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Suntree honors Veterans page 39 DECEMBER 2018

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Parade rings in holiday season


go to pages 6 and 7

New dog park has Viera barking, page 8

VIERA VOICE 7630 N. Wickham Road, No. 105 Viera, FL 32940


The sixth annual Light Up Viera Holiday Parade brought everyone together, including Santa and the Grinch. The event featured colorful and musical floats, and bands from Viera High, Satellite High, Merritt Island High, Rockledge High and Astronaut High.

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Space Coast Symphony Orchestra offers free holiday concert in Viera BY MUFFY BERLYN

Christmas at The Avenue in Viera started four years ago with a few hundred patrons listening to the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra (SCSO) perform Christmas music outdoors. This year, 2,000 people are expected to attend the free holiday concert. The Christmas at the Avenue concert will start at 7 p.m. Dec. 15 at The Avenue Viera at 2241 Town Center Avenue. Aaron Collins, the

symphony’s conductor, will direct the orchestra, now in its 10th season. Michelle Bujold, The Avenue Viera marketing coordinator, said The Avenue looks forward to partnering with the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra for the Christmas concert every year. “Christmas at The Avenue is the perfect fit for our center,” she said. “It embodies the holiday spirit while giving our patrons an excellent guest experience. We can’t wait to see this year’s show.”

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Connie Maltby, an SCSO board member and special events coordinator, said children are asked to come up and conduct if they choose. “They are called forward to try their hand at conducting,” Maltby said. “They use glow sticks as they direct. There will be a sleigh ride and Jingle Bells type songs for them to conduct.” The area in front of the AMC Theaters where the 50-member orchestra will perform has been upgraded. “They’ve redone that area with jets and fountains — it’s a bigger area,” Maltby said. Although there will be limited seating, people are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Patrons can sit and listen or stroll along The Avenue and hear the music, according to Maltby. “It’s nice to see the people smiling as they are walking on The Avenue listening to the music,” she said. The night before Christmas at The Avenue, a smaller chamber orchestra of the

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VIERA VOICE Courtesy of Space Coast Symphony Orchestra

Aaron Collins directs the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra for Christmas at The Avenue in Viera. It is a free open air concert for the public. SCSO will perform at the 11th annual Messiah Sing Along with Collins directing the orchestra and Beth Green conducting the Indialantic Chamber Singers. “It’s a wonderful tradition the symphony has done since the beginning,” Maltby said. “We provide scores, music or bring your own if you have

it. The Indialantic singers do part of the concert with us, then everyone is invited to sing the choral part of the Messiah with us.” The 11th annual Messiah Sing Along will start at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Community at 5655 Stadium Parkway in Viera. VV

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Viera Voice | December 2018


Enjoy Christmas festivities around Brevard With Christmas later this month, there are a lot of fun things to do to get into the holiday spirit.

Volume 12, Number 11 ©2018 Bluewater Creative Group, Inc. All rights reserved

Bluewater Creative Group 321-242-1235 7630 N. Wickham Road Suite 105, Viera, FL 32940

Dec. 1 to Dec. 24 Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus Friday and Saturdays, 5 – 8 p.m. Sundays, 3-6 p.m. The Avenue Viera 2250 Town Center Ave. Viera, 321-634-5390

Grinch. How fast can you undecorate a tree? Prizes for the best dressed Grinch. Uno Pizzeria & Grill 8260 N. Wickham Road Viera, 321-255-1400 Dec. 8 • 3 – 7 p.m. Cocoa/Rockledge “Bright Lights & Holiday Delights” Parade & Festival The parade will begin at Rockledge High School on Florida Ave, continue through the streets of Historic Cocoa Village and end at Cocoa’s Riverfront Park. The parade will end with the official lighting

Dec. 4 • 5:30 – 8 p.m. Uno Grinchmas Dine and get into the Christmas spirit with the

Publisher Bluewater Creative Group, Inc. Managing Editor Jill Blue Office Manager Sylvia Montes Design & Media Frank E. Gonzales Joan Sofet



Copy Editor Jeff Navin VIERA MEANS


Writers/Reporters Ernest Arico Chris Bonanno Brenda Eggert Brader Wendy Scheuring Maria Sonnenberg Julie Sturgeon VIERA MEANS BUSINESS NETWORKING GROUP

Darrell Woehler Bob Parente


Viera Voice Networking Group Viera Means Business The entire contents of this newspaper are copyrighted by VIERA VOICE with all rights reserved. VIERA VOICE is not liable for errors or omissions in editorial, advertorial or advertising materials. Distribution of this newspaper does not constitute an endorsement of products or services herein. Reproduction or use without permission, of editorial or graphic content in any manner is prohibited.

Viera Voice | December 2018












Dec. 8 • 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Holiday Art & Craft Fair Edgewood Junior/Senior High School 180 E. Merritt Ave. Merritt Island 321-432-0677

Dec. 8 • 5:30 p.m. Cocoa Beach Holiday Lighted Boat Parade Ride along as a spectator and

a participant. Join us for a journey along the beautiful canals in a decorated boat. This is a 2-hour excursion. 500 W. Cocoa Beach Causeway Cocoa Beach, 321-454-7414 Dec. 8 • 6 p.m. 26th annual Melbourne Light Parade A lighted night street parade. Intersection of NASA Boulevard and Airport Boulevard. 100 West NASA Blvd. Melbourne, 321-544-1777 Dec. 9 • 3 p.m. Community Band of Brevard "A Holiday Celebration"   Merritt island High School Auditorium 100 Mustang Way Merritt Island 321-338-6210

Dec. 14 and 15• 5 – 7 p.m. "Live Nativity" Eastminster Presbyterian Church 106 North Riverside Drive Indialantic, 321-723-8371

Dec 15 • 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Santa Skydivers Watch professional skydivers dressed as Santa. The Cocoa Beach Pier 401 Meade Ave. Cocoa Beach, 321-214-2562

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of the Riverfront Park Christmas Tree and a holiday movie. Cocoa Riverfront Park 401 Riveredge Blvd. Cocoa, 321-635-7702





Dec 15 • 6 p.m. Christmas Boat Parade Participants should assemble at the north end of Satellite Beach Grand Canal. 321-220-7775 Dec. 15 • 6:30 p.m. 2018 Merritt Island Christmas Boat Parade Sykes Creek, Merritt Island 321-213-0478

Dec. 15 • 11:45 a.m. Wreaths Across America The Patriot Guard Riders will lead an escort to Cape Canaveral National Cemetery. 5525 U.S. 1 Mims, 321-383-2638 Dec. 24 • 8 a.m. Surfing Santas 2018 Watch hundreds of Surfing Santas ride in on the waves. Coconuts on the Beach 2 Minutemen Causeway Cocoa Beach, 321-720-8033

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Viera Voice | December 2018


Light Up Viera Holiday Parade



Viera Voice | December 2018








Viera Voice | December 2018


Dog park, playground open for business BY CHRIS BONANNO

Area residents now have a new place to enjoy the outdoors after the new Viera Town Center Dog Park and Playground officially was opened to the public Nov. 16. The park, at the corner of Colonnade Drive and Rodina Drive in Viera, was made possible by The Viera Co., which developed the land, according to Nina Salvaggio, the community specialist for the company. The park was designed by Dix.Hite + Partners, she added. “Every great community has a heart and we’re standing in the heart of Viera,” said Todd Pokrywa, the president of The Viera Company in remarks to those who gathered at the opening. “This is the central gathering place that’s going to continue to grow and

evolve. This is one of the important components and pieces of the community where the residents are going to gather, where you’re going to be able to bring your four-legged friends, have a great day on a beautiful afternoon like this one.” Christina Hite, president of Dix.Hite + Partners told the assembled crowd that the park consisted of “three pretty wonderful components.” One, Hite said, is an oval lawn that can “serve multiple purposes” that she stated could be used for purposes to stage a small festival or to serve as an anchor to a festival. “It serves as a wonderful, flexible space,” Hite added. The second consists of a pair of dog parks, with one each specifically designed

for small and large dogs so that “all dogs and all dog owners are welcome,” Hite said. The third component is a playground, which is stationed by a restroom facility and a canopy which will provide shade. Pokrywa added that the dog park eventually will flow to another park that he said currently was under design. He also indicated that the new dog park and playground won’t be the last of what’s constructed in the area. “The pieces are starting to fall into place and really there’s a lot more to come. But, now we have a place to gather and this place will get larger and more active as we continue to add the future elements to the Town Center,” Pokrywa added. Brevard County District


The Viera Town Center Dog Park and Playground officially opened to the public Nov. 16. Check out a video on the Viera Voice Facebook page.

4 Commissioner Curt Smith also offered praise to The Viera Company for the project in remarks to the crowd. “I think it’s just one more indication of how much these people care about the community, The Viera Company, because they don’t just build houses, they don’t just build buildings, they’re building a community and

this is a perfect indication of the lengths that they will go to,” Smith said. “They’ve taken very valuable space that they could have put up some more of these big buildings and made a lot more money but they’ve set this aside for folks to enjoy and I think that’s indicative of how much they care about Brevard County . . . and Viera in general.” V V

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Five Viera student-athletes take part in National Signing Day BY CARL KOTALA

Viera High’s Andrew “Bammer” Brait has wanted to play baseball at the University of Central Florida ever since he first visited the campus five years ago after moving here from Virginia. Now, he’s going to get that chance. Brait was one of five Viera athletes to take part in signing day in front of a large group of their classmates, coaches and families. Joining Brait in signing to continue their athletic


The five Viera High student/athletes who took part in signing day were, from left, Jackson Taylor (College of Central Florida); Corrin Flajole (South Florida State College); Andrew Brait (University of Central Florida); Mary Kate Smith (Lipscomb University); and Connor Leary (Eastern Florida State College).

careers at the next level were baseball players Connor Leary (Eastern

Florida State College) and Jackson Taylor (College of Central Florida), softball

Holy Trinity pair sign national letters of intent

pitcher Corrin Flajole (South Florida State College) and golfer Mary Kate Smith


continued to page 13


Laura Boos and Selena Nishihata couldn’t help but get a little emotional as they addressed their families and their fellow Holy Trinity classmates after signing their national letters of intent to continue their athletic careers at the next level. “Going into it, I was really confident that it was going to be super fun and I wouldn’t cry,” Boos said. “This will be easy. It’s a happy day. Really good things are happening for both me and Selena. “But when I started talking about things I’m passionate about . . . it did kind of get emotional.” Boos, who will leave Holy Trinity as the school’s alltime leader in kills (845) and blocks (173), signed to play beach volleyball at LSU. Nishihata, who went to last month’s Class 1A state swimming meet in the 100 butterfly and the 200

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Volleyball player Laura Boos, left, and swimmer Selena Nishihata signed national letters of intent to continue their athletic endeavors at the next level.

individual medley, signed to continue her career at Davidson College. And like Boos, she couldn’t help but feel some emotion as she took the podium

during the signing day ceremony. “When I thanked everyone,


continued to page 13

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Viera Voice | December 2018

Viera High to induct second Hall of Fame class Dec. 8 BY CARL KOTALA

Viera High School will host its second annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 8 in the school auditorium. And once again, this year’s class is loaded with players, teams and special contributors who have made a name for themselves during and after their time with the Hawks. Here’s a look at this year’s inductees: Sarah Rousseau — Diving The first female to win an individual state championship for Viera, Rousseau went on to win an unprecedented three consecutive titles from 2015 to 2017. During her career, Rousseau she also won four consecutive district, Cape Coast Conference and regional championships. Rousseau is at the University of Missouri. Sasha Belaya and Izzie Diaz — Tennis How is this for domination? Belaya and Diaz were undefeated as a doubles team

The Viera Company — Community Owned by the Duda Family, The Viera Company is one of the top 25 master planned communities in the United States and as such is responsible for the community vision and the land on which Viera High resides. The master plan for Viera was announced in 1989 and Viera High opened in 2006. Greg Young — Bowling Easily the best bowler in Viera history, Young went on to compete for McKendree University where he won two national chamYoung pionships. He also is a two-time Teen Masters Champion, a three-time member of Junior Team USA, a three-time Gold Medalist for Junior Team USA and has one PBA regional win. He currently is a pro bowler for Brunswick. David McKay — Baseball The former Viera star pitcher holds the school record for single-season strikeouts (91), strikeouts per game (10.4), innings pitched in a season (61), doubles in a season (12) and the most career games played at the varsity level (107).

Belaya and Diaz

during their time at Viera, and that includes winning the Class 3A state championship in 2016 and 2017. Belaya, who was inducted as a singles player last year, attends the University of Illinois and plays for the school’s nationally-ranked tennis team. Diaz is playing tennis at Eastern Florida State College.

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Pembroke Pines Charter 4-0 in the title game. Team members include: Morgan Pulliam, Allysa Whisel, Mollie Roe, Jordan Walsh, Julia Ramsey, Hollyn Knight, Natalie Bertran, Sarah Sanford, Brooke Walsh, Cori Fisher, Hannah Dearing, Sarah Kelliher, Hope Leonard, Anna Martin, Emily Bodi, Shannon Gosule, Tori Clark, Nicki Fisher, Emily Ramsey, Kassidy Mills, Sydney Lau and Alexandra Capalbo. “Last year's inaugural Hall of Fame ceremony was a tremendous success,” Viera High athletic director Chris Gallagher wrote in an email. “It was very exciting to recognize multiple state champion athletes and teams, an outstanding community contributor as well as a professional athlete! “Viera High and the local community should be very proud of all that has been accomplished by our studentathletes and programs over the past 13 years.” Tickets for the event are available at Viera High. The cost is $20. V V

After pitching at Florida Atlantic University, he was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2016 and is with the Double-A Arkansas Travelers, a Seattle Mariners affiliate. Courtney Lundy — Girls soccer The former Hawks coach built Viera girls soccer into a state and nationally Lundy recognized power in her five seasons at the school. Viera won back-to-back Class 4A state championships in 2015 and 2016, with the 2016 team being named the Winter Season National Champion by Lundy also was named the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 4A Coach of the Year twice and won the NFHS Coach of the Year Award in 2016. Viera’s 2014-15 Class 4A Girls Soccer team The team that won Viera’s first state soccer championship will be honored. The Hawks defeated




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December Sports Schedules VIERA HIGH BOYS BASKETBALL JV games at 5:30 p.m., Varsity games at 7 p.m., unless noted * District game Dec. 4 — West Shore Dec. 7 — at Heritage Dec. 11 — Palm Bay (5/6/7) Dec. 13 — at Bayside (5/6/7) Dec. 14 — Celebration (varsity only)* Dec. 27 — at Haines City Tournament, TBD GIRLS BASKETBALL JV games at 5:30 p.m., Varsity games at 7 p.m., unless noted * District game Dec. 3 — Heritage Dec. 5 — at Palm Bay Dec. 7 — Satellite Dec. 10 — Melbourne* Dec. 12 — at Eau Gallie Dec. 14 — Celebration (varsity only), 6 p.m.* BOYS SOCCER JV games at 5:30, varsity games at 7 unless noted * District game Dec. 4 — West Shore Dec. 6 — at Eau Gallie Dec. 8 — Holy Trinity (JV noon, varsity 2 p.m.) Dec. 11 — at Rockledge GIRLS SOCCER JV games at 5:30, varsity games at 7 unless noted * District game Dec. 5 — Heritage* Dec. 7 — at WIST Tournament at Montverde Academy vs. Ponte Vedra, 4:30 p.m. Dec. 8 — at WIST Tournament at Montverde Academy vs. Jacksonville Bolles, 4 p.m. Dec. 10 — at West Shore


continued to page 19


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Holy Trinity’s McNatt takes state 1A cross country title BY CARL KOTALA The question wasn’t whether or not Holy Trinity’s Carly McNatt would win the Class 1A State Cross Country Championship. The real question was … how much would the country’s fastest eighth

grader win by? Turns out the answer was 53 seconds. And it could have been more. McNatt finished the 5K course in 17 minutes, 35 seconds, becoming the third Holy Trinity girl to win a state championship. Her closest competitor

was Circle Christian sophomore Sinkenesh Parker, who came in at 18:28. “I went out right away, leading the pack of girls,” McNatt said. “I was by myself for basically the whole race. After the first mile — it was super cold

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Holy Trinity's Carly McNatt is the third girl from her school to win a state championship in cross country.

outside, so I got really congested — I had a hard time breathing through my nose, so I was breathing through my mouth the rest of the time. “From there, I was trying to finish and trying to get there as fast as I could.” Holy Trinity’s girls team (Carly McNatt, Alesa Wiechecki Vergara, Braelyn Wahy, Julia McNatt, Ivy Knight, Charlotte Varnes and Gabriela Shenbaum) finished third in the state, its best finish since winning the title in 2014. McNatt joined four-time state winner Kayla Hale (2005-2008) and threetime winner Julie Wollrath (2011-2013) as the only Holy Trinity girls to win a state title. She also showed incredible improvement from her seventh-grade year when she finished sixth in the

state with a time of 19:07. That season was basically a learning experience for McNatt. She learned about the strategy of racing and how to run against older girls. She also trained this past summer, something she didn’t really do prior to her seventh-grade season. The Holy Trinity team went to a camp in North Carolina where runners got to train on hills and generally get better prepared for this upcoming season. “It definitely helped a lot,” McNatt said. “I definitely felt a difference. I was in better shape and my form was better, too.” The results certainly backed that up. Not only did she establish herself as the


continued to page 13

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continued from page 9

(Lipscomb University). “It was really exciting,” Brait said of signing day. “It was nice to see so many people come out. It was really awesome to have all that support.” With Brait at shortstop and Leary at second base, the Hawks have perhaps the best double play duo in the county. The addition of Taylor (a transfer from Melbourne Central Catholic) at first base should only make Viera stronger. It certainly made signing day special. “We played travel ball together when we were younger,” Brait said. “It’s nice to be signing with them.” Although he considered Jacksonville University, UCF was always at the top of Brait’s list. “I visited the campus when I was younger and I loved it,” he said. “I chose UCF (because) it was my No. 1 the whole time.” Flajole, who helped Viera reach the final four for the first time in school history last season, chose South Florida State College after


continued from page 9

I realized their impact on my life,” Nishihata said. “It hit me.” Holy Trinity’s school record holder in the 200 freestyle (1 minute, 58 seconds) plans to study pre-Med. “It was a smaller school and I knew they had the balance between academics and a good Division I team,” she said. “That’s what I wanted. I didn’t want swimming to be too overbearing, but to have a good balance.” Nishihata began swimming when she was 9, and while getting the chance to compete in college was always on her mind, she didn’t really look at it seriously until her junior year when she was looking


continued from page 12

country’s top eighth grader with a time of 17:24 earlier in the season, she lowered the bar even further with a blistering 17:13 at Holy Trinity’s district meet on her own course. What made those runs even more impressive was that, as in the state meet, McNatt spent a lot of time

meeting coach Carlos Falla. “I loved the campus and I loved the coach,” Flajole said. “He’s just really nice. He saw me at a tournament and was really interested and that meant a lot to me. “I went on a visit and loved pretty much everything he had to say about the school and the program.” After finishing up her career at Viera, Smith thanked Hawks coach Greg Ford for helping her become a better golfer and a better person. She also thanked her swing coach at Duran Golf Club, Justin Blazer, for helping her get into Lipscomb. “It’s a small, Christian school and I really wanted to go to an environment like that,” Smith said. “It’s up in Nashville … I used to live in Charlotte … and it’s kind of similar. I wanted to get back to that. I’m really excited.” Signing day is always a big deal. Now Viera has five more examples of how hard work can pay off. “It makes it all worth it,” Flajole said. “To spend my first two years of college with a group of girls and playing the game I love is going to be fun.” V V

at colleges. “You just have to set realistic goals and find out what’s right for you, swimming wise,” she said. Among those Boos thanked in her speech was Vicki Bransford, Dean of Junior High, who was her junior high physical education teacher and convinced Boos to try out for volleyball in eighth grade. After looking at a number of different schools, Boos picked LSU because it was the best fit. “It was really hard, the recruitment process, because everywhere you went, the people were great, the programs were great, the girls were great,” she said. “But when I went to visit my first time at LSU, it just kind of clicked. Everyone there … it just felt right. It felt like a place I could call home.” V V running on her own. “It’s hard,” she said. “It’s tough trying to pace myself, not having competition to run against.” As fast as she is on the course, McNatt is endearingly humble off of it. While some people might have T-shirts printed up declaring themselves as the fastest eighth grader in the country, her reaction was very simple. “I like it,” she said. VV

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Viera High quintet selected for All-State Ensemble BY CARL KOTALA

The honors keep coming in for members of the Viera High band. Five students were selected to the Florida All-State Ensemble, which features select band, orchestra and chorus members from around the state. Those selected included seniors Nico Andrade (tenor saxophone), Sam Minaya (flute) and Noah Palmer (contrabass clarinet) along

with junior Anny Acevedo (oboe) and sophomore Alec McDaniel (oboe). “These five students were selected among hundreds across the state of Florida to perform in these prestigious ensembles,� Viera band director Nick Eggen wrote in an email. “They are some of the best student musicians Viera High School and Brevard County has to offer.� Students selected to the All-State band submitted a recorded audition session

in the fall. Those recordings were then sent for judging. Selections were announced last month. Once selected, students will prepare for their ensemble music piece on their own until attending a meeting in Tampa in January. Following a full day of rehearsals, they will perform that night during the Florida Music Education Association Conference which takes place Jan. 9 to 12. There will be 22 All-State


December 11 2018

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The five students chosen to the Florida All-State Ensemble were Sam Minaya (flute), left, Nico Andrade (tenor saxophone), Anny Acevedo (oboe) and Alec McDaniel (oboe). Not shown is Noah Palmer (contrabass clarinet).

Ensembles performing during the conference, which is expected to draw more than 10,000 people. “I didn’t believe I actually made it,� Andrade said. “For all-county, there are maybe

50 people that try out. But for all-state, it’s the entire state. There are thousands of people that try out.


continued to page 20

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Holy Trinity senior keeps piling up awards BY ERNEST ARICO The awards keep coming for Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy senior Soyoun (Soy) Choi. Choi recently was named a 2018 Wendy’s High School Heisman state winner. The 18-year-old Baytree resident is the only nominee or winner in Brevard County, one of only two in Florida, and one of 99 students selected nationwide. Choi will receive a $500 college scholarship and will continue to compete for the chance to become a national finalist or national winner. In addition, Choi, who is the captain of Holy Trinity’s girls golf team, has been named a semifinalist for the 2019 class of the Coca-Cola Scholars Program. “It was quite unexpected,” she said. “I was very surprised to receive such

honors.” A Holy Trinity student since the ninth grade, Choi has a weighted grade point average of 4.99. She wants to major in biomedical engineering and develop remote control prosthetic limbs. She is interested in attending Johns Hopkins University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Michigan, Stanford University, Princeton University or the University of Florida. As far as playing collegiate golf, Choi said it depends on which school she attends. “I would like to continue playing golf in college,” she said. “I think it depends on what school I get a scholarship.” Her personal best score as a high school golfer was the 75 for 18 holes she recorded at the recent state regionals in Orlando. Choi said her

putting is the best part of her game. “I have saved many strokes because of my putting,” she said. Choi said her favorite professional golfer is South Korea’s Se-Ri Pak. “My parents showed me lots of video of her playing golf,” she explained. “I learned a lot from her.” She also credits her parents, who are from South Korea, for sparking her interest in golf. “They helped me a lot,” she said. Besides being on the school’s golf team, Choi serves as student body copresident and president of the National Honor Society. She is a member of the Florida All-State Orchestra and Brevard Symphony Youth Orchestra. She has been named a National Merit semifinalist and AP national scholar, and is a member of numerous other clubs and

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VIERA VOICE Ernest Arico

Soyoun (Soy) Choi, a senior at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy, wants to major in biomedical engineering.

honor societies. To date, she has completed more than 700 volunteer service hours. Choi, who plays the violin and viola, frequently volunteers on weekends at numerous Brevard County medical facilities. “I am part of a musical group of high school and college students that play for hospital patients,” she said. “We knock on patients’ doors and ask them if they want us to perform for them.” From a total applicant pool of nearly 42,000 high school scholar-athletes graduating with the class of 2019, 99 students were named state winners in Wendy’s annual scholarship competition. State winners receive a $500 college scholarship and continue to compete for the chance to become national finalists or national winners. National finalists receive a $1,000 college scholarship and the male and female national winners receive a $5,000 college scholarship and a trip to New York City to attend the Heisman Trophy Trust’s annual college Heisman award broadcast on Dec. 8. To apply, students must be graduating with the class of 2019, have a cumulative high school grade point average of a B (3.0) or better, participate in at least one of the 47 sports recognized by the International Olympic Committee and/or the National Federation of State High School Association and be a leader in his/her school and community. Choi credits Holy Trinity for making her a good student. “I am academically challenged here,” she said. “There are a lot of rigorous courses. Right now, I am taking a multivariable Calculus course.” The Wendy's High School Heisman was created by Wendy's founder Dave Thomas in 1994. Thomas

dropped out of high school when he was 15 years old in order to work full-time and went on to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in history. While this nontraditional path led to his prosperity, it always worried Thomas that others would follow in his footsteps and expect to achieve similar fame and wealth by not finishing high school or attending college. Faced with this dilemma, at 61 years old, Thomas enrolled at Coconut Creek High School in Fort Lauderdale and eventually received his General Equivalency Diploma (GED). Inspired by this moment and with a desire to celebrate the outstanding achievements of youth in America, he launched the Wendy's High School Heisman program. Twenty-five years later, Wendy's High School Heisman has honored more than 600,000 of the nation's most esteemed high school seniors who share Wendy's values of giving back to their communities, treating people with respect, continuing education and excelling in the athletics. Besides the Wendy’s Heisman award, Choi was named a semifinalist for the Coca-Cola Scholars Program. Choi was one of 1,896 high school seniors selected as semifinalists from a pool of 95,715 applications from across the country based on their academic excellence, leadership and service demonstrated in school and community activities. All semifinalists are in the running for 150 college scholarships worth $20,000. Semifinalists are now asked to complete Phase 2 applications, which include essays, recommendations


continued to page 20

Viera Voice | December 2018


Eagle Scout project helps bolster Indian River Lagoon BY JULIE STURGEON In search of an Eagle Scout project, Vincent Schiffer consulted with his troop’s assistant scoutmaster for ideas. “I was interested in doing something that would make an impact on the local environment,” Schiffer said. Knowing that Schiffer was environmentally inclined, Assistant Scoutmaster Dave Bookman for Troop 720 suggested he contact

two Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) professors. The professors were involved with a project called Living Docks. “Living Docks has to do with the preservation and restoration of the Indian River,” Schiffer said. Kelli Hunsucker and Robert Weaver, the FIT professors, host Living Docks work days, during which members of the community can participate in attaching oyster mats and bags to docks

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Florida Institute of Technology professors Kelli Hunsucker and Robert Weaver host Living Docks work days, during which members of the community can participate in attaching oyster mats and bags to docks and seawalls along the Indian River Lagoon.

Oysters are pearls in this chain of the river’s ecological makeup. According to Hunsucker and Weaver, oysters can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day. A healthy Living Dock community can filter up to 57,000 gallons of water per day. After participating in a Living Docks project, Schiffer was hooked on oysters. “It definitely seemed like

a good sustainability project,” Schiffer said. With guidance from the FIT professors, Schiffer drafted his proposal and proceeded to accumulate the three materials needed for the mats — oysters, mesh mats and ties. Schiffer was able to get all the oysters from a donation from the


continued to page 20


continued from page 11

Dec. 12 — Rockledge Dec. 14 — at Lincoln Park, 6 p.m.* Dec. 17 — Melbourne* WRESTLING Dec. 7-8 — at seventh annual Barbara Pill Memorial at Bayside, 2:30 p.m. Dec. 12 — District Duals at Bayside, 4 p.m.

HOLY TRINITY BOYS BASKETBALL JV games at 5:30 p.m., Varsity games at 7 p.m., unless noted * District game Dec. 3 — DME Dec. 5 — at Lake Highland Prep Dec. 8 — Cocoa* Dec. 11 — at The First Academy Dec. 13 — at Treasure Coast (5 p.m./6:30 p.m.) Dec. 15 — at MCC (JV at 4 p.m.)* Dec. 19-22 — at The First Academy Tournament, TBA

Varsity 3:30 p.m.) Dec. 3 — at Covenant Christian School (varsity only) Dec. 5 — West Shore* Dec. 7 — at Cocoa Beach* Dec. 10 — Community Christian School Dec. 12 — Hagerty Dec. 15 — at MCC (JV 2:30 p.m./varsity 5:30 p.m.) Dec. 27 — at Holiday Tournament at Universal (varsity only), TBD

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in online or in-person interviews. About 150 Coca-Cola Scholars will be named in March and come to Atlanta in April for a celebratory banquet and Leadership Development Institute facilitated by program alumni.

continued from page 16

and transcripts. An independent selection committee will review the applications and select 250 regional finalists by the end of January to participate

Choi said she will write her essay about her golfing experience. “I used to play golf with my grandfather’s old wooden clubs,” she explained. “Now, I use newer clubs. I want to write about that. I have an interesting story to tell.” V V

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Brevard Zoo, and the mats were donated by Memphis Net and Twine. The project itself was done in two parts. The first was a work day, which entailed drilling holes in each of the oyster shells and preparing the eight mesh mats. Several weeks later, the mats were installed to pilings on the dock of homeowner Angie Doswell, who lives on the Indian River. The project went as planned. Six months later, homeowner Doswell is happy to be a participating member in the Living Docks program. And Schiffer said another scout in Troop 720 is now in the planning stages of his own oyster mat project. “I am super ecstatic about another scout doing this project now,” Vincent Schiffer said. Schiffer said he periodically checks on the mats that he and fellow scouts installed, reporting the findings to the Living Docks team. “I am ecstatic about setting an example of this type of project,” Schiffer said, “And to see a person donating part of their waterfront to a sustainability project.” Schiffer graduated in May from Viera High and is now a student at the University of Central Florida. He is majoring in Biology, with an emphasis on environmental

VIERA VOICE Julie Sturgeon

Eagle Scout Vincent Schiffer’s project is working toward keeping the Indian River Lagoon healthy.

“(Professors) educated me on what oyster mats are and why they are used. … I am ecstatic about setting an example of this type of project.” — Vincent Schiffer sustainability. Living Docks is part of the Indian River Lagoon Research Institute. Residents interested in the Living Docks program can call 321-674-8936 or email for more information about IRLRI related activities. VV


continued from page 14

“To think that we were able to get it (was surprising).” Despite making All-State last year, Minaya admitted he wasn’t sure what the chances would be that he would be chosen again.

I was doubting myself, too,” he said. “I don’t know why. I guess I just felt like I wasn’t good enough to make it again.” But they were good enough. And in January, they’ll perform in front of the state. VV

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Viera Voice | December 2018

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Viera Voice | December 2018


Shelter offers critters chance to go home for holidays BY MARIA SONNENBERG Perfect guests await your invitation for the holidays. They won’t mind if your house is messy or if the food at your table is not gourmet. They just crave your company. Through its Home for the Holidays program, the SPCA of Brevard invites the community to make room for a shelter dog or cat during the Christmas season. “It gives animals a chance to get out of the shelter and spend time with a family,” said Susan Naylor of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Titusville. The organization starts allowing the critters to go Home for the Holidays beginning Dec. 17. “People can take pets home through Christmas Eve and keep them through Jan. 4,” Naylor said. There is an ulterior, albeit good-hearted, motive behind Home for the Holidays. By allowing the shelter pets to strut their stuff at home, the foster families could


VIERA VOICE Courtesy photo

The SPCA of Brevard invites the community to make room for a shelter dog or cat during the Christmas season through its Home for the Holidays program. The pets are available Dec. 17 and can be kept until Jan. 4

easily fall under their spell and decide to offer a forever home. “Many times, the fosters will either adopt the pet themselves or are able to find adopters through their own social circles,” Naylor said. Of course, there is no requirement that the fosters make the holiday arrangement a permanent one. For shelter animals, even a few days out of confinement is much appreciated.

Viera Voice | December 2018

“Even if they don’t find a forever home, the break from the shelter does wonders for their mental well-being,” Naylor said. While the SPCA is focusing on dogs because they tend to stress more in a shelter environment, cats also are welcome to go home for the holidays. Among the dogs available for a Home for the Holidays visit is the canine great citizen Caesar. At a little more

than 2 years old, he still is just a big boy. But, he never forgets his manners. “He is our go-to event dog and handles crowds and being around other dogs like a champ,” Naylor said. Caesar adores water and will splash around like a puppy if given the chance. “He needs a home with no cats, but he will make up for that with cuddles and hours of Netflix binges,” Naylor said. Sweetie Monroe also

awaits a holiday outing. “She needs to be the only pet in the home but will pay you back in kisses and will insist on many belly rubs,” Naylor said. At age 6, poor Serenity is the longest-term resident at the SPCA, and kennel life doesn’t agree with her. In fact, she gets so upset that she doesn’t show well as prospective adopters pass by this love bug who has excelled in obedience school. A good swimmer, Serenity is anything but serene. The energetic pooch loves the active lifestyle and would make an excellent exercise partner. “Giving her a break from shelter life for even a week or so would benefit her greatly,” Naylor said. Caesar, Monroe, Serenity and the many others at the SPCA would love to share your home for the holidays, and they will return the favor with boundless love. For more information on the Home for the Holidays program at the SPCA of Titusville, call 321-567-3615. The Main Adoption Center is at 6035 Sisson Road in Titusville.V V


‘Hybrid’ outdoors store, women’s boutique to open in spring BY CHRIS BONANNO

One of the most unique stores you’ll ever see is moving to The Avenue Viera this spring. Alabama-based Leaf-inCreek, a business that coowner Christina Stolaas refers to as a “hybrid” between an outdoors store and a women’s boutique, will open April 1, just north of the AMC Movie

Theaters and Bonefish Grill. “We are unlike any store that you’ve ever been in,” Stolaas said. “We hear that comment every day.” The hybrid nature of the business is derived from the interests of Stolaas, along with her co-owner and husband Curtis, who are big fans of the outdoors and take part in activities that include kayaking, longboarding,

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mountain biking and hiking. “We just love being outside,” Stolaas said. “We don’t want to look like we hike when we’re going out to dinner.” Indeed, the outdoor portion of the store will cater to those who share the Stolaas’ interests in terms of the outdoors while the women’s boutique will sell clothing that she hopes will attract many young women. “High school, college … young modern women love our store because it’s affordable, the quality’s very (good) and it’s very high fashion.” Stolaas added that most of the items in the women’s boutique are less than $50 and that the store will receive

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10 to 15 fashion shipments a week. The store also will feature a “community giveback area” of the store, consisting primarily of jewelry but also home décor, Stolaas said. Also, 20 percent of all money from the sale of goods from that area of the store will be donated to nonprofit organizations. Stolaas also hopes to hire a staff that will vary depending on the time of year but average between 12 to 15 people, she added. The Viera store will be the business’ second location, with the first being built in Huntsville, Alabama in 2011 (though the online portion of the business has been

operating since 2004). To that end, the Stolaas’ and their four young children chose the area for business reasons, including some similarities between Huntsville and the Viera area. Beyond that, she also noted that she and her husband wanted to find a place they could raise a family. There also were geographic benefits, she added. “We’ve been actually looking to locate on a coast,” said Stolaas, who identifies along with her husband as people who love the beach. “We’ve been seriously looking for about three years.” For more information, go to V V

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Viera Voice | December 2018


Festival of Trees does it well for 34th consecutive time BY CHRIS BONANNO PHOTOS BY JILL BLUE

The Viera Regional Park Community Center gym was turned into a winter wonderland on Nov. 18 as the Junior League of South Brevard hosted its 34th annual Festival of Trees. Patrons were treated to a visual showcase as trees and wreaths were on display, having been donated by local organizations and put up for auction. Examples of some of the trees at the event included a green and gold tree donated by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, created by Lindsey Deaton, with ornaments that had Sheriff Wayne Ivey’s photo on them. There also was a colorful “Bloom Where You Planted-” themed tree donated by the Suntree Club among many others. “We’ve been in the community in Brevard County 34 years. It’s a long time. We have people from all over who have come to our event since they were little,” said Savanna Robinson, one of the co-chairs of the event. “They’ve now even brought their kids here. It’s a great event.” “Basically, every single person in the Junior League of South Brevard has a hand in this event,” said Erika Holzer, the communications director for the JLSB. “It is our largest fundraiser of the year next to the Bourbon Ball event, which is held in the spring.” Proceeds from the event will benefit the JLSB, which is a nonprofit organiza-

tion that helps the community through a number of programs, including “Kids in the Kitchen,” a program that educates families on healthy lifestyles and “Girl Power,” an event that is designed to empower women by teaching things such as stress management and resume building, Holzer said. There were about 90 different donated trees, some of which are “tabletop trees” ranging from 4 to 7 feet and designer trees, ranging from 7- to 9-feet tall, along with wreaths, Robinson said. Other items also were being raffled off, she added. Among those who donated was Renne Kowalske of Melbourne, who said she has been making wreaths and trees for the festival for 17 years and whose Boston Red Sox-themed tabletop tree and “Candy Cane Lane” wreath each won best of show awards this year. “People want me to sell my items and I tell them every year that if you want to buy something, come to Festival of Trees because it goes toward wonderful charities and it makes me feel wonderful. Nothing gets you in the Christmas spirit more than this,” Kowalske said. Kids also had the opportunity to cook with Mrs. Claus and meet and have their photos taken with Santa Claus. The league also sold poinsettias, and other items to raise funds. For more information and/or donating to the Junior League of South Brevard, go to V V

Sherri Davis and daughter Holly admire a tree.

Dory Shaffer and Summer Siverling gaze at one of the designer trees. Savanna Clark-King met with Mrs. Claus.

Bella Roman gets a hug from Mrs. Claus.

Junior League of South Brevard volunteers were integral to the success of the 34th annual Festival of Trees.

Children made reindeer food.

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Viera Voice | December 2018



Viera Voice | December 2018



Manufacturing thrives in Brevard County N E T W O R K I N G G R O Usector P that stood out from this survey In Brevard County, there — only 5 percent of parents of is yet another advantage. Many of us paint a picture of high-school children identified The EDC, with the support what manufacturing looks like. manufacturing as a preferred of community partners, However for most of us, this career for their children. offers scholarships to help picture is far from reality. The truth is manufacturing candidates get started in Replace loud machines with is a game changer. a manufacturing career. the newest technology, clean Modern manufacturing is This scholarship can lead rooms and dirty hands with a STEM (science, technology, to the Certified Production white gloves and scrubs, and engineering and mathematics) Technician (CPT) credential, low wages with an annual pay career. Manufacturing careers which is quickly gaining that is 21 percent higher than are ranked No. 2 for job tenure respect among U.S. the national average. and job stability, with wages manufacturers and is widely This is today’s world of 21 percent higher than the recognized across Brevard manufacturing, and the Space national average. A career in County. The online CPT course Coast is home to some of the manufacturing is a solid choice. takes just 10 weeks, and the best. They’re also in high demand. next class begins in January. A recent survey conducted During the next decade, nearly To learn more about VIERA BUSINESS3.5NETWORKING by theMEANS Economic Development million manufacturingGROUP jobs how manufacturing is a Commission of Florida’s Space likely will be needed in the U.S. game changer and about Coast (EDC) revealed parents’ As many as 2 million jobs are the CPT program, go to misperceptions about a career expected to go unfilled due to a in manufacturing. One factor skills gap. CPT. VV BY SARAH LEVANTI

Something to consider Manufacturing pays well

The average annual salary for manufacturing across all skill levels, according to Examination Management Services, Inc. (EMSI), is $104,247. There is a sharp pay-scale increase upon attainment of valued skills and experience.

Manufacturing jobs are stable

According to PayScale 2017, manufacturing ranked second for job tenure and stability.

Manufacturing is safe and clean

Manufacturing is technology driven and clean environments are required.

VIERA MEANS BUSINESS NETWORKIN Manufacturers pay tuition

Of the manufacturers in Brevard County surveyed, 70 percent report they are offering tuition support to their employees.

Rhonda Waterstradt and Laurie Whittaker

Jasmine Doshi, Eva Rey and Angela Kirshon

The November Viera Means Business meeting was Nov. 8 at Code Ninjas. The Viera Means Business networking group meets at 7:55 a.m. the second Thursday of each month at member business locations. For an invitation to the December VMB meeting, email Photos by Jill Blue



N Alan Ross Frisher



VMB members gather in Code Ninja's dojo.

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Viera Voice | December 2018




62. Decades 63. Lt.'s inferior, in the Navy 64. *"Last Christmas" duo DOWN

Solution on page 42 Solution on page 38

ACROSS 1. Rare bills 5. Clairvoyant's gift 8. Snoopy 12. Time distortion 13. Show worry 14. Wyoming's official sport 15. *John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War is ____)" 16. And elsewhere 17. Opposite of bonjour 18. *"Have ____ a Merry Little Christmas" 20. MTV's "____'d" 21. Incessantly 22. A cool ____, as in money 23. *"Should auld acquaintance be ____" 26. *"Run ____ Run" sung by Chuck Berry 30. *Co-writer of #15 Across 31. Used tabulator key

34. Your majesty 35. 1965 Watts events 37. *"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," sung by Brenda ____ 38. Mozart and Einstein, e.g. 39. Golly! 40. Dry ravine, in Asia 42. Not don'ts 43. Diplomatic alliance 45. Like empty hotel room 47. "Fat chance!" 48. Shenzi of "The Lion King" 50. Eastern European 52. *Vince ____ Trio of "Linus and Lucy" fame 55. Between violin and cello 56. Rainbows and such 57. Rumpelstiltskin's weaver 59. Coral reef island 60. Facebook's "psst" 61. ____ Mann of "The Simpsons"


1. *____ Turtle Doves 2. Not straight 3. Post-meal sandwich 4. Spring action, past tense 5. Like yesterday's meal 6. Coffee burn, e.g. 7. Bread or cabbage 8. Having small nodules 9. Scandinavian war god 10. Radio button 11. *"All I want for Christmas is ____" 13. Bygone Spanish money 14. R in R.E.M. 19. Alex Haley saga 22. ____ pie in a sand box 23. Blacksmith's hearth 24. Gibson garnish 25. Fowl perch 26. Film roll 27. Ronstadt, e.g. 28. Infectious protein particle 29. Bank job 32. *Like Elvis' Christmas? 33. 10 decibels 36. *Deck'em 38. Ivory Coast neighbor 40. Utmost degree 41. Not sympathetic 44. Maryland Academy 46. Young and inexperienced 48. Second-largest Great Lake 49. Talks and talks and talks 50. It houses web content 51. "On Golden Pond" bird 52. Open-mouthed astonishment 53. Shakespearean "does" 54. Tiny bit 55. Port vessel 58. Mrs. Goldberg, e.g.



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Viera Voice | December 2018


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INSURANCE Brevard Health Advantage 321-574-6440 State Farm, Dan Adovasio 321-454-4444 MOVING/STORAGE Two Men and a Truck


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MUSIC, ART CLASSES 321-725-5690 Atlantic Music Center Creative Music & Art Center 321-255-0116




CHIROPRACTIC Fogarty Chiropractic

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CLEANING SERVICE/JANITORIAL New Sparkles 321-877-4577 Shine N Sparkle Window Cleaning 321-213-5751 COSMETIC SURGERY/DERMATOLOGY Brevard Cosmetic Surgery 321-622-8784 Brevard Skin & Cancer Ctr. 321-636-7780 COUNSELING Gloria Rivera King


DENTISTS/ORTHODONTISTS Dr. Cedric Chenet 321-622-3895 Dr. Claudia Pryszlak 321-255-7740 Dr. Roppa, Smile Viera 321-631-9395 Hibiscus Dental 321-253-9588 Suntree Smiles 321-684-7070 Valderrama Orthodontics 321-425-5050 EDUCATION Florida Prep 321-723-3211 Holy Trinity 321-723-8323 Episcopal Academy Kumon 321-632-0900 EYE CARE Dr. Ho, Ophthalmology Pinnacle Eye Care

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FINANCE Edward Jones - C. Mitchell 321-425-6493 Leonard Financial 321-259-6239 Sage Financial 321-242-7526 FOOD STORE Earth Fare

GOLF & EQUIPMENT Duran Golf Club Viera East Golf Club

321-504-7776 321-639-6500

PHYSICIANS & MEDICAL 321-956-1501 Arthritis & Joint Center Center for Advanced Urology 321-215-4799 Peak Performance 321-432-4122 Reflections OB/GYN 321-610-8955 Rejuvenate Orthopedics 321-953-1220 Suntree Internal Medicine 321-259-9500 Vascular Vein Centers 321-704-8505 POOLS & SPAS Mr. Fireplace Pool & Spa 321-727-7565 QUILTING SUPPLIES Quilts and Lace


REALTORS/REAL ESTATE 321-750-7050 Ellingson Properties Deb Tomczak 321-604-8479 Joy Frankel 321-446-5826 Mary Ann Thompson 321-863-9757 Viera Builders 321-305-6310 RESTAURANTS/CATERING/BAKERY 321-254-4455 Bella Luna Hop Bo 321-638-8838 Pizza Gallery & Grill 321-633-0397 Tradewinds at Duran 321-504-7776 Tropical Smoothie 321-242-1140 Viera Pizza 321-636-7696 RETIREMENT / 55+ LIVING 321-724-0060 Buena Vida Estates Chateau Madeleine 321-701-8000 Assisted Living Courtenay Springs Village 321-452-1233 Indian River Colony Club 888-224-2927 Lamplighter Village 321-254-0303 The Brennity at Melbourne 321-254-7500 SHOES/CLOTHES 321-373-1002 Nicole Maree Bridal Swanky Sole Shoe Boutique 321-428-4915

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D E C E M B E R Calendar



National Pie Day

Chanukah Snow Festival

4:30 p.m. Celebrate Hanukkah with Chabad of the Space Coast at The Avenue Viera. Parade at 4 p.m. (departing from 1190 State Road A1A, Satellite Beach), with the snow festival starting at 4:30 p.m. featuring The Gelt Drop and Sergio the Mime. Free admission. The Avenue Viera Next to Office Depot Viera, 321-777-2770


National Pastry Day

Robert Navarro Quartet

2 p.m. Space Coast Jazz Society presents Robert Navarro. Rockledge Country Club 1591 S. Fiske Blvd. Rockledge, 321-960-4897




National Roof Over Your Head Day

Caroling at the Avenue


National Sock Day

What Will Happen To Your Family & Your Money If You Go Into A Nursing Home?

7 p.m. Cocoa Village Playhouse Carolers Avenue Viera, Central Park 2261 Town Center Ave. Viera, 321-634-5390


National App Day

Christmas with Sal Valentinetti

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. 8 p.m. Monthly Luncheon Meeting King Center, Melbourne Program: The meeting will feature Diena “Rainey” Cannavino, National Vice President of Bikers Against Caroling at the Avenue Trafficking 7 p.m. Duran Golf Club Cocoa Village Playhouse 7032 Stadium Parkway Carolers Avenue Viera, Central Park Viera, 321-727-1212 2261 Town Center Ave. Viera, 321-634-5390


National Chocolate-covered Anything Day

“Lessons & Carols”

9:30 and 11 a.m. Nine readings from the Bible, with hymns, anthems Suntree United Methodist Church 7400 N. Wickham Road Suntree, 321-242-2585


National Maple Syrup Day

Caroling at the Avenue


National Roast Pig Day


Happy Festivus

Accordion Club Meeting 2 - 5 p.m. Elks Lodge #1532 315 Florida Ave. Cocoa, 866-422-2322


National Microwave Oven Day

“Pipe Organ Mini-Concerts” Fiction Writing Group


National Ambrosia Day

1 - 3 p.m. Suntree/Viera Library 902 Jordan Blass Drive Suntree, 321-255-4404

Caroling at the Avenue

6 -8 p.m. Cocoa Village Playhouse Carolers Avenue Viera, Central Park 2261 Town Center Ave. Viera, 321-634-5390


National Guard Birthday

“Pipe Organ Mini-Concerts” Tea & Sweets



National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Card Party and Fashion Show

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Cocoa Rockledge Garden Club 1493 S. Fiske Blvd. Rockledge, 321-537-8060

Holiday Gala

6 to 9 p.m. His Place Ministries Community Toy Drive One Senior Place 8085 Spyglass Hill Road Viera, 321-751-6771


the Advent Season Advent Lutheran Church 7550 North Wickham Road Suntree, 321-426-9378

Tea & Sweets with the Cape Canaveral Pen Women. One Senior Place 8085 Spyglass Hill Road Viera, 321-751-6771


Christmas Eve / National Eggnog Day


New Year’s Eve /National Champagne Day

New Year’s Eve Party

National Brownie Day

Golf Cart Parade

5 p.m. Carts meet behind GolfCarts Unlimited The Avenue Viera, 2271 Town Center Ave., No. 105 Viera, 321-632-1005

Sounds of the Season XV

7 p.m. St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church 5655 Stadium Parkway Viera, 855-252-7276


“Christmas at The Avenue” 7 p.m. A free holiday concert for the community The Avenue Viera 2241 Town Centre Avenue Viera, 855-252-7276

Strength Training for Seniors

2 p.m. One Senior Place 8085 Spyglass Hill Road Viera, 321-751-6771


National Hard Candy Day


National Sangria Day

Neighbors Book Club


Winter Begins 5:23 p.m. EST

2 - 4 p.m. Discussion on “Women in the Castle” by Jessica Shattuck Suntree/Viera Library 902 Jordan Blass Drive Suntree, 321-255-4404



Yoga in the Garden


National Date Nut Bread Day Viera Pizza’s Run, Run Santa 1 Mile 7:30 a.m. Every participant receives a full Florida-style Santa suit to wear. Every Santa that crosses the finish line will receive a festive Finisher’s Medal. Run fast and you could win an overall or age group award. You must wear your Santa suit to participate. Calvary Chapel 2852 Fellowship Place Viera, 321-412-1830

Thirsty 3rd Thursday

5 - 8 p.m. Relax in Central Park featuring live music. The Avenue Viera Noon Central Park Advent Lutheran Church 2261 Town Center Ave. 7550 North Wickham Road Viera, 321-634-5390 Suntree, 321-426-9378 National National Thank-you Fruitcake Day Note Day




2 - 4 p.m. Harbor City Harmonizers annual Christmas Concert Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy 5625 Holy Trinity Drive Suntree, 321-345-7292 National National Salesperson Day Cupcake Day

Space Coast Symphony Noon 2 - 3:30 p.m. Orchestra “Messiah Sing Guest artists perform during Join us for an afternoon of Along”

1 - 3 p.m. Workshop for those who are writing or interested in writing. Suntree/Viera Library 902 Jordan Blass Drive Suntree, 321-255-4404

2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Calvary Chapel Viera 2852 Fellowship Place Viera 321-369-9339


Bathtub Party Day


Advent Lutheran Church Concert Series “Pipe Organ Mini-Concerts”

Christmas Eve Services

Bacon Day


Writers Workshop

6 p.m. Cocoa Village Playhouse Carolers Avenue Viera, Central Park 2261 Town Center Ave. Viera, 321-634-5390

Space Coast Flute Orchestra “Christmas Concert”

3 p.m. Suntree United Methodist Church 7400 N. Wickham Road Suntree, 321-385-7236


Noon Guest artists perform during the Advent Season Advent Lutheran Church 10 a.m. Elder Law Attorney William 7550 N. Wickham Road A. Johnson will discuss legal Suntree, 321-426-9378 and financial strategies that can help you try to Evening with Viking Cruises preserve your assets from 6 - 8 p.m. nursing-home costs. The Cruise Guys will show One Senior Place you how to travel in luxury. 8085 Spyglass Hill Road Expedia CruiseShipCenters Viera, 321-253-1667 6375 N. Wickham Road, 103 Suntree, 321-233-1400

Dewey Decimal System Day

Brevard Federated Republican Women



National Chocolate Candy Day


National Pepper Pot Day

9:30 a.m. This flowing Vinyasa style class promotes and enhances balance, flexibility, strength, agility, relaxation and clarity of mind. Suitable for students of all levels; modifications will be shown for beginners. Classes are $10. Bring a mat or large towel. Rockledge Gardens 2153 U.S. 1 Rockledge, 321-636-7662

Jan. 1

Happy New Year from the staff at Viera Voice!

7:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. Dinner buffet, late night snacks, champagne toast, balloon drop and photo booth fun. Tradewinds at Duran 7032 Stadium Parkway Viera, 321-504-7771

What Does Date Night Mean to You?

Pizza Gallery Family Fun Night - Cocktails with the Girls - Meet Up with Old Friends - First Date - Mom & Dad Night Out - Dinner & a Movie - Shopping & Lunch - Live Music on the Patio & Grill

Free Movie Knots are Back!

Show us your same day ticket stubs or pre-purchased tickets to any move at The AMC Avenue 16 and Get a Free order of Knots with any purchase of $7 or more! In The Avenue Viera VoiceViera | December 2018

30 321.633.0397


Space Coast Basket Brigade feeds those less fortunate BY RHEA GONZALES

For the ninth consecutive year, the Space Coast Basket Brigade helped families around Brevard County have a happy Thanksgiving. More than 1,700 volunteers packed and delivered Thanksgiving meal baskets to deserving families. The meal baskets were packed at Satellite High. Erin Allen, one of the founders of the event, confirmed that more than 4,700 baskets were delivered to families in need in Brevard County. In 2009,

Allen and her sister Keri packed four baskets during the inaugural brigade. Allen said the their brigade has grown each year because it has become more than a food drive. It has become an opportunity for volunteers to see what a difference their contribution is making for the community. Next year, Allen hopes the 10th anniversary will be the best brigade ever. It will be a huge celebration for volunteers as they expect to deliver more baskets to every family in transition or homeless child in Brevard.

Alena Janik, an active leader for the brigade and a close friend of Allen, said as the event has expanded it

has become more energized. The community has united toward a common goal. For more information, go

to the Facebook page Space Coast Basket Brigade or SpaceCoastBasketBrigade. com.VV

VIERA VOICE Rhea Gonzales

Volunteers packed Thanksgiving meal baskets at Satellite High for deserving families in Brevard County.`


Riley, left, and Myla Janik deliver the makings of a Thanksgiving dinner to a neighbor in Suntree.

Check out all that our Non-Profit is doing

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ORLANDO December 16 - Blue Jacket Park VIERA December 22 - Calvary Chapel VERO BEACH December 23 - Pocahontas Park For more Information or to register go to:

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Santa arrives in style to bring Brevard cheer BY JEFF NAVIN

Although he’s a little worried about mischievous elves falling behind on the

toy assembly line, Santa decided to surprise Mrs. Claus with a trip to Florida. The happy couple usually

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like to take a Florida vacation after the busy Dec. 24 and Dec. 25 Christmas rush when Santa and his reindeers deliver toys throughout the world. “I’m getting a lay of the land here at Camp Holly,’’ said Santa, who enjoyed an airboat ride at Camp Holly in West Melbourne during his vacation. “It’s a lot warmer here than the North Pole. I also like the beaches, and I won’t say anything about a cold beverage at Camp Holly’s Tiki Bar. I love cold orange juice.’’ Migratory birds followed Santa, Mrs. Claus and the reindeers on their trip to Florida. “I love airboat rides at Camp Holly,’’ Santa said. “I love to see the gators and the wildlife. Capt. Larry (Helton) was gentle as we rode through the St. Johns River.’’ Mrs. Claus has been a little concerned about the size of Santa’s stomach. “I’ve got to watch his sweet intake. On Christmas Eve, he gets a lot of cookies. While I’m here, I have to keep track of the elves (by Internet) every hour to make sure the toys are being made.’’ A 35- to 40-minute airboat ride at Camp Holly costs $32.50. The one-hour, eco-

VIERA VOICE Keith Betterley Capt. Larry Helton of Camp Holly in West Melbourne guides Santa and Mrs. Claus on a tour of the St. Johns River in Brevard County.

tour excursion by reservation costs $45. For information, call 321-723-2179. “If you’ve never done an airboat ride, you should check it off your bucket list,’’ said Tia McKinney, whose father, Curt McKinney, owns Camp Holly. Helton has worked in the airboat business for more than 25 years. “I enjoy taking people out and seeing the smiles on their

faces,’’ Helton said. “With sun like this, the gators like to sleep on the banks. I’m seeing a lot of migratory birds, great white egrets, blue herons, osprey hawks, an occasional bald eagle and two or three varieties of owls.’’ After the airboat ride and a quick nap, Santa had plans to go surfing in Cocoa Beach. “Before I forget, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!’’ Santa said.VV

you are sick and going to the doctor’s office, or you have an appointment and will be waiting in the office. “In close proximity in care facilities, you have more of a chance to catch the flu,” Fotopoulos said. “Not only if you catch it, it can linger on surfaces like doorknobs and remote controls. It is important to clean afterward.” She recommends coughing and sneezing into a tissue and disposing of the tissue and then washing your hands. Usually those are the key factors. “I recommend a flu shot for especially high-risk young patients, people over age 65 and pregnant women and

people with diseases like COPD, asthma, heart and nervous system who are at higher risk,” Fotopoulos said. “Flu immunization shots have been effective even in previous years when not as effective against the special strain. It helps you keep from getting complications from the flu.” Self-limited flu usually goes away in two weeks, added Fotopoulos. Fever goes away in about two to five days. “Anything over 100 degrees is considered a fever,” Fotopoulos said. “Influenza virus is muscle and headache and a general fatigue with

Flu shot, precautions can help in avoiding virus


It’s here again — cold and influenza season. Mount your defenses by getting your sleep and keeping the hand sanitizer in use. “For flu and cold prevention, the best thing is to avoid anyone that is sick,” said Dr. Evangelia Fotopoulos, a family medicine physician of the Steward Medical Group in Melbourne. “The other thing is soap and water and hygiene and hand sanitizer. If someone is coughing like in a doctor’s waiting room, stay at least 3 feet away from the person.” Fotopoulos also recommends wearing a mask over the nose and mouth if


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Christmas means more than just a gift from a store One of our family traditions is to watch “The Grinch” every year during the holidays. Besides being a fun movie, the main message it conveys never gets old — the holiday season means a bit more than just buying gifts. Published in 1957, numbers from 2001 indicate that the book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” had sold almost 3.5 million copies. “The Grinch” movie, released in 2000, sold more than 48.1 million tickets in the U.S. alone. That shows that Dr. Seuss’ message has reached many, but have we learned anything from it? With another increase in retail sales of 4.7 percent recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau for the month of September (when compared against September 2017) and the projection of the National Retail Federation (NRF) of about 4 percent growth in retail sales this year, it seems consumption is not slowing. A report from reveals that 78 percent of consumers plan on spending more or the same on holiday gifts as they spent during the previous year. So the trend seems to indicate that shopping still is a significant activity for the majority of consumers, especially during the last two months of the year when, according to the NRF, “as much as 30 percent of annual sales” happen. Due to the increase in sales, some might argue that the holiday season is a time

BEYOND the CURB Marcia Booth

President & Founder, Recycle Brevard

of overconsumption and heightened consumerism (Investopedia). Consumerism, as James Shelley explains in his essay “Fight Consumerism: Love your stuff!” reflects a constant dissatisfaction with material goods and that dissatisfaction produces the restless pursuit of satisfaction in the form of something new. What could be an alternative to that? Shelley’s advice is to love and appreciate what you have. In our family, we practice that and we take it one step further — finding meaning in the things we do and spending time on things that matter to us. To add a bit of zest, this year we are trying something new: we will use, a gift registry with a twist. It allows us to get creative and ask for and give meaningful gifts other than stuff. We will see what happens. I think it is a charming idea because I believe that Christmas doesn’t come from a store. I believe Christmas means a little bit more. Happy holidays. Email Marcia Booth at VV


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Tricycles bring seniors together for fun, fresh air


The fresh air and freedom of pedaling a bike can be exhilarating at any age. But for some seniors, maintaining balance on a two-wheel bike is no longer possible. Adult tricycles, or trikes, are ideal for seniors who enjoy bike riding but need the added stability a third wheel offers. With trikes, riders do not need to maintain balance and are not as liable to tip over. Terri and George Moore are a trike riding couple who offer group cycling tours to help seniors get moving and get together. “We’re not about miles and physical fitness as much as getting seniors back out in the community and socializing in fresh air,

enjoying an hour ride in the morning,” Terri Moore said. A bonus feature of adult tricycles is a flat seat, which allows the rider to sit upright instead of leaning forward. Atlas SunTrikes are modified for comfort, safety and ease. The trikes have three speeds for gentler pedaling, both hand and foot brakes, and of most importance, wide cushioned seats with padded ergonomic backrests. It was after five knee surgeries spanning more than a decade that Terri Moore knew she had work to do to regain her physical strength. Moore had started to lose her ability to be physically active, and that bothered her. “I had always been very physically active, including biking for 10 years,” Moore

VIERA VOICE Julie Sturgeon

Boomer Bash participants take a spin on iTrikeMoore tricycles at the Brevard Veterans Memorial Park on Merritt Island.

said. “So, losing that ability really made me feel old fast.”

Moore got back on her bike and worked hard at it, riding for hours at a time during the summer of 2017. “The problem was that George couldn’t go with me because of his balance issues,” Moore said. “So, it wasn’t very social and fun for me.” One day, the Moores stopped by Bob’s Bicycles so George could try out a trike. He instantly said he felt like a kid. The Moores soon purchased two trikes and

started having a blast riding together. A retired social psychologist, Moore became aware of the benefits of physical activity for seniors. She soon decided to start a business so others could join them on their excursions. Her company, iTrikeMoore tours, emphasizes an easygoing approach.


continued to page 35

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To help promote writing among seniors, Larry Upshaw and author Ginnie Siena Bivona created Ageless Authors to encourage, motivate and give older writers a voice. Siena Bivona didn’t begin writing until her mid-40s. Her first novel, “Ida Mae Tutweiler and the Traveling Tea Party,” premiered as a Hallmark made-for-TV-movie entitled “Bound by a Secret,” starring Meredith Baxter, Lesley Ann Warren and Timothy Bottoms. “We started a contest

for writers ages 65 and older and compiled the best selections into an anthology called “Ageless Authors Anthology.” Siena Bivona passed away last year at 87, and her long-time friend Upshaw continues the tradition of Ageless Authors. Now, a second anthology is in the making with a new writing contest underway. The categories are memoir, humor, adventure, romance (essay, short story, fiction or nonfiction, 3,500 words or less) and poetry (50 lines or less). The



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Valentinetti to share 'Christmas Presents' with Brevard BY WENDY SCHEURING

Sal Valentinetti didn’t realize he had singing talent until it was pointed out to him as a teenager. A baritone player at the time, when young Sal crooned “Mack the Knife” his instructor realized that he had the makings of a singing prodigy. Valentinetti credits his grandmother with instilling

in him his love of big band music and the classics. “My grandmother especially loved Frank Sinatra, Vic Damone and Jerry Vale,’’ Valentinetti said. “I would go to her house after preschool and we’d listen to the radio. We would dance and she would sing along. I hold those memories dear, especially since she’s since passed away. The smell of

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her perfume and the sound of the music echoing through the house. I fell in love with the style and the class and everything about it.” Valentinetti’s singing career, however, didn’t launch until a couple of years ago when he appeared on Season 11 of “America’s Got Talent.” He placed fifth overall in the singing competition. “I hadn’t performed for more than a couple of minutes until December 2016 when I sold out my first show at New York’s Paramount Theater on Broadway,” Valentinetti said. In addition to entertaining his audiences with his rich, deep voice and classic big band-style, Valentinetti shares stories on stage about his growing up years. “Growing up in my household, my heritage was important to me,’’ Valentinetti said. “Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Mel Tormé were like icons to

VIERA VOICE Courtesy photo

Sal Valentinetti, who appeared in Season 11 of “America’s Got Talent,” will perform at 8 p.m. Dec. 11 at the King Center in Melbourne.

me. They went up on stage and joked around like they were sitting around your table having dinner.” On Dec. 11 at the King Center, the singer will perform songs from his newly-released Christmas album, “Christmas Presents from Sal Valentinetti.” “It will be my first time doing a Christmas concert surrounded by palm trees, which will be an interesting

experience for me,” said Valentinetti, who hails from Long Island, New York. “The most exciting thing about the show will be that I’m thawing out. “The air doesn’t hurt your face when you walk outside in Florida. You don’t have to wear 13 layers of clothes. Layers are not that flattering for someone the size as me,” Valentinetti said laughing. “You don’t have to remove 3 feet of (snow) off of your car to get it off your driveway either. “Christmas has to do with community and family in Florida,’’ Valentinetti said. “Everyone gets along and does Christmas together.” The entertainer will appear on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent Championship Edition” series airing Jan. 7. “The series will have 50 acts from all over the world. It will be tremendous fun,” Valentinetti said.VV

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Teeing it up at Duran

The Tradewinds Restaurant at Duran Golf Club was the gathering spot for members of the Duran Men's Golf Association after a round of golf to begin the 2018-19 season. VIERA VOICE Darrell Woehler

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Duran Men's Golf Association committee members Matt Morrison, left, the head professional; Jerry McAnulty, who is in charge of media and public relations; David Grant, results coordinator; George Stergious, who organizes players handicaps; Bruce Miller, who organizes pairings; Al Foppiano, the rules arbitrator; John Pugsley, who records results; and Mike Johnson, who also organizes player handicaps, competed in Tee'd Off as the Duran Men's Golf Association began its 2018-19 season.



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Jerry McAnulty, left, was the United States flag attendant on the 18th green during a Veterans Day golf event at Duran Golf Club. McAnulty is a 28-year Air Force veteran, who has worked at Duran for the past nine years. For the past five years, McAnulty has created a tradition at Duran where he tends the U.S. flag for golfers as they finish their round. Duran employees Dick Buczek, also an Air Force veteran; Steve Vidurek, a Navy veteran, who is in charge of outside operations; Ed Snider, a starter; and John Lynagh, a Navy veteran, teamed up together for the event. Jack Jaust, not pictured, also tended the flag during the special event.




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coughing and sneezing. These flu-like symptoms are very general. Be aware during flu season an incubation period is one to four days. Give yourself time for your body to fight this.” Treat it by staying home, resting and getting plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, advised the doctor. “Get electrolytes into the body and have chicken soup because it has electrolytes,” Fotopoulos said. “If you feel like you are not getting fluids in and the fever is not responding to home remedies, then contact your family care provider and get tested for the flu.”VV

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Viera Voice | December 2018


Veterans had the opportunity to paint a few of the stars on a 190-foot by 100-foot American flag at the inaugural Suntree Veterans Day Celebration at Jack Mahon Park. There were enough veterans to stand on each of the 50 stars.

Flag painting highlights event honoring veterans in Suntree BY CHRIS BONANNO Hundreds spent Veterans Day honoring American heroes at the inaugural Suntree Veterans Day Celebration at Jack Mahon Park. The event featured a program that included a Patriot Guard flag line, the National Anthem and invocation that preceded words from guest speakers, including Kay Hilbrandt, who served as a Women Airforce Service Pilot or “WASP,” and Brevard County Commissioner Curt Smith. “We’ve got freedoms today that probably a few countries in this world aspire to,” Smith said. “You just can’t say enough of our veterans and what they’ve done for us.” But perhaps the highlight of the event involved the painting of what Suntree Master Homeowners Association facilities director Mike Beasy said was a large 190-foot by 100-foot American flag on the park grass by organizers. A few of the stars were left


Veterans painted some of the stars during the ceremony at Jack Mahon Park in Suntree.

unpainted prior to the event on purpose so that veterans could come and paint them. “It’s awesome for what the flag stands for,” said Richard MacDonald of Suntree, who served for seven years in the Air Force and helped paint one of the stars. “It stands for all the good stuff that America’s about.”

In addition to the ceremonial events, a car show featuring cars owned by veterans also was held. Free refreshments were donated by local businesses, according to organizers. The event was put on by the Suntree Master Homeowners Association. The association members believed there

needed to be an event in the area to honor military heroes. “We love our veterans,” said Susie Parente, who serves as the association’s social and marketing director and who helped organize the event. “They’re the stars of our community, (and) we wanted them to paint our stars.” “Todd Foley is our general manager and he’s been wanting to do something like this for a long, long time and we felt this was the time to do it,” added Forrest Miles, a veteran of the Korean War, who also serves as president of the association’s board of directors. “Very big endeavor of putting this flag out. Our staff did all the painting and we think everybody’s going to enjoy it.” VV


Kay Hilbrandt, who served as a Women Airforce Service Pilot or “WASP,” spoke about her experiences during World War II.

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Employees from the Suntree Master Homeowners Association work on the U.S. flag and stars before the Suntree Veterans Day Celebration.

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Viera Voice - December 2018  

Viera Voice is a community newspaper serving Suntree, Viera and Rockledge, Florida. For more information, call 321-242-1235.

Viera Voice - December 2018  

Viera Voice is a community newspaper serving Suntree, Viera and Rockledge, Florida. For more information, call 321-242-1235.