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HOLIDAY issue 2012

hes s i w t s e B ories m e m y p p and ha ear! Y w e N e in th


Revisiting the stories behind Henry Plant and his Palace; Discover the History of the Holiday / Holiday traditions around the world; and the captivating stories behind two of Tampa Bay’s historic Churches

Ken Walters’ Annual

Stewards’ Enclosure

to benefit The Stewards’ Foundation


January 5 & 6, 2013

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park Downtown Tampa, Florida

$75 per reserved riverside seat

Includes admission to Stewards' Enclosure, continental brunch buffet and waiter service for cash bar and seafood (rain date is Sunday)

Sat & Sun

$35 per person

Children under 12 are free Saturday hat contest Fashionable attire Valet parking • Cash bar

Free Admission Saturday, 10 am - 4 pm

Rowing Races (rain date is sunday)

Sunday, Noon - 4 pm

Paddle-board, Kayak and Dragon Boat Races Seafood Challenge Award



6 PM - 10 Pm

$35 per person

Children under 12 are free Live entertainment For more information Appetizers & cash bar $20 lanterns will be for 813-251-0500 sale that will be launched on the river to benefit the Children's Live Entertainment • Signature Seafood Competition • Low-country Shrimp & Stone Crab Boil • Reserved Seats Available • Cash Bar Dream Fund

PUBLISHER’S LETTER Happy Holidays!! Wow … time goes by so fast. It’s funny when you’re a child … everyone older around you warns you of the acceleration of time as you get older … oh my goodness how they were right. Which is pretty typical of everything my parents and elders preached about as a young person. So it’s the Holidays already … my favorite time of the year! Growing up in the Midwest … I will always miss snow around the holidays; however I will never miss the extreme cold temperatures! As a child our families create Holiday Traditions that become magical… as parents we recreate those magical moments to enjoy with our own children. Where did these Holiday Traditions come from? How were they started? How do others around the world celebrate the Holidays? This Holiday Issue we are happy to share with you “the history of the Holidays”. We all know I love History … for our Holiday Issue I decided to focus on a few of my favorite historic places … The Tampa Bay Hotel … today known as the University of Tampa … in my opinion … is one of the greatest architectural masterpieces of Tampa Bay. We can’t talk about the Tampa Bay Hotel without telling the story of one of Tampa’s most influential developers … Henry Plant. When mentioning architectural masterpieces … many of the churches in the Tampa Bay area come to mind. It is truly amazing to me that these extraordinary artistic

Welcome to the World of Dance... Welcome to Libreros

achievements were created so long ago … some before the 1900’s … when you would think resources and the ability to build with such exquisite quality would be limited … nonetheless our Pioneers have created magical monuments that we gratefully still enjoy today. We hope you enjoy the look back. Hopefully all of us are excited and ready for the Holidays! They are approaching fast! At this very special time of the year … it’s good to reflect back … while always focusing forward. Be thankful … implement positive changes in your life that will create happiness and peace of mind. Most of all remember … time goes fast … be thankful everyday … each day we are given is a truly precious gift. Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful Holiday and a very Happy New Year!!!

There is no better way to add fun, romance and excitement to your life than dancing. Cruises, nightclubs, weddings and special events are always more fun when you know how to dance. Emilio & Blanche Librero

New to dancing?… Relax… We make learning comfortable every step of the way

Try Our Fun & Easy “Beginners Crash Course”

Sincerely, Kelly Wilson, Publisher / Editor-in-Chief

2 Private Lessons (1/2 hour each) Plus 1 Hour Group Class $150 Value - Only $79 Course Good for a Single or a Couple

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special thanks To my wonderful family and friends, all of the di advertisers and my fantastic staff! Thank you to my mother … who made me the woman I am today … she always taught me to count my blessings and be thankful … that’s just what I do … this year and always. I love you Mom! Special thanks to and the History Channel, Phyllis Kimbal, Tommy L. Thompson, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Saint Andrews Episcopal Church, and The Henry Plant Museum for providing the references used in the following editorial sections. Thank you to the Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection for their alluring historical photographs used throughout our Holiday Issue.

Join Our Members in the Fun - Start Dancing Today! Ron: I lost 85 pounds since I started dancing at Librero's. I feel healthier and younger, and never had so much fun exercising.

Librero's School & Dance Club - Davis Islands, Tampa (813) 253-0644

Nancy: We are very passionate about our dancing and have met many wonderful friends at Libreros. Dancing is the best New Year’s Eve resolution we ever made. Mr. Ron Sweet & Dr. Nancy McDonald

Editor-in-Chief Kelly Wilson

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Senior Editor Kennedy Carlisle Assistant to the Editor-In-Chief & Publication Manager Catherine Gates Editorial Intern Emma Vanzant Art Director Joe Duhamel Contributing Art Director Sarry San Web Development & Maintenance Sarry San Contributing Writers Kelly Wilson Kennedy Carlisle Mark Misner – Body By Design Edyta Chylinski – Spa Sundara Michal Winiarek – Engle & Volkers Photography Chuck Kovach Joe Michael Carlo For advertising information, contact

“CommunityFocus” Your Community, Your Magazine!

Throughout the Tampa Bay area there are many special, unique stories of success and determination. We look forward to sharing these individual stories with you. … The Librero’s Story … Our 1st di business focus feature … truly inspiring … a perfect example … if you have a vision … hold on to that vision … with determination, hard work and dedication ….you have the power to turn your vision into your reality ... Always be a believer!! Your participation is welcome … if you know of a business in the Tampa Bay area with a unique, inspiring story … email us at: … we look forward to receiving your responses! Each issue … one business will be chosen to be featured …we look forward to sharing many magical, influential stories from business owners within our community. We would like to Congratulate Jeanne T. Tate, P.A. as our winner of the Peter O. Knight / Tony Jannus history contest in our last Issue. We received over 300 entries. Thank you to everyone that entered! Welcome Engle & Völkers South Tampa as di magazine’s preferred Real Estate professionals … Real Estate updates (pg. 44) will be provided each issue by Michael Winiarek with Engle & Völkers South Tampa … thank you Michal!

di magazine is extremely excited to be working closely with The Centre. As they mark their 35th Anniversary (pg. 19) … their programs have earned a reputation for excellence (pgs. 20-21). We look forward to assisting The Centre on their journey … providing Hope, Knowledge and Peace of Mind throughout our community. Be sure to check out di magazine’s website for the latest event happenings, photos and area information … you can even browse through di magazine archived issues. Keep up-to-date by signing up for weekly di updates. Subscriptions for di magazine are now available … sign up today to receive your printed keepsake copy.

Together we can make a difference

Welcome to the World of Dance! REFLECTING BACK: THE LIBRERO’S STORY

di Business Focus

Emilio and Blanche Librero have a wonderful story, and I am happy to share with you my adventure of getting to know these hard-working entrepreneurs of Social Dancing. I hope you enjoy their reflection back.

Blanche, originally from Atlanta, Georgia, studied ballet, jazz and tap, and was a junior national figure skating champion. She attended Mercer University and enjoyed teaching English for a few years. However, her craving to follow her passion for dance led her to follow her mother’s advice: “do what you love to do.” Blanche did just that

and began her career as a ballroom dance teacher in Daytona, Beach.

Emilio, originally from Venezuela, attended the University of Michigan and became an electrical engineer. He explained “there are many engineers in my family”; but he lacked the passion to follow this path. Emilio was a gymnast and loved to dance, so when he answered an ad for a ballroom dance teacher, his life forever changed. Emilio and Blanche met teaching dance and opened their first dance studio in a single store front on South Dale Mabry in South Tampa in 1979. They taught and

Kelly Wilson, Emilio and Blanche Librero & the talented dance club instructors

competed together for many years. They are very fortunate and extremely grateful to their “super coach” from New Zealand, Ivy Biberstein, a former Blackpool World Championship judge and trainer of many world-class champions. Although retired, Ivy agreed to coach them - living with them 6 months out of the year for 9 years. They still recall this great opportunity and experience. Although Emilio and Blanche were award winning, accomplished dancers, they dreamed of providing an easy way to learn to dance in a more relaxed environment. They wanted to provide a facility where

Welcome to the World of Dance!

all members could come dancing and feel comfortable. At the time, creating a socialstyle dance club was very uncommon; most studios were more competition oriented. Following the advice and support of great mentors, Cesar Medina and Paul Schwartz, Emilio and Blanche followed their dream to Davis Islands and created Librero’s School and Dance Club - “a clean, cool, beautiful place to come dance.” Students come from all over the Tampa Bay area to learn with the Librero’s. “For the past 34 years we have loved coming to work and teaching dance every single day.” They have enjoyed a wonderful journey. Throughout my journey to get to know the Librero’s, I took a few private lessons and attended their group class and Friday club party. What fun! The entire staff of eight is an absolute pleasure to be around. They are on the dance floor, available for assistance at all times.

They make dancing natural, fun and easy. Once you walk in the studio you are at ease and comfortable. I laughed and smiled the entire time - who doesn’t want to laugh, smile and have a good time? As soon as you walk through the door all prior stress and worry from the day are left behind. That is what I enjoyed most. It was apparent that everyone there was having a great time. “We’re living in a high-tech, non-touch society and people are looking for ways to connect on a more personal level with others.” Emilio and Blanche want to provide not only a place to learn - but a place to dance and practice. The club party is an excellent way to enjoy a night out of dancing, great company and good music. From beginner to advanced everyone is welcome. Thank you to Emilio and Blanche for sharing their story with us. Davis Islands Magazine would

like to congratulate them for all of their accomplishments and contributions to the Tampa Bay area. Thank you and Congratulations!! Librero’s Dance Studio is located at 150 E. Davis Blvd. on Davis Islands in Tampa. The Studio offers dance lessons in Ballroom and Latin dancing, Argentine Tango, Swing dancing, wedding dances and more. The Librero’s also offer dance instructional videos that are sold all over the world. Visit to purchase yours today!! Welcome to the World of Dance Welcome to Libreros


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THE TAMPA BAY HOTEL Henry Bradley Plant (October 27, 1819June 23, 1899), the acclaimed “King of Florida” was born in Branford, Connecticut; he declined his grandmother’s offer to attend Yale College and, at the age of 18, signed on as a captain’s boy abroad a steamboat. His career started with the Adams Express Company which involved both the railroad and steamboat business package. In 1953 doctors ordered his wife, Ellen Elizabeth Blackstone, to whom he married in 1842, south for health reasons. Sadly to say she died in 1861. He would later marry Margaret Loughman in 1873.

the approach of the Civil War the directors of Adams Express, fearing the confiscation of their Southern properties, decided to transfer them to Plant. With the Southern Stockholders of the company he organized in 1861 the Southern Express Company, a Georgia corporation, and became president. His company acted as agent for the Confederacy in collecting tariffs and transferring funds. After the Civil War, railroads of the South were practically ruined and many railroads went bankrupt in the depression of 1873. Plant began buying small bankrupt railroad companies and connected rail lines between Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Florida.

Pre- Civil War among his various duties was the Henry Plant In addition to railroads, his transportation empire October 27, 1819 – June 23, 1989 care of express parcels. This line of business up until included steamship service from Nova Scotia to now had been neglected. He was organized and Cuba. Plant was convinced of the eventual economic revival of the extremely efficient. Soon after he became the general superintendent South. In 1879 and 1880, he bought the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad and of the Adams Express Company, for the south territory south of the the Charleston and Savannah Railroad at foreclosure sales. With these Potomac and Ohio Rivers. Facing great difficulties he successfully as a nucleus he began building along the Southern Atlantic seaboard a organized and extended express service in this region as well. At transportation system that twenty years later included fourteen railway

companies with 2,100 miles of track, several steamship lines, and a number of important hotels. In 1882, he organized, with the assistance of Northern capitalists (among whom were M.K. Jesup, W.T. Walters, and Henry Morrison Flagler, who himself would be instrumental in the development of Florida’s east coast) the Plant Investment Company, a holding company for the joint management of the various properties under his control. He reconstructed and extended several small railroads so as to provide continuous service across the state, by providing better connections with through lines to the North he gave Florida orange growers quicker and cheaper access to Northern markets. Tampa, then a village of a few hundred people, was made the terminus of his southern Florida railroad and also the home port for a new line of steamships to Havana. It was through the pivotal efforts of Henry Plant that Florida’s West Coast began to grow and thrive as an important shipping port, commercial hub and tourist destination. Then came the idea for a luxurious resort built in the style of a Moorish palace, an enormous hotel costing $2,500.000.00 to build and another half-million to furnish. Investors were leery of building a hotel of the magnitude Plant envisioned, so Plant decided to build it himself. The hotel was the most modern of its day. Electric lighting, private baths, telephones, and elevators were only some of its amenities. Steel rails embedded in poured concrete floors made the structure fireproof. The Tampa Bay Hotel offered a variety of activities to entertain guests. Hunting and fishing were available through the hotel’s own

Boats on Hillsborough River in front of the Tampa Bay Hotel, March 16, 1923

guide. Golf, tennis, horse racing, dancing, boating and swimming were popular also. The resort was only open from December through April; the hotel offered a lavish oasis from the extreme cold in the North. The Tampa Bay Casino, constructed in the grounds in 1896 seated 2,000 people; it was Tampa’s first performing arts venue. Famous Actors, musicians and entertainers such as Booker T. Washington, Anna Pavlova (one of the most famous prima ballerinas), John Philip Sousa, Sarah Bernhardt (most acclaimed actress of her day, she gave her farewell performance at the Casino in 1906), Nellie Melba (performed to sell out crowds), Ignancy Jan Paderewski (world renowned Polish Pianist), and Minnie Maddern Fiske were among the many celebrities who appeared. The Casino also served as a spa with a heated indoor

A sweeping veranda on the east side of the Hotel offered guests a tranquil setting from which to enjoy the view of the Hotel’s extensive beautiful gardens. The Flower House, filled with rare plants from all parts of the world, was one of the charming conservatories on the grounds. At the hotels completion in 1891, the Tampa Bay Hotel rose from the west bank of the Hillsborough River like a palace among wide fanfare and celebration. The newspapers of the day described it as “brightly illuminated, filled with sumptuous decorations, thrilling music and graced with turrets, domes and minarets towering heavenward and glistening in the sun. This was “Plant’s Palace.” A spur of the rail line brought the train up to the west front entrance of the Hotel so guests could disembark and walk directly into the lobby

Schooner on Hillsborough River in front of the Tampa Bay Hotel, March 31, 1919

Major General W.R. Shafter and seven members of his staff on the Veranda of the Tampa Bay Hotel, 1898

were suites of three to seven rooms that provided a degree of luxury never seen before in Tampa. While the Tampa Bay Hotel was under construction, Henry and Margaret Plant traveled extensively in Europe to purchase furnishings for the Hotel. Opulent furniture, oriental floor vases, paintings and tapestries are but only some of the objects that filled 41 train cars destined for the hotel. The Tampa Bay Hotel became Florida’s first Magic Kingdom. The hotel operated for forty years and hosted such notables Thomas Edison, Teddy Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Clara Barton, Richard Harding Davis, Gloria Swanson, Winston Churchill, Frederic Remington, Grover Cleveland, Stephen Crane, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas and thousands of nameless affluent travelers. Tampa and the Tampa Bay Hotel played an important role in the Spanish American War of 1898. Henry Plant convinced the Secretary of War to allow Tampa to be the official port of embarkation for troops going to Cuba. The Tampa Bay Hotel became the headquarters for the Army officers awaiting the order for embarkation. The Generals planned the war campaigns from the Hotel. Officers and war correspondents stayed here in relative luxury, rocking on the veranda, sipping iced tea and planning and reporting strategies. Colonel Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders trained in the camps near the Hotel during the day. Clara



The hotel consisted of 511 rooms. Some accommodations


swimming pool located below the removable floor boards to reveal a relaxing oasis.

The Whitledge Hotel on the corner of West Lafeyette Steet (400 block) and Hyde Park Avenue, February 23, 1923

Barton gathered supplies for the Red Cross and frequented the Hotel. The enlisted men camped in tents around Tampa and other Florida cities, fought off mosquitoes, endured stifling temperatures, wool uniforms and boredom while waiting for the signal to start the war.


Train departure from the Tampa Bay Hotel grounds 1902

Tampa Bay Hotel entrance to landing of double stairway decorated with columns and statuary

^ Lafeyette Street Bridge 1890

The University of Tampa was established by Frederic Spaulding in 1931 as Tampa Junior College, and was founded to serve as an institution of higher education for Florida’s west coast. In 1933 UT moved to its current location, The Tampa Bay Hotel. With the move, and the additional room it provided, Mr. Spaulding decided to expand the scope of the junior college to a full university and the University of Tampa was born. In 1941 the city of Tampa signed a 99 year lease on the hotel with the school for a dollar a year. The lease excluded the south east wing of the hotel to allow for the housing of the Henry B. Plant Museum. The University of Tampa (UT), is now a private, coeducational university in Downtown Tampa, Florida, United States. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In 2006, the University celebrated its 75th anniversary. UT offers over 100 undergraduate degree options, along with master’s degree programs in business administration, accounting, finance, education, marketing, innovation management, and nursing. UT’s John H. Sykes College of Business is one of 45 schools that The Princeton Review has added to its annual best business schools guide in 2006. They selected it for their 2011 edition of Best 300 Business Schools, the fifth year in a row. UT has approximately 6,900 students from all over the 50 U.S. states.

Henry B. Plant High School in Tampa, Florida is named for him. Plant City in Florida is also named for him. The Henry B. Plant Museum in Tampa, Florida is dedicated to his life. The museum was founded in 1933 and continues to provide a one-ofa-kind opportunity of mirror detail and reflection to learn more ^ Close-up of room interior and photographers about the elegant camera, April 1, 1926 lifestyle of the early Florida tourist. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 Seniors, $7 for Students, $5 Children 4-12 years. Hours are Tues – Sat, 10am-5pm; Sunday, Noon – 5pm The Henry B. Plant Museum is located at 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, Florida 33606, (813) 254-1891 – Shortly afterwards Plant began to build hotels at strategic locations along his rail in Florida. The Tampa Hotel was his premiere hotel. In all he had eight hotels in west Florida rounding out the


Tampa Bay Hotel Lobby, front door interior, April 8, 1926


Tampa Bay Hotel ornate elevator doors viewed from corridor, April 1926

Plant System. The Hotel Belleview is the only hotel of the Plant System that is still operational. Now the Belleview Biltmore, it is a picturesque hotel in the Intracoastal Waterway, absolutely beautiful. The subsequent growth in wealth and population of Florida and other states tributary to the Plant System made Henry B. Plant one of the richest and most powerful men in the South. Henry B. Plant kept working until almost eighty years of age.


The Centre

During the 1970s and the era of the Equal Rights Amendment, several fledgling organizations serving women developed in the area. There was discussion among the Boards about combining all their grassroots efforts and ultimately, two organizations prevailed, The Spring and the Women’s Survival Center, later known as The Centre for Women. Led by then State Representative Helen Gordon Davis, a staunch proponent of women and minority rights, the founding group of volunteers wanted a place that could help women deal with the emotional and financial traumas that occurred as a result of divorce, widowhood, or separation. The typical consumer was a woman in her forties, who had not been employed in many years, if ever. She had two children and her income had dropped over 70% as a result of the change in her marital status. Both counseling and education programs were needed to help the women work through their

Helen Gordon Davis

feelings, face the economic realities and move ahead to become self-sufficient. With small federal grants and contributions, services started in July of 1978, and the passage of state Displaced Homemaker legislation several months later (which Representative Davis co-sponsored) provided more stable, on-going support for these services. Today, The Centre, headquartered at 305 S. Hyde Park Ave., serves more than 3,000 women, girls, families and

seniors each year with programs such as individual and family counseling, employment preparation and placement for women, substance abuse treatment, and home repairs for low-income seniors. The Centre is accredited by The Joint Commission and has served more than 60,000 people in Hillsborough County since it was founded in 1977. About the House: Representative Davis believed a warm environment would enhance self-esteem and promote feelings of worthiness for the women during this troubled time in their lives. She solicited contributions for a down payment, and the organization bought what the Bureau of Historic Places later designated as the Ward-Taliaferro House (c. 1895). Occurring prior to the restoration of the Hyde Park area, such a purchase would not be affordable today. Supplemented by labor of the Board members, local architect, Jan Abell, oversaw sufficient renovation to make the building safe and

useable. In the late 1980s, The Centre received several historic preservation grants to restore the exterior of the building, which has been described as one of the “best examples of neoclassical architecture in Tampa.” Through the years, women have Kelly Wilson, Ann Madsen and the fabulous staff of The Centre remarked about how comfortable the house Helen Gordon Davis, the founder. I is, and that they often look forward to sharing her amazing feel support just walking in the door. story with you in future Issues. The Centre recently appointed… Ann Di magazine is excited to be working W. Madsen as the new Executive Director closely with the Centre. We look forward of The Centre. Madsen follows Beth to assisting The Centre on their journey Ficquette who retired after 25 years of providing Hope, Knowledge and Peace dedicated service. of Mind throughout our community. As the Publisher & Editor-in Chief of Davis Islands Magazine I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing

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Late winter tourists playing croquet at the Tampa Tourist Center near the Tampa Bay Hotel ‌ April 2, 1930


^ View of Davis Islands neighborhood, looking west from the Mirasol Hotel, August 22, 1928

Tampa Electric Street Car on Grand Central Avenue near the Tampa Bay Hotel, side view with passengers, August 13, 1925


A Reflection Back

Poster showing illustrations of downtown skyline and the Tampa Bay Hotel, October 31, 1926


^ Images are compliments of Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection

Sacred Heart Catholic Church interior with ornamentation looking toward altar, September 2, 1926 View of Hyde Park Avenue, looking north towards Minarets of the Tampa Bay Hotel, December 1919


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Holidays, whether somber or jovial are a time for families and communities to come together, commemorate historic events and usher in the new season. Whether sacred or secular, every celebration has its own unique story.

Discover the history behind the holiday!

Many different events & stories make up our holiday traditions … here are just a few that I found touching … hope you do too!! Christmas as we know it today is a Victorian invention of the 1860s. Probably the most celebrated holiday in the world. Discover the origins of Christmas traditions from around the world. Did you know?? On December 7, 1914, Pope Benedict XV suggested a temporary hiatus of the war for the celebration of Christmas. The warring countries refused to

create any official cease-fire, but on Christmas the soldiers in the trenches declared their own unofficial truce. Starting on Christmas Eve, many German and British troops sang Christmas carols to each other across the lines, and at certain points the Allied soldiers even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing. At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer.

Some soldiers used this short-lived ceasefire for a more somber task: the retrieval of the bodies of fellow combatants who had fallen within the no-man’s land between the lines. The so-called Christmas Truce of 1914 came only five months after the outbreak Christmas Truce of 1914 of war in Europe and was one of the last examples of the outdated notion of chivalry between enemies in warfare. It was never repeated—future attempts at holiday ceasefires were quashed by officers’ threats of disciplinary action—but it served as heartening proof, however brief, that beneath the brutal clash of weapons, the soldiers’ essential humanity endured. During World War I, the soldiers on the Western Front did not expect to celebrate on the battlefield, but even a world war could not destroy the Christmas spirit.

How It All Got Started Christmas Tree Tradition Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In the Northern hemisphere, the shortest day and longest night of the year falls on December 21 or December 22 and is called the winter solstice. Many ancient people believed that the sun was a god and that winter came every year

because the sun god had become sick and weak. They celebrated the solstice because it meant that at last the sun god would begin to get well. Evergreen boughs reminded them of all the green plants that would grow again when the sun god was strong and summer would return. The ancient Egyptians worshipped a god called Ra, who had the head of a hawk and wore the sun as a blazing disk in his crown. At the solstice, when Ra began to recover from the illness, the Egyptians filled their homes with green palm rushes which symbolized for them the triumph of life over death. Early Romans marked the solstice with a feast called the Saturnalia in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture. The Romans knew that the solstice meant that soon farms and orchards would be green and fruitful. To mark the occasion, they decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs. In Northern Europe the mysterious Druids, the priests of the ancient Celts, also decorated their temples with evergreen boughs as a symbol of everlasting life. The fierce Vikings in Scandinavia thought that evergreens were the special plant of the sun god, Balder. Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood were scarce. It is a widely held belief that Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, first added lighted candles to a tree. Walking toward his home one winter evening, composing a sermon, he was awed by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. To recapture the scene for his family, he erected a tree in the main room and wired its branches with lighted candles. Most 19th-century Americans found Christmas trees an oddity. The first record of one being on display was in the 1830s by the German settlers of Pennsylvania, although trees had been a tradition in many German homes much earlier. The Pennsylvania German settlements had community trees as early as 1747. But, as late as the 1840s Christmas trees were seen as pagan symbols and not accepted by most Americans.

In 1846, the popular royals, Queen Victoria and her German Prince, Albert, were sketched in the Illustrated London News standing with their children around a Christmas tree. Unlike the previous royal family, Victoria was very popular with her subjects, and what was done at court immediately became fashionable—not only in Britain, but with fashion-conscious East Coast American Society. The Christmas tree had arrived. By the 1890s Christmas ornaments were arriving from Germany and Christmas tree popularity was on the rise around the U.S. It was noted that Europeans used small trees about four feet in height, while Americans liked their Christmas trees to reach from floor to ceiling. The early 20th century saw Americans decorating their trees mainly with homemade ornaments, while the German-American sect continued to use apples, nuts, and marzipan cookies. Popcorn joined in after being dyed bright colors and interlaced with berries and nuts. Electricity brought about Christmas lights, making it possible for Christmas trees to glow for days on end. With this, Christmas trees began to appear in town squares across the country and having a Christmas tree in the home became an American tradition. Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree The Rockefeller Center tree is located at Rockefeller Center, west of Fifth Avenue from 47th through 51st Streets in New York City. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree dates back to the Depression Era days. The tallest tree displayed at Rockefeller

Center came in 1948 and was a Norway Spruce that measured in at 100 feet tall and hailed from Killingworth, Connecticut. The first tree at Rockefeller Center was placed in 1931. It was a small unadorned tree placed by construction workers at the center of the construction site. Two years later, another tree was placed there, this time with lights. These days, the giant Rockefeller Center tree is laden with over 25,000 Christmas lights. The Legend of St. Nicholas The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back hundreds of years to a monk named St. Nicholas. It is believed that Nicholas was born sometime around 280 A.D. in Patara, near Myra in modern-day Turkey. Much admired for his piety and kindness, St. Nicholas became the subject of many legends. It is said that he gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick. One of the best known of the St. Nicholas stories is that he

saved three poor sisters from being sold into slavery by their father by providing them with a dowry so that they could be married. Over the course of many years, Nicholas’s popularity spread and he became known as the protector of children and sailors. His feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, December 6. This was traditionally considered a lucky day to make large purchases or to get married. By the Renaissance, St. Nicholas was the most popular saint in Europe. Even after the Protestant Reformation, when the veneration of saints began to be discouraged, St. Nicholas maintained a positive reputation, especially in Holland. Sinter Klaas Comes to New York St. Nicholas made his first inroads into American popular culture towards the end of the 18th century. In December 1773, and again in 1774, a New York newspaper reported that groups of Dutch families had gathered to honor the anniversary of his death. The name Santa Claus evolved from Nick’s Dutch nickname, Sinter Klaas, a shortened form of Sint Nikolaas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas). In 1804, John Pintard, a member of the New York Historical Society, distributed woodcuts of St. Nicholas at the society’s annual meeting. The background of the engraving contains now-familiar Santa images including stockings filled with toys and fruit hung over a fireplace. In 1809, Washington Irving

helped to popularize the Sinter Klaas stories when he referred to St. Nicholas as the patron saint of New York in his book, The History of New York. Shopping Mall Santa’s Gift-giving, mainly centered around children, has been an important part of the Christmas celebration since the holiday’s rejuvenation in the early 19th century. Stores began to advertise Christmas shopping in 1820, and by the 1840s, newspapers were creating separate sections for holiday advertisements, which often featured images of the newly-popular Santa Claus. In 1841, thousands of children visited a Philadelphia shop to see a life-size Santa Claus model. It was only a matter of time before stores began to attract children, and their parents, with the lure of a peek at a “live” Santa Claus. In the early 1890s, the Salvation Army needed money to pay for the free Christmas meals they provided to needy families. They began dressing up unemployed men in Santa Claus suits and sending them into the streets of New York to solicit donations. Those familiar Salvation Army Santa’s have been ringing bells on the street corners of American cities ever since. ‘Twas the Night before Christmas In 1822, Clement Clarke Moore, an Episcopal minister, wrote a long Christmas poem for his three daughters entitled “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas.” Moore’s poem, which he was initially hesitant to publish due to the frivolous nature of its subject, is largely responsible for our modern image of Santa Claus as a “right jolly old elf” with a portly figure and the supernatural ability to ascend a chimney with a mere nod of his head! Although some of Moore’s imagery was probably borrowed from other sources, his poem helped popularize the now-familiar image of a Santa Claus who flew from house to house on Christmas Eve–in “a miniature sleigh” led by eight flying reindeer– leaving presents for deserving children. “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” created a new and immediately popular American icon. In 1881, political cartoonist Thomas Nast drew on Moore’s poem to create the first likeness that

matches our modern image of Santa Claus. His cartoon, which appeared in Harper’s Weekly, depicted Santa as a rotund, cheerful man with a full, white beard, holding a sack laden with toys for lucky children. It is Nast who gave Santa his bright red suit trimmed with white fur, North Pole workshop, elves, and his wife, Mrs. Claus. The Ninth Reindeer Rudolph, “the most famous reindeer of all,” was born over a hundred years after his eight flying counterparts. The red-nosed wonder was the creation of Robert L. May, a copywriter at the Montgomery Ward department store. In 1939, May wrote a Christmasthemed story-poem to help bring holiday traffic into his store. Using a similar rhyme pattern to Moore’s “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” May told the story of Rudolph, a young reindeer who was teased by the other deer because of his large, glowing, red nose. But, When Christmas Eve turned foggy and Santa worried that he wouldn’t be able to deliver gifts that night, the former outcast saved Christmas by leading the sleigh by the light of his red nose. Rudolph’s message—that given the opportunity, a liability can be turned into an asset—proved popular. Montgomery Ward sold almost two and a half million copies of the story in 1939. When it was reissued in 1946, the book sold over three and half million copies. Several years later, one of May’s friends, Johnny Marks, wrote a short song based on Rudolph’s story (1949). It was recorded by Gene Autry and sold over two million copies. Since then, the

story has been translated into 25 languages and been made into a television movie, narrated by Burl Ives, which has charmed audiences every year since 1964.

Traditions Around the World Finland: ‘Hyvää Joulua!’ Many Finns visit the sauna on Christmas Eve. Families gather and listen to the national “Peace of Christmas” radio broadcast. It is customary to visit the gravesites of departed family members. Norway: ‘Gledelig Jul!’ Norway is the birthplace of the Yule log. The ancient Norse used the Yule log in their celebration of the return of the sun at winter solstice. “Yule” came from the Norse word hweol, meaning wheel. The Norse believed that the sun was a great wheel of fire that rolled towards and then away from the earth. Ever wonder why the family fireplace is such a central part of the typical Christmas scene? This tradition dates back to the Norse Yule log. It is probably also responsible for the popularity of log-shaped cheese, cakes, and desserts during the holidays. Jamestown, Virginia According to reports by Captain John Smith, the first eggnog made in the United States was consumed in his 1607 Jamestown settlement. Nog comes from the word grog, which refers to any drink made with rum

the Eskimos celebrate a winter festival called sinck tuck, which features parties with dancing and the exchanging of gifts.

Australia In Australia, the holiday comes in the middle of summer and it’s not unusual for some parts of Australia to hit 100 degrees Farenheit on Christmas day. During the warm and sunny Australian Christmas season, beach time and outdoor barbecues are common. Traditional Christmas day celebrations include family gatherings, exchanging gifts and either a hot meal with ham, turkey, pork or seafood or barbeques.

Greece: ‘Kala Christouyenna!’ In Greece, many people believe in kallikantzeri, goblins that appear to cause mischief during the 12 days of Christmas. Gifts are usually exchanged on January 1, St. Basil’s Day.

Ukraine: ‘Srozhdestvom Kristovym!’ Ukrainians prepare a traditional twelve-course meal. A family’s youngest child watches through the window for the evening star to appear, a signal that the feast can begin.

Central America A manger scene is the primary decoration in most southern European, Central American, and South American nations. St. Francis of Assisi created the first living nativity in 1224 to help explain the birth of Jesus to his followers. These stories & traditions are just a few reasons Christmas is one of the most celebrated Holidays in the World!

Canada Most Canadian Christmas traditions are very similar to those practiced in the United States. In the far north of the country,



Snow Show on Franklin Street for Christmas promotion, November 1958

France: ‘Joyeux Noël!’ In France, Christmas is called Noel. This comes from the French phrase les bonnes nouvelles, which means “the good news” and refers to the gospel. In southern France, some people burn a log in their homes from Christmas Eve until New Year’s Day. This stems from an ancient tradition in which farmers would use part of the log to ensure good luck for the next year’s harvest.

Italy: ‘Buone Natale!’ Italians call Christmas Natale, meaning “the birthday.”

Snow Show on Franklin Street for Christmas promotion, November 1958


England: ‘Merry Christmas!’ An Englishman named John Alcott Horsley helped to popularize the tradition of sending Christmas greeting cards when he began producing small cards featuring festive scenes and a pre-written holiday greeting in the late 1830s. Newly efficient post offices in England and the United States made the cards nearly overnight sensations. At about the same time, similar cards were being made by R.H. Pease, the first American card maker, in Albany, New York, and Louis Prang, a German who immigrated to America in 1850. Celtic and Teutonic peoples had long considered mistletoe to have magic powers. It was said to have the ability to heal wounds and increase fertility. Celts hung mistletoe in their homes in order to bring themselves good luck and ward off evil spirits. During holidays in the Victorian era, the English would hang sprigs of mistletoe from ceilings and in doorways. If someone was found standing under the mistletoe, they would be kissed by someone else in the room, behavior not usually demonstrated in Victorian society.

Plum pudding is an English dish dating back to the Middle Ages. Suet, flour, sugar, raisins, nuts, and spices are tied loosely in cloth and boiled until the ingredients are “plum,” meaning they have enlarged enough to fill the cloth. It is then unwrapped, sliced like cake, and topped with cream. Caroling also began in England. Wandering musicians would travel from town to town visiting castles and homes of the rich. In return for their performance, the musicians hoped to receive a hot meal or money. In the United States and England, children hang stockings on their bedpost or near a fireplace on Christmas Eve, hoping that it will be filled with treats while they sleep. In Scandinavia, similar-minded children leave their shoes on the hearth. This tradition can be traced to legends about Saint Nicholas. One legend tells of three poor sisters who could not marry because they had no money for a dowry. To save them from being sold by their father, St. Nick left each of the three sister’s gifts of gold coins. One went down the chimney and landed in a pair of shoes that had been left on the hearth. Another went into a window and into a pair of stockings left hanging by the fire to dry.

Tampa Electric Company Building, 810 Tampa St., illuminated with lights on Christmas Eve 1930


Mexico: ‘Feliz Navidad!’ In 1828, the American minister to Mexico, Joel R. Poinsett, brought a red-and-green plant from Mexico to America. As its coloring seemed perfect for the new holiday, the plants, which were called poinsettias after Poinsett, began appearing in greenhouses as early as 1830. In 1870, New York stores began to sell them at Christmas. By 1900, they were a universal symbol of the holiday. In Mexico, paper mache sculptures called pinatas are filled with candy and coins and hung from the ceiling. Children then take turns hitting the pinata until it breaks, sending a shower of treats to the floor. Children race to gather as much of the loot as they can.

F. W. Woolworth Company front façade on Christmas – decorated Franklin Street, South view with Tampa Theatre, November 20, 1952

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Historical Churches Start a career with us!

Tampa Bay has many majestic, historical churches that are architectural landmarks. The development and or creation of these wondrous monuments are truly miraculous. We are excited to take a look at two historic Tampa Bay Area Churches. These churches were soley chosen because of their architectural beauty and placement within the Tampa Bay area. di magazine appreciates all religions and respects each individuals religion preference. di magazine is not supporting or recommending any particular religion over any other.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Located at 509 N. Florida Ave.,Tampa 33602 SALES ASSOCIATE NEEDED contact

Sacred Heart is probably one of the most popular church landmarks in Tampa Bay. The history of Catholicism on the West Coast of Florida goes all the way back to the Spanish explorers of the 1500s and the missionaries they brought with them. Jesuit priests established


Sacred Heart Church and the Federal Courthouse on east side of Florida Avenue, May 10, 1935

an outpost in the late 1500s in what later would become Tampa, but circumstances caused it to be abandoned after about three years. In the early 1850s, Hillsborough County commissioners deeded property at Ashley Drive and Twiggs Street for a Catholic church. The property later was exchanged for land at Florida Avenue and Twiggs. In 1859, a little frame church was erected on the site of the present Sacred Heart Church. It was blessed on Trinity Sunday and named St. Louis Parish in honor of King Louis IX of France, a leader in the Crusades, and in memory of Fr. Luis Cancer, a Dominican missionary from Spain who was martyred on the shores of Tampa Bay in 1549. St. Louis parish was officially constituted in February of 1860 with the arrival of Fr. Charles S. Mailley

as resident pastor. The 27 year old priest had been recruited in France only a few months earlier. The parish grew along with Tampa. Anticipating the need for a larger facility, two wings were added to its modest building in 1883, nearly doubling its seating capacity. A dreadful yellow fever epidemic took a heavy toll on the populace in 1887-88. The parish lost three pastors within a year, two of them in rapid succession. Bishop John Moore of the Diocese of St. Augustine had lost nearly a quarter of his priests to the malady and had no one else to send to this beleaguered area. He turned to the Jesuits of the South, where 63 year old Fr. Philippe de Carriere, S.J. volunteered to take the post. The parish remained under Jesuit auspices from 1888 until 2005. Tampa began to boom with the arrival of Henry Plant’s railroad in 1884 and his Tampa Bay Hotel (now the cornerstone of the University of Tampa) in 1891 (pg. 12). In 1897, pastor Fr. William Tyrrell, S.J. announced that a new church would be built. Ground was broken for their present church on February 16, 1898. The beautiful new structure was dedicated on January 15, 1905, and its name and that of the parish became Sacred Heart. The Jesuits built the church - at a cost of $300,000. Today the building looks strikingly similar to the original. The Romanesque architecture remains. The exterior is a combination of granite

and white marble. Inside, most of the design is just as it was a century ago. The church has 70 stained glass windows, but the 17 vertical windows lining the nave, anchoring each side of the transept and rimming the apse, are the most dramatic. All were made in the late 1800s by Franz Mayer Co. of Munich, Germany, which is still in business. The Resurrection Window on the left side of the transept (the part of the church representing the arms of the cross) is a triptych, with three panels. Like the other major windows at Sacred Heart, it tells a story. The center panel presents the risen Christ, triumphant over death. He floats over the tomb, carrying a heavenly banner, his right hand raised in a benediction. An angel alights beneath him, gazing at the stunned soldiers who guarded his tomb. The two smaller panel’s record incidents preceding this apotheosis, one of the Virgin Mary in blue, with Mary Magdalene and Martha approaching the tomb, and the other of two soldiers fleeing as it opens. In February of 2010 and throughout that year, Sacred Heart Parish celebrated the “Sharing of God’s Love for 150 Years.”

Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church Located at 509 E.Twiggs,Tampa 33606.

The Rt. Rev. John Freeman Young, D.D., was on his first

trip around the diocese after becoming bishop of Florida when he sailed into Hillsborough Bay in the spring of 1868. He had boarded a ship at St. Marks with his chaplain and come down the coast visiting Episcopalians and baptizing and confirming new ones along the way. Having heard there were two Episcopalians, a Lt. Wessel and Charles Handford, stationed at Ft. Brooke, he stopped in Tampa on his way to Key West. Bishop Young visited with the men and arranged for services to be held at the Methodist church, then at the northeast corner of Kennedy Boulevard and Morgan Street, upon his return from the Keys. Of that first Episcopal service in Tampa, March 1868, Bishop Young recorded: “My chaplain, Mr. Ingle, (who preceded the Bishop ashore) was drilling several who could sing in the chants, which were very well rendered throughout the service. The congregation was large, and attentive, most of them witnessing

our service for the first time…” One person was baptized and five confirmed during Bishop Young’s visit. Bishop Young did not forget the Tampa community after his departure but it was not until August of 1871 that he was able to send a missionary, the Rev. R. A. Simpson, who was a deacon at the time, to establish St. Andrew’s Mission in Tampa. There is no record of why the mission was called St. Andrew’s. For, before there was a Tampa or a Ft. Brooke, fisherman lived along the shores of Hillsborough Bay and called their thatched-hut community Spanish town Creek. The sunny beaches, sparkling waters and hot climate must have been so much like Jordan. Each day, the early Florida fishermen would cast their nets into the waters for food and for a living just as St. Andrew and his brother Simon Peter, did so many years ago on the Sea of Galilee. The first organizational meeting of St. Andrew’s was

held July 24, 1871. By permission of the government agent (Ft. Brooke had been vacated by that time), the first services were held in the fort’s hospital building. In March of 1877, the Rev. R.W. Memminger of Charleston, S.C., came to the Tampa Bay area looking for a winter home with a good climate. He settled at Gadsden Point, just beyond Ballast Point, where he and his family developed orange groves. Fully appreciating the situation of the church people, he consented to the vestry’s solicitations and gave a monthly service for St. Andrew’s Mission. Rev. Memminger was the son of the Secretary of the Treasury for the Confederacy. Being of such prestigious ancestry, he was very welcomed in Tampa and had little trouble finding a place to hold his services. All services during Rev. Memminger’s time were held at the Baptist church since that church had disbanded for a few years. After the Rev. Memminger left, however, it became increasingly difficult to find places to hold St. Andrew’s services. As permission could be obtained, they were held in the circuit court room, city hall and, sometimes, the Baptist church. Often, unfortunately, permission to use these rooms was refused. A Frame church was erected in the summer of 1883 on a lot, bordered by Morgan, Twiggs and Marion streets, thus

the first St. Andrew’s Church was built. The adjoining lot was later purchased for the present church. Rev. Weddell who was the architect and chief artisan supervised. Lumber for the building was shipped by schooner from Pensacola. It was a season of thankfulness when the congregation could worship under its own roof, unencumbered by debts or liens. During the years 1885-1895, Tampa experienced a period of tremendous growth. Its population increased nearly 400 % growing from 7,973 inhabitants to 31,362. Once again Henry Bradley Plant is acknowledged for extending his railroad to the Tampa Bay area and his completion in 1889 of his palatial Tampa Bay hotel. Unfortunately, the growth of St. Andrew’s congregation did not keep pace with the city’s. As late as 1893, parishioners numbered only 100. But the parish was to grow. For over 50 years in the first half of the 1900s, it was the largest ecclesiastical establishment on the west coast. Construction on the present church began with the laying of the cornerstone in 1904. Miller and Kennard, an architectural firm, designed the building. Kennard, an Englishmen, modeled the traditional cross-shaped interior after churches in his own country. St. Andrew’s survived a turbulent beginning with no priest and no place to worship. Today they have approx. 1200 parishioners.

REAL ESTATE UPDATE Despite what you may have heard, the real estate market is showing positive signs. Especially in the South Tampa Area. South Tampa has usually seen more vibrant market numbers that are ahead of national figures. For the South Tampa zip codes 33606, 33609, 33629, and 33611, we have recently seen a steady increase in the numbers for all categories:  umber of Closed Transactions N – up by 11% from October 2011 verage Sale Price – up 13% A from October 2011  edian Sale Price – up 14% from M October 2011  verage Sale Price per sq. ft. – A up 12% from October 2011 It is very important to recognize these steady and sustained increases (growth) in the number

of closed transactions… together with steady and sustained increases in price… signal what we have all been waiting for… Recovery! It is impossible to tell how long any recovery may take, but looking at the data combined with real feedback from buyers, sellers, and practicing Real Estate Professionals, there are positive signs everywhere. In practice, we have first hand accounts of multiple offers on good properties… closings above the last listed price for homes… and a flurry of activity from Builders and Developers… all competing for South Tampa properties. Of course each neighborhood is unique… not all areas have experienced such a dramatic resurgence of activity. Therefore , we always recommend a close look at what is relevant to your home and the

neighborhood in which it is located. A seasoned and actively practicing REALTOR® will be able to evaluate your individual situation… take into account the factors that are specific to your home and neighborhood… determine recommendations that would work best for you. In any case, the worst may be over, so come on out… It may be safe to play again. ☺ If you have any questions about this article, real estate, or would just like to explore what options you have with regards to selling or purchasing a home, please contact… Michal Winiarek at the Engel & Völkers office on Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa. (813) 358-8113

Let Us Value Your Home! Property valuation involves more than taking a good look at the market. Our real estate associates also look behind the scenes, thoroughly analyzing your house from top to bottom. Only then will we be able to suggest what your house is worth, advise you on how to sell it quickly, and how to find the perfect buyer. We understand you want to sell your home, so call or email us now to take advantage of our local knowledge and extensive international network of over 470 offices in 35 countries.

Engel & Völkers Tampa · Phone: +1-813-358-8113 email: ·

INTRODUCTION TO Reiki by Edyta Chylinski

First and foremost allow me to explain what Reiki is: Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by specific hand placement on what are called the 7 Chakras, or energy governing bodies, and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. The Reiki practitioner channels “life force energy” through positive intention and then attempts to balance the chakras and increase the body’s ability to heal itself. You do not need to have any specific religious beliefs to receive Reiki. It’s about being open to the concept that

the body, if given the opportunity, can and will heal itself. A Reiki session allows you to fully relax and let go, so that you can feel more balanced, thus allowing the body to release negative patterns and heal. Discovering Reiki-Energy work has played a pivotal role in my own evolution. It has allowed me to access my full potential and take responsibility for my life and for every thought, deed and action. It is my privilege to share this with others. Helping others tap into their full potential is my life’s mission. We all come into each other’s life for a purpose! Here are some of the reported benefits of Reiki• Creates deep relaxation and aids the body to release stress and tension • It accelerates the bodies self-healing abilities • Aids better sleep • Reduces blood pressure

• Can help with acute (injuries) and chronic problems (asthma, eczema, headaches, etc.) and aides the breaking of addictions

• Increases vitality and postpones the aging process

• Helps relieve pain

• Helps spiritual growth and emotional clearing

• Removes energy blockages, adjusts the energy flow of the endocrine system bringing the body into balance and harmony • Assists the body in cleaning itself from toxins, • Reduces some of the side effects of drugs and helps the body to recover from drug therapy after surgery and chemotherapy • Supports the immune system

• Raises the vibrational frequency of the body

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di Holiday Issue 2012  

Holiday / not revised