People know the white vans with the yellow stripes are
Village Airport Van-tasic! Read all about the driving forces behind this success local service on pg 70.
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MAY 2017 // VOL.13 NO. 7 // F e a t u r e s
34 Mom and Daughter shine Danielle Daugherty and Dawn Couliette are savvy businesswomen who fulfilled a dream they had to create a place of tranquility, happiness, and great style! Bella Mia’s owners are Style’s Business Woman of 2017. STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL
39 Business Women of Style They have their fingers on the pulse of business in Lake and Sumter counties. Not only do they bring home the bacon, they give incredible amounts of their free time to mentoring, fundraising, and organizing events. These women in Style’s promotional feature mean business—and they make every day count. PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
80 Playing for the same team With the combination of sports venues like Hickory Point Beach and the National Training Center added to the Amway Center and Disney’s Wide World of Sports, it seems natural for Lake County to partner with Orlando to create a sports tourism superpower brand that could boost the Central Florida economy.
STORY: JAMES COMBS People know the white vans with the yellow stripes are
Village Airport Van-tasic! Read all about the driving forces behind this success local service on pg 70.
90 A young artist with an old soul Chelsea Smith creates prints from copper plate etchings, a medium used by artists like Rembrandt and Albrecht. Her subjects are a blend of nature, animals, history, and mythology. STORY: CHRIS GERBASI
On the covers LAKE & SUMTER STYLE DIRECTION: JASON FUGATE PHOTOGRAPHY: FRED LOPEZ MODEL: DANIELLE DAUGHERTY VILLAGES EDITION DIRECTION: JAMIE MARK PHOTOGRAPHY: FRED LOPEZ PHOTOSHOP: JOSH CLARK
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The Boss Lady lifestyle he Boss Lady is a woman who is in control. She oozes confidence and an aura of independence,
as well as commanding respect from those people around her and perhaps even those who have only heard or read about her. People who get to meet her and engage her in their conversations always end up liking, respecting, and adoring her. Every guy wants to be her No. 1, while every lady wants to be her. She runs the show, calls the shots, and stands out in a crowd. She demands respect in her social circle and gets it. The only time this lady looks back is to see how far she has come. I’ve had the desire to be the Boss Lady for as long as I can remember. At every job I had, I watched my boss, examined her every move, and longed to be her. I pondered the questions: How did she get to where she is? What do I need to do to get there? I’m not sure exactly what the appeal was. Maybe it was because they always seemed to be so confident, like they had it all together. Whatever it was, I had to have it. To this day, I love to see the energy of powerful, confident businesswomen. That is why our annual Business Women of Style edition is one of my favorites that we publish. Now that I am a Boss Lady, I find myself relating to how many obstacles these dedicated women had to overcome to get to where they are now. I can assure you it was not an easy path. Each successful woman we feature in this month’s issue has experienced challenges reaching her goals, but she was determined to succeed, and she did. To the Boss Ladies featured here, continue following your path. Chase after your dreams, get that promotion at work, keep making more money, be stubborn, and settle for only the very best. You are a boss, a queen, and the mistress of your trade. Nobody should tell you otherwise. Surround yourself with like-minded women who are supportive of all your ambitions. Act, live, and be the Boss, because that is what you are! Work hard to achieve your goals and remember you are a role model for many other ladies and young girls. Challenge yourself to be the best at what you do, and success will certainly follow you. To all of you, Boss Ladies, I salute you!
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The latest editions of Lake & Sumter Style, Village Style, Healthy Living and Welcome to Lake County.
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WEIGHT A MINUTE
TO L AKE COUN T Y
The skinny on portion control
People know the white vans with the yellow stripes are
Village Airport Van-tasic! Read all about the driving forces behind this success local service on pg 70.
FREE MEDICAL CLINICS
Providing reassurance for the uninsured
IT’S NO FISH TALE Lake County has the largest bass in the state! RAISING THE BAR The NTC is a gold mine for Olympians!
We cover it all, including the inside scoop on poop
DISC GOLF A new spin on an old sport!
Editorial // Design // Photography
Leigh Neely Jason Fugate MANAGING EDITOR CREATIVE DIRECTOR email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org James Combs Josh Clark STAFF WRITER SENIOR DESIGNER email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Theresa Campbell Volkan Ulgen STAFF WRITER DESIGNER email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Chris Gerbasi Michael Gaulin STAFF WRITER PRODUCTION DIRECTOR email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Fred Lopez CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER email@example.com
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Lake & Sumter Style. Published monthly by Akers Media, 108 South Fifth Street, Leesburg, FL 34748. All editorial contents copyright 2017 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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In the Know
Hooray! Hooray! The First of May!
* #I TnR ETNhD eI N GK n o w
Local entrepreneurs connect through website A new website is helping Lake County entrepreneurs find resources and promote their businesses. The Florida High Tech Corridor Council has created the Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center at flvec.com. The site offers business owners access to a database of local and statewide resources, including help with licenses, business mentoring and coaching, networking, and venture capital.
FLVEC also promotes entrepreneurs by publishing profile articles about them online, complete with links to their website and social media accounts. The profiles help entrepreneurs connect with each other, leading to new opportunities. Lake County Economic Development is one of the partners in the program. “Lake County fully understands that our existing businesses are the lifeblood
of Lake County’s economy, and a thriving local economy can only be achieved if these existing businesses are allowed to prosper,” says Robert Chandler, Lake’s director of economic growth. The Corridor Council is an economic development initiative of the universities of Central Florida, South Florida, and Florida.
Straighten up, there’s a new pastor in town Congregational Church of Mount Dora, 650 N. Donnelly St., recently rang in a new pastor with pomp and circumstance. Rev. Gary Marshall was scheduled to be installed April 30 in front of congregants, ministers from local churches, a representative from the National Association of Congregational Churches, and a 40-member choir during a service followed by a social hour and refreshments. The reverend, 76, retired in 2012 as priest/rector at All Saints Anglican Church in Palatka, where he was involved in preaching, teaching, counseling, planning services, and administration. He formerly was the comptroller and an IT technician at Marshall Entertainment Insurance in Orlando. From 1975 through 1994, he taught and counseled young adults as a minister in the Diocese of Central Florida. Since 2014, Pastor Gary has volunteered as a computer software instructor at W.T. Bland Library in Mount Dora, and he conducts an online daily Bible study. He and his wife, Karen, reside in Mount Dora and serve in the community.
Donation powers Lake Technical College program Lake Technical College’s new Center for Advanced Manufacturing aims to be one of the premier workforce training facilities in Central Florida. That mission received a boost when PowerTech Generators, based in Leesburg, donated five diesel engines worth more than $100,000 to the CAM and its diesel mechanic program. Lake County Economic Development brought the business and the college together for a deal that will help PowerTech gain skilled employees, while enabling students to train on these specialized machines at little to no cost to the school.
Mom, don’t call me, I’ll call you More and more children are enjoying the benefit of having their own cell phone at a fairly young age. And sometimes, it’s not just the kid who thinks it’s a good idea—parents find that connection to their child gives them more peace of mind. “I do feel safer now that she has her own phone,” says Ally Hosterman, of Leesburg. “She’s seldom away from me, but when she is, I know I can reach her quickly.” Does daughter Callie, who’s 11, take advantage of having a phone? “Not really. She’s very adept with it, and she actually plays games with it more than she talks on it.” About 90 percent of parents feel better knowing they can reach their child easily, and, likewise, the child can reach them easily, according to a recent survey by the Nielsen Company.
Robert Chandler, director of Lake County’s Economic Growth Department, and Dr. Diane Culpepper, executive director of Lake Technical College, recently toured the PowerTech facility and thanked company executives for the donation. The CAM, expected to open this fall in Eustis, will provide future workforce training in the fields of computerized machining, welding, and fabrication. PowerTech is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of mobile diesel generators, including marine generators, worldwide military projects, and gas/diesel electric vehicles.
PowerTech is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of mobile diesel generators.
W H Y A R E PA R E N T S G E T T I N G T H E I R K I D S W I R E L E S S S E RV I C E B E F O R E T HEIR CHILD T UR NS 13?
I can get ahold of her/him easily
She/he can reach out to me easily
I can track her/his location She/he has been asking for it for a while I want to get her/him familiar with mobile technology I have a good family/shared wireless plan to cover additional lines
66% 65% 62%
* #I TnR ETNhD eI N GK n o w Ja m e s C o m b s’
According to the Eustis Police Department, a 26-year-old man used a baby stroller to steal shampoo from a local grocery store. This guy apparently isn’t right in the head…and shoulders.
A Eustis woman is facing felony battery charges after police say she hit her boyfriend over the head with a roller skate and broke it. Let’s be perfectly clear about something. This wasn’t a hate crime; it was a skate crime.
After $5,500 worth of damage was done to her vehicle, a Clermont woman is suing Toyota, claiming that the soy-based insulation made the wires a tasty treat for rats, mice and squirrels. Toyota officials deny these accusations, saying that all their vehicles are mouse-terpieces.
A branch supervisor of a Lake County library was fired after an investigation uncovered he knew about a fellow employee who created a fake account to check out books. The fake account was created to keep the library’s book collection intact. Much like some of those books, his firing was long overdue. It’s time he underwent some serious shelf-reflection.
A handyman stole $32,000 from the checking account of a 77-year-old retired Navy veteran in The Villages. Apparently, the handyman was providing lawn care for the elderly man. Lawn care, eh? After being caught for this heinous crime, I think it’s safe to say he can kiss his grass goodbye.
A 33-year-old woman visiting her parents in The Villages was arrested after struggling with a man over possession of a cell phone and grabbing him by his genitals. I’ve got to give her credit. She was “balls in” for this one.
Gotta get your name on! Looking for personalized unique gifts for parents of newborn babies? Or maybe something to give a new mom or a bride and her wedding party? Gotta Get Your Name On!, 1124 Bichara Blvd., The Villages, provides a variety
of items—blankets, robes, clothing, accessories—that can be monogrammed with names, dates, and sweet messages. “The robes are really popular with the matching slippers and makeup cases, and it makes a very nice gift
for Mother’s Day, graduation, birthdays, and we have done them for bridesmaids and the whole wedding entourage,” says Karen Andrews, who has been doing monograms for 10 years. She encourages 14 days for items to be monogrammed as gifts.
Visit the library from your home Have you ever heard of the Florida Electronic Library? It’s available on your computer, tablet, or whatever device you use to read online material. It’s very easy to access. Simply go to mylakelibrary.org, and on the home page under Databases, you’ll find Florida Electronic Library. You can look for resources or search topics, find resources for students from K-12, browse newspapers and magazines, and even search for career and job resources. It’s a wealth of information at your fingertips. Funds for this site came from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). The LSTA in Florida falls under the Department of State’s Division of Library and Information Service. Check out your electronic library today.
J o s h Ta k e s O n : AN ADMITTEDLY ASKEW POINT OF VIEW FROM THE
MIND OF ILLUSTRATOR JOSH CLARK
Custom travel to Peru Ricardo Soriano, a native of Peru and owner of Cozco Handcraft Gallery, 1121 Main St., The Villages, will host and escort a 10-day tour, to what he calls the “magical world of Peru,” this month and again in October in his homeland. Travelers will see Machu Picchu, also known as the Lost City of the Incas, which is noted as an impressive sight as it rises out of the mist of green-covered mountains at 7,874 feet above sea level in the semitropical region of southern Peru. Closer to home, Ricardo’s store in The Villages provides a glimpse of Peru with colorful handmade crafts, jewelry, clothing, and more. In October, Ricardo celebrates 11 years in The Villages.
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Darian is eight minutes older than her twin, Raelyn. Both sisters have GPAs above 4.0, including advanced placement and honors courses. They were inspired to volunteer and work at Camp Boggy Creek in Eustis by their grandmother, Natalie Windsor, who’s the horse barn manager at the camp for children with serious illnesses. Darian is a member of the National Honor Society and the Jefferson Club, a volunteer group, and both sisters belong to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Teenage Republicans Club.
Raelyn & Darian Heers Age: 17 // S EN I O R S AT EUST I S H I G H SCH O O L
Are you competitive with each other? D: (both laughing) Oh, yeah, very competitive. I like to be, I guess you could say, the smarter one and the winner, so I really like to make the better grades and I like to beat her at everything. Sports, too. We have pingpong tables and a volleyball net, and I always have to win. R: And it’s really funny when she doesn’t, too. She gets mad sometimes when she doesn’t win. We both are competitive. Our whole family is.
Photo: Fred Lopez
Do twins have telepathy with each other? D: We have the
L-R: RAELYN & DARIAN
same dream. It’s a reoccurring dream and there’s no people in it. It’s just this white space, and these thorns are moving in, and we both have it, it’s so weird. I looked it up,
and they’re called “twin dreams,” and they can’t explain why they happen. R: We did have a dream where we met the same celebrity on the same night. And we finish each other’s sentences and talk at the same time.
What do you like about Camp Boggy Creek? D: The little kids are awesome, they’re just amazing kids. R: And it’s an awesome experience to go and work with all of them there. It’s really fun to see them get to try new things. Some of the kids who have never caught a fish or ridden a horse, they get to do that.
Future plans: D: I want to go to college, most likely in Florida. I want to major in biology, and then there’s a medical school
called the Uniformed Services University. It’s a federal school where they pay for your tuition and you have a salary and you’re basically in the military. Afterwards, you have to give seven years of service. I was already planning to become a neurosurgeon and [entering] the military, most likely in the Army. R: I want to travel the world, that’s my biggest dream, so I want to be a flight attendant because you get so many benefits and you get to travel the world as your job.
Biggest influence: D: My mom (Deanna) and dad (Whitson). They have always taught us to do the right thing, like never lie, never cheat, and never steal, just be respectful. R: Mom and dad, too. They work so hard
It’s really fun to see them get to try new things. Some of the kids who have never caught a fish or ridden a horse, they get to do that. —RAELYN HEERS
* OI UnT TS ThA NeDKI NnGoS w TUDENT
I don’t even think we’ve ever spent the night at different places. It’s going to be really weird. —DARIAN HEERS
for us. I want to be like that when I get older, and provide for my family, and put so much love into it.
Hobbies: D: Reading, which I know sounds boring, but literally, I could read 24/7. And I really like to be outdoors and go hiking and boating. I like horseback riding, too. R: I also like to read, but I like to go hunting. Our family is big into hunting, and we eat all of the deer we shoot, and that’s our main source of meat throughout the year. And we also grow our own food.
Favorite movie: D: This is where we’re different. I love western movies. My favorite is “Lonesome Dove.” R: I like romance movies, and I like “Ten Things I Hate About You.”
Favorite food: D: My mom makes poppy seed chicken. It’s a casserole, and I love it so much whenever she makes it for me. It’s just amazing.
R: Probably a steak. My favorite restaurant we go to for birthdays or anything, it’s called Texas de Brazil, and it’s a steakhouse and basically it’s a buffet, and you get as much meat as you want. Pet peeve: D: Mine is when people don’t follow the rules. I really do not like that. It really bothers me when we have a substitute and all the kids act up and disrespect the teacher. R: I really hate when people are disrespectful, when kids talk back or anything like that.
How will you handle taking separate paths after high school? D: That’s going to be crazy because I don’t even think we’ve ever spent the night at different places. It’s going to be really weird. R: That’s going to be horrible. I’ll have to call her every day and say, “What are you doing today? I want to know what you’re doing so I can be there, so I can feel like I’m with you.”
Photo: Fred Lopez
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From May Day to Stars Wars, it’s a month for celebrating. STORY: FRED HILTON
ou can make a strong argument that May is the best month of them all. First, it has the shortest name. It’s only three letters long. Anything that has just three letters has to be good—like nap, dog, cat, fun, eat, beer and wine. (You count letters your way, and I’ll count them my way.) Meteorologically speaking, things don’t get any better than in May. Just about everywhere, the weather is superb. In the frozen wastelands (that’s anywhere north of Jacksonville), the nasty ice and snow have gone for the year. In sunny Florida, we don’t have to bundle up and worry anymore about
those frigid days when the temperatures drop into the 50s. May is a month of celebration. It’s named for the Maia, who was a goddess of fertility in both Greek and Roman mythology. The Roman poet Ovid contended that May actually was named for the “maiores,” Latin for “elders.” However, nobody ever paid much attention to old Ovid. They all knew he had a bit of a drinking problem. Ovid would get a snootful and run around the Forum with his toga flapping open while he sang “XCIX Bottles of Wine on the Wall, XCIX Bottles of Wine.” With the help of Ovid’s favorite beverage, May provides lots of days for special celebrations. May 1 is a day for spring festivals in many cultures. A friend of mine was really into the beginning of May as a grand excuse for a party. At his annual First of May party, he’d run around singing, “Hooray! Hooray! First of May! Outdoor [bleeping] starts today!” There are plenty of other celebration days in May—though none as colorful as my buddy’s annual outdoor [bleeping] party. May is, for example, National Golf Month. This certainly should be celebrated heavily in Florida. In the United Kingdom, May is National Smile Month. Closer to home, May is National Burger Month. The month also is designated as the official month for some other things, but none are as much fun as National Burger Month. There also is the big May Fourth celebration for “Star Wars” fans: “May the Fourth Be With You.” “Star Wars” fans dress up in their Stormtrooper outfits, their Princess Leia hairdos and their Spock ears. (Of course, I know that Mr. Spock was on “Star Trek,” not “Star Wars.” Everybody knows that. I was just checking to see if you were paying attention.) For me, May always has been a time of things returning to normal. I’ve spent most of my life in places where an annual influx of thousands of people alters the status quo and disrupts my peaceful existence. For many years, I lived in a college town. The town was relatively small but nearly doubled in size each fall when 20,000 or so screaming, hot-blooded 18-to-23-year-olds would swoop into town. After arriving, they’d
proceed to clog up the highways, take all the parking spaces, make it impossible to get into a restaurant, and do unspeakable things in public. Then, nine months late, they’d all disappear. As they left each May, I’d drive through campus yelling, “Go home, you little bleeps! Go home!” Of course, I didn’t yell too loudly because some of the little bleeps had nasty tempers and could have inflicted great bodily harm on me. Now, living in Florida, I see our population double every winter when a massive flock of snowbirds swoop into town. After arriving, they proceed to clog up the highways, take all the parking spaces, make it impossible to get into a restaurant, and do unspeakable things in public. Then, by May, they all disappear. As they leave, I drive around yelling, “Go home, you old bleeps! Go home!” Of course, I don’t yell too loudly because some of the old bleeps have nasty tempers and could inflict great bodily harm on me. In the spirit of total disclosure, there is one very bad thing about May: lovebugs. They pay their first visit of the year during May. Lovebugs have but one purpose in life: to make little lovebugs. Shortly after they hatch, a guy lovebug and a lady lovebug hook up, literally and figuratively. During that time, they fly around with the lady lovebug pulling her little scrawny husband lovebug along behind her. They then proceed to splatter onto your windshield, dive into your beer, or fly into your mouth. After three or four days, Papa Lovebug dies with a smile on his face. Mama Lovebug lays 600 or so eggs and then croaks herself. A few months later, a gazillion lovebugs hatch and it starts all over again. The only May thing that’s worse than lovebugs is this joke: Question: “If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?” Answer: “Pilgrims.”
There are plenty of other celebration days in May— though none as colorful as my buddy’s annual outdoor bleeping party.
Fred Hilton Fred Hilton spent 36 years as the chief public relations off icer/ spokesman for James Madison University in Virginia and 10 years prior as a reporter and editor for The Roanoke Times in Roanoke, Virginia. He is now happily retired in The Villages with his interior designer wife, Leta, their Cadillac Escalade golf cart, and their dog, Paris. (Yes, that makes her Paris Hilton).
Putting Lake County in the
Driver’s Seat W
The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) is an independent, locally controlled toll agency that is responsible for construction, maintenance and operation of a 109-mile expressway system that serves more than 2.2 million residents in four counties and an estimated 60 million annual visitors. The entire system is supported by tolls; no taxes of any kind fund CFX operations.
e recently sat down with CFX Governing Board member and Lake County Commissioner SEAN PARKS and CFX Executive Director LAURA KELLEY to discuss the transportation agency’s objectives, how customers could save money on tolls and plans for the future.
Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks is a new member of the Central Florida Expressway Governing Board. The nine-member board is responsible for overseeing CFX’s executive director, setting policy, financial oversight, approving projects, and setting directives to meet future travel needs for residents of Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties.
You were appointed by the Lake County Commission to serve on the CFX Governing Board in January 2017. If we
were sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you in this role, what did you and the CFX Governing Board achieve? The completion of the Wekiva Parkway. That’s going to make a tremendous economic impact not only for Lake County but for this entire region. The second achievement is seamless connection between Wellness Way and S.R. 429. Finally, I would like to see more Lake County residents become E-PASS customers because of savings like toll discounts. CFX also has a robust work program coming next year, which will keep me busy.
“I would like to see more Lake County residents become E-PASS customers because of the savings. With E-PASS, customers are automatically eligible for toll discounts.” —SEAN PARKS , COUNTY COMMISIONER, CFX GOVERNING BOARD MEMBER
What have you focused on the most since you started serving on the CFX board? I think my environmental science and engineering background is a big plus, particularly with the quality of life issues that Lake County residents cherish so much. My background also helps ensure that when we plan roads and transportation systems for tomorrow that it’s done in the right way. I’ve been very focused on Wellness Way. For Wellness Way to be a success, we’re going to need access to S.R. 429. Having unlimited access to S.R. 429, the Orlando International Airport, and ICAMR (Neo City) is going to be crucial for the next generation of economic development in Lake County.
Can you give us an update on the Wekiva Parkway? CFX’s first section will open this summer, and the Kelly Park interchange will open early 2018. There will be a direct connection
between Mount Plymouth, Sorrento, and the Wolf Branch Innovation District to the Central Florida Beltway system. This will bring about higher-end retail opportunities, as well as a new campus for Lake-Sumter State College. It’s going to be very important for our county.
Could you tell us about the CFX board’s unanimous vote to cancel the scheduled 15 percent increase in tolls set for July 1? That decision shows that we’re being sensitive to the needs and concerns of our customers and reflects the fiscally conservative approach to handling our transportation needs. In addition to not raising tolls, we take pride in the fact that 97 percent of our E-PASS customers expressed overall satisfaction, according to a 2016 customer survey.
What do you want Lake County residents to know about the Central Florida Expressway Authority? We’re a regional transportation network. This is different than having a statewide system because a statewide system does not maintain a customer-first philosophy like CFX. I always say that government close to the people serves best. By serving as a board member, I represent the transportation interests of Lake County residents. This is not something I’d be able to do with a statewide system.
s executive director of the Central Florida Expressway Authority, Laura Kelley leads a transportation agency that connects Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties with a network of toll roads. She reports to the CFX Governing Board.
LAURA KELLEY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Laura, when did you know you wanted to lead the second-largest toll road system in Florida, the Central Florida Expressway Authority? I’m relentlessly committed to—and fiercely passionate about—making our community a better place. A great transportation network is the foundation of a region’s economic prosperity and quality of life. I’ve always sought positions that allowed me to help build that foundation, and serving my community in this way is a tremendous honor.
How do you keep pace with the technological advances in the toll industry? The CFX team works with transportation partners from all over the world. CFX is active with the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, which provides a forum for collaboration among leading technology companies, toll operators and industry safety professionals. Locally, we recently announced a partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation and the City of Orlando on autonomous vehicle research.
How will CFX impact the future transportation needs of Central Florida? The decisions we make today about how we travel will impact our community for years to come. I should note that CFX’s mandate is not limited to toll roads. Our expanded scope of operations, as mandated by legislation, gives us the authority to consider adding multimodal options, including bus rapid transit and rail, within our right of way. Our expanded role gives us a seat at the table with other regional transportation partners, and cities and counties to discuss how best to integrate our world-class mobility systems and make them more efficient, accessible and responsive to our growing population’s future needs.
Tell us something that people don’t know about E-PASS. If you drive your car on CFX toll roads on a regular basis and don’t have an E-PASS, you’re paying more. For example, if you use cash to pay tolls, you’re paying 23 percent more than an E-PASS customer. The second thing people may not know is that E-PASS offers toll discounts. Only with E-PASS could you save an additional 20 percent on tolls based on your E-PASS usage on CFX toll roads each month. Lastly, the tolls you pay stay local. Toll revenues are invested in local infrastructure projects. This helps spur local jobs, benefits our local economy and improves the quality of life for many.
4974 ORL Tower Road Orlando, FL 32807 407.690.5000 CFXWay.com PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
DANIELLE DAUGHERTY AND DAWN COULIETTE
The 2017 Business Woman of Style proves one can persevere over obstacles to make the dream of owning a business come true. Next, she wants to empower other women to succeed, too. STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL // PHOTOS: FRED LOPEZ
anielle Daugherty, 32, and her mother, Dawn Couliette, 53, broke down in tears and hugged each other when they realized one of them would grace this month’s Lake & Sumter Style magazine cover as the 2017 Business Woman of Style. “My heart is just completely bursting,” says Danielle, immediately after Mia Bella Salon and Spa in Fruitland Park, the new business she opened Feb. 1 with her mom, was chosen for the cover story. They won a reverse
drawing in April during the seventh annual Business Women of Style gala at Leesburg Opera House, home of Akers Media. “It’s like we won the lottery,” Dawn adds. The pair felt like underdogs in the midst of competing with women who have been in business for years, yet they are experienced in their fields: Dawn, 16 years as a massage therapist; Danielle, 13 years as a hairstylist. A little more than two years ago, Danielle was eager to go into business with her best
OPPOSITE, THE MIA BELLA TEAM. L-R: JESSICA KARPOWICZ, ROBIN BRACCO, SARAH RICHEY, DAWN COULLIETTE, MIA DAUGHERTY, OLIVIA DAUGHTERY, DANIELLE DAUGHERTY, KAYLA SMITH, ANGELA SPEARS, ANGELICA MCDOWALL
friend/mom: “Look, lady,” she told her, “it’s time we do this!” “I knew without a doubt the minute she said, ‘I’m ready for it to happen’ that we are going to be successful in what we do,” Dawn says. “Danielle is somebody, who, if she wants something to happen, it’s going to happen.” The pair also felt Mia Bella, Italian for “my beautiful,” was the perfect name for their salon at 201 W. Miller St., off County Road 466A. The former warehouse shell has been converted into a warm and cozy farmhouse setting, and it’s often filled with fresh-baked cookies and lavender lemonade. “Everyone said to be cautious going into business with family,” Danielle says, recalling disappointment set in when plans fell through for a historic building they initially wanted. But, with faith and determination, they forged ahead. “I was a single mom and I raised Danielle to believe if there is anything you want in life, and you really want it and truly feel it in your heart, then you just have to make it happen,” Dawn says. “We had to wait for the right moment.” Danielle credits her mom as her role model, a woman who once worked three jobs. “It’s her strength that inspires me. She is the strongest, most confidently beautiful woman, and I am so proud of her,” Danielle says. “She wanted to be a massage therapist, she wanted to do good for herself. I was in my teens when she worked and went to school. I saw that if you wanted something, you have to work to make it happen.” Dawn became a single mom when Danielle was 5, after ending a rocky relationship. “I could not allow her to grow up thinking that it was OK for someone to put their hands on you in anger,” Dawn says. Danielle believes her mother showed her that challenges in life can make a woman stronger. “Of all the obstacles, and there are some rough ones for women and for all of us, but
as long as we push through and really believe in ourselves, success can happen, and that is what she taught me,” Danielle says. “You can be a mom, you can be young, you can be old, and at any point in your life, you can be starting over. Whatever it is, it’s never too late to follow your dreams.” And following their dreams is what they did in fixing up their salon to look completely different from the norm. “We did everything ourselves,” Dawn says. “When we walked into the place, it was an empty shell and it didn’t even have floors.” With help from Danielle’s husband and a few friends, the mother and daughter installed flooring, built walls, and added special touches to each room. Mia Bella’s owners say they are blessed to have a “dream team” of four stylists, a massage therapist, and employees experienced in nails and facials. Customers comment on the “good vibe” they feel at the farmhouse salon, and they also love seeing Danielle’s daughters, Liv, 9, and Mia, 5, don their aprons to serve cookies after school. Kindness runs in the family, as Dawn reflected on her daughter’s positive spirit and passion to go on church mission trips. “God has blessed me with being a mother to someone who is so amazing. She really has that giving heart to give to people who have less than her,” Dawn says, adding her daughter wants to empower others. “We want to do one day a month where we open our salon up to families who don’t have homes in the Lake County area, who are struggling; a day where our stylists will give them makeovers so that they can get jobs and opportunities. It’s really important to us,” Danielle says. Dawn also believes it’s the right thing to do. “There are so many single moms out there, and I do know how hard it can be,” Dawn says. “We want them to see there are people who care.”
You can be a mom, you can be young, you can be old, and at any point in your life, you can be starting over.
Whatever it is, it’s never too late to follow your dreams. —DANIELLE DAUGHERTY
Introducing the 2017
BUSINESS WOMEN OF
The Business Women of Style features an array of powerful, intelligent women, leading the way in an ever-changing environment. They know what’s happening in the world around them, but they can just as easily discuss what’s happening with their children. Lake and Sumter counties are filled with boundless opportunities because these women always see a closed door as an opportunity, not an obstacle. They are the dreamers who thrive on determination, optimism, and insatiable curiosity—the Business Women of Style. PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
Morris Realty and Investments 10135 U.S. HWY. 441, STE. 3, LEESBURG // 352.435.4663 // MORRISREALTORS.COM
ntegrity and experience equals results for the women of Morris Realty and Investments. Their elite team takes great pride in being professional and knowledgeable. Theresa Morris, owner and Broker, wants the company to be known as one that gives back to the community. All agents have a charity of choice they work with. Theresa says they support local companies because they want all businesses in the area to be successful. With 12 fulltime agents on staff, Morris Realty and Investments ranked in the Top 10 of Lake and Sumter County in â€œsold productionâ€? in 2017. Integrity. Experience. Results.
Co-Owner A&B Title and Escrow Services 918 W. MAIN ST., LEESBURG // 352.805.4001 // WWW.ABTITLE.COM
fter nearly 30 years in the Title Business, Ann Gibbs is celebrating a milestone: one year of operating her downtown Leesburg office with business partner and Attorney Robert Bone. “I love being downtown where it’s close to everything,” Ann says. “We hope to continue to grow and help all our clients.” With the motto, “Leading you the way home,” the company provides all types of Title Insurance and full Closings for Residential, Commercial, Vacant land, Mobile homes, and Refinances. Special moments make the job rewarding for Ann. “I like to see first-time homebuyers accomplish their dreams, and see the smile on their faces.”
A&B TITLE AND ESCROW SERVICES LEADING YOU THE WAY HOME
General Manager The Country Club of Mount Dora 1900 COUNTRY CLUB BLVD., MOUNT DORA // 352.735.4059 // CCOFMTDORA.COM
The picturesque Country Club of Mount Dora is filled with over 800 homes and 500 members. “It’s a fun place to be and the camaraderie is unbelievable,” says General Manager Susan Welsh, who credits “the people” for making the golf community enjoyable. More than 280 people became members in the past year. “They love to have a good time,” added Dawn, banquet manager and event planner. “I love planning the events because we get to go outside the box; and seeing the members have the best time is my highlight. I love seeing them have a good time.”
Realtor Micki Blackburn Realty, Inc. 352.394.6611 CLERMONT // 352.793.8084 GROVELAND // 352.429.1009 MASCOTTE
ike the oranges so famous in Florida, Micki Blackburn Realty, Inc. is homegrown. Micki and her team know this area and know how to please clients. The company began in 1994 with only three employees and now Micki has three offices, a full team of 25 agents, and is still building on the same principles and mission she had in the beginning: dedication, flexibility, integrity, excellence, and teamwork. Services of the firm include property management, home staging, and concierge service, so there are no problems with the details for the seller or the buyer. Whether youâ€™re selling or buying your home, Micki Blackburn Realty, Inc. and her team are ready to help in any way they can.
Office Manager O’Kelley Homes 117 N. 7TH ST., LEESBURG // 352.787.5885 // OKELLEYHOMESINC.COM
lients of O’Kelley Homes in Leesburg are used to hearing a friendly, warm, and receptive voice. The voice belongs to Rayna Moore, who has been an office manager at the company for 20 years. O’Kelley Homes, a custom residential building company, is owned by John O’Kelley. Rayna proudly juggles multiple tasks throughout the day, including managing books, meeting with homeowners, and overseeing numerous commercial and residential rental properties. “I never thought that 20 years ago I would have a job working for someone who everybody loves,” she says. “That makes my job that much better.” Rayna remains active in the community by volunteering for Leesburg Bikefest pageants, emceeing the children’s parade at Leesburg Mardi Gras, and serving as co-director of the Miss Leesburg Scholarship Pageant.
20,464 hours since 1996
Gift Shop Manager/Buyer 11,474 hours since 2007
First Vice President 1,289 hours since 2015
Leesburg Regional Medical Center Auxiliary 352.323.5060 // LEESBURGREGIONAL.ORG
undreds of men and women, from 20 – 90+, are making a difference, passing along wisdom, taking on challenges, meeting new people, comforting patients and families, raising money and having fun as volunteers for the LRMC Auxiliary. Since 1963, they’ve given more than 3.3 million hours and raised more than $3 million in support of hospital programs, equipment and scholarships. But it’s not just what they give that’s priceless. It’s also what they get back. Lifelong friends. Greater confidence. New ways to stay active. Personal satisfaction. Every day is a good day when the people around you are glad to be there. Thinking about helping others? Contact volunteer coordinator Jennifer Woods at 352.323.5062 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kimberly Ireland Cataract Surgeon/Medical Director St. Luke’s Cataract & Laser Institute 1050 OLD CAMP RD., THE VILLAGES // 352.775.1305
ou’ll find patient-centric, world-class vision care in the heart of The Villages at St. Luke’s Cataract & Laser Institute. Dr. Kimberly Ireland, who has performed cataract surgery for 20 years, is the most soughtafter eye surgeon in the area. At St. Luke’s, surgical excellence is balanced with providing an exceptional patient experience. In this woman-led business, the focus is on care, handling details efficiently and ultimately exceeding patient expectations. Dr. Ireland sees to this by meeting with each patient personally to develop their treatment options.
AT THE VILLAGES
Salon Jaylee 321 COLONY BLVD., THE VILLAGES // 352.753.0055 668 U.S. HWY 441, THE VILLAGES // 352.753.6505 3459 WEDGEWOOD LN., THE VILLAGES // 352.259.6700
alon Jaylee, a premiere hair and nail salon with professional and highly trained stylists can provide the latest, personalized, and full-service luxury experience to make each guest feel beautiful. “It’s not just about the services we provide, but the overall experience from start to finish,” says Jaime Butler. Salon Jaylee team members are leaders in the beauty industry and take pride in being trendsetters. “We are transforming the beauty industry with professionalism, customer service, and changing lives essentially,” says April Kendrick.
April Kendrick Tenaj Salon Institute Senior Clinic Educator
Managing Partner, Rolling Acres
Managing Partner, Sourthern Trace
Jamie Butner Managing Partner, Colony Plaza
Account & HR Manager
Managing Partner, Colony Plaza
Tenaj Salon Institute Educator
Debbie Belton Owner, Matamo Designs
Owner, Judie Lee Art
Lori Brenneman Owner, Tooth Fairy Creations
Matamo Designs 100 E. 5TH AVE.., MOUNT DORA // 352.735.4800 // MATAMODESIGNS.COM
trong is the new pretty,” says Debbie Belton, owner of Matamo Designs. She loves mentoring women, and she has done that with her two employees, Lori Brenneman and Judie Lee. A former dental hygienist, Lori makes custom jewelry. “Debbie got me started with my business,” Lori says. “She’s so generous and supportive.” Judie Lee walked into Matamo one day and asked, “Will you sell my art?” She does contemporary folk art in all mediums. “Not only do they work for me, they have an opportunity to promote their businesses in my shop,” Debbie says. “I love empowering women.”
M. Meredith Kirste Attorney at Law
M. Meredith Kirste, P.A. 7928 U.S. HWY. 441, STE. 3, LEESBURG // 352.326.3455
eredith has been practicing law for 21 years with her office located at 7928 U.S. Highway 441, Suite 3 in Leesburg. A Leesburg native, Meredith enjoys practicing law in her hometown. The focus of her practice is assisting clients with their estate planning, probating estates, guardianship cases and corporate law. She also handles a wide range of real estate transactions and foreclosure actions. In addition to practicing law, Meredith has a love for her community, especially serving on the Board of the Lake Sumter Childrenâ€™s Advocacy Center, Lone Oak Cemetery Board and serving on the Vestry at St. James Episcopal Church.
Certified Chiropractic Physician Assistant
Patient Coordinator Glover Chiropractic 312 N 14TH ST, LEESBURG // 352.787.9995 // GLOVERCHIRO.COM
nce their visit is complete, patients of Glover Chiropractic leave with a smile. That smile was not only created through the use of cutting-edge chiropractic equipment, but also by the hospitality and friendliness of the company’s lovely group of female employees. Putting smiles on the faces of patients is gratifying for Elizabeth Sellers, Kendra Armbrecht, Jessica Rinne, Whitney Law, and Chelsea Giles. They possess nearly 30 years of combined experience and understand what matters most— relationships and trust. “We get to know all our patients on a first-name basis,” Kendra says. “We take pride in educating them about their problems and how our therapies can help them achieve wonderful outcomes.” Patients thoroughly enjoy interacting with a team of thoughtful, caring, and nurturing professionals. From the moment they walk into the office, patients are greeted with warm, friendly smiles. “We genuinely care about everybody who walks through the door,” says Elizabeth. “I think that’s why we get so many patients who are referred to us by their family members or friends. To have that kind of reputation is amazing. Not only do we treat patients as family; we also treat each other as family.”
Patient Care Technician Patient Care Technician
Catherine Hanson Real Estate, Inc. 25715 SR 46, SORRENTO // 352.383.3772 // CATHERINEHANSON.COM
s a native Floridian, Catherine Hanson has deep roots in Central Florida, helping shape its civic landscape and assisting the community through her top-notch real estate services. She began her real estate career in 1983; opening her Sorrento real estate office in 1990. Catherine’s daughter, Leslie, joined the team in 2015. She quickly became a million dollar producer and recently acquired her broker’s license, making her the 4th generation of female brokers in her family. “My Mom has built a stellar reputation in this community over the past 30 years,” said Leslie. “I intend to maintain that for years to come.”
Danielle Daugherty Co-Owner
Mia Bella Salon and Spa 201 W. MILLER ST., FRUITLAND PARK // 352.508.7277
ia Bella Salon and Spa is as unique as the two ladies who own it. Danielle Daugherty and Dawn Coulliette are mother and daughter. They dreamed of having a place where customers felt at home and enjoyed their experience, whether getting a cut and style or relishing the benefits of a relaxing massage. When you step into the homey farmhouse atmosphere, you’re immediately offered coffee or a refreshing glass of lavender lemonade in a Mason jar. Each stylist station is customized and personalized so you’ll see family photos and personal style. Mia Bella—Don’t just make an appointment, come in and visit.
Anita VincentFernandez Executive Director Osprey Lodge 1761 NIGHTINGALE LN., TAVARES // 877.635.7014 // OSPREYLODGETAVARES.COM
nita Vincent-Fernandez is executive director of Osprey Lodge, an assisted living and memory care community in Tavares, FL. Because of her education and vast experience, she thrives in her position at Osprey Lodge. Anita is a licensed nurse with a bachelor’s degree in business management and a master’s degree in healthcare administration and gerontology. Previous to joining the team at Osprey Lodge, she served as an operational consultant to national senior living companies. “Enhancing the lives of seniors is my passion. At Osprey Lodge we offer an upscale lifestyle and exceptional care.” Anita is also founder of Vincent Career Training Institute, a faith-based, nonprofit organization that educates and trains people to work in the healthcare industry.
AL license #12259
Mitch Mullins LPN, CDP, Director of Health Services
Ruth Kendra Alana Kidd Cantillon Drain Sales and Marketing Director
MBA, Business Officer Manager
CDP, Life Enrichment Director
Rachel Lawrence Designer
Miss Daisy’s Flowers and Gifts 1024 W. MAIN ST., LEESBURG // 352.787.6806 MISSDAISYSFLOWERS.COM
he career of Rachel Lawrence is blossoming. Rachel is a designer at Miss Daisy’s Flowers and Gifts in downtown Leesburg. She uses her creativity to make eyecatching flower arrangements for weddings, birthdays, funerals, and anniversaries. To say she is passionate about her career is an understatement. “I love developing relationships with clients and learning about their vision,” she says. “It’s a wonderful feeling when I make their vision become reality.” Rachel, who recently completed a five-day wedding event class in Jacksonville, has worked at the company for five years. “Whatever your occasion, we make it special for you!”
Events by Miss Daisy 58
Mortgage Lender/Branch Manager, NMLS#354036
The Mortgage Firm
620 E. 5TH AVE., MOUNT DORA // 352.383.3046 // MORTGAGEFIRMPROS.COM
Executive Marketing Development, Chelsea Title 1209 N. DONNELLY ST., MOUNT DORA // 352.729.8380 1645 E. HWY 50, NO. 301, CLERMONT // 352.394.5044 CHELSEATITLE.NET
Realtor, ERA Grizzard Real Estate 600 N. DONNELLY ST., MOUNT DORA // 352.223.6519 CAROLYNMAIMONE.COM // #YOURREALTOR
hese three “angels” often work together to sell dream homes. Many clients become good friends, says Carolyn Maimone, a realtor since 2009. “I love seeing the look on their face when I get to hand them the keys,” she says. Mary Rhodes arranges the financing. She’s worked at The Mortgage Firm for 20 years, the past five in Lake County. “We’ve become known for our awardwinning customer service,” she says. Angela Sheppard, with three years at Chelsea Title, enjoys being part of the team. “I love helping realtors and loan officers move the market,” she says. “When they find the customer, we get to close the deal.”
RN, Aesthetics Coordinator
Face 2 Face 1501 N. US HWY. 441, STE. 1404, THE VILLAGES // 352.259.5126 // FACE2FACE.COM
egistered nurse and aesthetics coordinator for med spa, Face 2 Face, Christa enjoys providing skin care treatments. “I’m passionate about what I do. I love to help people look better, feel better. It’s very rewarding and the most fun job,” she says of working for Dr. Dino Madonna, facial plastic surgeon. “Most of our customers come in wanting to look younger, more youthful, and rejuvenate their skin. The rewarding part is they see results; they come back with a glow and they’re happy.” As mom to 13- and 10-yearold daughters, Christa, 36, doesn’t mind looking younger. “I still get carded!”
Face 2 Face 1501 N. US HWY. 441, STE. 1404, THE VILLAGES // 352.259.5126 // FACE2FACE.COM
ith a goal of helping clients have beautiful skin throughout their lives, Kindra Mittenmeyer’s passion is optimal skin health. “We have complimentary spa consultations, and we listen to clients’ concerns and needs and build a plan based on their lifestyle and budget. We’re nonthreatening and available when they need us.” Dr. Dino Madonna provides facial plastic surgery, and proceeds based on whether the client wants immediate, visible change or a soft, natural change. “We do skin rejuvenation, health, and maintenance. Our Zo Medical Grade Products are an investment in healthy skin. Kindra biggest wish: that everyone use sunscreen daily!
Susan Adams Sales Manager
Ro-Mac Lumber & Supply Inc. 700 E. MAIN ST., LEESBURG // 352.787.4545 // ROMACLUMBER.COM
usan Adams has nearly 30 years of experience working at Ro-Mac, which has been selling lumber and building materials to consumers and contractors since 1945. Ro-Mac’s goal is to provide materials and expertise for any project and deliver excellent customer service. As a female in the building supply industry, Susan is in the minority. 23 of the 24 salespeople she oversees are men. However, she urges other women not to be deterred from taking a similar leap. “Being the only woman in the room won’t keep you from accomplishing your professional goals. With the right support system, a passion for your work and a commitment to success, you will go far.”
Allison Braton Co-Owner
Turners Kitchen + Bar 114 S. 5TH ST., LEESBURG // 352.530.2274 // TURNERSKITCHEN.COM
s co-owner of Turners with her husband, Allison Braton has it all. Since opening the restaurant two years ago, she’s had the flexibility to be a boss, a mother to two sons, and to follow her faith. “I love that I get to work with my husband, Jack, every day,” Allison says. “It has given me an outlet to meet so many people in town, while greeting guests and interacting with people.” Allison and Jack work with local businesses, farmers, fisherman and ranchers to provide the freshest products available on the market. Turners consistently delivers excellence in every aspect of their industry.
Jody Harter Chief Operating Officer The Villages Insurance 352.751.6622 // THEVILLAGESINSURANCE.COM
hen it comes to insurance, Jody Harter provides clients with practical insight and outstanding results. Jody has worked with The Villages Insurance since 1999. Because of her unyielding commitment to client satisfaction, she was promoted to chief operating officer in December 2016. “I’m passionate about protecting what my clients have worked so hard for throughout their lives,” says Jody, who earned the Accredited Advisor of Insurance (AAI) designation. The agency provides various types of insurance, including commercial, asset and lifestyle protection, and personal lines. The Villages Insurance also boasts a 24-hour claim service, meaning an advisor is always on call to assist with claims quickly and fairly.
Owner Massage Therapist
The Salt Room 480 N. U.S. HWY. 27/441, LADY LAKE // 352.750.9909 // SALTROOMLADYLAKE.COM
ebecca James Levine’s Salt Room is celebrating five years in May, helping people with skin conditions or upper respiratory ailments, such as asthma or COPD, through salt therapy. “We love being here to help people,” Rebecca says. “We want our customers to walk away with positive results from salt therapy.” But The Salt Room offers more than salt. It’s a complete wellness center, with massage, acupuncture, skin care, and yoga. Rebecca and staff members such as Chelsea Lee and Lorie Howell work together with one focus: the clients. “Everybody who works here truly cares about the customers and helping them,” Rebecca says.
Michele Brown Office Assistant
Donna Cuppels Prep Cook
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Audrey Kimberly Office Manager
Nanette Edwards Kitchen Manager
Gourmet Today 352.978.1203 // GOURMETTODAYINC.COM
he ladies of Gourmet Today serve up a fun working environment, which is one of the secrets behind the success of Jessy Flinn’s Leesburg-based business. They provide catering for private and corporate functions. “You don’t have to be crazy to work here but it helps,” Jessy says. “Seriously, my team of ladies is the greatest, and they are a joy to work with.” The team includes Audrey Kimberly, office manager, Michele Brown, office assistant, Emma Hoffman, operations manager, Nanette Edwards, kitchen manager, Donna Cuppels, prep cook, Beth Brown, server, and Tammy Jackson, head server. Each employee provides “Rare Service, Well Done.” “I’m really proud we represent women in the kitchen commercially,” Jessy says. “These women are the reason Gourmet Today is successful. They make it fun to come to work.”
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VANTASTIC VOYAGE! Village Airport Van has set the wheels in motion for success by offering unparalleled customer service and unmatched reliability. PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
f you’re around The Villages, you’re guaranteed to see two types of vehicles: golf carts, of course, and the white vans with the big yellow stripe. Those vans are everywhere! They belong to Village Airport Van, a family-owned company that has set the standard for passenger transportation excellence. Village Airport Van (VAV) was created in 2009 by local entrepreneur Daniel McCarthy Sr. and his son Daniel McCarthy Jr., who serves as the company’s president. Since then, their stellar reputation of friendliness and punctuality has escalated their business from a small operation with humble beginnings into The Villages’ most reliable transportation provider.
Today, many repeat customers—including families, business travelers, and solo adventurers—have experienced the difference in the level of service, quality and care that Village Airport Van provides. Many of them believe it’s the best airport travel option central Florida has to offer. The company’s vans are more economical than taxicabs and provide door-to-door service to—and from— either Orlando International or Orlando Sanford Airport. The service saves passengers from paying expensive airport parking fees, tolls, driving in harsh weather, or needlessly fighting traffic. “Even if a customer’s flight comes in at 1 a.m., we still pick them up at the airport,” McCarthy
Jr. said. “And if a customer’s flight is late, we’ll stay at the airport to make sure they have a ride home. We go above and beyond to take care of our customers, which is why we always stay busy.” It’s also why the company has maintained a 98.9 percent satisfaction rating during its 8 years of business, according to customer comment cards. Being unmatched in quality, reliability, and customer service is a point of pride for the McCarthys. Simply put, customers enjoy a relaxing, convenient ride from their door to the airport, and back again, without the aggravation of airport parking. “I tell people that we’re open 24/7 and 366 days out of the year because we also
work on leap year,” McCarthy Jr. said. “Between my dad and me, there are 50 combined years in the taxi transportation business. We continually strive to improve ourselves so we can make our service better for customers. We want customers to know that we’re going to be there for them.” The McCarthy duo also gives free rides to active-duty military service members. Both men served in the U.S. Army themselves; McCarthy Jr. participated in the invasion of Panama and Operation Desert Storm, and his father fought in the Vietnam era before him. To say they have an admiration for servicemen and servicewomen in the armed forces would be an understatement. That’s why their company supports numerous veterans’ organizations in the area. “It’s our way of thanking our soldiers for their character, sacrifice, and bravery,” McCarthy Jr. said. “It’s because of their
Their drivers are very safe! I’ve used them extensively for about eight years now and find them to be punctual and courteous. —K.C. ASHLAND
VAV is always reliable and their 24/7 service makes them so convenient. Plus their drivers are always so friendly and helpful. —BARBARA SUMMER HILL
PHOTO: JASON AUS
courage that we enjoy the freedom we have today.” But his charitable heart doesn’t stop there. This summer, McCarthy Jr.—who is a single dad— and his two sons will participate in a mission trip to Guatemala. On the trip, which is sponsored by Mosaic Church in Oakland, the group will perform health screenings and repair dilapidated huts. “I’m excited, not only because I get to help other people in need, but also
because it will allow my children to see how people in other parts of the world live. I think it will help them gain an appreciation of how good we have things in the United States.”
Going green The McCarthys are environmental advocates in the community. But they’re not just a lot of talk—they have taken their environmental
commitment to the next level. Three years ago, they converted their fleet of 31 vans to take an alternative fuel: propane. It burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel with 20 percent less nitrogen oxide, 60 percent less carbon monoxide and 24 percent fewer greenhouse emissions, according to a study by the Chicagobased Argonne National Laboratory. That means each van significantly reduces its carbon
footprint compared to traditional gas-fueled vehicles. And that’s vital to the Village Airport Van business model, especially considering that his shared-ride taxi service makes 40 trips to and from Orlando International Airport and Orlando Sanford International Airport on an average day. “Living in a beautiful area like central Florida, we are reminded daily of our environmental responsibilities,” said McCarthy Jr., who has lived in Lake
County since 2003. “Because of what we do, my company is already reducing car trips and saving millions of vehicle miles each year. By converting our fleet to alternative
fuel, we’re taking energy savings to an even higher level. Propane is a byproduct of natural gas, and since 95 percent of propane is produced domestically, it’s a great way to reduce
our dependence on foreign oil.” “We love the green aspect and the environmental benefits, but the fuel savings are definitely another added
bonus,” McCarthy Jr. said. In fact, the savings have recently allowed the company to upsize into an 8,000-square-foot facility in Lady Lake. The McCarthys took the opportunity to be even more environmentally friendly by placing 55 kilowatts of lowmaintenance solar panels on the roof. “We only have one Mother Earth,” McCarthy Jr. said. “Going green helps save people from toxic products and environmental pollution. Thus, people can live a healthier lifestyle, which increases productivity in the workplace and at home. I think going green is a wise decision because it is important to support the health of the environment and reduce harm to our planet. It’s the right thing to do.”
I love that their office never closes. I can call or even come in anytime and make a reservation. —KEN BUTTONWOOD
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WELL MAINTAINED W/LAKE VIEW! Furnished 3/2 with newer appliances, huge 10x24 carpet FL room w/air overlooking Sunlake. Master suite w/large walk in closet, master bath w/newer tiled, walk in shower. Designer carport, patio, 8x12 add on work shed. Includes golf cart. LB8181 Sunlake Estates - $34,900
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WARM & INVITING, RECENTLY UPGRADED Upgraded & tastefully decorated 2/2 w/large Florida room and storage shed. Open living area w/kitchen, breakfast bar, formal dining room & living room. Fenced backyard for added privacy. Well maintained community w/nice amenities. LB8169 – Cypress Creek - $38,900
TOTALLY FURNISHED, PRICED TO SELL Spacious living, separate dining, 1/1 w/built ins, all new flooring, custom mini split Trane air, new toilet & plumbing 2012, newer stove & fridge, all furniture stays, move in ready & spotless. Peaceful community with pool and golf. LB8168 – Blue Parrot Park - $21,700
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A NEW GAME PLAN 80
Community partnerships in Central Florida may bolster the economy through sports tourism by drawing fans and athletes—and dollars.
STORY: JAMES COMBS
NATIONAL TRAINING CENTER IN CLERMONT
hen it comes to strengthening Central Florida’s economy through sports tourism, officials from Orlando and Lake County are working to get the ball rolling. A potential partnership was formed last September, when Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks invited Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer for a six-hour tour of Lake’s sports facilities and pristine countryside. Sean and Buddy, along with other officials, visited sites such as the Green Mountain Scenic Overlook, Clermont’s Waterfront Park, and the Innovation District in Mount Dora. After lunch at the National Training Center in Clermont, they drove by several landmarks, including Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-theHills, Venetian Gardens in Leesburg, and Hickory Point Park in Tavares. “It was a wonderful day, and I’m glad that we opened the lines of communication,” says Robert Chandler, director of Lake County Economic Development and STORY: JAMES COMBS Tourism, who accompanied the group on the tour. HICKORY POINT RECREATIONAL COMPLEX IN TAVARES “Anytime we can open eyes to what we’re doing on our end with sports tourism and what we can offer Orlando as their neighbor is a major plus. It’s always better to deal with comprehensive strategies in a comprehensive manner.” Officials from both regions hope to utilize complementary strengths
and resources to bolster Central Florida’s sports tourism industry. In recent months, Orlando has positioned itself as a premier sports destination by hosting the NFL Pro Bowl, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, and three collegiate football bowl games. The city also is home to several top-notch facilities: the Amway Center, Camping World Stadium, and Discover Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports. Meanwhile, athletes from around the country are increasingly flocking to Lake County to compete in niche sports, such as beach volleyball, rowing regattas, disc golf, and bass tournaments. The county boasts impressive venues to host these sports, including Hickory Point, with 21 professional sand volleyball courts, the Clermont Boathouse, and disc golf courses at Lake Hiawatha Preserve in Clermont, Lincoln Avenue Community Park in Mount Dora, and Hidden Waters Preserve in Eustis. It also is home to more than 1,000 named lakes. A collaborative partnership could help Central Florida become a sports superpower by promoting the region as a year-round destination for sporting events. Officials from both Orlando and Lake understand that maximizing the economic impact will require a team effort. “While Orlando pursues larger sports, we are pursuing niche sports,” Sean says. “We’ll work together on marketing and supporting each other. Our goal is to complement Orlando by focusing heavily on niche sports. When
Orlando draws large sporting events such as the Pro Bowl, those visitors can make trips to Lake County and see everything we offer. It’s a win-win situation.” A partnership between the Central Florida Sports Commission and Lake County Economic Development and Tourism already is underway. The two entities—along with the city of Clermont—were instrumental in bringing the USA Canoe/Kayak’s 2017 Sprint National Championship to Lake Minneola. The event, which is expected to attract more than 1,000 athletes, coaches, and spectators from around the country, will be held Aug. 2-5. “We are just at the tip of the iceberg for what will happen here in the future,” says Paul McPherson, president of the Lake County Rowing Association. “We’ve even had foreign national teams reach out to us, because they want to train at the Clermont Boathouse in preparation for the world championships to be held next September in Sarasota.” That kind of exposure is priceless. Between February and April 2016, the rowing association hosted four full-day regattas featuring competitors from throughout the southeastern United States. The economic impact of those four events was $629,815, according to estimates from Lake County Economic Development and Tourism. However, it is impossible to quantify the full economic benefit. Many rowers and their families had never visited Lake County, meaning thousands of newcomers were exposed to the community in a positive way. It is not unreasonable to assume some will return. “Families who travel to sporting events often turn the trip into a mini-vacation,”
While Orlando pursues larger sports, we are pursuing niche sports. We’ll work together on marketing and supporting each other. —SEAN PARKS
TIM FREDERICK FISHES THE FLW PROFESSIONAL BASS FISHING TOUR IN LAKE COUNTY
When they are visiting the region, we want them to come to Lake County and discover everything that our area offers. —ROBERT CHANDLER
Robert says. “They stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, and shop in our stores. They also get to experience not just a tournament but everything the area has to offer. Many who come to our town for a sporting event will come back for a vacation and recommend the area to others.” He also hopes to draw Orlando tourists attending prestigious sporting events, such as bowl games or NCAA Tournament games. “These fans usually stay for several days,” Robert says. “When they are visiting the region, we want them to come to Lake County and discover everything that our area offers. It’s always a positive when we can bring new people to the area and let them experience the Lake County brand.” Another collaborative project being discussed is the creation of a super-regional park featuring running trails, bicycle trails, and hiking trails. The park would be built on Water Conserv II, a rapid infiltration basin site spanning western Orange County and southeast Lake County. The property is part of Wellness Way, which is a sector development
plan designed to attract health, fitness, and related industries to the area. “This is extremely exciting because we’re thinking completely outside the box,” Sean says. “Having multiple agencies coming together to do something like this is rare. Also, the cost is minimal because nobody is buying land. We’re simply using what we already have.”
Your partners for life
Dr. Will Barsoum joined the team at Cardiovascular Associates in January 2017. To say he is thrilled about this exciting opportunity would be an understatement. “The practice has developed an excellent reputation because the doctors are ethical, knowledgeable, and caring,” he said. “I share their vision of delivering quality cardiovascular care to the wonderful residents of Lake County.” Dr. Barsoum attended medical school at St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada and completed a residency and two fellowships at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. He brings a unique skill set to Cardiovascular Associates and is experienced in treating peripheral vascular disease and pulmonary embolism. “For me, it’s a major milestone whenever I can improve a patient’s quality of life and increase their longevity.” He previously practiced in Lake County for more than two years before moving to Orlando. “I’m happy to be returning to the area. This is where I want to raise my family. We have the best of both worlds. There is plenty of nature, but you don’t have to look far for shopping and entertainment.”
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How do you help your clients achieve their objectives? Focusing our attention on our clients’ financial details means working toward their goal of living the lifestyle they have always envisioned. Having the resources in place to enjoy the next stage of their lives is important in achieving those goals. Perhaps they want to master a new language or travel to see family. Moving financial worry away from the front of their minds can put big concerns to rest.
What specific strategies do you offer your clients? Our focus is on financial planning which includes retirement planning, retirement income planning, estate planning strategies, college education planning, custom portfolio management, long term care planning and life insurance planning.
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The Lake Sumter Group at Morgan Stanley
832 Lake Sumter Landing, The Villages, FL 352.751.7845 • Toll free 800.447.6036 morganstanleyfa.com/LakeSumter
What makes your group passionate about what you do? Our clients have spent their working years building a legacy. We enjoy helping them build the next phase of their lives. Having an advisor who can walk that path with them can mean the difference between living, and enjoying, their retirement.
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC offers insurance products in conjunction with its licensed insurance agency affiliates. This material is intended only for clients and prospective clients of the Portfolio Management program. It has been prepared solely for informational purposes only and is not an offer to buy or sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy or sell any security or other financial instrument, or to participate in any trading strategy. The individuals mentioned as the Portfolio Management Team are Financial Advisors with Morgan Stanley participating in the Morgan Stanley Portfolio Management program. The Portfolio Management program is an investment advisory program in which the client’s Financial Advisor invests the client’s assets on a discretionary basis in a range of securities. The Portfolio Management program is described in the applicable Morgan Stanley ADV Part 2, available at www.morganstanley.com/ ADV or from your Financial Advisor. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC does not accept appointments nor will it act as a trustee but it will provide access to trust services through an appropriate third-party corporate trustee. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and Federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the US. © 2016. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors or Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. CRC1651264 11/16
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F e at u r i ng
6 Sadie loves to ride She looks good on a motorcycle and travels well.
2 Award-winning author Mark Newhouse knows what makes kids think.
4 â€˜Young Frankensteinâ€™ on stage KC Theatrical Productions has a hit.
* MVESEtT yAlVeI L L A G E R
Mark Newhouse STORY: LEIGH NEELY
He began writing plays to find new ways to help his sixth-grade students remember what they were learning. Now he’s an award-winning children’s books author. V I TA L
Lives in the Village of Virginia Trace Moved to The Villages in 2002 from Central Islip, Long Island, New York Previously taught sixth grade Married to Linda 35 years July 4th Has two sons and two grandchildren Loves to golf, read, and help other writers Something most people don’t know: He met his wife at a disco
How did you begin writing? One year I taught science, and I was the worst teacher. I didn’t like the textbook, so I did experiments to compensate. I realized that science was about solving mysteries. So I wrote short mysteries to help my students understand science better. That’s where “The Rockhound Science Mysteries” were born.
What was your first book? Someone from Newsday (Long Island newspaper) wanted my kids to enter a race to raise money for starving children in Ethiopia. I said no, and decided we’d do a Research-a-Thon. I gave each child 10 articles from Newsday and asked them to get ideas for solving the hunger problem in
Ethiopia. They could get 10 cents a question. We raised $500. After that, Newsday asked me to write a book about the Statue of Liberty, which meant a great deal to me because my parents were immigrants. I was thrilled when they had it in the gift shop on Ellis Island, and it raised thousands of dollars for the museum.
Do you miss being with students? Actually, I interact with former students every day. I have 900 of them who are friends on my Facebook page. A lot of them are teachers now. I love hearing about their lives and seeing what they’re doing now. Before Facebook came along, when a kid left your class, you never knew what happened to them.
What was the greatest moment in your life? The birth of my sons.
What is your passion? I collect autographed books. I have more than 450, including a leatherbound copy of “Surviving at the Top” signed by Donald Trump that I got for $2.29.
What are your awardwinning books? “Welcome to Monstrovia,” Benjamin Franklin Book Awards, Readers Favorite Awards, and Florida Writers Association; “The Case of the Disastrous Dragon,” Top Ten Children’s Book P&E Reader Poll; “The Rockhound Science Mysteries,” Teachers Choice Award (Learning Magazine).
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KC Theatrical Productions showcases talent STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL
“Young Frankenstein,” a musical adaptation of Brooks’ classic 1974 film, is a new genre for KC Theatrical Productions. JOAN KNAPTON, THIRD FROM LEFT, WITH CAST MEMBERS AND CREW
oan Knapton, the producer behind KC Theatrical Productions, loves to bring top Broadway shows to the local stage, and she’s now preparing for the October production of Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” in The Villages. KC is an acronym for Knapton and Company. “I always produce the shows or direct them and have somebody with me, another director or a very strong choreographer. It has been great,” she says, recalling talented choreographer Jim Caisse had performers kicking up their heels in “A Chorus Line.” “I love working with different directors. Each one has a different approach, and it’s always an education for me and educational for the cast,” she says. “It’s exciting what they bring to the table.” Her Villages thespians recently finished “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Call It What You Will.” “I love working with people, and I enjoy the creativity,” Joan says. “It’s
been nice to discover how many talented people there are who can do all of this stuff. Many of them have done it before, or they have always wanted to do singing and dancing, and now they are able to do it here.” “Young Frankenstein,” a musical adaptation of Brooks’ classic 1974 film, is a new genre for KC Theatrical Productions. “I have always done heavy shows with a message, like ‘Les Miserables,’ and ‘Man of La Mancha,’” she says. “I’ve never done a comedy, and this script is funny. It’s a remarkable Mel Brooks show.” Tim Casey is directing “Young Frankenstein.” “We felt it would be a great October show and fit the Halloween spirit,” he says. “It’s a very funny show and I think it will attract a wide audience,” adds Mark “The Skipper” Finkle, a consultant for KC Productions. “A lot of people know the film but may not have seen the Broadway musical.” “Young Frankenstein” was nominated for several Tony Awards and the musical finished its U.S. road tour in 2009. It’s now slated to make its premiere in the United Kingdom in August and run through the fall. About 30 people will be in The Villages production, set for 7pm Oct. 15-17, along with a matinee show to be announced on one of the dates, at the Savannah Center, 1575 Buena Vista Blvd. “Evita” or Brooks’ “The Producers” will be featured in March 2018. “This gives my life passion,” Joan says. “This has been my purpose and I love it.”
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Villager Fred Martin travels through life with a constant companion, a beloved dog that turns heads and helps Fred keep his head together. STORY: CHRIS GERBASI // PHOTOS: FRED LOPEZ
familiar sight to many Villagers is parked outside City Fire restaurant at Lake Sumter Landing. This crowd pleaser is perched comfortably on a Honda Gold Wing and dressed in motorcycle gear, complete with a leather helmet and goggles. That’s Sadie, and she’s a dog. “She’s quite well-known in The Villages,” says Sadie’s human companion, Fred Martin, of the Village of Poinciana. “In fact, everybody knows her, nobody knows me. They’ll say, ‘Hey, Sadie,’ when they walk up to me. All the women go crazy for her.” Fred, who will turn 90 in June, does the actual driving of the Gold Wing. Sadie’s just along for the ride, wherever Fred wants to go, near or far. Most days, they go to Lake Sumter for a beer and water—Fred has the beer. Beyond the cuteness of the scene, however, Sadie provides a valuable service to Fred. He’s raised 7-yearold Sadie since she was a pup, and says he had her certified several years ago as a service dog to give him emotional support. “She’s my therapy. She’s my anchor. I mean, I don’t know if I could get through a day without her. That’s how much she means to me,” Fred says. “It’s like an emotional thing. I get edgy when I’m not around her. It’s hard to put into words, but she’s my anchor.” Fred, who’s been married three times, lives alone and has two daughters, Suzanne Shirley, in Ocala and Mary Ann Williams, in Miami. Sadie coexists happily with a recent addition to the household, Morris, an orange tiger cat named for the finicky star of cat food commercials in the 1970s. Sadie accompanies Fred everywhere, including on the road, harnessed into a seat behind him on the motorcycle. “We’ll be on the road sometimes eight or 10 hours. Never complains. She just loves to ride,” he says.
Several organizations in Central Florida provide dogs to people who require them for a variety of reasons, and these animals are categorized by the services they provide. According to the American Disabilities Act National Network, an online guide, the classifications include: Service dogs Trained to work or perform tasks for a person with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. This includes guide dogs for the visually impaired, signal dogs for the hearing impaired, psychiatric service dogs that detect the onset of psychiatric episodes and lessen their effects, seizure response dogs, and sensory signal or social signal dogs to assist autistic people.
Emotional support animals Often used as part of a medical treatment plan to provide companionship, relieve loneliness, and sometimes help with depression, anxiety, and certain phobias. Therapy dogs Provide therapeutic contact, usually in a clinical setting, to improve patients’ physical, social, emotional, and/or cognitive functioning.
Sadie has about 10,000 miles on her—that’s 70,000 in dog miles— and their most recent big trip was for 11 days last summer to Billings, Montana. They attended Wing Ding 38, a festival run by the Gold Wing Road Riders Association. They plan to hit the next Wing Ding this summer at Grapevine, Texas, and they’ve also traveled to Canada and the Keys. The dog sits so still on the bike, some drivers mistake her for a stuffed animal, Fred says. “She trained herself. I didn’t do it,” he says. Sadie, a mix from a red-nose pit bull mother and a mastiff father, has trained herself in other ways as well. “The second day going to Billings, she kept tapping me on the back,” Fred says. “I said, ‘What’s the matter?’ So we pulled into a rest stop and she ran right to the rest area for the dogs. After that, when she had to go, she would tap me on the back and we would pull into a rest area. She’s a wiz. I’ve had a lot of dogs in my life, but this one here, she’s as smart as a whip.” At the festival, Fred won awards for oldest rider and longest distance traveled. Sadie did well, too, with a feature in the local newspaper and requests for photos from numerous motorcyclists.
“IF I HAD A PENNY FOR EVERY PHOTO THAT SHE’S HAD TAKEN, I COULD DRIVE A FERRARI.” —FRED MARTIN
“Even in the motorcycle crowd, she’s quite a girl,” Fred says. “If I had a penny for every photo that she’s had taken, I could drive a Ferrari.” Sadie attracts fans on the road, too, as motorists often follow the pair to gas stations or rest areas to get a closer look at her. “At one gas station, the guy that owned it came out and asked me if I could move my bike because I was jamming his pumps up,” Fred says. “People were getting out of their cars and taking pictures of her.” It’s the look that does it. When Sadie’s in her leathers and goggles, Fred says she resembles Amelia Earhart—a tribute for Sadie, not so flattering for Amelia. “She just draws people,” Fred says. “I should’ve named her ‘Smiley,’ because you can even tell with some of the guys who are real sourpusses, by the time they leave her, they’re smiling.”
“At one gas station, the guy that owned it came out and asked me if I could move my bike because I was jamming his pumps up,” Fred says. “People were getting out of their cars and taking pictures of her.”
The relationship between Fred and Sadie is unlike any that neighbor and longtime friend Tom Bennett has seen. “She just thinks the world of him, you can tell, and he does, too,” Tom says. “They’re so compatible, it’s hard to believe. I’m 77 and I’ve had a lot of pets, but I’ve never seen any dog who has the kind of relationship that she has with him.” But this bond between man and man’s best friend almost didn’t happen. Fred’s previous dog was a big American bulldog named Bandit, who used to ride around in a cargo trailer behind a scooter. But after Bandit died, Fred was heartbroken and swore he wouldn’t get another dog. “It’s a very traumatic thing to have to put a dog down that you’re really attached to, and just about everybody you talk to says the same thing: ‘I’m not going to go through that again,’” Fred says. “But after a while, you realize, they need you as much as you need them, because if you don’t take them, they’re going to put them down.” Enter Sadie. Tom recalls that one of Fred’s daughters called Fred to see if he would be interested in a rescue dog.
He agreed to take a look at the pup and, naturally, took her home. “He’s so kind-hearted to animals,” Tom says. “He sensed Sadie was going to be a good dog. That was a big inspiration to him. And she was a great dog.” Eventually, Fred became so attached to Sadie, he didn’t want to be separated from her on the road. “She’s my companion,” he says. “Maybe it goes with age, I don’t know, but sometimes you get the feeling that you’re all alone, you know? It’s a mental thing, I know. I even look for her at night. If I don’t feel her next to me on the bed at night, you know, it’s stuff like that.” Fred likens his anxieties to those of someone with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. He served in the Merchant Marine during World War II. Originally from Canada, as a teenager he joined the Canadian Seamen’s Union, which lent him to the Norwegian government. He served on a Norwegian tanker in the Mediterranean, and he said he initially had a fear that the tanker would be blown up. A dog like Sadie, who is shy, calm, and quiet, can have a soothing effect on someone with anxiety. Studies
CANINE THERAPY TEAMS OF THE VILLAGES is a group of Villagers, each with their own therapy dog that visits nursing homes and hospice centers to improve the well-being of patients as they greet and pet the dogs. The organization has 75 dogs, and the teams visit 25 facilities in and around The Villages, says Howard Horwitz, coordinator of the group. Any dog that has a good temperament and can pass necessary testing can become a therapy dog, he says. “A therapy dog started as a pet and was trained to serve a whole group of people,” Howard says. “They’re not limited to an individual.” Service dogs, on the other hand, are trained to serve one individual exclusively, he says. “Each serves a positive purpose,” he says. Mary Peter founded K9 Partners for Patriots to match service dogs with veterans and active military members who have posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, or military sexual trauma. The Brooksville nonprofit organization has 170 members. Mary, a dog trainer for 30 years, tells members upfront that while the service dogs never will be taken away from them, they should strive for the day when the dogs are merely family pets. “Our goal and hope for each of them is to become independent and not have to have the dog,” she says. “The longer they have the dog, the more comfortable they get. It’s little steps. Every veteran goes at their own level.” She says the physical and mental benefits of having a service dog are numerous: they can help lower their owner’s blood pressure, calm anxiety, help them socialize, pull them back from flashbacks, wake them from nightmares, turn lights on, dial 911 on a modified phone, help put clothes on, help brace someone if they’re about to fall, and even anticipate seizures in epileptics and detect sugar-level changes in diabetics.
have shown that touching a dog has a healing power because hormones such as dopamine and beta-endorphin are released in the individual, according to
“SHE’S MY THERAPY. SHE’S MY ANCHOR. I MEAN, I DON’T KNOW IF I COULD GET THROUGH A DAY WITHOUT HER. THAT’S HOW MUCH SHE MEANS TO ME,” —FRED MARTIN
healthfitnessrevolution.com. Sadie provides many other benefits. She’s a 24-hour companion who gives Fred affection and unconditional love, helps him stay active, and increases his social interaction. And, though she is “lovable,” Sadie also is very protective of Fred, Tom says: “I don’t think you would want to grab ahold of him or try to enter the house. She might chew your arm off.” Fred moved 11 years ago to The Villages from Miami, where he lived for more than 60 years and worked as a carpenter. When he’s not riding with Sadie, he loves to play golf and billiards. He started riding a scooter when he was 16, and now is on his third Gold Wing, which he converted to a trike for better stability. When Fred says, “Ride,” Sadie runs out the door and jumps up onto the motorcycle, which is loaded with a stereo, cruise control, a solar panel to charge the battery, and a specially made, adjustable canvas roof. The roof came in handy on last summer’s Montana trip, which was a rough ride because of high winds, rain, and fog. “Everybody says, ‘Aren’t you afraid to drive your bike?’” he says. “I say, ‘I’m a fatalist. If I become an 18-wheeler hood ornament, you know, I’m going to be an 18-wheeler hood ornament.’ I’m not going to change my destiny.” Fred wasn’t sure he’d try to make it to this year’s Wing Ding, but he’s planning the trip. And Sadie will be by his side every mile of the way.
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By Lily King. A romantic and intelligent page-turner.
The characters are elated at the results of their culture mapping, thus, the title of the book, “Euphoria.”
STORY: DIANE DEAN
uphoria,” written by awardwinning author Lily King, is a historical novel based on Margaret Mead’s experiences in the 1930s in New Guinea. The story revolves around Margaret’s anthropological study of the tribes there, but it also is a love story. The New York Times book review called it “a taut, witty, fiercely intelligent tale of competing egos and desires in a landscape of exotic menace—a love triangle in extremis.” Margaret’s work was not considered scholarly. However, she published two books, “Coming of Age in Samoa” and “Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies,” that claimed a wide following. The study of people and their patterns of behavior was predominant in Margaret’s life. During her lifetime, she married three anthropologists. She had a passion for the subject and those studying it. With her third husband, Gregory Bateson, she had a daughter, Mary
Catherine Bateson. She also became an anthropologist and wrote a book about her parents, “With a Daughter’s Eyes: Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson.” Lily fictionalizes Margaret’s story through the main characters of Nell, a searcher, her husband, Fen, a chauvinist, and another researcher, Andrew, a stabilizer. As the three of them explore the female-dominated tribe of Tam, their romantic entanglement develops. While they claim to be immersing themselves in the tribe’s lifestyle, they transport 1,000 books with them by canoe, and they have a cook and a houseboy to clean for them. As the story progresses, the characters make a map or grid of cultures based on a set of traits, which they hope will lead them to a better understanding of people. The characters are elated at the results of their culture mapping, thus, the title of the book, “Euphoria.” Unfortunately, Nell’s husband is jealous of her talents. It appears as if Fen wants to be a native, rather than study the culture. He’s obsessed with obtaining a flute engraved with hieroglyphics, proving the Tam culture had a written language. The notoriety of that discovery is important to him even if it results in another’s death. The author stated possession of people and things is the motivation for Fen. The comfort and kindness Andrew shows Nell is a contrast to the resentment and selfish actions her husband exhibits. There is
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some vengeance on the part of Nell as she disposes of the much sought-after flute in the sea. But (spoiler alert) her husband may have brought the same ending on Nell herself. Beth Hicks ably facilitated the discussion and mentioned her own experiences living in international cultures. Readers noted they had some trouble determining who was speaking at times due to how the book was written. We asked whether the book’s purpose
was to teach us how to study people, or was the book actually a love story? Because the anthropologists wanted to study people before missionaries entered their world and changes in behavior occurred, we discussed how a missionary feels in a tribal world. So many questions surfaced. How can we know another culture, person, even ourselves? We agreed that we bring our own subjectivity to any study. There always are more questions than answers.
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About the Author
BY MARY HIGGINS CLARK
Lily King is the author of “The Pleasing Hour,” “The English Teacher” and “Father of the Rain” in addition to “Euphoria.” This latest novel received many awards, including Publishers Weekly Best Fiction of 2014 and New York Times Book Review 10 Best Books of 2014. Lily lives in Maine with her husband and children.
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Margaret Mead’s writing opened my eyes to other cultures. Now decades later, “Euphoria” gave me a rich background into Mead’s (as the character Nell Stone in the book) intense, focused studies in the field that gave her the information she passed on to me! Never did I think of Mead as a sexual being, but alas, here we learn that even while married and working in the field with her husband, she burns with desire for another man. All of this and many cultural details color this interesting, enlightening novel by Lily King. —Joann Clark, Ashland A work of fiction inspired by the life of Margaret Mead, a renowned anthropologist. Several themes are interwoven that make this an interesting read. —Gail Feind, Pennecamp
In this fascinating book, Lily King raises an interesting question: To what extent and how can one know another culture, another person, and even oneself? The book is based on the life of Margaret Mead in Samoa and her career in the new “soft” science of anthropology. But throughout, King has us question whether “objectivity” is indeed possible or even desirable. —Betty Eich, La Reynalda I could not put this book down. The ending was totally unexpected and confused me because the story was based on the life of Margaret Mead. As usual with books based on someone’s life but not a biography, the book made me want to learn more about Margaret Mead. —Pam Sherman, Santa Domingo
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Artist Chelsea Smith is using a 500-year-old technique to put her imprint on the Central Florida art scene. STORY: CHRIS GERBASI
helsea Smith is a modern woman rooted in another time. When talking about her passion, her art, she drops references to the old masters, Celtic mythology, and antique printing presses. Chelsea, 24, is an artist who creates prints from copper plate etchings, a Renaissance-era printmaking medium used by her favorite classical artists, such as Rembrandt and Albrecht Dürer. Her artwork combines interests in animals, nature, mythology, and history. “I’ve always been fascinated by history,” the Casselberry resident says. “It’s a way for me to look at historical context and my inspirations, artists from the 1500s and 1600s. It’s fascinating to learn about history and the details of it and bring it back in a fresh new way in the 21st century.” What was once old is new again, as Chelsea is finding success in the 21st century with her 500-year-old technique. One of her mythological representations, “Cernunnos,” was chosen as the poster art for the 42nd annual Mount Dora Arts Festival in February. The print depicts an Irish elk with birds sitting on its large antlers. “It’s like a male version of Mother Nature,” she says. A selection committee chose “Cernunnos” from among the work of 400 artists at the 2016 festival. “It was a huge honor,” Chelsea says. That’s one in a string of accomplishments as Chelsea hustles to expand her reach in
the art world from her home studio. She travels to nationally rated art festivals throughout Florida, the Southeast and East Coast, while winning several awards, sells her etching prints at etsy.com, displays artwork at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure localARTicles Boutique, and looks forward to a showing this year at Orlando City Hall’s Terrace Gallery. Steve Bowersock, a Mount Dora snowbird and former board member for the Mount Dora Center for the Arts, saw Chelsea’s work at that 2016 festival. He now represents her in the large New England market, displaying several of her etchings at Bowersock Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts, the oldest continuous art colony in the country. Steve says he doesn’t often represent artists so young, but he was struck by Chelsea’s distinctive style. “It looks whimsical at first, but when you look at her body of work as a whole, she’s using symbols to create a deeper story,” he says. She has a “clear vision” in her work despite using an archaic medium, he adds. “She brings a young, contemporary flair to a medium that’s old school. It’s a powerful medium but not as popular.”
THERE ARE PICTURES OF ME, BEFORE I COULD WALK, AT 2 YEARS OLD DRAWING FOR HOURS AND HOURS. IT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN DOING MY WHOLE LIFE. The Central Florida native actually is an old pro. She began with pencil art at age 12, sketching portraits of pets to raise money and awareness for pet rescue centers, but her career path appeared inevitable long before then. “There are pictures of me, before I could walk, at 2 years old drawing for hours and
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hours. It’s what I’ve been doing my whole life,” Chelsea says. “Everyone else was playing, and I was drawing—drawing on walls, anywhere.” With her pet portraits, she became a kind of “artist to the stars” by contacting musicians and actors and presenting them with sketches of their pets or other prints. Owners of her work include artist Peter Max, actor John Cusack, musicians Rob Thomas and Johnny Marr, and members of Duran Duran and Goo Goo Dolls. She met singer Adam Ant at a show, and he was later interviewed for a TV show on OWN with Chelsea’s drawing of his dog sitting on a shelf in the background. She also did a portrait of the Obamas’ dog, Bo, and received a thank-you letter from the president. Her interests shifted while studying at Seminole State College, where she “fell in love” with copper etching because “it combined all the techniques I like in pencil art and the love I have for detail.” She went on to complete her bachelor of fine arts degree at the University of Central Florida. The printmaking process starts with her drawings. Then she etches the design with a metal needle onto a copper plate coated with a waxy, acid-resistant substance, exposing
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I FELL IN LOVE WITH COPPER ETCHING, IT COMBINED ALL THE TECHNIQUES I LIKE IN PENCIL ART AND THE LOVE I HAVE FOR DETAIL.
the bare copper. The plate is dipped in and out of an acid solution of ferric chloride and citric powder, which eats into the metal and reveals the lines and details of the design. The plate is washed off and inked in the colors of her choice, and the image is transferred onto paper using a printing press. “I wanted to continue that tradition,” Chelsea says, adding that the medium is increasingly rare because many artists prefer to use modern technology. In addition, printing presses often can only be found at secondhand stores or antique shops, and some weigh 800 to 1,000 pounds, making them cumbersome. And some of the chemicals used are a little risky because of the fumes they generate, so Chelsea keeps her workspace well-ventilated, wears protective glasses and gloves, and is careful not to sip a liquid from the wrong glass, she jokes. Chelsea’s two primary artistic themes, mythology and the Sacred Feminine, blend old and modern views. Her family hails from England and Ireland, inspiring her interest in Celtic mythology. Some of her images include “Bloduewedd,” a symbol of flowers and owls; “Artio,” a bear goddess; “Flidais,” a shape-shifting “lady of the forest” and “Earth
Mother”; and “Rhiannon,” as in the Fleetwood Mac song, a character from Welsh mythology. The Scared Feminine is a philosophy emphasizing femininity and divinity. Her work often focuses on women’s anatomy, such as Mother Earth or her etching, “The Third Eye,” of a woman with kaleidoscopic patterns emanating from her “third eye,” representing intuition. “Women artists back then (during the Renaissance) couldn’t do anatomy, female forms,” she says. “I’m a woman artist doing women figures.” Along with the feminine images, she uses symbols of the transience of life and inevitability of death. “It sounds like it might be darker, but it’s based on an old Renaissance technique called vanitas,” Chelsea says, referring to a genre associated with Dutch still-life paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries. “I’m kind of doing a spin on that.” Those are heady themes from the past being explored by a modern woman. In the future, she wants to continue to expand her horizons with more festivals and gallery showings. In the present, she simply is realizing her dream to be an artist. “It’s very humbling,” Chelsea says. “Incredible things are happening.”
Chelsea Smith will be showing her artwork at the St. Johns River Festival of the Arts May 6-7 in Sanford, and the Mayfaire by the Lake Art Festival May 13-14 in Lakeland. For more examples of her work, go to artbychelsea.com.
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PROBLEMS WITH YOUR PROSTATE? Does this sound familiar? As you grow older, do you realize you are getting up more often at night to urinate? Have you come to accept this as in inevitable part of aging as your father did or his father before him? There is no need for men to suffer from frequent urination because they are getting older. Dr. James Young, a down-to-earth urologist in Lake County since 1982, has successfully treated thousands of patients who suffer with enlarged prostate (BPH). What’s even better is that treatment options are more numerous and far less invasive than those offered to our fathers and grandfathers. Dr. Young is internationally recognized as one of the leading experts in Prostiva RF Therapy, an in-office procedure for the treatment of enlarged prostate in men. Prostiva utilizes low-level radiofrequency energy to destroy the obstructing component of the enlarged prostate The procedure allows men to stop taking medications for their prostate issues without undergoing major surgery. That distinction has placed him on Castle Connelly’s prestigious Top Docs list for five consecutive years. “Dr. Young is one of the pioneers and current leaders of in-office BPH therapy, particularly with the Prostiva
RF therapy system,” said Greg Fluet, former CEO of Urologix, Inc. “He has been a consistent and committed champion. For that, I have significant respect and admiration.” Dr. Young has performed more Prostiva procedures than any urologist in the United States and possibly the world. In 2014, he performed nearly 400 Prostiva procedures, accounting for approximately 5 percent of the 8,000 performed worldwide. The procedure is performed in Dr. Young’s office under local anesthesia. “I am very happy with the results I have achieved for many patients using Prostiva RF Therapy,” says Dr. Young, who has successfully treated nearly 3,000 patients with this procedure. Not only is Dr. Young happy; patients are extremely satisfied, as well. That’s evidenced by the glowing reviews he receives on healthgrades. com and vitals.com from patients who underwent the procedure. “His revolutionary procedure
was easy with very little discomfort,” wrote one patient. “My urinary problems have disappeared, I sleep better, and have significantly more energy,” another patient wrote. Dr. Young encourages all patients to visit vitals.com and healthgrades. com to find for themselves what patients are saying. Dr. Young’s Healthgrades online profile was visited 2,311 times between January 2015 and January 2016, ranking him 18th among 978 urologists in Florida. Always striving to be on the cutting-edge of therapies to treat enlarged prostates, Dr. Young is now offering a new procedure called Rezum. This safe and efficient treatment uses thermal energy in water vapor to remove obstructive tissue surrounding the prostate. The procedure is performed in-office under local anesthesia or oral sedation.Dr Young is the first urologist in Central Florida to offer this cutting edge treatment. At this time Dr Young has
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JAMES W. YOUNG III, M.D. Board-certified Urologist
Practicing in Lake County since 1982 with extensive experience in evaluation and management of prostate problems.
Comprehensive care If you are a first-time patient of Dr. Young, you will receive a detailed examination. “When I see a new patient I perform physical examinations and properly evaluate the patient’s symptoms, thus diagnosing the underlying problem(s),” Dr. Young said. “Next, I describe to the patient what’s normal and then explain what is abnormal with him. Lastly, I teach him his treatment options. If I’ve done a good job of teaching, he will select the correct option for himself.” While prescribing medications for enlarged prostate can be done by primary care physicians, only urologists are trained to thoroughly evaluate the bladder and prostate (including ruling out prostate cancer), as well as providing extremely effective minimally invasive, officebased therapies as alternatives to lifelong medical therapy. With an office staff with nearly
as much experience as the doctor (many have worked with Dr. Young for 25 years), you don’t spend a great deal of time waiting to see him. “We pride ourselves in being timely in seeing our patients. We respect our patients’ time as much as we do our own. Patients appreciate this; many of our patients tell me I have the best office staff on the planet. I consider that a huge compliment.” So if you are waking up at night and have difficulty falling back asleep because you’re worried what may be wrong, then it is time to check in with Dr. Young and have him examine you. “Many men accept frequent bladder urges as part of aging. And while it is part of the aging process, it’s not like death and taxes. There is something you can do about it.”
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LOCAL TALE NT //
SEE STORY on PG 112
On the Scene
A darker adaptation of a beloved fairytale.
* TOHnE TTOh- DeO SL cI S eT n e
May M AY 1
Shades of Jimmy Buffett Songwriter and musician Mac Mcanally at the Savannah Center in The Villages at 7pm May 1. Tickets available through The Villages Entertainment Department. M AY 1 - 1 4
It’s a trap “The Mousetrap,” is at the Moonlight Players’ Warehouse Theater: 8pm Friday and Saturday; 2:30pm Sunday. $18/adults, and $15/children. Call 352.319.1116 for reservations. 735 W. Minneola Ave., Clermont.
M AY 2
Free seminar The Villages ImageLift has a free seminar at 1 pm at The Pub Restaurant at Stonecrest with double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Rich Castellano. Learn about ImageLift. Limited seating; make reservation and receive free book. Go to imagelift.com/events or call 877.346.2435. 877.346.2435 M AY 4
Let’s do lunch Nothing but Networking Lunch with Lady Lake Area Chamber of Commerce at the Waterfront Inn, 1105 Lakeshore Drive, 11:30am – 1pm. M AY 5
M AY 2
Birdwatching and hiking
No cost, but a $2 donation is appreciated. At 6:30pm; bring camera, binoculars, and bug spray. Trout Lake Nature Center, 520 E. CR 44, Eustis.
First Friday street fest This street fest contains multiple stages with live bands, different monthly themes, and access to restaurants and has a kid’s area. Free admission, 6-10pm, downtown Eustis.
Family fun painting class Painting with a Twist is having an event for kids. Parents can take part or be bystanders. 1-3pm, and arrive 10-15 minutes early to get smocked and seated. 16844 U.S. Hwy. 441, Tri-Cities Shopping Plaza, Mount Dora.
M AY 7 M AY 6
Tee up for Miss Leesburg Support the 13th annual Miss Leesburg Scholarship Scramble Golf Tournament at Arlington Ridge. For info, visit missleesburg.com or call 352.326.4217.
Florida Swap Meet Featuring 900+ vendor spaces selling auto parts, cars, merchandise, tools. Door prizes and trivia night. Sumter County Fairgrounds, 7620 CR 471, Bushnell, 8am-3pm.
M AY 6
M AY 1 0
Smell the flowers Enjoy Clermont Garden Club’s 15th annual Garden Walk. Tour six gardens, a plant sale, and basket raffle. $10 per ticket; walk begins at 9am! Clermont Garden Club, 849 West Ave.
M AY 6
‘Churchill’ Adapted and performed by Ronald Keaton. A look at his life after forced retirement. 7pm at the Savannah Center, 1545 Buena Vista Blvd., The Villages.
M AY 2 0
Jokes on You Comedy Tour Unscripted comedy mayhem with comedians Gallagher and Artie Fletcher. Performance includes Gallagher’s famous Sledge-O-Matic. Show starts at 8pm; don’t end up in the splash zone! Clermont Performing Arts Center, 3700 S. U.S. Hwy. 27.
M AY 1 0
New series The Lady Lake Area Chamber of Commerce begins its “Entrepreneurship Speaker Series” with Ken Knoor, CEO of Th@t! Company. 11:30am-1pm, Lady Lake Library, 225 W. Guava St., $12/in advance; $15/door. M AY 1 2 - 2 8
‘Blithe Spirit’ This humorous play features Charles, who is haunted by two wives. $18/ adults and $9/students. All shows are 8pm Fridays-Saturdays, and 2pm Sundays, Melon Patch Theatre, 311 N. 13th St., Leesburg. M AY 1 3
Food Truck-n-Flick Night A night of fun kicks off at 5pm with a “cruise-in” lineup and gourmet food trucks on the streets. Enjoy a movie on the 24-foot outdoor screen at 7:15pm. Bring blankets and lawn chairs. Free. Main Street at 9th. M AY 1 3
North American migration count Known as the “Big Global Day,” to catch migration in action across North America. At Minneola’s scenic trailhead. Free. Bring binoculars, a camera, and bird ID, though not required. 7:30-11am. Green Mountain Overlook & Trailhead, 20700 CR 455.
M AY 2 0 M AY 1 8 - 2 1
Something for junior Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka Junior” presented by Bay Street Players Young People’s Theater. Call 352.357.7777 or visit baystreetplayers.org. Performances: 7pm Thursday to Saturday, and 2pm Sunday. 109 N. Bay St., Eustis. M AY 1 9
An intimate evening of music The Tenors at the Mount Dora Community Building Theater, 520 Baker St., at 7:30pm. Enjoy the amazing talent of Clifton Murray, Fraser Walters, and Victor Micallef. M AY 1 9
Chamber golf Don’t miss the 20th annual Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce Golf Classic. Continental Country Club. Call 352.787.2131 for more information.
M AY 1 8
Networking Business After Hours, sponsored and hosted by Stokes Fish Market at 5:30pm. 625 CR 468, Leesburg; 352.787.4335. Call 352.787.2131 for more information.
Blues-n-groove weekend Get in the groove for the ninth annual Blues-N-Groove Weekend. Held at Elizabeth Evans Park, featuring Nouveaux Honkies and John Clifton. Ticket are $10 and $25 for VIPs, noon6pm, 100 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora. M AY 2 5
Rise and shine The Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce Sunrise Breakfast sponsored by LRMC, 7-8:30am at Leesburg Community Building. RSVP for $8. Walk-ins and nonmembers, $10. Call 352.787.2131 for information. M AY 2 7
Friends of Lake Louisa State Park Take a walk or run 5K on the winding, scenic course of Lake Louisa State Park. $25-$35 per person. From 7:3010am, 7305 S. U.S. Hwy. 27, Clermont. M AY 2 7
M AY 2 0
Beginner’s paddling class Learn to enjoy a day on the water at the free beginner’s paddling class, 9am-noon. Hickory Point Park, 27341 State Road 19, Tavares.
Sounds of the ‘60s Blast through the past with an evening of music and memories from the ’60s. All proceeds benefit the W.T. Bland Library in Mount Dora. $20, from 7:30-9pm, Mount Dora Community Building, 520 Baker St.
Farmer’s Markets Sunday Historic Downtown Clermont, from City Hall Park to 8th St. on Montrose, 9am-2pm. Monday Umatilla Flea and Farmers Market, 1007 N. Central Ave., 7am-2pm. Tuesday Lady Lake Log Cabin, 106 S. U.S. Hwy. 441/27, 9am-1pm. Thursday Lake County Farmers and Flea Market, 2101 CR 452, Eustis, 8am-1pm Friday Wooton Park, 100 E. Ruby Street, Tavares, 9am-1pm. Saturday Paddock Square, 2716 Brownwood Blvd., Wildwood, 8am-noon. Oxford Farmers Market Uptown, E. Park Place Leesburg Farmer’s Market, Towne Square, behind City Hall, 8am-1pm. Sumter County Saturday Produce Market, 524 N. Market Blvd., Webster, 8am-3pm.
* IONnC OTNhC EeR TS c e n e
The Backyard Barn, Wildwood
The Missin Piston
Shamrock Lounge, Leesburg
Maiden Voyage Band
American Legion, Mount Dora
Rocking Rabbit Brewery, Mount Dora
Ruby Street Grille, Tavares
The Missin Piston
Shamrock Lounge, Leesburg
Ruby Street Grille, Tavares
Ruby Street Grille, Tavares
Jeff Whitfield The Villages Charter School Spring Band Concert
The Mojo Grill, Belleview
Ruby Street Grille, Tavares
Shamrock Lounge, Leesburg
Ruby Street Grille, Tavares
Sal and Izy
1884 Restaurant and Bar, Eustis
Ruby Street Grille, Tavares
Shamrock Lounge, Leesburg
1884 Restaurant and Bar, Eustis
Ruby Street Grille, Tavares
Oasis Saloon, Sorrento
Ruby Street Grille, Tavares
Shamrock Lounge, Leesburg
1884 Restaurant and Bar, Eustis
Frank’s Place, Leesburg
Shamrock Lounge, Leesburg
1884 Restaurant and Bar, Eustis
1884 Restaurant and Bar, Eustis
The Mojo Grill, Belleview
Ruby Street Grille, Tavares
The Backyard Barn, Wildwood
1884 Restaurant and Bar, Eustis
Blue Stone Circle
Ruby Street Grille, Tavares
Tommy and the Guns
Shamrock Lounge, Leesburg
Maiden Voyage Band
Pug’s Pub, Eustis
1884 Restaurant and Bar, Eustis
Tommy and the Guns
Shamrock Lounge, Leesburg
Ruby Street Grille, Tavares
The Sharon, The Villages
Bands subject to change. Email email@example.com to submit an event. Submissions must be received by the ninth of the month prior to month of the event (example: Oct. 9 for Nov. issue).
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Romancing the coin Military veteran and stay-at-home mom creates one-of-a-kind jewelry from quarters and pennies. STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL
abitha Lauer remembers hearing stories from her late grandfather about trench art made by World War I and II soldiers passing the time while away from the front lines. Her grandfather served in Korea and talked about his uncles in the earlier wars. Tabitha was in the military, too, stationed in Germany from 2000-03, working in personnel with the U.S. Army. “I loved the sense of being part of something bigger than me,” Tabitha, 38, of Tavares, says of her service. And while she marveled hearing about trench art from shell casings and other objects, Tabitha was inspired to use non-collectible coins to create artistic jewelry. It was around four years ago when she began hand drawing and cutting out designs of nature and wildlife on coins. Each necklace or bracelet takes about six hours to create. She often uses a small file, a little saw, hammer, and doming tool to create each piece. “It’s relaxing,” she says. “I have overwhelming peace when I make a piece, and it is exciting to me that someone is going to wear a piece that
“The fact I can make something that gives them a memory that is meaningful to them means a lot to me.” —TABITHA LAUER
I have put a lot of love into. I never thought people would like what I make, but they often say that it’s cool. They can’t imagine that it’s from a coin.” Tabitha loves seeing customers find that one jewelry piece that speaks to their hearts; some request special orders of designs they have in mind. “The fact I can make something that gives them a memory that is meaningful to them means a lot to me,” she says. She meets many customers at art shows. Her next one will be May 6-7 in Sanford. “I want to leave as much detail as I can on the coin,” she says, showing an eagle on the back of a Kennedy half-dollar. “It’s a cool factor.” One of her favorite creations is a flower made on a silver half-dollar with copper penny petals and a turquoise setting in the center. “I would absolutely love to make a cut-out of my children, a profile of their faces,” she says of a future jewelry piece for herself that she longs to do of her kids, ages 13 and 10. “I’m a little nervous about trying that because people’s faces are difficult,” Tabitha says. “One day, I will get there.”
* OOUnT +TA BhOeU TS c e n e
THE HILLS ARE
ALIVE WITH MUSIC, ART, AND LITERATURE Exploring the Berkshires
In the Berkshires of Massachusetts, travelers can find picturesque towns and scenes straight out of a Rockwell painting. STORY & PHOTOS: GARY MCKECHNIE
here’s something homelike and comforting about the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. As you explore these hills, drive beside glistening lakes, and stroll through postcardperfect villages, you may feel as if you’ve stepped into a Norman Rockwell canvas. In a way, you have. After moving from Vermont in 1953, it was in the Berkshires that Rockwell painted many of his best-known images and where a museum now honors his works. These mountains were essential in helping Rockwell capture his vision of America. Come here and you’ll find the Berkshires will capture your heart.
Two for the road Just an hour east of Albany, New York, the area known as the Berkshires occupies a relatively thin slice of western Massachusetts. But what tops
this slice can fill several days—or several years. A good place to start is in the middle of it all: Lenox. Upscale but down home, elegant yet charmingly simple, this town of 5,000 enchants visitors with art, music, literature, dance, history, shopping, and dining. The cultural centerpiece of town is Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (bso.org). Performances by the orchestra between June and August are brightened by guest conductors such as John Williams, and appearances by visiting artists, such as Yo-Yo Ma, Bob Dylan, and James Taylor, who lives nearby. Whether under cover in the Koussevitzky Music Shed, which seats 5,000, or atop a blanket on sweeping lawn with room for 10,000 more, as you listen to musical notes flowing over the hills, the experience is magical. Just a few miles away, the Norman Rockwell Museum
* OOUnT +TA BhOeU TS c e n e
(nrm.org) welcomes 200,000 visitors annually. The world’s largest collection of Rockwell’s original art includes framed copies of his 323 “Saturday Evening Post” covers, as well as the paintings considered his masterwork: “The Four Freedoms.” Displayed in the center of the main gallery, “Freedom of Speech,” “Freedom from Want,” “Freedom from Fear,” and “Freedom of Religion” were Rockwell’s interpretation of Franklin Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech in 1941 on the eve of World War II. When Rockwell’s paintings were displayed during a war bond drive, sales of prints and war bonds raised $130 million for the war effort, which is equivalent to roughly $1.6 billion today. An audio tour narrated by his son, as well as daily-guided tours, add to your enjoyment. Outside on a small rise above the rolling hills is Rockwell’s studio. It is much as he left it with tubes of paint, brushes, and reference books that draw your attention to his chair, his palette, and the original easel where Rockwell’s America was born. Incredibly, Rockwell wasn’t the neighborhood’s only legendary artist. Down the street is Chesterwood (chesterwood.org), the home of Daniel Chester French. If the name isn’t familiar, his works are hard to forget. In fact, you probably carry pictures of them in your wallet. French was the sculptor behind the monumental sculpture within the Lincoln Memorial, as seen on the back of $5 bills and pennies, if you look close. He also created Concord’s Minute Man statue, as well as hundreds of smaller yet equally impressive pieces you’ll see as you stroll the grounds
When Rockwell’s paintings were displayed during a war bond drive, sales of prints and war bonds raised $130 million for the war effort, which is equivalent to roughly $1.6 billion today.
of this 122-acre Italian-style villa. Inside the artist’s cavernous studio are medallions, busts, friezes, faces, hands, and miscellaneous statues, including working studies of Abraham Lincoln. Each is recognizable, but they reveal slightly different poses French tested before selecting the version to be seated in the memorial. In the nearby village of Stockbridge, it’s a treat to walk along Main Street, visiting shops, snapping photos, stopping for a bite to eat, or relaxing in a rocker on the porch of the famed Red Lion Inn (redlioninn.com). Here since 1773, the inn is one of the town’s most recognizable landmarks, outside of the town itself. In his painting “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas,” Rockwell painted the inn as well as every shop and business, including his first studio, which you’ll see above the Stockbridge General Store. Each December, that painting is re-created with cars and decorations staged to mimic the picture. From here, delightfully springy canopy roads zip through the woods, past broad lakes and colonial homes as you move from music to art to literature. Specifically, back to Lenox and The Mount, the mansion home of Edith Wharton (edithwharton.org). A three-time Nobel Prize nominee for literature, Wharton was the first woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize for fiction for “The Age of Innocence.” Her broad range of interests and literary gifts—she also wrote “The Decoration of Houses” and the weird and tragic “Ethan Frome,” among others—helped her finance the 50-acre estate. Tours of the mansion and botanical gardens are complemented by lectures, book readings, and other special events.
En route back to Lenox, the Canyon Ranch resort (canyonranch.com) is on your right. Upscale doesn’t quite capture this retreat, where a two-night stay with a suite, meals, and fitness classes starts at $2,800. For a destination with such an oversized reputation, the heart of the village is only a few blocks long and a few blocks wide, making it perfect to explore on foot. A cozy independent bookstore, antique shops, art galleries, and coffee bars are here, as is the highly popular Olde Heritage Tavern. It’s surprising to find such an active neighborhood bar in such a sophisticated community, but it’s a welcoming place to go for pub grub along with beers, stouts, ales, and lagers.
Cities & Towns Stockbridge and Lenox are just two of many wonderful towns in the Berkshires. Pull out a map and chart a course to other charming places.
Norman Rockwell’s Grave. In the Stockbridge Cemetery, you drive to the very last row bordering an open field. Near the left behind a concealing row of hedges is his final resting place. Visitors, many of them artists, leave brushes and paints as a thank you.
About 10 miles south of Stockbridge is Great Barrington. Roughly the size of Lenox and Stockbridge combined, the heart of town is the shopping district, which looks like a movie set. At the historic Maihawe Performing Arts Center (mahaiwe.org), the calendar includes ballet, opera, and a variety of musical performances.
North of Lenox, the Berkshire county seat is the largest city in the region and has malls and box stores. It also has farmer’s markets, museums, theaters, concerts, and Arrowhead, the home of author Herman Melville (“Moby Dick”), who lived here from 1850 to 1863. Don’t miss historic Hancock Shaker Village (hancockshakervillage.org), which includes interpretive talks about Shaker life and work, farm and garden tours, and demonstrations of Shaker music, dance, machinery, blacksmithing, and box making.
A few miles southeast of Lenox, this small town has a working-class feel, but a main street that leans toward trendy. Visiting politicians drop in at Joe’s Diner to chat with the locals.
G R E AT B A R R I N G TO N
North of Pittsfield, this town is home to Williams College, which was founded in 1793 and has an alumni list that includes 35 Rhodes scholars, seven Pulitzer Prize winners, a Nobel Prize laureate, 54 members of Congress, 18 governors, four U.S. Cabinet secretaries, an associate justice of the Supreme Court, and a president of the United States, James Garfield. The campus is picturesque and includes bistros, fresh markets, and delis. Nearby, The Clark (clarkart.edu) is a museum with an international reputation for rotating exhibitions of art, photography, and sculpture, and maintaining permanent collections of works by Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Gilbert Stuart, Remington, Degas, Renoir, and others.
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Grace, beauty, ballet
“Snow White” is a beloved Disney movie, but the Mount Dora School of Ballet’s performance of the ancient story will be the darker version from the original fairytale. The ballet will be performed May 20-21 at Lake-Sumter State College. WRITER: LEIGH NEELY // PHOTOS: FRED LOPEZ
t’s something we haven’t done before,” dancer Annika Slaby says. “It’s kind of nice how we’re not taking it from the Disney movie.” Director Kathryn Wheeler says the ballet begins with the coronation of the queen, where Snow White is introduced as a debutante. There will be the familiar scenes of the beautiful Queen and her mirror that does not lie. Of course, her jealousy becomes hatred when the mirror lauds Snow White’s beauty. The climax will be at the wedding reception
of Snow White and her King. There will be royalty from other countries to celebrate the marriage, and a fitting ending for the Queen. Anna Scott Clendinen is Snow White in the ballet, and Madison Brown, a graduate, will be playing the Queen. The King is played by David Coulter, a student’s father, who has previously been in ballets with the school. Other familiar roles include the Huntsman, played by Nick Patterson, who is in the Orlando Ballet along with Jeremy Studinski, who portrays the Prince. Kathryn says she created the ballet by taking parts from other ballets, so it’s an original for the Mount Dora school. The younger dancers will be trees and flowers as all the classes at the school will be participating. “We’re so fortunate to have supportive parents here,” Kathryn says. “We’re like a family. A father of one of our students is working on the sets, and everyone helps where they can.” The dancers in the senior class include Meradith Obispo, Annika Slaby, Fabiana Sarno, Anna Scott Clendinen, Madison Yates, and Anna White, who is a graduate. Kathryn is very proud of this particular class. Many of the students have been with her since they were 4 years old. “They’ve grown up here,” she says. “They are my first class to have every student in a summer intensive program.” Ballet companies from all over offer intensive summer programs. These dancers will be attending schools from San Francisco
Ballet Company to Ellison Ballet in New York City, and the Bolshoi Ballet will be offering programs in various areas, including Connecticut, where Fabiana will be attending. The Mount Dora school was founded more than a decade ago by Kathryn and Nan Cogswell to bring exceptional classical ballet to this area. Nan has retired but stays in touch with Kathryn and the students. Kathryn is an American Ballet Theatre-certified teacher. She was named principal of Metropolitan Ballet Theatre in 1998. The dancers practice at least 20 hours a week, and more when they are preparing for a performance. Working with Kathryn, they’ve come to understand how vital this kind of dedication is to the dance. “It’s not just what you do in the classroom, she tells us,” Annika says. “It’s what you do at home that counts, too.” Meradith adds, “Doing this, you learn to take critiques, but in the most constructive way possible.” The young ladies say they’re all thinking about being professional dancers, and they’re already exhibiting an aptitude for it. “I feel like I’m working with a preprofessional class,” Kathryn says. The excitement the dancers feel about doing “Snow White” is obvious even as they’re rehearsing. “I always feel we have this amazing performance every year, and I think we can’t do any better,” Meradith says. “But we always do.”
“I always feel we have this amazing performance every year, and I think we can’t do any better, but we always do.” —MERADITH OBISPO
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Bill Bunstron, Bill Landon & Gary Powalisz
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Scott Pennington, Ashley Ryan Brad Denton
Susan Koren Jennifer Daves
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Roger Dobson Britt Clouttie
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Softball for Matthew A charity softball tournament, barbecue, raffles, and a band concert highlighted a special fundraising event for Lt. Matthew Stowell of the Lake County Fire Department. Matthew was recently diagnosed with cancer and his friends rallied to show their support and raise donations is his honor. The event was hosted at Sleepy Hollow Recreation Complex in Leesburg.Â Â PHOTOS: DONDI COTE
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Rock around the clock InterCommunity Cancer Center’s sixth annual Survivor’s Reunion at the American Legion Post in Lady Lake was a night of food, entertainment, dancing, and “rock around the clock” for a crowd of cancer survivors. Several got into the 1950s party theme by donning poodle skirts, twirling hula hoops around their waists, and having a good time celebrating life as survivors. PHOTOS: RON VANDEVANDER
Marcia and Chris Malachowski Mike and Marilyn Stevko
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Pretty in pink Michael’s Couture Salon stylists showed pink is a very cool color during their Pink Party, an annual breast cancer awareness fundraiser hosted at the downtown Leesburg salon. Carnival games, raffle, silent auction, food, drinks, were made available to their party guests, along with some pretty and very stylish pink hair extensions.
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DI NI NG GUI DE
123 Around the Table
New York favorites, close to home. SEE STORY on PG 134
* QAUrI CoKuBnI TdE S T h e
Ta b l e
Where the food feeds your soul
Hungry for a hoagie? If you’ve got an appetite for a good hoagie, AmVets Post 2006, hosts Hoagie Night from 5-7pm every third Saturday of the month at 500 N. Canal St., Leesburg. For the uninitiated, hoagies also are known as submarines, heroes, grinders, torpedoes, zeppelins, or simply Italian sandwiches.
When you hear the words “Angel’s BBQ,” you know you’re in for some good eating. It’s been around the area for a while. The food at Angel’s BBQ & Fried Chicken, 1322 N. 14th St. in Leesburg, is known as “real home cooking that’s good for the soul” and receives rave reviews and comments from visitors that this is some of the best BBQ around. The restaurant even features its own homemade foods, such as collard greens, yams, okra, and fried chicken, that will “make you wanna slap your mama!” Lunch specials include either the two-piece chicken plate or meatloaf with rice, mashed potatoes, cornbread, and one side. If you’re looking to share the fixin’ at your place, catering is offered as well. LEESBURG
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo for three days La Palma Mexican Grill is making Cinco de Mayo a three-day celebration this year with mariachi bands, traditional Mexican dancers, and a good time for everyone! “Anything goes during this great celebration,” says Ravdel Torres, the owner. “We’re roping off the parking lot, and we’ll have live music, lots of margaritas and beers on ice, and much to enjoy besides our great food.” Ravdel says it will be the biggest weekend ever at the popular restaurant. There will be live shows Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. “The Mexican dancers with the colorful dresses will delight everyone with their performances,” Ravdel says. If a one-day party isn’t enough, triple your fun at La Palma Mexican Grill during the celebration of Cinco de Mayo. They’re open from 11am until 9pm daily. Dejar que los buenos rollos de tiempo! 1690 Citrus Blvd., Leesburg.
Lake & Sumter Style food reviewers dine at great restaurants in the area, and it’s enjoyable to finish a meal with a sweet treat that makes us swoon. Among some unforgettable desserts:
Banana pudding and Peach Snickerdoodle Cobbler at Bubba’s Catfish House, 1800 S. Hwy. 27, Clermont.
Enjoy the best of both worlds on Cinco de Mayo It’s no secret that most Cinco de Mayo celebrations eventually wind up at the nearest watering hole, where favorite Mexican and American beverages flow freely. For the holiday, why not combine two of those favorites into one drink: beer margaritas. And it’s so simple: Prep time is five minutes, and the beer margaritas are ready in five minutes. This doesn’t require a mixologist. Ingredients
(12-fluid-ounces) can frozen limeade concentrate
fluid ounces tequila
fluid ounces beer
fluid ounces water Ice
lime, cut into wedges
Pour limeade, tequila, water, and beer into a large pitcher. Use the limeade can to measure the ingredients. Stir until well-blended and limeade has melted. Add plenty of ice, and garnish with lime wedges. The recipe suggests it’s best not to use micro-brews to avoid an overpowering beer flavor, and adjust with extra water if the mixture seems too sweet. Straining the pulp always is a good idea, unless, of course, you like pulp. Six servings. Source: allrecipes.com
Brownie Bites at Ramshackle Café,, 1317 N. 14th St., Leesburg. Café
TAVA R E S
KAT’s Grill is a family affair
Bourbon Pecan Pie and Chocolate Trilogy at Palmer Legends Country Club, 1635 Palmer Way, The Villages.
Fried Ice Cream at San Jose Original Mexican Restaurant, 1337 S. 14th St., Leesburg, and 4315 U.S. Hwy. 27, Clermont.
Tom Wagenhauser’s family made the move to Lake County from Indianapolis, and recently purchased the former Sinbad’s Bar & Grill on U.S. Highway 441 on Lake Eustis in Tavares. “I love food and I love beer,” Tom says of the inspiration to buy the eatery. “I always wanted to own a little restaurant, and this has a gorgeous view.” KAT’s Grill is named after his family: K for wife Kristin; A for daughter Alexis; and T for Tom. Wings and other food items from before are on the menu, along with some new additions. “We’ll have carryout pizza, so people can come up on their boats to order pizza, and we will bring it right out to you,” Tom says. “And we will be introducing one of my specialties, which is a PB and J Burger with peanut butter and jalapeño. It has peanut butter as the base, the burger, jalapeño, chili, cheese, and bacon. It’s weird but it’s awesome! Everybody who tries it loves it.”
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STORY: THEESA CAMPBELL // PHOTOS: FRED LOPEZ
outhern cuisine reigns at the 101 N. Main St., Wildwood eatery, for lunch or dinner at Miz Kathi’s wouldn’t be complete without a slice of one of her delicious freshbaked cakes. Of course, there are enticing pies and other sweets, but those layered desserts sitting on old-fashioned pedestal plates really do take the cake. Kathi Hall Vincent, a ninth-generation Floridian and owner of the establishment that bears her name, notes 35 different cake batters are whipped up and baked, but not all on the same day. “My favorite cakes are the coconut and the lemon pineapple coconut, which is my mother’s recipe. She always made it, and it was my favorite growing up,” Kathi recalls. “When I’d go visit her, she would make it in a sheet pan, and I would sit down with the whole pan and a fork!” The sweet lemon treat was Kathi’s comfort food. “It was important to me to have it here,” she says of opening the café in February 2008. “And there are other specialties of my mother and my grandmothers.” Among customers’ favorite cakes are the coconut, chocolate, and carrot cake, while a white cream cake with strawberry slices in the middle is a popular order on Mother’s Day. “My mother was a big baker, and all of my grandmothers and great-grandmothers were bakers; they were always baking,” recalls Kathi, who was also baking as a stay-at-home mom raising her six children. “There was always cake on the cake plate, cookies in the cookie jar, and homemade candies in their Easter baskets,” she says. She honed her culinary skills on her own. “I didn’t work, so I had time to teach myself,” Kathi says. “I decided when the kids were raised and gone that I would have a career.” She began by catering events for Gloria Austin at the Continental Acres Equine Resort, which evolved to catering private parties and weddings at the resort. “It really does blow me away how Gloria trusted this little housewife,” Kathi says,
adding that compliments and requests from others inspired her to open her own restaurant. After several searches, Kathi and her husband Jimmy were drawn to the former Bank of Wildwood building that is more than 112 years old. “We took a mortgage out on our house, saved money from catering, and thought if it doesn’t work, we’d have to move in with one of the kids,” she says. “I felt like it was a chance that we could take.” The café opened with great fanfare, and an eager crowd wrapped around the block. Now, nearly 10 years later, the café remains so popular that reservations are a must. It is open daily except Sundays. “A lady from Ocala who was in here for the first time said, ‘I felt like I was in my grandmother’s dining room!’ And that was such a compliment, because that was what I set out to create,” Kathi says of the eatery that is filled with antiques and vintage accents. Operating a busy café required an adjustment, however, especially since Kathi and her husband had no restaurant experience. “The first two years, we didn’t have time to breathe. We would be here at 6 in the morning and until midnight, and then up again early, and it was exhausting,” she says. “It was just run, run, run.”Her youngest son, Joel, and his wife, Brittany, oversee more of the business now, especially at times when Kathi, a grandmother of 22, is called away on family matters. She’s proud that the café continues its traditions from the
Among customers’ favorite cakes are the coconut, chocolate, and carrot cake, while a white cream cake with strawberry slices in the middle is a popular order on Mother’s Day.
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early years, including their own cakes, pies, and other sweet treats. “Dessert was the one thing I had to fight for,” she says. “My husband wanted to buy stuff off the truck. Everybody [else] has the stuff that comes off the truck, and because I am a dessert fanatic and my sister is, too, we will drive two hours to go to any place that
has good desserts, I felt it was important. From the beginning, people went so crazy for our cakes that it kind of took a life of its own.” Even after raising the cost of cakes ($60) and individual slices ($6.95) to slow down the demand, Kathi was amazed. “They were still buying it like crazy,” she says. “We can’t make them fast enough.”
Miz Sylvia’s Lemon Pineapple Coconut Cake Ingredients
Duncan Hines lemon cake mix
6-ounce package lemon Jell-O
can crushed pineapple
(1-pound box) confectioner’s sugar
lemon, juiced Coconut
Drain pineapple when making the batter. Mix all the batter ingredients together and beat for 2 minutes. Pour into two (9-inch) or three (8-inch) pans. Follow package directions for baking. Cool layers completely. Filling:
Put butter, confectioner’s sugar, pineapple, and lemon juice in pan and cook until filling goes from white to clear looking. While hot, pour filling over cake layers and sprinkle coconut over each layer. Stack and repeat, ending with filling and coconut. Note: This was my favorite cake growing up. I still love it. One day I made the cake and filling and got busy and didn’t have time to finish the cake. The filling cooled and got put in the refrigerator overnight. The next day I spread the cooled filling over the cake and iced the sides with cream cheese frosting. It was a hit. Now I make it by using Miz Kathi’s Southern Cake recipe and adding lemon Jell-O. I use the filling cold. My mom’s version is still best!
Miz Kathi’s Southern Cake Ingredients
Duncan Hines cake mix, any flavor
cup Martha White or White Lily allpurpose flour
cup sour cream
cup canola oil
teaspoon Miz Kathi’s Homemade Vanilla (recipe on website)
1/3 cups water
Grease and flour two 10-inch pans, three 9-inch pans or four 8-inch pans. At the café, I double this recipe and make four-layer 10-inch cakes, or a single recipe will make one four-layer 8-inch cake. Put all ingredients in large mixing bowl and mix for 30 seconds. Scrape side and beat for two minutes on medium. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes for 8-inch pans, and 30-35 minutes for 10-inch pans. Note: I always use Duncan Hines cake mix. I use this as a base and add the other ingredients to it. This gives me a lot of flavor and color. The sour cream makes it moist. Cut the domes off the layers so they will lay flatter. You can lay the top layer upside down for a flatter, nicer finish.
Miz Kathi’s Butta Cream Ingredients
cup sour cream
teaspoons Miz Kathi’s Homemade Vanilla
2 -pound bag confectioner’s sugar
Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add sour cream, vanilla, milk, and half of the confectioner’s sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Spread on cake. You can cut this recipe in half if you are using filling.
Get the recipe for Miz Kathi’s Homemade Vanilla and other goodies on our website: www.lakeandsumterstyle.com.
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The romance of rosé Summer is just a few weeks away and it’s a wonderful time to stock up on rosé wines. The refreshing wines are foodfriendly and low in alcohol content. And, we should mention, they can be quite romantic for summertime picnics. STORY: MARY ANN DESANTIS, WSET
ew places inspire passion in wine lovers like Provence, France. Sitting in sun-drenched cafes, eating aromatic Provençal cuisine, and sipping the drink of royalty—rosé wine—is a romantic vision of the good life. For many years, the quest for a delicious rosé stayed pretty much in France. As recently as 1999, a book about French wines suggested that to enjoy the “full potential” of rosés, you had to drink them in the region where they were made. Today, however, delicious French rosés are being exported in record numbers as well as being produced in many other countries, including the United States. Keep in mind, though, the French rosés are the pinnacle when it comes to experiencing how a true rosé should taste. A fun wine to try is Miraval Provence, produced by Jolie-Pitt and Perrin. While that particular brand doesn’t conjure up romance since the “Brangelina” owners (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) split, this pale, dry rosé made from Grenache grapes is highly rated. The wine has nice acidity and berry flavors, and pairs well with light appetizers. One of my favorite rosés, however, is not from Provence but rather Bordeaux, a region more known for its hearty reds. Chateau Pey La Tour Bordeaux Rosé is made from the traditional Bordeaux blend of Cabernet
“Nothing really competes with the fresh, mineral flavors of a chilled dry rosé on a hot summer day.” — TYLER WORTH
Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. The wine is zesty and can stand up to grilled meats. The most ruby-colored rosé I’ve ever had was the Chateau de Segris Tavel Rosé made from a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Carignan grapes. Tavel is the only appellation in the Rhone Valley dedicated to rosés. Noted wine critic Robert Parker describes this 2015 Tavel as “rich, supple, and downright sexy.” The wine is more intense with tannins than most other rosés, but it is still well balanced. The spiciness and minerality make it a great match for poultry dishes.
A foodie’s wine The popularity of rosé comes, in part, because the wine is extremely food-friendly. It is the perfect complement to many of Florida’s lighter summer dishes, especially seafood. Chill it and pair with a soft brie cheese for a match made in wine heaven. The color of rosé looks as if it is made from white grapes, but the juice is actually drawn from black grapes. The color, which varies from pale pink to almost hot pink, is the result of how long the juice stays in contact with the dark skins of the grapes. When shopping for rosé, it can be difficult to tell whether the wine will be dry or sweet, but knowing the region where it was produced helps. Also, check the label for the types of grapes that were used. For example, Provençal rosés made with Grenache grapes are dry, and the color is almost a salmon pink. Rosés made from Syrah or Pinot Noir grapes tend to be light-to-medium in color and can also be very dry, especially the ones from Oregon. If the label says “blush,” the wine will be sweet, and probably was made with Muscadine grapes. Blush wines or sweeter rosés are harder to pair with food, but some aficionados love putting them with blackened fish or spicy salsas. Occasionally, the best pairing is simply a glass, a towel, and a swimsuit. Certified
sommelier Tyler Worth, who writes the blog “What’s Worth Drinking,” summed it up best when he compared rosé to a lifeguard. “There should always be one poolside,” he said. “Nothing really competes with the fresh, mineral flavors of a chilled dry rosé on a hot summer day.”
The Grapes Rosé isn’t from a specific grape. The most common grape varieties used in dry, Old-World style rosés include Grenache, Sangiovese, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, and Pinot Noir.
Pairing Suggestion Rosés are excellent with summer’s lighter menus and especially salads. One of the most unexpected pairings I’ve ever had was a rosé from France’s Languedoc region with a ruby red grapefruit and avocado salad. Yes, it worked perfectly! Full, rich rosés also match well with anything barbecue.
Vintages The more recent the better. Look for 2015 and drink now.
Mary Ann DeSantis Mary Ann DeSantis is a fellow of the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, Napa Valley, and recently received certification from the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET). An award-winning journalist, she has written for Lake & Sumter Style since 2006.
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NORM’S PALE T T E
A great place to meet friends STORY: LEIGH NEELY // PHOTO: FRED LOPEZ
estled in the center of North Baker Street, Norm’s Palette just may be Mount Dora’s special secret, but it’s definitely “a destination for the senses.” Norm’s Palette is cozy and welcoming. You can lounge in a seating area while having wine with friends or sit at the bar and talk with Norm while enjoying a beer. The menu always is artfully written on a small chalkboard set on a small easel on the bar. Norman Rinne is an artist, so the bar is filled with artwork by many of his friends and some of his own. There also are antiques and bits and pieces of life from around the world. Two outdoor seating areas are available. My friend and I weren’t in the mood for wine or beer, so Norm made us a nonalcoholic drink with fruit juice that was absolutely delicious. And while we enjoyed our drinks, he fixed our tapas fresh in his small kitchen. We began with cream of rice soup with Portobello mushrooms. Garnished with
a bay leaf, it was the perfect starter. That was followed by shrimp and pasta with a curry cream honey sauce. The shrimp sat atop a tomato slice on perfectly prepared orzo. Delightful! Two more couples came in, and Norm introduced himself. He met everyone at the door that way. As soon as someone else came in, Norm made introductions and conversations kept going. Our next culinary delight was roasted garlic with toasted ciabatta bread. It was heavenly, and we finished our gourmet tapas with two perfectly prepared Cedar Key clams with Myers lemons and garlic. It’s not just about the food at Norm’s, there’s also open mic night and group painting nights. Reservations are needed for group painting classes. Everybody may not know your name, but they’ll definitely know “Norm!” once they’ve visited Norm’s Palette.
Norm’s Palette // 303 N. Baker St., Mount Dora // 352.729.6196
S U S H I S TO R M T H A I A N D J A PA N E S E R E S TA U R A N T
It is to Thai for
(Out of a possible 5)
STORY: JAMES COMBS // PHOTO: FRED LOPEZ
hen dining out, I rarely venture outside my comfort zone of Mexican food, cheeseburgers, and seafood. However, there are those rare occasions when I actually expand my culinary and cultural horizons. Dining at Sushi Storm Thai and Japanese Restaurant was one of them. This restaurant rocks…and rolls! Located in Clermont, Sushi Storm features table seating, as well as a sushi bar where patrons watch the art of preparing sushi unfold right before their eyes. Four strategically placed televisions provide diners viewing opportunities for the latest from the world of politics and sports. We began our meal with coconut shrimp, one of
the restaurant’s popular appetizers. Lightly breaded with fresh coconut, these large shrimp pack plenty of delicious flavor, especially when dipped in the accompanying sweet-andsour sauce. I ordered the aptly named Suicide Rolls for my main meal. The 10 colorful, vibrant rolls tasted every bit as good as they looked. Neatly wrapped in seaweed, this roll has many flavors and layers going on. The rich taste of salmon perfectly contrasted with the spicy jalapeños and sweet cream cheese. Carefully adding bright-green wasabi on the roll produced a zingy but refreshing heat in the back of my throat. Being a doughnut aficionado, I could not resist ordering Thai doughnuts for
dessert. Deep-fried from a flour dough, they are fresh, hot, and melt-in-your-mouth good. It comes with a glaze sauce that does not overpower the doughnut’s unique taste. Despite its name, the restaurant offers much more than just sushi. Diners who browse through the extensive menu will notice a wide selection of popular Japanese and Thai dishes. In fact, one friend ordered sweet-andsour chicken, while my other friend indulged in stir fry with mixed vegetables. The combination of attentive service and quality food make Sushi Storm a popular destination for Lake County residents. And for country boys like me, it’s an excellent place to broaden your culinary horizons.
Sushi Storm Thai and Japanese Restaurant 13900 County Road 455 Clermont 407.614.3944 Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11am-9:30pm; Friday and Saturday, 11am-10pm; Sunday, noon-9pm.
Casual dining. $$// Seated immediately (lunch hour). WAIT FOR MEAL: 15 minutes OUT-OF-THE-ORDINARY STARTERS: ($4.20-$12.20): Steamed dumpling, shrimp blanket, fish ceviche, and spicy octopus. ENTREES:($5.20$26.20): Massaman curry, ginger steak, storm salmon, egg fried rice, crab avocado salad, California roll, rainbow roll, and lobster roll.
How Fork On The Road Works Our reviewers are objective and unbiased. This is not a paid feature. Our reviewer makes one unannounced visit and we pay for our meals.
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NEW YORK CAFE
Cafe brings New York favorites to Eustis STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL // PHOTO: FRED LOPEZ
ucked at the end of Sorrento Hills Village in Eustis sits New York Cafe, where bagels, omelets, and the chef’s breakfast specials are available for morning diners. Pitas, salads, wraps, penne pasta, and cold and hot sandwiches are the lunch/dinner menu choices. Decisions, decisions. My friend and I had a difficult time choosing, but we agreed the house salad— featuring fresh spinach, cranberries, sunflower seeds, blue cheese crumbles, chicken, and balsamic vinaigrette—would be a healthy option. The salad was tasty and fresh, making it an ideal light lunch. And it was nice to discover the café did not skimp on chunks of chicken underneath the spinach leaves. “Our goal is to provide clean, quality ingredients,” the cafe notes on its menu. “We always use clean labels, organics, cage-free eggs, and none of our food is genetically modified.”
“We always use clean labels, organics, cage-free eggs, and none of our food is genetically modified.”
New York Cafe // 24432 SR 44, Eustis // 352.552.5373
The chips, cheese, and deli meats come from Metro Deli, the cafe noted. The breads are from Chef’s Line, and the kettle-boiled bagels are shipped straight from Just Bagels in the Bronx. Other eye-catching menu items: The Frank Sinatra Delight, featuring smoked turkey, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, avocado, and chipotle spread on a hero; Penne Pasta of alfredo, pesto, vodka, garlic, and with or without chicken, which can be topped with roasted artichokes, red roasted peppers, olives, or mozzarella cheese. A BLT on ciabatta bread or a hero is available, too, along with Philly Cheesesteak and the Signature Pastrami with sauerkraut, Russian dressing or mustard on rye or white bread. The eatery’s décor features large metallic photos of the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the New York skyline that is a treat to see. Seating is limited indoors, but the cafe does have outdoor seats and also offers catering.
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A r o u n d T h e Ta b l e DINING GUIDE
Dining in your city Astatula
Race Car Diner 25641 Monroe St. 352.253.6940 $
Astor Sparky’s Place 24646 State Road 40 352.759.3551 $$
Bushnell Beef O’Bradys 2586 W. CR 48 352.568.7000 $ Chuck’s Odd Cuples Café 117 W Belt Ave 352.568.0408 $ Coyote Rojo 2082 W. CR 48 352.569.0302 $$ Hong Kong Restaurants 2229 W CR 48 (352) 568-8888 $$ Howie’s Family Restaurant 840 N. Main St. 352.793.8582 $ Sonny’s Bar-B-Q 2684 W. CR 48 352.569.0200 $ TJ’s Family Restaurant 412 W. Belt Ave 352.793.8877 $$ Waffle House 2571 W CR 48 352.793.5656 $ Waller’s Restaurant 138 Bushnell Plaza 352.793.2592 $
Legend $: $5-14
Clermont Akina Sushi Bar & Asian Fusion Bistro 4300 S. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.243.8988 $$$ Calabria Ristorante 13900 County Road 455 407.656.5144 $$ Cheeser’s Palace 707 W. Montrose St. 352.404.9431 $ Flippers Pizzeria 2523 S. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.242.2214 $$
$$: $15-24 $$$: $25-40 $$$$: $40+ Kid’s Menu Beer, Wine or Cocktails
G’s NY Pizza 12346 Roper Blvd. 352.243.8900 $$$ Green Garden 1790 E. Hwy. 50 352.243.2077 $$ Legends Grille & Tavern 1700 Legendary Blvd. 352.242.1910 $$$ Lyn’s Ice Cream & Sandwich Shoppe 824 W. Montrose St. 352.536.9935 $ Napolis Pizzeria 556 S. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.243.7500 $$ Robata Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar 1500 Oakley Seaver Dr. 352.404.9688 $$ Sanctuary Ridge Golf Club Restaurant 2601 Diamond Club Dr. 352.243.0411 $$ Spiro’s Pizza 1203 W. Hwy. 50 352.394.5538 $$ Sugar Mama’s Bake Shoppe 648 Eighth St. 352.241.9738 $$ Troy’s Cuban & Deli 1200 Oakley Seaver Dr. 352.241.4295 $$
Eustis 1884 Restaurant & Bar 12 East Magnolia Ave. 1.800.856.1884 $$ Barnwood BBQ 50 W. Orange Ave. 352.630.4903 $$ Beach Bums 12 S. Bay St. 352.308.8504 $ Dam Smoker Barbeque 36721 County Road 19A 352.357.6555 $$ Kiku Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar 15211 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.483.8288 $$$
King’s Taste Bar-B-Que 503 Palmetto St. 352.589.0404 $$ Maria’s Latin Dinner 1 N. Eustis St. 352.357.5555 $ NightOwl Caribbean Restaurant 929 S. Bay St. 352.589.0256 $ Stavro’s & Sons of Eustis 2100 W. County Road 44 352.589.9100 $$ 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 $$$ Tillie’s Tavern & Grill 31 E. Magnolia Ave. 352.602.7929 $ Tony’s Pizza & Subs 2760 E. Orange Ave. 352.589.9001 $$
Fruitland Park Fruitland Park Café 3180 US Hwy. 441/27 352.435.4575 $ Legends Cafe 2468 U.S. Hwy. 441/27 352.728.0006 $$
Groveland Red Wing Restaurant 12500 S. State Road 33 352.429.2997 $$$
Howey-inthe-Hills JB Boondocks Bar & Grill 704 S. Lakeshore Blvd. 352.324.3600 $$
Mission Inn Resort & Club’s El Conquistador 10400 CR 48 352.324.3101 $$$$ Mission Inn Resort & Club’s Nickers 10400 CR 48 352.324.3101 $$$$
Lady Lake Lady Lake Harbor Hills Country Club 6538 Lake Griffin Rd. 352.753.7000 $$$ Mom & Dad’s Italian Restaurant 504 S. U.S. Hwy. 441/27 352.753.2722 $$ Athena New York 360 S. U.S. Hwy. 441 352.750.5227 $$
Leesburg Angel’s BBQ & Fried Chicken 1322 Citrus Blvd. 352.805.4407 $ Bloom’s Baking House and Restaurant 610 W. Main St. 352.787.1004 $$ Cousin Vinnie’s Family Sports Restaurant 10700 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.253.2442 $ Cedar River Seafood 8609 S. U.S. Hwy. 441 352.728.3377 $$ Cuba Pichy’s 10401 US Hwy. 441 352.642.3686 $ Gator Bay Bar & Grill 10320 County Road 44 352.365.2177 $$ God Café 300 W. Main St. 352.801.7447 $ Great Chicago Fire Brewery & Tap Room 311 W. Magnolia St. 352.474.2739 $ Habaneros 3 Mexican Restaurant 10601 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.315.1777 $$
HP Grill 1403 S. 14th St. 352.314.0006 $ Kountry Kitchen 1008 W. Dixie Ave. 352.323.0852 $ La Palma Mexican Grill 1690 Citrus Blvd. 352.323.1444 $$ Lilly’s Super Subs 2339 County Road 473 352.343.4663 $ Magnolia’s Oyster Bar 201 W. Magnolia St. 352.323.0093 $$ Naples Italian Restaurant 1107 W. North Blvd. 352.323.1616 $$ Osaka 1401 Citrus Blvd. 352.728.0788 $$ San Jose Mexican 1337 S. 14th St. 352.805.4174 $ 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 $$ The Latin Cafe 400 N. 14th St. 352.365.0089 $$ Turner’s 114 S. 5th St. 352.530.2274 $$ Two Old Hags Wine Shoppe 410 W Main St 352.435.9107 $$
Vic’s Catering 352.728.8989 $$$$
Mascotte Rainbow Restaurant 704 E. Myers Blvd. 352.429.2093 $$
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 $$$ Anthony’s Pizza 17195 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.357.6668 $ Beauclaire Restaurant at Lakeside Inn 100 N. Alexander St. 352.383.4101 $$$ Blackbear Smokehouse 18750 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.383.2327 $$ Bocce Pizzeria 925 E. First Ave. 352.385.0067 $ Breezeway Café 411 N. Donnelly St. 352.702.7898 $$ Cecile’s French Corner 237 W. Fourth Ave. 352.383.7100 $$ Cody’s on 4th Cafe 111 E. 4th Ave. 352.735.8426 $ Copacabana Cuban Cafe 320 Dora Drawdy Way 352.385.9000 $$ Cupcake Delights 122 E. 4th Ave. 352.383.2200 $ 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 $ Incredible Edible Cakes 4295 W. Old Hwy. 441, Suite 2 352.223.3581 $ Ivory’s Take Out 1325 N. Grandview St. 352.735.6797 $ 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 $$ Sidelines Sport Eatery 315 N. Highland St. 352.735.7433 $ Sugarboo’s Bar-B-Que 1305 N. Grandview St. 352.735.7675 $ The Frog and Monkey Pub 411 N. Donnelly St. 352.383.1936 $$ The Goblin Market 331-B Donnely St. 352.735.0059 $$$
The Health Basket of Mount Dora 18834 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.735.1166 $$ The Windsor Rose English Tea Room 142 W. Fourth Ave. 352.735.2551 $$ Village Coffee Pot 425 Donnelly St. 352.383.3334 $ Whale’s Tale Fish House 2720 W. Old U.S. Hwy 441 352.385.1500 $ Zellie’s Pub 4025 N. U.S. Hwy. 19A 352.483.3855 $$
Sorrento Del Franco Pizza Place 31436 CR 437 352.383.8882 $ Gi Gi’s 25444 State Road 46 352.735.4000 $$
Summerfield Francesco’s Italian Ristorante and Stone Fire Pizza 16770 South U.S. Hwy. 441 352.693.2008 $$
Tavares Angelo’s Italian Restaurant 2270 Vindale Rd. 352.343.2757 $$ Buzzard Beach Grill 12423 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.253.5267 $$ Casa Mia Cafe 505 W Main St 352.742.9940 $ 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 $$
Ruby Street Grille 221 E. Ruby St. 352.742.7829 $$ Sinbad’s of Lake County 1050 W. Burleigh Blvd. 352.343.6669 $$ Sunrise Grill 462 E. Burleigh Blvd. 352.343.7744 $ The Hideaway 11912 Lane Park Rd. 352.343.3585 $$ Zac’s Pressed for Time Cafe 505 W Main St. 352.253.4663 $
Umatilla Old Crow Real Pit Bar-B-Q 41100 State Road 19 352.669.3922 $ The Mason Jar 37534 State Rd. 19 352.589.2535 $$
The Villages Bob Evans 2199 Parr Dr. 352.259.1224 $ Bonefish Grill 3580 Wedgewood Ln. 352.674.9292 $$ Bonifay Country Club 1033 Pinellas Place 352.205.7455 $$ Cane Garden Country Club 1726 Bailey Trail 352.750.0627 $$ Carrabba’s 650 U.S. Hwy. 441 N 352.430.1304 $$ Chengs Chinese and Sushi Restaurant 4050 Wedgewood Ln. 352.391.9678 $$ China Gourmet III 343 Colony Blvd 352.750.4965 $ City Fire Brownwood & Paddock Square 352.561.2078 $$
Olive Garden 3680 Wedgewood Ln. 352.259.0304 $$ Evans Prairie Country Club 1825 Evans Prairie Trail 352.750.2225 $$ Fiesta Grande Mexican Grill 297 Colony Blvd 352.751.0400 $$ Hemingway’s at Havana 2484 Odell Circle 352.753.1475 $$$ Las Tapas - Brownwood Paddock Square 352.399.5516 $$ The Legacy Restaurant at the Nancy Lopez Country Club 17135 Buena Vista Blvd. 352.753.1475 $$$ The Lighthouse Point Bar and Grille 925 Lakeshore Dr. 352.753.7800 $$ Mezza Luna Italian Restaurant and Bar 320 Colony Blvd. 352.753.3824 $$ NYPD Pizzeria 4046 Wedgwood Ln 352.750.1994 $$ Outback Steakhouse 710 N. Hwy 441 352.430.2590 $$ Palmer Legends Country Club 1635 Palmer Way 352.750.4499 $$ RedSauce 1000 Canal St. 352.750.2930 $$ Sakura 265 Colony Blvd 352.205.7393 $$ Scooples 2718 Brownwood Blvd 352.750.6263 $ Square One Burgers & Bar 2542 Burnsed Blvd. 352.689.2191 $$ Takis Greek and Italian Restaurant 13761 U.S. Hwy. 441 N. 352.430.3630 $$
TooJay’s 1129 Canal St. 352.430.0410 $ VKI Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar 1004 Old Mill Run 352.259.9887 $$
Wildwood Aztec’s Mexican Restaurant 348 Shopping Center Dr. 352.748.2250 $ Beef O’ Bradys 840 S. Main St. 352.689.0048 $ Buddy’s BBQ 1210 N. Main St. 352.330.0338 $$ China Jade 420 W. CR 44 352.330.5913 $ Cotillion Southern Café 101 N. Main St. 352.748.1223 $$ O’Shucks! Oyster Bar and Grill 1016 S Main St. 352.399.2200 $$ Polly’s Pantry 819 S. Main St. 352.330.4002 $$ Traditions Café 3107 Hwy. 44 352.748.1077 $$ Woody’s Bar-B-Q 1220 S. Main St. 352.748.1109 $$
Yalaha Yalaha Bakery 8210 County Road 48 352.324.3366 $$
A r o u n d T h e Ta b l e DINING GUIDE
1884 Restaurant and Bar 12 E. Magnolia Ave., Eustis // 1.800.856.1884 // 1884restaurantandbar.com Mon-Sat: 11 am–12 am // Sun 11am-10pm Located in the historic Ferran’s building in downtown Eustis 1884 Restaurant and bar is a must for all to discover. 1884 has everything from Boars Head wraps and hand pressed burgers at lunch to hand cut filets and the signature double bone in pork chop at dinner. They also offer Sushi 7 days a week for dinner. With more than 10000 sq.ft., 1884 can accommodate an intimate dinner for two to a private event of up to 100 in one of the three semi-private rooms. Diners can also enjoy the full-service bar while ordering custom craft cocktails, 8 rotating beers on tap and an amazing wine list. Join 1884 on Mondays for Prime Rib Special… Tuesdays, where kids eat free*…Wednesdays you can get $4 by the glass or free bottle of house wine*…Thursdays offer Wing special with Friday and Saturday always the best dinner specials around and on Sundays, they serve a traditional style brunch from 11 – 3. No doubt, there is something for everyone. This restaurant has won in 6 categories for 2016 Lake and Sumter Style’s hot list as well as Open Tables Restaurant of the month several months running. You can also enjoy live entertainment nightly. Check us out on facebook for all the details. Call 1.800.856.1884 to reserve your table or book your party now. Lunch, dinner, live entertainment. 1884restaurantandbar.com to be the first to know of all specials, entertainers and events.
The 24 Tap Room 1107 W. North Blvd., Suite 26, Leesburg // 352.315.0198 Mon-Thu 3 p.m-12 am // Fri 3 p.m-1 am // Sat 12 pm-1 am // Sun 12 pm- 12 am The 24 Tap Room is a fun and new craft beer and wine bar where you can enjoy 24 rotating taps, weekly live entertainment, trivia, board games, darts, and special nightly events. Visit on Sundays to watch NFL football on one of several 48-inch TV’s inside or on their outdoor patio. Proprietor Alberto Cisneros says, “We’re focused on bringing an ever-changing selection of some of the best locally-brewed beer in the state, as well as other great craft brews from across the country, to discerning beer lovers in Lake County.” A variety of appetizers are now available, including Sweet Potato Tots, Pulled Pork Sliders, Pub Pretzels, Black Bean and Chicken Nachos and Grilled Chicken Quesadillas.
The Country Club of Mount Dora 1900 Country Club Blvd., Mount DOra 352.735.4059 Come enjoy a great meal at the Country Club of Mount Dora overlooking the beautiful greens of the golf course. We serve lunch daily and breakfast on weekends. Be sure to bring your appetite for our half-pound burgers made your way, thick cut Reuben sandwiches, delicious Greek salad, and much more. We serve a full breakfast menu every Saturday and Sunday including Eggs Benedict, French toast, omelettes, and much more. Come join us!
Cousin Vinnie’s Family Sports Restaurant Open seven days a week: 11am–9pm // Food, Spirits, Music, Sports 10700 U.S. Hwy. 441, Leesburg // 352.253.2442 // CVinnies.com Cousin Vinnie’s is located on U.S. Hwy. 441 across from Home Depot. Owner “Cousin” Vinnie Vittoria and his family have created a unique atmosphere by combining a sports bar with a family restaurant. As soon as you walk into Vinnie’s you will immediately notice why they are famous for outstanding comfort food and service! They also have been voted BEST WINGS in Lake County every year since opening in 2009. Additional menu items offered are killer ½ lb. burgers, personal pan pizzas, amazing ribeye cheese steaks, healthy wheat wraps, fresh homemade salads, chicken strips that totally melt in your mouth, 16 awesome appetizers and their signature deep fried Ice Cream and Snickers Bars! Every Monday is “Texas Hold’em” from 6–10pm Tuesday night is “Family Night” from 4–8pm when kids 12-and-under eat free. Wednesday night is “Trivia Night” when the fun starts at 6:30pm with prizes given to the top 3 teams. There is no better place on the weekends to see who hoists the trophy or takes home the checkered flag. Cousin Vinnie’s also offers, free Wi-Fi, great music and an enthusiastic staff, ready to exceed your expectations. Vinnie’s has been open eight years, if you have never been there… it is absolutely time for you to check it out!
Cuba Pichy’s Cuisine 10401 U.S. Highway 441, Leesburg // at Via Port Mall 352.365.2822 If you’re in the mood for a flavorful, authentic Cuban food experience, then Cuba Pichy’s Cuisine, located at ViaPort Florida Mall in Leesburg, is just what you’re looking for. The menu includes classic dishes such as Roast Pork, Ropa Vieja, Palomilla steak, and popular dishes such as Arroz con Pollo, Churrasco, Mofongo, vegetarian and seafood dishes, as well as a selection of Pichy’s Masterpieces. Most dishes are served with rice, black beans, and sweet plantains. Appetizers like Cuba’s Gran Combo, a variety of delicious items including Masitas Fritas, Chicharrones de Pollo, Ham-croquettes, and sweet plantains; Pichy’s beef empanadas filled with spicy, flavorful ground beef encased in a delicious flaky baked pastry, Cuban sandwiches, specialty desserts and Cuban coffee are always available. Cuba also features a full-service bar, and a private banquet room that can accommodate up to 40 guests, and, as a bonus, Pichy will create a specialty menu just for your group.
The Goblin Market Restaurant & Lounge 331-B Donnelly Street (Rear Alley), Mount Dora // 352.735.0059 // GoblinMarketRestaurant.com Lunch: Tue–Sat 11am–3:00pm // Dinner: Tue–Thu 5–9pm, Fri–Sat 5–10pm, Sun 11am–3:30pm Nestled on a back alley in downtown Mount Dora, the Goblin Market Restaurant has been charming locals and tourists alike since 1996. The restaurant, housed in a renovated warehouse, features three intimate, book-lined dining rooms and a full-service lounge furnished in soothing, muted tones with tasteful modern art. The private, tree-shaded courtyard and garden patio are open year-round for al fresco dining. Low lighting and “new age” music add the finishing touches to the restaurant’s casual elegance. Owners Vince and Janis Guzinski embrace a simple philosophy of offering the highest-quality products, served in a unique and romantic atmosphere by a personable and attentive staff. The Goblin Market’s wine list and menu represent a refreshing mix of ideas from its culinary team. The diversified origins and background of each member ensure exciting menu offerings and nightly selections. Join us for our new “lighter fare” dinner menu, gourmet soups, salads, and sandwiches. Tuesday–Thursday from 3–9pm (regular dinner menu also available).
A r o u n d T h e Ta b l e DINING GUIDE
Great Chicago Fire Brewery & Tap Room 311 W. Magnolia St., Leesburg // 352.474.2739 Mon-Thu 11 am-10 pm // Fri-Sat 11 am-12 am // SUNDAY 12 pm-6 pm It’s a fun, friendly place to hang with friends and to meet new ones. Our Chicago/Firefighter themed Tap Room offers 6-8 of our own “session” beers featuring fresh Florida fruits and other local ingredients. Our beers are brewed on premise. We also offer (10) guest taps featuring beers from small craft breweries across the U.S. There is something for everyone. Our “Chicago” Style food menu features items like real Italian Beefs with Giardiniera peppers. Italian Sausage, the Maxwell Street Polish Sausage, Gyros, Pizza Puffs, Tamales, Thin-Crust Pizza, Southside Chicago Full-breaded Wings, and even the original Chicago Hot Dog “Run through the garden.” All your favorite sporting events are playing on six (6) HD TVs. Enjoy our spacious outdoor seating area with live music many weekends. We are located Historic Downtown Leesburg which offers a great shopping experience with specialty shops, antique stores, and a host of unique food and drink establishments. Every third Thursday, we host Cool Cars Under The Sun; Live music, beer and food specials, prizes and more, SPONSORED BY: JOIN US FOR right here at the brewery! BIKE NIGHT ON MAY 12TH
Find us online:
La Palma 1690 Citrus Blvd., Leesburg // 352.323.1444 // LapalmaGrill.com Open Daily 11:00am – 9:00pm // Lunch Specials: 11:00am – 3:00pm 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 and you can enjoy a Mariachi band the first and third Sunday of each month. AAK! BWWA out ck e h c Come tivities! s fe y a M our
Mason Jar 37534 State Road 19, Umatilla // 352.589.2535 Mon–Sat 6am-8pm // Sun 6am-2pm Established in 1979, The Mason Jar is well-known for southern style, downhome cooking; sparkling clean, casual dining room; family-friendly hospitality and reasonable prices. Located in Umatilla at 37534 State Road 19, and family-owned, the restaurant is a welcome sight for travelers and locals alike. Seven days a week patrons enjoy breakfasts of homemade grits, real fried potatoes, fluff y biscuits, country ham, and mile-high pancakes. If you are a late riser, you can still enjoy daily specials: Monday-Meatloaf; Tuesday-Beef Tips and Noodles; Wednesday-Liver and Onions; Thursday-Fried Chicken; Friday-All you can eat Fish Fry; Saturday-Fried Chicken Livers and Sunday-Award-winning, all-you-can-eat Fried Chicken. Other favorites include various beans (pintos, lima, northern) with rice, served with onion slices and corn muffins, homemade soups, fresh vegetables for sides, and of course, the meal wouldn’t be complete without a glass of southern sweet tea! Awards: Orlando Sentinel’s Best Fried Chicken in Lake County (March, 2015) Orlando Sentinel’s Best Breakfast in Lake County (March, 2015)
Mom & Dads 304 U.S. Hwy. 441, Lady Lake // 352.753.2722 Tue-Sat 4pm–9pm // Closed Sun & Mon This little place in the heart of Lady Lake is a local favorite. All the food at Mom & Dad’s is authentic and homemade, from the famous sauce to pastas to the incredible desserts. Made from scratch in-house ravioli and lasagna. Many diners automatically order Spaghetti al la Bruzzi, which is the house specialty. This baked spaghetti has a meat sauce, mushrooms, and three cheeses. Add to that the homemade bread Papa prepares every day, and you’ve got a memorable meal. You can’t stop with the entrée, however. Mama’s homemade cakes are amazing! Moist and delicious German Chocolate, creamy, luxurious Red Velvet, Cannoli, and who doesn’t love Spumoni. If you’re looking for a great Italian dinner that will remind you of home and all the goodness of eating there, try Mom & Dad’s. Mom & Dad’s also offers a full gluten free menu featuring pizza, lasagna, ravioli, and desserts all made in-house from scratch.
Momiji Japanese Sushi and Grill 24400 State Road 44, Sorrento // 352.357.2285 // MomijiFL.com LUNCH: Mon-Fri 11am-3pm // DINNER: Mon-Thu 3-10pm, Fri 3-11pm, Sat 12-11pm, Sun 12-10pm Momiji Japanese Sushi and Grill offers a fine dining experience with a wide array of delicious Japanese fare, including 25 different hibachi dishes on the dinner menu (10 at lunch) and nearly 30 different varieties of chef’s special roll and a sushi bar that sushi lovers are bound to love. Among diners’ favorites are the Momiji Roll of lobster tempera, spicy tuna in soy wrap, topped with spicy king crab, mango, Momiji sauce and mango sauce, and the Sushi and Sashimi Combo with four pieces of sushi and nine pieces of sashimi and spicy tuna roll. Traditional dishes of soup and salad are available, along with starter from kitchen, starter from sushi bar, a la carte, entrée from sushi bar, rolls or hand rolls. Momiji notes its goal is to provide an unforgettable dining experience for all patrons.
Puddle Jumpers 111 W. Ruby St., Tavares // 352.508.5862 // PuddleJumpersLakeside.com Mon-Thu 11am-10pm // Fri-Sat 11am-12am // Sun 11am-8pm Casual lakeside dining at its finest is what patrons experience at Puddle Jumpers overlooking Lake Dora in Tavares. The restaurant is a local favorite and has generated raves of being a great place for good fun with friends and private events. Come check out the offerings of delicious food and drinks from a fully stocked bar, including a wide array of fresh seafood specialties, appetizers, salads, pasta dishes, homemade soups, steaks and ribs from the grill. Puddle Jumpers is also the “go-to” place to enjoy live music and entertainment on most weekends. If you’ve never been to Puddle Jumpers, it’s absolutely time to take the plunge!
A r o u n d T h e Ta b l e DINING GUIDE
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
Tiki West Raw Bar and Grill 118 Ruby St., Tavares // 352.508.5783 Sun-Thu 11am-10pm // Fri-Sat 11am-11pm Tiki West Raw Bar and Grill has specials every day for you to enjoy. Daily specials include $2 off Dozens of Raw, Steamed, or Chargrilled Oysters on Tuesday; $9.99 Pound of Peel and Eat Shrimp on Wednesdays; $5 off Buckets of Oysters Thursday or Sunday; or $9.99 Mahi Mahi Beer Battered Fish Fry on Friday. This Tavares restaurant overlooking Lake Dora has outdoor dining area on the patio, indoor seating in the dining room, or take a seat at the oyster bar surrounded by 11 TVs. Diners also love the “All You Can Eat” Crab Legs at market price; Peel-and-Eat-Shrimp, Coconut Shrimp or Fried Shrimp for $25.99; Fried Mahi Mahi or Fried Clam Strips for $16.99. The best part about the All You Can Eat is you can reorder any of the All You Can Eat specials of equal or lesser value. Come check out our new lunch menu good Monday-Friday from 11-3. Some of the lunch specials include $6 Soup and Salad Combo, $7 Lunch Baskets and $12 Pound of Peel and Eat Shrimp. With great food specials and Happy Hour all day every day, Tiki West is the place to be!
Would you like to see your restaurant in our dining section? Call us at 352.787.4112
LAKE & SUMTER
19239 US Hwy 27 North Clermont, FL 34715
F i na l T h oug h t
Women who inspire Some think they have to wait for inspiration. I believe you carry it around with you from the people you’ve met along the way. These women inspire me in more ways than I can say. STORY: LEIGH NEELY // PHOTO: FRED LOPEZ
inding inspiration is something writers think about often. You may witness a simple act that triggers something in your imagination to create a story. You also may have to dig deep to find the inspiration for an assignment on a subject that may not interest you personally. Inspiration is a funny thing. Many people think you should wait for it, but I have found you need to carry it with you always. These women are part of my inspiration. My mother was one of 10 children. She went to work at the age of 10 helping women in the neighborhood with new babies in the house. She’s 89 now with severe osteoarthritis and feels lazy because she can’t do the many household and yard chores she did for so long. We’ve had many arguments over what lazy truly is. As a reporter and magazine writer, I’ve had opportunities to meet famous people. One whose story I will never forget is Mary Higgins Clark, the wonderful mystery writer. She has written for more than 40 years and still puts out at least one book a year. She wrote short stories to supplement
Inspiration is a funny thing. Many people think you should wait for it, but I have found you need to carry it with you always.
the family income until her husband’s death. He had a heart attack and while Mary was giving him CPR, his mother came in, saw what was happening, and had a heart attack, too. Mary had to plan two funerals. With five children to raise on her own, she worked in a Manhattan agency. However, she’d get up two hours early to write fiction before getting the children ready for school. Two of my dearest friends are recent widows. Both men’s deaths were unexpected and sudden. Yet these women have dealt with their grief in a positive and inspiring manner, knowing it was time to live life differently and create a new path they walked alone. A local publisher called me one day to see if I was interested in working full time. I was 63 and convinced I’d never have another job. Now I’m working and loving what I do, proud that I have the experience and knowledge to make her job easier. This job inspires me every day. Inspiration is visible everywhere. Carry it with you always.
Stepping Out For
LOCAL CELEBRITIES COMPETE ON THE BALLROOM FLOOR
LC President Reunion Bank of Florida
AP Cypress Ridge
Owner Leah D. Conner Interior Design
Owner Renew Day Spa
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Friday, July 28, 2017 or Saturday, July 29, 2017
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For tickets: www.edfoundationlake.com or 352-326-1265
Hosted by The Educational Foundation of Lake County County. Benefiting the teachers and students in Lake County Schools
Photographed on location at Lake Sumter Landing Market Square™ in The Villages Community®
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