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SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Capturing the spirit of Lake and Sumter counties for 15 years.

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NATURE TRIP

Vancouver, British Columbia, is one of the world’s greenest cities.

CATCH OF THE DAY

Bluefin Grill’s Zeke Springs specializes in seafood and socializing.


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The Center for Limb Preservation According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 200,000 Americans undergo a life-changing leg amputation annually.

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


NOV‘19 V.16

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FEATURES

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It’s a celebration! Marking the 15th anniversary of Lake & Sumter Style is an opportunity for reflection, fond memories and, yes, a certain measure of pride. A special feature section looks back at the history behind the magazine, stylish cover subjects including performers, celebrities and local businessmen and women, poignant and impactful stories, updates on local legends, as well as the eye-popping images and designs that define Style. We hope readers enjoy reliving the ride. STORIES: JAMES COMBS, THERESA CAMPBELL, CHRIS GERBASI

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We Listen. We Care.We Educate.

352.350.1161 TBFinancialGroup.com 3261 U.S. Highway 441/27, Suite F-2 Fruitland Park, FL 34731

Annuities 101

Workshops for November Seating is very limited and by RSVP only

Nov. 12th | 9 a.m.

Nov. 26th | 9 a.m.

The Waterfront Inn Lake Sumter Landing, The Villages

Mission Inn Howey-In-The-Hills

TB Financial Group Inc. is a licensed insurance agency for life, health, and annuities. We are not securities licensed. We are not tax advisors. Our seminars are very general in nature and not meant to replace the advice of your CPA, Tax Preparer, Investment Advisor or Attorney. We will not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax or legal professional for these matters.

Liz Cornell, CASÂŽ

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER


NOV‘19 V.16

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DEPARTMENTS

first

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THE HIT LIST 022 PERSON OF INTEREST 024 OUTSTANDING STUDENT 026 IN THE VILLAGES 028 MY FIRST TIME 030

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THE TO-DO LIST 060 LOCAL TALENT 064 NEAR & FAR 066 SOCIAL SPOTLIGHT 070 HI, SOCIETY! 074

menu

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IN THE KITCHEN 090 FORK ON THE ROAD 094 SALUTÉ 098 DINING GUIDE 102

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FROM THE PUBLISHER 014 FINAL THOUGHT 112

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E ON TH R C OV E

Lake and Sumter Style Photo Illustration: Jason Fugate SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Capturing the spirit of Lake and Sumter counties for 15 years.

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NATURE TRIP

Vancouver, British Columbia, is one of the world’s greenest cities.

CATCH OF THE DAY

Bluefin Grill’s Zeke Springs specializes in seafood and socializing.

Village Edition Style Photo: Douglas Tyler


At Bassett Premier Realty, we wish to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to our families, friends and customers for your confidence and loyalty. We are deeply thankful and extend to you our best wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving season. L-R: Glori Hooke, Chris Szymanski, Kyle Willman, Robert Moore, Sharon Bassett, Beth Murray, Jenelle Littizzio, and Delynda Pratt

1-352-307-2925

BassettPremierRealty.com

Spruce Creek Professional Plaza | 10935 SE 177th Place, Suite 403, Summerfield, FL 34491


FROM THE PUBLISHER

Turning a new page Style celebrates an anniversary this month.

ack in 2003, when I was a sales representative for a local newspaper, I had lunch one afternoon at Ruby Tuesday. Upon entering the restaurant, I noticed a display rack full of magazines that were glossy, sleek and extremely eye-catching. It looked like a national magazine. However, when I discovered it was a local publication called Ocala Style, I knew I wanted to be part of it. I sent in my résumé, interviewed with the publisher, Kathy Johnson, and eventually was offered a job.

Several months after starting, I talked with Kathy about publishing a similar publication for Lake and Sumter counties. With the growth happening at the time in The Villages and Clermont, I knew our area not only needed its own magazine but also could most definitely support one. Kathy agreed. Lake & Sumter Style was supposed to launch in September 2004, but Mother Nature had different plans. Three consecutive hurricanes hit that summer, and we delayed our debut until November. When I held the first issue in my hand, it was a dream come true. It was like having my own child. Nearly six years later, I opened my own company, Akers Media Group, and launched Healthy Living. Two years after that, I purchased Lake & Sumter Style from Kathy. Guess what? The magazine officially turns 15 this month. And I cherish it more than ever. At the beginning of each

month, I make a beeline to our delivery post so I can get my hands on a new issue. I love what this publication does for the community, how it changes lives and how it brings awareness to important issues. I truly have been blessed by so many people who have been part of this publication—past and present. While I cannot acknowledge them individually in this space, their contributions will always be appreciated. And to our readers and fans, thank you so much for being part of this magnificent journey. Without question, Style couldn’t have achieved this milestone without your unwavering support. I’m looking forward to 15 more years!

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

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Kendra Akers Doug Akers

OWNER/PUBLISHER kendra@akersmediagroup.com

DESIGN

/

AT YOUR SERVICE

PRESIDENT doug@akersmediagroup.com

PHOTOGRAPHY

/

EDITORIAL

Jason Fugate Chris Gerbasi

CREATIVE DIRECTOR jason@akersmediagroup.com

MANAGING EDITOR chris@akersmediagroup.com

Michael Gaulin James Combs

SENIOR DESIGNER michael@akersmediagroup.com

STAFF WRITER james@akersmediagroup.com

Volkan Ulgen Theresa Campbell

ART DIRECTOR volkan@akersmediagroup.com

SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Capturing the spirit of Lake and Sumter counties for 15 years.

TO LA KE COUNTY

FIT TO BE EYED

Douglas Tyler Victoria Schlabig

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY douglas@akersmediagroup.com

At 65, fitness has Belinda Snow Gattuso looking good.

STAFF WRITER victoria@akersmediagroup.com

Why healthy teeth and gums are important.

Anthony Rao Joe Angione Mary Ann DeSantis

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They pack plenty of health benefits.

+

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NATURE TRIP

Vancouver, British Columbia, is one of the world’s greenest cities.

CATCH OF THE DAY

Bluefin Grill’s Zeke Springs specializes in seafood and socializing.

FRESH TODAY!

WHERE THE LOCALS GO

BIRDWATCHERS UNITE

Enjoy food picked fresh at a farm café, pick your own fruit, or take a hayride to relish agritourism.

Find the best places for outdoor fun, downtown adventure, and lazy life on the water.

Lake County is home to hundreds of bird species, including the native scrub-jay.

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

M A RK ETIN G

Tim McRae

VICE PRESIDENT, SALES tim@akersmediagroup.com

Melanie Melvin

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Melanie@akersmediagroup.com

Shaena Long Dillon True

SALES ASSISTANT shaena@akersmediagroup.com

ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE dillon@akersmediagroup.com

A D M IN IS TRATION Deb Matlock Aubrey Akers Simmons

DIRECTOR OF CLIENT SERVICES deb@akersmediagroup.com

OFFICE MANAGER aubrey@akersmediagroup.com

D ISTRIBUTION Scott Hegg

DISTRIBUTION MANAGER scott.hegg@akersmediagroup.com

Lake & Sumter Style is a proud member of

Winner of 200+ Awards for Excellence

Local beer that’s truly local. Fresh hops, fruit and other ingredients grown in Lake County.

SWEET ON SWEET POTATOES

Megan Mericle CON TRIBUTIN G WRITER S

STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER anthony@akersmediagroup.com

LAKE COUNTY IS HOPPIN’

BRUSH UP ON ORAL HEALTH

GRAPHIC DESIGNER megan@akersmediagroup.com

SA LES

SPONSORED BY

NOV '19

STAFF WRITER theresa@akersmediagroup.com

Lake & Sumter Style. Published monthly by Akers Media, 108 South Fifth Street, Leesburg, FL 34748. All editorial contents copyright 2019 by Akers Media. All rights reserved. Lake & Sumter Style is a registered trademark of Akers Media. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. For back issues or billing information, call 352.787.4112. Return postage must accompany all unsolicited manuscripts and artwork if they are to be returned. Manuscripts are welcomed, but no responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited materials. “Paid Promotional Feature” denotes a paid advertising feature. Publisher is not responsible for claims or contents of advertisements. The ideas and opinions contained in this publication do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of Akers Media.

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

to your home for just $84. Each subscription includes 12 consecutive issues of Lake & Sumter Style, Village Edition Style, or Healthy Living. Choose 2 or more magazines for $108 per year. To order, call 352.787.4112 or mail us at: Subscriptions at Akers Media, P.O. Box 490088, Leesburg, FL 34749. Change of Address: If you are a seasonal resident or have moved, send your address change request to general@akersmediagroup.com or mail us at: Subscriptions at Akers Media, P.O. Box 490088, Leesburg, FL 34749. Back Issues: Order a single issue by mail for $7, or 2 or more single issues for $9. To pick up a back issue from our office, please call 24 hours in advance.

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

Find us on social media

FULL-SERVICE ADVERTISING AGENCY • VIDEO PRODUCTION • CUSTOM PUBLISHING AKERSMEDIAGROUP.COM • 352.787.4112

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BE IN THE KNOW ABOUT LAKE AND SUMTER COUNTIES | PEOPLE. COMMENTARY. NEWS.

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THE HIT LIST News and notes from Lake and Sumter counties.

PERSON OF INTEREST Melvin “Tiny” Adkins zooms through life.

OUTSTANDING STUDENT Student invents a pediatric heatstroke prevention device.

IN THE VILLAGES Holiday scammers are on the prowl.

MY FIRST TIME Singer Petrina is in the business of entertaining.


THE HIT LIST

3 THOSE FEET WERE MADE FOR WALKING: With cooler temperatures, it’s a perfect time to consider dusting off your tennis shoes and going for a walk. Explore the “real” Florida by considering one of these local nature trails: Sawgrass Island Preserve in Umatilla, Lake Louisa State Park in Clermont, Palm Island Boardwalk in Mount Dora and Lake May Reserve in Eustis.

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FOOD TO WASH DOWN THE BEER: Clermont Brewing Co. expanded its food-serving hours with lunch starting at 11:30am Tuesday-Sunday. The menu includes pizza, sushi, and unique choices such as Korean BBQ Street Tacos and Peanut Butter Explosion Cake. The brewery offers Tuesday Night Trivia, live music Wednesday-Sunday, tours, and beer chats with guest speakers. 750 W. DeSoto St. 321.430.BEER (2337).

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CLERMONT IS ALIVE AND WELL: Lake County residents can live the good life through the nightlife. Clermont’s Alive After 5 event, held each Thursday and sponsored by the Clermont Downtown Partnership, allows patrons to stroll the charming streets and shop or dine at locally owned companies. In addition, Bacchus Vino Etcetera offers free wine tastings from 6-8pm. Alive After 5 also features special events and live music.

4 WHAT DOES SOUTH LAKE TASTE LIKE? Enjoy an evening of food and networking during the annual Taste of South Lake & Business Expo from 5-8:30pm Nov. 7 at Clermont’s Waterfront Park, 330 3rd St. More than 30 restaurants will offer food and beverage samples, and more than 20 businesses will display exhibits. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the event. Visit tasteofsouthlake.com or call 352.394.4191.

HOMES FOR THE HOLIDAYS: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially inside the 10 lavishly decorated houses that are part of the Mount Dora Christmas Tour of Homes. Visitors who take the self-driving tour Dec. 7-8 will discover that participating homeowners are decking their halls with much more than boughs of holly. And they’re sure to warm the heart of even the biggest Scrooge. Tickets cost $20. Visit wcfamountdora.com for more information.


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EXOTIC TACOS: Papa Pineapples, a new restaurant at 314 W. Main St. in Leesburg, takes pride in offering tacos and other dishes with a new taste sensation, including black bean mango, pineapple cilantro pork, Korean BBQ and chili lime chicken tacos. “We wanted to be different than everybody else,” says owner Scott Snyder, a former military man who enjoyed Hawaiian foods and culture while stationed in Oahu.

THREE DECADES OF WET-NAPS: Ramshackle Cafe, at 1317 N. 14th St. in Leesburg, is winding down its 30th anniversary celebration this year. Founded in 1989, Ramshackle is best-known for its “world famous buffalo wings” and keeping dry cleaners in business with sauce-stained shirts.

HEY, MILLER, WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG? Sports fans, rejoice! Miller’s Ale House has a new location coming to Lady Lake at U.S. Highway 441 and Fennell Boulevard. The chain has 56 spots in Florida, and finally one in our backyard. Ale House is a top-notch destination on football weekends that’s sure to make other sports bar contenders step up their game. Oh, yeah, Ale House has food, too.

MAKE A FALL CENTERPIECE: Just in time for Thanksgiving, a free craft class will be offered from 10:30am-noon Nov. 12 at W.T. Bland Public Library in Mount Dora. Participants will learn to make fall seasonal centerpieces using toilet paper rolls and decorative items. Registration is required. Participants are to bring their own super glue and scissors. Call 352.735.7180.

1

9 WE CAN: The annual We Can Weekend, a free educational support program for cancer patients, survivors and relatives, will be offered from 8:30am-noon Nov. 9 at Harbor Hills Country Club in Lady Lake. Seminars will address nutrition and physical activity. Speakers include radiation oncologist Norman Anderson; Bob Geothe, a medical doctor certified in medical marijuana; and cancer survivor Gaye Martin. Call 352.259.2200 or visit wecanweekend.org.

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PERSON OF INTEREST

PEO PLE

Melvin ‘Tiny’ Adkins Motorcycle enthusiast INTERVIEWER: JAMES COMBS

VITAL STATS

• Age: 72 • Resides in Leesburg. • Has been riding motorcycles or trikes since age 15.

• President of Florida Trikers Association. • Member of Road Dogs, a Christian, charitable, motorcycle organization in Lake County.

≈ PHOTO: ANTHONY RAO

over the country on that trike, and when I’m riding it, people often take pictures of me going down the road.

Why do you prefer a trike over a motorcycle? A trike How did you earn the nickname “Tiny”? When I played high school football, I was an offensive lineman who weighed 350 pounds. My teammates jokingly referred to me as Tiny, and the nickname has stuck over the years.

How did you get into motorcycles? At age 15,

I built my first motorcycle out of a frame, two wheels and a box of parts. It was a Harley Hummer.

What are you riding now? I’m now riding a Volkswagen Trike, which I built in 1984. I have 200,000 miles on it and over the years have put two transmissions and three engines in it. I have been all

Know a person of interest? Fill us in!

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has three wheels, and when you’re older like me, it’s nice to stop at a red light and not have to worry about balancing a 600-pound machine. That’s particularly beneficial for me because I have two artificial knees.

Where have you traveled on your bike? I’ve been to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally twice, and that’s a

spectacular event. I’ve also been to Canada and California and everywhere in between. I’ve taken the trike to several shows and won first place. Back in 2002, I went to a national trike event in Arkansas and finished in second place out of 500 entries.

Tell us about Road Dogs’ charitable work: Our next event is going to be Oct. 26. We’re going to do a pink bra ride to raise awareness about the Greater Clermont Cancer Foundation. We’ll ride from Clermont to Tavares.

Email your person of interest recommendations to james@akersmediagroup.com


OUTSTANDING STUDENT

• Born in Stafford Spring, Connecticut. L V I TA AT S ST

• Seventh grader at Umatilla Middle School. • Won Best in Fair at Florida Science Fair and Lake County Fair.

How I got the idea for my invention: I realized that on the news there was a lot of talk about children dying because of the carbon monoxide coming from generators that were brought inside the house during Hurricane Irma. I started looking into projects that I could do on this issue and I came upon a link about twins that had been left in a car in Phoenix, Arizona. I then started to juggle designs for both issues, but I slowly found myself becoming more and more interested on the topic of pediatric vehicular heatstroke. I kept researching and found that no one had really been successful in designing something that could save the life of a child in this situation, and I came up with the idea for a pressure-activated car seat with integrated cooling fans and carbon monoxide sensors.

Career goals: All of my science fair project research has led to interest in meteorology and even possibly becoming a pediatrician. If I were to follow my dreams of getting a performing arts degree, then I want to go to Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Role model: My biggest PEO PLE

Alexandra Clow Inventor of the Pediatric Heatstroke Prevention Device. INTERVIEWER: VICTORIA SCHLABIG

≈ PHOTO: DOUGLAS TYLER

Know an outstanding student? Fill us in!

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role model is anyone who can be brave when no one else is; someone that can take charge in a critical situation and help others, even if that means putting them before themselves. Three words to describe me: Intelligent, outgoing and fun.

Best advice I’ve been given: It’s from my nana and grandpa, who always say, “Die with memories, not dreams.” When I think of that, it reminds me to try just a little harder at everything I do and live life to the very fullest.

Email your outstanding student recommendations to victoria@akersmediagroup.com


RETIREMENT SALE!

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Liq Ret uid irem ati en on t Sa le!

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OF

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dear customers; It has been a great honor and pleasure to have served you the past 30+ years. Thank you! However the time has come for me to tend to my health and my family more than ever. This Retirement Sale, our biggest sale yet, will be held in our beloved store located in the downtown square of Ocala and must liquidate all of our inventory. Please come in early for the best selection and unbelievable savings on these magniďŹ cent, hand-made rugs, personally handpicked from all over the world. Forever grateful, Bahram Cyrus Assary

Cyrus Rug Gallery 352.629.3200 20 se broadway st., ocala, fl cyrus-rug.com


IN THE VILLAGES

CO MMENTARY

’Tis the season to avoid scams Fraud alert! Holiday scammers are on the prowl. STORY: JOE ANGIONE

elephone and email scams are heating up throughout the year. But, during the holidays, they can be most frequent and harmful. Florida, with its heavy concentration of seniors, is the prized target for scammers. They believe advanced age, a too-trusting nature and the confusing rush of holiday preparations make older folks highly susceptible to scammers’ schemes. Each week, I receive about 20 emails and robocalls touting products and services I don’t want or need from marketers I’ve never heard of. But the most irritating—and potentially dangerous—scams are designed to frighten you into doing something that can be used to steal your identity. Don’t open these emails or respond to these phone calls. Recently, I’ve received robocalls saying fraud has been detected in my Social Security account and if I didn’t immediately call a certain number to resolve this problem, a warrant would be issued for my arrest. I’ve had similar calls, supposedly from the Internal Revenue Service, accusing me of hiding income and threatening that federal agents would come to take me to jail if I didn’t respond to a number where I could settle my delinquent account.

Most clever were robocalls, supposedly from Microsoft, warning of terminating my “IP license and address within 48 hours because they were compromised by hackers overseas.” I was told to “press 1 to reach a technician who would provide a new IP license and address.” Most amazing: these calls came from my own home telephone number. Many trusting people believe these calls, fear being arrested and respond to find that the calls came from ripoff professionals interested only in phishing for personal information that is useful for breaking into their bank accounts and taking out credit cards in their name to run up huge balances. Sometimes, just responding to a phone number might result in huge charges added to your phone bill. No federal agency (Social Security, IRS) will email or telephone you to discuss a problem. And the agencies never threaten you with arrest. They’ll contact you using a letter sent by the U.S. Postal Service. The problem is you can’t really stop these scam communications. Call- or email-blocking services can stop a particular call or email from reaching you. But scammers simply change their phone number or email address by one digit or one letter, and they’re right back at you the next day. Technology is a two-edged sword.

Joe Angione loves to share stories of his adventures.

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If you want to contact him, email joeangione@aol.com.


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Dr. Cara Erwin-Oliver

352.347.3900 // 10725 SE 36th Ave www.BelleviewVeterinaryHospital.com


MY FIRST TIME

PEO PLE

Petrina Entertainer finds a gig and a husband in The Villages. INTERVIEWER: CHRIS GERBASI

Did he have an ulterior motive? “I think maybe he did, yeah (laughing). Within months, we were dating, and within a year, we were married. “I just moved over here so everything was new to me, of course, like meeting my future husband, which I had no idea that was going to happen, and I had no plans of meeting a future husband. But he won me over. And when I would sing ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?’ he would be in the back of the room shouting “Yes” after every time I sang that line. “People used to come in and I think they knew before me that there was a love story going on, and everybody’s

inger Petrina moved in 2008 from England to The Villages and the following year, she met her future husband, Michael. “I went into GarVino’s (wine bar) and asked if they were looking for any entertainers so I could perform there, and Michael was the first contact that I had. He was mainly working in the gift shop and cigars. He persuaded management to book me, I think.”

What about your first time?

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≈ PHOTO: DOUGLAS TYLER heads would look at him and then look at me and look at him and then me. I guess I was a little bit unaware.” And GarVino’s boosted your career as well? “It was when everything started exploding for me. I started getting really known and it was just kind of breaking ground, I suppose. I loved performing at GarVino’s because of Michael and I always loved singing jazz and entertaining. Up-close-andpersonal performances have always been my favorite, where I can tease and have fun with the audience with lots of laughs all round. It was a nice breakthrough for me.”

If you’d like to share your first time doing a significant event, email chris@akersmediagroup.com

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VOTED STYLE MAGAZINE’S 2019 BEST OF THE BEST Dr. Baumann, Dr. Charles and Dr. Jones are shining examples in the healthcare community, providing undeniable expertise and life-changing eye care services to people in Central Florida. With over 8,000 submissions, we are honored to announce our specialists’ placements in their nominated categories. Dr. Charles – 1st Place for Best Ophthalmologist Dr. Baumann – 2nd Place for Best Ophthalmologist Dr. Jones – 2nd Place for Best Optometrist With your support, we placed first as Best Ophthalmologist for a second consecutive year, as well as second for Best Optometrist this year. Your votes helped us recognize our team’s remarkable talents and accredit them as the trusted and leading ophthalmologists in Lake and Sumter Counties. We thank you for your participation, and we will continue to provide the community with exceptional eye care.

Dr. Jones 888.820.7878 MIDFLORIDAEYE.COM C ATA R AC T

Dr. Charles

Dr. Baumann

ADJACENT TO THE VILLAGES ® COMMUNITY:

MOUNT DORA | LEESBURG |

RETINA

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THIS 'N' THAT

CO MMENTARY

Apathy: My life’s work You don’t need to know everything—read this only if you have room in your brain. STORY: CHRIS GERBASI

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estimates, that spells the difference between 12,000 lives that could be saved each year (if all eligible people were tested) and the 250 lives actually saved. What makes the difference? If caught early (stage 1), the 5-year survival rate for lung cancer is 6892%, but if caught late (stage 4), that survival rate drops to 0-10%. Lung cancer screening is recommended only for adults who have no symptoms but whose smoking history and age place them at high risk for developing the disease. Testing is done with a low-dose CT scan, in which an

Did You Know?

Private insurance plans cover lung cancer screening for people age 55 through 80, with no out-of-pocket costs. Medicare pays for lung cancer screening with no out-of-pocket costs for people up to age 77 if you meet certain criteria.

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EDI T I O N

F E ATUR E

Don’t Be an Ostrich!

The United States has an estimated 7 million people eligible for lung cancer screening, but fewer than 2% got screened in 2016. According to

2019

X-ray machine uses low doses of radiation to make detailed pictures of the lungs. The very low screening rate has been called the “ostrich effect,” to describe people who want to “stick their heads in the sand” to make a potential health problem go away. Researchers point to several possible reasons behind the reluctance to get tested. One is stigma, because a positive screening for lung cancer might be associated with a poor lifestyle choice. Another is access. Even though most patients referred for lung cancer screening live close to one of almost 1,800 centers across the country, that can still leave out underserved populations living in remote areas.

Vaping in Our Community The Cancer Alliance of Marion County will host its next educational presentation and lunch on November 13 with the topic, “Vaping in Our Community.” RSVP is required. Email Amy Roberts at ARoberts@rboi.com or call 352-732-0277.


by the numbers

#1

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women.

222,500

New cases of lung cancer in the US in 2017

Heavy Smoker?

Get screened. The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends annual lung cancer screening for anyone aged 55 to 80 with a smoking history of 30 pack-years or longer and who currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years, A pack year is equal to smoking 20 cigarettes (1 pack) a day each year. A pack year is different from a calendar year. Smoking a pack a day for 30 years equals 30 pack years, but so does smoking two packs a day for 15 years. Talk to your doctor if you think you are eligible for testing.

10

“We Can” Weekend Provides Education and Empowerment RBOI is a proud sponsor of “We Can” Weekend, a community cancer support program for adults facing cancer, survivors, and their families. Breakfast will be served and the event is free. This year’s “We Can” Weekend occurs on November 9 at Harbor Hills Country Club in The Villages. Presenters include RBOI’s Dr. Norman Anderson speaking on compassionate care, Compassion Clinic’s Dr. Robert Goethe speaking on the history of medical marijuana, and survivor Gaye Martin. Exhibitors will provide relevant resources and information. For more information and to register, go to https://wecanweekend.org/ or call 352-732-0277 and ask for Amy Roberts.

Minutes it takes to undergo a lung cancer screening

More than 7300

Estimated lung cancer deaths among adult nonsmokers from secondhand smoke each year during 2005-2009

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

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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, Filled with smiles and good feelings, this special feature section commemorates a special occasion for Style. INTRODUCTION STORY: JAMES COMBS


his month marks the 15th anniversary of Lake & Sumter Style. That’s right. The big 1-5. Such an issue presents a puzzle. What to do? How best to celebrate the occasion with something special? This issue is going to come around only once, you know. That in itself is a point of pride. Fifteen years is a significant milestone in the publishing world, where newspapers are closing and magazines fold while still in their infancy. As technology advances at a blinding clip, producing a quality, independently owned magazine is challenging. But instead of settling for a premature death, Style has evolved with the changing times. When Publisher Kendra Akers purchased Style from an Ocala company in 2010, her initial goal was to highlight

ASKED AND ANSWERED:

WE ASKED YOU TO VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE STYLE COVER. THE WINNER IS THE AUGUST 2017 HOT ISSUE!

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and celebrate the people, places and events that make Lake and Sumter counties great places to live, work and play. As time went on, though, it became apparent to Kendra that the publication should serve as more of a lifestyle magazine. In other words, the publication represented a way to learn about the area’s way of life and fully participate in it at the same time. To reach as many people as possible, Style started getting its message out through not only the print magazine but also through upto-date website content and digital and social media, as well. “We’ve created a vast resource center for the community to find out important information related to our area,” Kendra says. “No matter what format people are reading our content in, we strive to keep abreast of the lifestyle we live through our Style brands. We connect people to the community.”


An anniversary always is a time for reflection, and for Kendra that brings timeless memories and the nostalgic delight of stories and pictures. It also makes her reminisce about the diverse content that has appeared in the magazine. The publication has given readers a behind-the-scenes look at the massive preparation that goes into Leesburg Bikefest each year and provided video footage of the exotic, rarely seen cars lined up at the Festivals of Speed. Writers have taken readers on many culinary adventures, ranging from the upscale Goblin Market in Mount Dora to the more downhome Red Wing Restaurant in Groveland. Of course, Style has never shied away from controversial issues. Feature stories on homelessness and the water quality of local lakes certainly drew the attention of readers. For Kendra, the one story that still tugs on her heartstrings was an in-depth look at human trafficking that ran in March 2012. “I was reluctant at first because it was the first subject our magazine tackled that had a negative tone,” Kendra recalls. “However, since Central Florida has a high rate of human trafficking, I thought we had a platform to bring this difficult subject to light.” Not only did the story bring human trafficking to light, it also generated lots of feedback. “I received a letter from a judge in Miami who expressed her appreciation for bringing awareness to this problem,” Kendra says. “In fact, several local programs to address human trafficking started as a result of the article.” She’s equally proud of the annual Best of the Best

issue, which recognizes businesses that serve delicious meals, provide stellar health care, carefully manage finances or help people find their dream home. The winners and runners-up are determined by votes from magazine readers. “These companies operate because they’re passionate about what they do,” Kendra says. “They’re not in it to win awards. However, our Best of the Best issue is a reminder to them that they’re doing a good job and their customers appreciate them enough to take the time to vote for them.” Then there are the fun events that Style hosts, such as the Business Women of Style party each May and the Business Men of Style party each June. Business owners who participate in a special advertising section come together for a fun-filled evening of camaraderie, food and drinks. A reverse drawing is held, and the winner appears on the cover and receives a free four-page inside spread. “It’s a promotional event yet very entertaining,” Kendra

says. “Our advertisers look forward to it every year.” But it’s not special issues or special events that please Kendra most. What she truly values are the loyal readers who have openly welcomed the publication into their hearts and homes for 15 years. “Without their support, sharing story ideas and becoming part of the magazine, we would not still be here today,” she says.

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Face time Past winners of Style’s Business Woman and Man of the Year share cover memories. STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL

A popular attraction each spring for Akers Media is the much-anticipated gala parties to see who will win the reverse drawings to be on the May magazine cover as Lake & Sumter Style’s Business Woman of the Year and the June cover as Business Man of the Year. Past winners share their recollections of what it was like to grace the cover: FA M O U S B E A R D

“Because I was on the cover, I can’t shave my beard off,” Bryan Smith, the 2018 Business Man of the Year and owner of BP Smith Construction, says with a chuckle. “Most people recognize me from the cover and relate it to my beard, and when I go to the bank, which is quite frequently, the connection is made. It was a standing joke of people wanting my autograph. I think the exposure was what it did (best). When I was on the cover, we had really just started the company and we were about a year into it. There are doctors’ offices that still have that issue, so they keep them around! About a couple months ago, somebody took a picture of the cover and sent it to me, and I thought it was funny. But people do keep them and they’re still sitting around in businesses and it’s great because that’s where people see the magazine the most.” ‘ T H E R E’ S T H E C OV E R MO DE L’

Lisa Elliott appeared on the 2014 cover as Business Woman of the Year, working as the director of Central Florida Pet Crematory in Belleview and helping pet lovers throughout

BUSINESS WOMAN AND BUSINESS MAN COVER WINNERS

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2013

Lake and Sumter counties secure a final resting place for their furry friends. “For about a year after the magazine came out, wherever I would go, people would introduce me as ‘There’s the cover model,’” Lisa says, adding that being on the cover was good for business. “We’re still here 16 years later.”

2014

2015

MAKING MEMORIES

Joe Ziler, president of Kevco Builders in Eustis, touts his appearance on the 2013 cover as a memorable experience. “The cover was accompanied by a wellwritten article by James Combs titled ‘Home’ Boy,’” Joe recalls. “The article was a walk down memory lane for me all the way back to my childhood influences in construction, most notable my lifelong friend Mr. (Roy) Teter who

2019

Connie Mahan and Ted Waterman

2018

Rose Connell and Bryan Smith

2016

2017

Danielle Daugherty and Joe Ciceri


2019

‘A L O T O F F U N ’

Joe Ciceri, owner of Leesburg-based Electrical Works, was the winner of the 2017 Business Man of the Year, though he’s the first to admit he’s not crazy about photo shoots. “It definitely generated more business and helped brand the company more,” he says. “It was a great experience and a lot of fun.” E N T R E PR E N EU R C OV E R

passed away at 96 the year after the article.”

2018

MOV E D U P

2017

2016

Marilou Stone and Michael Brashear

Rose Connell says it was exciting to do a photo shoot and interview for her 2018 cover, representing The Villages Insurance. Since being the cover girl, Rose has moved up in her company from private risk management advisor to personal lines executive manager. “I absolutely enjoyed the experience and loved being the cover girl,” Rose says. “I definitely had a lot of comments from clients that we do business with and company partners. I ran into people I hadn’t seen in years and they’d mention it, saying, ‘I saw you on the cover of the magazine!’”

2015

Jennifer O’Keefe and Dr. Karsten Weber

2014

Michael Brashear, owner of five Anytime Fitness gyms in Lake and Sumter counties and one in Key West, was on the cover in a business suit in 2016. “Most (people) see me in shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops. The photo shoot definitely showed the entrepreneur side of me,” Michael says. “I did get tons of recognition from the community being on the cover.” TEASING CONTINUES

Ted Waterman continues to bask in the limelight since gracing the June 2019 cover. “I’ve gotten teased every time somebody sees me,” says the top man behind Umatillabased Waterman Construction Corp., which he and his wife, Gina, started in 1993. “It was a fantastic experience and the photo shoot was a lot of fun,” Ted says. “Seeing myself on the cover was pretty cool and flattering. And we did get some new jobs from it, as a matter of fact, so the exposure was all good. We’re really blessed and we’re really happy.”

Lisa Elliott and Ryan Veraghen

2013

Missy Ziler and Joe Ziler

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Under the covers The faces of Style have included performers and models. STORY: CHRIS GERBASI

Beautiful actress and model Kelly Le Brock made hearts race in her 1984 film debut as the object of Gene Wilder’s desire in “The Woman in Red.” She followed that up with a memorable role as a computer-generated teen fantasy—no surprise—in “Weird Science.” Her sublime looks landed her on the covers of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair— and Style. Kelly graced the cover of Style’s first issue in November 2004. Today, Kelly tweets that she’s a mother, rancher, foodie, speaker and advocate, and she will return to the silver screen in December in a film titled “Charlie Boy.” Kelly was the first of many celebrities, along with a number of rising stars, to appear in Style. In 2011, The Judds came to town and captured the cover of the August issue. The mother-daughter country duo of Naomi and Wynonna performed at Grand Oaks Resort in Weirsdale, one of the last stops on their Last Encore tour. The concert was a fundraiser to support local hospital foundations. The November 2015 ExtraOrdinary issue featured two covers of up-and-coming

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Tyler Reese Tritt

Joshua Brockington

performers: singer Tyler Reese Tritt and actor Joshua Brockington. Tyler is the daughter of country singer Travis Tritt and Theresa Tritt, who grew up in Leesburg. Tyler made her career goals clear as a 17-year-old high school senior in 2015: “I want to be a singer and entertainer, like my dad is. I love to get on stage and sing.” “That was my first cover, my first legit photo shoot for a magazine and interview and it was pretty amazing,” Tyler says today. “We had a great time.

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The whole experience was just so much fun.” Now 21, Tyler is making a name for herself by touring the country, including opening for Sheryl Crow in October in Nashville. When she found out about that gig, she “about fell on the floor.” Tyler also recently recorded in Nashville and hopes to release an EP next year. She expects to book some Florida dates in 2020 so her family can see her perform. She regularly


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visits relatives in the Leesburg area when she isn’t at home in Georgia or on the road. “It’s busy because it’s work, but I love what I do so it doesn’t feel like work,” Tyler says. “Those few shows that you have that are just like, everything went absolutely perfect, it’s just the best feeling. I realize that the more I go out and the more I perform and do these shows, the more I love it and the more I’m like, this is definitely what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life.” At the time of his cover, Joshua was a senior at

Tavares High School and fresh off the release of “Straight Outta Compton.” He portrayed the young Warren G, a rapper and stepbrother of Dr. Dre, whose rap group N.W.A. was the subject of the film. Joshua recorded an audition at home on his school laptop and within weeks was filming in California and meeting Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. After graduating, Joshua decided to pursue acting—his passion since age 3—and split his time between Umatilla and West Hollywood, California, where he lives the life of an auditioning actor. “It’s humbling, it’s exciting and it is very trying,” he says. “It’s not a career that one should get into with the expectation of overnight success. You hear a lot of noes before you get those yeses.” Joshua has heard a few yeses recently, appearing in the 2017 ABC miniseries “When We Rise” and the new film

“Waves,” a family drama about love and loss. “Waves,” tentatively set for a Adriann a Nov. 1 national Moss release, was Joshua’s most fun and memorable project so far. He also will soon start shooting “Cherish the Day,” a new series on OWN, Oprah Winfrey’s network. “Ultimately, this whole experience for me has been a blessing,” he says. “It’s allowed me to grow mentally, spiritually, physically. It’s a reminder that you should constantly be working on yourself.” Two young models got early breaks in the annual Hot! issues, appropriately enough, and have gone on to successful careers. Adrianna Moss went from an Akers intern to a cover girl overnight. She appeared on the August 2013 cover, and an inside photo showed her wearing a shirt and dangling a burning match from her lips, accompanied by the caption “Feeling a little hot under the collar?” Yes. “It was really awesome and actually kind of sparked me to get into the modeling industry, and I’ve been full-time modeling ever since,” Adrianna says. The Leesburg native now lives outside er umt umt ands ands I lake

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Bozeman, Montana, and owns businesses providing model management, photography, makeup and clothing. “I love all aspects of this industry. Once you’re in one part of it, you can’t stop,” Adrianna says. “It all works hand in hand. It’s been pretty awesome.” In 2014, Olivia Martin appeared on the cover of the Hot! issue dressed in a bright red dress and lying down in a pile of red peppers. An inside photo shows her “riding” on a giant red pepper. The former Mount Dora resident does editorial shoots and has appeared on several other covers, including Elle Singapore magazine. She also has appeared at Milan Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week. Most recently, she’s working in Singapore, according to her Instagram page, where she bills herself as a “professional clothing hanger.” “I think I had been modeling professionally for about a year when I did the Style cover,” Olivia says in a 2018 interview with Style. “I did it while I finished high school. Now it’s my full-time career, and I couldn’t be more blessed to be able to do what I love every day.”


The dark side of life Homelessness and human trafficking are among the societal issues that Style has examined. STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL

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The October 2016 issue of Lake & Sumter Style featured a first on its magazine cover: a local homeless man, Michael Alan Jefferies, then 50, who wasn’t shy about sharing his plight of living in the woods and always looking over his shoulder to fend for his safety. “Being homeless is not as bad as what people think—it’s worse and it’s treacherous—I wouldn’t wish this on anybody,” Michael said at the time. His words “worse and treacherous” became reality when he was brutally beaten and knocked unconscious on Aug. 5, 2016, during an altercation with another man on a bicycle path in Leesburg. Michael was airlifted to Ocala Regional Medical Center, where surgeons reconstructed his face. Michael was rebuilding his life and doing construction work at a Tavares restaurant six months after appearing on the cover. However, Style sadly received word in 2018 that Michael had


died. The news came in an email from his brother in another state. Homelessness is a concern that still needs attention, Leesburg City Manager Al Minner says. “Leesburg elected officials want to address the homeless issue,” he says. “However, chronic homelessness, cost for facility construction and perpetual operations, and a lack of overall county financial contributions has hurt our local efforts.” Al says a few civic associations, the Salvation Army and community leaders have

discussed homeless strategies, such as building a facility and sharing operating costs. “This is a good positive move to get more attention to the problem and a political desire to address the situation,” he says. Samaritan Inn, a Leesburg shelter for homeless families and one of eight ministries of the Christian Care Center, has served 200 homeless families since opening in 2010. Families pay nothing to stay at the shelter as they receive counseling, training and skills to rebuild their lives. The goal is for families to obtain consistent income and steady housing to make it on their own. “We will always be full. The need is way more than what is available to homeless families,” says Bill Jones, executive director of the Christian Care Center. New Beginnings of Central Florida, based in Clermont, has housed 462 homeless individuals since opening in 2007, and it expanded in September 2018 with the construction of Woodwinds Apartments, which offers 96 households of permanent affordable housing. “The apartments are a great success, and there is such a high demand that we have seen a three-year waiting list,” says Erik Segalini, community relations director for New Beginnings. On the bright side, Erik says people’s lives are being changed. Homelessness affects more than adults, of course. Lake County Schools identified 1,947 students as homeless in the 2016 story, and that number has gone up slightly. “Last year, Lake County Schools identified 2,019 students as homeless/ transitional,” says Kristin McCall, families in transition liaison for Lake County Schools Student Services. She notes that under the McKinney-Vento Act, the term “homeless children and youths” means individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. Raising awareness and taking an in-depth look at human trafficking

was first addressed in Style’s March 2012 issue, which generated a letter of appreciation from a Miami judge. The Lake County Human Trafficking Task Force also started in 2012 with members from the Lake County Sheriff ’s Office, State Attorney’s Office and Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF). Human trafficking remains a serious problem across the state. Figures for 2018 at the National Human Trafficking Resource Center show Florida ranked third in calls received, behind California and Texas. In September, the Lake County Commission took action by unanimously passing an ordinance that calls for adult entertainment establishments and businesses offering bodywork and massage services to display public awareness signs that read: “If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in an activity and cannot leave – whether it is prostitution, housework, farm work, factory work, retail work, restaurant work or any other activity – call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1.888.373.7888 or text INFO or HELP to 233-733 to access help and services. Victims of slavery and human trafficking are protected under the United States and Florida law.” Lake County Sheriff ’s Office Detective Amber Vinson says there has been an increase in human trafficking cases reported, especially since the DCF started using its Human Trafficking Screening Tool, which helps identifies victims. The detective believes the newly passed Lake County ordinance will make a difference, too. “Previously, the only way to shut down the massage parlors was through the Department of Health, so that will definitely help,” she says. Human trafficking has been called modern-day slavery. As Style reported in 2016, Leesburg native and Miss Florida 2015 MaryKatherine Fechtel Black made the issue her pageant platform, saying: “Everyone has a part in standing up against exploitation.”

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Storied figures The legacies of some community leaders are still being written. COMPILED BY CHRIS GERBASI

Style regularly profiles local legends who have been instrumental in shaping Lake and Sumter counties. Here are March 2016 excerpts for four “Legends of Leadership” and today’s updates:

Carey Baker LAKE COUNTY PROPERTY APPRAISER. THEN: Eustis native Carey Baker has fought for what he has believed in for decades— as a member of the armed services, Florida House of Representatives, Florida Senate and now as the Lake County property appraiser. As a legislator for Lake County, he helped pass historic property tax cuts for millions of Floridians and sponsored legislation to modernize the appraisal process. He now has a new mission: enhancing the level of useful information and services for Lake County property owners. NOW: Construction growth is keeping the property appraiser’s office busy

Carman Cullen-Batt EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE LAKE COU NT Y EDUCATIONA L FOU N DATION. THEN: “Legendary? No, I am a believer in community and lover of Lake County. My previous position at the Daily Commercial allowed me to form relationships (that helped organize) Lights of Lake, Mardi Gras, Ibini Tera and Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Faire. I now serve 46,000 students and employees in our schools. My skills are not making a corporation rich but enriching the lives of our students and teachers. Hopefully, my efforts will produce a true Lake County legend.” NOW: Carman spoke this year at TEDxEustis and

related a story about a young woman named Diamond, who earned a college scholarship with the help of the foundation. “Even after all of these years, Diamond’s story still inspires me in the work that I do,” Carman told the audience, comparing Diamond the person with the gem. “We like to think of it as ‘cutting and polishing.’ Our work allowed Diamond the chance to succeed, just as it has given thousands of other students, many uncut and unpolished gems, the chance to become brilliant in their own right.”

with mapping, inventory and appraisal, Carey says. The office has adopted new technology to help with damage assessment after hurricanes and other disasters, interpretation of deed information, appraisal comparisons across geographic areas and efficiency of field appraisers. “These are indeed exciting times for my office and especially for me,” Carey says. “I have seen our county go from a farming community where we were the largest citrus-producing county in America to now an increasingly busy suburban area with new people, new ideas and new possibilities for all of us; all the while retaining the warmth and sense of community that has made this such a great place to live. … I can mostly say that I feel blessed.”

Carman Cullen-Batt


Beverly Steele

Ann Dupee

FOU N DER , YOU NG PER FOR M I NG A RTISTS I NC ., W I L DWO O D .

F O R M E R N E W S PA P E R OW N E R A N D C I V I C L E A D E R W H O D I E D S I X M O N T H S A F T E R T H E S T Y L E S T O RY AT AG E 8 2 .

THEN: Her most intimate work has been within the community, providing a place and resources for young people to find self-expression. Through numerous initiatives, Beverly brought arts education to the forefront. Her commitment to community programs has helped build a culturally rich foundation for Sumter County and surrounding areas.

THEN: At a time when media was a man’s world, Ann Dupee shattered the glass ceiling to blaze a trail that led her through an incredible career. In 1968, she and her husband, George, purchased the South Lake Press and, under her leadership, circulation grew to 4,000. She served on the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, the South Lake Kiwanis Club and the Greater Clermont Area Chamber of Commerce. “I do it because I love this community and it’s where my interests lie,” she says.

NOW: YPA is celebrating 21 years of encouraging young performers in the arts and has awarded about $50,000 in scholarships. “I am very thankful for what we have been able to accomplish and I’m also very thankful looking forward to what we will continue to accomplish,” Beverly says. In May, she published “Hello, Somebody!”— Beverly Steele’s 40 Acres & A Mule Stories; Her People Kept the Land!” She tells the story of Royal, one of Florida’s oldest African-American communities, which was formed by freed slaves in 1865 in Sumter and still exists today. “It’s more a reflection of the characteristics of the people that held on to the land and were thankful for the land to pass it down through the generations,” she says. YPA, located within Royal, is seeking a national historic registry designation for the community.

NOW: In September, Lake-Sumter State College dedicated the Ann Dupee

Nursing Simulation Center at its Clermont campus. A gift from Ann and her family went toward the purchase of a high-fidelity manikin that will allow students to practice in realistic patient settings using current healthcare technology. “Ann Dupee was a positive force for the South Lake community that she loved so much,” LSSC President Stan Sidor says in a news release. “It’s our honor to dedicate this simulation center for her today. We appreciate all the support she’s given to this college, especially in growing this campus in Clermont.”

Beverly Steele

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Armed with happiness Bionic arm makes a boy feel like a superhero. STORY: JAMES COMBS

He was born with a limb deficiency that left him without his right arm from just above the elbow. When he began attending school, classmates would tease him or innocently ask whether he was bitten by a shark or an alligator. Young Alex Pring took action. He became a superhero. As he discovered, you don’t have to be from the planet Krypton to become one. You just need the right gear. Alex was featured on Style’s September 2014 cover. The following year, the Groveland boy was 7 when he traveled to Atlanta with his family to meet Robert Downey Jr., the actor who plays billionaire inventor Tony Stark in the “Iron Man” movie series. When Alex walked into Robert’s hotel

room, the actor presented him with a bionic arm made by University of Central Florida students who are part of the volunteer group Limbitless Solutions. The event came with much fanfare. Microsoft’s Collective Project, which celebrates students using technology to change the world, arranged for the meeting and videoed Robert and Alex interacting. Alex tried on his new 3-D printed, “Iron Man”-themed prosthetic arm. Then Robert put on the arm that he wore during the movie. They fist bumped. Robert Downey Jr. with Alex

“It’s a marriage of robotic technologies,” Robert says during the video that went viral. “I love it.” Alex was quite starstruck. “I told him we were going to Atlanta to meet an expert in bionic arms,” says his mother, Alyson Pring. “When we walked into a hotel room and he saw Robert Downey Jr., he didn’t know what to say. They began comparing their bionic arms. Robert then invited him to hang out on

the set with him when he began filming over the summer.” That was actually the second bionic arm that UCF students made for Alex. Both battery-operated arms feature three electrodes that sense movement in Alex’s bicep. He flexes the muscle to control movements of the hand and open and close all five fingers simultaneously, allowing him to grasp objects.


Style interviewed Alex in 2014 after he received his first bionic arm. Moments after being fitted with that arm, he had something important to do. He excitedly approached his mother and, for the first time, gave her a two-arm hug. It was a defining moment. He could fully embrace a loved family member—and the future. And he could favorably compare himself to his favorite robot, Optimus Prime. “Because of my arm, I’m like a Transformer,” Alex said during the interview. The bionic arm opened up a whole new world for Alex. He could now give double high-fives, ride on a bicycle upright, catch a ball and climb trees. Most importantly, he gained confidence. Today, Alex, who turned 12 in October, is a sixth-grade student at Minneola Charter School. The boy is growing like a weed, standing 5 feet 3 inches tall and wearing size-30 pants. His bionic arm is coming in handy. He now plays a left-handed French horn in the school band and also rides all-terrain vehicles around his family’s property. He plans to participate on the school’s crosscountry team. “He’s always happy and always smiling,” Alyson says. “He wants to have a good time.” These days, Alex no longer has to worry about classmates teasing him. In fact, they’re in awe of his “Iron Man” arm. It’s not flesh and blood, but it gives Alex real hope.

What an honor An extraordinary flight provided an inside look at a day devoted to veterans. STORY: JAMES COMBS

On a beautiful Saturday in May 2012, I was surrounded by heroes. Heroes like Donald Schlimgen, a soldier in the U.S. Army’s 87th Infantry Division. Donald enjoyed a white Christmas in December 1944, but holiday music did not fill the air. The only sounds he heard were the resonating fire of German machine guns, the distant explosions of detonated land mines and the thunderous roar of tank fire. Donald, a former Lady Lake resident who is now deceased, fought in the famous Battle of the Bulge. He and his fellow American troops faced a hostile enemy and punishing

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climate. The battle was fought in belowfreezing temperatures and knee-deep snow. Donald survived and, despite his heroic efforts to save the world from tyranny, he returned to his home state of Wisconsin with little fanfare. There were no welcome-home parties and no parades of appreciation. He accepted a job with the Wisconsin Telephone Co., where he was employed for 40 years. But more than six decades after returning home from his tour of duty, Donald would be recognized for bravely serving his country. In May 2012, he and 24 other World War II veterans from Lake County were

chosen to participate in The Villages Honor Flight’s inaugural trip to Washington, D.C., on Memorial Day weekend. The organization was formed in 2011 to fly veterans free of charge and allow them to visit several war memorials, as well as Arlington National Cemetery. During the one-day trip, the veterans had an opportunity to see the WWII monument that honors them and 16 million other men and women who faithfully served their country from 1941-1945.

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Here’s the really cool part. The organization’s leaders chose me to be the sole media representative on the trip. I still get goosebumps just thinking about what I observed during that trip. The highlights were endless. A large crowd of spectators waving American flags clapped and cheered as the veterans boarded a bus en route to Orlando International Airport. When the group of veterans walked toward their terminal after arriving at the airport, other air travelers stood up and welcomed them with thunderous applause. They were greeted with similar fanfare after landing at BaltimoreWashington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, and they received a motorcycle escort during the 45-minute ride to Washington, D.C. As some veterans marveled at the war monuments, others such as the Lee Cawley, of Leesburg, were busy embracing family members. His daughter and grandson drove from Richmond, Virginia, to share this glorious day with Lee, who is now deceased. Later that evening, as veterans gathered at the airport for their return flight, organizers of Honor Flight announced a surprise mail call— just like the veterans experienced during the war. Inside the packages were letters written by local students, politicians, family members and friends. Around midnight, as the bus arrived back in The Villages, darkness gave way to the flashing lights of police cars and firetrucks as nearly 300 people waited in the parking lot of American Legion Post 347 to welcome these heroes home. Some waved American flags, while others chanted “USA! USA!” People often ask me about the most memorable highlight of my journalism career. Undoubtedly, it was that day. These guys put their lives on the line, and I was there to see them receive the recognition they deserved. I’m blessed that I had an opportunity to cover The Villages Honor Flight’s inaugural trip. For me, it was the ride of a lifetime.


What they’re saying Community leaders and business owners reflect on 15 years of Style. “I really like how the magazine promotes local events by previewing and recapping them. The ‘Hi! Society’ section shows the pictures and names of those who attend events, and people like seeing their faces or the faces of their friends. I know whenever the magazine has done a story on me, I keep the issue forever. The magazine also does a good job of highlighting local businesses, and it’s all done in a high-quality, glossy format.”

“Lake & Sumter Style does a great job of getting people involved in the magazine and wanting to read it each month. It’s a community-geared magazine because each time you turn a page, you read about your friends and neighbors. That’s what I really like about it—reading stories on local people who you care about.”

—JOE SHIPES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE LEESBURG PARTNERSHIP

“I look forward to Style coming out each month because it is everyone’s go-to publication as to what is going on in Lake County. Not to mention that Style has helped our real estate business reach the next level. The company provides outstanding marketing services to help us reach clients.”

“Because Lake County is one of the fastest-growing counties in Florida, it is great to have a publication like Lake & Sumter Style that plugs new residents into the community. The magazine also builds a sense of community for our current residents. Aside from that, the content is interesting and the photography is beautiful. The magazine is a wonderful representation of everything that is great about Lake County.”

—LENA WILLIAMS, OWNER OF MORRIS REALTY AND INVESTMENTS, LEESBURG

—ANTHONY SABATINI, FLORIDA STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 32

—BONNIE WHICHER, OWNER OF BONNIE WHICHER PHOTOGRAPHY, MOUNT DORA

“I was on the cover of the May issue, and that gave me an opportunity to be in front of an audience I never would’ve been in front of otherwise. As a Sumter County resident, I love how the magazine highlights activities and events that people may not know about our county, such as the flea markets. The feature stories in the magazine are very fascinating, as well.” —CONNIE MAHAN, OWNER OF CONNIE MAHAN REAL ESTATE GROUP, BUSHNELL

“Congratulations to the Akers Media Group team for producing an outstanding magazine for the past 15 years, and I look forward to many more to come. Each month, I enjoy picking up a copy and reading all about the people and great things happening in Lake and Sumter counties. We have so much to be proud of.” —ROSANNE BRANDEBURG, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, INSIGHT CREDIT UNION, LEESBURG

“We started selling it, taking it to the streets here, Tim (McRae) and I did and Kendra (Akers), and just watched it grow and continue to expand and get better and better. The design changed. The writing changed. The photography was incredibly done, and we just made it all about Lake and Sumter in the beginning and, of course, the

people gravitated to that. … It’s just amazing. (Kendra) was so focused and absolutely that became her baby, if you will. She ran with it and she pulled us in with it, and Tim and I took off with it, and the rest is history.” —MIKE STEGALL, FORMER AKERS ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE

“We’ve genuinely valued our relationship with Style and have enjoyed watching the company’s creative evolution over the years. The publication and its staff were particularly helpful in the early years of branding Kevco Builders. I am very thankful as well for their assistance with our most recent community outreach and mental health awareness messaging. I applaud their consistent effort to raise awareness about the topics, organizations, events and community leaders that make up the fiber of Lake and Sumter counties.” —JOE ZILER, OWNER OF KEVCO BUILDERS, EUSTIS

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World Renowned Retina Specialist at the Center of

Cutting-Edge Retinal Care PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

Dr. Shalesh Kaushal

r. Shalesh Kaushal is an internationally renowned retina specialist, biochemist and molecular geneticist. His clinic in the Villages, Comprehensive Retina Consultants, is THE first of its kind in the world that incorporates state-of-the-art eye and retina care with his long standing passion in nutritionally biochemistry and genomics. He combined his passion for taking care of patients with intensive basic and clinical study of retinal diseases to develop a practice where patients receive both treatment and education. “The opportunity to help someone with a vision problem is an honor and blessing,” he says. Dr. Kaushal goes on, “Beyond the technology, testing and treatments, to be really effective in helping patients, it’s important to develop a partnership and friendship with them. I really enjoy that because it’s a one-to-one connection with another person.” His practice is ideal for treating patients with various retinal disorders like macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, inflammatory conditions of the eye and retina, inherited retinal disorders, glaucoma, MS, and chronic infectious diseases of the retina like Lyme. Dr. Kaushal also treats surgical problems of the retina including retinal detachments, macular holes, epiretinal membranes, and bleeding in the eye. But there are other components to his practice that add another dimension to the understanding of retina diseases and care for his


“BEYOND THE TECHNOLOGY, TESTING AND TREATMENTS, TO BE REALLY EFFECTIVE IN HELPING PATIENTS, IT’S IMPORTANT TO DEVELOP A PARTNERSHIP AND FRIENDSHIP WITH THEM. I REALLY ENJOY THAT BECAUSE IT’S A ONE-TO-ONE CONNECTION WITH ANOTHER PERSON.” —DR . SH A LESH K AUSH A L

patients. Indeed, patients come from across the country to seek his evaluation and treatment. THE

FIRST COMPONENT

This involves cutting-edge diagnostics and new instrumentation. As Dr. Kaushal explains, “All physicians essentially do two things, namely measure structure and function. As a retina specialist, there are novel, clinically impactful diagnostic devices that give us important quantitative insight into the structure and function of the retina. These new approaches and tools are a perfect match for the academic in Dr. Kaushal, whose background includes a B.S. in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University, an M.D. from Johns Hopkins and finally a Ph.D. in biochemistry from MIT with a Nobel Laureate. “Science and medicine are really about carefully measuring a person’s biochemistry and physiology in a reliable and reproducible way with results. The new tools and techniques we are using at our clinic help me do just that,” he says. “As an ophthalmologist and retina specialist we all use the eye chart to determine a person’s acuity. But that is really a very limited measure of a person’s vision.” In reality the eye chart measures only one of the eight visual pathways from the eye to the brain. There are other tests that more robustly measure vision. He goes on to explain, “for instance, we can quantitatively measure the sensitivity to light of the visual cells in the macula, the area of central good vision. We can map out which regions are more or less

sensitive to light, which in turn helps us monitor the progression of disease and correspondingly, the effects of our treatments.” Another instrument allows Dr. Kaushal to quantitatively measure the contrast sensitivity of the macula. How good is it at separating the black letters on an eye chart from the light background they’re printed on? This is a fundamental function of the retina. Still another tool, much like an EKG for the heart, gives a direct measure of the electrical responses of the retina and optic nerve. These types of cutting-edge diagnostic tools are certainly exciting and impactful. When combined with the latest drugs for retina care—Dr. Kaushal introduced four of the newest drugs to the field of retina health in his clinic—the implications for eye patients are significant… And that is only one component of his practice. THE

The Compass is a state of the art Visual Field Analyzer.

Diagnosys Electrophysiology System This state-of-the-art instrument determines the electrical response from the retina and optic nerve.

SECOND COMPONENT

Dr. Kaushal has a special passion for the second stage in his treatment protocol. “The retina has the largest blood supply per unit volume in the body and is extremely metabolically active. Changes that occur in the body can be transmitted to the retina through the systemic circulation. Indeed, nearly all diseases of the body manifest themselves in the retina,” he says. Part of the doctor’s strategy for developing a treatment for a patient with a retina problem is assessing the patient’s overall health, first. Is there something going on outside the eye that may be causing problems? Is there a deficiency? A chronic disease? A genetic influence

MAIA - Macular Integrity Assessment MAIA represents the latest advance in confocal microperimetry. This technique allows us to measure light sensitivity of the macula.

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Dr. Shalesh Kaushal performing an exam on a patient.

Heidelberg - Spectralis Multi-Modal System This instrument can determine the structure as well as measure the blood flow in the retina and quantitatively determine the debris that collects underneath the retina.

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at work? Dr. Kaushal often reviews the patient’s blood work and recommends additional blood testing himself. As he explains, “We know that at their core, chronic diseases in general and those of the retina are caused by 5-6 important cellular pathways. Our treatment of patients recognizes this. It has evolved into using a combination of pharmaceutical agents along with the thoughtful, evidence-based use of nutraceuticals and supplements. Dr. Kaushal goes on to explain, “The drugs are to rapidly treat the immediate symptoms of the retinal disease while the nutraceuticals and supplements treat the root biochemical causes of the disorder. In this way, we can relieve the acute symptoms rapidly while simultaneously improving the overall health and function of the retina. Such an approach is novel but has produced wonderful results for our patients.” Indeed, Dr. Kaushal was invited both nationally and internationally to share his approach and results for treating retina patients with his peers. THE

THIRD COMPONENT

Clinical trials, perhaps the one stage that appeals most to the scientist in Dr. Kaushal, is the third way he is pushing the leading edge further. “We are involved in a set of novel, first-in-the-world clinical trials,” he says.

For instance, Dr. Kaushal measures blood vessel health to predict, stop, and potentially reverse retinal disorders. What can we learn from dysfunctional blood vessels? The lining cells of blood vessels communicates with the wall of vessel to determine elasticity and how well they dilate. In many chronic diseases these important cells no longer work optimally. Using a non-invasive device, we can measure how well blood vessels dilate at the tip of the finger where there are tiny blood vessels like those in the retina. Separately, we’re doing clinical studies to accurately determine the amount of debris (lipofuscin) in the nourishing cells of the retina. This debris material affects vision, especially in patients with macular degeneration. We are separately testing treatments to reduce and eliminate this debris,” he says. Genomic testing is another area being actively pursued. We examine DNA variations in critical genes associated with retinal diseases and how genetic weaknesses can be overcome with targeted, custom treatment protocols. The test itself is easy to do. The challenge is organizing and analyzing the vast amount of data we get from those studies,” he adds. THE

FOURTH COMPONENT

In addition to all his clinical/surgical practice and research interests, Dr. Kaushal has started a yearly meeting entitled, “Can Chronic Diseases be Reversed?” “It’s something that my wife and I both feel passionately about. Diseases like Alzheimer’s, glaucoma, macular degeneration, hypertension, coronary artery disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoarthritis, and others are rising exponentially in the U.S. and worldwide. This meeting is dedicated to creating understanding and awareness of treatments that can help mitigate these disorders and in some instances reverse them. The Kaushals invite world-renowned clinicians and scientists from the premier medical and research institutes including places like Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Duke, NIH, UCLA, Cleveland Clinic to name a few.


For more information on the event “Can Chronic Diseases be Reversed?”, visit reversalchronicdiseases.com

“BRILLIANT CLINICIANS AND SCIENTISTS WILL COME TOGETHER TO DISCUSS THE LATEST RESEARCH AND TREATMENTS FOR CHRONIC DISEASES.” —DR . SHALESH K AUSHAL

“February 14-15, 2020, will be our fourth one at Innisbrook Golf Resort. We again have outstanding clinicians and scientists in different areas of medicine and basic research. We want both health-care professionals and the curious lay person to learn from these talented people. The previous attendees have really enjoyed listening and interacting with the speakers. We purposely keep the registration fee to a minimum so that’s not a barrier for people to participate,” he says.

Why does he do it? What keeps Dr. Shalesh Kaushal in the clinic, treating patients, and designing new tests and dividing his time between so many worthy projects? “I have been blessed to receive so much in my life and I want to give back to my patients and society,” he says. It is something I learned from my parents and my mentors. The goal is to make as large and positive dent in the universe by helping as many people as possible!”

COMPREHENSIVE RETINA CONSULTANTS The Villages: 352.775.1010 or 352.775.0852 1501 N US Hwy 441 Bldg 1100 Ste. 1106

Artwork from Dr. Kaushal’s foreign travels adorns multiple locations.

Nutritional supplements Available at Comprehensive Retina Consultants.

Inverness: 352.794.1500 203 S Seminole Ave. Sumterville: 352.793.2512 24050 County Road 526 E. Ocala: (Associated Comprehensive EyeCare) 352.734.8404 2441 E Fort King Street Ste. 100 comprehensiveretinaconsultants.com

Globechek™ Comprehensive Retina Consultants is collaborating with Globechek for comprehensive automated ocular screening for diabetes, macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts.


An Elegant Twist on Chops

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agenda

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! PLAN YOUR TRIP! BE SEEN IN LAKE AND SUMTER! | EVENTS. TRAVEL. PEOPLE.

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THE TO-DO LIST What’s happening this month.

LOCAL TALENT Marjorie Dodrill brings so much passion into her paintings.

NEAR & FAR Vancouver: Explore one of the world’s greenest cities.

SOCIAL SPOTLIGHT Enjoy Christmas season in Lake and Sumter counties.

HI, SOCIETY! See who is stepping out at events around town.


THE TO-DO LIST

nov. 2019

FESTIVAL

Hear ye, hear ye! Delightful damsels, courtly knights and bawdy wenches return for the annual Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Faire, featuring feasts, entertainment and crafts. It’s good, clean fun—and some adult fare—for a good cause: proceeds support teachers and students of Lake County Schools. Nov. 1-3, 9-10 @ various times / 12835 County Landfill Road, Tavares / lakerenfaire.com

NOV

1

FESTIVAL

A trip to another time

NOV

16

One man’s “retro” is another man’s “history.” Florida Heritage Day at Dade Battlefield Historic State Park will include a living history timeline, living history demonstrations, Florida music, folk crafts, and pioneer games and hands-on activities for children. Nov. 16 @ 9am-4pm / 7200 Battlefield Parkway, Bushnell / floridastateparks.org

PERFO RMAN CE

BEATLEMANIA REVISITED Get ready to scream your head off and catch fainting girls. “1964: The Tribute” is an authentic re-creation of a Beatles concert as it was performed in 1964. Four musicians take on the personas of John, Paul, George and Ringo to perform “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and other big hits. Nov. 2 @ 7:30pm / Clermont Performing Arts Center / 3700 S. Highway 27 / clermontperformingarts.com NOV

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nov.

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

11/1-3, 8-10 @ various times “THE BUTLER DID IT” Living Drama Theater, 431 Plaza Drive, Eustis

11/7 @ 7:30pm “LEGENDS & HEROES” FLORIDA LAKES SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Thursday: Epiphany Celebration Anglican Church, 1724 S. Bay St., Eustis

11/8 @ 7:30pm “LEGENDS & HEROES” FLORIDA LAKES SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Friday: Family Christian Center, 2500 S. Highway 27, Clermont

11/8 @ 5&8pm VENTRILOQUIST TERRY FATOR The Sharon, 1051 Main St., The Villages

11/9 @ 3&8pm “LETTERS HOME” Clermont Performing Arts Center, 3700 S. Highway 27 FESTIVAL

11/14 @ 7pm BLUE NOTE RECORDS 80TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION The Sharon, 1051 Main St., The Villages

Just a wee bit Scottish NOV

11/15-12/15 @ various times “THE SOUND OF MUSIC” Sonnentag Theatre at the IceHouse, 1100 N. Unser St., Mount Dora

Enjoy Scottish bands and musicians performing at the seventh annual Scottish Highland Festival, as well as a Saturday afternoon of Highland Games. You don’t need to be Scottish to attend, but it helps.

11/22-12/25 @ various times “A CHRISTMAS CAROL” Bay Street Players, State Theatre, 109 N. Bay St., Eustis

15-16 Nov. 15-16 @ 10am-5pm / Gilbert Park / 310 S. Tremain St., Mount Dora / mountdoraevents.com

ONGOI NG EV ENTS Events are subject to change and cancellation.

EVERY MON

EVERY TUE

EVERY SAT

1ST MON

3RD WED

Webster’s Farmer’s Market 6am2pm, 524 North Market Blvd., Webster

Lady Lake Farmer’s Market 9am1pm, Lady Lake Log Cabin, 106 S. U.S. Hwy. 441/27

Brownwood Farmer’s Market 9am-1pm, 2726 Brownwood Blvd., Wildwood

Senior Shakedown 1-3pm, Tavares Civic Center, 100 E. Caroline St.

PAWS Reading Dogs W.T. Bland Library, Mount Dora.

3RD THU

Mount Dora Food Trucks downtown Mount Dora.

1ST FRI

Street Party Downtown Eustis, 6-10pm

Night Market 5th and Magnolia Streets, Leesburg, 5-8pm

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THE TO-DO LIST

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

11/6 @ 7:30pm

11/10 @ 7:30pm

11/23 @ 7pm

JEFF WHITFIELD Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

DEFENDERS OF DAISIES Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

MAIDEN VOYAGE BAND American Legion Post 35, Mount Dora

11/7 @ 7pm GREG PANDO Mojo Grill and Catering, Belleview

11/14 @ 1:30pm

11/8 @ 10am

11/14 @ 7pm

GYPSY ELISE AND THE ROYAL BLUES Lakeridge Winery, Clermont

GREG PANDO Mojo Grill and Catering, Belleview

11/8 @ 9pm

JUSTIN HEET Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

JOE VAN Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

TRACKSIDE BAND Good Time Bar and Grill, Belleview NOV

11/15 @ 9pm BAR FLY Oasis Saloon, Sorrento

11/8 @ 9pm

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MAD HADDER BAND Frank’s Place, Leesburg

FESTIVAL

GET A JUMP ON HOLIDAY SHOPPING

11/9 @ 1pm

Let’s hope the gifts are as precious as the name of the event: the Candy Cane Lane Craft and Gift Show is a revamped version of the former Clermont Art Festival with an emphasis on Christmas items. Shop till you drop.

JIMMY HUNTER Lake Harris Hideaway, Tavares

11/9 @ 7pm MACSILVER’S IRISH PIRATES South Lake Elks Lodge, Clermont

11/9 @ 7:30pm

Nov. 16 @ 10am-5p downtown Clermont / clermontdowntownpartnership.com

MARK AND CLARK DUELING PIANOS Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale

11/9 @ 9pm

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

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Acoustic Music Hear local musicians free from 7-9pm at Leesburg Center for the Arts, 429 W. Magnolia St.

Open House 6-8pm Mount Dora History Museum, 450 Royellou Lane

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11/16 @ 7:30pm JANIE FRICKE Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale

11/16 @ 8pm GROOVE INFUSION Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

11/16 @ 9pm BAR FLY Oasis Saloon, Sorrento

11/17 @ 1pm MAIDEN VOYAGE BAND Lake Harris Hideaway, Tavares

11/17 @ 1:30pm DONNIE LEE Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

TRACKSIDE BAND Good Time Bar and Grill, Belleview

11/21 @ 7pm

11/10 @ 1:30pm

11/22 @ 7pm

GREG PANDO Mojo Grill and Catering, Belleview

DANGEROUS DAVE MERRILL Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

2ND FRI

Art in the Alley Features artists and performers on the sidewalks of downtown Mount Dora, 6-8pm

11/15 @ 8pm

GREG PANDO Mojo Grill and Catering, Belleview

1ST SAT

Movie in the Park Free family movie starts at dusk in Donnelly Park, downtown Mount Dora.

Wine Tasting Stroll 6-8pm, Starts at Maggie’s Attic on Alexander Street and 4th Avenue.

2ND SAT

Food Truck N Flick Night Entertainment, Leesburg Towne Square.

11/23 @ 7:30pm JOHNNY RODRIGUEZ Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale

11/23 @ 8pm LONIE CARTER Crossroads 44, Eustis

11/24 @ 1:30pm DENNIS GALLO Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

11/25 @ 2pm NILE Wooton Park, Tavares

11/25 @ 7pm THE VILLAGES PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA The Sharon, The Villages

11/29 @ 7pm GREG PANDO Mojo Grill and Catering, Belleview

11/29 @ 8pm THE ACCUZED Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

11/30 @ 7pm MAD HADDER BAND Magical Meat Boutique, Mount Dora

11/30 @ 8pm SHADOW CABIN Ruby Street Grille, Tavares

12/2 @ 5pm MARCILLE WALLIS AND FRIENDS Spanish Springs Town Square, The Villages

4TH SAT

Classic Car Cruise-In downtown Eustis.


BOOK CLUB

‘Victoria’s Voice’ By David and Jackie Siegel. A teen’s diary tells a harrowing tale of drug addiction. STORY: VICTORIA SCHLABIG

ictoria Siegel battled addiction to drugs and alcohol for years. Her parents, David and Jackie, eventually decided to publish their daughter’s journal firsthand account of her struggle, which she documented in a journal. David and Jackie begin the book with their thoughts on their daughter’s life cut too short, but the bulk of the book is excerpts copied straight from Victoria’s diary. Anyone who is struggling or has struggled with drug addiction in the past should read this book. “Victoria’s Voice” is an eye-opener to the drug epidemic going on in the United States. It is now easier than ever for

teenagers to gain access to prescription pills and abuse them. In August 2012, Victoria is just 15 years old at the beginning of her journal, and she writes up until the day she dies of an overdose at 18. In the beginning, Victoria mainly talks about school, her friends, getting in trouble—just normal teenager things. She sounds like a positive, happy teen. She often doodles and writes quotes and sayings that inspire her. As the journal progresses, however, Victoria writes erratically. She suffers from depression, anorexia, being bullied at school and drug addiction. She has mood swings that are very apparent in her writing. Sometimes she’s happy, excitedly writing about plans that she and her friends have, but other times she writes about having lost someone she loves and staying home taking pills and drinking herself to sleep. Her anorexia gets so bad that at one point, she refuses to eat anything for days

and even weeks. Her mother takes her to therapy for the depression, and she is prescribed drugs that are intended to help panic attacks and depression, but they only feed her addiction. At one point, Victoria takes so much Xanax that she thinks she might overdose and spends the night on her mother’s floor. The next morning, Victoria decides she wants help and goes to rehab. About a week after returning from rehab, however, she overdoses and dies. After his daughter’s death, David Siegel made it his mission to raise awareness of the drug epidemic and the tragic consequences that come from experimentation. The Siegels started the Victoria’s Voice Foundation in their daughter’s honor “to save lives so we don’t lose our future generations to drug abuse and addiction.” Raising awareness of how serious drug addiction can be and how common it actually is may be the only way we can prevent more tragedies like Victoria’s from happening.

Ready to delve into this book?

This highly acclaimed book can be found at amazon.com and goodreads.com

VICTORIA SCHLABIG

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LOCAL TALENT

PEO PLE

Passionate painter Florals, Florida waterways and mountains are favorites of artist Marjorie Dodrill. STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL

≈ PHOTO: ANTHONY RAO

he walls of artist Marjorie Dodrill’s Villages home resemble an art gallery, and it’s easy to be drawn to the intricate detail in her scenic paintings and the rich colors in her floral pieces. She also has 15 paintings exhibited at the Ancient Olive Gourmet and Art Gallery, 1111 Canal St., The Villages, where Marjorie is the resident artist. Her paintings provide an additional inviting ambience inside the shop filled with artisan olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and bath and beauty items. Marjorie recalls her love for art was piqued at California State University, where the early childhood education graduate also took a few art classes. Her interest blossomed while touring European art galleries. Marjorie and her Air Force husband, Reg, and their two young children lived in England from 1966 to 1970. She recalls being mesmerized seeing famous Dutch masters’ works at The Hague in Holland. She also was thrilled in Paris touring the Louvre, the world’s largest art museum. “When we traveled to the Louvre, I remember my husband had our daughter on his shoulders as we walked through the galleries,” Marjorie says. “Having the opportunity to see all the masters’ works was so special.” Throughout her 29 years of teaching young children, Marjorie incorporated art appreciation in her classes. She also honed her art skills in workshops and art classes, and devoted time to paint during summer breaks and Christmas vacations. “There is something magical about painting. It’s an escape from time,” Marjorie says. “Three or four hours goes by because you’re so engrossed in what you’re doing. You become in tune to the painting.” After retiring from teaching 20 years ago and living out West, she won prizes in national and regional art shows and was invited to exhibit her works in several California galleries. “I had a solo show at the California State Capitol,” she says, adding her paintings were displayed at the California Museum in Sacramento and her florals have been featured on California magazine covers. Marjorie and her husband moved two years ago to The Villages, where she’s pleased to be doing Florida landscapes and continuing her passion for painting.

IF YOU GO

What: Open house with the artist. When: 2-5pm Nov. 16. Where: Ancient Olive Gourmet and Art Gallery, 1111 Canal St., The Villages.

Do you have a special talent?

Comment on this article or share ideas for new stories by emailing theresa@akersmediagroup.com.

THERESA CAMPBELL


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NEAR & FAR

TR AVEL

Verdant Vancouver If your Alaskan cruise itinerary includes Vancouver, spend a few days exploring one of the world’s greenest cities. STORY: MARY ANN DESANTIS

≈ PHOTOS: MARY ANN AND TONY DESANTIS AND

PROVIDED BY TOURISM VANCOUVER, FAIRMONT WATERFRONT

ancouver, British Columbia, is the port city where some cruise lines—including Holland, Disney and Celebrity—either originate or finish their Alaskan itineraries. Unfortunately, many ship passengers go to and from the airport with only a passing glance at Vancouver. If you are in the planning stages for a 2020 cruise to Alaska, consider adding some time to visit this vibrant city on Canada’s Pacific Coast. Chances are you will want to return for a longer visit, because it’s one of the most picturesque cities on the North American continent as well as a naturelover’s paradise.

GREENER THAN GREEN When I heard that Vancouver was the second-greenest city in the world (behind Oslo, Norway), I assumed it was because of the many green spaces, including more

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than 200 parks and numerous rooftop gardens. The largest of those green spaces is the mammoth Stanley Park, which is the first site visitors notice whether arriving by land, air or sea. Cathedral-like Douglas firs dominate the hills on the west side of the iconic Lions Gate Bridge, which connects Stanley Park to North Vancouver. Being green extends beyond nature for Vancouverites. The city is world-renowned for its commitment to the environment, according to Christies International Real Estate, which ranked the world’s greenest cities just prior to Earth Day 2019. “It’s a city where nature is at the forefront of everything,” says Amanda Gregory-Jones, who guided me through the rooftop garden at the Fairmont Waterfront, where she is the marketing coordinator. “Vancouver hopes to take the number one spot as the world’s greenest city next year.” Of course, being on the Pacific Ocean and at the foot of the mountains gives Vancouver a leg up when it comes to clean air, but its use of renewable energies

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NEAR & FAR

and hydropower means it has even less pollution than similar-size cities. If you are going to spend only a day or two in Vancouver, the most convenient area to stay is near the Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal, located downtown near restaurants, shopping, attractions and the historic Gastown district. You can walk, ride the electric trolley bus that began in 1948 or catch the newer Skytrain at Waterfront Station. Best of all, you can walk or bike on the almost 14-mile-long seawall that begins near the cruise terminal.

D E E P I N S I D E T H E PA R K Founded in September 1888, Stanley Park is a free city park that is open 24 hours a day. At 1,001 acres, the park is one-fifth larger than New York City’s Central Park and is one of the largest urban green spaces on the North American continent. A 5.5-mile

Rooftop Bee Houses Rooftop Bee Houses

Stanley Park

portion of Vancouver’s seawall circles the park and is a favorite hangout for walkers, joggers and bicyclists. The dramatic forest and ocean views, especially from the seawall perimeter, created my most memorable Vancouver scenes. Walk the entire circle in two-to-three hours or cycle around it in about an hour. But you may want to stop along the way and visit the Vancouver Aquarium, located in the heart of the park and home to more than 50,000 creatures. Trekking around the seawall loop in Stanley Park is a must-do experience, but the real magic happens deep inside the park. The paths and trails go in different directions, revealing sections of the park that most tourists do not see unless they book a special-interest Talaysay Tour. “My goal is to tell stories, to get you to walk through the forest and know what you are looking at,” says Tyrone Mayes, my guide for the Talking Trees tour organized by Talaysay. The tour company is the brainchild of Candace Campo, an anthropologist and a member of the Shíshálh (Sechelt) First Nation, the indigenous people of southern British Columbia. All of the tour guides, also called cultural ambassadors, are members of First Nation tribes. They share authentic stories and facts about the native peoples who first inhabited the area.

ABUZZ ON THE ROOFTOPS As part of its goal to be one of the world’s cleanest cities, Vancouver encourages urban beekeeping and it’s not unusual to find beehives on many downtown buildings. The rooftop apiary at the Fairmont Waterfront is open to the public for free tours at 2pm from May through September. In partnership with Hives for Humanity, the luxury hotel strives to educate travelers about the critical role bees play in the ecosystem. Tucked away from the pool area, the Fairmont’s apiary contains 250,000 bees that produce more than 200 pounds of honey annually, much of which is sold onsite or used in the restaurant and bar. The rooftop garden also supplies herbs and some vegetables for the hotel.


STA N L EY PA R K

Founded in September

Granville Island Vancouver Seawall

the park is one-fifth larger than New York City’s Central Park at

Coal Harbour

A W H I R LW I N D T O U R By staying at the Fairmont Waterfront across the street from the cruise terminal, my husband and I were able to walk to the Gastown district, the town’s original site. Lined with shops and restaurants, Gastown’s biggest draw is the famous steam clock where crowds gather to watch the steam-tooting whistle every 15 minutes. Vancouver is one of Canada’s craft beer capitals, and delicious local brews are available in all of the Gastown eateries. The fastest way to get to Granville Island, site of Vancouver’s largest public market, is by the 12-seat ferries operated by False Creek Ferries. Sitting low in the water, the mini-ferries are a bit quirky and feel almost like an amusement park ride. Granville Island is a good place to visit early in your trip if you are staying at an Airbnb and will need snacks. Otherwise, you’ll find a variety of restaurants, including Granville Island Brewing where a craft beer and gourmet burger keep you going for more sightseeing. And sightseeing can go on for days in Vancouver. Other can’t-miss attractions include the Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Chinatown and the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver. If rushing around to see everything is not your idea of fun, though, it’s OK just to take a deep breath of clean air and enjoy Vancouver’s beauty.

1888

Coal Harbour

1,001 acres.

Fairmont Waterfront

Mary Ann DeSantis is a freelance writer, a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and a fellow of the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, Napa Valley. Contact her at maryann@akersmediagroup.com.

MARY ANN DESANTIS

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SOCIAL SPOTLIGHT

EVENTS

Catch the holiday spirit In Lake and Sumter counties, it’s beginning to light up a lot like Christmas.

Light Up Mount Dora

Photo: Fred Lopez

STORY: JAMES COMBS h


he holidays are here, and we know what that means. People in jolly moods can drive around neighborhoods and see roofs lined with winking bulbs, large inflatable Santas in the front yard and warm, glowing lights shining on nativity scenes. Of course, it’s not just homeowners who honor the true spirit of Christmas. City officials and event organizers do a pretty good job, too. And that will be evident in late November when towns across Lake and Sumter counties will start glowing. From the beautifully manicured Venetian Gardens in Leesburg to the mix of historic landmarks and waterfront properties in Eustis and Mount Dora, these cities will serve up enchanting Christmas experiences that seem right out of a postcard. In addition to light-up ceremonies, parades will attract crowds to watch brightly decorated floats and a cast of colorful Christmas characters.

an artists’ row and festival food and drinks. In addition, children can have their photograph taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will make a special appearance via firetruck.

will be treated to a treelighting ceremony and an old-fashioned Christmas parade through downtown. In addition, the Clermont Arts and Recreation Center will host a carols ceremony.

Nov. 29

Dec. 6

LIGHT UP LEESBURG

WINTERFEST IN THE COURTYARD

Nov. 29

Dec. 6-7

LIGHT UP EUSTIS

LIGHT UP CLERMONT

CHRISTMAS ON THE FLORIDA FRONTIER

Held downtown at Ferran Park, this event features amusement rides, live bands,

Those who travel to Clermont, also known as the “Choice of Champions,”

Held at Dade Battlefield Historic State Park in Bushnell, this event allows

Real snow in Florida? Yep, that’s one of the attractions at this year’s Leesburg Main Street Christmas Stroll. Attendees will also enjoy jugglers, a brass jazz band, live musical performances in Towne Square and photographs with Santa. Be sure to see the lighting of a 24-foot tall musical Christmas tree with dancing lights.

Nov. 30 LIGHT UP MOUNT DORA

There are a million reasons to attend Light Up Mount Dora. Actually, there’s 2 million. Yes, 2 million sparkling lights will beautifully illuminate Donnelly Park and downtown Mount Dora. Among the buildings to be lit up are City Hall, the Mount Dora Boating Center and Marina and the Mount Dora Lighthouse. Live dancing and music also will entertain the crowd.

Wildwood celebrates the holiday season with this fun event held at City Hall. Enjoy a tree lighting, inflatables, photographs with Santa and food trucks. A Winter Village will be set up for artists and crafters to display and sell their wares.

Dec. 6 MOUNT DORA CHRISTMAS WALK

Spotting a native-born Floridian is as rare as spotting snow in Florida. At this event, you might spot both. For Floridians who have never enjoyed a white Christmas, this event offers them an opportunity to go snow sledding. Other highlights include live music, an appearance by Santa and shopping in Mount Dora’s quaint stores.

Dec. 7

visitors to relive a bygone era while making crafts, visiting period reenactors, singing carols and sampling holiday frontier treats.

Dec. 7 LEESBURG CHRISTMAS PARADE

During this three-hour parade, spectators line the streets of downtown Leesburg to watch marching bands, twirlers, dance groups and illuminated floats.

Dec. 9 UMATILLA CRACKER CHRISTMAS PARADE AND CELEBRATION

Umatilla may be small, but it goes big for this event, which is in its 42nd year. Held at Cadwell Park, this festival kicks off with a dog jog and parade. Other activities throughout the day include a Christmas parade, live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, and children’s activities.

Dec. 13-14 HOWEY CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL

Visitors can enjoy the smalltown charm of Howey-in-theHills while reveling in the Christmas spirit. The two-day event, which is staged on Lakeshore Drive, features a parade, quilt displays and a puppy adoption.

Want to see your event in Social Spotlight? Contact us at least three months in advance and provide all the details to james@akersmediagroup.com.

JAMES COMBS

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Leesburg Regional Medical Center Seeks to Promote Safer Sleep for Infants PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

Nadine Walker, Director Of Maternal Child Health

hrough interactions with new parents and newborn caregivers, Leesburg Regional Medical Center’s (LRMC) Life Center for Women offers resources and guidelines about infant safe sleep practices. In November of 2017, LRMC partnered with Cribs for Kids® and began the Safe Sleep Initiative, earning LRMC a Gold Certified Safe Sleep Champion designation. This highestlevel certification means the staff goes above and beyond in the pursuit of reducing sleep-related deaths by promoting practices and education for infant sleep safety. “Our Safe Sleep Initiative has been an invaluable addition to our Life Center for Women, Labor and Delivery Unit at LRMC,” says Nadine Walker, Director of Maternal Child Health and The Life Center

for Women at LRMC. “We’re really excited to be able to reach and educate the community in a different way than what has ever been done before,” says Nadine. Tragically, nearly 3,500 infants die every year in sleep-related deaths because many parents are not aware of the risks associated with a baby’s sleep environment and how to protect them. LRMC advocates the “Alone on my Back in my Crib” practice which emphasizes placing babies on their backs, while avoiding the use of stuffed animals, plush crib bumpers and blankets in their cribs. Additionally, as an alternative to swaddling babies in receiving blankets after birth, LRMC now uses HALO® SleepSacks, which are much like a wearable blanket that zips or buttons around the torso and legs to provide swaddling comfort for the baby. The Life Center for Women at LRMC recently enhanced the postpartum

rooming-in experience by introducing a new bassinet for all of its newborn babies, the HALO® Bassinet® Swivel Sleeper. This modern, sleek bassinet swivels and goes over the mother’s bed to safely allow a new mom to pick up her baby without bending over. This has proven to be very helpful especially to moms who delivered by cesarean section. The innovative design of the new bassinets helps moms nurture and bond with their babies while enabling safe sleep practices from day one. “With the help of The Leesburg Regional Medical Center Foundation, all babies born at our hospital go home with their own HALO® Sleep Sack in their discharge bag,” Nadine says. “By consistently modeling safe sleep practices in the hospital setting, we subsequently we provide an ample amount of information to encourage a safe environment at home.”

Leesburg Regional Medical Center / 600 E. Dixie Ave., Leesburg / 352.323.5762 / leesburgregional.org


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HI, SOCIETY!

Eric Brown, Amanda Mathieu, and David Earl Lindsey Leggett, Elisse Albury, and Sandra Taylor

Ebo Entsuah and Morgan Pena

Stacey and Lisa Golub

Anthony and Michael Singh with Amalia Rodriguez and Adriana Singh

Alleigh Ennis, Tyler Ennis, McKinley Bryson and Amanda Ennis

SIPS AND SALSA @ HISTORIC DOWNTOWN CLERMONT

Gigi Klemash and Joel Segura

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≈ PHOTOS: ANTHONY RAO.

All things salsa was the attraction for the second annual Sips and Salsa Festival hosted Sept. 14 in Clermont. The event featured a display of cultural cuisine through a variety of exquisite dishes along with live salsa music and dancing. Chihuahua races, a domino tournament and a kid’s zone were some of the familyfriendly activities.

See all the photos for this event at lakeandsumterstyle.com/hisociety

Moasha Avant and Ailet Matos

E 'S WHER ?! M Y P IC


HI, SOCIETY!

Alyssa and Sean Corkrean, with Savannah Amundsen

Kimberly Fox and Tiera Williams

Sine Wallace and Tiffany Whitley

Bryan and Krysta Smith

Marcia Raymond and Rhonda Ehrig

Angie Hughes, Jamie Parker, Becky Parker, and Tracy Belton

U N I T I N G F O R A CAU S E ≈ PHOTOS: ANTHONY RAO. The sixth annual Ladies Legacy Luncheon hosted Oct. 4 at Lake Receptions in Mount Dora drew hundreds of women united to support AdventHealth Waterman’s cancer care services. Lake County native Michele Rigby Assad, former undercover officer in the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s Directorate of Operations, was the keynote speaker, sharing her moving experiences as a trained counterterrorism specialist.

See all the photos for this event at lakeandsumterstyle.com/hisociety

Sophia Peacock and Aaron Coalter

@ LAKE RECEPTIONS

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E 'S WHER ?! M Y P IC


Follow me into the forest for fantasy and fun Lake Idamere-Tavares, FL State Road 19 and C.R. 448, Tavares, FL 32778

Lady of the Lakes

Nov 1-2-3 • Nov 9-10, 2019 10:00a.m. - 5:00p.m.

AT GATE: $17 adult • $10 child EDUCATION DAY: November 1 9:30a.m. - 3:00p.m. $5 at gate for students 352.326.1265

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HI, SOCIETY!

Brianna Hinderer and Josylyn Roberts

Danielle Parker and Sandi Moore

Kyle and Jason Kirkland

Tim Sullivan and Carey Baker

John Christian and Barbara Glatt

I C E S K AT I N G I N L E E S B U R G ! @ LAKE SQUARE MALL ≈ PHOTOS: ANTHONY RAO. Who would have thought ice skating in Florida? Winterland Adventures is the cool, “must-see” new attraction at Lake Square Mall in Leesburg. During the Oct. 10 grand opening, a large crowd was treated to champagne, hors d’oeuvres and an impressive ice-skating show performed by professional champion skater Jean-Louis Lacaille, his wife, Olympian Sarah Abitbol, and other talented skaters.

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See all the photos for this event at lakeandsumterstyle.com/hisociety

Mercedes Perry, Harper Richey, Alexis Blasky, Kamryn Reynolds, Callie Braun

E 'S WHER ?! M Y P IC


NOV 22


HI, SOCIETY!

Mary Johnson and Brandy Smith

Irene O’Malley and Nancy Bennett

Kristi Kay and Justin Higa

Cliff and Cheryl Rumbley

See all the photos for this event at lakeandsumterstyle.com/hisociety

David Lopez, Ann Yager, Dee Johns, Ileanne Buigas, and Bernadette Leware

E 'S WHER ?! M Y P IC

Jerry Durham, Rachel Durham, Samantha Sessa, and Johnny Malik

Brittany and Jay Britton

W I N N I NG B U S I N E S S E S ≈ PHOTOS: DOUGLAS TYLER. The 2019 Tavares Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Gala on Sept. 27 at Lake Receptions in Mount Dora featured dinner, a silent auction and awards presented to A Sign Company, winner in the small-business category; Electrical Works, medium business; Gator Harley Davidson, large business; PCDG Construction, new member business; and 5th Circuit Guardian ad Litem, nonprofit business. @ LAKE RECEPTIONS

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Bridget Fitzpatrick and Meghan Galloway


24th Annual Mistletoe Trot 5K and 10K Race Saturday, December 14, 2019 Lake Sumter State College, 9501 US Hwy 441, Leesburg 8:00 a.m. 10K Run/Walk Begins 8:05 a.m. 5K Run/Walk Begins

This festive event invites you to run or walk around beautiful Silver Lake. The first 400 pre-registered participants will receive an official race t-shirt. Proceeds will benefit the Community Medical Care Center in Leesburg, a non-profit organization. Register at: https://mistletoetrot5k10k.itsyourrace.com

$25

Regular Registration (Oct. 26 – Dec. 11)

$30

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(Race T-Shirt NOT guaranteed)

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HI, SOCIETY!

VIP Staff

Gloria Burchill and Erin Burley Tats Operchuck, Larry Blevins, and Flora Gonzalez

Larry Blevins and Bonnie Waggoner Jackie Nisivoccia, Gail Cassese, and Maddie Dauria

Kim Kyle and Sharon Wymer

Judy Scheibel-Advis and Gail O’Connor

V I P S H OWCA S E @ VILLAGE INSTITUTE OF PLASTIC SURGERY≈ PHOTOS: ANTHONY RAO. The new Village Institute of Plastic Surgery, VIP for short, located at 607 County Road 466A in Fruitland Park, hosted a grand opening and ribbon cutting on Sept. 19 for its newly constructed state-of-the art facility. Formerly known as Mesos for over a decade, VIP features an awardwinning staff of board-certified plastic surgeons and a cosmetic injector.

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See all the photos for this event at lakeandsumterstyle.com/hisociety

Jeannie Balok, Maureen Anderson, and Sheryl Gowins

E 'S WHER ?! M Y P IC


HI, SOCIETY!

Carmen Cullen-Batt, Doug Major, Amber Holcombe, Connie Kolisnyk, Kacey Edmundson, Gail Weidner, Esther Solin, Audra Dick

Connie Kolisnyk, Amber Holcombe, Kacey Edmundson, and Esther Solin

Michelle and John Miles

Rick and Sylvia Tarquine

Brenda Peterson and Peggy Campbell

Sam Mason, LaVonda Harris, Jacy Jensen, Kay Norelia, and Lauren Joseph

SPELLING BEE TIM E ≈ PHOTOS: ANTHONY RAO. The 18th annual Corporate Spelling Bee, a signature event for Take Stock in Children of Lake and Sumter Counties, was hosted Sept. 12 at Lake Receptions in Mount Dora and presented by Publix Super Markets Charities. Proceeds from the event will help financially at-risk youth in Lake and Sumter counties receive an education beyond high school.

@ LAKE RECEPTIONS

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See all the photos for this event at lakeandsumterstyle.com/hisociety

Denise VanZant, Ed Stuart and Deborah Merkle

E 'S WHER ?! M Y P IC


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(l to r): Gregory, Nicole, Michael

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p.

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menu

DISCOVER SOMETHING NEW FOR YOUR KITCHEN, GET THE SCOOP ON EATING OUT, AND TOAST THE WINE! | FOOD. DRINKS. REVIEWS.

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IN THE KITCHEN Bluefin delights patrons with seafood and steaks.

FORK ON THE ROAD Imported from Italy: Roberto’s Ristorante and Pizzeria

SALUTÉ Release of Beaujolais Nouveau is winelovers’ Thanksgiving.

DINING GUIDE Our area restaurants appeal to all tastes.


IN THE KITCHEN

RECIPE

Soaking up the atmosphere Bluefin’s culinary manager delights in cooking seafood and steaks and mingling with guests. STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL

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≈ PHOTOS: ANTHONY RAO

efore the start of a busy workday, Bluefin Grill & Bar’s head culinary manager Ezekiel “Zeke” Springs savors the moment in one of the restaurant’s comfortable and classy dining areas near the elegant cocktail bar where the contemporary décor is striking in colors of turquoise, white and gray. “I just love the atmosphere. It’s a beautiful restaurant and the food is great. We have a really good time. It’s like a family,” Zeke says of the restaurant that opened in September 2018 at Brownwood Paddock Square in The Villages. He has been with Bluefin since November 2018 and manages a team of 25. He was used to a slower, more casual pace at a previous upscale restaurant in South Carolina, so his first days at Bluefin took him by surprise. “I’ve seen us serve 700 people a day,” Zeke says. “The volume here is crazy. Every day, there’s always something new.” Even on a slow day, he adds, Bluefin will average 300 to 500 people. Zeke takes pride in Bluefin’s refined menu where everything is made from scratch, including the special finishing touch of sauces that top some of Bluefin’s seafood dishes and steaks. The sauces include ginger soy reduction, butter braised tomato sauce, lemon butter, mango salsa, dark rum beurre blanc and garlic tarragon butter sauce. Among Bluefin’s popular dishes are scallops, coconut haddock, filet with shrimp, tuna and salmon. Continued on page 92


CHEF F AV E !

THIS IS CHEF ZEKE’S FAVORITE RECIPE.

AHI PEPPER STEAK INGREDIENTS

7

ounces fresh ahi tuna or personal preference

1 -1/2 cups raw wild mushrooms Your favorite mashed potatoes 12

/

cup Alfredo sauce

2

tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon

2

tablespoons course black pepper Salt to taste

2

tablespoons butter

1

cup mushrooms (for topping)

DIRECTIONS

Sauté wild mushrooms with salt, pepper, butter until slightly tender. Set off to side. Coat tuna with black pepper until fully covered. Sear on each side for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side. Slice tuna against the grain into thin slices. Heat up Alfredo sauce and add chopped tarragon. Place potatoes in a mound in a bowl. Then add cooked mushrooms. Put about 3-4 ounces of sauce on top of mushrooms and potatoes. Add sliced tuna on top.

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IN THE KITCHEN

C H E F C H AT

Favorite way to chill out: I am a sports fanatic. I love football, basketball, soccer, baseball. I love watching sports. I’m a big Clemson fan and a Carolina Panthers fan, too. I love going to the beach and hang out with my family. I’m a very easygoing and a relaxed person.

Favorite comfort food: Fried chicken. Anytime I go out of town, I try to find the best fried chicken. I like it to have a little spice, a nice crunch and not be dried out.

Seafood cooking: Seafood is really delicate. There are different ways to cook seafood. Some fish you can grill and some you can’t; things that you can fry or can’t fry. Do a little research. A very firm fish is not good for frying; you want more of a flaky fish. When grilling, you don’t want a flaky fish, you want more of a pan-seared item to hold the flavor. Grilling kind of drains all the juices out, so you want a firm fish that is going to hold the flavor together.

People would be surprised to know: I love to get in a nice workout about five days a week, early in the

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morning, and then I can eat what I want. You don’t see a lot of chefs work out, but I always feel motivated and great when I do.

Thanksgiving with Zeke: I don’t do the traditional Thanksgiving meal. I’ll get some really nice steak and grill steaks for something different. My guilty pleasure: I’m a sucker for a good, warm chocolate chip cookie with milk, and I will kill a dozen at night.

Eat at home or go out: I normally go out to eat after a long day of working. No fast food, except: I try to stay away from fast food, except my go-to is Chick-fil-A, where I get the No. 1 with cheese.

If I could cook for a celebrity, it would be: Peyton Manning, he was my favorite quarterback. I’d also cook for the Rock or any of the celebrity chefs. I have been to Gordon Ramsey’s steakhouse in Vegas, and it was the best steakhouse I’ve been to. I was really impressed.

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“I enjoy coming to work, cooking and feeding people. I feel proud every day when I look at the food we serve. The ahi tuna pepper steak is one of my favorites,” Zeke says. The ahi tuna is enhanced with cracked black pepper and served with roasted wild mushrooms, roasted garlic mash potatoes, creamy garlic tarragon butter sauce and toasted sesame. “Our fish and chips turn out great every time,” Zeke adds, referring to the red beer-battered haddock served with fries and slaw. Cooking seafood dishes has been his gig for “pretty much all of my life,” says the South Carolina native. “My first restaurant I worked in when I was 16 was a nice fine dining restaurant and I was there for seven years.” He began by bussing tables and learning restaurant skills as he worked

CR EOL E SNA PPER INGREDIENTS

1

cup demi glaze

12

/

cup of tomato paste

/

cup red onions diced

14

1

tablespoon garlic

14

/

cup of red peppers diced

14

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jalapeño diced

1

tablespoon Cajun seasoning

1

tablespoon blackened seasoning Skinless filet of snapper

6-8 per plate of 31 / 40 shrimp size

DIRECTIONS

Sauce Warm demi glaze to a nice constituency. Add tomato paste until it’s smooth. Add garlic, red peppers, jalapeños and seasoning. Let it reduce and simmer.

Fish Season fish based on level of spiciness desired. Get nonstick pan hot and use just a little oil. Lay fish down face up. Sear 3-5 minutes each side. Sauté shrimp and then cut up and add to sauce. Ladle sauce over fish. This entrée is best paired with rice.


FORK ON THE ROAD

REVIEW

Imported from Italy Roberto’s Ristorante and Pizzeria brings the old country to The Villages. STORY: VICTORIA SCHLABIG

ince Roberto’s Ristorante and Pizzeria opened in July, it has been averaging about 600 customers a day, even during the first week. The restaurant is an instant hit with residents in The Villages and a great addition to Pinellas Plaza. “It was exciting,” says owner Roberto Manco, whose family emigrated from Naples, Italy. Many relatives have also opened restaurants in The Villages, but Roberto is not competitive. While each restaurant has its own theme and spin on their menus, all of them remain true to their Italian roots.

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≈ PHOTOS: ANTHONY RAO

“It’s all family, and it’s great … I love to see everyone succeed,” he says. Since he was a little boy, Roberto knew he wanted to become a chef. At just 13 years old, he started culinary school in Italy. After graduation and two years of working in a restaurant for experience, he had the opportunity to work in Naples at Bertolini Hall, “a very fancy and amazing restaurant,” he says. It’s a five-star catering service and venue that hosts various events, including weddings and political meetings. “It was an amazing opportunity to learn even more technique,” says Roberto, who completed his five-year culinary degree at Bertolini Hall and then decided to move to the United States, where he felt welcomed by

many. “I really enjoy cooking and (to) share my passion of cooking in The Villages.” Roberto takes pride in many guests calling his cuisine “the best food in The Villages.” After serving as the executive chef at his brother’s restaurant, Giovanni’s, for more than a decade, he’s happy with the decision to finally open his own place. Everything at Roberto’s is made from scratch—the pizza dough and sauces being at the top of the list—and the homemade touch truly shows in the meals. The first item on every table is an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dipping sauce, which is not stingy with garlic and, much like everything else served at a


recent lunch, is very fresh and flavorful. The veggie pizza has fresh, crisp veggies, including peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and onion, on top of mozzarella and an aromatic tomato sauce. The bruschetta is light and crisp on airy, freshly baked Italian bread that also is made in the restaurant. Roberto sometimes even has professional cheese makers come in to make fresh mozzarella. The calamari appetizer has a crispy, flaky coating, and the squid is tender inside and served with homemade marinara. The hearty eggplant parmesan is covered in melted mozzarella cheese, lying on a bed

of perfectly cooked al dente linguine. The most popular menu item is Penne Roberto, which features shrimp sautéed in garlic and olive oil, cherry tomatoes and broccoli, all tossed with homemade penne pasta and finished with mozzarella on top. Another perk that sets Roberto’s apart from other Italian restaurants in the area are the imported desserts, including a decadent chocolate cake, limoncello flutes and a Monterosa cake that is filled with creamy ricotta and mascarpone cheeses, and topped with strawberries. Roberto’s is the only restaurant in the area that offers a highly popular ricotta

and pistachio cream cake, which is topped with crushed pistachios and dusted with powdered sugar. The restaurant makes tiramisu and cannolis fresh in-house, and all of the wines are imported. The care and passion Roberto and his staff put into everything they prepare keep diners coming back. Unlike some children with fantasies of becoming an astronaut or a princess, Roberto stayed true to his childhood dream. “I’m so excited that my dream has become true after working hard for so many years,” he says.

Roberto’s Ristorante and Pizzeria

2468 Burnsed Blvd., Wildwood / 352.626.1059 / facebook.com/robertosristorantevillages Hours: 11am-9pm Monday-Saturday, 4-8pm Sunday / Price range: $6-$20

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SALUTÉ

D RINK

Countdown to Beaujolais Day Just in time for Thanksgiving, the new vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau will be released Nov. 21. STORY: MARY ANN DESANTIS

n the United States, the fourth Thursday of November is a big day for Americans, but it is the third Thursday that the French celebrate with fireworks, music and more than 120 Beaujolais Nouveau-related festivals. At 12:01am, just weeks after the grapes are harvested, the wine is released—always on the third Thursday by French Law. Beaujolais Nouveau is the first wine of the season and is always considered a festive wine, even in America. Although serious wine snobs often turn up their noses at Beaujolais Nouveau, the wines are light and easy-drinking, often showing up at holiday parties. Chances are you will even receive a bottle for

Christmas. The $8-$10 bottles and colorful labels beckon buyers who are trying to find a budget-friendly wine gift. The most important thing to remember is Beaujolais Nouveau is meant to be consumed within weeks. Simply put, it’s not a wine to save for Christmas 2020—or even next summer. In fact, wines that were released on Beaujolais Day should be drunk before next May. You may be able to still drink a 2018 vintage, but the wine won’t have the same flavors as it did when released. Anything older could be vinegar by now. Made from 100 percent Gamay grapes, Beaujolais Nouveau is called vin primeur, or first wine. The grapes are handpicked in France’s Beaujolais area of the Bourgogne/Burgundy region. The wines are fermented, bottled and available to

retailers in a matter of weeks after the grapes are picked. Some California wineries label their wines “Gamay Beaujolais,” but it is not the same grape variety as France’s, and the taste is much different. Beaujolais Nouveau wines are young, meaning they haven’t been aged. Their easy drinkability comes from a winemaking process called carbonic maceration, or whole berry fermentation. The technique allows the fresh, fruity quality of the wine to be preserved, without extracting bitter tannins from the grape skins. In addition to giving winemakers a nice cash flow immediately following harvest, the “new” wines are a preview of the quality of the vintage. Wine drinkers also get a taste of the style that winemakers will produce in their regular


Beaujolais releases the following spring. And that brings us to Beaujolais wines that can be cellared for longer than six months. “People who are familiar with only Beaujolais Nouveau are surprised and sometimes confused when they see a Beaujolais-Villages or a Cru Beaujolais,” says wine consultant Heather Hitson. “They think all Beaujolais is the same, but it’s not.” BEAUJOLAIS-VILLAGES For slightly more money, Beaujolais-Villages is the next quality level for Beaujolais wines. In the Burgundy region, there are 35 villages that consistently produce better wines. Most BeaujolaisVillages are blends of wines from these towns or villages, hence the reason that no particular name is included on the label. Typically, BeaujolaisVillages can be stored between one and three years. Last year, I tasted a 2014 Jadot Beaujolais-Villages that was smooth yet had slightly

more body than a 2018 Nouveau. The Beaujolais-Villages can be cellared for a couple of years, especially if it’s a good vintage, as 2014 was. If the vintage year is highly rated, you can cellar the wine a little longer. Both Beaujolais Nouveau and Beaujolais-Villages should be served slightly chilled, which brings out the fruit and the acidity. CRU BEAUJOLAIS The crème de la crème of French Beaujolais is a Cru, which is named for the village that produces it. Beaujolais wines from these 10 areas are considered Crus: Brouilly,

THE S E GRAP

GAMAY Gamay is a purple-colored grape variety used to make red wines, most notably in France’s Beaujolais region and in the Loire Valley. Highly aciditic, the grapes produce light-bodied and fruity wines. The grape was first mentioned in the 15th century.

TAST I NG NOT E S DEFINED

VINTAGE

Chénas, Chiroubles, Côte de Brouilly, Fleurie, Julienas, Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent, Régnié and Saint-Amour. Interestingly, grapes grown in these villages cannot be used to make Beaujolais Nouveau. Crus are much more complex with more fruit and tannins. Some can be held for years depending on the quality and vintage. They are often compared to an expensive Côte du Rhone in taste. Cru Beaujolais is considered the quintessential food wine, which is not surprising since the region is known for its wonderful cuisine. One of the classic desserts of the area is simply fresh peaches, topped with black currants and drenched in chilled Beaujolais. The only problem you may have with Cru Beaujolais is finding it. I had to order a bottle online because I was unable to locate a bottle at local wine retailers. My Cru

Mary Ann DeSantis has written for Lake & Sumter Style since 2006. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and a fellow of the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, Napa Valley. Her travel and wine articles have won several first-place awards from the Florida Press Club. Contact her at maryann@akersmediagroup.com

The year that grapes were grown is the vintage. For vintage-dated wines made in the U.S., 95 percent of the wine must come from grapes that were grown and picked in the stated calendar year. In the Southern Hemisphere, where the grapes may grow in the year preceding a February or March harvest, the vintage date refers to the year of harvest. In France’s Beaujolais region, the 2015 vintage is considered close to perfection for Cru Beaujolais wines, according to beaujolais.com Source: winespectator.com/glossary

du Beaujolais Brouilly ($24) was well worth the wait. The best way to learn the differences among the Beaujolais wines is to have a side-by-side tasting. After tasting the Beaujolais-Villages and a Cru, you, too, may become a wine snob the next time someone offers you a Beaujolais Nouveau.

MARY ANN DESANTIS

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DINING GUIDE

dine

OUT Whatever your favorite dish, you can find a great place that serves it in this area. Check out what's nearby or take a little drive to a new place! Denotes locations where you can find Lake & Sumter Style

A S TAT U L A Race Car Diner 25641 Monroe St. 352.253.6940 ASTOR Blackwater Inn Williams Landing 55716 Front St. 352.759.3802 Castaways Restaurant 23525 US SR 40 352.759.2213 Sparky’s Place Restaurant 24646 SR 40 352.759.3551 William’s Landing 55716 Front St. 352.759.2802 BUSHNELL Chuck’s Odd Cuples Café 117 W Belt Ave 352.568.0408 Hong Kong Restaurant 2229 W CR 48 (352) 568-8888 Howie’s Family Restaurant 840 N. Main St. 352.793.8582

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TJ’s Family Restaurant 412 W. Belt Ave 352.793.8877

Friar Tuck 16640 Cagan Crossings Blvd. 352.404.6818

CLERMONT

G’s NY Pizza 12346 Roper Blvd. 352.243.8900

801 City Grille 801 Montrose St. 352.394.6911 Akina Sushi Bar & Asian Fusion Bistro 4300 S. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.243.8988 Calabria Ristorante 13900 CR 455 407.656.5144 Cheeser’s Palace Café 707 W. Montrose St. 352.404.9431 Corelli Italian Restaurant 1042 E. Hwy. 50 352.989.5924 Devenney’s Irish Pub 16909 High Grove Blvd. 352.432.3925 El Cerro Restaurant 811 W. Hwy. 50 352.241.9884 Flippers Pizzeria 2523 S. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.242.2214

Green Garden 1790 E. Hwy. 50 352.243.2077 Guru Restaurant 2400 S. Hwy. 27 352.241.9884 Legends Grille & Tavern 1700 Legendary Blvd. 352.243.1118 Lilly’s on the Lake 846 W. Osceola St. 352.708.6565 Napolis Pizzeria 556 S. U.S. Hwy. 27 352.243.7500 Robata Japanese Steak House & Sushi Bar 1500 Oakley Seaver Dr. 352.404.9688 Root and Branch Bistro and Bar 1200 Seaver Dr. 352.708.4529 Sanctuary Ridge Bar & Grille 2601 Diamond Club Road 352.243.0411

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Sarah’s Greek Cuisine & More 16640 Cagan Crossings Blvd., Ste. 305 352.404.8031 The Crooked Spoon Gastropub 200 Citrus Tower Blvd. 352.404.4808 Troy’s Cuban & Deli 1200 Oakley Seaver Dr. 352.241.4295 Uncle Kenny’s BBQ 157 Hwy. 27 352.394.1225 EUSTIS 1884 Restaurant & Bar 12 East Magnolia Ave. 1.800.856.1884 Combat Café 1602 N. Hwy. 19 352.483.0250 Haystax Restaurant 15439 Hwy. 441 352.489.0510 Jeannie’s Place 209 E. Gottsche Ave. 352.359.0027 Kiku Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar 15211 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.483.8288

King’s Taste Bar-B-Que 503 Palmetto St. 352.589.0404 LaCabana Mexican Bar and Grill 2060 S. Bay St. 352.357.4600

Stavro’s 3223 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.315.0028 The Rose Plantation 200 Rose Ave., Fruitland Park 352.805.4340

Nalan Sultan Mediterranean Grill 1 N. Eustis St. 352.357.4444

G R OV E L A N D

NightOwl Caribbean Restaurant 929 S. Bay St. 352.589.0256

Ikaho Sushi Japanese 7965 SR 50, #900 352.557.8988

Stavro’s & Sons of Eustis 2100 W. CR 44 352.589.9100 Taki’s Pizza House 2824 S. Bay St. 352.357.0022 Thai Sushi America 925 N. Bay St. 352.357.1949 The Crazy Gator 402 N. Bay St. 352.589.5885 The 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

Coyote Rojo 214 W. Broad St. 352.557.8999

James Barbeque 262 W. Orange St. 352.557.4050 Lil Anthony’s Pizza 7965 SR 50 352.429.7499

Cousin Vinnie’s Family Sports Restaurant 10700 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.253.2442 Dance’s BBQ 1707 South Street 352.801.8885 Frank’s Place 201 N. 1st St. 352.323.1989

God Café 300 W. Main St. 352.801.7447

JB Boondocks Bar & Grill 704 S. Lakeshore Blvd. 352.324.3600 La Hacienda Restaurant 10400 CR 48 352.324.3910 Nicker’s Clubhouse Restaurant 10400 CR 48 352.324.2718 L A DY L A K E Bamboo Bistro 700 Hwy. 441 352.750.9998

352.750.3335

Rae Rae’s Restaurant 2468 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.323.1595

Chesapeake Bay Grill 4467 Arlington Ridge Blvd. 352.315.0066

H OW EY- I N THE -HILLS

Fruitland Park Café 3180 US Hwy. 441/27 352.435.4575

NY Deli N Diner 3325 U.S. Hwy. 441 352.365.0051

Cedar River Seafood 8609 S. U.S. Hwy. 441 352.728.3377

Gator Bay Bar & Grill 10320 CR 44 352.365.2177

El Ranchito 1 Lagrande Blvd.

Legends Cafe 2468 U.S. Hwy. 441/27 352.728.0006

Cafe Ola 400 N. 14th St. 352.365.0089

Red Wing Restaurant 12500 S. SR 33 352.429.2997

F RU I T L A N D PA R K

ibar-be-que Express 3170 Hwy. 27 352.315.4227

LEESBURG

Lady Lake Harbor Hills Country Club 6538 Lake Griffin Rd. 352.753.7000 Mom & Dad’s Italian Restaurant 504 S. U.S. Hwy. 441/27 352.753.2722 The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. 514 Hwy. 441 352.614.9000

Great Chicago Fire Brewery & Tap Room 311 W. Magnolia St. 352.474.2739 HP Grill 1403 S. 14th St. 352.314.0006 Ichiban Buffet 10301 Hwy. 441 352.728.6669 Johnson’s Pizza Place 4120 Corley Island Rd., Ste. 300 352.801.7250 Kountry Kitchen 1008 W. Dixie Ave. 352.323.0852 La Palma Mexican Grill 1690 Citrus Blvd. 352.323.1444 Lilly’s Super Subs 2339 CR 473 352.343.4663 Magnolia’s Oyster Bar 201 W. Magnolia St. 352.323.0093 Mrs. T’s Place, Southern Restaurant 305 Pine St. 352.431.3217 Naples Italian Restaurant 1107 W. North Blvd. 352.323.1616


Osaka 1401 Citrus Blvd. 352.728.0788 Pine Street Bar-B-Que 408 Pine St. 352.728.1293 Plantation Oaks Restaurant 4720 Plantation Blvd. 352.530.2680 Ramshackle Café 1317 N. 14th St. 352.365.6565 Rodello’s Italian Restaurant 26736 US Hwy. 27 352.319.8093 San Jose Mexican 1337 S. 14th St. 352.805.4174 Sip Restaurant and Wine Bar 707 W. Main St. 352.435.7840 Stokes Seafood Market and More 719 W. Main St. 352.787.3474 Sully’s Smokehouse 10820 CR 44 352.483.7427 Takis Pizza Restaurant 1205 N. 14th St. 352.787.2344 Pint Sized Pub 110 S. 5th St. 352.460.0383 The Florida Porch Café 706 W. Main St. 352.365.1717 The Mojo Grill & Catering Co. 9925 US-441 352.787.0494 The Old Time Diner 1350 W. North Blvd. 352.805.4250

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 Minneola Grill 117 W. Washington St. 352.394.2555 Napoli’s Pizzeria 556 Hwy. 27 352.243.7500 The Surf Bar and Grill 650 N. Hwy. 27 202.527.0100 Tiki Bar & Grill 508 S. Main Ave. 352.394.2232 MOUNT DORA 1921 Mount Dora 142 E. Fourth Ave. 352.385.1921

J.K. Thai & Sushi 116 E. 5th Ave. 352.385.5470 Let’s Do a Maine Lobster Roll 426 N. Donnelly St. 352.735.3702 Magical Meat Boutique 112 W. Third Ave. 352.729.6911 Mount Dora Pizza & Subs 2718 W. Old U.S. Hwy. 441 352.383.5303 Olive Branch MediterraneanItalian Grille 115 W. 3rd St. 352.729.6734 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

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

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

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

Sidelines Sport Eatery 315 N. Highland St. 352.735.7433

Beauclaire Restaurant at Lakeside Inn 100 N. Alexander St. 352.383.4101 Bocce Pizzeria 925 E. First Ave. 352.385.0067 Café Gianni 425 N. Alexander St. 352.735.3327

Sugarboo’s Bar-B-Que 1305 N. Grandview St. 352.735.7675 The Bavarian Haus 433 N. Alexander St. 352.735.8387 The Country Club 1900 Country Club Blvd. 352.735.2263 The Goblin Market 331-B Donnely St. 352.735.0059

Turners 114 S. 5th St. 352.530.2274

Cody’s on 4th Cafe 111 E. 4th Ave. 352.735.8426

Two Old Hags Wine Shoppe 410 W Main St 352.435.9107

Copacabana Cuban Cafe 320 Dora Drawdy Way 352.385.9000

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

Vic’s Catering 352.728.8989

Frog & Monkey English Pub 411 N. Donnelly St. 352. 383.1936

Zellie’s Pub 4025 N. U.S. Hwy. 19A 352.483.3855

Highland Street Café 185 S. Highland St. 352.383.1446

SORRENTO

Wolfy’s 918 N. 14th St. 352.787.6777 Wrapsody 712 W. Main St. 352.801.7239

Jeremiah’s 500 N. Highland St. 352.383.7444

Del Franco Pizza Place 31436 CR 437 352.383.8882

Lisa’s Kountry Cafe 23911 CR 46 352.735.3380 TAVA R E S Angelo’s Italian Restaurant 2270 Vindale Rd. 352.343.2757 Fish Camp Lake Eustis 901 Lake Shore Blvd. 352.742.4400 Hurricane Dockside Grill 3351 W. Burleigh Blvd. 352.508.5137 Kalua Hale Sand Bar 111 W. Ruby St. 352.609.5910 Lake Dora Sushi & Sake 227 E. Main St. 352.343.6313 Mary’s Kountry Kitchen 15945 CR 448 352.343.6823 O’Keefe’s Irish Pub and Restaurant 115 S Rockingham Ave. 352.343.2157 Palm Gardens Restaurant 1661 Palm Garden St. 352.431.3217 Puddle Jumpers 111 W Ruby St. 352.508.5862 Ruby Street Grille 221 E. Ruby St. 352.742.7829 Sunrise Grill 462 E. Burleigh Blvd. 352.343.7744 The Hideaway 11912 Lane Park Rd. 352.343.3585

T H E V I L L AG E S Amerikano’s Grill 998 Del Mar Dr. 352.633.8027 Belle Glade Country Club 446 Moyer Loop 352.205.8208

Legacy Restaurant Nancy Lopez Country Club 17135 Buena Vista Blvd. 352.753.1475 Margarita Republic 1102 Main St. 352.753.4600

Bravo Pizza 1080 Lake Sumter Landing 352.430.2394 Cane Garden Country Club 1726 Bailey Trail 352.750.0627 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

Mezza Luna Italian Restaurant and Bar 320 Colony Blvd. 352.753.3824

Fiesta Grande Mexican Grill 297 Colony Blvd 352.751.0400 Giovanni’s 3439 Wedgewood Lane 352.751.6674 Glenview County Club 3914 Glenview Rd. 352.753.0077 Habaneros Mexican Grill 3551 Wedgewood Ln. 352.633.2080 Hemingway’s at Havana Country Club 2484 Odell Circle 352.430.3200

Fish & Chix 100 N. Central Ave. 352.669.7145 Gator’s 9 N. Central Ave. 352.669.6969 Greg’s Haystax 526 Umatilla Blvd. 352.669.1555 Old Crow Real Pit Bar-B-Q 41100 SR 19 352.669.3922

NYPD Pizzeria 4046 Wedgwood Ln 352.750.1994

Shanghai 531 N. Central Ave. 352.669.2004

Orange Blossom Country Club 1542 Water Tower Circle 352.751.4501

The Mason Jar 37534 State Rd. 19 352.589.2535

Palmer Legends Country Club 1635 Palmer Way 352.750.4499

W I L DWO O D

RedSauce 1000 Canal St. 352.750.2930

Evans Prairie Country Club 1825 Evan’s Prairie Trail 352.750.2225

U M AT I L L A

Ricciardi’s Italian Table 3660 Kiessel Rd. 352.391.9939 Sakura 265 Colony Blvd 352.205.7393 Takis Greek and Italian Restaurant 13761 U.S. Hwy. 441 N. 352.430.3630 The Lighthouse Point Bar and Grille 925 Lakeshore Dr. 352.753.7800 Tierra Del Sol Country Club 806 San Marino Dr. 352.753.8005 VKI Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar 1004 Old Mill Run 352.259.9887

China Jade 420 W. CR 44 352.330.5913 Continental Country Club 50 Continental Blvd. 352.748.3293 Cotillion Southern Café 101 N. Main St. 352.748.1223 Los Magueyes Mexican Restaurant 346 Shopping Center Dr. 352.461.0577 O’Shucks! Oyster Bar and Grill 1016 S Main St. 352.399.2200 Traditions Café 3107 Hwy. 44 352.748.1077 Woody’s Bar-B-Q 1220 S. Main St. 352.748.1109 YA L A H A Yalaha Bakery 8210 CR 48 352.324.3366

Nicker’s Clubhouse Restaurant Reel in the restaurant’s popular crunchy grouper sandwich, a fried fillet encrusted with almonds and corn flakes and served on a toasted bun. Specialties include chicken marsala, beef Wellington, shrimp and grits, aged N.Y. strip steak and maple leaf roasted duck. Don’t miss Saturday night’s all-you-can-eat sushi, crab legs and prime rib buffet. Nicker’s offers panoramic views and elegant décor that set the tone for a superb dining experience. 10400 CR 48, Howey-in-the-Hills / 352.324.2718

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GOOD GRUB

THIS MONTH'S EDITOR'S PICK

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DINING GUIDE

Mom & Dad’s Italian Restaurant 352.753.2722 | 304 US-441, LADY LAKE

Open 4pm-9pm Wednesday through Sunday.

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

Closed Monday and Tuesday.

Subway

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

SUBWAY.COM LADY LAKE | 208 W. GUAVA ST. | 352.750.4929 EUSTIS | 469 PLAZA DR. | 352.357.7827 MOUNT DORA | 18870 U.S. HWY. 441 | 352.735.4376 LEESBURG | 2013 CITRUS BLVD. | 352.787.6442 10135 U.S. HWY. 441, SUITE 4 | 352.326.3234 27405 U.S. HWY. 27, SUITE 4 | 352.314.8847

Full Gluten-Free Menu

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

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

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Mary Rhodes

Senior Mortgage Consultant The Mortgage Firm 352.383.3046

Randy Sheppard

Scott Rhodes

Real Estate Appraiser The Market Connection 352.308.8644

Angela Sheppard Business Development Executive Chelsea Title 352.459.6160

Owner Sheppard’s Lawn Care 352.978.0905


a real

dynasty Instead of duck calls, this group focuses on making home ownership a seamless process.

David Hatmaker

Home Inspector TrueVue Inspection Services 352.459.4670

Carolyn Maimone

Realtor® ERA Grizzard Real Estate 352.223.6519

Gowns provided by Frugals “the collection”, Main Street Leesburg.

PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

pproach your next home buying experience with more confidence when you look to this local “dynamic” team that works together assisting you on this exciting journey. Their combined experience allows them to professionally manage the process efficiently with your needs in mind. This “Real Dynasty” delivers every step of the process in a harmonious way providing you with an informed decision on every aspect of your home purchase. It begins with Carolyn Maimone, who will help you locate, preview and negotiate the price to obtain the home of your dreams. Scott Rhodes will appraise the homes value to ensure the agreed upon price is accurate and that the buyer and seller are aware of comps in the area. David Hatmaker will perform a detailed home inspection that focuses on finding any major defects that may result in additional costs to repair any unforeseen issues. With years of experience in home mortgages, Mary Rhodes can set you up with the perfect loan to meet your needs. Angela Sheppard is committed to the research of your new property to ensure you and your lender are protected against any defects in the transfer of title. Lastly, once you settle in to your new home you can relax and enjoy knowing that you are the envy of your neighbors because Randy Sheppard is proudly maintaining your manicured lawn and gardens. Rest assured, everything is handled when you work with this “Real Dynasty” in your next home buying venture.

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Join Us For the Largest Classic Car Show & Swap Meet in the U.S. Nov 28th - Dec 1st, 2019 at Daytona Speedway $15 Thurs - Sat ~ $10 Sun Kids 11 & Under FREE 8am-4pm Thurs - Sat ~ 8am-2pm Sun

6,000+ Classic Cars For Show & Sale Massive Swap Meet * Artisan Alley * Food * Music

Meet Rick & Kelly Dale from “American Restoration” on the History Channel Fri & Sat 10am-4pm

Meet Butch Patrick from “The Munsters” & check out the Munster Koach

Mobile Experience

Sat. 12pm-4pm

www.TurkeyRun.com 386.255.7355 Text “Turkey Run” to 22411

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ENERGY? ONE SMALL CHANGE CAN AFFECT YOUR WHOLE LIFE.

Call our office today for your Journey to Wellness assessment: • Personalized treatment plans • Peak performance for professional and amateur athletes • Blood Sugar & Weight management • Support for Thyroid and Adrenal issues • Support for Digestion issues

CHIROPRACTIC • FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE MASSAGE • SKINCARE • ACUPUNTURE

Visit us online for information on our Blood Sugar and Inflammation programs.

BAY STREET WELLNESS

352.357.7244 • BayStreetWellness.com 2430 South Bay St., Eustis

Dr. Kimberly Besuden

Dr. Lauren Cooper

N OV ' 1 9 • L A K E A N D S U M T E R S T Y L E .C O M

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Banking that’s as easy as pie! 12 CONVENIENT LOCATIONS. AMAZING CUSTOMER SERVICE. COME AND SEE WHY LIFE IS SWEETER AT USB.

352.669.2121 www.unitedsouthernbank.com

DON’T LET FALLS PREVENT YOU FROM BEING ACTIVE THIS FALL!

Orthopaedic Clinic

GETTING YOU MOVING THE WAY YOU WERE MEANT TO MOVE!

Urgent Care

M-F 8:30am-4:30pm 352.973.4070

UnovaHealth.com

M-F 8:30am-4:30pm 352.460.1652

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An Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association

Let our Medicare experts help you find a plan that meets your needs Attend a Florida Blue Medicare seminar in your neighborhood to learn more. Get answers to your questions and find out about our new plans that provide the benefits that matter most to you.

Seats fill up fast, so RSVP today.

352-259-0666

11962 CR 101, Ste 303, The Villages, FL 32162

Conveniently located in Palm Ridge Plaza, within the heart of The Villages® community

Choose a convenient location near you:

We offer the BlueMedicare Classic (HMO) plan in your area. It has all the benefits you need, plus: • $0 plan premium • $0 copay for primary care doctor visits • $0 copay for additional dental coverage • Additional vision and hearing coverage • SilverSneakers® fitness program

LADY LAKE Comfort Suites / The Villages® community 1202 Avenida Central Tues, Oct 15- 10:00a & 2:00p

LADY LAKE Comfort Suites / The Villages® community 1202 Avenida Central Thurs, Nov 14- 10:00a & 2:00p

THE VILLAGES® COMMUNITY Waterfront Inn 1105 Lakeshore Drive Thurs, Oct 31- 10:00a & 2:00p

LADY LAKE Comfort Suites / The Villages® community 1202 Avenida Central Thurs, Oct 24- 10:00a & 2:00p

LADY LAKE Comfort Suites / The Villages® community 1202 Avenida Central Tues, Nov 19- 10:00a & 2:00p

THE VILLAGES® COMMUNITY Waterfront Inn 1105 Lakeshore Drive Tues, Nov 5- 10:00a & 2:00p

LADY LAKE Comfort Suites / The Villages® community 1202 Avenida Central Tues, Oct 29- 10:00a & 2:00p

WILDWOOD Barnstorm Theater 2720 Brownwood Blvd Wed, Oct 16- 2:00p

LEESBURG Hampton Inn / Leesburg 9630 US 441 Wed, Oct 30- 10:00a & 2:00p

LADY LAKE Comfort Suites / The Villages® community 1202 Avenida Central Thurs, Nov 7- 10:00a & 2:00p

WILDWOOD Barnstorm Theater 2720 Brownwood Blvd Wed, Nov 6- 2:00p

LEESBURG Hampton Inn/ Leesburg 9630 US 441 Wed, Nov 13- 10:00a & 2:00p

For accommodation of persons with special needs at meetings, call 352-259-0666 Florida Blue Medicare is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Florida Blue Medicare depends on contract renewal. HMO coverage is offered by Florida Blue Medicare, Inc., DBA Florida Blue Medicare, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Tivity Health and SilverSneakers are registered trademarks or trademarks of Tivity Health, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. We comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or gender. ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-855-601-9465 (TTY:1-877-955-8773). ATANSYON: Si w pale Kreyòl Ayisyen, gensèvis èd pou lang ki disponib gratis pou ou. Rele 1-855-601-9465 (TTY:1-800-955-8770). © 2020 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc., DBA Florida Blue. All rights reserved. Y0011_97580_M 0919 CMS Accepted


FINAL THOUGHT

Turkey disasters I can laugh about it now, but never ask me to cook the bird. STORY: THERESA CAMPBELL

’ve taken pride over the years in making dishes from scratch that my family and friends have loved, including homemade noodles, lasagna and rolling out the dough for my award-winning crumb-topped apple pie that won the grand prize in the 1990s in my home state of Indiana. My last culinary grand prize was a few years ago for a luscious, rich peanut butter chocolate sweet treat at my former employer’s companywide holiday dessert contest. Just never ask or expect me to cook a turkey. Yes, I know roasting a turkey is a piece of cake. You just throw the bird in the oven with some wonderful spices and a few hours later, it’s done, right? But I’m telling you, I have turkey phobia.

Blame it on the first turkey I roasted back in 1978. I forgot to take out the plastic bag of giblets and everything else that was supposed to be removed. I can still vividly remember the horror of cutting into the bird and being appalled to see what looked like melted plastic inside. It was clearly evident the bird was raw, pink and not fully cooked. I cried. No, actually, I bawled. It was supposed to be the perfect Thanksgiving meal. And the horrified looks on the faces of my relatives and husband didn’t help. I really don’t remember what happened after that moment, but I was relieved the following Thanksgivings not to be cooking the bird. I willingly volunteered to make yeast rolls from scratch, side dishes and pumpkin pie—everything and anything besides the bird.

OK. I did succeed a couple of times in roasting a turkey just fine until 2013, when disaster struck again. That was the year of the last bird I roasted—or attempted to roast. My youngest daughter was home from college in Tallahassee and greatly anticipating a wonderful holiday meal. After a couple of hours, we noticed there was no aroma from the kitchen, no enticing smells of a wonderfully seasoned bird. After opening the oven, I discovered it was stone cold, and the turkey was still raw. The circuit breaker for the range had blown out. This time, my daughter cried over the sight of the uncooked bird. I broke out in hysterical laughter. So, no, I don’t do turkey. Thankfully, Cracker Barrel does.

Hey, readers! Do you have a cooking disaster story? Share with Theresa! Email me at theresa@akersmediagroup.com

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THERESA CAMPBELL


of care

GENERATIONS FOR LAKE COUNTY For more than 50 years, we’ve helped countless individuals grow their families close to home. Mekenzie and Madalynn, Fruitland Park and Tammy, Leesburg

Each day, we dedicate ourselves to helping new mothers and their babies thrive. That’s why we’ve invested in improving not just our facility but our community. We are proud of the culture of caring we’ve built at the Life Center for Women. And we’re thankful we’ve been trusted to provide generations of care to Lake County.

leesburgregional.org/lifecenter


RAV4 Hybrid The RAV4 Hybrid is more than ready to blow past the competition. With head turning style and breakwawy speed, it’s going to change the way you think of a hybrid. The all-new RAV4 Hybrid.

DELUCA TOYOTA SR 200 • Ocala, FL 352-732-0770 DELUCATOYOTA.COM

FRANK DELUCA PRESIDENT/OWNER


CARDIAC CARE

Life-s aving cardiac care. Close to home. We’re more than an Accredited Chest Pain Center. We’re a team of experts who perform more than 600 open heart surgeries a year. From diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation, you can trust us to get you back to the people and places closest to your heart. Visit leesburgregional.org to learn more.

By your side.


GALDER M A

MER Z

2018

2018

PR EFER R ED EXECUTIVE

TOP INJECTOR S

LARRY BLEVINS, PA, ASLMS

DANNY SOARES, MD

ROBERTO MENDEZ, MD, FACS

FELLOW & MASTER INJECTOR TRAINER

DOUBLE BOARD-CERTIFIED FACIAL PLASTIC SURGEON

BOARD-CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON

S E RV I N G TH E V I LL AG E S CO M M U N IT Y F O R OV E R A D EC A D E | S CH E D U LE YO U R F R E E CO N SU LTATI O N TO DAY !

Before

Aer

Before

Aer

Before

Aer

Fa IN LOVE WITH HOW YOU LOOK THIS SEASON 3 52 . 2 59. 8 59 9 | W W W. P L A S T I C S U R G E RY V I P.CO M | 6 07 C R 4 6 6 A , FRU I T L A N D PA R K

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Style Magazine, Village Edition, Nov'19  

Every month. Everywhere.

Style Magazine, Village Edition, Nov'19  

Every month. Everywhere.