CHAIRWAY TO HEAVEN Babette’s Furniture has clients sitting pretty
NO WAY OUT People say there’s no opioid
epidemic here; they are wrong also:
LAKE COUNTY’S POET LAUREATE SHARES HER LOVE OF WRITING POETRY SPOTLIGHT ON THE BUSHNELL FALL FESTIVAL
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OCTOBER 2018 // VOL.14 NO. 12 // F e a t u r e s
STORIES: LEIGH NEELY
opioid epidemic here; they couldn’t be more wrong
Lake County’s poet Laureate shares her love of writing poetry Share the journey of beauty and grace with a river cruise Spotlight on the Bushnell Fall Festival
It’s no secret that’s there’s a national opioid epidemic. What may surprise many readers is the level of opioid use and overuse in Lake and Sumter counties. From Lake Emergency Medical Services to Be Free Lake to LifeStream Behavioral Center and even a local rehabilitation home, the news is sad yet hopeful.
People say there’s no
36 A dose of sad news
CHAIRWAY TO HEAVEN Babette’s Furniture has clients sitting pretty
NO WAY OUT People say there’s no opioid
epidemic here; they are wrong also:
LAKE COUNTY’S POET LAUREATE SHARES HER LOVE OF WRITING POETRY SPOTLIGHT ON THE BUSHNELL FALL FESTIVAL
On the covers LAKE & SUMTER STYLE DIRECTION: JASON FUGATE PHOTOSHOP: JASON FUGATE & JOSH CLARK VILLAGES EDITION PHOTOGRAPHY: ANTHONY RAO
d e pa r t m e n t s
19 up front
22 26 28 30
In The Know Person of Interest Outstanding Student This ‘N That
47 ON THE SCENE
48 52 54 56 60 62
The To-Do List In Concert Local Talent Near & Far Social Spotlight Hi, Society!
food & drink
82 84 86 90 92
Quick Bites In the Kitchen Fork on the Road Salutè Dining Guide
18 From the Publisher 148 Final Thought
anniversary sale! m in im um of 50% of f !
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From The Publisher
C o m m e n t s o r qu e s t i o n s ?
n the dark corners
Normally, our magazine covers lifestyle events and entertains with profiles of the many interesting people living in our area. But once a year, we step back and take a serious look at what’s happening in Lake and Sumter counties. This year, our subject was the opioid epidemic. It’s in the news daily, and the statistics are staggering, but what surprised our staff was the effect this epidemic is having right here in Lake and Sumter counties. Law enforcement departments in both counties are waging a battle that’s almost like shadow boxing—the target moves with the change in light. However, that doesn’t mean everything is hopeless. There are too many people in our cities and town that care about others to let this relentless fungus grow unhindered. With agencies like Be Free Lake and LifeStream Behavioral Center and even small facilities like Victoria’s Haven, people in Lake and Sumter counties are reaching out with a helping hand to provide addicts open doors to a way out. There are also many things being done statewide to battle the rise of opioid addiction and access to the many and varied drugs
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that fit this category. So many families have sales & marketing been touched by the horror of what this McRae kind of addiction can do. That’s whyTim help VICE PRESIDENT, SALES is also provided for the loved email@example.com of those Judi Murphy battling addiction. ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE firstname.lastname@example.org Fortunately, like life, this magazine isn’t Chastain full of just the dark moments. There’s a Shaena SALES ASSISTANT email@example.com festival coming in Bushnell where you can chase—and win—your own greased pig. Lake County now has a poet laureate, and there’s a wonderful farm in Okahumpka where you can get amazing organic vegetables, herbs, and honey. While life does have its ups and downs, the good news is we live in a special place where people care about one another and someone is always available to help. I think the bible says it best, “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves,” Romans 15:1. Until next month,
HARMONY UNITED PSYCHIATRIC CARE Caring for your needs is our goal and your right.
PUBLISHER firstname.lastname@example.org Doug Akers PRESIDENT email@example.com Jamie Ezra Mark CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER firstname.lastname@example.org
TRANSCRANICAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION (TMS) TMS is an FDA approved, non-invasive outpatient treatment for treatment resistant Depression AND is covered by most insurance plans!
Editorial // Design // Photography
Leigh Neely MANAGING EDITOR email@example.com James Combs STAFF WRITER firstname.lastname@example.org Theresa Campbell STAFF WRITER email@example.com Chris Gerbasi STAFF WRITER firstname.lastname@example.org Anthony Rao STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER email@example.com
Jason Fugate CREATIVE DIRECTOR firstname.lastname@example.org Josh Clark SENIOR DESIGNER email@example.com Volkan Ulgen DESIGNER firstname.lastname@example.org Michael Gaulin PRODUCTION DIRECTOR email@example.com Nicole Hamel STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER firstname.lastname@example.org
(TMS) Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation uses magnetic ﬁelds to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression. This is typically used when other depression treatments have not been eﬀective. TMS therapy has been associated with very few side eﬀects that are relatively mild, the most common side eﬀects being minor headaches.
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Tim McRae VICE PRESIDENT, SALES email@example.com Melanie Melvin Judi Murphy DIRECTOR OF MARKETING ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE Melanie@akersmediagroup.com firstname.lastname@example.org Jacquelyn Singer Shaena Chastain ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE SALES ASSISTANT email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
In order to qualify for TMS Therapy, a patient must have failed to respond to at least one antidepressant. If you have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and your body has either rejected other medication or you cannot tolerate its side eﬀects, consider TMS therapy.
Deb Matlock Aubrey Akers Simmons DIRECTOR OF CLIENT SERVICES OFFICE MANAGER email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
OTHER SERVICES OFFERED:
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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.
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T H I S ’ N ’ T H AT
Photo: Nicole Hamel
Dr. George J. Hagerty is transforming the lives of emerging adults. SEE STORY on PG 22
* IUNpT HFErKoNnO Wt
Ja m e s C o m b s’
Construction on a new skate park at Sunset Island Park in Eustis began in July. I really do hope they emphasize safety. As a child in the 1980s, I had a skateboarding friend whose last words were: “Hey, dude. Check out my new trick. It’s totally rad.”
An emu, a native Australian bird that cannot fly, escaped from its owner and managed to find its way to the Howey bridge in Tavares. The bird stopped traffic. I imagine motorists did not find this very emu-sing.
Laura Sobbott Ross, an English teacher and award-winning poet, will serve as the Lake County Library System’s first poet laureate. I’ve got a poem for Laura: Roses are red Violets are blue Your poetry rocks Congrats to you!
A 28-year-old Fruitland Park woman was arrested after stealing nearly $1,000 in merchandise at Belk in The Villages. Here’s the kicker: She had a toddler and two other children with her. Hopefully, these youths learned a valuable lesson: a five-finger discount comes with a hefty price.
A 27-year-old woman called her mother to pick her up because she was intoxicated at Spanish Springs Town Square. The daughter was arrested because she slapped her mother for asking her to wear her seat belt. Much like her seat belt, knowing that you should never hit a parent just doesn’t seem to click for the woman.
Digging in the sand Lake County Board of County Commissioners, Visit Lake, and the Florida Region of USA Volleyball officials dug shovels in the sand for the groundbreaking of the $1.8 million Hickory Point Beach Athletics Center on the grounds of Hickory Point Recreational Complex, 27341 State Road 19, Tavares. It is home to Florida’s largest permanent sand volleyball complex, as well as soccer fields, fishing docks, and nature trails. The center includes a clubhouse, locker rooms, meeting space, a training room, officials’ room, concessions, and public restrooms. It’s projected to be finished by late February.
Volunteer drivers needed The Department of Veterans Affairs Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Tavares, 1390 E. Burleigh St., is seeking volunteer drivers willing to drive veterans from the clinic to their medical appointments at the Orlando VA Medical Center at Lake Nona. The clinic says training and certification will be provided. Those interested in helping veterans may call 407.631.0135.
Back to school
The old adage is “You’re never too old to learn something new”—especially if you’re a Villager. The Enrichment Academy, The Villages’ adult education program, began in October 2017 and is growing rapidly. As the second year of classes starts this month, the number of instructors has increased from 68 to 90, and courses have risen from 155 to 216 according to district administration. The Enrichment Academy is a fee-based program that essentially replaced the community’s former Lifelong Learning College, which closed in 2016. More than 10,000 Villagers have signed up for classes since registration opened last year. That’s a lot of Lunchables to pack. Villagers can learn more about the academy at districtgov.org.
Don’t get caught in the fraud
Believe it or not, some homeowners still haven’t been able to repair their houses since Hurricane Irma hit in September 2017. After severe weather, homeowners should be aware that fraudulent repair businesses come out of the woodwork, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services newsletter.
Follow these tips to avoid fraud: • Don’t pay a large sum of money • Never agree to a cash-only deal. upfront—or you may never see the Ask for a written, itemized estimate workers again. Most businesses give and inspect the terms carefully a quote for the total amount to be before signing. paid once the work is finished. • Protect yourself from liens against your home. Make sure your contract • Check each contractor’s address, states that the contractor will license, and complaint history by obtain notarized, written releases calling the Florida Department of lien from all subcontractors and of Business and Professional suppliers before you will make Regulation at 850.487.1395 or each payment. visiting myfloridalicense.com.
Find it At Home Clermont is the newest home of an At Home store. Considered one of the fastest-growing retailers in America, the company’s newest location is at 1002 E. State Road 50. It’s the fifth store in Florida, and No. 162 nationwide. With 99,000 square feet, the store has more than 50,000 home décor items: furniture, mirrors, rugs, art, housewares, along with patio and seasonal décor items. At Home’s extensive inventory has 12 broad categories with a wide array of products.
Drink and groove It’s still pool weather in Central Florida, and Aquio at poolside lets you drink while listening to your favorite tunes. Aquio has a BPA-free water bottle that includes a removable iHome music system. The bottle keeps liquids hot up to 14 hours or cold up to 24 hours. Style’s sample worked great beside the pool, and the best part is the speaker is waterproof, so no worries with splashing while you enjoy six hours of battery life. Check it out at aquiobottles.com.
nt * PUEpR S FO Nr o OF INTEREST
Dr. George J. Hagerty
President of the accredited, nonprofit liberal arts school in downtown Leesburg noted as America’s first college to award bachelor’s degrees primarily to students with learning disabilities, ADHD, and other learning differences.
President of Beacon College What I enjoy most about my job: The capacity with
Resides in Oxford.
colleagues to truly transform the lives of emerging adults.
Born and raised in Holbrook, Massachusetts.
What I’ve learned from Beacon College students: The abiding value of perseverance and courageous action and the power and complexity of the human brain.
Received bachelor’s degree in international affairs from Stonehill College; master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University in education policy and finance.
Growing up I wanted to be: A pediatrician or a hotel manager. I loved going on vacation with my parents.
Married to Dr. Oksana Hagerty.
Best advice I’ve been given: Dream big.
Father of three sons, one daughter; grandfather of five.
My hero: Anyone who
confronts and perseveres in the face of daunting obstacles.
What I do for fun: Spending
Guilty pleasure: Publix
quiet time at home with my family and visits with my grandchildren.
Favorite places I’ve traveled: Greece, Chile, Italy, central Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates.
My passions: My wife and family and making the community better for my colleagues and the students we are blessed to serve.
Three words to describe me: Inspired by humanity.
My personal philosophy: Be open to every possibility and the potential within.
Something about me that nobody knows: I found myself thrown into a Winnebago with Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell.
Pet peeve: Unnecessary drama. If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be: Oscar Wilde. Favorite quote: “Press on! Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.” –Calvin Coolidge
Photo: Nicole Hamel
V I TA L
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* OUUpT SFTrA NoDnI NtG S T U D E N T
Presli Sickels 5th grader, Minneola Charter School
What inspired you to create Kindness Kids and distribute supplies to children in need?: On Dec. 25,
Started Kindness Kids project with $39 from piggybank. Encourages classmates, parents to help cause through Facebook. Selected this year as Disney Dreamer and Doer. Named after Elvis Presley.
my Elf on the Shelf left me some coloring utensils and she said, “Color your world with kindness.” And then two days later, I had the idea of Kindness Kids. I want to be kind, and each kid has their own little kit with coloring books, crayons, umbrellas, toothbrushes, and a few extra toys— stuffed animals, Barbies. Some of
the kits have quotes: “Believe in yourself,” “Don’t stop what you’re doing,” “You’re amazing.”
How did you get started?: Mom (Traci) noticed that at Winn-Dixie (on State Road 50) there were other people (New Beginnings nonprofit) giving out things to homeless people and needy people. A few Saturdays later, we went there with our own table with all of our supplies and stuff, ready to give it out to all those little
kids (and adults). Some little kids would cry when they were sitting down and waiting, so I’d go grab something and run to them and say, “Here you go!”
Do you like Elvis?: Yep. I don’t know all of his songs, but I like Michael Jackson more. I actually learned “Beat It” when I was 2 or 3.
Favorite Disney character?: Stitch
Cheeseburger from McDonald’s.
(“Lilo & Stitch”). He’s funny. He’s cute. He’s sometimes really mischievous, like me sometimes.
Favorite TV show?: Anything on Disney Channel. If it’s on, I’ll just lean back and watch.
Favorite movie?: “Ready Player One.”
Career goals?: I want to be an imagineer (at Disney) or a dancer. I change all the time, but I’ve always wanted to be in entertainment.
Photo of Presli Sickels: Nicole Hamel
V I TA L
BE AU TI FU L SM IL ES AR E CLOS
ER TH AN TH EY AP PE AR
WHEREVER YOU ARE… A BEAUTIFUL SMILE IS ONLY A SHORT DISTANCE AWAY AT Dr. David Wollenschlaeger (his patients know him as Dr. Dave) has put beautiful smiles on the faces of children and adults in Florida since 1990. For him ‘Word of mouth’ truly is the best advertising and all those happy smiles speak volumes.
33050 Professional Drive, Leesburg, FL 34788
352.787.6800 /// drdaveortho.com
* TUHpI S F‘ Nr’ oT HnAtT
hen I was a kid, I watched every sport imaginable. Of course, in those days, you took what the networks gave you—24-hour sports channels didn’t exist. So you’d watch slalom skiing from Switzerland or cliff diving from Acapulco. But they were sports. Today, with so much programming to schedule, I swear networks are just making up “sports” to fill their lineups. Here is perhaps the lowest of the low: ESPN, the self-proclaimed innovator and leader in sports television programming, presented an entire night of…cornhole! Cornhole, the game with a cheap board with one hole in it and beanbags that your kids throw at each other. Cornhole, the game that sparks drunken brawls between Billy Bob and Bobbi Sue down at the country saloon. “You cheated!” “Did not!” The American Cornhole Organization (a real thing) is the governing body for the “sport.” The ACO website advertises resin-bead bags, stating they’re better than corn-filled bags because bugs and rodents are less apt to eat them. How many times have we heard this inspirational story? Hank Aaron in baseball, Tom Brady in football, Brandi Chastain in soccer, and so many other athletes, all were inspired to choose their sports because bugs and rodents were less apt to eat their equipment. Yes, cornhole has gone pro. Let’s listen in to the broadcast…
“Good evening, fans, I’m Buck Howzer coming to you with this week’s Cornhole Classic and whoa, Nelly, have we got a barnburner for you tonight: the legend, Biff “Corny” Cornelius, versus the upstart, little Tommy Hayfever. He’s just 6 years old, but boy, can he toss the corn. The Cornhole Classic, brought to you by Fritos Corn Chips. “I’m joined tonight, as always, by Cornhole Hall of Famer Maíz Pelota, the diminutive Dominican Republican whose story is well-known. He learned the game while growing up on the poor streets of Santo Domingo, using cardboard for, well, a board, and a bag filled with beans as, uh, a beanbag. A remarkable story. Welcome, Maíz. Of course, you were on your way to smashing all the cornhole records before you injured your wrist, ironically, when you got your hand stuck in a cornhole hole.” “I still don’t like to talk about it, Buck.” “That must have been embarrassing.” “Seriously, don’t ask me about it again, Buck.” “OK, the action has started, there’s a toss by Tommy and it’s in the hole. He’s wearing the pink and blue colors of his sponsor, Teddy Bear Day Care. Here’s a toss by Corny and it’s in the hole. Corny lost his sponsorship deal with La-Z-Boy beanbag chairs after an ill-advised tweet saying he actually prefers armchairs. And a toss by Tommy is in the hole. Maíz, have you ever seen tossing like this?”
“Yes, Buck, pretty much all the time.” “Well, let’s do some armchair quarterbacking, ha-ha, what does Corny need to do to win? “He needs to continue to toss the beanbag into the hole, Buck.” “And there’s a pause in the action as the beanbag boys gather up the bags. Tommy takes a drink from his sippy cup, he’s probably got some juice, maybe some chocolate milk, and—look out! An errant beanbag has hit Corny in the eye! Corny is down! Corny is down! He can’t continue! Little Tommy Hayfever is going to win this match! Maíz, what about this dramatic turn of events? “Every cornholer knows the risk they take when they step onto the floor. Injuries are part of the game.” “As you well know.” “Really, Buck, don’t do that.” “That will wrap up the Cornhole Classic, which is yet another production of ESPN. Stay tuned for the Pro Footvolley Tour, brought to you by the makers of flip-flops.”
Good evening, fans, I’m Buck Howzer coming to you with this week’s Cornhole Classic and whoa, Nelly, have we got a barnburner for you tonight...
Seated for success
From sale to delivery and beyond, Babette’s provides customers with superior service. PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
he retail world has changed, going from neighborhood stores to big-box stores to the internet. As a result, many furniture businesses in Lake County have come and gone throughout the years. However, much like the furniture it sells, one local company was built to last. Babette’s Furniture and Home, a family-owned business celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, has stood the test of time by sticking to its longstanding principles of providing superior customer service and while offering quality products at affordable prices. Simply put, the Leesburgbased company continues to impress longtime clientele and new customers alike. Babette’s has proudly served Lake, Sumter, and Marion counties, as well as
N O O S G N I COM to
S E G A L L I THE V 28
the surrounding areas. The company’s showrooms offer a fresh take on what a furniture store can be. Some of those clients reside in The Villages. For years, Villages residents have visited Babette’s bright and airy showroom, which features a lovely color palette and beautiful selection of furniture and home décor. That’s why Brian Ward, president of the company, decided now is the time for Babette’s to have a presence in the nation’s largest retirement community. The Village is a natural fit for this next venture. This fall, the company will open a new location at Brownwood Paddock Square in The Villages. The 12,000-squarefoot showroom will feature a representation of furniture and home décor already found inside Babette’s existing Leesburg location, as well as its adjacent sister store, Lifestyle Furniture by Babette’s. That’s certainly good news for Villagers, who lovingly decorate their homes in a variety of styles and colors. Babette’s provides them with
a variety of shopping options: name-brand sofas, fine dining and bedroom sets, attractive entertainment centers, and accent pieces such as lamps and rugs. “We’ve served The Villages since we opened, and now we’re providing furniture for their model homes,” Brian says. “Over the years, many Villagers who came to our store for the first time said, ‘I wish we would’ve known you were here before we bought our furniture.’ That was a big motivation for us to get a location that is convenient and accessible not only for existing Villagers but also new Villagers moving in. They’ll definitely know we’re here now.” The new location will be extremely beneficial for Villagers who view furniture shopping as a sensory experience. These types of shoppers gauge quality by the look and feel of a piece of furniture. That kind of shopping experience is impossible to replicate online. So is the personalized customer service.
“For us, it’s all about the customer’s needs,” Brian says. “Many people are apprehensive when they walk into a new store. We break that barrier by allowing customers to take their time and enjoy a hasslefree experience.” Having a new location will also provide career advancement opportunities for employees, which is a point of pride for Brian. “That’s important to me because our employees go above and beyond for our customers and are the ones responsible for the company’s success,” he says.
PROUD PAST, BRIGHTER FUTURE
Brian’s parents, Gary and Babette Ward, have deep Lake County roots. Gary graduated from Leesburg High School, while Babette was a graduate of Eustis High School. They met while attending LakeSumter State College and married shortly thereafter.
The couple officially opened Babette’s as a gift shop in October 1988. It was housed in a doublewide trailer across from the Lake Square Mall in Leesburg, and the Wards were the only employees. The company soared when Gary, who had spent his career as an executive for a chain
THE WARD FAMILY (L-R): MEGAN, GINA, LEYTON, BRIAN WITH SANDON, WYATT, BABETTE AND GARY
“We never strayed from our core philosophy, which is to offer a broad range of quality and affordable products.” —GARY WARD
furniture company, added furniture to the inventory. Thirty years and a few locations later, Babette’s is now located in a 55,000-square-foot building and has become one of the county’s largest home décor and furniture stores. Today, the company’s 80 employees work in various departments: sales, marketing, accounting, commercial design, warehouse, and distribution. In 2015, the Wards opened Lifestyle Furniture by Babette’s, a 23,000-squarefoot facility located adjacent to its flagship store. The addition of Lifestyle Furniture allowed for space for even more quality furniture lines, focusing on fashion forward styles, family
friendly prices, and quick delivery, while offering the same outstanding customer service that Babette’s had become known for. “We’ve had lots of success over the years, but we never strayed from our core philosophy, which is to offer a broad range of quality and affordable products at reasonable prices and service customers to the best of our ability,” Gary says. “We haven’t done much advertising. Most of our business has been through word-of-mouth.” Brian, a graduate of Mount Dora High School, continues the company’s proud reputation as president. Babette concentrates on artistic endeavors, you will find Gary working
at the store, and Megan, Brian’s sister, is the product photographer. This truly is a family business. “The company is in great hands and has a bright future with Brian at the helm,” Gary says.
ONE BIG FAMILY
The key to achieving customer happiness—as in repeat customers—is to focus on employee happiness first. It’s simple: happy employees make for happy customers. Just ask service coordinator Eva Libby, who has been employed at Babette’s for two years. “It’s a great feeling to wake up excited each day about coming to work,” she says.
“We’re family here and we support one another. Because we work so well with one another, it translates into superior customer service. That’s why many customers refer their friends and family members to us.” Interior designer Sharon Ahrens enjoys the camaraderie. Before joining the company eight years ago, she owned a design company in Clermont and frequently took clients on shopping trips to Babette’s. “I brought clients here because it was such a beautiful showroom and offered lots of variety to choose from,” she says. “When I’d come here, the employees cared as much about my clients as I did. That team-oriented culture is still prevalent today.” Heather Bozeman, who handles billing and financing, says the family togetherness extends beyond the workplace. “When I was in a car accident five years ago, my co-workers brought food to my
house and Brian and his wife, Gina, drove my kids to school everyday for months,” she says. “I love everyone here. Every month, we have a cake celebrating an employee’s work anniversary or birthday. We’re blessed to have such a great working environment.” Of course, it’s not only the family-like atmosphere that makes Babette’s a great place to work. Salesman Richard Ahles appreciates the company for helping him grow professionally. The nopressure sales philosophy has brought him lots of success. “I give customers space so the shopping experience is enjoyable,” says Richard, an employee of seven years. “I teach customers about a product instead of trying to sell them. They appreciate being educated.” It’s clear that each employee feels like a valued member of the company. And the company is a valued member of the industry, receiving the prestigious title of 2016 Florida Furniture Retailer of the Year by peers.
That—combined with quality furniture, great service, fair prices, and visionary leadership—is why Babette’s remains a leader in the furniture industry.
Babettes In Leesburg and coming soon to The Villages 352.728.5600 / babettesonline.com // Lifestyle Furniture in Leesburg 352.326.2397 / lifestylebybabettes.com
OCT O B ER
EDI T I O N
Not Just Lumps: Know Your Breast Cancer Symptoms “I found a lump in my breast.” This is the best-known symptom, but breast cancer can exhibit other signs as well. Some may be due to other, benign causes, but see your doctor if these signs do not go away or if they get bigger or worse: 1. A thickening inside your breast or in your breast skin. 2. A dimple or indentation in your breast. 3. A crust on your nipple. 4. Redness, swelling, or heat in your breast that doesn’t go away with antibiotics. 5. Nipple discharge not associated with developing breasts, infection, cysts, pregnancy, or breastfeeding. 6. Skin sores developing on your breast, usually associated with a hard lump.
7. A bump on the breast. (These can also be benign lumps or cysts.) 8. A nipple that flattens or turns inward. 9. Newly appearing blood vessels or veins on the breast or near the collarbone (if not connected to weight gain, breastfeeding, or Mondor’s disease). 10. Changes in breast size, flattening, swelling, or drooping, not due to breastfeeding or menstruation. 11. Your breast looks like the dimpled skin of an orange (called “peau d’orange”) and might change color. This is a sign of inflammatory breast cancer. 12. A hard, immovable lump deep in your breast is the most common breast cancer symptom, though it may also be a cyst. See your doctor if any of these signs persist or if you are concerned.
When A Mammogram What is Stage 0? Not For Women Only Stage 0 is also called ductal carcinoma Men can get breast cancer, too, is Not Enough Do you know whether you have dense breasts? Dense breasts and tumors look similar on a mammogram, so further screening like ultrasound or a breast MRI may be needed. Talk to your doctor.
in situ or DCIS and is considered pre-cancerous. In DCIS cancer cells are restricted to the breast ducts. But if not treated, those cancer cells can spread beyond the ducts and become invasive breast cancer.
PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
although the condition is rare. A man’s lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1 in 833.
by the numbers
The chance a woman will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
Can you make radiation safer? Yes!
Radiation for a tumor in the left breast can also affect the heart and lung, but techniques exist to decrease that risk. The deep inspiration breath hold involves taking and holding a deep breath during treatment. This moves the chest wall and breast tissue away from the heart. Another technique, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), divides the breast and tumor into fields. Each field receives a custom tailored radiation dose that sends the best treatment where it’s needed, while protecting normal tissues. Ask your radiation oncologist whether either technique fits your treatment needs.
The average 5-year survival rate for people with breast cancer.
Cancer cells have appetites. Their receptors define their favorite “foods,” so treatment includes starving them. Most breast cancers (73%) are positive for hormone receptors (HR) and negative for human epidermal growth factor receptors (HER2). They also have the best prognosis. Cancers with no receptors have the worst prognosis and occur in 13% of cases. Ten percent contain all receptors, while 5% contain only HER2 receptors. (Percentages are rounded.)
“They are very positive women and I enjoy working with them. We have also humor with our meetings and that is very important, to be able to laugh and leave a meeting laughing and not crying.” — Judy Bonard, Breast Cancer Survivor and Support Group Leader
Breast cancer survivors in the United States.
Patient-centered radiation oncology close to home
The Villages 352.259.2200 Ocala 352.732.0277 Timber Ridge 352.861.2400 Inverness 352.726.3400 Lecanto 352.527.0106
Women breast cancer patients diagnosed as metastatic from the start. PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
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6 Get around, I get around Golf carts were once for playing golf, now there are miles and miles of golf cart paths in The Villages for getting around. Plus
2 A high flyer Dana McCarthy flew a recovery helicopter for Apollo 13 lunar mission.
4 Bigger, easier, more comfortable
14 Living long and loving it
SUVs may have become a favorite of golden agers.
â€œThe Longevity Codeâ€? provides tips on living longer and better.
* MVESEtT yAlVeI L L A G E R
Dana McCarthy Formal naval academy instructor loves living in the villages. S TAT
What I enjoy most about The Villages: It’s a lively
Married to Diane for 50 years in November.
place filled with wonderful people.
Father of four children; grandfather to nine.
Best advice from my father: Never forget
Retired captain in the U.S. Navy; helicopter pilot; Vietnam veteran. Flew prime recovery helicopter for the ill-fated Apollo 13 lunar mission. Taught computer science at the U.S. Naval Academy, and management and marketing at Providence College and Roger Williams University. Deacon at St. Vincent de Paul Church. Thursday’s captain of the Wildwood Soup Kitchen. Hospital chaplain at The Villages Regional Hospital.
that everything we have, everything we are, is a gift from God.
What I treasure from my military days: The deep friendships that remain to this day, as well as the memory of so many friends and shipmates who lost their lives in time of both war and peace.
Cherished childhood memory: We lived in Germany in 1951 when I was 7. My father, an Army officer, believed we should experience the culture, so we lived in a third-floor, walkup, cold-water flat in Heidelberg, where I attended a one-room German schoolhouse
as the only American among a dozen little German kids. On a vacation to Bavaria, my father took us to see Dachau, the infamous concentration camp near Munich. To say it made a lasting impression would be a gross understatement. I remember that day, so long ago, as if it were yesterday. It was an experience that colored almost every aspect of my life.
Pet peeve: Bigotry. If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be: Jane Austen, G.K. Chesterton, T.S. Eliot, and the philosopher, Simone Weil.
Favorite quote: “Total non-retention has kept my education from being a burden to me.” – Flannery O’Connor.
Photo: Nicole Hamel
V I TA L
Y O U R
H O M E T O W N
R E S O R T
GOLF || RESORT || MEETINGS || DINING || SPA || REAL ESTATE
Along with world-class golf on two championship courses, you can take in the vistas along our hiking paths, lounge poolside, play tennis and volleyball, or even try bass ďŹ shing and trap/skeet shooting. There are countless ways to enjoy a memorable stay with us. Howey-in-the-Hills, FL 34737
* IVNSTtHyE lV eI L L A G E S
It’s a beautiful ‘SUV day’ in The Villages Sedans fade to the background as SUVs continue to be a resident favorite. STORY: JOE ANGIONE
Mobility problems associated with age cause Villagers to choose the comfort of climbing up to enter an SUV rather than having to painfully bend down for a sedan.
Sport utility vehicles are still seen frequently on America’s highways and byways. U.S. households owning or leasing a sedan and looking for a new car are getting an SUV about 40 percent more often than a few years ago, auto industry reports say. This trend is abundantly evident in The Villages. Another industry report says drivers remain loyal to sedans as they get older. That doesn’t seem to be the case for Villages residents. There are no published statistics; however, an unofficial check of two parking lots on Villages property found that 53 percent of vehicles were SUVs, particularly midsize models. Car ownership and leases often are subject to fads. Back in the 1970s, when gas prices began to soar thanks to OPEC’s desire to squeeze every nickel they could out of America’s drivers, fuel-saving compact and subcompact models were the rage. About 20 years ago, minivans became the popular choice of “soccer moms,” who scurried about their hometowns transporting kids. Today, SUVs, especially the smaller types, rule the roads in The Villages. Technically, an SUV is any car with a tall body, a hatchback, and elevated ride height.
Their selection is made here for three reasons: ease of entry and exit, a ride height that improves vision of surrounding traffic, and extra interior cargo capacity. Mobility problems associated with age cause Villagers to choose the comfort of climbing up to enter an SUV rather than having to painfully bend down for a sedan. Slower reflexes among goldenagers make it important to have an SUV’s better view of the road that provides a little more time to react to traffic conditions. An SUV’s larger cargo capacity also is attractive to Villagers who still make frequent long-distance trips to visit faraway family and friends. The one benefit that SUVs don’t offer compared to most sedans is excellent gas mileage. A quick review of most mileage specs for mid-priced SUVs shows a lackluster city-to-highway average of about 18-26 miles per gallon, whereas the typical mileage range for a sedan in the same price category is between 26 and 35 MPG. I’m told that thrift is an important virtue among Villagers, but maybe not so much in how they spend for their “rides.” But what the heck, “you only live once.”
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s Joe Average drives around The Villages in his standard-issue golf cart, he can’t help but notice the eye-catching colors and retro designs on some of his neighbors’ rides. It’s clear that if he wants to keep up with the Joneses, he’s going to need a “show car” to catch them. Golf carts are an industry all their own in The Villages, which has at least 50,000 of the vehicles zipping around 100 miles of cart paths. Custom-design businesses cater to a driver’s every statussymbol whim, and showrooms carry the latest models with all the manufacturers’ new bells and whistles. Villagers also know it’s important to take care of their carts—they’re a necessity after all—and specialized service stations fit their needs to a tee. If Joe Average wants to become Joe Streetrod, he can go to Village Streetrod Golf Cars, 11962 County Road 101 in Palm Ridge Plaza. The dealership’s Vintage line is based on Ford and Chevrolet automobiles and trucks from the 1920s-1940s, and styles include phaetons, roadsters, convertibles, coupes, and specialty vehicles like firetrucks and police cars. General manager Brandt Bell emphasizes the distinctions
between Streetrod’s “golf cars” and the typical “golf cart”: standard equipment on the golf cars includes custom aluminum commercial chassis with much more payload capacity (800-1,500 pounds) than a cart, along with hand-built, heavyduty fiberglass bodies. Customers choose the model and body style and personalize the cars with paint colors, flame designs, upholstery,
and optional equipment and customizations. Those options include hood ornaments, a wolf whistle horn, and, yes, an “Ahoooooo-gah” horn. “No two are alike,” Brandt says of the models, and a glance around the garage-style showroom confirms it: out front is a two-passenger hardtop painted in patriotic red, white, and blue stars and stripes. Firetruck designs include
one in black and orange flames, and another in traditional red, both with side ladders. A greenand-white “Paddy Wagon” comes with four seats and a six-spigot bar for bottles of liquor in the back compartment. Pop open the hood of a beverage car and find an insulated cooler for 24 cans—Villagers can take the party with them in a Streetrod. The company also makes concession cars and six- to eight-passenger limousine golf cars. Many models sell for more than $20,000. Village Streetrod designs about 250 golf cars a year, but that number will jump to 1,000 next year thanks to the parent company’s acquisition of a new manufacturing plant, Brandt says. Streetrod Golf Cars was founded in 1995 in Iowa and has its headquarters there. Villagers and friends Rich Gehris and Al Sanders are recent converts to the streetrod lifestyle, both purchasing models this year at Streetrod. Rich and his wife moved a couple of years ago to the Village of Santo Domingo from Pennsylvania and bought the requisite, typical golf cart. After a while, the temptation of the streetrod got to him. “I’d be out driving with my wife and I’d say, ‘See that? It looks like a streetrod.’ Then we’d see another one go by. I thought, ‘That’s pretty cool,’” Rich says. Then somebody told him about the Village Streetrod dealership. “We came cruising by, and I said, ‘Oh, my God.’ I said to my wife, ‘I’d like something like that.’ She said, ‘I’ve got the checkbook, let’s get one,’” he says. The colors of Rich’s 1929 Ford replica streetrod nearly match
Many models sell for more than $20,000.
Village Streetrod designs about 250 golf cars a year, but that number will jump to 1,000 next year thanks to the parent company’s acquisition of a new manufacturing plant.
the Penn State University shirt he was wearing one day recently. Naturally, he encouraged his friend Al to buy one; his green golf car is patterned after a 1934 pickup truck. Al, of the Village of Palo Alto, most recently lived in Las Vegas, so The Villages’ golf cart culture was completely foreign to him—but not anymore. “I love that you can go to the grocery store in a cart, you can go to the doctor in a cart, you can go to restaurants in a cart,” Al says. “It’s not mandatory, but it’s a lot more convenient and it’s fun driving them around.” So much fun that more than 900 Villagers belong to the Streetrod Club, according to the club’s website. Members gather for activities, swap stories, and make suggestions to fellow streetrodders about how to make their wheels even cooler. At one recent event outside the Streetrod store, club members
rolled up for a barbecue and a drive-in movie on an outdoor screen, Rich says. They munched popcorn, tipped some adult beverages, and shared in the camaraderie of streetrods. “Everybody kind of opens up,” Rich says. “It’s like, ‘Hey, we’re all on the same team.’” Of course, virtually everyone is part of the golf cart team in The Villages. Even with traditional golf cart models, Villagers often add special touches, such as favorite team colors and logos, license plates from their home states, or flags, signs, stuffed animals, and other displays. For cart owners, finding service has become much more convenient since 2015, when The Villages Golf Cars started opening full-service filling stations with drive-up fuel pumps and drive-thru maintenance. The company operates three stations—one at each of the town squares—that are designed to look like old-time garages to fit in with The Villages’ “historic” motif. Gordon’s Garage, 1075 Old Camp Road at Lake Sumter Landing, was the first of the three stations and is perhaps the most aesthetically unique, with a sleek glass-and-silver
The service stations provide all types of maintenance, from annual
service to full rebuilds, oil changes, battery checks, speed checks, and road tests for both gas and electric carts.
retro look and several fuel pumps from a bygone era. Gantenbein’s Garage is at 910 Bichara Blvd. in La Plaza Grande near Spanish Springs, and Goedken’s Garage takes up a large storefront at 2636 W. Torch Lake Drive on the edge of Brownwood Paddock Square. With the ongoing home development south of Brownwood, as well as construction of golf cart bridges to connect the north and south areas, another filling station could be coming down the road. The service stations provide all types of maintenance, from annual service to full rebuilds, oil changes, battery checks, speed checks, and road tests for both gas and electric carts. Customers also may take advantage of drop-off service, complimentary loaners, and nonethanol gas at the pumps. Each of these sites, plus a fourth location at Colony Plaza, also have showrooms for sales of new, preowned, and reconditioned golf carts. The Villages Golf Cars boasts that it’s the country’s largest retailer of Yamaha Golf Cars, and the stores also sell Club Car and E-Z-GO models. In the past two years, innovations have allowed golf cart owners to drive farther, smoother, and quieter. Yamaha came out with the Drive2 QuieTech, a gas cart with electronic fuel injection (EFI) for better fuel efficiency and independent suspension for better handling. It’s considered the most technologically
advanced cart in the marketplace, and its noise level is in the same decibel range as electric carts. At La Plaza Grande, team leader Jason Wilson says Yamaha, indeed, is the biggest seller. Displayed on the sidewalk outside The Villages Golf Cars, a 2018 Yamaha gas EFI deluxe model with a list of 30 features has a price tag of $13,345. Another high-end Yamaha model has a Curtis Cab, which includes air conditioning and hard, sliding doors to fully enclose the two-seater. The cost: $18,494. Pre-owned and reconditioned cars are marked at $10,000 or significantly less, depending on the model year. The store also sells Yesteryear models based on classic car and truck designs. The 2019 golf car models arrived in August at the Colony Plaza showroom, 363 Colony Blvd., where salespeople told inquisitive customers about all the new features. Yamaha, for example, upgraded its gas EFI model with black, non-slip pedals and more lighting, including a front fog light, turn signals in the side mirrors, front-end turn signals that are striped along the sides with blinking lights, and a backing-up light bar at the top of the car frame that also shows turn signals and can be turned bright white so the cart can be seen better at night.
The model sells for $13,363, but those features also can be added as upgrades to 2018 models. Buyers put a premium on safety devices, such as seatbelts, lights, and turn signals, more than any other features, Jason says. LED headlights with high and low beams, self-canceling turn signals, and custom seats are top accessories in demand—anything to make the cart feel and operate more like an automobile. The company also customizes golf cars with rain enclosures and other accessories, he says. Just as The Villages expands, the world of golf cars evolves as well. Twenty years ago, electric was all the rage, but today, Jason says gas cars have overtaken electric cars in sales—Villagers feel they can go farther with gas instead of having to charge up. Either way, many of them will still be chasing the Joneses.
* LVI VSItNyG lHeE A L T H Y
Men need progesterone, too Normally a hormone for pregnancy, it’s also essential for men. STORY: JOY STEPHENSON-LAWS
f you are a woman trying to get pregnant and are reading online about fertility, you have likely come across several articles about progesterone. Sometimes called “the pregnancy hormone,” progesterone is essential before and during pregnancy. Before pregnancy, progesterone thickens the uterine lining in order to provide a supportive environment for a fertilized egg. During pregnancy, progesterone continues to provide a good environment for a growing fetus. Some researchers believe progesterone may even help prevent miscarriages by encouraging the uterine lining to secrete more nutrients, providing food for an embryo in its first weeks of development. With menopause, progesterone levels drop, which is why this hormone is sometimes used by doctors in hormone
replacement therapy to treat symptoms of menopause. But this reproductive hormone is not exclusive to women. It is not just a “pregnancy hormone.” Males produce progesterone in the adrenal glands and testes. And although progesterone is mainly a female hormone, men also need optimal levels of progesterone to produce adequate testosterone. Testosterone is necessary for sex drive, sperm production, muscle mass/strength, fat distribution, bone density, and red blood cell production in men. “Other progesterone effects in men include those on the central nervous system (CNS), including blocking of gonadotropin secretion, sleep improvement, and effects on tumors in the CNS (meningioma, fibroma), as
well as effects on the immune system, cardiovascular system, kidney function, adipose tissue (body fat), behavior, and respiratory system,” the National Institutes of Health reports. The normal ranges for progesterone in men is less than 1 ng/mL, compared to non-menopausal women whose levels may vary from 1 ng/mL to 90 ng/mL depending on the stage of menstrual cycle or pregnancy. Symptoms of low progesterone in men may include: low libido, hair loss, weight gain, fatigue, depression, gynecomastia (breast development in men), erectile dysfunction, impotence, bone loss, and muscle loss. In addition, men with low progesterone levels have a higher risk of osteoporosis, arthritis, prostate cancer, and prostatism, an obstruction of the bladder neck, usually due to an enlarged prostate gland. Progesterone also may have a major impact on the brain. Progesterone also has potent non-reproductive effects in the brain, too. “Sex steroid hormones like estrogen and progesterone are made from cholesterol and travel in the blood. They easily cross through cell membranes, as well as through the blood brain barrier, which only allows certain molecules to get into the brain. Once inside the central nervous system, the hormones act as receptor targets and trigger
changes, such as increasing or decreasing protein and neurotransmitter levels, which significantly affects many brain structures and functions,” the NIH states. When men age, testosterone begins to decline and progesterone levels get significantly lower. Diet, stress, and fatigue may affect the production of progesterone as well. So how can men be proactive about increasing progesterone levels? “While foods don’t necessarily contain progesterone, some foods may help stimulate the body’s production of progesterone,” according to Healthline. Beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, nuts, pumpkin, spinach, and whole grains are examples of these foods. Doctors say some foods are also associated with lowering the amount of estrogen in the body, which could increase the ratio of progesterone to estrogen. These foods include bananas, cabbage, shellfish, and walnuts. It’s also important to remember that smoking may cause an imbalance in endocrine homeostatis. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed or something feels “off” about your health, consider getting your hormone levels tested. You may also want to consider getting your thyroid and nutrient levels checked. Enjoy your healthy life!
When men age, testosterone begins to decline and progesterone levels get signiﬁcantly lower. Diet, stress, and fatigue may affect the production of progesterone as well.
* BVOSOtK yR lE VeI E W
'The Longevity Code' By Dr. Chris Verburgh. Author offers tools to increase lifespan and reduce the risk of age-related diseases. STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL
In 'The Longevity Code,' Dr. Verburgh debunks many common myths and focuses on ways to slow down our biological clock. 14
s a medical doctor, researcher, and author, Chris Verburgh believes that by understanding how our bodies age on a cellular level, we can outsmart aging. His book provides an informative look at how some organisms can grow thousands of years old or not age at all. He poses this question: “Would you like to be 120 if you could still be alert, fit, and healthy and able to independently perform all your usual activities, with the same kind of fitness, health, and vigor as a 30-year-old?” The idea is not so far-fetched, he says, especially when antiaging vaccines, telomere therapies, stem cell therapy, lysosomal enzymes, and other biotech methods become more available.
He reveals that some scientists suggest the first person to reach the age 1,000 has already been born! Dr. Verburgh claims a healthy lifestyle really is our most powerful instrument to live longer. In “The Longevity Code,” he debunks many common myths and focuses on ways to slow down our biological clock. He also calls for a new discipline—nutrigerentology—to investigate the vital influence nutrition has in aging, and his book also includes several recipes.
Here are some of the doctor’s suggestions: •
Replace red meat with chicken, turkey, fish, and vegetable sources of protein, including nuts, seeds, tofu, legumes. Too much animal protein accelerates aging, but this is not true for vegetable protein. Eat fewer carbohydrates, both fast carbs of soft drinks, candy, chips, baked goods, and slow carbs of bread, potatoes, rice, pasta.
• • • •
Fruits contain good fiber substances that help the body age slower. Aim for healthy macronutrients of olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado. Buy eggs from grass-fed chickens rather than freerange chickens. Taking vinegar before a meal—one tablespoon in a half or full glass of water— can lower high sugar
peaks and even promote weight loss. Eating 25 percent less can extend lifespan. Eating lighter at night can help you sleep better because you’re not suﬀering from a full stomach or acid reflux. Exercise: It’s not the intensity that counts but the regularity.
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NOEASYFIX The opioid epidemic spans the country, and statistics show Lake and Sumter counties are no exception to its reach.
STORY: LEIGH NEELY
FROM METROPOLITAN CITIES TO RURAL COMMUNITIES,
the effects of the use of opioids are destroying families and killing people every day. Florida is among the states with significant increases in opioid-related overdose deaths from 2015 to 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An estimated 72,000 people died from overdoses of all drug types in 2017 in the United States, the CDC says. Lake and Sumter counties are part of the District 5 Medical Examiner’s Office, which also includes Marion, Hernando, and Citrus counties. Among 25 medical examiner districts, District 5 is fifth in fentanyl deaths between 2003-2016,
according to the Florida Department of Health. Fentanyl is an analgesic and sedative, a fast-acting narcotic that is a powerful synthetic opioid. In April 2017, Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell posted a video warning to heroin dealers, going so far as to say murder charges would be made if a customer died from an overdose. The video went viral, receiving both praise and criticism. Opioid addiction and use has no pattern or particular location. According to John Simpson, chief operations officer of Lake Emergency Medical Services, there’s no one area that is more affected than another. “The problem migrates from one area of the county to another, where drugs are moving through the county,” he says. His colleague, Chris Smith, clinical quality officer, adds, “Reason goes out the window with addiction.” In an effort to reduce the number of overdose deaths, every ambulance with Lake EMS carries the drug Narcan (generic name: naloxone), a drug designed to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose. It binds to opioid receptors and blocks the effects. It quickly restores respiration when breathing has slowed or stopped due to an overdose of heroin or opioid prescription medication. Chris says that in 2015, Lake EMS administered Narcan 645 times; in 2016, it was 921 times, and in
2017, 1,275 times. “That does not mean there were that many overdoses. Some people require two, three, or four doses to get them to be able to breathe on their own,” Chris says.
John says it’s unfortunate to see this happening. “Narcotics used appropriately are helpful, but when you begin taking too much, you stop breathing,” he adds. “Effects can be different
from person to person, depending on weight or whether that person is a first-time user.” Many times, those who relapse after going through detox and rehabilitation
“THE PROBLEM MIGRATES FROM ONE AREA OF THE COUNTY TO ANOTHER, WHERE DRUGS ARE MOVING THROUGH THE COUNTY.”
think they can take the same amount of the drug they did before, but their body has changed. “If they’re transitioning to heroin or fentanyl, they can take too much the first time,” John says. Narcan is administered through IV, by injection, or through nasal spray. The IV method is most effective. The nasal spray is only as effective as the number of mucus membranes it adheres to when used and takes two to five minutes to activate. In an effort to curb prescribed opiates, Florida’s new law concerning controlled substance prescribing went into effect July 1. House Bill 21 increases the legal
NUMBER OF OPIOIDRELATED OVERDOSE DEATHS IN FLORIDA
Source: CDC Wonder
PRESCRIPTION OPIOIDS HEROIN
1183 1000 669 500
requirements for doctors and other health-care practitioners who prescribe controlled substances, especially opioids, meaning that only so many pills can be prescribed and prescriptions are limited. Passing this bill was the direct result of the increase in heroin use in Florida since 1999. Joy Stephenson-Laws, an attorney in the healthcare industry, says studies, including a recent one by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, suggests payors—the private and public companies that pay health-care costs—have not done enough to combat the opioid epidemic. Three reasons for this conclusion: low price of prescription opioids, pain questions on patient surveys to increase their satisfaction-of-care score, and lax application of protocols (limiting quantities, step therapy, which makes opioids a last resort, and authorization from insurer). The drugs in the category of opioids include Oxycodone (oxycontin, Percodan, Percocet), Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, lorcet), Diphenoxylate (Lomotil), morphine (kadian, avinza, MS-Contin), codeine, fentanyl (Duragesic), propoxyphene (Darvon), hydromorphone (dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), and methadone. These names likely sound familiar because they’re frequently prescribed after surgery or for pain. Abuse of dosages creates the problem.
Be Free Lake was originally created to address the youth alcohol abuse problem in Lake County. According to Executive Director Delrita Meisner, in 2006, Lake County was sixth in the state for youth alcohol use within the previous 30 days. The coalition was created to address that issue. “(In) a recent Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey that came out in 2018, the county went from sixth down to 60th of the 67 counties,” Delrita says. “We were one of the top 10 counties, and in a little over six years, with prevention through education, through awareness, changing the perception of the community about underage drinking, we were able to decrease that number.” Now, Be Free is facing a different issue with opioids. As a result, it has developed a Drug Death Task Force in the county comprising members of law enforcement, the medical examiner’s office, treatment providers, school board, and community providers. “Every quarter, this task force provides updates about what’s going on in the county,” Delrita says. “The last quarterly meeting was in May, and we received statistics from all of these representatives.” Those statistics included: District 5 Medical Examiner’s Office reported 71 drug deaths; Lake County Sheriff’s Office reported 99 heroin overdoses and 16 fentanyl overdoses.
According to a recent report from Sumter County, 557 narcotics-related cases were responded to from October 2015 to September 2016. The county has applied for a grant to create “an in-house, jailbased” 90-day program with detox, individual and group therapy, and psychosocial rehabilitation. “What we have found is there’s an increase in young people being exposed to opioids due to sports injuries, and
the increase in deaths is because they’re mixing the drugs heroin and fentanyl,” Delrita says. “Because of these numbers, we decided we needed to meet regularly and help educate our community now in this different day and age.” For the Lake County Mental Health Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, the first successful initiative was on April 28. South Lake law enforcement conducted a drug take-back day in collabo-
ration with the DEA office and collected more than 100 pounds of unwanted prescription medications. Be Free Lake then purchased 13 prescription lock boxes, which have been strategically placed throughout Lake County at police stations, to help people drop off and dispose of medications 24 hours a day without any questions. Each quarter, those medications are collected and burned by the police department. In addition, Be Free Lake also has Deterra Deactivation Bags for those in the 55-plus age group who may not be able to get out to police stations. These bags are created to destroy prescription drugs at home and deactivate them as a way to properly dispose of medication. The bags were purchased by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. The Florida Department of Health indicates a 137 percent increase in the rate of deaths from drug overdoses since 2000. That includes a 200 percent increase in the rate of overdose deaths related to opioids. These numbers are horrifying because each one represents a human being. There are many who believe the problem began with the “pill mills” that were prominent in Florida. However, due to the prescription drug crisis, legislative action was taken to close them down, forcing addicts to move to street drugs, which are often impure, fake, synthetic, and designer combinations. One problem occurring with designer drugs is their potency. They are so strong, law enforcement officers must be wary of touching
“WHAT WE HAVE FOUND IS THERE’S AN INCREASE IN YOUNG PEOPLE BEING EXPOSED TO OPIOIDS DUE TO SPORTS INJURIES, AND THE INCREASE IN DEATHS IS BECAUSE THEY’RE MIXING THE DRUGS HEROIN AND FENTANYL.” —DELRITA MEISNER
them and may have to be treated with Narcan if the drugs get on their hands. “Our medical director is collaborating with local law enforcement so they have nasal Narcan as well,” John says. “If an officer has accidental exposure to a drug and it’s absorbed through the skin, they need Narcan close by. Any contact means they run the risk of absorbing it through their skin. The medical examiner’s office also has large doses on hand.” The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, based on phone surveys done by the CDC, has found that poor health behaviors are on the rise in Lake County. LifeStream, a behavioral health and social services organization headquartered in Leesburg, said in its annual report that services were provided for 13,908 unduplicated clients in 2017 based on total visits of 321,003. Karen Rogers, adult clinical services director, says LifeStream received state funds from the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association to support a program for administering and aiding recovery with Vivitrol (generic name naltrexone). “This is a medication that blocks receptors for opioids and alcohol, and it enables people to manage their addiction,” Karen says. “One injection lasts up to four weeks. It reduces cravings and prevents the euphoric effect addicts want. Before receiving it, however, they
must be substance-free; they must detox.” The drug is very expensive and is given to people who qualify for state-funded treatments. Karen adds,
however, there are some insurance companies that will approve payment for the drug. “Like any other drug, not everyone can take it,” Karen says. “And not all addicts can be given this medication. This is the only program available in this area. There are no methadone clinics here.” LifeStream reports these designer combinations, synthetic marijuana, and bath salts
have become a low-cost alternative for adolescents and young adults. In northeast and south Lake County, there are many local sources for methamphetamines. However, alcohol abuse remains the major reason people seek help from LifeStream. Karen stresses, however, that medical treatment alone is not enough. It must be done in combination with therapy, counseling, and peer support services. Due to the increase in the need
for treatment, LifeStream has added more facilities and is moving into Sumter County. “Coming back around to the things that worked in the past,” Karen says. “Peer counseling helps. People relate to other people who have had their experience. This is a very tough group to engage. We might open 100 cases and only 50 continue the program. We provide all the options, but not everyone is ready.”
sive so I was able to keep getting them.” Her addiction brought about the end of her marriage with a divorce, and though she made good money as an X-ray technician, she soon owed a lot of money due to drugs. At one point, she stole her husband’s credit card to pay for her habit and borrowed money from coworkers. When she reached the end of her rope, she contacted Victoria, who explained she had to go through a detox program with LifeStream Behavioral Center before completing her treatment at Victoria’s Haven. “My desire is to stay sober,” Reneé says. “Victoria provides tools and teaching to help us maintain sobriety.” According to recent report from Victoria, Reneé
left the program a week before her graduation due to a difficult personal situation. “Right now, she is still doing OK,” Victoria says. Julie, 57, is originally from Jacksonville. She moved to Lake County to be closer to her mother in The Villages. “My marriage got bad, and I chose crack cocaine over family. I left them,” Julie says. “My husband didn’t understand why I had been in and out of rehab since 1992. I hope this is my last one. My addiction to opiates brought me here. I’d been off crack for 10 years, and I was prescribed drugs for chronic back pain from scoliosis.” Julie admits she had no idea how many pills she was taking and she overdosed for the first time in 2014. Due to the Baker Act, which allows involuntary
STORIES OF RENEÉ AND JULIE In an unobtrusive neighborhood in Clermont is a place for women to find help with addiction. Victoria’s Haven is a nonprofit organization headed by Reverends Victoria Johnson and her husband, Cecil, both ministers who have opened their home to people who are addicted, homeless, need re-entry to society, and need transitional or emergency shelter. “I knew addiction. I was an addict,” Victoria says without hesitation. “I spent 13 years as a crack addict, and God delivered me. My promise to him was if he could pull me out of the mess I was in, I would work every day to help somebody overcome addiction.” She did just that, working 11 years on and off at First Baptist Church Leesburg in the Christian Care Center. When she was no longer
happy with the work, she left, knowing the Lord was calling her to preach, something she was hesitant about as a Southern Baptist because the church does not believe women should be in pastor positions. “But I decided if I can help someone, I will,” she says. “We had a ribbon-cutting in December (2016) on faith along with my husband.” Two of Victoria’s clients spoke about their journey with addiction and their life at Victoria’s Haven in recovery. Reneé, 43, was born in Eustis and has a daughter and two grandchildren. She was addicted to opiates for two years after having a partial hysterectomy in 2009. After becoming addicted during a 90-day window for pain prescriptions, “I began eating them like candy. They weren’t that expen-
“I GOT ON THE PHONE AND TRIED TO FIND HELP AND WAS OFFERED OUTPATIENT SERVICES AT LIFESTREAM BEHAVIORAL CENTER. I KNEW I WAS GOING TO DIE IF I DIDN’T GET HELP.”
PHOTO OF JULIE BY ANTHONY RAO
admission and examination of a person, she was admitted to The Vines in Ocala for three weeks and then moved in with her mother. When it was obvious she was using drugs again, her mother told her to move out. When she couldn’t stop dipping snuff, drinking alcohol, and using heroin, she says even her dealer stopped selling to her. “I got on the phone and tried to find help and was offered outpatient services at LifeStream Behavioral Center. They evaluated and accepted me, and then I had very high blood pressure,” Julie says. “After seven days at (Leesburg Regional Medical Center), I had a phone interview with Miss Victoria. I knew I was going to die if I didn’t get help.” Julie entered Victoria’s program on May 17, 2017, and is doing “excellent,” according to Victoria. She is in the transitioning phase of treatment. “I’m going to continue to stay as long as I can work the program and build a relationship closer to God,” Julie says. Contact Victoria’s Haven at m.me/victoriashavenlsbg for information.
INVITES YOU TO A SIMON G. JEWELRY
MEET THE DESIGNER THURSDAY, NOV. 1ST
ABOUT SIMON GHANIMIAN
When I first came to America, I had $200 in my pocket and a dream of going to college to be an engineer. But when I tried to sign up for classes in New York, they were thousands of dollars! I couldn’t afford that. Luckily, I had a relative working in the diamond district who invited me to work there to save up for school. I started setting diamonds, and soon fell in love with the process, artistry, and details of jewelry making.
Simon started in the jewelry business through his relative who was working the Diamond industry. From there, his Before long, what in started as a hobby became a passion. I began passion for jewelry making and making love for setting diamonds my own in my spare and grew intodesigns something more. Hetime began to create his own saving up for more jewelry making designs and soon enough opened his own business. materials instead of classes. At one Today, Simon G. provides the highest quality jewelry with point, I visited Southern California for a vacation, and never returned! I fell in love the most exquisite pieces to choose from. Both Simon G. with the weather, the city, and also met my wife there! and Arden’s Fine Jeweler’s understand the importance of familyand values. These valuesG.allow to create pieces of In the beginning, it was just my wife, Silvia, I. Now, Simon has us many made to lastwork a lifetime establish a relationship designers from all around the world, andjewelry our hand crafted is soldand in over 900 stores across North America. Sittingwith down out an idea is as youand for sketching the years to come. magical to me now as it was the very first time I did it. SIMON G. JEWELRY
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YOU ARE INVITED TO
MEET THE DESIGNER OF
AT ARDENâ€™S FINE JEWELERS THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1ST 10:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M. Meet the Owner and Founder Simon Ghanimian. Simon will be bringing his unique selection of designs, new styles, and one of a kind pieces. FINANCING OPTIONS AVAILABLE
352.751.6613 // ardensjewelers.com //1060 Canal St., The Villages (Lake Sumter Landing)
THE TO-DO LIST //
Photo: Tony & Mary Ann Desantis
SEE STORY on PG 56
LOCAL TALENT //
NEAR & FAR //
SOCIAL SPOTLIGHT //
On the Scene
River cruising is the perfect way to discover Europe.
IN CONCE RT //
* TOHnE TTOh- DeO SL cI S eT n e
October O C T. 1 - 3 0
I did it my way “The Story of My Life,” a musical by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill, is at The Studio Theatre at Tierra Del Sol, 806 San Marino Dr., The Villages. Information available at thesharon.com. Tickets: $40.
O C T. 6
A voice from the past B.J. Thomas also will perform at 7:30pm Oct. 6 at Clermont Performing Arts Center, 3700 S. U.S. Highway 27, Clermont. Buy tickets at clermontperformingarts.com. O C T. 6
O C T. 4 O C T. 6 - 2 8
Is it the great pumpkin? The third annual Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch is a day of fun. Complimentary hayrides available. Admission is $10 per. Rides on the unique Blueberry Express are $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 3-17. 11am-8pm Saturday and Sunday, Southern Hills Farms, 1651 Schofield Road, Clermont. O C T. 1 - 7
Two is too many A taxi driver is happy with his two wives at opposite ends of town, but everyone knows that can’t last. This comedy is at Sonnentag Theatre at the IceHouse, 1100 N. Unser St., Mount Dora. See icehousetheatre.com for info. O C T. 1 - 3 0
Get out and play! Fall T-Ball (ages 3-6) and soccer (ages 3-15) registrations are going on now. Fee is $30. Coaches are needed for any sport. If you’re interested, call 352.360.6734 in Fruitland Park.
Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head American pop singer B.J. Thomas will be at The Sharon at 7pm. Tickets are $45-$65. See thesharon.com. O C T. 4
Meditation and Mindfulness These classes will be held every Thursday in October (4, 11, 18, 25) and Nov. 1 at Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute, 1540 Clemente Court, #300, The Villages. A five-week introductory course for those facing cancer, cancer survivors, and their loved ones at no cost. Register by calling 352.259.2200.
It’s fall! The second annual Sumter Fall Festival is 10am-4pm at the Wildwood Community Center, 6500 Powell Road. Fun with bounce houses, pumpkin painting, face painting, games, crafts, lots of good food, and live music 10am-4pm. Call Jessica at 352.793.3099. O C T. 7
Music of the Night The fall Opera Gala is presented by The Villages Philharmonic Orchestra at 7pm at The Sharon in Spanish Springs Town Square, The Villages. See thesharon.com for info. O C T. 9
O C T. 4 - 7
Let’s go ride a bike! The 44th annual Bicycle Festival, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, is Florida’s oldest and largest cycling event. Varying lengths, ages, and skill levels. For more information, contact the Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce at 352.383.2165.
The voice Join Judith Farris for a vocal master class at The Sharon in Spanish Springs Town Square in The Villages. Class from 2-5pm. See thesharon.com for more information. O C T. 1 1 - 1 4
Rockin’ at school “Schoolhouse Rock Live” brings back the beloved Saturday morning
educational cartoons. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children at Bay Street Players, 109 N. Bay St., Eustis. Info at baystreetplayers.com. O C T. 1 2
It’s Howie does it! Howie Mandel presents an evening of comedy and straight talk at The Sharon on Spanish Springs Town Square in The Villages. Tickets are $55-$85 at thesharon.com. Showtimes: 5 & 8pm. O C T. 1 2 - 1 3
BBQ blues Lakeridge Winery is hosting its 2018 BBQ and Blues Festival with a full weekend of music: inside at the Wine & Cheese Bar and outside with the area’s top blues bands. A portion of proceeds goes to the South Lake Chamber of Commerce. Bands and ticket info at lakeridgewinery.com. 19239 U.S. Highway 27 N. in Clermont. O C T. 1 4
Music, music, music The 2018 Clermont Music Festival will be from noon-10pm at Waterfront Park, 330 3rd St., in Clermont. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. Kid’s area. “A Celebration of Hope” spotlights the Greater Clermont Cancer Foundation.
O C T. 1 8 - 2 1
Nature music The Planet Festival is four days of music to raise awareness of social and environmental issues. Camping, food, more than 20 bands, or bring your own instrument. See theplanetfestival.com. Windy Acres Farms, 1350 Miller Blvd., Fruitland Park. O C T. 1 9
A little bit country He started life as the son of a sharecropper, but he became a country music superstar. See Charley Pride at The Sharon at 7pm. Tickets: $45-$136 available at thesharon.com.
O C T. 2 0
It’s fall! The 2018 Bushnell Fall Festival is from 9:30am-9:30pm at Kenny Dixon Sports Complex, 824 W. Noble Ave. The theme is Medieval Magic. For more information, call Rebecca at 352.874.5175. O C T. 2 0
Get wild! The Florida Wildlife Festival will be at Cadwell Park, 4 Cassady St., Umatilla, 9am-4pm. Learn about Florida wildlife, and see the new chainsaw carvings of native wildlife. Call 352.669.3511. O C T. 2 2
O C T. 2 0
It’s the first one! Four Corners’ Fall Festival from 4-8pm at Cagan Crossing, 16554 Cagan Crossings Blvd., Clermont. Lots of fun with pumpkins, hayrides, and other events. Free admission, though tickets needed for rides. Call 352.242.0555.
Grits and grit LA Theater Works presents “Steel Magnolias” at The Sharon on Spanish Springs Town Square in The Villages. Tickets are $35-$60 ($20 obstructed-view pricing) at thesharon.com. Show: 7pm.
O C T. 2 1
Oktoberfest on the rails Germans are known for their great beers. On this trip with the Royal Palm Railway Experience, sample eight different varietals and much more. Tickets are $39.97 per person. Train leaves at 3:40pm from Mount Dora. See thefloridatrain.com
O C T. 1 7
Rock party George Thorogood and the Destroyers Rock Party Tour at The Sharon on Spanish Springs Town Square in The Villages. Tickets: $45$110 at thesharon.com. Showtime: 7pm.
* TOHnE TTOh- DeO SL cI S eT n e
O C T. 2 6 - 2 8
Send in the clowns “Aliens with Extraordinary Skills” is a dark comedy about a clown from the “unhappiest country in the world.” See moonlightplayers.com for tickets. Moonlight Players Theatre, 735 W. Minneola Ave., Clermont.
O C T. 2 7 - 2 8
Gettin’ crafty! sitors are expected
0,000 vi More than 20 tionally Craft Fair, a na al nu an th 34 for the 0 of the best event with 35 ranked, juried ntown Mount -5pm in dow r parking. crafters. 9am e provided fo ic rv se e tl ut Dora. Sh 8390. Call 352.217.
O C T. 2 7
A little black magic Enjoy an evening of music, magic, and mystery with VooDoo Bluez at The Sharon on Spanish Springs Town Square in The Villages. Show at 8pm and tickets: $20-$49 at thesharon.com. O C T. 2 6 - 2 8
Victorian music and mystery Young Edwin Drood is dead and the suspects are many. Buy tickets at melonpatchplayers.org. Rated PG. The Melon Patch Theatre, 311 N. 13th St. in Leesburg. Box office: 352.787.3013.
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: email@example.com or Lake & Sumter Style Calendar, P.O. Box 490088, Leesburg, FL 34749
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 (7-9pm 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.
WOOD • VINYL ALUMINUM • RANCH RAIL CHAIN LINK • PERGOLA'S ESTATE GATES
* IONnC OTNhC EeR TS c e n e
The Mojo Grill, Belleview
Gypsy Elise and the Royal Blues Lonie Carter
Mai Tatro and Moonlight Drive-In
McCall’s Tavern, The Villages JJ’s Lounge and Package, Sorrento Gator Joe’s Beach Bar and Grill, Ocklawaha Rocking Rabbit Brewery, Mount Dora
JJ’s Lounge and Package, Sorrento
Ruby Street Grille, Tavares
The Mojo Grill, Belleview
Greg Pando Southern Accents (Tom Petty tribute) The Accuzed Baby Blues and the No Attitude Band Daniel Heitz Band
Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale
Lake Harris Hideaway, Tavares
10/17 10/18 10/18
6pm 7pm 7pm
Brandon Santini Katie Deal Greg Pando
Rohan Recreation Center, The Villages Savannah Center, The Villages The Mojo Grill, Belleview
Ruby Street Grille, Tavares
David Oliver Willis
The Planet Festival, Fruitland Park
Ruby Street Grille, Tavares Lakeridge Winery, Clermont Pisces Rising, Mount Dora
The Planet Festival, Fruitland Park
Sound Theory Band
The Oasis, Sorrento
Hurricane Dockside, Tavares
The band 2PM
Trout Lake Nature Center, Eustis
Sound Theory Band
The Oasis, Sorrento
The Planet Festival, Fruitland Park
The Mojo Grill, Belleview
The Mojo Grill, Belleview
The Bicho Brothers Band
Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale
Ruby Street Grille, Tavares
Mad Hadder Band
Humans in Disguise
Defenders of Daisies
Frank’s Place, Leesburg Backyard Barn Winery and Microbrewery, Wildwood Ruby Street Grille, Tavares
Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale
Bands subject to change. Email firstname.lastname@example.org 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).
Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale
AV NOW 6 M AILA ON BLE FIN SPEC THS *Su AN IAL bje c CIN mo t to cr nth ed See ly pay it appr G* sto men oval. re tr M for equ inim det ire ails d. um .
* LOOnC ATL hT AeL ESNcTe n e
The write stuff New laureate promotes poetry in Lake County. STORY: JAMES COMBS // PHOTO: NICOLE HAMEL
‘The arts are growing in Lake County, and I look forward to being the face of poetry in our area.’ — LAURA SOBBOTT ROSS
or award-winning poet Laura Sobbott Ross, it’s easy to find inspiration for one of her favorite subjects: Lake County’s natural beauty. She simply steps outside her home at Sullivan Ranch in Mount Dora and enjoys the sights of ancient oak trees and acres of rolling hills. “Throughout the years, I’ve written so many poems about our beautiful area that I could make a book out of them,” says Laura, who began writing poetry as a teenager. “My poetry has focused on the area’s rolling green terrain, nurseries, orchids, and springs.” Her passion for poetry and love for the county made her a natural fit to become the first poet laureate of the Lake County Library System. During her one-year term, she will be responsible for promoting poetry, seeking new audiences for the art form, and creating opportunities to engage the community with poetry. “The arts are growing in Lake County, and I look forward to being the face of poetry in our area,” she says. By hosting poetry readings and poetry workshops at various libraries throughout the county, she will help aspiring poets tap into their creative potential. “It’s all about encouraging and inspiring future generations of poets,” she says. Laura, who teaches English for speakers of other languages to adults and GED preparation at Lake Technical College, brings an impressive list of accomplishments to the position. Her poetry has been published in literary journals such as the Columbia Review, Literary Bohemian, the Arkansas Review, and Southern Humanities Review. In addition, she won the
Southern Humanities Auburn Witness Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the Art and Letters Poetry Prize. “Most of what I write is narrative poetry,” she says. “People tell me all the time that my poems are easy to visualize and easy to understand.” Her poems include “Song Girls,” which focuses on her mom’s upbringing on a rural Mississippi farm, and “The Mansion of Howey-in-the-Hills,” a tribute to one of the county’s most popular architectural structures. She typically writes between 30 and 40 poems each year. “If I’m not writing a poem, then I’m thinking about what I’ll be writing about next,” she says. “Believe it or not, I am not academically trained. I’m one of those students who benefitted from arts in school. It’s such an important creative outlet.”
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* NOEnA RT&hFeA RS c e n e
Waltzing along the Danube An extraordinary week on the Viking Vilhjalm proves why river cruising is quickly becoming one of the most popular vacation choices for Americans. STORY: MARY ANN DESANTIS // PHOTOS: TONY & MARY ANN DESANTIS
OPPOSITE: THE 12TH CENTURY SCHÖNBÜHEL CASTLE IS THE GATEWAY TO AUSTRIA’S WACHAU VALLEY.
GRAND STAIRCASE INSIDE BUDAPEST’S PARLIAMENT BUILDING
VIKING LONGSHIPS DOCK NEAR BUDAPEST’S CHAIN BRIDGE
he dream of visiting a different European city every day has appealed to me for years, but the reality of changing hotel rooms every couple of nights always deterred me. Packing and unpacking is no fun—no matter how experienced a traveler you are. Then, just over 20 years ago, along came Viking River Cruises—as well as an array of other river cruise companies— allowing guests to come aboard and unpack just once for the duration of their trip. Even better, the boats usually dock in the heart of the cities so guests can walk right off the
boat and sightsee as much as they want. The popularity of such convenience is undeniable: 5.7 million people took a river cruise in the past three years, a number that has more than doubled since 2009, according to the Cruise Lines International Association. For my first—and, hopefully, not my last—river cruise, I traveled aboard Viking’s Vilhjalm longship on the Danube Waltz route, a perfect introduction to several European cities along the famed river. The Danube, which is Europe’s secondlongest river, is considered to be best for first-time river
cruisers, according to Frommer’s Easy Guide to River Cruising. Indeed, my route along the upper Danube included everything travelers to Europe hope to see: historic buildings and landmarks, majestic castles, UNESCO World Heritage sites, and scenic panoramic views.
A SLIGHT DETOUR
Europe experienced record-breaking heat this summer and by August, the Danube was so low in some places that cruise passengers were bused to the next city. Unfortunately, our first port of call, Budapest, was one of those places. The Vilhjalm
FISHERMEN’S BASTION OVERLOOKING BUDAPEST
had to dock about 45 miles away in Komárom, Hungary. While it was disappointing to miss the magical glow of Budapest at night, we made the most of the experience by walking across the Elisabeth Bridge over the Danube into Slovakia the next morning and exploring the delightful town of Komárno. The day turned out to be one of the most powerful experiences of my trip, because I literally walked into the country where my maternal grandfather was born. It was much harder for him to emigrate in 1922 than it was for me 96 years later to stroll into a town
I traveled aboard Viking’s Vilhjalm longship on the Danube Waltz route, a perfect introduction to several European cities along the famed river.
* NOEnA RT&hFeA RS c e n e
SHOES ON THE DANUBE MONUMENT HONORING HOLOCAUST VICTIMS
FISHERMEN’S BASTION ON CASTLE HILL AT SUNRISE
Many friends have asked if river cruises are truly worth the cost. My answer is unequivocally yes, based on the level of service we received.
similar to one where he was a youth. It was a poignant reminder that flexibility and a sense of adventure can result in meaningful, unexpected journeys. Luckily, we had arrived a few days early to explore Budapest on our own. Most other passengers returned to Budapest for a day in the city before the Vilhjalm set sail for the next stop.
Viking includes at least one daily excursion in the price of its cruises. My husband and I loved the panoramic city tours in the mornings that provided overviews of major tourist sites and allowed time to explore independently afterward. In Vienna, Austria, the ship does not dock in the city
DÜRNSTEIN, AUSTRIA, ON THE DANUBE
center so Viking provided shuttle buses. After the city tour, some guests opted to stay in town to explore on their own that afternoon and return to the ship by subway (only four stops). We chose an optional excursion to the Schönbrunn Palace, the former royal residence of the imperial Hapsburg family, which allowed us to return to the ship for lunch and then take the Viking shuttles to and from the palace.
FOOD AND SERVICE
Dining on board the Vilhjalm was a culinary delight because of executive chef Siyami Zyuyrap Ali’s expertise in preparing regional cuisine. In Hungary, we had beef goulash; in Austria, we had wiener schnitzel, a breaded Viennese veal followed by
apple strudel (which I learned to make during a cooking demonstration with the chef). For those guests not inclined to taste regional specialties, other options included steaks, hamburgers, and Norwegian salmon. Wine and beer were available at lunch and dinner at no extra charge, and those, too, reflected the countries we were passing through. And, if you bought a wine in town, you could have it served instead—with no corkage fee. Many friends have asked if river cruises are truly worth the cost. My answer is unequivocally yes, based on the level of service we received. From the moment we stepped aboard, the staff knew our names and made sure we had everything
we needed in our stateroom. Every guest we met also mentioned the attentive service they were getting. In addition, Viking made getting to and from the ship seamless, whether it was for an excursion or an airport transfer. River cruising is an elegant and relaxing way to travel. The only disadvantage is not having time to explore everything you want. However, the one- or two-day port stops give you an excellent overview of cities where you can plan a return trip. If you are planning a river cruise, be sure to read Near & Far at lakeandsumterstyle. com for some helpful tips about what you need to know before you go. The writer traveled as a guest of Viking River Cruises, which did not review or approve this article.
Ports of call for the Danube Waltz Cruise KREMS CESKY KRUMLOV
BUDAPEST: The capital of Hungary is a key destination among European river cruises. The city is rich in history and culture with many world heritage sites on both the Pest and Buda sides. Be sure to book a tour inside the iconic Parliament building. BRATISLAVA: The Slovak capital is a great walking city. The historic town square is pedestrian-only and is filled with shops and outdoor cafés. VIENNA: There is so much to see in the Austrian capital that one day isn’t
enough; however, you get a great overview with Viking’s panoramic tour and time to sample the Viennese coffee culture. KREMS: We disembarked in this picturesque Austrian town to travel to the 900-year-old Goettweig Abbey, where Benedictine monks work and worship on a hilltop overlooking the spectacular Wachau Valley. LINZ: The choice to explore this historic Austrian city or shuttle to the fairytale town of Cesky Krumlov in the
Czech Republic was difficult. We opted to take the guided tour to the Bohemian city known for its quaint shops and charming marionette museum. PASSAU: This German city was a delightful surprise with its colorful cobblestones in the art district and the 17th-century St. Stephen’s Cathedral, home to the largest pipe organ in Europe. Attending a pipe organ concert in the cathedral was certainly a grand finale for our cruise.
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.
Th e re ’ s more ! CHECK OUT THE NEAR & FAR ARTICLE ON LAKEANDSUMTERSTYLE.COM FOR MORE ON THIS STORY
* SOOnC I ATLhSeP OST LcI eG HnTe
Hours of fun at Bushnell Fall Festival More than 10,000 visitors are expected, with the Greased Pig Contest the ‘must-see’ attraction. STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL
festive morning parade, arts and craft displays, food vendors, street dancing, and evening fireworks will attract crowds to the 34th annual Bushnell Fall Festival on Oct. 20, yet the event coordinator knows the Greased Pig Contest will be the biggest draw of all. Yes, greased pigs. “It’s literally what it sounds like,” says Rebecca Morrison, noting there will be up to 50 greasy pigs in an open muddy area, all surrounded by a large crowd of cheering spectators gathered to watch children chasing after the porkers with hopes of catching one. The winners get to take their pigs home. “The pig is their prize,” she says. “Since FFA (Future Farmers of America) is so prevalent here in Sumter County, it’s very frequent that you see the kids catch these pigs and take them home to raise them so that they can turn around and show them at next year’s fair.”
The contest is open to youths ages 3-18, each competing in their age group. “This is the most down-home type of festival. It is the epitome of a smalltown feel with arts and craft vendors, food vendors, fireworks, and it all comes together in one event,” Rebecca says. Rebecca enjoyed attending the Bushnell Fall Festival as a teenager and later with her own children, and the festival began as a way for Bushnell residents to celebrate the city’s birthday. City records note Bushnell was founded with the establishment of the post office on Oct. 28, 1885, and incorporated 26 years later in 1911. Bushnell was named after John
W. Bushnell, who was responsible for bringing the railroad to the community. Bushnell is the county seat of rural Sumter County. Attracting crowds of more than 10,000 people, Bushnell Fall Festival is the largest city event that occurs each year besides the Sumter County Fair, Rebecca says. “It’s a one-of-akind event for where we live,” she says. “It also brings a lot of outside business to the county, and we really think that’s a great thing. We have people as far as Brooksville, Inverness, and beyond who come to the festival.” The event starts with a 9:30am parade that begins at South Sumter High School. The parade route travels down Main Street and ends at
Parkhill Avenue, and it is expected to be filled with floats decorated in the festival’s Medieval Magic theme of kings, queens, knights, nobles, dragons, and castles. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top floats. “We want people to put as much into it as possible,” Rebecca says of decorating the floats. Businesses, nonprofit groups, civic organizations, politicians, horses, school groups, and walkers are expected to participate in the parade. Afterward, visitors can head to the Kenny Dixon Sports Complex, 824 Noble Ave., for the opening ceremonies, festival activities, and a “melting pot” of ethnic foods provided by food trucks, nonprofit groups,
and churches, Rebecca says. Food offerings in the past have included Caribbean dishes, tamales, gourmet corn dogs, Italian sausage, and more. Music from the 1950s to ’80s, provided by Cactus Jack and the Cadillacs, will highlight the street dance, and the festival will culminate with fireworks slated to begin at 9pm. The festival is a Sumter County Tourism Development Council event, funded by a TDC grant, vendor application fees, and support from city employees. “This event would not be possible without the city of Bushnell public works,” says Rebecca, noting the importance of employee involvement. “They’re instrumental in helping the day go off without a hitch.”
‘This is the most downhome type of festival. It is the epitome of a smalltown feel with arts and craft vendors, food vendors, ﬁreworks, and it all comes together in one event.’ — REBECCA MORRISON
Want to be in the parade? Bushnell Fall Festival coordinator Rebecca Morrison says the cutoff date to be in the parade is Oct. 15. Those interested may call her at 352.874.5175 or send an email to email@example.com.
* HOIn, S OTChI EeT YS! c e n e
Niqol, William, June, and William Mccorkle
Frying up a win The 22nd annual Spring Fish Fry hosted by the Leesburg Partnership featured all-you-can-eat fresh fried fish, cheese grits, hush puppies, corn-on-the-cob, steamed oysters, collard greens, cornbread, and key lime pie for the community to enjoy. The Leesburg Partnership won the Honor Award for its fish fry at the 2018 Florida Main Street Awards, in the Outstanding Florida Main Street Fundraising Development Effort category. The awards program showcases innovative projects that make historic communities successful. . PHOTOS: BROOKE AKERS
John Hopper and Joseph Clark
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Golfing for Miss Leesburg The annual Miss Leesburg Scholarship Scramble hosted at Arlington Ridge Golf Course in Leesburg is a major fundraiser for the Miss Leesburg program. Since 1997, more than $175,000 has been awarded to further the college education of young female students. The next golf scramble, the 15th annual event, is slated May 11, 2019, at Arlington Ridge. To learn more about the scramble, call 352.326.4217. PHOTOS:PROVIDED
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Walking for babies More than 400 people participated in the recent March of Dimesâ€™ March for Babies in a three-mile walk at the track and field complex of the National Training Center in Clermont. The next march is slated May 4, 2019, also at the National Training Center, 1935 Don Wickham Drive. According to the March of Dimes, more than 224,200 babies are born every year in Florida, and 22,407 are born preterm, 6,796 have birth defects, and 1,322 infants die before their first birthday. PHOTOS: PROVIDED
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A gift for Pam The fourth annual Villagers for Veterans Orchid Gala was held at the Savannah Center in The Villages. This year’s event honored women veterans and featured Johnny Wild and The Delights as the band with a ‘50s and ‘60s theme. Money from the event went to “Building a House with Love,” a plan designed to build a home in The Villages for veteran former Sgt. Pam Kelly, who was paralyzed in a training accident. The retrofitted home will be in the historic side of The Villages and is, as always, a labor of love. PHOTOS: NICOLE HAMEL
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For the children Fross & Fross Wealth Management sponsored the fifth annual St. Jude Time to Give Back Golf Tournament at Mallory Hill Country Club in The Villages. Not only did golfers get to enjoy a day on the course, there was dinner for participants and visitors that evening. St. Jude Childrenâ€™s Research Hospital offers care to children with traumatic diseases no matter the familyâ€™s income level. The hospital was founded by the late entertainer, Danny Thomas. PHOTOS: NICOLE HAMEL
Darrell Wesner, Gene Linder, Tom Brigham, and Joe Ging
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BUILDING UNIQUE POOLS “They built the pool to perfection, and the ﬁnished design was better than we ever imagined. The superintendent was willing to answer all our questions before, during, and after the project. Although we have been swimming in the pool for three months, we can still call him with any questions. Wiseman Pools went above and beyond, and the pool is functional and works like we want it to.” —SCOTT STEPHENS, LAKE PANASOFFKEE
We know that every single customer is unique—Building Unique Pools is our company motto—and so every project we undertake is delivered to a client’s signature set of personal tastes and, where necessary, solves any challenges their property may present. 352-431-3766 | www.WisemanPools.com | 1517 W Main St., Leesburg Wiseman Pools is a family-owned-and-operated, licensed residential and commercial swimming pool builder with an extensive portfolio of projects. From the small—fountains and in-ground spas. To the large—million dollar installations with multiple pools and spas. Our customers, large and small, demand a quality swimming pool for a fair price. And we deliver.
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Celebrating its 10th anniversary HUGS Charities of Ocala recently celebrated its 10th anniversary with proceeds going to families facing cancer and The Cancer Alliance of Marion County. Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute was the signature sponsor this year. HUGS stands for Heartfelt Unconditional Giving, and this annual event was held at the Country Club of Ocala. PHOTOS: NICOLE HAMEL
Barbara Tomyn, Helen Greene, and Amy Roberts
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Kevin is one of only thirty-six (less than 1%) to survive the fall and is the only Golden Gate Bridge jump survivor who is actively spreading the message of living mentally healthy around the globe. Kevin Hines is a brain/mental health advocate, award-winning global speaker, bestselling author and documentary filmmaker who reaches audiences with his story of an unlikely survival and his strong will to live. Kevin Hines will present encouraging messages about living mentally healthy and the importance of seeking help and support during times of crisis, while underscoring the power of the human spirit to guide us in finding meaning, gratitude, and purpose in life.
All proceeds benefit LifeStream’s Children & Family Services Tickets: $100/Person ~ Table Sponsor (8) $1,000 For more information, call 352.315.7527 or visit www.lsbc.net
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Get gas and get healthy Ever since convenience stores were attached to gas stations, they have offered fast foods to grab and go—usually hot dogs, sandwiches, breakfast items, or nachos. With America thinking healthier, however, RaceTrac has stepped up its offerings to include freshly made salads. The stores offer a variety of salads and dressings, making it easy for you to grab and go and still be healthy!
A day for the sweet tooth Circle the calendar in red on Oct. 14 as it’s the sweetest of sweet days—National Dessert Day—and as good excuse as any to indulge in your favorite cake, pie, ice cream, cobbler, doughnut, or crepes. Nationaltoday.com calls desserts “happiness in every bite,” and it suggests making National Dessert Day fun by having dessert at every meal or plan a dessert party featuring favorite treats to share with family or friends.
This party never stops
Legend says Oktoberfest began Oct. 17, 1810, to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. To still be celebrating 208 years later, they must have had one doozy of a wedding reception. Among the communities carrying on the tradition are The Villages, with a festival scheduled for Oct. 18 at Lake Sumter Landing Market Square, and Tavares, which penciled in Oct. 6 for the possible return of its Rocktoberfest street party, one year after the event was canceled because of downtown construction. Rock on, princes and princesses.
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A pastrami on rye There’s a new restaurant in town that should make many of the transplanted New Yorkers happy. The New York Deli ‘N’ Diner is open in the former location of Pete’s Diner in Fruitland Park Plaza. The address is 3325 U.S. Highway 441, in the same strip mall as Appliance Direct and Badcock Furniture. It opens at 7am for breakfast and lunch. For more information, call 352.365.0051 and see if the restaurant has your favorite deli sandwich with a big dill pickle. LEESBURG
Lunch and shop
Homemade baked goods will be among items for sale at the Fall Bazaar hosted from 9am-3pm Oct. 20 in the Family Life Center at Morrison United Methodist Church, 1005 W. Main St., Leesburg. Lunch will be available, too, starting at 11am with soup, chicken salad, croissants, assorted fruit, homemade cookies, and beverages on the menu.
& Drink * IFNoToH d E KITCHEN
The lunch lady Laurie Elliston: ‘Most people would be surprised by the sheer volume and how much work we do.’ STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL // PHOTOS: VOLKAN ULGEN
‘I learn all of the kids pretty much by name. They deserve kindness, respect, and being treated like human beings. It goes a long way.’ — LAURIE ELLISTON
s food service manager at East Ridge High School, the largest school in Lake County, Laurie Elliston begins her work day at 5am, overseeing the preparation and serving of more than 9,300 breakfast and lunch meals a week. “I love the challenge and I feel very fortunate that I have a great staff,” she says. “It’s mind-boggling how much we have to do, just in the organization of ordering the bread, milk, and the produce.” Organization also is required to get students through the food lines swiftly. “We’re serving breakfast before the sun comes up,” says the Florida native and
grandmother of two, who enjoys greeting students during their morning meal. “I learn all of the kids pretty much by name. They deserve kindness, respect, and being treated like human beings. It goes a long way.” Breakfast and lunch are now free for all Lake County Schools students, regardless of income. Thanks to the Community Eligibility Provision, the federal program allows schools in low-income communities to provide meals at no charge. However, students do pay for snack foods and additional menu items. Laurie says the high school cafeteria of today has evolved into food stations with more choices. There’s a hot pizza line with varieties including Buffalo chicken pizza, French bread pizza, pepperoni, and cheese; a hot sandwich line; a wraps and fresh salads station; and the main food line, which often has “comfort food,” such as chicken and mashed potatoes. The main food line
also features a daily theme, such as Italian, Southwest, Asian, Homestyle, or Bits and Pieces, which is chicken chunks or fish sticks with macaroni and cheese. “That day (Bits and Pieces) on the line is ridiculous, and we are totally prepared,” says Laurie, whose own favorite school lunch is roasted turkey and homemade dressing at Thanksgiving time. Every Friday, Laurie and her close crew get decked out in pink for their colleague, Terryann Venezia, a breast cancer survivor, whom they affectionately call Chef Diva. Now in her 21st year of food service with Lake County Schools, Laurie began at Minneola Elementary when her oldest of two sons started kindergarten. She believes working in the school cafeteria is ideal for parents with children. “It’s wonderful, and they recently changed it so we could get paid year-round like teachers do,” she says. Recipes from lunch lady Laurie Elliston:
Chicken tetrazzini (Serves 500) Ingredients:
gallons of water
cup plus 4 teaspoons salt
pounds plus 12 oz. spaghetti pasta
2½ cups vegetable oil 10
pounds raw onions chopped
pounds raw carrots cut in ¼-inch slices
quarts plus 2 cups raw celery, chopped
pounds plus 8 oz. of sweet green pepper, chopped
tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
pounds plus 8 oz. raw white mushrooms, sliced
cup plus 4 teaspoons onion powder
pounds plus 8 oz. margarine
gallon plus 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
cup plus 4 teaspoons granulated garlic
pounds plus 14 oz. diced chicken
9¼ gallons plus 2 cups 1% milk
pounds plus 12 oz. Parmesan cheese
5½ gallons plus 2 cups chicken stock
Butter ball cookies Ingredients:
cup butter or margarine
cup confectioners’ sugar
tablespoon vanilla extract
Boil water and salt in steam-jacketed kettle or stock pot. Add spaghetti. Cook until firm-tender, 8 minutes. Drain and hold in cold water. Set aside. In steam-jacket kettle or large sauce pan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the vegetables, sliced mushrooms. Sauté vegetables 5 minutes or until tender. Set aside. Melt margarine in steam-jacket kettle or stock pot. Add flour and cook 5 minutes. Slowly add milk to the flour mixture. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture is
thickened. Add chicken stock, pepper, onion powder, and garlic. Simmer for 5 minutes. In each steamtable pan (12-by-20-inches, by 2½ inches deep) combine 3 pounds, 12 ounces (3 quarts) of cooked spaghetti, 3 pounds 9 ounces cooked diced chicken, 1 quart cooked vegetables, and 2 quarts and 1 cup of sauce. Bake until golden brown in 350-degree convection oven for 35 minutes. Cut 5-by-5 inches from each each pan (to get 25 pieces per pan). Hold for hot service at 140 degrees.
Photo: Butter ball cookies by Anthony Rao
Mix first three ingredients, then add the remaining ingredients. Shape into balls, one teaspoon each, on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 325 degrees (do not brown). Cool, then roll in confectioners’ sugar.
d & drink * FfOoR o K ON THE ROA D
(Out of a possible 5)
The Bavarian Haus 433 Alexander St., Mount Dora 352.735.8387 Hours: 11am-9pm Tuesday-Thursday; 11am-10pm FridaySaturday; 11am-4pm Sunday.
THE BAVARIAN HOUS
A taste of Germany
Casual dining $$ Seated immediately (lunch hour) Wait for meal: 15 minutes
Restaurateur stays true to his German cuisine roots. STORY: JAMES COMBS // PHOTOS: ANTHONY RAO
OUT-OF-THE-ORDINARY APPETIZERS: ($5.95-$12.95): Homemade chicken noodle soup, frankfurter sausage and bread, homemade goulash soup.
LUNCH AND DINNER: ($7.95$18.45): Wiener schnitzel, bratwurst baguette, sauerbraten, schnitzel baguette, roulade. 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.
t the Bavarian Haus, there’s the German beers and the atmosphere where bier steins are lined along shelves and waitresses don traditional dirndl dresses on the weekends. But for patrons like Josh Thomas, it’s all about the authentic German food. That’s why he doesn’t mind driving from Ocala to downtown Mount Dora. “I take my family here whenever they come to visit,” he says. “I love the schnitzel, and the potato salad is the best in the world.” After eating an enjoyable lunch there recently, I echo
Josh’s sentiments. I was also pleased to meet owner and restaurateur Achim Weyer, a Munich native who opened the Bavarian Haus six years ago. He capitalizes on his 25 years of culinary experience to make classic German entrees such as schnitzel, sauerbraten, and bratwurst. “I try to make my restaurant as authentic as possible— both with the food and décor,” he says. Everything I ate was delicious, starting with the kalte platte appetizer of Black Forest ham, pork roast, kielbasa, obatzda cheese,
and Swiss cheese. For my main meal, I ordered pancooked bratwurst mixed with pork and veal sausage. The bratwurst oozed juices with each bite. My dining partner ordered jagerschnitzel, a slice of tender pork topped with a generous portion of mushroom gravy. Because of the way the pork is cooked, he concluded that “it has the flavor of a steak.” Three simple words summed up our meal: Das war lecker. In English, that translates to “This was delicious.”
F I R S T WATC H
Delicious coffee and foods from scratch Daytime cafe is where diners can enjoy breakfast for lunch or lunch for breakfast. STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL // PHOTO: ANTHONY RAO
t all started with the coffee. We were immediately hooked. First Watch does coffee right. It’s nice that diners are welcomed with their own pot of the smooth, rich brew. Called Project Sunrise, the cafe notes its coffee is made from Arabica beans handpicked by female coffee growers in the Huila (“Weeluh”) region of Colombia. First Watch’s menu is also fun to peruse. There’s breakfast and lunch choices for all palates, ranging from rich and hearty to clean and super-healthy. My friend raved over the Trifecta, a “sweet and savory” breakfast treat of two eggs with a Belgian waffle, bacon, and she added a side order of perfectly seasoned potatoes. I opted for lunch fare of a veggie burger and salad of organic mixed greens. The burger had a nice spicy kick made from a mixture
of brown rice, Peppadew peppers, onions, carrots, and mushrooms. Served on a brioche bun, the veggie burger was topped with mashed avocado, mixed greens, red onion, and a side of Dijonnaise. First Watch won us over. We’re both eager to return and savor more menu offerings. The breakfast tacos of wheat-corn tortillas with scrambled eggs, Cajun chicken, chorizo, cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese sounds yummy to me, and so does the A.M. Superfoods Bowl, featuring coconut milk chia seed pudding with fresh bananas, berries, blackberry preserves, and granola. It’s served with whole grain artisan toast topped with almond butter. Whatever we order next, First Watch’s coffee will be a must.
(Out of a possible 5)
First Watch 1568 Bella Cruz Drive The Villages 352.633.1520 Hours: 7am-2:30pm daily
Casual dining $$ Seated immediately (late morning) Wait for meal: 12 minutes OUT-OF-THE-ORDINARY BREAKFAST AND LUNCH FARE: ($2.49-$9.50): Million Dollar Bacon, chickichanga, smoked salmon Benedict, pesto quinoa bowl.
d & drink * FfOoR o K ON THE ROA D
(Out of a possible 5)
Clermont Fish House 110 W. State Highway 50 Clermont 352.708.5563 Open 11am-8pm Tuesday-Saturday
CLERMONT FISH HOUSE
One of the ‘chippies’ in Clermont
Casual dining $$ Seated immediately (lunch hour) Wait for meal: 10 minutes ENTREES: ($7.25$13.99): Flounder, cod, catfish, haddock, mahi, shrimp, grouper, clam strips, steak pie, beef & onion, sausage roll, buttered sausage; sides: mushy peas, collard beans, fried okra, sweet corn nuggets, onion rings.
It’s authentic and served hot and delectable: British fish and chips. STORY: LEIGH NEELY // PHOTOS: NICOLE HAMEL
SANDWICHES: ($7.25-$13.99): Philly steak or chicken, Chip Butty, chicken, and fish. DESSERTS: ($1-$2.99): Fried pineapple rings, blueberry-apple pie, key lime pie.
lermont Fish House is a place where you can order British fish and chips, a culinary classic born more than 160 years ago that has stood the test of time. Since it was a working-class meal, most people carried it out of the shop wrapped in newsprint. Health warnings stopped that, but it’s still easy to carry out. You can get it quickly to eat-in at counters around the wall or packaged to carry out. Though I intended to go with the traditional cod, I couldn’t pass up the grouper sandwich with chips (french fries). Everything comes out of the kitchen piping hot and delicious. My friend enjoyed the flounder and chips,
and we finished our meal sharing a piece of key lime pie. All I have to say is, we cleaned our plates! For such a small place, the menu is fairly extensive, with a variety of fish and great sides. Décor includes an amazing array of woolen scarves from the various football teams in Britain, many of them donated by customers. Whatever you try, general manager Steve Green, who is from London, and wife Laura want to ensure you have a tasty experience. I can attest to the authenticity of the place and its food—my son lives in Weybridge, England, and I love the fish and chips shops over there.
Marilyn MacLauchlin Marilyn lived independently up until 2017, when she became ill and realized it was important to ﬁnd a place to live where people were available to look out for her medical needs. She and her family chose Benton House. Marilyn says she’s particularly grateful for the nurses who are on hand and the staff’s response to calls for assistance—even if she just needs a question answered. “I like it a lot. There are a lot of nice people here,” Marilyn says. “The staff is helpful and caring, and they’re all very respectful.” She enjoys the community’s daily walking club and chair exercises, as well as an afternoon social hour, and she sits together with her new friends for meals. Marilyn, a former building department clerk for the city of Clermont, says she would not have known these friends if not for Benton House. Residents from all walks of life come to the senior living community, and together they have formed a new family for her.
A place of love and support… 352.241.9994 // 16401 Good Hearth Blvd., Clermont // BentonHouse.com FL Assisted living Facility # 12491
* SFAoL UoTdÉ
Pinot noir vineyards owned by Aron Szovenyi of Anonym Winery
Hungary’s winemaking renaissance
Gergö Gáspár of Vizi Winery
Two World Wars and 40 years of communist rule decimated Hungary’s renowned wine industry, but today’s producers are restoring the country’s winemaking reputation.
Small estates throughout Hungary’s 22 wine regions replanted and cultivated vines after the collapse of the Soviet Bloc in 1989.
STORY: MARY ANN DESANTIS // PHOTOS: TONY DESANTIS
he cellar door to Vizi Winery was near the road, with just a narrow strip of grass separating it from passing cars and curious wine drinkers. At the top of the door, the date carved in limestone clearly said 1867— that’s how long wine has been made and stored there in the hillside of Etyek, Hungary, but the region’s winemaking history can be traced even further.
Etyek-Buda is one of Hungary’s oldest wine-producing regions with vine growing and grape harvests since the 11th century. Located only 19 miles from Budapest, it’s the easiest region for day-trippers to explore. Late afternoon and evening winery tours are common and can accommodate Danube River cruise passengers who are in Budapest for only a day or two.
Don’t let the region’s size or its proximity to a top tourist destination fool you. Winemakers here are serious about restoring Hungary’s once formidable wine reputation. After all, Hungarians have made wine since the Middle Ages, and Etyek-Buda was once considered the best wine region until phylloxera devastated the vines in the 19th century.
The grape: Furmint Best known as Hungary’s grape for Tokaji Aszu wines, the white furmint grape variety has flourished in Eastern Europe for centuries. Hungarian winemakers also use furmint to make dry white wines that have bright acidity and tangy fruit notes. Wines made with furmint grapes are increasingly available in the U.S. Gergö Gáspár and his father-in-law run the small Vizi Winery and make some of the best pinot noir wines I’ve ever tasted. And no wonder because Etyek resembles France’s Champagne region where pinot noir grapes are prized. A barrel tasting in that historic cellar yielded a pinot noir rosé that, despite its light color, was round and flavorful. Gergö said the rosé had “behaved well” in the barrels. The small Vizi team (just Gergö and his father-in-law) also produces wines made from Hungary’s indigenous grape, irsai oliver, a white wine grape that ripens early and has a distinctive muscat character. The Vizi chardonnay and pinot gris cuvee is aged in Hungarian oak, and Gergö describes it as Vizi Winery 1867 Cellar
“a bit more spicy than Americans are used to drinking.” Gergö, who studied in Italy’s Tuscany region, uses traditional winemaking techniques in the winery his father-in-law bought in 1997, several years after the fall of communism. “When the Soviets were here, it was all about quantity,” Gergö says. “Now we are coming back to quality.” Small estates throughout Hungary’s 22 wine regions replanted and cultivated vines after the collapse of the Soviet Bloc in 1989. They are seeing the fruits of the labor with wines that are refreshing and delicious. “Hungary became a main source of wine for the Soviet Union, but they were not interested in high-quality wine,” explains Eva Virag, a guide for City and Wine Tours. “As a result, we lost our reputation for good wine. But now we’re seeing a renaissance of Hungarian wines.” Etyek-Buda wineries, about 120 of them, sell mostly to restaurants and shops in Budapest and within the European Union. Americans who want to sample Hungarian wines at home will have to look to the larger and more famous region of Tokaj-Hegyalja, a world heritage site since 2002. Tokaj wines are readily available in larger cities, including Orlando and Tampa. “Tokaj is by far the great region in Hungary with dozens of outstanding producers,” says Ronn Wiegand, a wine consultant who travels to Hungary frequently and publishes Restaurant Wine magazine.
“No other region can begin to compare.” Tokaji Aszu, which tops Ronn’s favorites list, is a late-harvest dessert wine. The honey-colored wine is made primarily from furmint grapes, and its unique, concentrated flavor is possible because of a fungus (Botrytis cinereal or “noble rot”) that thrives on the grape in late fall. The grapes are left on vines to wither like raisins before they are harvested in late October and November. The wines, similar to French Sauternes, are aromatic and lush and often taste like candied tangerines and apricots. The acidity balances out the extreme sugar content. Not surprisingly, Tokaji Aszu was once called the wine of kings and the king of wines.
Tasting notes defined
LUSH, LUSCIOUS Wines that are soft, viscous, or full-bodied can be described as lush or luscious. Some also say the texture is round, meaning it’s smooth and not coarse or tannic. These terms are more often applied to sweet white wines than bold red wines.
Pinot noir vineyards owned by Aron Szovenyi of Anonym Winery
Hungary’s other top wine regions include Eger, best known for Bull’s Blood (a red blend) and the Star of Eger (a white blend); Villány, a warm region in the southernmost tip of Hungary famous for its red wines, including cabernet sauvignon and merlot; and Nagy Somlo, the country’s smallest wine region, which produces the volcanic Juhfark white wine.
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.
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 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 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 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 El Ranchito 911 W N Blvd. 352.314.9339 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 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 Turners 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
Food & Drink DINING GUIDE
YOUR COLLEGE & NFL HEADQUARTERS
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
any game. any time.
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! They have been 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. Every Saturday watch your favorite college team (including the SEC Package) while enjoying appetizer specials and $2 domestic draft beers. On Sundays, they offer “The Sunday NFL Ticket,” catch any game… any time while Domestic Buckets of beer are only $15 and Domestic Pitchers are only $7. A few menu items offered are (never frozen) killer ½ lb. burgers, personal pan pizzas, amazing rib-eye cheese steaks, healthy wheat wraps, fresh homemade salads, 16 awesome appetizers and their signature deep fried Ice Cream and Snickers Bars! Cousin Vinnie’s also offers, free Wi-Fi, great music, and an enthusiastic staff ready to exceed your expectations.
La Palma 1690 Citrus Blvd., Leesburg // 352.323.1444 // LapalmaGrill.com Open Daily 11am – 9pm // Lunch Specials: 11am – 3pm
OF THE BEST
OF THE BEST
OF THE BEST HOTLIST FINALIST
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 e! er) eat fre d n u d n a (10
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.
The Fall assortments are back! Call and order yours today!
352.391.1334 3509 Wedgewood Lane, The Villages
(in the Southern Trace Plaza) Delivery not available in all areas. EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® & Design and all other marks noted are trademarks of Edible Arrangements, LLC. ©2018 Edible Arrangements, LLC. All rights reserved.
Events by Miss Daisy Let us plan your event!
Miss Daisy’s Flowers & Gifts
“Whatever Your Occasion, Let Miss Daisy’s Make It Special!”
1024 W. Main Street Leesburg, FL
www.MissDaisysFlowers.c om October 2018
Food & Drink DINING GUIDE
Southern Gourmet 314 W. Main St., Leesburg // Open Monday through Friday 10:30am–3pm // 352.409.7512 Smiling faces. Courteous service. Outstanding food. That’s what visitors can expect when they dine at Southern Gourmet, a quaint deli and café located in the heart of downtown Leesburg. While customers rave about the chicken salad sandwich, plenty of other delicious items are on the menu, including a Super Club sandwich, the Traditional BLT, and Classic Turkey Reuben on Rye. Daily soup specials are offered, as well as a variety of scrumptious side dishes such as cranberry salad, pasta salad, and seasonal fresh fruit.
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
Follow me into the forest for fantasy and fun Lake Idamere-Tavares, FL State Road 19 and C.R. 448, Tavares, FL 32778
Lady of the Lakes Nov 2-3-4 • Nov 10-11 10:00a.m. - 5:00p.m.
AT GATE: $17 adult • $10 child EDUCATION DAY: November 2 9:30a.m. - 3:00p.m. $5 at gate for students 352.326.1265
es Skip the Lin at ine Order O N L .com e lakerenfair 6 5 3 52.32 6.12 PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT
SENIOR DAY (OVER 62): November 4 $8 at gate VETERANS DAY: November 11 $8 Military ID GROUP SALES FOR 15 OR MORE: firstname.lastname@example.org
Food & Drink DINING GUIDE
The Whistle Stop at Zellwood Station 2728 Cayman Cir., Zellwood // Tue-Sat 11am-7pm // Sun 11am-5pm // 407.814.7005 Located in the rolling hills of Zellwood Station is Whistle Stop Restaurant and Lounge. With a scenic view of the community’s beautiful golf course, the restaurant is open Sunday morning for breakfast, Wednesdays and Fridays for dinner, and Tuesday through Sunday for lunch. Diners can satisfy their taste buds on various food items prepared by a former Disney Chef, including Reubens, burgers, Caesar salad, and a large pork sandwich.
Yalaha Bakery 8210 State Road 48, Yalaha // Open daily 8am-7pm // 352.324.3366 The family owned German Bakery since 1995, is an award-winning Bakery that offers to customers high-quality German products made with the highest culinary standards. Fine European pastries and breads are made with organic flours, chocolates, and spices, butter, and imported European ingredients. Take home tortes, tarts, and wonderful pretzels, but before you go home, enjoy something from our delicious deli menu. We serve breakfast from 8-11am and lunch and dinner are served 11am-7pm. Enjoy German specialties like Nurnberger breakfast, Hunterschnitzel with Spätzle, Bratwurst, Reuben, Quiche, typical German soups, and maybe Semelknoedel (bread dumplings with mushroom sauce) for lunch or dinner. We offer a fine selection of German beers and wines. Whatever time of day, you’ll find something you love at Yalaha Bakery. On the weekends you can come and enjoy various events and music concerts on Saturdays and Sundays at our Beer Garden. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter or via our website www.yalahabakery.com A German Bakery Like No Other!
Would you like to see your restaurant in our dining section? Call us at 352.787.4112 LAKE & SUMTER
OUR 2018 PRESENTING SPONSOR
LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF’S CHARITIES, INC. PEYTON C. GRINNELL, SHERIFF
Nov. 9, 2018 | 5:30 pm
COU E N K ERIFF H
to benefit Lake County Sheriff’s Charities, Inc. PLATINUM SPONSORS
DEAS CONSULTING GOLD SPONSORS
T I C K E T S F O R I N D I V I D U A L S E AT S :
For sponsorship opportunities, contact: Kristy Marden: 352.343.9501 // email@example.com Cheryl Wilson: 352.343.9454 // firstname.lastname@example.org
to purchase online go to lcsc.ticket.qtego.net
$29* INSTALLED *per/sq.ft.
Over 300 colors in stock!
BUILDING STONE :: COUNTERTOPS :: FURNITURE :: LANDSCAPING STONE :: MISCELLANEOUS www.southeasternstoneandtile.com :: 352.629.7518 :: 1208 S.E. 3RD AVE, OCALA, FL 34478 October 2018
P NK OUT! Ask the Experts
Ladies Legacy PINK OUT! Luncheon 5k Walk/Run
Tuesday, October 9 1 â€“ 2 p.m. The Comfort Inn
Friday, October 12 11:30 a.m. Lake Receptions
Thursday, October 18 6:00 p.m. race Wooton Park
Please join Borys Mascarenhas, MD, FACS, a board-certified breast cancer surgeon, and Peter Marzek, MD, FACS, a board-certified plastic surgeon, as they discuss:
Please join Florida Hospital Waterman Foundation for a day of fun, food and friendship at our 5th Annual Ladies Legacy Luncheon!
Join Florida Hospital Waterman for its 5th Annual Pink Out 5K Run/Walk. The 5K will be held at Wooton Park, 100 E Ruby St, Tavares.
This year, former Miss Florida and a cancer survivor, Kristin Beall Ludeke, will be sharing her inspiring story.
Proceeds help promote breast cancer awareness, diagnosis and treatment including mammograms for women in need.
The newest research into the causes of breast cancer and minimizing your risk. Plus what to expect if diagnosed.
Florida Hospital Waterman will soon be AdventHealth Waterman.
To register or for more information, visit FHWatermanPink.com
Mammo For only
$30 Early detection could save your life. With a team of highly specialized radiologists who screen more women for breast cancer than any other group in Central Florida. With no script required, online scheduling and extended hours, itâ€™s easy to schedule your $30 screening mammogram in 30 minutes or less*.
*See details at FHWatermanPink.com
F i na l T h oug h t
Celebrating the harvest Thanksgiving side dishes hold special memories for someone whose childhood home had a summer garden. STORY: LEIGH NEELY
grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in a house with a huge backyard so my father could have a garden every summer. Unfortunately, I have a wilted-yellow thumb, and I’ve never taken to digging in the dirt and growing things. My dad couldn’t wait for the first hint that cold weather was gone. Many times, he got ahead of himself and had to plant his crops twice because we’d have a heavy frost in April. Mother always fussed at him about that because she said it was a waste of seeds. He purchased seeds from catalogs and the local garden center, and carefully nurtured others passed to him from other gardeners. I remember Mother giving seed samplings to extended family members after he died to keep the heritage going.
Every year, Daddy grew lettuce, green beans, okra, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, corn, and anything else that he thought would grow.
Every year, Daddy grew lettuce, green beans, okra, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, corn, and anything else that he thought would grow. In addition, he had apple, peach, and pecan trees, and grew blackberries. He loved being in that garden, and my mom often accused him of overworking it. He didn’t seem to care. I loved those meals that included fresh green beans, sliced juicy tomatoes, fried okra, and cornbread. I have to say I was never very fond of July because we spent most of our time canning and freezing the harvest. I estimate I have sterilized a million Mason jars. OK, maybe not that many, but a lot of them. We canned sweet and dill pickles, hot peppers, tomatoes, ketchup, soup mix,
and sauerkraut (that stuff stinks while it’s fermenting). We eventually moved to freezing green beans, corn, and okra. All of this work paid off at Thanksgiving and other meals during winter. Instead of green bean casserole, we had the fresh frozen green beans that tasted like they’d just come out of the garden. We had creamed corn and squash casserole. We also enjoyed macaroni and cheese with stewed tomatoes added. These were my favorite side dishes, and they made the meal. This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful my dad taught me about gardening though I don’t do it myself. I do, however, know my way to places like Bountiful Farms in Okahumpka, where there are acres and acres of wonderful fresh vegetables.
Groundbreaking Prostate Cancer Treatment • SpaceOAR® Hydrogel reduces radiation side effects with fewer rectal, urinary and sexual complications • Calypso® 4D Localization System allows precise tumor monitoring for more targeted treatments • 5-day treatment available
Only available in the Tri-County area at InterCommunity Cancer Center
Are you under 65 and unable to work? 352.326.5009
HEAR ARE INGS H IN O ELD OFFI UR CE!
CHRIS BELL, A.D.R. + JEFF BELL, A.D.R.
DISABILITY CONSULTANTS 1 0 1 E B E R C K M A N S T, F R U I T L A N D PA R K 1 0 2 0 N E 8 T H AV E , O C A L A ALSO OFFERING HELP WITH MEDICARE INSURANCE
Frank DeLuca Owner/President
DELUCA TOYOTA SR 200 â€¢ Ocala, FL 352-732-0770 DELUCATOYOTA.COM
INTRODUCING THE EASY NEW SHUTTLE SERVICE FROM THE VILLAGES TO DOWNTOWN LEESBURG Shuttle service will launch this Fall. For information about travel and reservations visit our website at www.5freebus.com. Follow us on Facebook for updates and offers at www.facebook.com/5freebus.
0 5 is the new
s u o l u b fa Before
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