variety of burgers, tacos, waffles, and desserts.

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Park taco of crack chicken with cabbage, cilantro, and homemade ranch; the Gringo, a chorizo and beef blend with lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and shredded cheese; and the Yolo, filled with warm mac and cheese, beef, chorizo, thick bacon crumbles, and scallions. Tacos can be ordered in soft flour, soft corn, or a lettuce wrap. I enjoyed the taste sensation of all three. My dining companions couldn’t resist going the burger route (and, fortunately, I had a delicious sample). These burgers are deliciously made of Angus beef mixed with brisket and short rib, and with toppings of your choice. One friend raved over the Southerner, a super thick

burger topped with pimento cheese, honey mustard slaw, stout (the beer), and sriracha barbecue. BTW’s waffle offerings include chicken and waffles, of course, yet we chose My Secret Lover waffle for dessert. Oh, it’s heavenly and worth every single calorie of red velvet goodness. It was drizzled with Nutella and topped with cream cheese mixed with whipped cream, white chocolate chips, and fresh berries. It’s amusing to note the hashtag for BTW is #thisisabadplaceforadiet. It may be, but BTW makes it fun to forgo dieting for a meal of tasty tacos, burgers, and waffles.


R O D E L LO ’ S I TA L I A N R E S TA U R A N T

Authentic style, service, and food All the wood you see at Rodello’s was hand-carved in Italy, but all the food is freshly made here. STORY: LEIGH NEELY // PHOTO: NICOLE HAMEL

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odello’s attractive ambience makes you feel like you’ve taken a European vacation. The beautiful wooden chairs and tables were hand-carved in Italy. Though that makes the restaurant special, what sets it apart is the quality of the food. The flour, pasta, and tomatoes are imported from Italy, and the produce and meat are sourced locally. Our appetizer was something I can’t resist: garlic knots. They were amazing, flavorful, hot, and fresh. My friend ordered spaghetti and meatballs, which had big, tasty Italian meatballs and

sauce. I had panna rosa, which is pasta in a creamy pink sauce that is very cheesy. I really enjoyed the mix of marinara and Alfredo sauces. Our meals came with house salads. The lunch menu is very reasonable and also includes subs and fettuccini Alfredo that can be upgraded with chicken or shrimp. The restaurant’s selection of desserts goes from light and creamy gelato to tiramisu, rich cakes, and cheesecake. We enjoyed an orange cake sprinkled with orange zest and a threelayer chocolate cake that was decadent.

5

Forks

(Out of a possible 5)

Rodello’s Italian Restaurant 26736 U.S. Highway 27 Leesburg 352.319.8093 rodellos.com Hours: Open seven days a week from 11am-9pm

Fork report:

Casual dining $$ Seated immediately (lunch hour) Wait for meal: 15 minutes; appetizer out immediately Reservations are appreciated OUT-OF-THE-ORDINARY STARTERS: ($6-$10): Salad, soup, calamari, zucchini fries, meatball Parmesan, Bruschetta, mussels and clams. SANDWICHES AND PIZZAS: ($8-$17): Chicken, veal, and meatball Parmesan, Italian sausage. Rodello’s favorite pizza, Margherita, roasted pear and bleu cheese. ENTREES: ($12-$16): Stuffed shells, lasagna, shrimp diavolo, chicken and veal piccata, calzones, and Stromboli.

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5

FANCY SUSHI

What a catch Clermont’s Fancy Sushi reels in aficionados.

Forks

STORY: JAMES COMBS // PHOTO: NICOLE HAMEL

(Out of a possible 5)

Fancy Sushi 2417 S. U.S. Highway 27 Clermont 34711 352.241.8999 Hours: 11am-10pm Monday-Thursday; 11am-11pm FridaySaturday; noon-9:30pm Sunday

Fork Report:

Casual dining $$ Seated immediately (lunch hour) Wait for meal: 10 minutes OUT-OF-THE-ORDINARY STARTERS: ($4.95-$9.95): Wasabi shrimp, fried oyster, crispy calamari, softshell crab, rock shrimp. LUNCH OR DINNER: ($8-$72): Crispy red snapper, wok sautéed filet mignon, sesame-crusted salmon, squid salad, seafood salad, and hibachi entrees including lobster tail, filet mignon, and shrimp and chicken.

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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f you didn’t know any better, you’d assume I’m hooked on raw fish. After last month’s restaurant review, I found myself wanting more of a food that has achieved global popularity: sushi. This time, I traveled south to Clermont and visited Fancy Sushi, where the dim lighting and smattering of Asian-influenced art make for a nice ambience. Although the dining area is relatively small, I settled into a booth that felt private. The restaurant was more than half-full, but the atmosphere was calm rather than bustling. You’d be doing yourself a big disservice if you dined here and didn’t order the shrimp tempura appetizer. Three plump pieces of shrimp are battered in a light and crispy coating, giving die-hard shrimp fans a new, tasty way to enjoy their snack. Another outstanding appetizer is the gyoza, a panfried pork dumpling with garlicky meat and a unique combination of a crispy bottom and tender, noodle-like wrapper. Glance at the menu and you’ll find amusing names for the plethora of sushi rolls: Donkey Kong, Sexy Roll, Snow White, and Bugs Bunny. Since I had a burning desire for something hot and spicy, I ordered the Fire Cracker roll. It lived up to its name in presentation and taste. When the waitress brought it out, the first thing I noticed was fire burning from a tiny wick placed in the center of the plate. How creative. My

rolls, situated on the perimeter of the plate, came with tuna, salmon, cream cheese, crispy wonton chips, scallops, scallions, and spicy snow crab. Even with all those ingredients, the rolls did not come apart. Without hesitation, I can say this was the best sushi I have ever eaten. And with that, maybe I’ll go for a three-peat and find another sushi-serving gem to review in next month’s issue.


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* SFAoL UoTdÉ

& Drink

Hooked

Think outside the Chardonnay box when selecting wines to pair with seafood— different varietals can enhance the flavors of both the fish and the wine. STORY: MARY ANN DESANTIS

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airing food and wine is sort of like alchemy—the simplest dish can be exotic if the wine is a good match and enhances the food. A poor match, however, results in disappointment with both the wine and the food. It’s not just about the fish itself when choosing a wine. Consider how sauces and spices will influence the flavor. Blackened grouper needs an aromatic, fruit-forward wine, like an Alsatian riesling to temper the spicy, full-on flavors. A grouper filet pan-fried in butter or olive oil meets its match with a Loire Valley sancerre from France. If you’ve read Saluté for a while, you know the pairing I write about most often is grilled salmon with pinot noir. I had no idea how much better salmon could taste when served with a soft, fruity red wine until I tried them together.

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Since the beginning of summer, I’ve been experimenting with pairing newly released wines with different kinds of fish. I’ve found some white wines are too bold and actually overpower a light fish. Food and wine should complement and enhance each other, not compete for attention. If I had to pick just one varietal to accompany fish dishes, it would be a dry rosé—the most food-friendly wine I know. It’s a perfect fit for most summer menus, and I’ve had dry rosé with grilled mahi-mahi, grouper cakes, and tuna steaks, and the crisp, dry wine worked with all three. But don’t limit yourself to one varietal of wine. The fun is in experimenting with how wines and fish combine to bring out the best flavors of both. Here are some other fishand-wine combinations to achieve the yinand-yang effect, bringing a whole new taste dimension to your summer meals:


Tasting notes defined

FRESHWATER BASS

Bass, as well as perch, trout, and brim, are less salty than ocean-going fish; therefore, they can stand up to a chardonnay but preferably one that is unoaked. When this mild, flaky fish is prepared simply, like frying or baking, choose a wine with less acidity.

SUGGESTED: Blindfold 2016 California White from the Prisoner Wine Co. The label is a little strange, but if you were blindfolded and tasted this wine you would have a hard time deciding exactly what you were drinking. That’s because it’s a blend of chardonnay, roussanne, viognier, chenin blanc, muscat, and vermentino. In other words, something for everyone, but it paired well with several kinds of fish. Suggested retail price, $30.

MAHI-MAHI

This summer, mahi-mahi seems to be on every restaurant menu, replacing grouper as the mild fish of choice. Found in off-shore temperate, tropical, and subtropical waters, mahi-mahi has a thick skin that should be removed before cooking and a translucent pinkish flesh and a bright red bloodline. The wine you choose to drink with mahi-mahi will depend on how you prepare the fish. If you grill or bake it, select a white, aromatic wine like a French sancerre or a fruit-forward sauvignon blanc. If you prepare the fish with a cream sauce or a tomato-based sauce, you won’t go wrong with a rosé.

SUGGESTED: Nobilo Icon 2016 Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. Established in 1943, this winery produces consistently good wines, both sauvignon blancs and pinot noirs. This complex wine has fruit flavors of melon, tropical passion fruit, and citrus. It meets its match with pan-seared fish. Suggested retail price, $22.

YELLOWFIN OR AHI TUNA

Meatier and oilier than most white fish, tuna steaks need wines that will stand up to their special flavor profiles. Pan-searing or grilling seem to be the preferred methods of cooking so the fish flavors will be dominant.

SUGGESTED: 2017 BilaHaut “Les Vignes” Rosé by Michel Chapoutier from Southwest France. This blend of grenache and cinsault delivers red fruit and has crisp mineral flavors with a hint of citrus. It pairs well not only with tuna steaks, but also grouper cakes and salmon. Suggested retail, $15.

FLORIDA SCALLOPS

Although not a fish, bay scallops in July can’t be ignored on summer menus. After all, scalloping is one of Central Florida’s favorite summer pastimes. The tender morsels are easy to cook: just toss in a pan with some wine, garlic, and lemon juice, and sauté for a minute or so. The delicate flavors need a light but rich wine. Think silky instead of acidic.

SUGGESTED: 2015 Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc, Napa Valley, is a lush, mouthwatering wine that is refreshing and silky. Mondavi created Fumé Blanc wines from a blend of sauvignon blanc and Semillon that other winemakers have since copied. This one, however, continues to be a favorite, especially with bay scallops. Suggested retail price is $20.

ELDERFLOWER In May, the wedding cake for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was lemon elderflower. Small, white elderflowers grow on elderberry bushes, which are found throughout the United Kingdom, northern Europe, and in parts of North America. The English infuse elderflowers into cordials and have even fermented elderflower wine. In grape-based wines, the pungent aromas—a cross between herbaceous and floral notes—are often found in dry, cool-climate wines such as sancerre from France’s Loire appellation, and sauvignon blanc from the Marlborough region in New Zealand.

Mary Ann DeSantis Mary Ann DeSantis is a 2018 and 2016 fellow of the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, Napa Valley, and has received certification from the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET). An award-winning journalist, she has written for Lake & Sumter Style since 2006.

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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 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 G’s NY Pizza 12346 Roper Blvd. 352.243.8900

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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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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 m p -8 6pm ! r) eat free e d (10 and un

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.

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Food & Drink DINING GUIDE

Stokes Seafood Market and More 719 W. Main St., Leesburg // 352.787.3474 Facebook.com/StokesSeafoodMarketandMore The freshest seafood available, and many delicious “grab and go” meals are available from Stokes Seafood Market and More, and we now have outdoor seating so you can enjoy a quick lunch at the market! We are located at 719 W. Main Street at the corner of 9th Street in historic downtown Leesburg. Our very own Chef Michelle Norvé C.E.C. creates the wonderful seafood dishes at the market, including lobster rolls, sesame-seared Ahi tuna, salad with blackened salmon or Ahi tuna, the best seafood gumbo, New England clam chowder, shrimp and lobster bisque around, and so much more. When you pick up your fresh seafood you can sample some of the wonderful house-made seafood salads, spreads, and dips, and wine and beer, and take some home to go with your dinner. We specialize in hard to find Northern fish and shellfish, live Maine Lobster and Blue Crab, Salmon, Tuna, Snapper, Grouper, Mahi, Ipswich Clams, Oysters, Mussels, Mullet, Catfish, Tilapia, Swordfish, Crab, and so much more! Every day there’s something new to pick up for lunch and “grab and go” home to enjoy. We are your one stop seafood shop…we carry everything to make your seafood meal perfect! In addition to the fish brought in fresh from the boats daily, there’s also a great selection of shellfish and frozen fish. Ask about our fun and informative cooking demonstrations by Chef Michelle. Call or check the schedule in the store for times.

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

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.

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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

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__________ Countywide school supply and non-perishable food drive benefiting the Lake County Public School District. The event is organized by the Educational Foundation, participating Chambers and THAT! Company.

How Can Your Business or Organization Participate? __________

_______ 62.7% of Lake County students receive free or reduced lunch programs? Lake County has 1,946 homeless students?

What Happens to Donations?__ _____

BE A COLLECTION SITE OR SUPPORTER IN THE MONTH OF JULY Just call our office to sign up We will deliver signage, box and buttons

What Do We Need? __________ Pencils, pens, rulers, hand sanitizer, tissue, erasers, glue sticks, crayons, notebook paper, composition books, spiral notebooks, folders, graph paper, scissors, calculators, construction paper, markers, dry erase markers, crayons, dry erasers, highlighters, staples, paper clips, tape, index cards, binders, colored pencils, non-perishable food items & backpacks.

Donations will be distributed by the foundation to free and reduced lunch students at the Back to School Fairs in August and in Apple-Mart stores where teachers shop for free. Food collections will stock district and individual school pantries. If you would like to become a collection site or a volunteer for the program please contact 352-326-1265 or Cullen-battc@lake.k12.fl.us. The foundation has the ability to purchase supplies at deeply discounted rates and will be accepting cash donations on-line at www.edfoundationlake.com or checks can be mailed to: Educational Foundation of Lake County 2045 Pruitt Street Leesburg, FL 34748 cullen-battc@lake.k12.fl.us

Follow us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/RedForEd

JOIN US Bring your collections to an old fashioned SUPPLY WEIGH IN Mon., Aug 6th WOOTON PARK TAVARES 4-6 pm


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WHEN YOUR RETINAL HEALTH IS AT RISK SEE DR. MUGE R. KESEN SERVING PATIENTS IN THE VILLAGES & CENTRAL FL 1400 US Hwy 441 N. Sharon Morse Medical Office Building, Suite 532 The Villages, FL 32159 Tel: 352.205.4090 www.retinaspecialty.com

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F i na l T h oug h t

Enjoying both sides of the pond Learning new things in the UK and US! STORY: LEIGH NEELY

W

hen my youngest son was in his mid-20s, he asked our advice about taking a job in another country. We told him to go for it. My husband and I knew if we’d had an opportunity like that when we were younger, we wouldn’t have hesitated. He and his wife headed to Giffnock, Scotland, and we’ve had great vacations ever since. Their time in the United Kingdom included not only Scotland, but Dublin, Ireland, and now they’ve been living in Weybridge, England, just outside London, for around five years. It’s always exciting for us to visit them and enjoy the food and sights in England, but it’s also fun to have them visit us and enjoy the food and sights of Florida. One of the first things we do after they’ve recovered from the long plane trip is head out to a Mexican restaurant. Our son and daughter-inlaw love Mexican food and truly miss it. More and more Mexican restaurants are opening over there, but the flavors just aren’t the same as they are in America. Following that,

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Our grandchildren, who have dual citizenship because they were born over there, are often amazed at what they find in America.

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we’ll go somewhere for fresh seafood, which is a big favorite with our daughter-in-law. She loves shrimp, crab legs…well…all the shellfish family and she especially enjoys sushi. Our grandchildren, who have dual citizenship because they were born over there, are often amazed at what they find in America. During a recent visit, our daughter took them to a Dollar General Store for the first time. Clutching bags of goodies, they climbed back into the car and my granddaughter exclaimed, “That was the best store ever.” Her brother echoed her sentiment with, “It was amazing!” Apparently, England doesn’t know the value of the wonderful dollar stores. Before the visit ended, we took the grandchildren to Walmart, which proved to be another exciting shopping adventure for them. When asked which store was better, the vote was divided. Our granddaughter preferred Walmart, but our grandson said Dollar General was best. At any rate, we all enjoyed their enthusiasm for shopping in the places we take for granted. I will have to say, in my opinion the biggest difference comes in the bathrooms. While the country may be ruled by the queen, there’s very seldom a royal flush in the toilet. The English might want to study American plumbing.


A FISHY FOOT TALE

“I was out fishing - I cast, slipped and later learned I actually threw my ankle bone out of the socket. I had met Dr. Dan Wassell through a local fishing club and knew that he was a podiatrist. I called him, and he arranged to get me into the their office on a Sunday morning to take x-rays.

Ken K - TCFA Patient A couple of days later I was in surgery and within a day or so, I was out, back home and within a half-a-day, I was out of pain. The people at Tri-County Foot and Ankle were very good.

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I’m still trying to catch my eight-pounder. Maybe this will be the year I do that.”

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352.259.1919

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TOYOTA MAKES THE CAR... DELUCA MAKES THE DIFFERENCE!

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STYLE Magazine, Village Edition, July 2018  

Every month. Everywhere.

STYLE Magazine, Village Edition, July 2018  

Every month. Everywhere.