KEEPING THE NEWS LOCAL & THE COMMUNITY CONNECTED.
VOLUME 3 EDITION 3
Showcasing Arts and Culture at Avalon Park
Arts and culture help us appreciate each other to bring our communities together. Which is why Avalon Park is always delighted to introduce new opportunities to expand that love and appreciation for art and diversity, through events that showcase art, music, and more. Check out what’s coming to Avalon Park this month!
Art Galleries The Pasco Fine Arts Council is showcasing two art exhibits this month, presenting the works of Anita Mead at the New Port Richey Gallery, and the works of Sandra Lallemand at the East Pasco Fine Arts Gallery in Avalon Park Wesley Chapel. Anita Mead’s art style varies from realism, to impressionistic, to the world of abstract. She has won several awards in different mediums including the Guy Beatty Award in the Florida Watercolor Society. She portrays the diverse experiences in her travels and everyday life through her art. You can check out Anita’s exhibit at the Pasco Fine Arts Gallery from March 1st – 22nd, located in 4145 Fairford Drive in New Port Richey, Florida. Anita’s Artist Reception will take place on March 11th at 5 pm. The Pasco Fine Arts Gallery is also hosting the Kids N’ Art Program, which provides art programs for Pasco local elementary schools. The Kids N’ Arts Reception is taking place on Sunday, March 27th from 12 – 4 pm. This month the East Pasco Fine Arts Gallery is introducing Sandra Lallemand. Sandra is a realistic artist, and her media includes watercolors, acrylics, graphite, and also calligraphy. Her paintings show layers of vibrant color, building to deep hues, leaving the soft light to dance and sparkle. Sandra has taught watercolor classes for
many years. She has exhibited her work at art clubs, state fairs, galleries, and art shows where she has won numerous awards. We are excited to welcome Sandra to the East Pasco Fine Arts Gallery in Avalon Park Wesley Chapel for the month of March to showcase her beautiful paintings. You can visit Sandra’s exhibit at the gallery Mon – Fri, 9 am – 5pm starting on Monday, March 7th. And for a chance to meet the artist herself, save the date for the Artist Reception on March 18th at 6 pm.
Jazz Under the Starz March also marks the return of live jazz to Avalon Park! Enjoy a sweet night of smooth jazz with friends and family during our monthly Jazz Under the Starz event hosted by Coffee Speaks and Tea Talks. Every 3rd Saturday of the month, starting on Saturday, March 19th with special musical guest: Soul Purpose Band. Bring out your lawn chairs, sit back, relax, and enjoy the sounds of wonderful music. Now located at 33501 State Road 54, Wesley Chapel, FL 33545. For ticket sales and more information visit JazzUndertheStarz.com. To learn more about this and other Avalon Park Events visit AvalonParkWesleyChapel. com or call 813-783-1515.
Coffee Hour with BEAT Wednesday morning and spent the evening and next morning in New Delhi, India. On Thursday evening I arrived in Frankfurt, Germany, took the train to Zurich, Switzerland and spent Friday in the Zurich office. I then returned home to Orlando on Saturday. Wow! Four continents in 4 days. That Sunday, I fell asleep at Church.
I grew up in a small, 800 SF apartment in Zurich, Switzerland. We never had a car, and we did not have a television until I was 12 years old. Travelling was not something my family was able to afford to do. However, once a year we went to the mountains, which were about 30 miles away from home. For months we would make plans for this mountain trip. And the excitement for this annual mountain trip was larger than today, when I “routinely” travel around the globe. When people of various backgrounds and ages list their hobbies, travel is very often one of them. Over the last 30+ years, I have traveled a lot. And while some of that travel has been for pleasure, the primary purpose has been for business. As a global company, Avalon Park Group has business activities all over the world. While I spend a lot of time travelling for business, I like to spend the weekends with my family in Central Florida. I love Central Florida and Avalon Park, hence when I come home from travel for the weekends, and for that reason, I would plan my business travel as quick trips. I remember one particular whirlwind trip from a few years ago. I left Sydney, Australia on a
I would not recommend traveling as I do sometimes, however I do highly recommend you travel and visit other countries and continents. One of my daily activities is to read US and European media, and by doing so I can see how often both sides of the Atlantic see each other in a way which could not be further from the truth. In a globalized world I truly believe that travel and witnessing the world with your own eyes is the start to more peace and understanding throughout the world.
sponsored travel for Avalon Elementary school teachers during the summer breaks to Switzerland, China, Australia, South Africa, and South America. Many of those teachers would have never traveled on their own to those continents. Avalon Elementary school became a Blue-Ribbon school (one of the best 300 schools in America), and when I visited a few months ago, I observed a teacher talking about Nelson Mandela and pointing to the sites Mandela had been, where that teacher had also personally visited. Travelling is always an adventure, and at times very, thanks to a competitive market, it can also be quite affordable. When Avalon Park Orlando started construction in the 1990’s I was based in Fort Lauderdale, and Southwest Airlines offered a round trip to Orlando for $19. Those days one could travel to Europe at times for less than $500. Until September 11, 2001, flying places in the US was almost like getting on a bus. Security was “light,”and getting in and out most airports was fast.
must be first. During Covid very few people traveled, and it was sad to see the deserted airports, with all the stores closed and very few people. On one of my flights from New York to Zurich, I was on a plane which could seat over 300, but there were only 9 passengers, and it turned out 5 were airline staff. On one of my recent trips, my flight was one of only 4 leaving New York on an international route, instead of 4 flights every 10 minutes. This meant no lines at check in, security or the gates. And of course, no delays in departure or landing because of too much air traffic. Even early departures were happening. So, while I have enjoyed the less crowded airports, I believe that we will start seeing the airports around the globe filling up again. People are beginning to travel again, and that is a good thing for our economy, particularly in Central Florida.
Many years ago, I asked Where will you be the legendary former heading this year? Will principal Pam Sanders, you be flying or taking what it would take to make other transportation? Avalon Elementary School Let me know at info@ the best elementary school AvalonParkSun.com and in Central Florida. She told me, “Teachers are often Things have changed, but you could be featured in a future publication. the least traveled people. we all understand, safety I have some teachers on my staff, who have not even ever traveled out of the state of Florida. Don’t you think it would make a difference if a teacher, - Have an inclusion for the Avalon Park Sun? who is teaching about the Email: info@AvalonParkSun.com Great Wall in China would have been there, instead of just from a book? Don’t - Editorial Staff: you think if we could have Publisher: Beat Kahli teachers travel the world, Content Editor: Marielle Fernandez and interact with other cultures, learn about their history Stephanie Lerret and their school systems, it Graphic & Layout Editor: Kenzie Farrish would make a difference?” I agreed and we immediately 407.658.6565 implemented a travel 3801 Avalon Park East Blvd. #400 Orlando, FL 32828 program where APG
GET IN TOUCH
Update from Pasco County Commissioner the past seven years and I am pleased to have led a number of transformative changes to better the quality of life for the citizens of Pasco County.
your champion and will continue to be by your side fighting for what is best for our county’s future. On February 8th, I was proud to sponsor the Resolution recognizing kumquat pie as the official pie of Pasco County. We had a wonderful presentation with the Gude family of Kumquat Growers. Rosemary Gude created the recipe that is still used for kumquat pie to this day. The annual kumquat festival in Dade City brings in tens of thousands of people to our community each year to spend their money and time in Pasco County. In the picture with this column, I am presenting the Gude family with the Resolution before the presentation at the Historic Courthouse in Dade City.
I would like to thank my family for their love and support during my time on the commission as well as our amazing county staff, my colleagues, and especially my executive assistant Terry Ewing-Chow and my legislative aide Andy On January 31st, af- Taylor. President Reagan was correct ter much deliberation and discussions when he said, “By working together, with my family, I announced that I will pooling our resources and building on be retiring from the Pasco County Board our strengths, we of County Commis- can accomplish great sioners at the end of things.” my term in NovemI am extremely grateber and will return to the private sector ful for the citizens of Pasco County who full-time. placed their trust and vote in me. Even It has been an honor and a pleasure to though I am retiring In February, I parserve the citizens of from the commission, I will always be ticipated in groundPasco County over breaking ceremony for PopStroke, a new mini-golf facility coming to Wesley Chapel. Tiger Woods is a co-owner of PopStroke and his company designs the course. It will also have a restaurant. You can look for PopStroke to open late this year in the Cypress Creek Town I hope you had a wonderful month of February with family and friends. It was another exciting month for Pasco County and I’m honored to share all the great things happening in our community with you.
Center complex on State Road 56. I’m excited to share our annual Florida’s Sports Coast Tourism Awards banquet will be May 5th at the Hyatt Place Wesley Chapel! Tickets go on sale March 2nd on the Florida’s Sports Coast website, flsportscoast. com or the Florida’s Sports Coast social media pages. It will be a great night celebrating all the great accomplishments of Pasco County’s tourism industry. Please check out Pasco County’s website at MyPasco.net for all the latest information. I hope you and your family have a great March! About: Commissioner Mike Moore represents District 2 on the Pasco County Commission. He lives in Wesley Chapel with his wife and three children.
Pinecrest Academy Updates
Congratulations to recipients for demonstrating the character traits of Perseverance & Personal Best! Keep up the great work Panthers! Also, check out the Spirit Week themes!
New River Elementary Updates
This is just one of many ways Mrs. Jenkins gets her 4th grade students excited about reading a new book! To celebrate Read Across America Week follow the schedule to the right and dress up!
Check out our march events. there is something for everyone, and We can’t wait to see you soon! virtual options available online!
Pasco Tax Collector Offices Will be Accepting Donations for Fostering Change Foster Closet in March
During the month of March, the five Pasco County Tax Collector’s Offices will be accepting donations on behalf of Fostering Change Foster Closet, a non-profit program created to provide children who are quickly removed from their homes and put into foster care to pick up needed clothing, personal care supplies and even food. Based in Pasco County, Fostering Change Foster Closet offers help to any child who has entered foster care and were unable to bring even the most basic of personal care needs from their home at the time of removal. Their foster parents accompany them to the Fostering Change Foster Closet and assist in picking out items of need. “Fostering Change Foster Closet is proud to be the first, and only at the time of this
release, 24/7 children’s foster closet,” comments founder George Agovino. “We want to minimize the time it takes for a foster child to be placed with a loving foster family. However, if that family doesn’t have all the items needed to care for that child, like a crib or other such items, that child can’t be placed with a family until they have all these items. Child Protective Services has 24-hour access to our facility, and we are also available just about any time to meet with foster families at our closest.” It is estimated that in the Suncoast Region over 3,900 children are removed for their homes each year and placed into foster care. This is a large portion of the over 6,000 children who enter foster care in the West Central Florida region. Most children stay in foster care for about 13 months until they are reunited with their families or put into permanent placement with a new family. The Fostering Change Foster Closet helps bridge the gap in clothing and supplies for the children during their stay in foster care. “I have long supported funding services
for organizations that provide foster care for the most vulnerable children in our community,” comments Tax Collector Mike Fasano. “Through no fault of their own these children are removed from their family and placed into foster care settings that are unknown to them and with people they have never met. The caring staff of the Fostering Change Foster Closet does its best to make this transition as normal as possible for these children who have gone through traumatic events, often since their earliest years. We are more than pleased to support Fostering Change Foster Closet during the month of March. Please stop by one of our five offices in Pasco and donate to this important cause.” For more details regarding this charitable promotion, or services provided by the Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office, please contact Greg Giordano, Assistant Tax Collector at 727-847-8179 or visit www.pascotaxes.com For more information about Fostering Care Foster Closet please visit https://fosteringchangecloset.com/ or contact George Agovino, Founder & Director at (813) 421-1958.
Penny for Pasco Supported Speculative Space, 54 Crossings, to Break Ground in Pasco County
Rizzetta Real Estate is set to break ground on the highly anticipated 54 Crossings project. They are investing nearly $27 million in two Class A office buildings consisting of 60,000 square feet each near the Suncoast Parkway in Pasco County. Pasco’s tremendous growth in new residents and business expansions is driving demand for new office and industrial facilities as the county continues to attract companies to the north Tampa Bay community.
Even with unprecedented demand, building speculative space is a risky business considering the overwhelming costs of developing infrastructure. Early in the current development cycle, the Penny for Pasco, a Pasco taxpayer approved $0.01 sales tax increase, helped fill capital gaps with loans to developers willing to
In fall of 2019 the Pasco County Board of County Commissioners approved incentives totaling $2.94 million to help construct 54 Crossings. The county will loan $1.5 million to the developer from its Pasco Accelerated Development Sites and Pasco Occupant Ready Structures programs from Penny for Pasco funds. In addition to the loan, the county agreed to rebate $1.435 million in property taxes. What: Rizzetta Real Estate is set to break ground on the highly anticipated 54 Crossings project. Where: 17907 Aprile Drive, Land O’ Lakes, FL 34638 Who: Bill Rizzetta, Rizzetta Real Estate,
Christina Fitzpatrick, Pasco County Commissioner District 4 Kathryn Starkey, Chairman, Pasco County Commissioner District 3 David Engel, Director, Office of Economic Growth Bill Cronin, President & CEO, Pasco Economic Development Council Why: This project will directly and/ or indirectly create approximately 400 new jobs, provide total salaries to direct and indirect workers in the amount of $17.7 million, and contribute an average of $26.5 million to the gross county product.
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