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❁ ❁ Eleanor Poppell ❁

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 1


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FOCUS

PLANT CITY EDITION

FEATURE 40-45

This month’s feature is an extension of last month’s, due to the large number of service clubs and volunteer organizations in the Plant City area. We tried to fit in as many as possible, because the volunteer spirit is so prevalent in our town. It’s something the organizations and clubs should certainly be proud of, and the many volunteers give all of us a role model to look up to.

SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW 48-52

We sat down and talked with Eleanor Poppell, a long-time resident whose family is an icon in the insurance business in Plant City. She is also a volunteer member of South Florida Baptist Hospital’s Auxiliary, and an avid gardener in her “spare time”.

DID YOU KNOW? 54 This month the Plant City Photo Archives remembers the mothers of fallen veterans – the Gold Star Mothers, an organization of mothers who comforted one another and worked in hospitals to provide care for wounded soldiers. The Plant City Photo Archives needs your help in identifying some of the people in these pictures.

HOME GUIDE SECTION 57-78

This section is dedicated to buyers, sellers and owners.

SPORTS 84-86

The “Tee Ball” League is still going strong at Sansone Park every Saturday morning, and the youngsters are displaying improvement in all areas. We also give you the run-down on the Rattlers versus the Mudcats 6-8 year olds game.

DINING & ENTERTAINMENT 97-110

This month the FOCUS Food Critic takes us to Uncle Ned’s out on Highway 39. Their “Family Style” dinner is for a party of five or more, and is like going home for dinner. They also have catering and party planning, and can create an “Affair to Remember” at your place or theirs. We also report on the wonderful concert at the Ramada Inn Plantation House’s Red Rose Ballroom put on by John Anderson. He thrilled his audience with his many hits. We also pick the flicks on some of the chart-topping movies in theaters now. Looking for a place to eat? Check out the complete guide to Plant City dining out on the town. ON THE COVER: Eleanor Poppell, read her story on page 48. Photo by Mike Floyd.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 4

PUBLISHER Mike Floyd mike@floydpublications.com EDITOR IN CHIEF Linda Floyd linda@floydpublications.com MANAGING EDITOR Jeff Neely jneely@floydpublications.com OFFICE MANAGER DeDe Floyd dede@floydpublications.com CREDIT MANAGER Bob Hughens bob@floydpublications.com SALES Tania Summers tsummers@floydpublications.com Suzanne Gross sgross@floydpublications.com Julie Rose jrose@floydpublications.com Darsey Tyler dtyler@floydpublications.com ART DIRECTOR Phil Ransdell philrand@floydpublications.com GRAPHIC DESIGN Stefanie Burlingame sburlingame@floydpublications.com DISTRIBUTION Tony DeVane Zac Shelby PHOTOGRAPHER Billy Friend STAFF WRITERS Sherri Robinson, Brian West, Sophia Dedon, Kristen Toney, Lynne Warren, Ken Lawrence, Laverne Stevens, Christopher Diaz, Chris Ricketts, Connie DuBois CONTRIBUTORS Sherry Nueesch, Gil Gott, Jim Brown, Shelton Keely, Shelton Keely, Michael Cameron, Al Cohen

FOCUS Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Lakeland businesses, restaurants, and many local venues. Letters, Questions and Comments can be sent to us at linda@floydpublications.com. Advertisers warrant and represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. Focus Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. All letters and their contents sent to Focus Magazine become the sole property of Floyd Publications, Inc and may be reproduced thereof. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Floyd Publications, Inc. Use or duplication of material used in this publication is prohibited without approved written consent from Floyd Publications, Inc.FOCUS Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Dade City & Zephyrhills businesses, restaurants, and many local venues. It is also distributed to 13,000 homes.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 5


6 LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Here it comes. Ready… wait… hold on… almost… I can feel it…. Take a deep breath of springtime air because hot and sticky is almost here. We’re particularly fortunate in Florida because it seems like we get our dose a little earlier, and a little longer. But despite our muggy summers, we’ve got a lot to be thankful for compared to our landlocked brethren. The beach! It’s time to clean off those frisbees and stock up on sunscreen. Some of my best memories go along with finding sand in all my 2000 body parts. Of course, all the kids are about ready to explode from the excitement of school getting ready to end. Summertime is like Narnia when you’re growing up. It’s this suspended period of magic and discovery – along with pure unbridled fun. Sleepovers aren’t confined to weekends, bedtime is a more elusive term, and your bicycle is like a magic carpet to freedom. Kids just have this natural sense of fun and adventure. I don’t why, but it seems like having fun takes a little more concentration as you get older. I love to watch my niece and nephew just being kids. They don’t think about it, they just have fun. While we may have to double-check our calendar before we agree to fun-having, there’s still a lot out there for us grownups, too. As already mentioned, the beach is a timeless classic. But there’s also a lot of other fun opportunities right here in the Plant City area – for kids and adults both. We’ve highlighted a few in this month’s edition. In the Local section you’ll find stories about everything from a ballgame between caregivers to puppet shows. Be sure to check out our Education article on the Cork Fun Day, which I think should be extended to a national holiday. And then after having a little fun for yourself, go help somebody else. Our Feature this month follows up with even more volunteer opportunities available in the community. So, after you read the magazine cover to cover say, oh, a dozen times… go have some fun! Until next month, enjoy!

Jeff Neely Managing Editor

Last month we printed an incorrect phone number for the Strawberry Singles’ President Judy Smith. The correct phone number is 719-2063. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 6


LOCAL

7 Plant City has been awarded the National Junior College Athletic Association’s 2006, 2007, and 2008 Women’s Division I Softball Championships. The 16-team event will be held in May each of the next three years at Plant City Stadium and Randy L. Larson Softball Four-Plex. The Stadium also serves as the World Headquarters for the International Softball Federation. ISF President Don Porter said he is pleased with the NJCAA’s decision to host their softball title games over the next three years in the Tampa Bay area. In a media release, Mr. Porter stated “we have a great relationship with the City of Plant City and have been able to put on great events here before, so I’m sure this will be no different.” He also noted that the ISF hosted the first World University Softball Championship last October with teams from eight countries participating, including participants from the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. The long awaited move into the new Plant City Police Department Headquarters has arrived. As of Tuesday, April 12, citizens needing on-site services should report to the new facility located at the end of Willamette Drive (off of Alexander Street near the Jim Johnson Road intersection). We will have personnel deployed in our new Welcome Center to assist with citizen needs. The transition should be transparent for customers making contact by phone. The non-emergency number will still be 813-757-9200, while the 9-1-1 emergency system is installed and functional in the new building.

Courtyard, Sisters & Company’s new unique eatery, will be opening on May 24th! It will feature cafe sandwiches, classic salads and soups, along with gourmet desserts that promise to be a treat for everyone. High standards, excellent customer service and all the freshest ingredients promise to make Courtyard and Sisters & Company perfect complements to each other. Courtyard is located at 106 E. Reynolds Street, right behind Sisters & Company. The Artistry Salon and Spa is now open at their new location at 1505 S. Alexander St., Suite 102 in Plant City. The salon features hair foiling/ perming/and straightening, and the spa offers massages, body wraps, facials, microdermabrasion, body waxing, and monthly new pedicures. In their new state-of-the-art facility you can now have your birthday or wedding party, or any special occasion where you would like to get pampered en-masse! The Plant City High School Class of 1975’s 30 Year Reunion is Saturday, June 18th, from 6:30 pm until midnight. It will be held at the Ramada Inn Plantation House’s Red Rose Ballroom. For additional information, please e-mail to Pchsclassof75@hotmail.com. After 33 years of service, Colonel Richard Clark of Plant City has retired from the Army Reserve and has returned home to Plant City. As an Army Reserve soldier, Colonel Clark spent over 15 years performing weekend drills, then another 13 years spending up to a month in other countries

providing his services in the field of communications or counter intelligence. He was activated 2 years prior to 911, working for Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, and after 9/11 was called to activity duty twice, working 2 ½ years in the Army Operations Center at the Pentagon in Washington DC. Departing from the Pentagon in February 2005, he was awarded “The Legion of Merit” for his exceptionally meritorious service while serving as an Army Operations Team Chief and later as a member of the Army Chief of Staff’s Transformation Team. Colonel Clark indicated, “Few people understand the sacrifices our soldiers make when they are on activity duty. Not just me, but all the soldiers stationed in far away places, separated from family and friends, the missed anniversaries, children’s birthdays or school events. Or the simple things we sometime take for granted, like a hug from your loved one.” He continued, “We live in the safety and comfort of our homes because there are soldiers who have the skills and desire to protect us and our nation. If you see a soldier from any war, you should tell him or her thank you for all your sacrifices and commitment.” Colonel Richard Clark looks forward to spending time with his two daughters and his grandchildren. He plans to go sailing and get into the sailboat charter business. To him, and to all the other service men and women in Plant City, active and retired, we say a big “Thank you!”

Awards on April 21. An Award of Excellence was given for the Plant City Downtown Gateway project which involved the upgrade of McCall Park in 1999 followed by the new City Hall building, the library façade and parking upgrade, the renovation of the former SunTrust bank building and the right-of-way by the First United Methodist Church and the downtown United States Post Office landscaping upgrade. These elements give a master-planned look and feel to the downtown area by using vintage Sternberg lighting, brick crosswalks for traffic calming, inlaid sidewalks, lush landscaping and custom manhole covers reflecting the city’s history. These coordinated improvements make for a pleasing gateway to downtown. An Award of Merit was given for the Plant City Stadium Conversion project. Careful planning and good execution turned the former Major League Baseball Spring Training facility into a multifunctional regional destination for softball and community events, including international and domestic competition and communityoriented activities. The project was accomplished with little financial impact to the local residents by refinancing the original construction bonds that are paid with Tourist Development Tax revenues. We commend Kathy Burke, Public Works Director, as she was instrumental in the design and implementation of both projects.

The Hillsborough County CityCounty Planning Commission announced the winners of their 23rd Annual Community Design

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 7


LOCAL

AROUND TOWN

STORY & PHOTO BY SHERRI ROBINSON

DUKES CHIROPRACTIC HEALTH CLINIC, P.A. HELPING ALL OF PLANT CITY FEEL BETTER

S

aturday, April 30th, Dukes Chiropractic Health Clinic, P.A., celebrated their 20th anniversary by having a special day for their patients and the community to come by and enjoy a time of fellowship and fun. Since Dukes Chiropractic is involved in the community, it was decided that it would be great to add to their special day by collecting food for the United Food Bank. Saturday was a beautiful day, so it was perfect for the expected 500 people to come out and join them. Dr. Brenda Dukes says, “We have a blessed practice and the needs we have seen helped over the years is beautiful.” She is thrilled that more and more of her patients are becoming educated about their health and bodies. “So much information is available with medical documentation now. We

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 8

are excited that our patients are becoming knowledgeable about the Holistic approach to healing.” The first thing to know about Dukes Chiropractic is that they are caring. They purpose to “love, serve and give out of their abundance, and continue to appreciate the patient, their families and their needs.” Secondly, they want you to know the value of Chiropractic care and what it means. Dukes Chiropractic makes sure they provide plenty of reading material and are available to answer any questions their patients may have. There is no better testimony to Dukes’ work than to hear it directly from one of their patients. Laura Derryberry has been coming to Dr. Dukes since her daughter was a small child, over 10 years ago.

She was having bad headaches constantly and her hand was numb. She says, “After my first visit I began to get a tingling in my hand, like it was starting to wake up. Now the numbness is gone and I rarely have headaches any more. I don’t know what I’d do without her.”

If you’ve been considering chiropractic care, it might be time to take action and give Dukes Chiropractic a call at 813-752-2524, or visit them at 2401 Walden Woods Drive (near the new post office). It’s all in the family with Dr. brenda Dukes and easter & Ilene Dukes.


LOCAL

AROUND TOWN

STORY BY SOPHIA DEDON PHOTOS COURTESY OF SHIRLEY HYDE

TELL YOUR TALE

A LOCAL LOVE STORY

T

he epitome of a dedicated wife, Shirley Hyde lived in devotion to her husband. When she was a junior in high school, she dropped out at the age of sixteen to marry twentyone year-old Gene Hyde. Gene and Shirley embarked upon their lives together in Canton, Georgia. At this point in time he made his first investment, a truck, in what would later become Gene Hyde Trucking. However, in order to do so, they had to sell their car and use the truck as their only mode of transportation. After a year and a half they moved to Thomasville, Georgia, where they lived for thirteen years, had four children, and bought more than a dozen additional trucks. At this same time Shirley overcame cancer, which disabled her from having more children, but she still retains her health to this day.

Meanwhile, Gene was still working for Watkins Motor Lines, which moved him to Lakeland, Florida in 1966. The family chose to buy a home on Knights Griffin Road where Shirley still resides today. By the early 1980s Gene Hyde Trucking had grown large enough for Gene to leave Watkins and work solely for his company. Shirley’s life was interwoven in her husbands’; she had been working in the office since the early 60s and now that Gene was working there full time, they were together twenty-four seven. After more than 30 years of marriage, Gene and Shirley were still just as in love with each other as when their love began at such a young age. Gene had known for years that he was suffering from Polycystic Kidney Disease and in 2002, two years after Shirley retired, it really

began taking a toll on him. Although he was on dialysis, he worked up the energy to return to work and it was there, in the shop, where he had the heart attack that would take his life. On December 19, 2004 Gene went on to be with the Lord and was buried on December 22, Shirley and Gene’s 53rd wedding anniversary.

Shirley Hyde with her late husband Gene.

Those that knew the couple say that they have never known two people more in love than Gene and Shirley. At nearly 70 years old, Shirley Hyde has seven grandchildren and one

great grandchild. Her new venture is learning to readjust to her life without Gene, but she has the love and support of the important people still in her life.

�������������������� That is why Sisterʼs & Company is so excited about its newest addition opening soon,

���������. This unique eatery features cafe sandwiches, classic salads, & soups, along with gourmet desserts that are a treat for everyone! High standards, excellent customer service, and all the freshest ingredients will make ��������� a fabulous place to dine and ������������������... the perfect place to shop.

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106 E. Reynolds St. Historic Plant City • Ph: 813.754.0990

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 9


LOCAL

AROUND TOWN

STORY BY BRUCE RODWELL

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Were you one of the lucky ones that attended the Chamber’s very first family Business After Hours at Lupton’s Boggy Bottom BBQ Ranch? If so, you know what a great time it was. Ralph Lupton and his crew did a wonderful job of preparing some great food which included Ribs and Chicken, baked beans, cole slaw and beverages. The children had a great time playing on the swing sets and seesaws. If you or your organization is looking for a great place to hold an outing from a company picnic, family reunion, neighborhood association, etc. give Ralph a call at 813-754-3707. You will not be disappointed. Hat’s off to Jodi Smith as chairwomen for this year’s annual Relay For Life event which benefits the American Cancer Society. Under her leadership a new record amount of money was realized. This year’s event brought in a total of more than $210,000, which exceeded last year’s record of $143,000. On May 19th the Chamber’s monthly Business After Hours will take place at Hallmark Mortgage Services, Inc., 1607 South Alexander Street, Suite 103. Admission is complimentary, but please call the Chamber at 813754-3707 to RSVP. Are you ready for another Mystery Dinner Theatre? On May 20th and May 21st The “Library Players” under the direction of Dr. Hal Brewer will present a mystery play entitled “A Treacherous Night on the Midnight Train”. This year’s performance is taking place at Magic Moments Hall & Gardens, 2207 Mud Lake Road, Plant City. Tickets are $35 a person with proceeds benefiting the Bruton Memorial Library. For more information you can call Dr. Brewer at 813-716-3224.

On May 23, 24 and 26th Ms. Dixie Forbes-Gorby will be holding auditions for the summer production of “Peter Pan”. If your child ages 5 to 18 is interested in auditioning for this great play, you can contact Ms. Dixie at 813-545-0685. On May 24th the Chamber will have a ribbon cutting at the brand new Courtyard At Sisters, 104 East Reynolds Street in downtown Plant City. You will certainly want to come and check this out. It’s a brand new addition to the downtown dining scene. Before you shop or after you shop, or even if you don’t shop, you can enjoy a gourmet sandwich, salad or dessert. Enjoy it there at one of the cozy tables or take it out. The ribbon cutting will take place at 2:00 PM. Remember the date, Tuesday, May 24 th. Want to keep up with what’s going on at City Hall? You can subscribe to the Plant City News Express by logging onto www.plantcitygov. com/news to learn the who, what, how and why of our City government. The Plant City News Express highlights what is taking place in the various Departments of City government, as well as updates on the City Commission meetings. The Plant City Police Department is now located at the end of Williamette Drive (off Alexander Street near the Jim Johnson Road intersection). The nonemergency phone number remains the same…813-757-9200. For emergencies you should call 9-1-1. Chief Bill McDaniel plans to have an open house so that all Plant City residents can get a firsthand look at our new state-of-the-art police facility. MEET THE CHAMBER’S NEWEST MEMBERS: Susan Marshall, Membership Director and Doug “Gibber” Gibbs,

vice Chairman of Membership are doing a great job getting new businesses to join our Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce. Board Chairman Rick Lott has set a goal of 700 total memberships by year-end. As of this writing we stand at 694 so you can see the two membership gurus are doing their job! Basic Furniture And Décor: located at 212 South Collins Street in historic downtown Plant City, General Manger Jeff Lahdenpera offers 20th and 21st century styles. Basic Furniture and Décor is dedicated to offering affordable quality along with excellent customer service. Beckner Hearing Aids, located at 1605 East Reynolds Street in Plant City. Beckner Hearing Aids has had a presence in Plant City for 24 years and recently moved to their new location. They have partnered with Sonus-USA in an effort to provide improved quality in hearing services. You can call them at 813-754-3955.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR May 19 – Business After Hours at Hallmark Mortgage, 1607 South Alexander St.. Suite 103. Starts at 5:15 PM. May 20 & 21 – Mystery Dinner Theatre at Magic Moments, 2207 Mud Lake Road. Doors open at 6:30 PM. May 21 – Strawberry Classic Car Show in downtown Plant City. Starts at 4:00 PM. Great family fun. May 24 – Ribbon Cutting at The Courtyard, 104 East Reynolds St., downtown Plant City. The ribbon gets cut at 2:00 PM. Come join the fun. May 26 – Last day of school

10 May 30 – Memorial Day ceremonies at the Depot in downtown Plant City. Gets underway at 10:30 AM. June 1 - Ribbon cutting and grand opening of femme fitness,inc., 1505 Al.exander Street, suite 103 (Alexander Oaks Plaza). This event starts at 10:30 AM. June 4 - Bike Fest in historic downtown Plant City. Starts at 5:00 PM. Come on out and bring the family and look over all the great motorcycles. June 4 - Plant City Photo Archives Gala at the Ramada Inn. This event features An Evening of Picture Perfect Memories. Starts at 7 PM. Call Gil Gott at 813-752-1442 for additional information and tickets. June 4 - Fourth Annual Kash N’ Karry golf classic. June 6 thru 10 – Scholastic Book Fair at the Bruton Memorial Library June 16 – Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours at FOCUS Magazine offices, 702 West Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Starts at 5:15 PM. June 18 - Strawberry Classic Car Show in historic downtown Plant City. Starts at 4:00 PM. June 18 - Pregnancy Care Center of Plant City “Tea of Significance”. This event takes place at the Evangelical Presbyterian Church on Charlie Griffin Road and starts at 11:00 AM. There will be music and entertainment. The menu will be catered. You can obtain information on hosting or sponsoring a table by calling the Pregnancy Care Center at 813-759-0886 or Tina MallarePike at 813-759-1037.


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LOCAL

AROUND TOWN

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KEN LAWRENCE

EXPOSING THEIR GOODS AND SERVICES

A REPORT ON THE THIRD ANNUAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS EXPO

Michael Cameron with Edward Jones Investments

T

he Plant City Chamber of Commerce continues its innovative activities to promote business in this community. The latest endeavor was the Business EXPO held recently at Hillsborough Community College on Park Road. Some 55 enterprises set up displays at the event to tout their goods and services. Unfortunately, public attendance was rather weak, about 300 at the most for this free event. Many of the “WHO’s-WHO” of Plant City businesses were on hand, including Health Care, Food Suppliers, Financial Services, Communications and Real Estate. Health Care South Florida Baptist Hospital, which continues to work hard to shed past images of the institution, was well represented. Hospital Administrator, Bill Ulbricht, led his troops as they showed how the hospital is really up-to-date and proactive with 21st century medical care. One area of growing concern is the stomach, possibly due to a mix of stress and overeating of various foods. Shannon Mitchell, hospital Marketing Coordinator,

says heartburn, or, as it’s medically called, gastro esophageal reflux disease, or GERD, affects many people today. She says South Florida Baptist Hospital has a top notch medical team working with GERD patients. Food Among the food industry participants was the venerable Fred’s Market Restaurant and Grandpa Johnson’s Bar BQ, led by its new catering service, which has been a separate business entity for a little over a year. Herbert Glaros, catering manager, says the catering division continues to grow, serving luncheons and dinners to various organizations, such as businesses and service clubs, plus private parties. One gala this past January in Orlando was a convention of some 1,200 RV enthusiasts, who were served dinner over 3 successive nights. (By the way, following the heartburn story with one about food was purely a coincidence) Financial Services One of Plant City’s prominent banks, AM South, returned for the

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 12

third straight year. Branch Manager, Gail Lyons, tells FOCUS that events such as the Business EXPO are important to participate in, because it keeps the company name before the public. Another well known financial business in Plant City is the Edward Jones Company, in business across America since 1871. One of its top investment representatives is Michael Cameron, whose office is on Thonotosassa Road, near Publix. Michael says his top recommended stocks for a balanced portfolio include… Industrials, Consumer Products, Banking and Healthcare. His booth was a busy place as Michael answered inquiries about investments. Home Products Every homemaker wants to be kept abreast of the latest trends in home décor. Therefore, there was no shortage of people at the “Carpet and Tile Barn” display at the Business EXPO. Pam Brester, VicePresident and head of the Interior Design Team, informed FOCUS that the main interest these days is the kitchen. Cabinets and countertops head that list, followed by flooring. Pam is a big proponent of granite

Rick Spears with Cruise One

countertops, compared to Corian or other synthetic countertop products. She says the price of granite is now comparable to that of Corian. The president of “Carpet and Tile Barn”, Hiram Oyola, says he’s really impressed with a relatively new wood flooring from QuebecCanada, called Lauzon. Real Estate The one industry that kept the US economic slowdown of two years ago in check was real estate, especially home sales. Three of the area’s top real estate service providers had a strong presence at the Plant City Business EXPO. They were Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Walden Lake Realty and Plant City Realty. Representatives of all three companies reported that there is a very low inventory of homes “For Sale” these days, due to a variety of economic factors, but that should change for the better in the near future. Post Mortem The Chamber of Commerce can only do so much to promote events such as the Business EXPO. To make this a real success, every business in the community should get the word out to its employees and customers that it’s in everyone’s interest to participate in some way in future years.


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414 N. Alexandar St. Plant City, Fl. 33563 FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 13


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STORY & PHOTOS BY CHRISTOPHER DIAZ

GENERATION NEXT

WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A FATHER, NOT JUST A DADDY

D

oes father really know best? Well, not being a father myself I went to Hillsborough Community College’s Plant City campus inside their Florida Studies Building to find out at the Fatherhood workshop. It was sponsored by the Improvement League of Plant City, Inc., and their President Henry Johnson; HCC- Plant City campus and the Plant City Neighborhood Service Center. Spokesmen such as Tony Mathis, Dr. Felix Haynes, President of the Plant City campus of HCC, Dean Joiner and Melvin Bailey, and most of all, fathers showed up to give their opinions on raising children and being a father, but most of all, being a man. Melvin Bailey, father of five, believes the old way of raising chil-

dren with a complete household of father and mother is diminishing. Our society now is largely made up of mothers raising children fathered by illegitimate fathers, those that want to have their fun and run. It takes a father and mother to raise a child; it takes them both to have structure. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. Child-raising is an important job and fathers need to be prevalent in a child’s life. Males need to understand their role as priest, protector and provider for their children and household. Just because you are a man, fathering a child doesn’t mean you are a father. Having a father figure in a child’s life to help raise the children is important, especially for boys,

because as boys grow up they tend to mirror their father. Every child struggles with direction and they need a strong foundation to fall back on. As a father you should be your child’s hero, children should model themselves after you, not the celebrities. It takes a lifetime to grow into a man from a boy, but it can take a night for a boy to become a father. We as fathers have to teach our boys to become men first. We, as males (not fathers), need to help instill in others the ability and comfort of going against the grain. Teach them to yield to authority, but also to step up and speak how they feel and show them that their opinion counts.

Perception now is that we men have stopped being parents, we don’t hug and kiss our kids anymore, we leave that to the mother. The father seems to keep to tradition, being the one who’s always hard on you and is the man of the house, the ruler, but he doesn’t express his feelings. Fathers must talk to their kids, no matter how emotional it could get, they need to talk about sex and not let society be the professor. Fathers need to get inside their kids world to reach them, all fathers were kids once so they can relate. Accept the challenge of fatherhood by being your own man. Teach your boy how to be a father early and let him learn from a real role model. Teach them the responsi-

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 14

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bility of being a male; always tell the truth, it teaches them to do the same. Truth can bring about consequences, and dealing with those helps makes you a father. Teach them discipline, not violent, but strict. Be an effective father, not just passive and not just aggressive, be a combination of both. When you punish your child, separate the behavior from the child, talk about the issue, not the child. In punishing them, teach them that you did this not because there was lack of love, but because you love them. Teaching kids to use their minds is the main thing for fathers to do. Second, tell your children that you love them. Don’t just assume they know you do, and always be interested in their lives, no matter how much it seems to aggravate them. Don’t set in stone your ideas and views, lay the foundation so they are able to build on it and become a good, strong father themselves one day. Shoulder to shoulder: fathers, present and future.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 15


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STORY AND PHOTOS BY SOPHIA DEDON

RELAY FOR LIFE 2005

ENJOYED MORE SUCCESS THAN ANTICIPATED As plans for Relay for Life 2005 began, two goals were set. Thinking they were reaching high, they aimed for 70 teams and $150,000, both goals surpassing last year’s totals. In the end, they had 79 teams and as of the morning after, had $217,500, with more on the way! Plant City’s Relay for Life was subsequently the largest and most successful Relay in all of Hillsborough County!

The kick-off begins with a lap walked by all the cancer survivors.

Plant City High School seniors Amanda Wetherington, Kathryn Fulmer, Jenny Brewster, and Marissa Roberts sell cookies at their team’s booth.

Eating under the survivor’s tent, Frieda and Paul Causey and Calvin Dent enjoy their meal.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 16

Relay for Life is an annual fund-raiser held in many communities all over the nation to raise money for cancer research. The philosophy behind the project is for teams of 10 to raise money for a period of time leading up to the event. Then, an overnight celebration is held at a campus on a weekend in the spring, in this case at Plant City High School on April 15th and 16th. The festivities began at 6:00 pm with opening ceremonies, and ended at noon the next day. During this time period, at least one person from each team is always on the track. The reason someone must always be walking is to represent the fact that cancer never sleeps. Of all the participants in Plant City’s Relay for Life, W.F. Goff deserves special recognition for the 67 miles he walked throughout the night, because he never stopped walking the track! Additionally, a special thanks goes out to Jodi Smith, the event chairman, and her co-chair, Cathy Vallianatos, for their extreme dedication and excessive time donated to the event. “I would like to thank the great community I had to work with, because without the support of our community, this event would not have been as successful as it was,” said Smith. The night began at opening ceremonies with a few words from Jodi Smith and then the national anthem was sung by Katie Sharer. Following Katie, the honorary chair person of the year spoke. Jim Rogers, a 5 year survivor of colon cancer, had many words of motivation to share with the crowd. Above all else he emphasized ED, early detection, and

the power of God, who deserves all the credit. He recommends that everyone get regularly checked for cancers because he would not have survived if he had been in a later stage. He also said that he knows he would have never gone into remission had it not been for the hundreds of prayers he knows were being said for him, and he stressed that if you have a prayer need you never stop praying until it is answered. Once the speakers were through, the survivors were all handed a rose and walked the first lap to kick off the night. Meanwhile, each booth had a fundraiser that they man from their tent area all during the night. Thousands of more dollars are raised simply from the on-site fund-raisers. Most money, however, is raised prior to the night. The Blue Knights, for example, gave $10,000 that they raised from their Motorcycle Cruise for a Cancer Cure Ride the weekend prior to the Relay. The overall highest fund-raising team was Friends of Jim Stevens, who raised $15,000. Many awards were recognized throughout the night. For instance, the Rookie Team of the Year was the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Department, who raised $4600. With joy coming from the pits of their stomachs, with smiles on their faces and energy running rampant, the team from Marshall Middle School won most team spirit. It may have only been 18 hours, but the impact that more than 600 members of the Plant City community were able to have is phenomenal. This occasion is just one more reason for us to have deep, pure pride for our city. In 2004, there were 56 teams and this year there were more than an additional 20. In only its 7th year, more than $217,500 was raised. With events similar to this occurring all over the nation, hopefully, a cure for cancer is getting closer because of the help of so many caring individuals.


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STORY BY JOE LANE PICTURES COURTESY OF JAMES LANE AND CECIL TAYLOR

THE STATE THEATER EMPORIUM

A PLANT CITY LANDMARK GETS A NEW NAME it. He decided he would buy it on a Saturday and signed on Monday. He said he might not have been as quick to buy it if it had been even one street over. Its location gives it free advertising to the people at the car show, the exact people sharing the same love of the past as him.

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ike a lot of people his age, Cecil Taylor is still living in the fifties. He bought the State Theater in Plant City and is making it into a museum of that time so others can relive the “good ol’ days” with him. Like a library of memories. He is calling it the “State Theater Emporium”. Cecil has seen the theater for years from across the street at the Plant City car show. He makes “Woody’s”, station wagons, in Tampa, at his company, Hercules Motor Company. He says, “All my adult life I have been looking for an old gas station or theater to fix up”. He is glad the theater finally went up for sale. He moved quickly, there are plenty of people who wanted to buy

Cecil liked the idea of having something for Plant City to enjoy. He has refurbished the outside to look like a theater again. Cecil says: “All my life I have collected memorabilia, but it does me no good in boxes.” He wants to share it with others like himself. He has the old gas pumps, “visibles” he calls them. The general layout is to be set up like a street with little shops on both sides. It will be a “Smalltown, USA.” He is going to sell replica items, old signs and things like that, like an antique store. His wife, Fern, will run the store. He will keep working at his current job in Tampa. A piece of Plant City is coming back, and bringing with it the age it came from. My generation can appreciate what our parents have been telling us about; those of you from that time can live it all over again, at the State Theater Emporium.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 17


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STORY & PHOTOS BY SHERRI ROBINSON

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 18

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hursday, April 14th, was an exciting day for the folks at Platinum Bank in Plant City. They have been working out of a temporary office for some time at 1804 James L. Redman Pkwy., but have been looking forward to the completion of their new facility at the same location. They expect to conduct business in their new building in the 3rd quarter of 2005.

In December, 1997, the first office was opened in Brandon. Currently they serve four additional locations in Tampa, South Lakeland, North Lakeland, and Plant City. Platinum Bank is keeping up with the times by offering several services that include personal and commercial online banking. Along with the perks for using this service, they also give simple instructions on how to set up your online account. Banking has never been easier. There are times in our lives when a little extra money is necessary, but applying for a loan can be scary and complicated. Once again, Platinum Bank is at your service. They offer Consumer, Real Estate and Commercial Loans. Because they give local approval, it gives them the option for real personal service. Good

rates are available in the following categories: Interest - Value, Prime & Performance Plus Money Market Account - Value, Prime & Performance Reserve Savings Accounts - Personal, Youth & Business Prestige Fixed Rates C/D Prestige and IRA Rates - Platinum Power (For Amounts up to $100,000) Platinum Bank is more than banking. They say, “Our purpose is to offer relationship banking through our people and service, which achieves the goals and enhances the success of our customers. We will promote business, community and personal relationships which will maximize value for our customers, employees and shareholders.” They are the community bank worth looking into. Just so you feel a little more at ease about stopping by and saying hello to the staff that will be serving you at this branch, they are VP’s Todd Pukas and Susan Baggett, A-VP Sue Salvato, CSR Linda Orvis and Teller Iris Cardenas. For more information, log onto their website at www. platinumbank.com, or call 813-6591234.


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STORY AND PHOTOS BY BOB HUGHENS

BATTLE OF THE CAREGIVERS

A NURSING HOME TRADITION BEGINS

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 20

“Safe at first base!”

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hat started out as a casual idea for a way for two nursing homes to bond together and exchange ideas and concepts ended up being the first inaugural “Battle of the Caregivers” on Saturday, April 23. The idea was to plan a get-together in a fun atmosphere and create a greater awareness of nursing homes and the roles they play in today’s world. The result was a fun filled day at the Randy L. Larson softball four-plex in Plant City. The public was invited to enjoy free hot dogs, hamburgers, dessert and fun as The Health Center of Plant City “Heat” and the Community Convalescent Center “Care Bears” took on each other in a wild, funny seven inning softball shootout that ended with the “Heat” defeating the “Care Bears” by a score of 7 to 4. The Champion’s trophy, designed by Betty Sampson and inspired by the Stanley Cup trophy design, was awarded to the “Heat” for their first place win, as well as a runner up trophy being awarded to the “Care Bears”.

The day started out with hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks being provided by the “Heat” and desserts provided by the “Care Bears”. The children were given balloons and played at the playground while everyone enjoyed a great lunch. After lunch, both teams donned their jerseys and took to the field to show their athletic talents. Each team had their own group of cheerleaders that kept the crowd entertained all afternoon. Prior to game time, Mayor Mike Sparkman was gracious enough to appear and perform the coin toss and give the opening remarks. The sunny afternoon soon turned to gray clouds, but despite a few rain drops, the game went the full seven innings. The game was originally scheduled to be played on a make-shift field behind one of the facilities, but when Mike and Cathy Interdonato, owners of Dial-ARide in Plant City, found out, they said “no way”. Mike said, “If we’re going to play ball, were going to play on a real ball field”. Mike made the arrangements to hold the event at the softball four-plex and


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Mayor Sparkman gives opening remarks.”

I can assure you, the setting was perfect for the festivities. Mike also served as the home plate umpire for the game and did a wonderful job. Mike’s Dial-A-Ride company also provided transportation for some of the residents of each facility that otherwise would not have been able to attend the event. This was the inaugural “Battle of the Caregivers” that will now take place each year. I had a wonderful time and despite the festivities, I think it is important to realize the role that nursing homes play in our world today. Of those who live to age 65, one person in three

AROUND TOWN will spend three months or more in a nursing home and one in four will spend a year or more. As the “baby boomer” generation continues to age, those numbers will increase even more. As a result, the need for skilled, professional nursing homes becomes more and more critical. The level of care provided by nursing homes has risen significantly over the past decade and many homes now provide much of the nursing care that was previously provided in a hospital setting. The important role that they play today needs to be recognized and appreciated.

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We are fortunate to have these two fine facilities in our community giving the top quality care that they do. I am looking forward to next year’s event. I know it will grow and grow each year and I hope to be invited back next year. To the “Heat” and the “Care Bears”, we appreciate what you do for our citizens. Keep up the good work!

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STORY & PHOTOS BY KRISTEN TONEY

THE RAINBOW BALL

18 YEARS RUNNING AND STILL A HIT FOR THE CHILD ABUSE COUNCIL

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ll of us have observed a “Hollywood Style” awards show, either on television or perhaps in real life. The red carpet is in place, the celebrities begin to arrive, the photographers are constantly aiming in an attempt to get the perfect shot. It all seems pretty exciting and glamorous! That was only the start of this year’s Rainbow Ball. Each year since 1988, a committee of volunteers plans and executes this major fundraiser for The Child Abuse Council’s Rainbow Family Learning Center in Plant City. This year’s committee of 20 was chaired by Dianna Lott and Mary Heysek, who have also worked on the event in the past. The Rainbow Center is a therapeutic nursery where abused infants and

Photographer Rachel Absher shares her display as one of the items up for silent auction

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toddlers can come together with their parents and put an end to the devastating cycle of neglect and mistreatment that a surprising number of children experience during their lifetime. The children can be in a place where they feel secure, while their parents undergo training and support, teaching them how to make a change for the better, not only in the life of their child, but in their entire outlook on life in general. Some of the various programs that the center offers include Baby Bungalow, Fathers Resource and Networking Center, and Parents as Teachers. All the proceeds from the Rainbow Ball go to making a new lease on life possible for these perseverant families.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 22


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from 10:00 until the end of the evening, there were flavored coffee biscotti, mixed nuts and wafers made available to all the guests.

Over 350 guests began arriving and entering—via the red carpet—the Red Rose Ballroom at the Ramada Inn at 6:30 on the evening of April 9, intent on being present for the newly added wine tasting presented by ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, and ready to enjoy themselves while participating in instruction on the art of ballroom dancing. The silent auction of over 70 donated items began at 6:30 and ran through 10:00, offering items for bid such as one-hour massages, gourmet goodies baskets, gift certificates, tarpon fishing trips, floral arrangements, passes to Universal Studios and jewelry. From 8:00 through 11:30, a dinner of fillet mignon with Roquefort cheese, Baltimore Blue Crab cakes, wild mushroom and spinach risotto and mixed vegetables was served to the guests at tables each uniquely decorated by local Plant City interior

By the end of the fantastic evening, over $63,000 was raised to be dedicated to the worthy cause, with everyone involved in the event labeling it a huge success.

Dr. Steve Smith and his wife Kathy, member of the Rainbow Ball Committee

designers. And there was no need to worry about the wait between courses! Brassworks played sets of toe-tapping jazzy music, inviting all in attendance to take a turn around the never-empty dance floor in between bites. A new event at the ball this year was the live auction, which began at 9:00. Six items were up for bid, including a chocolate lab puppy

“We are extremely grateful to everyone who attended, sponsored and organized the Ball. Through their ongoing generous support, our Rainbow program has put nurturing, loving parents into the lives of thousands of abused and neglected children,” said Paul D’Agostino, Executive Director for the Child Abuse Council.

Rainbow Ball Committee Co-Chair Mary Heysek cradles the adorable chocolate lab puppy up for auction

with crate, food, toys and first exam, and also a week-long hunting trip to Texas Ranch. The anticipated dessert stations opened at 9:00 to serve delicious crepes and bananas foster, along with the cigar bar made available to those who wished to partake on the deck under the stars.

For more information about the Child Abuse Council, please contact Jessica Reynolds at (813) 673-4646, Ext. 223.

At 9:45, the 50/50 cash prize drawing was performed, presenting one fortunate attendee $1,700, and

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 23


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STORY & PHOTOS BY SOPHIA DEDON

YMCA AND THE REC

COMBINE FORCES FOR A TEEN LOCK-IN

Cousins Ranaee, Russell, Treasure, and Promise Goodwine take advantage of the option to play in the pool.

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n a society that publicizes the youth of the nation as troubled and rebellious; Plant City does not dwell on the problem, but rather, finds a solution. The Recreation and Parks Department in Plant City is always devising new ways to provide safe, fun atmospheres in which teens can find refuge. One such endeavor was the LockIn at the YMCA on April 30, 2005. The YMCA opened its doors from 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm to teens ages 12-18. The only thing that was off limits was the Wellness Center with all the work-out equipment. Other than that, teens played indoor soccer, volleyball, basketball, racquetball, swam, played in the Zeno Zone and hung out with their friends for only $7.00. Civanette volunteers handed out free pizza and drinks for all of the teens in the Multi-Purpose room. Thirteen year old Tiffany Sanchez attended the Teen Lock-In for the first time and said, “I think it’s a cool place to come to hang out with your friends.” Teens also frequent the Planteen for Teen Night at the Planteen on a regular basis. The Recreation Department tries to provide as many programs as they can for the youth. The Teen Night on May 13, 2005 had an “Aloha” theme for the evening. Teens fill the dance floor on Teen Nights,

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 24

so in order to stir things up a bit, the Planteen Recreation Center is offering classes for teens to learn popping, waving, floating, and gliding, starting at Beginner Level Break-Dancing. The Terrible Two, Nuko and Oreo started the classes in April. Such events for the teens hosted by the Recreation Department are received well by the kids and continue to grow in number. “We just want to provide a fun, safe place for the kids that is inexpensive,” said Steve Rossiter, the events coordinator for the Plant City Recreation & Parks Department. Thanks to the care that the city has for the youth, there will always be somewhere safe for teens to enjoy themselves.

Roxie Bracewell plays ping-pong with a friend in the Zeno Zone.


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STORY & PHOTOS BY KRISTEN TONEY

SPRING FOR EDUCATION FASHION SHOW

PLANT CITY FEDERATED REPUBLICAN WOMEN’S CLUB CONTINUES TRADITION

T

he Plant City Federated Republican Women’s Club is a fairly new organization in our town; however, they are already dedicated to making a difference in the community. On April 2 they held their 4th Annual Fashion Show at the residence of Plant City Commissioner Rick Lott, making use of 32 models stationed in six areas throughout the house. Not only were guests given the opportunity to tour the Lott’s beautiful home, but also to admire fashions provided by retailers such as Beall’s, De’Javu Upscale Boutique, Linda’s Boutique, My Girlfriend’s Place, Sisters and Company, The Purple Peach and Weekenders.

Mrs. Susann Clendening and James “Sonny” Jones accept awards for their service in the educating of children.

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to Caiti Philpot and Megan Carpenter, the youngest of the group.

Ladies gather to inspect “Miss Maggie’s Baggies”, one of the vendors featured at this year’s fashion show.

“The majority of those modeling have and are dedicated to educating our children,” said Cheryl Boggs, co-chair of the event. “The models alone have served over 300 years,

and the guests and models combined have served for over 800 years.” The models ranged from Mrs. Leola McDonald at age 87 down

Halfway through the afternoon, the models were introduced as they strolled before the guests, each one recognized for their commitment to education, and three awards were also given. McDonald was recognized, not simply as the oldest model present, but also for her 25 years of service to the system. Retired Principal James “Sonny” Jones was honored for his 37 years in education, along with Mrs. Susann Clendening, who has served 38 years.

The weather cooperated beautifully for the heavenly hors’d’oeuvres being served on the patio, and the sun shone down on the assortment of vendors spread across the back lawn, displaying everything from classic homemade fabric purses to beautiful custom floral creations, making the decision on whether to stay inside or out a difficult one!

This year, not only were Wilson and Jackson Elementary Schools given checks to be used for books, but also two senior high school students, one hailing from Plant City High School and the other from Durant, were presented with scholarships. “I’m so pleased that we were able to continue raising the money for the scholarships,” said Boggs. “It’s our turn to give back.”

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Father’s Day is Sunday, June 19th

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 27


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STORY BY JOE LANE PHOTO COURTESY OF THE LARSON FAMILY

Celebrating 32 Years! •CLERICAL

•WAREHOUSE •PROFESSIONAL

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LOCAL BOY GETS 15 MINUTES OF FAME AS A NICKELODEON KID’S CHOICE AWARDS PRESENTER

T

rey Larson, an average kid, came home from school at 4:30. He plopped down on his couch to watch some quality TV. At 5:07 he saw a phone number on his TV screen. At first he didn’t know what it was for. Then it hit him: he could win big! Nickelodeon, a cable channel, was looking for kids to hand out awards at their upcoming Kid’s Choice Awards show. He quickly dialed the number and kept on hitting redial until, twenty minutes later, his call was answered. His whole family soon flew to California. Trey saw a bunch of bigname stars, Adam Sandler, Cameron Diaz, Jimmy Fallon, Will Ferrell, Josh Peck, Frankie Munez, Justin Timberlake, Will Smith, to name a few. He has a cool signature book Nickelodeon gave him It is now full of signatures from stars. The Nickelodeon after party was, in the words of Trey: “A kids dream. There was every kind of game. You could do whatever you wanted. There were slurpies, every kind of ice-cream imaginable and lots of free food.”

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 28

Larry, his dad, said it was a great family vacation. “All expenses paid… took great care of us, it was great.” He said, “Trey gets more attention at school.” After they saw him on TV, people noticed him because he was “popular” now. He won all sorts of things. They gave him a one-thousand dollar check, a backpack, a Nickelodeon-orange jumpsuit and other cool things, like orange converse shoes, which he wears to school sometimes, in case his friends forget what happened. What is he doing with his money? He bought a half-pipe for skateboarding. He also wants to buy more video games. The rest he is saving for a rainy day. When not winning contests, he skateboards, watches TV, plays video games and shoots his B.B. gun. It was a fun getaway for him and his family. Trey said, “It was the best thing that ever happened to me.” He has some good memories to show for it. He got to go to California, see the stars, win lots of free stuff, all from one little phone call.


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STORY & PHOTO BY JAMES MARSHALL

THE DEAL WITH WHEELER TRUCK TRAFFIC TO TAKE NEW ROUTE

Moon Walks Workers on Alexander Street make room for trucks to travel through Plant City

A

s construction signs decorate the Interstate’s entrances to Plant City and drivers adjust to the detours, residents can be assured this is part of a much bigger picture. This groundwork is part of the city’s effort to reduce truck traffic through its historic district. According to an article in Hillsborough County’s Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) newsletter, the truck traffic is a significant contributor to Plant City’s downtown traffic delays. Rerouting tractor-trailers and other large vehicles from the Wheeler Street exit will also provide a more “pedestrian friendly” district. Planners are hoping that a decrease in trucks will make downtown Plant City more attractive to residents and shoppers. Reducing overall traffic will also help preserve the structural integrity of the area’s many historic buildings.

Truck traffic from I-4 will not be permitted to enter the city through Wheeler Street, but instead will be rerouted to the Alexander Street exit. Once completed, the new route will be comprised of Alexander Street, Sam Allen Road, Park Road, Jim Johnson Road, Trapnell Road and SR 39. These roads will be widened to accommodate the additional traffic and allow for the trucks’ maneuverability. Longer acceleration and deceleration lanes on I-4 are also planned. According to the Winter 2003 edition of The Mobility Focus, MPO’s quarterly newsletter, the Alexander Street portion of the project is first on the agenda. This includes widening the road from two lanes to four lanes from I-4 to US 92, then almost to KnightsGriffin Road. The Park Road and Sam Allen Road projects will follow.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 29


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STORY AND PHOTOS BY BOB HUGHENS

MARSHALL IDOL field of contestants that started out with fifty-two entrants in the initial competition.

“The Final Four (l to r): Memory Rawls, Victoria Garren, Tiffany Dunkin< Lauren Davis”

L

ook out Paula! Move over Simon! Whassup, Randy! American Idol can’t compare to the excitement of choosing the annual

Marshall “Idol” winner from Marshall Middle School. Friday, April 22, was the day that the final grand prize winner was selected from a

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 30

Originally the idea of the Marshall Middle School PTSA, the Marshall “Idol” event started three years ago amid the popularity of the “American Idol” television series. It is a singing competition open to both girls and boys in the school. The first year’s winner was Natasha Mosley and last year’s winner was Courtney Robbins. This year’s search for the top Marshall “Idol” began in August as contestants showed off their “stuff” in a quest to become the number one singer in the school. The competition in August had a field of fifty two contestants and was narrowed down to sixteen. In September, the field was trimmed down to twelve and in December, there were only eight left in the competition. The competition in February took the field down to the final four. That’s when Lauren Davis (8th grade), Victoria Garren (7th grade), Tiffany Dunkin (8th grade) and Memory Rawls (6th grade) each put forth their best performance Friday in hopes of being crowned Miss Marshall “Idol”. After the final four performances, the judges adjourned to the conference room to add up their scores. The celebrity judge’s panel consisted of Ms. Karen Berry from “In The Field” Magazine, Ms. Ashley Rae Watkins, the 2005 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen and Mrs. Deanna Rollyson, Mrs. Florida 2004. The emcee for this year’s event was Mr. Stanley Glover, who did a wonderful job keeping the

crowd entertained throughout the entire show. After calculating the scores, the judges returned and made the eagerly awaited announcement. Miss Memory Rawls is the 2005 Marshall “Idol” winner. The prizes awarded to Memory for her first place finish consisted of a $100.00 bill, a karaoke system and, best of all, a beautiful trophy and sash signifying the grand prize winner. The three runner-ups each received a karaoke system as well. It was an exciting afternoon of fun and entertainment listening to the talented contestants and waiting anxiously to hear the results of the judging. This was the third Marshall “Idol” competition, but I am already making plans to attend the next one and I hope that I get invited. Until then, keep singing! You never know who might hear you! Miss Marshall Idol 2005: Memory Rawls


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STORY & PHOTOS BY SOPHIA DEDON

“Life, Liberty, & The Pursuit of Trash”

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You’re just a bunch of powder-puffs,” one man said to the other...and the game was on! After challenging some friends to a match, Ron Bergman and company began an annual game against one another where the loser bought lunch for the winner. A few years ago they decided to raffle off a couple prizes and use the profits to donate to a cause. That year they were able to give a few hundred dollars to R.O.C.K. camp, not realizing this organization would grow to have much more meaning to them. The next year they decided to expand and get more players. That year it cost $1,200 to send one cancer suffering child to this camp, and they were able to send one child. After learning more about this organization, the passion grew inside the heart of Ron Bergman. R.O.C.K. (Reaching Out to Cancer Kids) camp is a one week get-away for children ages 7-16 to forget about their illness and have loads of fun, plus give their families a break. However, having around-the-clock oncologists and a nursing staff, plus almost one-on-one counselors for the children is not exactly cheap. So as to not make this a financial burden on parents, money is raised

to send the children and they are specially recommended by their physician to attend. Developing a love for this organization, Ron Bergman went door to door all over town seeking people to help the Powder Puff Classic grow. This year he, with the help of friends such as Roy Goodman and others, was able to accumulate over 90 sponsors. In total, the Powder Puff Classic, which was held on March 9, 2005, was able to raise $6,000 for R.O.C.K. camp this year. Thus meaning, four more children will be able to attend camp because of the money raised by this event.

When Marilyn Wesley, the director of Childhood Cancer Programs for the American Cancer Society, and her colleague, Judy Moore, accepted the check she said, “It feels so good to have so much money coming it at one time for the kids.” Needless to say, thanks to the help of the Powder Puff Classic, children’s lives will be changed and family’s lives will be touched. It only takes the heart and passion of one person to light a fire. It is the prayer of many that this flame only continues to spread.

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Ron Bergman and Roy Goodman present the $6,000 check for R.O.C.K. camp to Judy Moore and Marilyn Westley.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 31


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 32

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he was born the first female of her generation, but she was told that her heritage was not anything to be proud of. Joyce Bugaiski was Indian. Her grandmother wanted to protect her from the the criticism of others, so she always told her, “Don’t tell anyone, you’d rather be black.” Awful prejudices followed her through her life. For many of her people it is barely much better, at least in their souls, so they still hang their head in shame. Now an adult, Bugaiski is rising above her past and creating art that brings her great pride. For the past 3 1/2 years she has been drawing with colored pencils. She has tried other mediums, but colored pencil is her greatest love. Her pictures are extraordinary, giving the admirer a glimpse into her life. Life has been far from easy. She has survived a life threatening stroke and experienced the loss of her father and beloved son, Wayne. It was the stroke that allowed her to have the time to find that she loved

drawing and her talent that allowed her to honor her son with a drawing of his worn military boots. Bugaiski stays involved in community organizations. She is a former Vice President of the Strawberry Singles where she met her husband of 8 years. She is also the former President of the East Hillsborough Art Guild. Currently she is the Chief of the Turtle Moon Band in Lakeland, Florida and a member of The Southeastern Cherokee Council, Inc. Bugaiski is very family oriented. Unlike her own grandmother, she is proud of her heritage and is taking every opportunity to teach her grandchild about her heritage. She is also working hard to prepare for the upcoming “Pow Wow” weekend in Dade City in May. The public is welcome to attend one day or all three. If interested in obtaining or displaying Bugaiski’s art, please contact her at 863-701-0195, or email her at Turtle Moon Band @aol.com


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STORY BY KEN LAWRENCE

CYCLING-THE SPORT FOR THE MIND AND BODY

A REPORT ON THE ACTIVITIES OF ONE OF TAMPA BAY’S PREMIER CYCLING CLUBS

“I thought of that while riding my bicycle”….Albert Einstein

M

aybe it was his theory of relativity, or the fact that he had to pick up a loaf of bread on the way home, but the genius Albert Einstein made the point that cycling is one of the best ways to keep oneself sharp in so many ways. That is why in 1982, Stanley Jackowski of Seffner had a long list of applicants when he formed the Tampa Bay Freewheelers Bicycle Club. Jackowski had been cycling throughout eastern Hillsborough County for four previous years when he decided to establish the club. It has been rolling along at a good clip for the past 23 years, with an average membership at any one time of about 350. Ages range from eight

to over seventy and the club has outings every Saturday and Sunday throughout the year, mostly in eastern Hillsborough County, but also through some very scenic routes around the state. For the past four years, the Tampa Bay Freewheelers have sponsored a special event starting and ending in Plant City, called The Freewheelers Strawberry Century. This year’s event was centered at the Plant City Campus of Hillsborough Community College in the wee hours of Sunday April 10th. More than 550 cyclists took part in the event, starting with breakfast at 6:30, from Buddy Freddy’s Restaurant. The riders had a choice of four routes, 20 miles, 38 miles, 62 miles or 38 and 62 miles together for a

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 34

total of 100 miles. Most did the 100 miles. They were on their way at 7:30 as the brilliant sun rose in the eastern Florida sky. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Plant City Police provided assistance at the beginning of the ride and at the end. They could not accompany the many riders, most of whom are experienced bicyclists. Most of the participants completed their runs by about 1:30 or 2 o’clock, in time for a Buddy Freddy lunch. Ruben Watson of Valrico, the current president of the Tampa Bay Freewheelers Bicycle Club, tells FOCUS that there were three mishaps along the way. In one instance, a rider lost control, flipped and broke a collarbone. A second was run off the road by a mean spirited car driver and wound up

with a dislocated shoulder. The third incident could have been a major tragedy, when a driver behind a cyclist tried to pass and saw a vehicle coming in the opposite direction. He pulled back in and hit the biker from behind, throwing that young man some 20 feet. Luckily, the cyclist received only bruises. Ruben Watson says all members of the club must wear helmets and those three incidents would, no doubt, have been much worse if the riders’ heads were not protected. Next year’s event is already set, Sunday March 23rd, 2006, for the annual Tampa Bay Freewheelers Strawberry Century ride.


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STORY AND PHOTOS BY SHERRI ROBINSON

PUPPET SHOW

“WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE”

Y

eah, that’s right. There are wild things in the library. It is an exciting place full of books and videos that can take you anywhere in the world, imagined and real, or teach you anything you want to know. It can even be a place where kids and adults can gather together for an afternoon of fun. Friday, April 1 at 10 & 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., the library presented a

puppet show based on the book by Maurice Sendack, “Where The Wild Things Are.” It was a very exciting puppet experience that held the kids attention with a visual extravaganza of exciting creatures that a small boy meets on his journey from his bedside to his imagination and back. There he becomes king of the wild things and the wildest of them all. The show was brought to the library by The Creative Arts Division of

“Wild Things”

Tampa Parks and Recreation. The 10 and 11 a.m. shows were reserved for school groups, but then it opened for the public at 3:30 p.m. Carol Lane, Library Youth Specialist, said, “Even though the kids were young, they were real good and so quiet” during the performances. The great thing about performances such as these at the library is that they are free. The space, however, is limited, so they offer free tickets in advance of the shows. It is important for groups to register in advance, also. Shows for groups are available during school hours.

The library will continue to bring wonderful programs such as these to the community, especially during the summer. Look for the puppet show presentation of Sinabouda Lily on July 12th. For more information on library happenings, log onto www.hcplc.org, or visit them at 302 McLendon Street, or call 813-757-9215. For more information on events associated with the Tampa Parks and Recreation Creative Arts Division, log onto www.tampastory.org and www.tampagov.net/recreation.

The children are engrossed in adventure at the Bruton Memorial Library.

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W W W. S O U T H F L O R I D A B A P T I S T. C O M FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 37


LOCAL

AROUND TOWN

STORY BY SHERRI ROBINSON

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tion system, is the final step of the rainwater collection system. If you currently have a standard irrigation system, you may be able to turn off sprinkler zones that are in planter beds or gardens and use stored rainwater instead. The lowwater pressure generated from a small rain barrel is not adequate to operate any type of in-ground sprinkler or low-volume devices, such as mist sprays or inline tubing. However, a soaker hose or a length of PVC pipe or garden hose with holes punched in it will work with these low pressures. Filling a watering can to water plants around the yard is always an option. Important! There are a few things you need to know: *A permit is not required, although, you may need to check with deed restrictions in your area that prohibit rain barrels. *Rain barrels cannot be connected in anyway to your in-house or outside plumbing for the protection of potable water. *Never install any type of pump to increase water pressure on the rain barrel system. *Last, you need to call the number listed below to get on the list and receive your free homeownerʼs guide on rain barrel assembly and installation.

Cisterns and rain barrels have been around for thousands of years and homeowners can enjoy their benefits. Harvesting rainwater allows homeowners to supplement already established irrigation practices at a minimal cost. Storing rainwater also aids in the reduction of stormwater runoff, which can lead to reduced levels of pesticides and fertilizers in stormwater ponds, lakes and streams. When we have extended periods of below-normal rainfall, stored, non-potable water is a good way to supplement watering of plants and landscapes. Although, a small rain barrel may not provide all the water needed to sustain your plant material, it can certainly supplement your current watering schedule. Planter beds, vegetable or flower gardens and potted plants can easily be irrigated with the water from a rain barrel. The water savings from using stored rainwater rather than municipal or well water can be substantial over a period of time. There are basic components involved in every rainwater collection system. A Catchment Area, Conveyance System, Storage Tank, Filtration, and Water Distribution. A roof makes a perfect catchment area. Gutters and downspouts funnel rainwater to a storage container, the conveyance system. The most common container used for a storage tank is a 50 gallon open or sealed barrel. A window screen over the barrel opening or a gutter strainer placed in the downspout opening are ways to keep leaves and other debris out of the rain barrel and also provide filtration to the harvested water. Getting the water to your plants, the distribu-

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 38

BINGO

PLAY FOR FUN AND A GOOD CAUSE

B

ingo is fast becoming a favorite pastime for many people. And why shouldn’t it be? According to John Zilba of Plant City Community Bingo, “It’s great entertainment and playing Bingo does help support non- profit organizations.” There are a few great places to play. Plant City Community Bingo is located at 105 East J. Arden Mays Boulevard, in the old part of town. The building offers completely separate smoking and non smoking sides so everyone feels welcome and can have a great time. They play Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 3:30 p.m., 5:30 for Lighting Bingo, 6 p.m. is “Share the Wealth” and 7 p.m. is Pack Game. Sunday you can play regular Bingo at 10 a.m., Lightning at 1:15 p.m. “Share the Wealth at 2 p.m. and Pack Game at 3 p.m. On the second Saturday of the month they offer Marathon Bingo with games at 3 p.m., 6 p.m., and 7 p.m. There are also 21 - $250 Jackpots. On an average people spend $20 - $40 to play.

Next on our list is The American Legion Post 26. They are located at 2207 W. Baker St. (Near Tomlin Middle School). They play every Saturday night at 7 p.m. Bingo cards can be bought as early as 6 p.m. Each player must play a minimum of 6 regular card games, though the sessions are 34 individual games long. It includes 5 Early Bird, 20 regular, and 9 special games that also include a Jackpot game of $250 to a single winner. Last, but not least, is the Walk In Bingo at 206 W. Alexander (near the Walden Lake 8 Movie Theater). They are open 5 days a week from 11:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m., and closed on Tuesday and Thursday. You don’t need to purchase a whole pack to play and can spend as little as 25 cents a game. There are 3 jackpots at $250 a day with a $50 Special. For more information call Plant City Community Bingo at 813-719-6568, the American Legion at 813752-8606, or Walk In Bingo at 813-7591230.


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 39


WHAT CAN YOU DO

for your

COMMUNITY?

volunteerism is a worthwhile endeavor for anyone. story by brian west â&#x2DC;&#x2026; photos courtesy of the clubs and organizations


WHAT CAN YOU DO for your COMMUNITY? 2

PART

I

n the last issue of Focus, our feature article covered volunteerism in the community. There were so many organizations

that we weren’t able to include, and such a great response to the article, that we’ve decided to run a second edition to include some of the many other clubs and organizations here in town. So, once again, here is a look at some of the ways YOU can get involved in our community, Plant City.

Volunteers who help with school supplies for HIV/AIDS children.

Daddy’s Girls Ministry Daddy’s Girls Ministry is a nonprofit organization founded by Pastor Eloise McAllister in 2002. McAllister said, “We want to help women who need the help to be able to get back on their own two feet.” The organization has a vision to shelter, minister to, and provide for special needs, for women in need. The group shelters women such as: the homeless, elderly, young and older pregnant women, and those with addictions. They provide training to women for job interviews, help them look for homes, teach them to cook, and even provides help with such simple tasks as opening a bank account. Daddy’s Girls is involved in several different projects, including;

feeding the homeless, providing clothes give-aways, provide Christmas gifts to the children of inmates, provide envelopes and stamps to inmates. Daddy’s Girls is currently applying for some Grants to provide funds for the organization. The organization is actually located in Lakeland, but does work in both Lakeland and Plant City.

The Spring of Tampa Bay The Spring of Tampa Bay offers shelter and refuge for abused women. Volunteers may do office work with special projects requiring basic computer skills, such as Microsoft Word, or the use of basic office machines and equipment, speak at meetings, or be involved in their rural outreach program. Volunteers may also get involved in their Speakers Bureau. The Speakers Bureau is a proactive volunteer community outreach initiative that provides increased awareness of domestic violence and promotes The Spring as a community resource. The Spring volunteers may also make community presentations including: who The Spring is and what they do, information on domestic violence in the workplace, the effects of domestic violence on children, dating violence, warning signs and symptoms

of domestic violence, domestic violence and elder abuse, myths and truths of domestic violence, and information on how people in the community can help The Spring. The Spring also offers a thrift store and even child care services. So there are many ways you could get involved with this organization. To get involved, volunteers must complete an application, and The Spring goes so far to ensure the safety of those they are trying to help, that volunteers must sign confidentiality statements not to divulge anything they observe or hear while at The Spring of Tampa Bay, and not to identify a client by name or distinguishing characteristics to anyone other than a Spring staff member; even the location of The Spring may not be divulged. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Gail Stark, Director of Community Relations at 247-5433, ext. 325, or via e-mail at gxstark@thespring.org.

If you are interested in volunteering, or even donating items to the organization, please contact Pastor Eloise McAllister, Founder, at 813-765-8479. Meetings: Monthly. Location: Bruton Memorial Library. Membership: 100 – Female Wachovia delivering baskets.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 41


WHAT CAN YOU DO for your COMMUNITY? 2

PART

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) is a nonprofit, Christian housing ministry. HFHI was founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda. HFHI seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need. Habitat has built more than 175,000 homes around the world providing more than 750,000 people in more than 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter. The Plant City Chapter of Habitat for Humanity was first conceived in June 1999. From 1999 until 2001,

the chapter built two homes at Empire and Ball Streets. The chapter was recently restructured, and then in June 2004, the Friends of Plant City Chapter brought new life to the chapter with new fundraising efforts, including a golf tournament. In February 2005, the Friends of Plant City Chapter signed a declaration to the Plant City Chapter and is very active today. The chapter’s community goals are to: help families out of substandard housing, partner with families, build stronger communities, bring people together, educate, help urban development in communities where needed most, and increase revenue for the city. Upcoming projects include: a lot at the corner of Drane and Carey Streets that was donated to the chapter. The home that will be constructed on this site will be sponsored by Capital One. It will be a 1-1/2 story home, scheduled to be built this year and a family has partnered for the home. Another family has started the selection process and they are currently working to acquire a home sponsor. The chapter is also working to purchase two more lots from the city adjacent to the Drane and Lampkin Streets lot. Volunteers are involved in helping build homes, serving on committees, finance, family selection, church relations, special events, site selections, and public relations.

GFWC Plant City Junior Women’s Club Since it was organized, February 22, 1940, the GFWC Plant City Junior Women’s Club’s has been actively involved in the community. The clubs’ mission is to improve the community through dedicated participation in fundraising, volunteerism, and educational endeavors. The club has several committees including: Arts – to use their creative talents to reach out to the community, Education – to increase awareness of literacy and the importance of education, Home Life – placing emphasis on issues that impact families, International Affairs – reaching out to the troops in our military, Public Affairs – performing civic duties within the community, and Conservation – the importance of conserving the earth’s natural resources, beautifying the community, and to support and sustain endangered ecosystems and wildlife.

A fundraiser is scheduled for May 14, 2005, a Home Sponsor Fund Raiser, the Motorcycle Poker Run. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Donald or Debbie Rainard at 707-0331, or via e-mail at der589@aol.com

Aside from the committees, the GFWC Plant City Junior Women’s Club has 4 major projects each year: Kid’s Night Out, Little Miss Plant City, Baby Parade, and the Shoe Project. Little Miss Plant City and the Shoe Project are probably the most popular. Little Miss Plant City is a pageant for girls age 8-10 who reside in Plant City. Winners participate in the Florida Strawberry Festival parade, the Christmas parade, and community events throughout the year. The club uses the event as a fundraiser, selling ads for the program book and through donations. The Shoe Project is the final result of all the GFWC Plant City Junior Women’s Clubs’ fundraising efforts. The club visits thirteen local elementary schools with shoes purchased for children in need, with plans for over 500 pairs of shoes and socks. If you are interested, please contact Kathie Pagliaro, New Member Chair, at 754-1115. Meetings: Monthly – 2nd Thursday. Time: 7:00 p.m. Location: Women’s Club Membership: 50 – Female

Meetings: Monthly - 3rd Thursday Time: 7:15 p.m. Location: Winter Visitor Center, Dort St. Membership: Volunteers must be 16 years and older and complete an orientation to work on the job site.

Coming in June….

At femmefitness our approach addresses total body wellness. We offer a 30 minute circuit training workout featuring adjustable hydraulic strength training, cardiovascular equipment, personal trainers and nutritional and health education.

Look for us at 1505 South Alexander Street, Suite 103 FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 42


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 43


WHAT CAN YOU DO PART for your COMMUNITY?

2

Pregnancy Care Center The Pregnancy Care Center is located at 304 N. Collins St. in Plant City. The center provides care, compassion, and provisions to pregnant women in need. Since the center opened its doors, they have seen over 1500 women. All the services offered by the center are completely free.

and cribs. People, businesses, and organizations within the community donate these items to pass on to those in so much need.

This center is an intervention program providing free pregnancy tests, educational information on pregnancy, fetal development, nutrition, adoption option, relationship issues, marriage, and much, much more. The center also provides excellent referrals for medical care, social services, legal aide, maternity homes, adoption agencies, and pastoral care.

The Pregnancy Care Center has several fundraising opportunities, such as: Walk for LifeFebruary, Drive for Life Golf Tournament, Change for Life Baby Bottle Campaign, which is about to be underway from Mothers Day to Fathers Day, Tea of Significance, scheduled for Saturday, June 18, at the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and the Celebration for Life Fundraising Banquet, scheduled for Monday, September 19, at Cronin Hall, St. Clement Church, at 6:30 pm.

Those in need are invited to shop, for free, in the centers “Mommy’s Boutique,” which is stocked with gently used maternity and infant clothing, as well as baby equipment like strollers

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Mary Alice Hendricks, Executive Director, at 759-0886, or via email at pccdirector@ifriendly. com

Mary Alice Hendricks prepares baby bottles for the bottle drive fundraiser.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 44

Learning Heart 4-H with Rep. Glorioso.

Learning Heart 4-H 4-H Clubs have been around for years. The National 4-H Council partners with 4-H at all levels—national, state and local—providing training and support, curriculum development, fostering innovative programming, and facilitating meetings and connections within the 4-H partnership. One of the local 4-H clubs, Learning Heart 4-H, has made a big impact in a relatively short period of time. The Learning Heart 4-H Club was founded 6 years ago with homeschoolers in mind. Many families who home-school their children use 4-H programs as an enrichment to basic curriculums. Some of the programs that the Learning Heart 4-H club has taken advantage of include: government studies, Junior Master Gardener studies, Love-a-Horse, Archery, and participation in the events at fairs and speech/demonstration competitions. Parental volunteering is what keeps the club running successfully. All of the parents in the Learning Heart 4H club, which includes 10 families, volunteer by coordinating activities, teaching, giving child care and secretarial type skills, as well as running a large fund-raising dinner with Carrabba’s on a regular basis. The club has seen tremendous growth in the individual 4-H members. The overall goal of the club is to teach the children to serve the community now and in the future by sharing the skills that are being learned within the club setting. They not only take turns serving the club as officer, but they serve the community, as well. At least one time per year, the club provides a community service.

In past years, the members have cleaned a section of Medard Park, completed landscaping work at the local ball park, and have told stories to children in the church pumpkin patch. This year the club had several community services: helping a family clean up hurricane debris, weeding the rose garden at the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Plant City where the club meets, making a scarecrow family for the fall festival at that church, and performing monthly service beautification projects at Crystal Springs Educational Center. Each year, Hillsborough County sends many 4-H members to various summer activities. As an award for the extra efforts given by the children, the Hillsborough County 4-H invites those who excel to continue on to higher levels of competition at the State and National levels. The Learning Heart 4-H club has several children that would appreciate funding in order to be able to go to those and other events offered this summer. The club president, Nathan Schreffler, placed at the State Archery event and has been invited to go to the National competition. These events are costly to the families. Without donations, many of the children cannot attend. If you would like to make a donation for any of these activities, send them to: Hillsborough County 4-H, 5339 County Rd. 579, Seffner, FL 33584-3399. If you are interested in volunteering or for more information about membership in the club, contact Deborah Schreffler at 737-4027.


WHAT CAN YOU DO PART for your COMMUNITY?

Plant City Civitan Club Civitan’s was organized on March 17, 1917 by a group of business and professional men from Birmingham, Alabama. The Civitan’s purpose is simply to serve the community. Our local Plant City Civitan Club supports many different programs and projects in the area, but focuses their efforts in support of those with mental and developmental disabilities, and the youth of the area. Civitan Club members discover the best of themselves and others. Members are actively involved in helping others, developing new friends and gaining valuable lead-

2

ership skills, which can be used in all aspects of life. To do this, the Plant City Club supports the Civitan International Research Center for Autism and Pediatric Constraint Therapy, and Rare Disease Research. The club also sponsors a local Little League team, “Civitan,” and conducts an end of the year banquet to recognize the players. For the past 30 years, the Civitan Club has held a Christmas party for the handicap wing at J S Robinson Elementary School. The club provides gifts for more than 100

Coach Wendal Sloan presenting Civitan Club with team plaque

students, all from Santa Claus, who also visits the school to call each child by name. To fund their efforts, the Plant City Civitan Club operates a food booth at the Florida Strawberry Festival, which is their biggest fundraiser.

If you are interested, please contact Pat Pogue, President, at 754-4680, or via e-mail at ppogue1559@aol. com Meetings: Monthly – 3rd Thursday. Time: 7:00 a.m. Location: Kristi’s Restaurant, 110 E. Reynolds. Membership: 29 – Co-ed

I

Civitans have sponsored the Strawberry Festival Youth Parade for 32 years.

f you are interested in any of these organizations, or maybe others that you’ve heard about, but that may not have been mentioned in this article, pick up the phone and give them a call. Get involved. Volunteering can be a very rewarding experience. Each of these organizations is about giving to those in need and everyone should be involved in giving back to their community. The Bruton Memorial Library and the Plant City Chamber of Commerce both maintain lists of the clubs and organizations in our community. If the club or organization you’re interested in wasn’t mentioned, contact the Library or the Chamber. These clubs and organizations are waiting to hear from you. Get involved! Volunteer!

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 45


EXTRA

Mary Thomas Mathis

STORY BY MARY THOMAS MATHIS, VICE MAYOR

THE POLICY MAKERS below. Robert Brown is executive vice president and treasurer of Sunshine State Federal Savings and Loan Association. He is a certified accountant with over 20 years of community involvement. Brown will begin his first term as commissioner on June 13. John Dicks is a native of Plant City. He graduated from Plant City High School, The University of Florida, and Florida State University School of Law. John Dicks practiced law in the city for many years before being elected to the city commission in 1998. He served as Mayor in 1999.

O

n April 5, 2005, voters in Plant City headed to the polls to elect a new commissioner. Mayor Michael Sparkman, who served this great city as a commissioner and Mayor, vacated this seat. Over 16,000 citizens are registered to vote in Plant City, but only 1392 votes were cast for this election. Robert Brown and Liesta Woodard Sykes were the candidates. After all the votes were counted, Robert Brown was declared the winner with a total of 782 votes, and Liesta Woodard Sykes received 609 votes.

On June 13, 2005, the policy makers/city commissioners in the City of Plant City will be: Robert Brown, John Dick, William Dodson, Rick Lott, and Mary Thomas Mathis. The term policy maker is best defined as a person with power to influence or determine policies and practices at an international, national, regional, or local level. Of the 5 policy makers in Plant City, one will be selected on June 13 to serve as the next Presiding Officer. A short biography of the 5 is listed

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 46

William “Bill” Dodson received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Atlantic Christian College in Wilson, North Carolina, and also attended North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, receiving his Master Degree in Public Administration. He is employed at Florida Brick and Clay. Bill Dodson was elected to the City Commission for his first term 3 years ago. He served as Mayor in 2003. This year, Bill Dodson’s term expired, but due to no opposition, he will automatically return to office. Rick Lott was elected into office April 2004; he has just completed his first year in office. Lott attended the University of Florida. He is the owner of many businesses in the area. He is also the present Presi-

dent of the Plant City Chamber of Commerce. Last, and certainly not least, Mary Y. Thomas Mathis is the only female on the commission. I am a native of Plant City. I attended Plant City High School, and Clark Atlanta University to receive my first degree in History with a minor in Education. I then received my Masters of Arts degree from Nova Southeastern University with a major in Educational Leadership. I have been employed with the School District of Hillsborough County for the past 20 years. I was first elected to the commission in January 2000. I have served for the past 6 years. Article II of the City Ordinances is titled City Commission. Section 2-31 thru Section 2-49 describes in detail the duties and responsibilities of the city commission. Section 233 explains the task of the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer will preserve strict order and decorum at all regular and special meetings of the commission. The Presiding Officer shall state every question coming before the commission and announce the decision on all subjects and decide all questions of order, subject, however, to an appeal to the commission, in which a majority vote of the commission shall govern and conclusively determine such question of order. The Presiding Officer shall vote on all questions and sign all ordinances and resolutions adopted by the commission. The Presiding Officer is the Mayor. The question is, which Policy Maker will be our next Presiding Officer? Who will be our next Mayor?


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 48


TLIGH SPO T

At Home 49 With Eleanor Poppell TERVIEW IN

Story by Bob Hughens Photos by Mike Floyd

Our spotlight interview this month focuses on one of Plant Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most familiar names. Eleanor Poppell, wife of the late Tom Poppell, and her family are icons in the insurance business and have been successfully serving the insurance needs of the people of Plant City for the last forty plus years. I caught up with Eleanor this week and had a chance to sit down and talk with her about her life, her marriage and family, life in Plant City and life in general.


Spotlight Interview

Eleanor Poppell FOCUS: Eleanor, tell me about your early beginnings. Eleanor: I am a Plant City native, born and raised here. I went to school in Plant City and have lived here all my life. My husband, Tom was born in Oklahoma, but he moved to Plant City as a child. He also grew up here and it was right after he graduated from high school that we began dating. Tom graduated from the University of Florida and after we got married, he took a job that required a lot of traveling. This kept him away from the family a lot, so he changed jobs and accepted a position with Stokely-Van Camp and we moved to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1961. After living there for one year, Tom took a transfer with his company to Atlanta, Georgia. He still continued to travel with his job and be away from home a lot, so we eventually moved back to Plant City. We lived in town for about two years when we first moved back to Plant City and then we moved north of town for about four years to try our hand at living in the country. We loved it in the country but we were so far away from everything, like the boy’s little league, so we found a place off Trapnell Road on about sixty acres that we simply called “The Farm”. This is where Jon and Leslie still live. Tom and I moved into Walden Lake in 1986 so he could take life easier and enjoy his golf. FOCUS: How did you get your start in the insurance business? Eleanor: After moving back to Plant City, Tom went to work for Farm Bureau Insurance Company. He was with them approximately six months when he met “Red” Harrell who had his own insurance agency next door. Tom struck up a relation-

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 50

ship with “Red”, became partners and formed Harrell-Poppell Insurance. Then around 1964, “Red” decided to get out of the business all together and Tom continued on. That was the start of Poppell Insurance Company and we have been here since. Tom worked the insurance business and I took a job working at the old First Federal Savings and Loan (now known as Sunshine State Federal Savings and Loan Association). I was secretary to Mr. Thacker, then president of the bank. I really loved working at the bank. The people I worked with were really great. I continued working there part time after Mr. Thacker passed away. FOCUS: Tell us a little about your family. Eleanor: My wonderful family is made up of two sons, Mark and Jon. Mark is married to Susie and they have two sons, Cameron (age 15) and Michael (age 13). Jon is married to Leslie and they also have two sons, Daniel (age 15) and Seth (age 12). My mother still lives here in Plant City and my father passed away last year. I love spending time with my family. I think there is nothing as enjoyable as a grandchild. I think that the grandparents gain just as much from the grandchildren as the grandchildren gain from the grandparents. It is such a wonderful relationship. I really enjoy my time with the grandchildren. FOCUS: Do any of your family work in the business? Eleanor: Both of my sons, Mark and Jon, run the business today. Mark graduated from the University of Florida and Jon graduated from Florida Southern College.


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(813) 754-3636 The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask the lawyer to send you free writted information about his qualifications and experience.

Pet Stain and Odor Removal Scotchguard Protector

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Offer Good thru 6/15/

$41.95 for 1st room &

1995

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AVERAGE ROOM SIZE 10ʼx12ʼ. Certain restriction Good through 6/15/04 s apply. Can not be combined with coupon only. with any other offers.

Clean 4 Rooms Get

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Offer Good thru 6/15/05

Locally owned and operated since 1969

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 51


������������������ ����������������������������� Fine Food Different Specials Daily Monthly Wine Tastings

Wide Variety of Fish Relaxing Atmosphere Catering & Events

216 East Stuart Avenue • Lake Wales, FL 33853 A Part of Historic Downtown Lake Wales Phone: 863-676-9000 • Fax: 863-676-9020

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“FACTS” We give you Start and Completion Dates Customer Referrals on Request Quality Construction Competitive Prices 44 Years of Professional Service Financing Available We have the Personal Desire and Experience to Solve your Home Improvement Needs.

659-2501 “FREE ESTIMATES” Licensed-Bonded-Insured RX00063299

“Thousands of Satisfied Customers”

Don’t Delay We will show you how affordable your room can be while adding value to your home. We Also Offer... Carport, Glass Rooms, Vinyl Windows, Siding/Soffit, Roofover, Skirting, Pool Enclosure. www.plantcityawningandaluminum.com

OUR 44TH YEAR

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ity wning & Aluminum Products, Inc. “Serving Your Home Improvement Needs Since 1961” 806 WOODROW WILSON ST. UNIT #1

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 52

Spotlight Interview

Eleanor Poppell FOCUS: What keeps Eleanor busy from day to day? Eleanor: I try to stay involved with my church, the First Baptist Church of Plant City and the Sunday school classes and the different projects going on all the time. I also belong to the South Florida Baptist Hospital Ladies Auxiliary. I work in the gift shop and have put in over 6,500 hours of volunteer work so far. I am also a buyer for the gift shop and several times during the year, I get the opportunity to attend buying shows in Orlando, which I really enjoy. The gift shop is doing very well since the renovation was completed in December. FOCUS: What kind of things do you enjoy doing to relax? Eleanor: I really get a lot of enjoyment out of gardening. I use the “trial and error method” of gardening. I’ll try something and if it doesn’t grow, I’ll try something else. I really do enjoy getting out in the sunshine and fresh air. We have such perfect weather here in Plant City to grow things. I also enjoy music but I’m not a musician. I like almost all kinds of music. I’m not into jazz that much but I like most everything else, including classical. FOCUS: Do you get a chance to travel these days? Eleanor: I have fond memories of when I used to travel with my husband before he passed away, but I don’t do too much traveling any more. Tom liked to play golf and occasionally would go on a golf trip and I would go with him. I didn’t care for the golf that much but I enjoyed traveling. Last year I went to the mountains with the girl’s and I enjoyed that quite a bit. I think we may do that again this year.

FOCUS: As someone who has lived in Plant City almost all her life, you have seen and experienced many changes. How do you feel about the direction that Plant City is headed for the future? Eleanor: Well, Plant City is certainly different from when I was a child growing up. There are so many changes that have taken place over the years. What was an orange grove then is now a subdivision today. I have fond memories when I was young of going downtown to the old McCrorys store with its old wooden floors. You grow accustomed to change over time and then you think back on how things used to be. Plant City still has that small town feeling but the traffic here keeps getting worse. At least it’s not as bad as Tampa or Orlando. They are also doing a great job in trying to restore and revitalize the downtown section of town and the Plant City Archives does a wonderful job in reminding us of how it life used to be here in Plant City. FOCUS: What are your personal plans for the future? Eleanor: I just try and take each day as it comes. It is very apparent to me after this interview, that Eleanor Poppell is a person who has enjoyed and continues to enjoy life by surrounding herself with her family and her gardening. She is a lady of charm and grace and we at Focus are very grateful to her for the time she spent sharing her thoughts and memories with us today. Once again, thank you Eleanor.


GOLF TOURNAMENT FUNDRAISER FOR PARKER MEREDITH

Parker Wayne Meredith is 2 years old. Parker was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma (rab-do-my-o-sar-coma). Rhabdo (RMS) is a malignant tumor and has attached itself to Parker’s bladder. Join us for a great day of golf, food, prizes, silent auction and fun to help raise money for Parker! SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2005 Walden Lakes Golf & Country Club 2001 Clubhouse Dr, Plant City, Fl 33566

COST $100 per person Golf & Lunch $75.00 per person Golf Only $35.00 per person Lunch Only

TEE TIMES Start at 8:00am – sign in starts @ 7 (Limited to 144 golfers on a first come basis) Finish approx. 12:30PM LUNCH, AWARDS & SILENT AUCTION Will immediately follow golfing PRIZES & AUCTION There will be a 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, golf competitions and many more oppurtunities to win prizes. All proceeds go directly to support Parker Meredith’s battle with Cancer.

PARKER WAYNE MEREDITH IS 2 YEARS OLD. HE IS THE FUNNIEST AND MOST ANIMATED LITTLE BOY YOU WILL EVER MEET. HE LOVES TIRES, DUMP TRUCKS, CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT, PLAYING IN THE MUD, DANCING TO MUSIC AND IS OBSESSED WITH THE WIGGLES. Parker will undergo 39 weeks of chemo and upon his 12th week, he will start radiation for 5 or 6 weeks (in conjunction with chemo). The Oncologist at All Children’s has recommended that Parker have his radiation therapy at St. Jude’s (Memphis, TN). As no one ever expects something like this to happen to them, especially in a small child, the co-pays, deductibles, prescriptions, and lost wages are inevitable. Not to mention the family’s anticipated traveling expenses to and from Memphis, TN. To assist with their loss of income as well as Parker’s health care; we are organizing a Benefit Golf Tournament & Silent Auction. We would greatly appreciate any donation that you may feel led to give or any item or service that you are able to contribute.

If you require additional information in relation to the benefit details or if you require confirmation of Parkerʼs condition, please feel free to call me directly at 813-752-8852 or email me at helpingmiddleamerica@tampabay.rr.com

Sponsored by: Blackburn & Associates Realty, Inc

Your Plant City “Strawberry Pages” ���������������������������������������� ���������������������������������� � ������������������������������������������ ��������������������������������������������� ����������������������� � �������������������������������������� ���������� � ���������������������������������������� Allen Inlow Super Service Auto �����������������������������������

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LOCAL

STORY & PHOTOS BY PLANT CITY PHOTO ARCHIVES, INC.

MOTHERS OF FALLEN VETERANS THE GOLD STAR MOTHERS

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t began with one American mother’s son. George Vaughn Siebold, who was attached to the British Royal Flying Corps, 148th Aero Squadron, was killed in aerial combat over France, August 26, 1918, in the waning days of World War I. The mother, Grace Siebold, organized a group of special mothers to comfort each other and to work in hospitals to provide care to wounded war veterans. “Service Flags” with blue stars had been displayed to indicate the number of family members in military service, and gold stars for those who had died in the service to their country. Gold Star Mothers became the name of Mrs. Siebold’s organization. Plant City Photo Archives, Inc. is in the process of preparing a special exhibit of World War II era veterans and came across a few photos of Gold Star Mothers. We don’t know who these are, but the photos show a ceremony which took place on Memorial Day, (May 30), 1951 centered both at the Hotel Plant and at the central park on Mahoney Street, between Evers Street and Collins Street (now a parking lot behind the Young and Moody Building). Mike Sansone appears to be at the far left of the line of American Legionnaires, but the rest is not known, nor do we know of any Gold Star Mother identities. Let us know of any information you may have. These people need to be acknowledged and added to our WWII exhibit. Sources: www.goldstarmoms.com, and Plant City Photo Archives, Inc.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 54


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 56


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School is coming to a close. If you are considering any relocation...

Consider the best... Call Walden Lake Realty, Inc.

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Hey, Look Me Over! Charmer of a home with 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, eat in kitchen and completely fenced. Perfect for budget minded home buyers or enterprising. Call Barbara Jean Kulyk on her cell for more details. 813-781-1915.

Fairway Fantasy! Great opportunity for Golf Course home with wonderful view. Very spacious 3,194 sq. ft. under air with a unique design. There are 3BD, 3BA, a versatile den/guest room/computer room, formal living and dining rooms plus family and bonus room! Call Barb Jean Kulyk @ 781-1915

This Beauty boasts new carpet & tile big 5BR/2BA w/ fresh paint inside & out new windows & doors listed @ $199,900 #103 NO HOA or deed restrictions. Call Davy Miles. 376-4444

Time is money. Especially...

Quick..Circle this ad! 2 are better than 1! 2 adjacent commercial properties previously used as a florist (1984) & a used car lot sales business (1957). Lots of potential bus./land uses, located on main thoroughfare of Burgeoning Plant City, FL. The 2 combined properties are over 1/2 acre. Call Barbara Jean Kulyk on her cell for more details. 813-781-1915.

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Oodles of Charm - Quiet cul-de-sac, front porch, large yard for children, green thumb enthusiasts or add a pool! Owners added bonus room (with permit), completely tiled with winter/summer windows. Yard is fenced, perfect for your favorite pet. This spacious home can be yours. Visit it quickly as fresh paint and landscaping makes it one of the neighborhoodʼs best! Call Barbara Layton @ 813-967-1937.

...when it comes to selling your home

Call John Walmsley. Evenings 752-4835 One of many we have for sale in 55+ park & family community.

Priced at Appraisal Price, wonderful location, waterfront, golf course and trees beyond. 4BD, 3BA home, large family room with fireplace. Living room has French doors opening to screened lanai, heated pool & spa and outdoor kitchen. Sentricon & security system. 1 year warranty. $365,000. Call Janet Calvello @ 813-967-1939. #106

3/2 Plus Den w/Bonus Room over garage. Home is in Lakeland noth of I-4 in a nice subdivision with lake access for boating. Home was builderʼs model built in 1996 w/hardwood floors, great room w/fireplace and 2511 sq. ft. of living area. 2 car garage & screened lanai w/partially fenced back yard. Home has look of historic home. Call Barbara Layton @ 813-967-1937. #143. $299,800.

Walden Lake - 2/2 Villa $1200 • 2/2 Laurel Lake $1250 • 4/3 Forest Club $2300 Country - 2/1 and could be furnished $750 Historical Home - 1/1 This is a MUST SEE Home $900

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 62


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Bob Head

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Homes by Ken Griffith

Joe McIntosh

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Homes by TGC

Lowry

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Homes by David Catlin

Bob Head

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Homes by TGC

Lake Avenue

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Buildable Lots Available

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 63


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 64

Competitive Rates


CHRISTIAN KARATE Classes for Adults, Teens, and Children • Family Discounts Classes held on Tuesday and Thursday Evenings @ Hillsborough Community College Plant City Campus

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Service • Maintenance Contracts • Residential Sales FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 66

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 67


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 68

Financing provided by Coldwell Banker Mortgage. 3000 Leadership Road, Mt Laurel, NJ/08064. Some restrictions apply. Please contact us for details


FOR SALE: $ 12,000.00

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Lots for Rent �������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ �������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������� �����������������������

Windward Oaks 301 Wilder Rd. Plant City FL 33563

813-752-9296

Fax: 813-659-9375

SHARON OURS MULTI-MILLON DOLLAR PRODUCER TEL:

763-0856

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Good or Bad Credit? We have a Plan!

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INC

Debbie and Stuart

813-783-9170 FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 69


SEARCH STOPS HERE… Nearly new 3Bd/2Ba, 1566 sq. ft. Homes of Merit home, beautifully maintained, cathedral ceilings, great floor plan, lots of storage, a beautiful country setting w/ separate shed, 6‘ C/L fence and screen room- An inviting retreat priced to sell at $124,900. #2

NURSURYMEN, FARMERS, DEVLOPERS or HOME OWNERS! Don‘t miss a great income earning potential in this property previously an orchid nursery. 5.5 acres located in desirable Cork area, 3bd 2ba mobile home and small frame building. Greenhouses, supplies and orchid inventory is a ready made business for novice or pro. Must see this great potential, call for more info. $275,000.00. #48

I’M COMIN‘ HOME... To this neat, clean CB, 3Bd/2Ba. Fully equipped kitchen, large screened porch for evening relaxation. You‘ll love large tree shaded, C/L fenced back yard! Easy access to I-4, shopping and Church. A real value at $118,900. #79

������� WALDEN LAKE - Fully remodeled, enjoy huge great room, FR w/ fireplace, huge kitchen w/new appliances, 3/2, CH//A, 2 car garage. Enjoy community pool, tennis court and clubhouse - $1295/Month. 3/1 BUNGALOW on 1⁄2 acre inside City Limits. Backyard C/L fenced, 1 car detached garage, new carpet, freshly painted inside and out, washer & dryer included - $1000/Month. COUNTRY CHARMER, City Convenient - 4/2, 1800sqft MOL - Less than 1 yr old - Kitchen appliances included. Close to YMCA - $1150/Month (Includes mowing)

���������������������� BUSY ALEXANDER STREET! 7.7 acres, with frontage on three roads. Located north of new YMCA site & Walden Lake, this property offers lots of potential with a multitude of uses. Price reduced to $985,000. #77 AUBURNDALE... Highly visible, commercial, 2.85 acres, 2 separate parcels with 200 ft on Havendale Blvd. Great site for office, restaurant, retail and multitude of other uses. A great

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value at $400,000 #62 AWESOME LOCATION! 1.4 acres of commercial property. Polk County Land Use LCC which allows a multitude of uses. 307’ of road frontage on Memorial Highway with additional 40’ of road frontage on Chestnust St. A stone throw to I-4. $399,900 #61 GREAT POTENTIAL In this 2.85 acre site in Eagle Lake, FL. Frontage on both SR 540 and

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Cooley Road. Can be annexed into City of Eagle Lake and be zoned commercial - Prime Development Area! Must see - $650,000. #63 US 98 NORTH... 2.35 acres MOL, busy highway frontage, great visibility, over 45,000 trips/day. Zoning has multitude of uses - convenience store, storage bldg, bank, and more. Call for more details. $575,000. #40 ENTRY TO WALDEN LAKE!

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Don’t miss this opportunity! 8.92 Ac, ideal for church, development, south of new YMCA, is pretty, high and dry! Additional sites adjoin parcel and are available. Call for more details. $895,000. #65 MUD LAKE ROAD - ADJACENT TO WALDEN LAKE. 5 acre with development potential located in high traffic area.- Additional property available. $175,000. #13

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HOME GUIDE

WALDEN LAKE REVIEW

STORY BY KEN LAWRENCE-SENIOR WRITER

How would you feel if you organized an event and hardly anyone came? The Walden Lake Community Association did just that, when it held its annual meeting on April 14th and fewer than 100 people showed up. It was an important meeting, given that the constitution had to be changed. Association President Jan Griffin says she was disappointed with the turnout. “Either the residents are very, very happy, or they simply don’t care”, says Mrs. Griffin. “I’d like to think that they’re happy”, she remarked. The main issue was to change the rules about a quorum. As they now stand, to make any changes to the covenants, two-thirds of the home owners must attend a meeting, an impossible task. The meeting hoped to change that attendance figure to one-twentieth of the owners, which would be about 112 people.To make it easy, proxy ballots were allowed and in spite of that, the

association fell 6 homeowners short of 746, the magic number. Therefore, another meeting will be held on Thursday, May 26th. It now appears that more than enough proxy ballots have already been gathered to meet the quorum number. The meeting will be held in the Walden Lake Community Association Offices in the strip mall behind the Shell Station on Alexander and Mendonsa streets.

At the meeting, residents reported clocking some drivers at 60mph, not only on Timberlane, but along community streets such as Thackeray. There were calls for speed-bumps, which the city has refused to install. With City Manager David Sollenberger (also a Walden Lake resident) in attendance, city staff offered to put more rumble strips in some locations, which residents do not think will work.

OTHER BUSINESS

So a committee has been formed, chaired by former president Bob Williamson. They will canvass the community to get thoughts from residents. As for a speed limit of 20mph within the individual communities, that is an issue in the hands of the State Transportation Agency and to date, they have not seemed receptive to a speed reduction. Williamson’s sonamed Government Committee will meet with city and state officials to try and reach a solution to this potentially disastrous situation.

The April meeting was not a complete waste of time. In fact some important issues in Walden Lake were discussed, including speeding motorists and the future of the polo fields. Anticipating that the issue would be raised at the meeting, Plant City Police have really stepped up their traffic patrols, especially along Timberlane. They have nabbed several drivers in recent weeks.

As for the Polo Field, another committee has been formed to try to work out a solution to the ownership of the field. As we reported last month, the former developers WCI are prepared to turn-over ownership to the community, but the association must pay all insurance costs, including those for any polo matches. The insurance bill could be very high. One final note…..The association is looking into the possibility of placing three new fountains in the community. If the funds can be found, the fountains would be at the back entrance on Trapnell, the entrance to the golf course at Timberlane and Clubhouse Drive and in Walden Oaks, off Alexander. When you travel around Florida, especially down south, most prestigious communities have these fountains. So, why not ours? Till Next month!

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�������������������� ������������� FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 71


NEW CONSTRUCTION 4 bedroom, 2 bath home w/large master suite and beautiful front porch. Great room plan with 2,147 square feet of living area, nice size lanai and 2 car garage on 1 acre that backs up to conservation area.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 72


HOME GUIDE

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

COURTESY OF SHELTON KEELY

WHEN YOUR SELLING PRICE IS TOO HIGH, BEWARE! If you start out with too high a price on your home, you may have just added to your stress level, and selling a home is stressful enough. There will be a lot of “behind the scenes” action taking place that you don’t know about. Contrary to popular opinion, the listing agent does not usually attempt to sell your home directly to a homebuyer. That would be inefficient. Listing agents market and promote your home to the hordes of other local agents who do work with homebuyers, dramatically increasing your personal sales force. During the first couple of weeks your home should be a flurry of activity with buyer’s agents coming to show your home to their clients. If the price is right. If you and your agent have overpriced, fewer agents will show your home. After all, they are Realtors, and it is their job to know local market conditions and home

values. If your house is dramatically above market, why waste time? Their time is better spent showing homes that are priced realistically. Dropping Your Price Too Late. If you start out with a high sales price, then drop it later, your house is “old news”. You will never be able to recapture that flurry of initial activity you would have had with a realistic price. Your house could take longer to sell. Even if you do successfully sell at an above market price to an uninformed buyer, your buyer will need a mortgage. The mortgage lender requires an appraisal. If comparable sales for the last six months and current market conditions do not support your sales price, the house won’t appraise. Your deal falls apart. Of course, you can always attempt to renegotiate the price, but only if the buyer is willing to listen.

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Your house could go “back on the market”. Once your home has fallen out of escrow or sits on the market awhile, it is harder to get a good offer. Potential buyers will think you might be getting desperate, so they will make lower offers. By overpricing your home in the beginning, you could actually end up settling for a lower price than you would have normally received. Realtors Talk to Each Other. If you start out with a sales price that is too high, there is a high likelihood you interviewed other agents. They didn’t get the listing, of course. They got “aced out” by someone telling you what you wanted to hear. If your listing agent routinely engages in “buying” listings, he has probably aced out scores of other agents in the same way. Being human, Realtors talk to each other. If they don’t like your listing agent,

not as many of them will be showing your home. In short, you may have ended up with an agent who was good at selling you, but not good at selling your house. And you’re going to pay them a commission for it. It is human nature for you to want the highest price for your home. However, when you choose an agent who promises what you want to hear, it often leads to stress and frustration. Most of the time, it will take you longer to sell your home. Possibly, you will end up selling at a lower price instead. Or maybe as a result of reading this article, you will choose one of the “good” Realtors in the first place. They are out there, you know. Shelton Keely, Broker-Associate Walden Lake Realty, Inc. 813.752.2087

We Know Quality

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 73


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NEW ALGEBRA PROGRAM

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 75


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 77


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 78


BUSINESS & FINANCE

INVESTING

SUBMITTED BY EDWARD JONES

Financial Focus WHAT DOES INTEREST RATE HIKE MEAN TO YOU?

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s expected, the Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates five consecutive times since June. These rate hikes may make the evening news — but what do they mean to you, as an investor?

Before you can answer this question, you need to be somewhat familiar with why the Federal Reserve raises rates in the first place. In a nutshell, the Fed increases rates in hopes of curbing economic growth just enough to combat inflation — but not enough to derail an economic expansion. The Fed reiterated that it intends to raise rates at a gradual “measured” pace to a more neutral level. However, it also added that it would respond to changes that raised the threat of inflation. There continues to be some uncertainty regarding how much and how long the Fed will raise rates. However, those questions can only be answered by the future strength of the economy. Therefore, economic indicators will be looked at closely in order to get a better idea of what the Fed might do. In short, there’s no formulaic way to gauge the effect of the Fed’s actions on your investments. However, you probably can’t go wrong if you take these steps: • Don’t panic. Keep in mind that interest rates were very low before the Fed’s decision. In fact, the Fed had actually lowered rates 13 times since 2001, resulting in a federal funds rate of 1 percent — the lowest since 1958. And the Fed’s action only moved the funds rate to 1.25 percent — still extraordinarily low by any standards. In short, you don’t need to consider drastic measures, because, as yet, things haven’t changed that much.

• Diversify. Build and maintain a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, government securities, certificates of deposit and other investments. Diversification can help protect you against sharp price declines that may primarily affect just one asset class. • Look for quality. Keep investing in high-quality stocks. Over the long term, high-quality companies — those with solid management, competitive products and strong track records of profitability and earnings — are likely to reward you, no matter where interest rates are headed. • “Buy and hold “ If you’ve chosen high-quality stocks, you don’t need to unload them solely because interest rates may be rising. You’re much better off holding these stocks for the long term — until either your needs change or the companies themselves move in a different direction. • Build a bond ladder. If you invest in bonds, you don’t want to constantly adjust your holdings in response to changes in interest rates. Instead, build a “bond ladder’’ — a group of bonds of varying maturities. When rates are rising, you’ll be able to reinvest the proceeds of short-term bonds that come due, and when rates are falling, you’ll have your long-term bonds, with higher rates, working for you. You can’t predict the future course of interest rates. But by making these basic moves, you can go a long way toward achieving investment success — in all interest-rate environments.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 79


BUSINESS & FINANCE

BUSINESS PROFILE

STORY & PHOTOS BY KRISTEN TONEY

A TOUR OF THE ULTIMATE FAMILY BUSINESS THE HOP STOP

all sorts of occasions: any kind of parties, weddings, school functions, fund raisers, family reunions, company picnics…you name it, they have exactly what you’re looking for, all fully covered by insurance protection.

From left to right, back to front: Bruce Stendahl, Kelly Wishau, Kyle, Alexa and Alana make up the crew of the Hop Stop

W

hen was the last time you took your child to a carnival where a moon walk was featured? Most likely you can easily pinpoint a recent memory, being that the “bouncy thing”—as kids refer to it—is definitely in high demand. The number of excited children in line to bounce at the Strawberry Festival alone was outrageous! One family is all too aware of this outlet, and they have created their own enterprise, gearing it towards kids, fun, and yes…bouncing! Bruce Stendahl and Kelly Wishau moved to Florida five years ago from a busy city in Wisconsin, searching for a place to raise their children, and longing for an area where they knew the kids would be able to be involved in a safe environment. They chose to come to Plant City, and they plan to be here for years to come.

“We just love Plant City,” said Wishau. “The people are so wonderful! It’s a community that is really focused on children, which is one of the reasons that we came here. It’s a great place to raise kids, and we really do feel that there is a need for this business. That’s what we’re here for.” The Hop Stop’s headquarters is located on Gallagher Road, just North of I-4. Those who drive through the area on a regular basis cannot help but stare at the massive ballooned structures which are set up in the yard almost every day, never making use of the same formation two days in a row! Not only does the Hop Stop offer moonwalks, but they also are able to provide large slides and even a dunk tank, giving prospective renters the choice between 28 items to include in their party plans. They cater to

When it comes to a fundraiser or a churchrelated event, Stendahl offers flexibility. “We really try to work with the people,” he commented. “I try to offer a deal, or give back a percentage at the end, to help with their cause. The response I’ve gotten has been great. People really appreciate it.” Wishau nods and adds, “We want to give back. That’s a big part of all of this for us.”

schools and the day-cares that we focus on during the week.” Not many kids can say that their parents own such a fun business! Stendahl and Wishau’s children, Cork Elementary students Alexa and Alana, are right in the middle of the company, running from slide to castle to “test” their durability, while big brother Kyle helps in the setting up of the huge attractions. “Oh, they love it!” laughs Wishau. As far as plans for the future? Wishau smiles as she observes her girls bouncing through what appears to be the belly of a tiger. “I would love to eventually be able to run a petting zoo along with all of this. I have a lot of research yet to do, and everything is still in the early stages, but I’m hoping the dream will eventually become a reality.” For more information on The Hop Stop, contact Bruce at (813) 9865357 or Kelly at (813) 757-6683.

With so many styles to choose from, one would assume that the Hop Stop has been in business for a few years, at least. Not so, says Wishau, motioning across the yard ballooned with moon walks and slides. “We started buying them in March and April of last year. We actually started the business in June of 2004.” Having recently been certified with the Hillsborough County School System, Stendahl is looking forward to working with more schools and day-cares through the week. “Most of our party business takes place on the weekend,” he said. “It’s the Alexa and Alana love the family business!

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 80


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EDUCATION

STORY & PHOTO BY CHRIS RICKETTS

CORK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FUN DAY THIS YEAR WAS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL YET!

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he Cork Elementary School Fun Day is an important fundraiser for the school. The event was held on Friday April 22nd this year. A committee of twelve parents plans the Fun Day events, and parent volunteers from each grade help them with the actual event. Different grades were sponsoring various games. Fifth-graders were hosting a putting green; secondgraders were letting people blow bubbles. Kids could also bowl or shoot baskets to win prizes. A cakewalk was also held. There was a silent auction for items such as gift certificates for Outback, Fred’s Market, Busch Gardens tickets and other similar items. The Hillsborough County Fire Department had a fire truck and four firefighters on hand to show youngsters the ins-and-outs of the truck. They even ran the sirens and blew the horn. Activities included the Plant City Church of God School of Music, a Fun Run, Scheuer Voice Studio,

Judy’s Dance Studio, a basket raffle, and a demonstration from the Hillsborough County Sheriff K-9 Unit. There were also four inflatables donated by the Hop Stop, the owners of which have children that attend Cork. Without that donation, it would have cost the committee between $150 and $200 for each of them. The Parent Teacher Association is in charge of organizing Cork Elementary Fun Day. They changed things up a bit this year by adding local entertainment, as well as holding the event on a Friday. The previous three years saw Fun Day on a Saturday, but Joyce McFaul, in charge of publicity for the event, said that Saturdays have, “too many other things going on,” such as soccer practice and things like that. The move to Friday was aimed at increasing attendance. As for food, there was the classic fare of snow cones and cotton candy. There were five hundred hamburgers and 250 hot dogs available, which were bought and donated by D&E Investors.

Funds in the past have gone towards things like the media center and the playground. The list of sponsors included Paso Fino Horse Association, James Hardie Building Products, Wilder’s Lawn Maintenance, Poppell Insurance Company, South Side Veterinary Clinic, Advance Battery Service, DeLePaz Construction, Dukes Chiropractic, Howard & Sons Plumbing, D&E Investors, Creations by Nora and others. Parent Teacher Association President Darla Pulley says that the turnout was a lot better this year since they were not competing with a sporting event in town. The turnout was so good, in fact, that the volunteers ran out of tickets for the events. Near the end, the volunteers were recycling the tickets. “I had to send my husband to Wal-Mart to get more!” laughs Pulley. Tickets were less expensive this year, four for a dollar instead of fifty cents each. Food lines were very long during the event. Pulley says that next year they will have more grilles and a

separate station for drinks, so people will not have to wait in line for thirty minutes if all they want is a drink. There were seven thousand tickets sold before the event and at least another seven thousand sold during the event. Pulley says that the event usually brings in around five thousand dollars, although final figures for this year’s event are not yet available. She is anticipating more money this year, which will go towards next year’s budget. One piece of technology that resulted from the windfall of the Fun Day is ELMO, which is basically a hightech overhead system that allows something written to be projected onto a screen. This year’s Fun Day event was probably the most successful one in its four-year history. A lot of people had fun giving money and time to one of the most important causes there is: The education of our children.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 82

• Maintenance Line Mechanic • Farm Supervisor • Production Supervisor �������������������� �����������������������������813.305.1170��� ����������������������������������������������


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RAYMOND JAMES FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC Member NASD/SIPC

Welcome to First Class... Raymond James Financial Services is your Florida company and your choice in Plant City for steadfast dedication and unwavering execution of your financial plan. We offer full service brokerage including:

• Stocks, Bonds & Mutual Funds • Tax Deferred Annuities • IRA, Roth IRA, 401k and many other retirement plans for all size businesses. • 529 College Savings Plan And if you are in need of services we are not licensed to offer we will refer you to the very finest professionals in any area of discipline. Barton Young, Registered Principal In Plant City call:

(813) 759-0547 Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member NASD/SIPC

We are growing! Coming in 2005, our new expanded offices in Plant City.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 83


SPORTS

STORY BY BOB HUGHENS

“TEE” BALL STILL GOING STRONG The 5-6 year old T-ball league of the Plant City Little League is still drawing big crowds each and every week to Sansone Park, the sight of the T-ball competition. Games are played every Saturday morning and league play will continue throughout the end of May. At that time, plans are to have an elimination tournament to decide on the league champions. The T-ball teams are comprised of ten teams of young men and women in the 5 and 6 year old age bracket and are sponsored by local businesses in and around Plant City. The teams and their sponsors are the Volcanoes (Focus Magazine), the Lug Nuts (Lott-Mather), the Bats (Papa John’s Pizza), the Rock Hounds (G&W Maintenance), the Thunder (Tim Griffin Construction), the Iron Birds (Elks Club), the Sea Dogs (Sparkys), the Rattlers (Excel Printing), the River Dogs (Copeland Steel) and the Blue Claws (Cherrys). You can really see an improvement in the skills of these players since they first started the season. The coaches have really worked hard to develop the player’s skills and it is certainly paying off. I really see the difference each week as I come out and watch the games. I would like to invite each and every one of you to take the time to come out to the ball park and support these youngsters and their sponsors as well. It’s good fun for the whole family so get out to the ball park and cheer for your favorite team!

“The Rock Hounds (sponsored by G&W Maintenance) Front Row Kneeling (L to R): Tate Whatley, Andrew Colding, Nick Frier, Matthew Byars, Middle (L to R): Bryce Kirk, Noah Colding, Gannon Martin, Adam Givens, Tyler McCrea, Austin Gress Back Row (L to R): Mgr. Tate Whatley, Coach Dave Byars, Coach Steve Givens

“The Blue Claws (sponsored by Cherrys) Front Row Kneeling: (L to R): Will PeQueen, Colton Tanner, Hunter Maxwell, Jace Fairfield, Corbin Coleman, (not shown Hunter Welch) Middle (L to R): Jon Scott, Eduardo Lucas, A.J. Sinopoli, Austin Settle, Michael Davis, Brock Guynn Back Row (L to R): Coach Eric Coleman, Mgr. Brian Maxwell, Coach Gary Guynn The Thunder (sponsored by Tim Griffin Construction) were not available for pictures.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 84


Framing Solution:

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Ouch! You just put in a day of gardening and your body aches from head to toe. This time you really over did it. Lifting something too heavy, such as a shovel load of dirt, can easily strain the shoulders and upper back. Bending over or kneeling down may put stress on the lower back. What can you do? When the days become warm and plants start to bloom many gardeners turn to their doctor of chiropractic to ease the aches and pains. A doctor of chiropractic's expert adjustments can restore spinal integrity, lessen discomfort and help muscles relax again. Also, our massage therapists due a great job in assisting in recovery, and help to reduce possible conditions. What about the next time you garden? Doctors of chiropractic recommend that you take the special precautions you would when doing any other type of exercises and knee bends. Also, learn the right techniques for lifting, pushing, hauling, bending down and squatting. If possible, always kneel rather than squat since the former is easier on the back. Do not bend at the waist to pick up a tool because it will strain your back. Instead, bend your knees and ankles. Do not hunch your shoulders when raking or hoeing. Stand up straight and let your stomach and leg muscles do the work. Following these guidelines will ease the aches and pains and let you truly enjoy the pleasures of gardening.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 85


SPORTS

STORY & PHOTOS BY BOB HUGHENS

RATTLERS BITE THE MUDCATS A great shootout took place Saturday, April 23, when the Rattlers and the Mudcats of the 6 to 8 year old Plant City Machine Pitch Little League went head to head at Sansone Park. The Rattlers came out on top by a score of 9-7, but not before the Mudcats gave the Rattlers a big scare by putting four runs on the board in the fifth inning. 1st INNING: After their first batter struck out, the next three batters for the Rattlers each put singles on the board, but with the bases loaded, a fly out ended their at bat. The Mudcats opened their inning with six singles and managed to put two runs on the scoreboard before retiring the side. Rattlers 0-Mudcats 2

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 86

2nd INNING: The Rattlers came back and blasted four singles and two triples to post five runs and take the lead. The Mudcats couldn’t get anything going and went three up and three down. Rattlers 5-Mudcats 2 3rd INNING: Despite getting two singles in the inning, the Rattlers could not cash in on any runs.The Mudcats made a come back attempt with two singles and a double to put up one run on the board. Rattlers 5-Mudcats 3 4th INNING: This inning saw the Rattlers explode for three runs on six singles and a double. The Mudcats could get no offense going and after getting a single, went three up and three down. Rattlers 8-Mudcats 3 5th INNING: After the Rattlers went down in order, the Mudcats put the pressure on and blasted out four singles, a double and an in-park home run to score four runs to pull within one run. Rattlers 8-Mudcats 7 6th INNING: The Rattlers retaliated with their own in-park home run and got one more run to seal the victory.The Mudcats could not get any more offense going and went three up and three down. Final Score: Rattlers 9-Mudcats 7.


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 87


HEALTH & FITNESS

SUBMITTED BY JOHN C CARROZZELLA, M.D. • SAND HILL BONE & JOINT

OSTEOPOROSIS THE OTHER SILENT KILLER

I

magine walking from your car into the local Wal-Mart. You feel great, but without warning, your right foot slips and you hear and feel a loud CRACK that came from your hip. Down you go; youʼve fallen and you really cannot get up. Next stop – the emergency room. If you are over 65, postmenopausal, thin and a smoker, you most likely suffered a fragility fracture of the hip. Fragility fractures occur as a result of Osteoporosis, a very common, yet easily diagnosed and treated problem that has become a very serious health concern in the United States today. The scope of the problems related to Osteoporosis is staggering. Nearly 8 million people have Osteoporosis and another 21 million have reduced bone density that is not yet severe enough to be categorized as Osteoporosis. In women alone, nearly 20% of post menopausal women suffer from this silent affliction and more than 50% have reduced bone density. Osteoporosis is currently the reason for millions of fractures of the hip, forearm and spine annually, leading to a medical burden on society of nearly $17 billion. Yet, it is not the fracture alone that is the problem. With advanced Orthopaedic care available today, nearly all of the fractures themselves can

be successfully treated. It is the complications from these injuries and their treatment that causes the greatest amount of death, suffering and economic loss. As many as 20% of patients who have suffered hip fractures caused by Osteoporosis will DIE within one year of their fracture. Many people will require long or short term nursing care after their acute hospitalization. In fact, nearly 40% of patients who have had hip fractures will experience a serious and permanent reduction in their activity level following treatment of their injury. Spine fractures can also be related to Osteoporosis. They, too, can lead to significant problems that include chronic back pain, activity limitations, breathing and other health problems, and death. And while not as serious, fractures of the wrist, forearm and ankle can often lead to significant functional disability after they are treated. So who gets Osteoporosis? While white women are at the greatest risk, others, including men, can get Osteoporosis, as well. The most significant risk factors include age over 65; previous history of a fracture as an adult; history of Osteoporosis related fractures in close relatives; body

weight less than 125 lbs.; smoking; and chronic steroid (cortisone) usage. Secondary risk factors are impaired vision; early menopause (estrogen deficiency); dementia; poor health/ frailty; history of repetitive falling; low physical activity; low calcium intake; and excessive alcohol use. In addition, a variety of medical conditions and medications are associated with Osteoporosis. Despite being a problem with such serious consequences, Osteoporosis remains a seriously under-diagnosed problem in the Unites States. The fact is this is a silent problem, not known until someone so afflicted suffers a fragility fracture. By then it is too late. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, as well as many other medical societies, has determined that Osteoporosis is a serious imminent health concern. With a heightened awareness, more and more doctors are on the look-out for patients who may be at risk for Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is discovered by doctors who identify those patients who may be at risk. Once identified by asking appropriate questions about their health and medical history, patients can easily be screened by a safe, fast, simple and painless test known as a Dual X-Ray Absorbtiometry (DEXA Scan). This is a test that takes about 10 minutes to complete. Patients lie on an X-Ray table and a simple X-ray scan is done. Computer analysis of the X-ray will then indicate the degree

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of bone mass and whether or not it is indicative of Osteoporosis. Based on the test results, the doctor will recommend no treatment; observation with re-testing; or Osteoporosis treatment. The exact treatment can be as simple as calcium supplementation, Osteoporosis medications (such as Fosamax), or more significant medial treatment for the more serious causes of Osteoporosis. Once the treatment of Osteoporosis is begun, patients will be monitored for improvement (usually by follow-up DEXA scanning at annual or biannual intervals). As Osteoporosis improves, the risk of Osteoporosis related fracture diminishes. At Sand Hill Bone & Joint, Dr. Ott and I are very concerned about the dramatic increase of Osteoporosis related fractures that we have seen over the last several years. Following the lead of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, we are seeking to find and effectively treat people in our community with this “silent killer”. We currently are able to screen and diagnose anyone who may be at risk for Osteoporosis with our state-of-theart DEXA Scanner. If you feel that you may be at risk for Osteoporosis, please feel free to give our office a call to set up an appointment with one of our physicians. (Some of the material and statistics contained in this article were obtained from the National Osteoporosis Foundation at http://www.nof.org/physguide)

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Fellow: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Fellow: American College of Surgeons Member: American Society for surgery of the Hand Certified: American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons

Team Physician for Florida Southern College National Healthcare Referral Network for USA Gymnastics & USA Swimming American College of Sport Medicine

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(813) 490-1393

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 88

Certified: Board Certified D.O.

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HEALTH & FITNESS STORY BY SHERRY NUEESCH

PUFFED AND DANGEROUS Hello again, Plant City. As I sat down to write my article this month, I knew I wanted to write it about junk cereals. I sat trying to decide how to paraphrase a part of Paul Stitt’s book “Fighting the Food Giants”. The problem was you need to read every word. So I am going to give it to you word for word. This is really interesting stuff. I will see you below. “Four sets of rats were given special diets. One group received plain whole wheat, water, vitamins and minerals. Another group received Puffed Wheat, water and the same nutrient solution. A third set was given water and white sugar, and a fourth given nothing but water and the chemical nutrients. The rats which received the whole wheat lived over a year on the diet. The rats that got nothing but water and vitamins lived for about eight weeks, and the animals on a white sugar and water diet lived for a month. But (the company’s) own laboratory study showed the rats given vitamins, water and all the Puffed Wheat they wanted, died in two weeks! It wasn’t a matter of the rats dying of malnutrition; results like these suggested that there was something actually toxic about the Puffed Wheat itself. Proteins are very similar to certain toxins in molecular structure, and the puffing process of putting the grain under 1500 pounds per square inch of pressure and then releasing it may produce chemical changes which turn a nutritious grain into a poisonous substance…. I was shocked, so I showed the report to Dr. Clark, who shared my concern. His predecessor, Dr. Graham, had published the report and begged the company not to continue producing Puffed Wheat because of

its poisonous effect on animals. Dr. Clark…went right to the president… ”I know people should throw it on brides and grooms at weddings,” (the president) cracked, “but if they insist on sticking it in their mouths, can I help it? Besides, we made $9 million on the stuff last year.” See, your health is not a concern to the food industry. Their concern is to turn as big a profit as they can.

BUY, not to tell you the truth. How much puffed and extruded cereal would you buy if they told the truth? Probably none, so they don’t and they obviously don’t care that it may harm you and your kids. How do they ever sleep at night? Probably, very well, they are sleeping in the best hotels and the best houses OUR money can buy. Maybe we

should buy from the local farmers and let them make some money. Just remember, if God made it, eat it. If man manufactures it, RUN, RUN and RUN!! As always, to your health. Sherry

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Not everyone has the passion for health and nutrition that I do. I think most people get most of their information from headlines and commercials. People are busy. I know that, that is why I try to write about things you would not otherwise know. You need to know that processed food is dangerous. You need to know the food industry is not concerned for your health. I hope you think about what you are putting in your mouth and the mouths of your children. I pray I have helped. Remember the commercials are to motivate you to BUY, BUY, and

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 89


EXTRA

STORY BY AL RUECHEL

OF DOGS AND DIVORCE! I donʼt think it is coincidence that the same letters that make up the word G-O-D also can be used to spell the word D-O-G. To a little boy growing up in a small rural Iowa town my dogs were about as close as I could get to God. They were my constant companions in the good times and bad, sleeping on my bed, escorts on my paper routes, offering me the comfort I needed in a world turned upside down by my parentʼs divorce

brown eyes and such a sweet disposition. I canʼt tell you how many times I cried myself to sleep with my arms wrapped around her beautiful brown and gold mane. At times I swear I could hear her whimpering along with me. Forget what the psychologists say, divorce is a poison, a cancer that you can never cleanse from your body, no matter how hard you try, no matter how many tears you weep.

But of all the dogs I hugged and buried, none were as dear to me as King and Lassie. They were my living guardian angels. Dad brought home King from the office one day in a big old box. Some farmer had given the dog to dad to pay for doing his taxes. I remember the event so clearly because it was the weekend after Mom and my brother Bill had moved out of the house for good. It took me another year or more before I finally understood what a divorce was. I guess the dog was supposed to make up for some of the pain of losing half my family. Lassie came into my life only a few weeks later, another puppy I found while digging around the junkyard for hidden treasures.

Yet, of all the adventures and sorrows I shared with my dogs, none was more remarkable than the time King and Lassie saved me from the town bullies. It was a Friday afternoon during the summer. I was walking past McKinleyʼs old garage when somebody yelled at me to come inside. Inside, I peered over the edge of the floor. The next thing I knew the ladder was being jerked up to the ceiling. Jumping forward I slammed onto my hands and chest in a cloud of dust. “Youʼre dead, you -----.” It was Rich Hutzell and his cousin, Butch. “Weʼre going to mess you up good. Donʼt bother yelling because nobodyʼs going to hear you.” Remember I was just 10 at the time, so these two 17 year olds had no trouble putting me out of commission.

King was a huge animal. It was clear by looking at his feet and coloring he had some St. Bernard and Husky tossed in, to boot. Lassie was my bed companion. Half the size of King, she always slept directly on top of my feet at the end of the bed. She had those wonderful loving

Then it hit me. Where were King and Lassie? The Hutzellʼs had locked them downstairs in the garage. You could hear them both barking and scratching. King knew what was happening and was he ever ticked. “King!

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 90

King… come on boy”. Rich grabbed me around the neck. This time I knew he meant business. He threw me into the back seat of his brotherʼs old Hudson. We drove four blocks away to the old concession stand at the ball field. He dragged me behind the stand and threw me to the ground. Then he pulled one of those huge old lady hatpins out of a bag. Butch ripped my shirt and tried to sit on my legs while Rich fumbled on the ground for the pin. They got me in the upper legs and in the butt a couple of times. Then, as Rich Hutzell stood above me with his legs spread, I saw them. King and Lassie flying through the air with teeth bared and fur raised like the scales on a dinosaur. I later discovered King kept throwing his massive 135 pound body into the old garage doors until he finally broke through the wood. He also broke a couple of his own ribs. He hit Rich right in the chest, knocking him back at least 10 feet, gasping for air. Butch fell backward as Lassie began shredding the leg on his jeans. It didnʼt end there. As Rich tried to crawl away into the cornrows, King grabbed him by the leg and dragged him like a huge bone back into the open. Rich made the mistake of trying to kick King. My guardian angel bit him hard in the upper thigh, so hard I could hear a crunch.” Rich wailed and squealed. Meantime, Butch had managed to pull away from Lassie and jumped back into the Hudson. “Let go King…. King, let go! Itʼs alright boy!” King reluc-

tantly loosened his jaw around Richʼs thigh. He had blood on his fur. The Hutzells never bothered me, not so much as blinked at me ever again. King had to be put to sleep shaking and shivering under our car suffering from distemper. Some guy who offered me $200 cash for Lassie in the pool hall stole her in the spring of that year. At least Iʼd like to think she was stolen. The prospect of her dying the way King did would have been more than this kid could have handled. Psychologists say that children create their own realities to deal with the things that hurt them. Itʼs all psycho-babble when you are just ten. But it does explain why I cried more when I lost my dogs than I did when I finally accepted the fact my mom and dad had gotten a divorce. Like I said, having a great dog is about as close to knowing God as a kid can get. Preserved in my mind forever, they were the only emotional escape from my crumbling family around me. Yet in the end, like my family, there was nothing I could do to mend the broken pieces or bring back my two dear friends but sit in the upstairs bedroom and look out the window…. and cry.


EXTRA

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STORY BY JIM BROWN

64 BIT TECHNOLOGY

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HOME COMPUTING TIPS:

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ello everyone, I am writing to you all this month about technology changes that are approaching rapidly. First of all, Intel and AMD have both launched 64 bit processing technology which is rapidly turning new pc’s into super machines. Microsoft has also launched Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003 x64 Editions and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition. AMD announced last month that all existing and upcoming single- and dual-core AMD Athlon™ 64, AMD Opteron™ and AMD Turion™ 64 processors are designed to be fully compatible with Microsoft’s x64 Edition Windows software. At the present time there are not a lot of applications out there that will support this technology, but given the way technology is moving, that won’t last long. Intel has announced that they have already shipped over a million of its 64 bit processors with dual core technology. Currently, most of us are using machines with 32 bit processing technology, but the argument for 64 bit is that load balancing is critical for business solutions, databases, real time transactions and much more. Many existing applications will not directly benefit from 64-bit migration, but a number of scientific, engineering, and design applications can benefit from the additional memory capacity already critical for many servers and client workstations. Media Center pc’s are on the rise, as well, with most people wanting the digital entertainment experience in their living rooms. This brings the current ATX form factor into a BTX form factor.

Now, let me break all of this down in layman’s terms. You are probably thinking “Jim, what does all of this mean to me”. My answer is “a lot”. I have already had people asking me to sell them Windows Media Center Edition and Windows x64 Professional Edition. It is not that easy. You cannot just install this software on your existing pc’s. (Well, technically I guess you could, but you would not like the results.) Don’t even try it. Media Center pc’s are designed specifically with Windows Media Center Edition in mind and Windows x64 was designed specifically for 64 bit machines. So those new P-4’s you just bought are outdated. They will work fine on 32 bit software, but look at the minimum system requirements on any software you buy in the future because you might be purchasing 64 bit software and then wonder why it won’t run on your 32 bit machine. Meanwhile, the prices will continue to drop on these 32 bit machines because this technology is already obsolete. This means the new 64 bit machines won’t be so cheap and you will pay well for these machines. However, it might be worth the consideration if you are planning on purchasing a new machine within the next year to go 64 bit so you don’t get left behind quickly. Everyone went through some pains when we went from 16 bit computing to 32 bit computing, and I expect that this will be much the same as that was. The funny thing is that most all of us are using 32 bit machines today but we were not a couple of years ago. This too shall pass. Until Next time, Happy Computing Jim Brown Product Consultants Unlimited, Inc. 601 N. Michigan Ave. Plant City, Fl 33566 813-717-7717 www.pcustore.com www.plantcity.com www.pcuvoice.com


EXTRA

STORY BY BRIAN WEST PHOTOS BY VOLVO

2005 VOLVO S40 T5

I

f you ask most people what comes to mind when they think of a Volvo, you’re most likely to get a response like, “The boxy looking car that’s safe to drive.” Safety has always been a high priority at Volvo, but if you look a little closer, the cars aren’t so boxy these days, and the new 2005 S40 T5 isn’t an exception. The 2005 S40 T5 maintains the distinctive lines of a Volvo, specifically when viewed from the front, but designers have softened the edges of the car and rounded it out a bit. The profile of the S40 T5 is very similar to the Volkswagen Passat and the Ford 500, a short vehicle with a dome style roof line. The car was responsive, had a very smooth ride, especially for a car with a shorter wheel base, and the turning radius was incredible. U-turns were almost effortless. The S40 T5 is a 5-cyclinder turbo that produces 218 hp. Given that the weight of the car is just 3,120 lbs., this is quite a bit of power. Looking under the hood, surprisingly, there is quite a bit of room around the engine. But all this room serves a purpose. Each space acts as a crumple zone for impacts to the vehicle, providing for a safer vehicle. In fact,

the engine itself is designed to move downward, or drop to the ground if the impact is sufficient. This is to prevent the engine from penetrating the driver’s compartment. On the interior, the car has plenty of room to seat 4 comfortably. In fact, I found the seats of the S40 some of the most comfortable of any vehicle. The interior of the car is really where the fun of the car begins. To start, the layout of the A/C and stereo is eye-catching, to say the least. Volvo used optical fiber technology for the cabling of the center console. This technology allowed Volvo to make the console ultra thin, and even provides an open space immediately behind it. The console contains a menu of controls that allow the driver to customize everything from how many doors will be unlocked when the key fob remote is used, to what temperature should be maintained in the interior of the car. The buttons are set up to look like a television remote, and I thought this helped the learning curve quite a bit. I couldn’t say anything about this car without mentioning the stereo. The S40 T5 has one of the best factory stereos I’ve heard. The system has 12 speakers combined with

Surround Sound and a 140 watt subwoofer. I only had the car for a couple of days but listened to more “boom” than I have in a long time. Young buyers should really like this. The system also has a 6 disc in-dash CD player.

“Homeowners Special”

Some other interior features include one touch up and down operation for the windows and the sunroof. And I know what you’re thinking, “One touch operation to put the window up! What were they thinking? What if my child had their hand or their head out the window?” That’s just it, Volvo was thinking. The windows and the sunroof have builtin sensors similar to today’s garage doors. If a window or the sunroof touches anything while attempting to close, they immediately open. How about that? The new S40 T5 really was fun to drive and a lot of value for the money. The MSRP of the model I drove was $30,999. You can find the new Volvo S40 at Central Florida Euro Cars. Central Florida Euro Cars is located on Lake Parker Avenue in Lakeland, FL, just north from Highway 98 South. I don’t believe you’ll find better customer service.

You Haul, You Dump, You Save

$25 standard pick-up

special Accepting: construction & Demolition Waste, Roofing, Brush, Concrete, Yard Waste & Furniture

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813-752-9700 FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 93


EXTRA

STORY BY & PHOTOS BY KRISTEN TONEY

THE ICE SPORTS FORUM

BRANDON’S ANSWER TO THE SUMMER BLAHS

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n the past month, the weather here in Plant City Florida has been awesome! Not too cold, and we breathe a sigh of relief that we have not had to experience the joys of digging our vehicles out of the snow. Not too stormy, which we are thankful for after having endured this past hurricane season. However, it is indeed the middle of May, and this means that the hot summer that

Florida is known for is just beginning. The kids will be out of school, looking for activities to busy themselves with, and the parents will be scratching their heads, attempting to come up with new ideas to engage their children. Of course, there are the same old favorites…swimming in the pool, playing in the sprinkler,

or maybe a special trip to the beach. Just in case a little more “cool” creativity is called for, check out what the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon has to offer. Now, you may have been to the Forum in the past, but it is well-worth your time to pay them another visit; lots of exciting changes have been taking place, all for the benefit of those who enjoy the facilities! Not only has the exterior image of the 85,000 square foot building been updated, but many changes have taken place inside, as well. And there are more changes to come. “We own the land up to the railroad tracks,” said Operations Manager Mike Bradley. “We’re thinking

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about expansion. We would like to have more parking space, but we’re just taking it one step at a time.” The facility itself holds two NHL regulation ice rinks which are utilized for USA Hockey programs and figure skating events, along with lessons and public skating. Formerly the official training facility of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and host to many of the NHL teams that visit Tampa Bay, it stands strong in the spirit of hockey even while the professional game seems to falter. The Ice Sports Forum offers public skating, skating lessons and hockey leagues for adults and youths. And just in case you are planning your next event or business function, check out their facility to reserve their large mezzanine and conference room for your group’s affair. Although the Forum was created for things of ice, there are now even more events and activities to participate in if you’re not a fan of skating. An impressive high-tech Q-Zar laser tag area is available for use, able to host up to 36 players at once; great for parties, team building exercises and league space. Take time out for a bite to eat: hot dogs, pretzels and hot chocolate are available at the Centerline Café, lo-

cated inside the Forum. Some fairly new items on the menu include mini egg rolls and mini burritos. If that’s not your style, check out the Power Play Grill, a pub offering specialty beers, a pool table and big screen television perfect for catching all the games currently in season. Have some fun in the game room, or browse through the full line pro shop while you wait for your skates to be serviced. However, one of the favorites pastimes at the Forum is public skating, when the teams are off the ice and it’s opened up to those who want to come and simply have a good time. Don’t have any ice skates lying around the house? No problem! Rental skates are available to patrons in an assortment of sizes. Sisters Kayla and Karlee Smith visited the Forum on a Friday night to brush up on their technique. Seven-year-old Karlee giggled, “After we got the hang of it, it was fun!” Plant City High School Junior Kayla commented, “It does take some getting used to, but in the end it was worth it.” For more information on the Forum, visit their website at www.theicesportsforum.com, or call them at (813) 684-PUCK.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 94


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1/31/05, 3:48:52 PM

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 95


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Manatee Bay Cafe Sandwich Shop

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DINING & ENTERTAINMENT

STORY & PHOTOS BY SHERRI ROBINSON

IT’S LIKE COMING HOME FOR DINNER UNCLE NED’S

The way catfish was meant to be eaten.

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ncle Ned’s may be a little out of town, but it will never be out of mind once you’ve eaten there. Whether you are on your way in or out of Plant City on Hwy. 39, it is the last place you can get a meal within the city limits. They have so much to offer that you will have to visit over and over again to try everything on their menu.

chicken salad is a perfect lunch. Choose from 8 different dressings to spice up your greens. Homemade soup of the day comes in a cup or a bowl with crackers or roll. Put a salad and soup together for variety. If you can’t finish it all, that’s no problem. Take it home in a box for a tasty dinner. No fuss and no muss after a hard day at work.

Like any other restaurant, Uncle Ned’s customers have their favorites, like Louisiana Style Catfish and Grilled Chicken Breast with Barbeque Sauce. For lunch try something from their sandwich menu, which includes an Original Philly Cheese Steak w/Peppers & Onions, burgers, fried fish, Cubans, chicken, BLTs, club and grilled sandwiches. All come with fries or coleslaw. Add a side item to your sandwich for a more filling meal. Try veggies, fruit, fries, salad and many other choices. If you are looking for something a little lighter, check out the salads. A delicious Chef’s salad or grilled

Uncle Ned’s will be the best part of your day if you work late. Everyone knows what that’s like, to be dog tired and have to go home and cook, or if you are alone, fix another frozen pizza. How great would it be to treat yourself and your family to homemade goodness? Like most families, everyone likes something different. No problem. Uncle Ned’s has a great dinner menu, even for vegetarians, who can order their Vegetarian Plate. Choose from beef selections that include: Country Fried Steak (sausage or brown gravy), Rib Eye Steak or Ground Sirloin Steak (grilled onions).

Chicken selections offer Chicken Tenders (honey or barbecue) and Grilled Chicken Breast with BBQ Sauce. If you are a seafood lover get ready to enjoy the selections from the sea: Seafood combo of shrimp & clam strips, Butterfly Shrimp, Blackened farm raised fried Catfish Fillet, Prime Cut Cod, Fried Grouper, and baked Salmon with honey mustard sauce. A variety of regular beverages and a list of fine beer & wine are available to wet your whistle. Don’t forget to save room for some dessert. Pick from sundaes, pudding, pie and Uncle Ned’s special dessert...Ice Cream & Ned’s Mess. If you are celebrating a special occasion, a cake can be presented and served upon request. All of the items on Uncle Ned’s Menu can be eaten in or taken out. Don’t forget to look at the board for the daily specials, which come with tea or lemonade only.

Let’s talk about their “Family Style” Dinner. It requires a “One day ahead” reservation and is for a party of five or more people. The dinner includes salad, hot bread, three main entrees (ribs, chicken & fish or substitute), three veggies, tea, coffee or lemonade & dessert. The price is right at $13 a person or 2 main entrees for $11.50, plus gratuity and tax. They request that they be notified of any food allergies so everyone will enjoy their meal without incident. On Thursday and Friday night get more for your money with musical entertainment while you eat. If you are looking for catering and party planning, just give Uncle Ned’s a call. They will create “An Affair to Remember” at your place or theirs, whether it’s an anniversary, graduation, wedding, birthday, business meeting or any other special event. For lunch or dinner stop by at 10625 Paul Buchman Hwy. 39, or call to make reservations at 813-782-5966.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 97


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2218 Jim Redman Parkway Plant City, Florida

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 98

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DINING & ENTERTAINMENT

STORY BY SHERRI ROBINSON

COUNTRY MUSIC LEGEND COMES TO PLANT CITY JOHN ANDERSON AT THE RAMADA INN PLANTATION HOUSE new musicians, he worked odd jobs and played where he could nights, until he received a contract with Warner Bros. He released his first single in 1978 and an album in 1980. It wasn’t long before he had a string of hits that included “1959” and his top ten hit, “Chicken Truck.” He finally arrived at the top five with his hit “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal” in the same year. In 1982, he topped the charts with “Wild and Blue”.

the floor was occupied with couples dancing to the beat of Anderson’s music. Accompanied by a full band, the Apopka, Florida star sang his heart out to an excited audience. A Wesley Chapel resident, Kevin Dale, attended the evening’s event. He said he was seven when he first heard Anderson’s music. Now he is a big fan. Without question, the room had to be filled with many others like Dale.

Though he moved on from Warner Bros. in 1987, he continued to record and made a major comeback in the early 90’s. With his hit “Seminole Wind” he went to number two on the charts, while “Straight Tequila Nights” was on its way to the top. 1994 - 1995 were great years, bringing him success with many of his songs: “I Wish I Could Have Been There,” “I’ve Got It Made” and “Bend Until It Breaks”.

It has been no short road for Anderson to stardom. He began his music career in the early 70’s after relocating to Nashville. Like many

He continues to succeed in the music business as he tours and sells his albums and singles. The Ramada Inn Plantation House and Plant City was

John Aderson connects with the audience

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he Ramada Inn Plantation House brings in some of the top stars in entertainment. Saturday, April 23rd, was no exception. Country music legend John Anderson was in the house. Opening for him was the talented Fanny Grace, singing a collection of songs that got the crowd warmed up. They wowed the crowd with old favorites and some new songs being featured on their upcoming album “3-2-1 Broadway”, debuting June 14th.

Finally, the larger than life John Anderson arrived on stage and began to play. A song barely began before

honored to have John Anderson. Everyone had a great time at the Red Rose Ballroom. The Ramada Inn Plantation House has a full schedule for Plant City to enjoy. The next big holiday, Mother’s Day, will come and go before this issue of FOCUS hits the stands, but that’s okay. Make plans to join them next year. This year Mother’s Day was celebrated with a Mother’s Day Plantation Buffet in the Red Rose Ballroom on May 8th at 11 a.m., 1, 3 and 5 p.m. The buffet offered dishes such as Smoked Salmon, International Cheeses, Pate and Tropical Fresh Fruit, along with a display of soups, salads, veggies, pastas, desserts and more. For a special treat “Chocolate Fountains” were filled with dark and white chocolate, surrounded by fresh fruit and berries for dipping. Not something you wanted to miss. Upcoming entertainment in the Red Rose Dining Room for May and June is as follows: May 21 - Rat Pack Too May 28 - Johnny Love June 4 - Rat Pack Too June 11 - Frankie Ford June 18 - Rat Pack Too June 25 - Troy and Trina Shondell Don’t forget Destiny, the house band, performs Thursday, Friday and Saturdays at the Red Rose Dining Room. On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 6 – 9 enjoy the sounds of “Free Time Jazz”. There’s so much happening at the Ramada Inn Plantation House. You don’t want to miss a minute of it. Join them for a delicious dinner in the Red Rose Dining Room. For additional information, call 813759-3141, or log onto their website at www.ramadaplantation.com.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 99


Historic Downtown Guide S H O P P I N G

F O O D

B U S I N E S S

BIKE FEST

1st Saturday Of Every Month “Voted #1 BIKE FEST in Florida”

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CAR SHOW 3rd Saturday Of Every Month

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Kim A. Allen (813) 719-8922 FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 100

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Historic Downtown Plant City

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ANTIQUE DISTRICT Frenchmanʼs Flea Market 102 N. Collins St. 754-8388

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Open till 9pm the First and third Saturday of each month for the

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 101


DINING & ENTERTAINMENT MOVIE REVIEWS BY SHERRI ROBINSON

AMITYVILLE HORROR- R

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Jimmy Bennett, Jesse James,

They may have thought this was the “perfect house for the perfect family”, but they were wrong. A grisly murder a year before left evil to roam the house, terrorizing its new owners, the Lutz’s. It is said that this movie was based on a true story. My question is, if that is true, why did it take the Lutz family 28 days to get out? I might dismiss one or two subtle hints that something was amiss up to my imagination, but after that, I would

leave it all and get out. Amityville Horror was really scary. Even the grown-ups were getting freaked out by it, so I don’t have to stress the importance of not dropping off your kids at the theater to see this movie alone. Rating 2

XXX: STATE OF THE UNION - PG13

Starring: Ice Cube, Samuel L. Jackson, Scott Speedman, Peter Strauss, Sunny Mabrey

After the death of the former XXX agent a new XXX is recruited from prison. Just like in the first movie, evil is on its way out, but not before a government conspiracy takes place. It’s hard to tell who is on the right side at times, but eventually all become clear. If you are a fan of XXX, what more is there to say?

Come try our gourmet coffee at Plant Cityʼs only Espresso bar. Now serving frozen blended drinks.

HOURS: Mon-Fri 6am-9pm Saturday 7:30am-9pm Sunday 1pm-9pm

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 102

Try our variety of fresh pastries. Perfect for any office event

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It is full of unbelievable speed and 1/2 million dollar cars. If you have the need for speed, go see XXX. Rating 3

THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY - PG Starring: Martin Freeman, Mos Def, Sam Rockwell, Zooey Deschanel,

Arthur Dent is a very unhappy Earthman. His house is going to be bulldozed to make room for a highway. To make matters worse, he thinks his best friend has lost his mind when he reveals he is an alien and the Earth is about to be demolished. Arthur is on the adventure of a lifetime, as well as finding the girl he has been in love with for years is living in space. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is an acquired taste. It has fun special effects and


DINING & ENTERTAINMENT

is pretty entertaining, though not on the top of my list of movies to rush out and see. Rating: 2

INTERPRETER - PG13

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, Max Minghella,

Silvia Broome is a dual citizen of the United States and war torn Africa, so her work as an Interpreter at the UN is of ultimate importance to her. She believes that she is mak-

ing a difference in a peaceful way. While retrieving some personal belongings, she overhears a death threat against the leader of Africa. She reports it, expecting to get protection, but gets investigated instead. Her belief in the intent of words conflicts with the Secret Service Agent’s belief in judging people by their actions. The Interpreter was a bit complicated to catch all of the details, but was extremely interesting and filled with intrigue and

excitement. It keeps the audience’s attention and has all the important elements for a great movie. The Interpreter is a movie you might want to see a second time to get everything you missed the first time. Rating: 4

DVD/VHS RELEASES May 31 Boogeyman

June 7 Be Cool Seed of Chucky June 14 Hitch June 21 Coach Carter Cursed Hostage Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 103


DINING & ENTERTAINMENT ABC Pizza 114 N Alexander St 752-5146

Catfish Country 712 S Collins 752-0126

El Rincon Mexicano 4109 State Rd 574 754-0620

Manatee Bay Café 119 S. Collins S 707-1450

Snellgrove’s Restaurant 109 S Collins 752-3652

Alexander’s Café at S Fla

Chancy’s Catfish Shack 2509 N Park Rd 754-3433

Fred’s Market Restaurant 1401 W Dr MLK Blvd 752-7763

Maryland Fried Chicken 315 N Alexander 752-9200

Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q 1102 Goldfinch Dr 757-3118

Checker’s 2405 Jas Redman Pkwy 759-0151

Frontage Sports Bar & Grill Days Inn 1301 S Frontage Rd 752-0570 exit 168 & 169

Norma’s Ybor City Cuban Shop 1305 Baker St E 754-6557

Grandpa Johnsons BBQ 1305 Dr MLK Jr Blvd 759-0009

Orange Blossom Tea Room 106 Evers St S 759-2247

Baptist Hospital

301 N. Alexander St. 757-8451 Anna’s Restaurant 3410 Baker St W 754-6215 Apple Tree 2218 Jas Redman Pkwy 707-8109 Applebee’s Neighborhood

Grill and Bar

1204 Townsgate Ct 719-1500 Arby’s Roast Beef Restaurant 1909 Frontage Rd S 719-3321 Arby’s Roast Beef Restaurant 201 Alexander St W 754-4881 Baker St. Café 1801 W Baker St (Hwy 92 W) 717-9785 Beef O’Brady’s Sports Pub 2418 Jas Redman Pkwy 757-0300 Bobs Sports Grill 226 Alexander St W. 719-8187 Bogey’s Restaurant 2001 Clubhouse Dr 752-1171 Boston Market 238 Alexander St W 759-2652 Brooklyn Bridge Deli 1309 S Collins St 659-3621 Branch Ranch Dining Room 5121 Thonotosassa Rd 752-1957 Buddy Freddy’s Restaurant 1101 Goldfinch Dr 754-5120

Cherry’s Bar & Grill 1701 S Alexander St W 764-8818 CiCi’s Pizza 211 Alexander St W 659-3400 China King Restaurant 2410 James Redman Pkwy 754-8098

Heavenly Sinsations Inc. 1803 Jas Redman Pkwy 717-7512 Hong Kong Buffet 213 Alexander St W 764-8255

Outback Steakhouse 1203 Townsgate Ct 759-4329 Papa John’s Pizza 1829 Jas Redman Pkwy 719-7300

China One 1862 James Redman Pkwy 707-8898

Hungry Howie’s Pizza & Subs 208 N Alexander St 752-6113

Pesos Mexican Restaurant 2006 Reynolds St W 752-8841

China Palace 1106 Collins St S 754-7145

Hungry Howie’s - #200 2424 Hwy 92 E 764-0363

Pizza Hut 2316 James Redman Pkwy 752-8222

Church’s Fried Chicken 703 Collins St S 754-5200

Joann’s Country Kitchen 12650 McIntosh Rd Thonotosassa 982-0739

Pizza Moni 2607 Thonotosassa Rd 759-6664

Curbita Inc (Only speaks Spanish)

Strawberry Hut Sandwich Shoppe 1505 Wheeler St N 752-3779 Strawberry Paradise 4511 James L. Redman Parkway (813) 737-3866 Subway 2305 Thonotosassa Rd 754-4550 Subway 2403 James Redman Pkwy 754-4878 Subway 2209 N Park Rd 659-0288 Taco Loco Restaurant 14672 Dr MLK Blvd 659-0916 Tim’s Café 10903 Lithia Pinecrest Rd 737-4026

4109 State Rd 574 754-0620

Kazbor’s Grille 2212 James Redman Pkwy 752-2700

Plant City Restaurant & Drive-in 2005 W Baker St 752-9202

Dairy Queen 1902 W Reynolds 752-2236

Kentucky Fried Chicken 2305 Collins St S 752-0437

Ponderosa Steak House 1914 Jim Redman Pkwy 754-1129

Waffle House 1201 Townsgate Ct 707-0190

Denny’s Restaurant 2001 Frontage Rd S 752-3338

La Esperanza Mexican Restaurant 113 Prosser Dr W 659-3940

Popeye’s Famous Fried Chicken & Biscuits 2005 Frontage Rd S 757-9742

Westshore Pizza 1701 S Alexander St 754-5600

Linda’s Crab Shack 202 Reynolds E 754-0492

Quiznos 1818 James Redman Pkwy 719-2999

Lin’s Express 2307 Thonotosassa Rd 719-6066

Ramada Inn Red Rose Dining Room 2011 N Wheeler St 752-3141

Domino’s Pizza 202 Alexander St W 759-9424 El Buen Gusto Michaocano 3414 Baker St W 759-6635 El Mirasol Bakery Cafeteria 1419 Collins St S 752-2108

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 104

Long John Silver’s Seafood Shoppe 1805 Jas Redman Pkwy 752-1717

Shanghai Chinese

Restaurant

805 Collins St S 759-0518

Twistee Treat 2301 Jas Redman Pkwy 707-9303

Whistle Stop Café 102 S Collins 752-7340 Woody’s Bar-B-Q 203 Alexander St W 754-3229


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MONDAY-FRIDAY: 11:30am - 8pm, Closed Sat or Sun Private & Catering Parties Only

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DAILY LUNCH SPECIALS STARTING AT $5:50

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Thursday Special Smoked Ribs Friday-Fish Specials

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Including Tea or Lemonade

Monday Open til Close: All You Can Eat Fish call for details and reservations.

Cater everything from weddings to picnics. Try our “Family Style” Dinner for 5 or more people

$ 1.00

OFF

Lunch or Dinner with this Ad. Exp: 6/15/05 No other coupons or discounts apply.

10625 Paul Buchman Highway, S.R. 39N.

813-782-5966 Located in Crystal Springs, FL. 3 miles south of Zephyrhills

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 105


When mom says the kitchen is closed...

... you can count on “Grandpa Johnsons” Lunch Dinner •

Family Style Meal Packages Call Ahead Drive Thru Catering

759-0009 • Tues - Sat • Closed Sun & Mon Located on the Florida State Farmers Market • I-4 exit (Alexander St.) South One Mile

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 106


Grandma always says, “Better eat your veggies!”

Now at 2 Locations Serving You! Breakfast Lunch Dinner - Buffet or Ala Carte Catering •

Mon - Sat Closed Sun •

2120 Harden Blvd. ���� Lakeland, Fl. �������� 863-603-7080

1401 W. Dr. MLK Blvd. Plant City, Fl. 813-752-7763


DINING & ENTERTAINMENT

May 15th, 5:00 - 6:15 p.m., First Baptist Church will offer a different stand-alone class each Sunday evening, May 15 through August. Each session will be a synopsis of a 5-13 week course that has been offered, as well as new courses of study that are being considered for future training. Some of the classes will be “Life @ Full Capacity by Gene Mims”, “Fingerprints, by Jennifer Rothschild”, “When Did Caesar Become a Salad & Jeremiah a Bullfrog?” by Martin Babb, “Mis-Guiding Light” (a Scriptural evaluation of some of today’s sects), “What Every Mom Needs”, “Breaking Free” by Beth Moore, and “Patriarchs”, the new Beth Moore Bible study. Call the church office, 752-4104 for information. May 20th - 21st Friday - Saturday Mystery Dinner Theatre at Magic Moments, 2207 Mud Lake Road, will present the “Library Players” in a mystery play entitled “A Treacherous Night on the Midnight Train”. It will be directed by Dr. Hal Brewer. Doors open at 6:30 PM. Tickets are $35 a person with proceeds benefiting the Bruton Memorial Library. For additional information, please call 813-986-1230. May 21st Saturday 1st Annual St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Golf Tournament at Walden Lake Golf & Country Club. Registration is at 7 am, there will be coffee, juice and continental breakfast. Tee time is 8 am, lunch in the Clubhouse at 12:30. Golfer entry fee is $75 and the format is shotgun/ scramble. Auction, awards and prizes will take place immediately following lunch. Please send registration and/or sponsorship commitment and all monies to: Dinah Helton, 1903 Country Club Court, Plant City, Fl 33566. For additional information, please call 813-717-9127. The Rat Pack Too will be appearing at the Ramada Inn Plantation House’s Red Rose Dining Room at 2011 N. Wheeler St. in Plant City. The show will start at 8:00 pm. For reservations, please call 813-752-

5452, or visit their website at www. ramadaplantation.com. Strawberry Classic Car Show in downtown Plant City. The event begins at 4:00 PM. For additional information, please the Chamber of Commerce office at 813-754-3707. May 23rd - 24th Monday - Tuesday There will be auditions held by Ms. Dixie Forbes-Gorby for the summer production of “Peter Pan”. If your child ages 5 to 18 is interested in auditioning, you can contact Ms. Forbes-Gorby at 813-545-0685. May 26th Thursday The Health Ministry Committee of First Baptist Church of Midway will have Dr. Ignacio Armas speak on Natural Health Care for Women of All Ages at 7:00 P.M. at the church, 2902 E. Midway Road. There is an open invitation to all women in the area. For additional information, please call 752-7209. Johnny Love will be appearing at the Ramada Inn Plantation House’s Red Rose Dining Room at 2011 N. Wheeler St. in Plant City. The show will start at 8:00 pm. For reservations, please call 813-752-5452, or visit their website at www.ramadaplantation.com. There will be auditions held by Ms. Dixie Forbes-Gorby for the summer production of “Peter Pan”. If your child ages 5 to 18 is interested in auditioning, you can contact Ms. Forbes-Gorby at 813-545-0685. May 30th Monday Memorial Day ceremonies at the Depot in downtown Plant City. Begins at 10:30 AM. June 4th Saturday Kash n’ Karry 4th Annual Benefit Golf Classic to benefit Unity in the Community will be held at the Walden Lake Golf & Country Club. Registration is at 7 am, with tee time at 8 am. Price is $100 each or $400 for a foursome, which includes an 18 hole scramble and lunch. Mulligans will be sold in the

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 108

clubhouse prior to the tournament. Contests include longest drive, closest to the pin – par 3, plus door and raffle prizes. A hole in one wins a car! The deadline for entry is May 15, 2005. Please make checks payable to Unity in the Community and mail them to C/O Cathy Erickson, 3407 Silverstone Court, Plant City, Fl 33566. For further information contact Cathy Erickson, home 813719-9718, or work 813-754-9338.

Wheeler St. in Plant City. The show will start at 8:00 pm. For reservations, please call 813-752-5452, or visit their website at www.ramadaplantation.com.

Plant City Photo Archives’ annual “An Evening of Picture Perfect Memories” Gala at the Ramada Inn Plantation House’ Red Rose Ballroom. It will begin at 7:00 pm with a champagne reception. It will feature the second presentation of the organization’s Heritage Award, this year going to James L. Redman. This year’s event will display special exhibits on “Friends”, genealogical pictures of one family covering over one hundred years, photos of Plant City in World War II, and a series on Jim Redman, and several other exhibits. Tickets for the black-tie optional event are $100 per person and interested parties may call the Plant City Photo Archives office for additional information and tickets at 813-754-1442.

June 18th Saturday Strawberry Classic Car Show in historic downtown Plant City. It will start at 4:00 PM.

Bike Fest in historic downtown Plant City. This event begins at 5:00 PM. For additional information, please call the Chamber of Commerce office at 813-754-3707. The Rat Pack Too will be appearing at the Ramada Inn Plantation House’s Red Rose Dining Room at 2011 N. Wheeler St. in Plant City. The show will start at 8:00 pm. For reservations, please call 813-7525452, or visit their website at www. ramadaplantation.com. June 6th - 10th Monday - Friday Scholastic Book Fair at the Bruton Memorial Library, 302 McLendon St. For additional information, call 813-757-9215. June 11th Saturday PCHS Class of 1995 Reunion. For details, please call Jodi Smith at 813-754-3703 Frankie Ford will be appearing at the Ramada Inn Plantation House’s Red Rose Dining Room at 2011 N.

June 16th Thursday Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours at FOCUS Magazine offices, 702 West Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. It will start at 5:15 PM.

Pregnancy Care Center of Plant City “Tea of Significance”. This event takes place at the Evangelical Presbyterian Church on Charlie Griffin Road and starts at 11:00 AM. There will be music and entertainment. The menu will be catered. You can obtain information on hosting or sponsoring a table by calling the Pregnancy Care Center at 813759-0886 or Tina Mallare-Pike at 813-759-1037. The Rat Pack Too will be appearing at the Ramada Inn Plantation House’s Red Rose Dining Room at 2011 N. Wheeler St. in Plant City. The show will start at 8:00 pm. For reservations, please call 813-7525452, or visit their website at www. ramadaplantation.com. June 20th Monday The start of Orbital Paintball Summer Camp. $250.00 per person for entire week includes 3 cases of paintballs per person, food, air, and gear rental. (extra paint available). Speedball Tournament Wednesday With Prizes! Overnight Scenario Game on Friday! Different groups will be made depending on overall skill level to assure fair play. Food will be provided! Monday – Thursday from 8am - 4pm, Friday night from 6pm – overnight, Saturday from 8am - 4pm. Register online today at OrbitalPaintball.com. Located 1 mi. north of CR579 on Hwy301, Thonotosassa, FL 33592. Jeff & Ericca McDaniel, owners. For additional information, go to info@PaintballStoreOnline.com, or call (813) 789-8159.


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Walker Plaza, 617 N Maryland Ave. Plant City, FL 33563 ATM Available at Customer Service TECO Payments Accepted

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 109


SCHEDULE

4/18/05 Mon @ Daytona Beach HawgsDaytona Beach, FL 4/22/05 Fri @ River City RageSt. Charles, MO 5/8/05 Sun KISSIMMEE KREATURES @ Lakeland, FL 5/15/05 Sun CINCINNATI MARSHALS @ Lakeland, FL 5/20/05 Fri @ Rome RenegadesRome, GA 5/28/05 Sat @ Billings Outlaws Billings, MT 6/4/05 Sat @ Miami MoraysMiami, FL 6/11/05 Sat MONTGOMERY MAULERS @ Lakeland, FL 6/18/05 Sat @ Kissimmee KreaturesKissimmee, FL 6/25/05 Sat @ New Jersey XtremeEast Rutherford, NJ * Home games in all caps. All Monday-Saturday games begin at 7pm and All Sunday games begin at 4pm. For Season Ticket Information, please call: 863-687-8110

Lakeland ThunderBolts 1316 George Jenkins Blvd. Lakeland, Fl 33815. 866.671.0111

www.lakelandthunderbolts.com


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • May 15 - June 15 • 2005 PG 111


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Lic.# CBC 059203 CCC 057919

ROOFING DIVISION • GAF Certified Contractor • Water Damage Repairs • Quality Carpentry • Re-Roofs • New Roofs

MANY LOCAL REFERENCES Dear Mr. Carapezza: We would like to thank Richard Rodriguez and Central Florida Custom Homes for the excellence job they did in replacing our existing roof. Richard’s responsiveness and customer service went above and beyond. The roof was completed just as scheduled. The crew did an excellent job in cleaning up during and after the install of our new roof. I would highly recommend your company (and already have) to other family and friends. Again, thank you for the excellent service and workmanship! Mr. & Mrs. Brian Stanley

813-707-1221

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FOCUS PC 04-05 May 2005