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LOCAL • REAL ESTATE • BUSINESS • SPORTS • DINING • ENTERTAINMENT VOLUME 6 NUMBER 6 • JUNE 15, 2007 - JULY 15, 2007

FREE At 200+ Locations In Plant City

TAKE ONE

PLANT CITY EDITION

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Jackie Everidge, ht

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Owner of Jackie’s Dance Studio

Plus:HURRICANE FEATURE and

BUSINESS FOCUS PULL-OUT


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 2


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 3


J U N E 1 5 - J U LY 1 5 , 2 0 0 7

feature

local

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From tributes to beloved Plant City citizens who are moving on to tributes to our military, our local section is packed this month! Be sure to check out our pages on the Focus on You Annual Makeover, and see what Karen Joiner, Sonja Lopez, Tina Sapp and Faye Wilkins were able to experience on Makeover day!

Floridians know about hurricanes. We’ve become perhaps too accustomed to the annual storm season information warning us to stockpile necessities, store loose items, and think safety. Most have heard, read, or know about someone who has endured one of these destructive storms. Read our feature this month to learn how Plant City opened up to help families who relocated here due to Hurricane Katrina.

sports

100 & 102

120-131

If a swinging, singing sensation could be given a name, it would be P.J. Leary and the Las Vegas Sounds. Rolling into Plant City in May, this amazing band brought new meaning to the concept of dinner entertainment. Fronted by P.J. Leary, the band includes a number of supremely talented musicians who have all come together to recreate some of the best music America has heard.

112 ...........Dining Review 114 ...........Entertainment 116-117 .. Downtown Map 120 ...............Just for Fun 122-123 ...Event Calendar

Photo by KRISTEN TONEY

When Plant City High School’s head baseball coach, Mike Sodders, returned home to coach at his alma mater, he knew he had to do several things. Learn what his goals were and what he’s accomplished so far!

dining & entertainment

56-58

For some people, dancing is something people participate in at special occasions such as weddings and parties. But for others, dancing is a way of life. Such is the case with Jackie Everidge. Jackie is a life long resident of Plant City and dancing has been her life for more than 50 years. Jackie believes she has taught dance to approximately 10,000 people over the years; an average of 200 students a year for the past 50 years. Hear her story!

PULL-OUT SECTION Check out our Business Focus section this month! More to come in our July 15 and August 15 issues!

ON THE COVER FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 4

spotlight

Jackie Everidge, owner of Jackie’s Dance Studio.

MAGAZINE PUBLISHER Mike Floyd mike@floydpublications.com EDITOR IN CHIEF Linda Floyd linda@floydpublications.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Kristen Toney ktoney@floydpublications.com ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Emily Allen OFFICE MANAGER DeDe Floyd dede@floydpublications.com CREDIT MANAGER Bob Hughens bob@floydpublications.com SALES Tania Summers tsummers@floydpublications.com Erica Snyder esnyder@floydpublications.com Sophia Hyde shyde@floydpublications.com Tammy Simpson tsimpson@floydpublications.com ART DIRECTOR Stefanie Burlingame sburlingame@floydpublications.com GRAPHIC DESIGN Anthony Sassano asassano@floydpublications.com DISTRIBUTION Tony DeVane PHOTOGRAPHER Billy Friend STAFF WRITERS Brian West, Debbie Bowers, Wendy Brown, Joe Bowles, Sherry Baldwin, Holly Mallalieu, Pat Hearn, Heather Davis, Daniel Sperry, Cheryl Johnston, J. David Shulmister, Janeel Shulmister CONTRIBUTORS Sherry Nueesch, Gil Gott, Al Ruechel, Shelton Keely, Michael Cameron, Bruce Rodwell, Natalie Sweet, Dr. Susan Ott, JoAnn Ross, Ushanda Pauling FOCUS Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Plant City businesses, restaurants, and many local venues. Letters, Questions and Comments can be sent to us at sdedon@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 Plant City businesses, restaurants, and many local venues. It is also distributed to 10,000 homes.

published by:

101 E. J. Arden Mays Blvd. Plant City, FL 33563 Phone 813.707.8783 • Fax 813.764.0990


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 5


letter

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FROM THE EDITOR

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I have one of those wall calendars with a neat nature scene and an inspirational quote for each new month. As I flipped from May to June, along with my “Good grief, what the heck happened to this year?” thought, I took special note of the quote listed:

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“Life is a journey. In the end, each of us will be judged by our standard of life, not by our standard of living.”

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Standard of life. I don’t hear people speak of that often. Many times I hear people talk about their standard of living; trying to get ahead and trying to obtain more and more possessions. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with making improvement for the benefit of yourself and your family. However, focusing on your standard of life makes much more sense to me. It’s our responsibility to make the most out of what has been given to us. This issue of Focus provides plenty of examples regarding people who have directed their concentration towards their standard of life. Our feature this month is on hurricanes, and we talk with families who survived the horror of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and made up their mind to begin a new life in Plant City. Life dealt them a cruel blow, no one can argue with that. However, they chose to focus on their standard of life, and what they have gained from their experience is priceless. Jackie Everidge of Jackie’s Dance Studio, our Spotlight Interview, made the most of the talent life gave to her. For 50 years she has been sharing her abilities with children in our town, using what has been gifted to her and instilling the skills to maintain the talents our little ones possess. Anyone who knows Jackie knows she is not worried about her standard of living, but her standard of life is a high priority. This is also our Makeover issue! Take the time to read the stories of the four women our staff selected to be recipients; you’ll see in each of their situations how they have made the choice to do the best they can with what life has brought their way. You’ll notice a special section this month called Business Focus. These articles are all about some of our best advertisers; finding out about their business, hearing the inspiration behind what they do and discovering what they have to offer Plant City. This month, remember that no matter what your standard of living may be, your standard of life is what defines who you are. Take some time to think about it. What is most important to you? With You in Mind,

Kristen Toney Editorial Director

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 6


LOCAL Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp recently spent some time in Plant City at Freds’ Market visiting with local

property owners discussing Governor Crist’s property tax relief plans. The event was sponsored by the Plant City Republican Women’s Club. Kottkamp assured the crowd that property tax relief was on the way in the unpcoming special session of the Florida Legislature set for late June. The Historic Downtown Plant City Merchant’s & Business Association is excited to offer a brand new website featuring down Plant City. Visit www.downtownplantcity.com to check it out! Sherrie Mueller was one of 22 educators in the nation awarded the Metlife Ambassador in Education Award. Metlife gave Plant City High School $5,000 for winning the award. Congratulations to Sherrie and Plant City High School! Congratulations to the Leadership Plant City Class of 2007, which graduated from the Chamber course

TALK OF THE TOWN

on May 11: Doug Barnette, Jr., Cori Clark, John Coakley, Vince DiSalvo, John Harris, Deanna Jackson, Nate Kilton, Jeanne Knotts, Greg McAuley, Patty McClure, Steve Markham, Bill Morley, Bob Pemberton, Sarah Raines and Joey Wiggins. If you are interested in attending the Chamber’s next Leadership Class, call them at (813) 754-3707. Congratulations to the team at Freemarr Homes, who won the Parade of Homes Award on May 8 for their Carmelia model, located in

the Trapnell Ridge subdivision. The people who made it possible were Barbara Zellmer (President), Andy Barrios (VP of Operations), Kathy Ciccarello, Christina Edwards, Lisa Sprigg, Paula Davis Myers, Abby Richardson, Thomas Brown and Scott August. Thanks for showing us what quality is all about! Chris Sparkman was named Associate Director at the May meeting of the Board of Directors of the Florida Strawberry Festival. We look forward to hearing more about you, Chris! Arts and Crafts Vendors are wanted for the 6th Annual July 4th Celebration at the Plant City Stadium. Call Chris at (813) 659-4200 X 4340 or email her at cwashburn@plantcitygov. com.

The Plant City High School Class of 1957 celebrated their 50 year class reunion in April! The weekend’s activities included a pizza and finger food dinner, rounds of golf, BBQ

her service as Assistant Stage Manager and Rehearsal Prompter, and the Best Actress Award was a three-way tie shared by Jennifer Jackson (who played M’Lynn Eatenton), Jenny Morgan and Shannon Mack. Congratulations to all! Lorraine Bennett, a Realtor with Century 21 Shaw Realty Group

dinner featuring live music and an Elvis Impersonator, and morning church services. 140 classmates attended total from 12 states. The class of 1957 meets the second Tuesday of every month at 9:00 a.m. at Buddy Freddy’s. Former employees of the First National Bank/First Florida Bank in

in Plant City, was recently recognized as one of their top producers nationwide when it honored her with the company’s distinguished Masters Award for the second year in a row. The awards ceremony was held at the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park hotel in St. Petersburg earlier this month. The Plant City Optimist Club held their annual Respect For Law

Plant City enjoyed a “get together” on April 28. All 45 in attendance shared photos and good memories. Here’s to good times with good friends! Jenny Morgan, who played Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie in Plant City Entertainment’s production of Steel Magnolias, won the People’s Choice Award at the cast party. Director Tom Mitchell gave the Director’s Choice Award to Shannon Mack, who played Truvy Jones. Kay Secord received the Cast’s Choice Award for

banquet at the Michael S. Sparkman Police Center on Monday evening, May 14, 2007. Plant City Police Chief Bill McDaniel spoke to the group about the department’s Officer of the Year, Senior Police Officer James Cross.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 7


LOCAL

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Story by Daniel Sperry Photos courtesy of PC Chamber

Margarita Ball

CHAMBER RAISES MONEY FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS held at former Plant City Chamber Chairman Rick Lott’s house in Walden Lake. Chamber Staff President Marion Smith helped organize the sixth annual event this year. “We wanted to do something different this year,” said Smith. “Last year we raised $12,000, but this year should raise more.” The informal event was expected to draw nearly 300 people. By 7pm when the event started, more than 50 people had already arrived, and calls were still coming in to find out if tickets were yet available at the door.

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hen members of the Plant City Chamber of Commerce decide to raise money for an excellent cause, they really know how to do it. Every year for the past five, an event has been organized to raise money for college scholarships to be given to Plant City graduates. This year, organizers pulled out all the stops and put together the Margarita Ball. $100 per person gained entry to this amazing event, which was

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 8

Organizers arranged a catered dinner, massive amounts of hors d’oeuvres and three full bars for guests to take advantage of as the evening’s events took place. Two live bands performed throughout the evening, and games like poker and craps were available in the massive outside patio area to keep guests entertained. One caterer said that she loves working at these Plant City events. She said that the people who attend things like this in Plant City are much better customers than when they have to do events in

Tampa or Orlando. She said that there is just something special about Plant City people.

meal that caterers were just finishing preparing as the guests began to arrive.

Walking into the ball area was like stepping into a world class conference center event. Margarita glasses were stacked eight high on a table near the doors. Every guest received one as they came in and most paused to listen to the live Caribbean style music being played by a nearby band. Many guests paused by the pool which was surrounded by cascading waterfalls to gaze in curiosity at the yellow rubber duckies that were bobbing in the water.

The night progressed with dancing and a live auction to raise more money for the Chamber’s Scholarship program. As the night progressed and more people arrived, the festive atmosphere took on a life of its own. Chamber Chairman Doug Gibbs arrived early and was not surprised at the turnout.

“They are for a drawing later,” said Smith. Several tables were loaded with fresh fruit which was beautifully displayed in hollowed out melons and pineapples. Guests were welcome to help themselves to the fruit as they made their way past the game tables, greeting old friends and meeting new ones. At the edge of the covered patio area, a hill led down to a grassy knoll where tents were set up and a second live band was playing. The tables in this area were for the

“You can always count on people in Plant City to participate in something like this,” said Gibbs. Even the valet staff was excited about the event. When asked how they thought the night would go, one man said that he looks forward to Chamber events every year. He went on to say that everyone so far was in such a great mood and that the organizers always take good care of everyone who works through the night. He was looking forward to enjoying some of the appetizers and food later on. This year’s event was a huge success, and based on the turnout, should easily surpass last year in money raised for scholarships.


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Why are insurance companies non-renewing your homeowners policies?

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If my insurance company cannot pay for my hurricane loss, will I be paid?

Is there a solution to the Florida property crisis?

• YES! • Hawaii found the solution after Hurricane Iniki struck in 1992. Most insurers were non-renewing business and were not writing new business.

• The Florida Insurance Guaranty Asso ciation (FIGA) pays covered claims up to a maximum amount of $300,000; and for homeowners claims FIGA will pay an • Florida remains a money-losing proposition additional $200,000 for damage relating ro for most home insurers structure and contents. • 1992-2006: Florida home insurers paid an estimated $10.4 billions more in claims than they received in premium.

• The solution is a form of the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund, which only wrote coverage for hurricanes as a separate policy. • All other coverages can be written by the industry, which will vigorously compete for the business.

813-752-4155

FLORIDA CANNOT AFFORD TO WAIT The time to act is now. Call your state representative and state senator to urge them to support a Hawaii-type plan for Florida TODAY!

503 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Plant City, FL 33563

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WHATEVER YOUR LEGAL NEED WE’LL STRIVE FOR JUSTICE IN YOUR CASE. �

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 9


LOCAL

AROUND TOWN

SEND COMMENTS TO K TONEY@FLOYDPUBLICATIONS.COM By Bruce Rodwell

Chamber of Commerce People often ask about the function of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce. This is best described in the Mission Statement of the Chamber: The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce shall work for its members and be the leading force in promoting the commercial, industrial, agricultural, and civic interests of Greater Plant City and East Hillsborough County. The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce vision can best be described as follows: To foster the development of activities leading to an enhanced overall community pride and quality of life.

For class members to better understand the elements that make up our community, Leadership sessions take place at various locations throughout the Greater Plant City area. The program is under the direction of the Chamber Board of Directors and is managed by Leadership Alumni and coordinated by the Chamber President and staff. If this sounds interesting to you, call the Chamber office at 813-754-3707 for an application for the 2007-2008 class. All applications must be submitted no later than September 7, 2007. ********************

To be responsive and proactive to the business community. To serve as the primary resource to area businesses. To actively seed and develop opportunities for economic growth. To proactively influence governmental activities, which impact the local economic and civic environments. To generate an active membership involvement in Chamber projects and activities. If your business is not a member, you should seriously consider getting on board and get involved in our great community. Contact Susan Wilson, the Chamber’s Membership Director for additional information. You can reach her at 813754-3707 and she will fill you in with all the details of joining.

******************** While on the subject of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, I want to remind you of a great program they have available. Entitled LEADERSHIP PLANT CITY, the goal of this program is to prepare current and future leaders of our community for decisions that must be made as our city grows and develops.

Have you picked up your copy of “Remembering Plant City”, authored by Gil Gott? This great book tells all about Tales from the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World. It is an overview of Plant City’s unique history and contains 38 stories about the Strawberry Festival, Joe McIntosh, E. L. Bing, WPLA, the Bruton Library, and much more. This book also contains some great photos from the Plant City Photo Archives. The book is available at the Chamber office, 106 North Evers Street, Plant City or the Plant City Photo Archives, 119 North Collins Street, Plant City. ******************** The City of Plant City Recreation & Parks Department is currently making plans for the 2007 Fall Adult Softball League. There will be an organizational meeting Monday, August 20th. At 6:30 PM at the Recreation & Parks Administration Building, 1904 S. Park Road. Registration dates are July 2nd through August 31st. They are offering Co-Ed leagues on Monday nights, Men’s doubleheader league on Tuesday nights and Thursday nights there will be Men’s, Church and Women’s leagues. If you would like additional information, contact Larry Langston at 813659-4200, extension 4302.

******************** On Thursday, June 21st the Chamber’s Business After Hours will be held at the new Ferman Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge of Plant City showroom, 502 East Park Road. This is a great opportunity to meet Chamber members. Call the Chamber at 813-754-3707 to RSVP. ******************* Plans are coming together for the 6th Annual July 4th Celebration with fireworks and activities for Plant City and East Hillsborough area residents to enjoy. This event has filled the stadium for the past five years and this year will be no different. This is a great family fun event. Make sure you plan to attend. If you would like information about this event, contact Stephen Rossiter, Special Events Coordinator for the Parks and Recreation Department at 813-659-4224. Now that school’s out, it not too early to plan for the big Back to School and Program Fair that will take place August 18th at your Plant City YMCA. You can learn about the programs and events offered at the Plant City “Y” at this event. Mark your calendar and plan to attend with your children. ******************** We want to wish Father Tom Morgan all the best as he begins his duties as Pastor at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Tampa on July 1st. Father Morgan has been Pastor at St. Clement Catholic Church since 2002. ******************** Congratulations to Joyce Jordan, founder of Unity in the Community, for donating $15,000 to the Plant City Meals on Wheels program. To raise money for the needy, Unity volunteers hold fundraisers throughout the year and also run a concession stand at the monthly Chamber Car Shows and Bike Fests. Our local Meals on Wheels does not receive funding from the county and the donation made a tremendous difference in their program’s efforts to deliver meals to the needy and homebound in our

community. ******************** There is a lot that goes on at the International Softball Federation headquarters in Plant City. Recently, 23 umpires from 10 different countries attended a fast pitch softball certification seminar. Ten passed the course, making them eligible to umpire in ISF competitions such as the Olympics, World Championships, and multisport games. In mid-April, the International Softball Federation hosted a weekendlong strategic task force meeting at the facility. The session included participants from England, Canada, New Zealand, Greece, Panama, Puerto Rico and the USA. ******************** The Chamber recently welcomed the following new members: HR Plant City, Mac McGrath-Keller Williams Realty, Levin Financial Group, O’Brien’s Irish Pub & Bistro, Ray Young Construction, LLC, Premium Travel with J&J, Inc., Plant City Armed Forces Memorials Foundation, Inc., D&M Vending, GFWC Plant City Juniorettes, SweetDreams Memorials, Labor Ready, Inc., Miss Heart of Plant City Scholarship Pageant, Brian’s Clean Windows and Panera Bread, Precious Pets Home Sitters, Metro City Group, Granite & Marble Gallery, Dixie Staffing Services, True Blue Pools & Spas, Urgent Care, Southeastern University, Coastal Public Relations Group and Arbonne International. Susan Wilson, Membership Director and Rick Lott, Vice Chairman of Membership are doing a fantastic job. Our Chamber membership now totals 777 members!!!

SUPPORT OUR GREATER PLANT CITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEMBERS. BUY THEIR PRODUCTS AND USE THEIR SERVICES. IT JUST MAKES SENSE! FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 10


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 11


LOCAL

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Story & Photos courtesy of JoAnn Ross

Home Grown Heroes A MOTHER’S TALE

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wo unique PCHS graduates are currently serving our country in Iraq; both with the U.S. Army. What makes them unique? They are brothers and they are my sons. Cpt. Christopher “Kris” Matthew graduated from PCHS in ’96 and from West Point in ’00. Kris is the Commanding Officer of the 111th Sapper Company (Combat Engineers) out of Ft. Riley, Kansas, which deployed to Iraq in Sept. 2006. This is his second tour and his expected return date is January 2008. Kris’ wife, Cpt. Katie Matthew, is also a West Point grad and is presently the Aid to the Commanding General at Ft. Riley. Katie has served in Uzbekistan and Iraq, in ’01 and ’04, respectively. She and Kris have both been offered teaching positions at West Point. Katie will begin her Masters’ program in the fall and Kris will begin his upon his return from Iraq. Once their Masters’ degrees are complete they will teach at West Point for at least three years. Pfc. Austin Matthew is an ‘03 PCHS grad. He enlisted in the Army in Oct. 2005. Austin is a “foot soldier” with the 4th Stryker Brigade out of Ft. Lewis, WA., which deployed to Baghdad in April as part of the new

“Surge.” Austin’s expected return date is July 2008. Both Kris and Austin had their tours extended from 12 to 15 months. My husband and I chose to raise our boys (and our girls, Stephanie Ross, PCHS ’97 and FSU ’01, and Kylee Matthew PCHS ‘01) in Plant City because it is still one of those special places where people retain old-fashioned values of citizenship, community and faith. Our family has attended the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Plant City for many years. We still live in our historic home in “downtown” Plant City, known to our children as “home base.” It has been very hard to accept that both of my sons are in Iraq at the same time; I don’t think it’s right for more than one child from a family to be in harm’s way like this. The “Private Ryan Act” is a popular myth that many think would prevent this situation. One soldier of any given family would actually have to be killed in action before the other one would be allowed to return to the U.S. The photo of Austin and I is from the day we took Austin to the airport after his “goodbye leave.” Holding his hand while he walked away until there was just expanding space

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 12

Austin with mom, JoAnn Ross

between us was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. The last time I saw Kris he gave me hug like none other; it spoke volumes of what the future could possibly hold. My sons are very typical of today’s American Soldier. They took the oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;” and to “obey the orders of the President of the United States.” Today’s soldiers are in Iraq because that is what is required of them to do their jobs, and they take their jobs very seriously. During one recent IM (instant messaging) session with Austin I posed a

silly (but wishful thinking) question. I asked him if I could somehow get the President to allow him to come home from the war, would he come home. His answer was very emphatic, “Only if all the other guys get to come home, too.”

Kris Matthew


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813.719.1129 Check out our website for more information

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 13


CALLING ALL PLANT CITY CATS! ����������������� ��

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Story & Photo by Holly Mallalieu

Kim McElveen

WHAT PLANT CITY IS ALL ABOUT

I

f you’re looking for a prime example of someone truly a part of Plant City, Kim McElveen is just the one. Having never lived anywhere else, she’s perfectly well established with her solid part in the community, longtime friends, and a close family. Her parents, Bill and Beverly Naset, who still live in the same house they did when they moved here in 1957, decided to settle down and soon Kim was born, in May of 1959 at the South Florida Baptist Hospital. Since then she’s only continued to build on the memories and wonderful life she has had growing up in this town. Kim attended Trapnell Elementary School, Turkey Creek, and PCHS following that. She has been working at Maryland Fried Chicken, a family owned and operated business that her parents started back in 1969, since she was 11 years old. It was during her high school years when she met Scott, now her husband. Oddly enough, the couple didn’t date until after graduation, and were married on July 30th, 1981. Together they’ve raised their two daugh-

ters, Skoti and Alexa, who now attend the high school as well, in the town where the two of them grew up themselves. Kim and Scott do a lot of volunteering their time to benefit sports at the high school, such as volleyball, tennis, and golf, and also many times sponsor kids through in athletics, as well as things such as the annual Calendar Girl contest and other various pageants. Kim is very involved in helping with her kids’ activities. One of the great things about growing up in a small town is the friendship that follows you through your whole life. Not only does Kim keep well in touch with those that were on her high school Student Council with her, through planning regular class reunions, she even carries relationships that have been with her since Kindergarten days. Although she’s seen Plant City go through a wave of change since she’s grown up, Kim loves that it is still a closeknit community with special friendships and long-time relationships, and we’re so glad she’s chosen for it to be her home indefinitely.

Hours: Mon - Fri: 7:30am - 5:30pm Try our convenient Drop Off service!

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Dr. Jennifer Conner

Kim McElveen FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 14


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Story by Kristen Toney / Photos courtesy of Jeanie Burt

Fundraiser’s 2nd Annual Event

TOUR OF HOMES BENEFITS THE PLANT CITY CORNERSTONE CENTER

The Astin Home

O

n May 19, the 2nd Annual Tour of Homes, including four homes South of Plant City, gave attendees not only the opportunity to view beautiful houses of some of our town’s notable native citizens,

but also a chance for a difference to be made for the Plant City Cornerstone Center. With tickets selling at $15 each, all proceeds went directly to the renovations being done on the center, the former First Baptist Church of Plant City building, on the corner of Baker and Collins. This year’s homes showcased belonged to Betty Astin, Laura & Joe Carter, Suzanne & Neil Roberts, and Donna & Scott Vaughn. As attendees reached Mrs. Astin’s home, they were served refreshments, as well as having the opportunity to enjoy her home, built in 1963, with many additions made since that time, creating a house almost twice the size of the original.

The Roberts Home

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Carter was built in 1995 as an old-fashioned country home with a wraparound porch. Antiques, many of which belonged to Mrs. Carter’s grandparents, decorated the home’s interior.

The Carter Home

Mr. and Mrs. Roberts opened their two-story 5 bedroom 3.5 bath home, placing emphasis on the recently refurbished pool area, tropical landscaping and fire pits.

Thanks to those who participated and those who opened their homes! For more information on the Plant City Cornerstone Center, call (813) 752-3802.

The Vaughn home was modeled as a “casa colonica” or simple Tuscan farmhouse. The home honors Mrs. Vaughn’s Italian ancestors through many features, such as the fireplace mantels constructed of redwood salvaged from Mrs. Vaughn’s grandfather’s first tomato packing shed.

The Vaughn Home

2005 Finalist SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR Brandon Chamber

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 15


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Story & Photo by Pat Hearn

Fathers Know Best HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

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hat is it about fathers that make us look up to them? Is it their ability to fix things, their gift for grilling, or maybe it’s their somewhat alarming knack for keeping the kids in line. Fathers no doubt play a major part in the development and upbringing of their children. It’s no wonder that we set aside a day to honor the men who have raised us. Indeed, fathers (or father figures) make for excellent teachers. Who taught you how to ride a bike? Or to build a tree house? That’s right, dear old Dad. Dads even seem to inherit the opportunity to enlighten their offspring on the facts of life. We all have a special bond with our fathers. A very good friend of mine shares about his. Andrew Schreffler, one of seven children (that’s right, seven), shares why Father’s Day is important to him. “Father’s Day, for me, is a time where I can show him that I appreciate the hard work and effort he put into raising a family of seven.” Being a father

of one is one thing, but fathering seven children must have been time consuming. Yet, it’s those small, bonding moments with his children that a father is best remembered for. Despite being the father of seven, Andrew recalls that his father somehow always found time to spend with all of his children, taking them to ballgames, to get ice cream, or even playing board games. Andrew points out that he has never felt left out. “I feel that even though I’m the fifth out of seven, he still showed the same amount of love to all seven.” “When I was young,” Andrew remembers, “I would draw my father a card with all the other kids and help out so that he didn’t have to do anything for one day.” Bottom line: Father’s Day, according to Andrew, is one day to take care of your father, because the other three hundred and sixty-four days of the year he’s taking care of you. On the other side of the tracks, Fred

Schreffler (Andrew’s father) shares about his father from his youth and about being a father himself. “It is many Family man Fred Schreffler(second to left) with his large family, years past,” including Andrew(second to right) begins Mr. Schreffler, his children and not just a “pas“but a vivid memory of my youth sive observer.” Mr. Schreffler, can still be summoned, and I can see my father. I loved my father,” along with his wife, Debbie, both Mr. Schreffler says pointedly. being godly people, have raised “My love for him was natural, not their children with the guidance of forced.” Indeed, our love for our a higher power. “Our lives have parents seems inherent. Who, as been a practicable response to the a child, didn’t want to be just like grace that covers us and the faith their father and follow in his footthat captures us both.” steps? You know, be Dad’s big boy or Daddy’s little girl. Fathers wear many hats: Mr. Fix-it, grill master, the lawn guy. HowAs a father, Mr. Schreffler exever, a father’s most important presses he was “totally unprepared role is the one that he plays to his for the display of passion and love” children. Whether we sons and that he shows towards his family. daughters need some advice, comHe also notes how he desires to be fort, or just a helping hand, fathers a major participant in the lives of seem to know best.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 16

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Story & Photo by Heather Davis

Jab Ink

FOUR YOUNG ARTISTS AND THEIR VISION

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his month’s artist spotlight features not only one artist but four Plant City artists and their amazing contribution to the art world. Jab Ink, which comprises four young talented Plant City artists, James Emory, Adam Courtney, Blake Emory, and Mitch Downs opened The Cigar Theatre eight months ago in an old abandoned cigar factory located in downtown Ybor City. Its purpose is to promote their artwork as well as the artwork of others, namely Plant City artists.

Through a series of events Blake Emory was allowed the use of the 30,000 square foot cigar factory belonging to the Oliva family of Oliva Tobacco Company. With purpose, determination, and vision these four men began creating an art Mecca. Within the building, art and its many forms of expression are exploding. The Cigar Theatre’s first featured event was in October when the artists of Jab Ink created a Guavaween Haunted House. Several months later they hosted their grand opening “Inicio” which means initiation in Spanish. Their grand opening highlighted many events including the exhibition

of over sixty artists, many of which were from Plant City, as well as poets, and theatrical productions choreographed to live music. The next planned event for The Cigar Factory which is titled “2012 Montezuma’s Last Prophecy” begins Friday, June 8th and will be held every Friday for the remainder of June. It is through these events that The Cigar Factory embraces the talent in Plant City and exposes it to the public eye. Artists such as David Rothman, Teresa Odom, Aaron Starr, and Bud Lee have featured spots in the gallery. When not promoting the work of others, the artists of Jab Ink are hard at work on their own projects ranging from commissioned art as well as their own special blend of soulful funk in the form of musical expression featuring vocalist Jenny Flory. During the month of August the collaborative works of Jab Ink will be featured in the Bruton Memorial Library. Truly, these four young men are establishing a strong foothold in the world of art, music, and production that will carry them through this lifetime and beyond.

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Story by J. David Shulmister Photos courtesy of Kobe Bouromphongsa

Farewell to Bill Ulbricht

BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY LEADER, ON THE MOVE

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ill Ulbricht, Chief Operating Officer of Plant City’s own South Florida Baptist Hospital, has accepted an Bill Ulbricht appointment to President of St. Anthony’s Health Care in St. Petersburg, Florida. The people of St. Petersburg aren’t just gaining a well educated, experienced and successful business leader; they’re gaining an active and involved community leader as well. Mr. Ulbricht spent the last ten years as COO of South Florida Baptist Hospital, a mid-size, full service center offering the high quality and

advanced services often reserved for larger facilities. His move to St. Anthony’s represents more responsibility, but he’s taking his Plant City experiences with him. “In the past 10 years I’ve spent as COO at South Florida Baptist Hospital, I’ve had the great experience of working closely with physicians and team members to continue improving the delivery of health care for Plant City’s growing community” states Ulbricht. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to bring the same level of energy and enthusiasm to St. Anthony’s.” Along with his COO duties, Mr. Ulbricht was involved in numerous local organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the YMCA, and the Plant City Lion’s Club. In addition, Mr. Ulbricht was a

member of the Plant City Chamber of Commerce, participated in the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Plant City Program, volunteered time to the Transportation Committee, and served as a Plant City Planning Board member for over ten years. As he exits his role here, Mr. Ulbricht offers this advice to those interested in helping shape the community: “I think the young people of Plant City have a great opportunity to step up and be an integral part in continuing to shape the city’s development. Ex-

Soth Florida Baptist Hospital

St. Anthony’s Hospital

panding the circle of leadership and reaching out to the next generation will be essential to developing future leadership and maintaining the vision and strong sense of community that is felt in Plant City.”

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 18


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 19


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Story & Photos by Sherry Baldwin

Goodbye Mrs. Raburn

CORK ELEMENTARY PRINCIPAL BEGINS NEW JOURNEY

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hen Cork Elementary School Principal Susan Raburn leaves for summer break, she will quickly begin another chapter in her professional life. “Motivated by the challenge,” is how Raburn described being named as Principal of Lincoln Elementary Magnet School for International Studies, here in Plant City. Raburn explained that following a three year

Mrs. Susan Raburn with Cork Elementary School 5th grade students

application process, the end goal will be that Lincoln will transition into an International Baccalaureate or “IB” School. The purpose of the IB program is to “prepare students to learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.” “Lincoln becoming an IB School is an exciting opportunity for the Plant City community as a whole,” stated Raburn. Understandably, the move for Raburn is bittersweet. She is leaving a place she has called home for nearly 20 years – nine of those years as the school’s Principal. Reminiscing over the wonderful experiences she has shared along the way, Raburn added “It is going to be hard to leave.” Of course there was no way the staff and students at Cork would let her leave without a

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the Seeds and We Grew Together.” At the conclusion, her words filled with emotion, Raburn stated, “I feel so loved today” and “my heart is so full.” “This is the best morning show I’ve ever seen,” added Raburn. Offering words of encouragement, Raburn then thanked everyone for their constant support. Best wishes, Mrs. Raburn, as you begin your new journey!

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PROUDLY SERVING PLANT CITY SINCE 1988

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fabulous sendoff! Proclaiming the day as “Mrs. Raburn Day,” students and staff members said “thank you” and “so long” to their beloved Principal in a variety of creative ways. Visibly moved, Raburn was then presented with several gifts including a flower box filled with packets of seeds. Using Cork’s own theme “Watch us Grow,” the box was inscribed with “You Planted

Mrs. Susan Raburn, surrounded by the Cork Elementary Kindergarten Staff

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Mrs. Susan Raburn, along with students who performed La Raspa dance

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 21


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Story & Photos by Cheryl Johnston

Relay For Life

OUR COMMUNITY WANTS A CANCER CURE

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f community involvement could cure cancer, that dreaded disease would be dead forever after the recent annual overnight Relay for Life fundraising event. On May 4th – 5th, Eastern Hillsborough County schools, businesses, and private citizen groups put on their walking shoes and traipsed around Plant City High School’s track to raise awareness and money for cancer research. Citizens here are serious about kicking cancer’s butt. In 2006, the walk in Plant City ranked #1 in Hillsborough County and #5 in all of Florida, for most funds raised. The 2007 event registered 77 teams. Each team sets up festival-like booths on the field and offers items for sale such as food, snacks, toys, T-shirts, haircuts, etc. Prior to the event evening, most teams have held creative fundraisers such as car washes, yard sales, hat days, golf tournaments, BBQs, and change drives. Businesses like Walgreen’s and groups like “Friends of Jim Stephens” encourage donations year round.

The Hillsborough County School District, according to Tomlin’s Middle School T-shirts, is “Really, really, ridiculously serious about finding a cure.” School teachers use opportunity to teach valuable life lessons about compassionate community service. Spirit award winner, Bryan Elementary’s 30member team participated in every event. Cork Elementary uses its year-round fundraising efforts as a morale builder, especially since one of their staff walked victoriously through the breast cancer battle this past year. One Cork student, Zane Floyd, decided kids with cancer needed his loose change, and the staff was shocked to learn that “change” totaled $370.

Cork Elementary raised over $9,000 to help find a cure for cancer

The Loft, United Methodist’s Church youth group, got involved because group member Mark Killebrew is a 12-year survivor of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Cancer afflicts too many, but with increased knowledge, a cure can be found. Make your plans now to donate money and time to this great cause. See you at the track next year! Bryan Elementary’s staff used the Grease movie motif and participated in every event

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thecarstores.com FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 23


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Story & Photo by Wendy S. Brown

Moving Musical Melodies MISS BONNIE’S MUSIC TO GROW ON CLASS

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ost of us remember a favorite teacher while we were growing up. This adult touched our spirit, changed our lives, and helped our dreams come true. Miss Bonnie instructs adorable preschoolers how to hold a steady

beat, the difference between loud and soft, high and low notes, and even how to play a variety of rhythm instruments. These children really recognize quarter notes and know “being quiet” means to rest!

Bonnie’s precious class poses for the last class picture. Kalei Paat, Bethany Davis, Bonnie Balliet, Rebecca Ballard, Justin Wolchansky, Bethany Ballard, Madeline Hale, Caleb Walker, and Emily Dernule

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 24

The Music to Grow On class “knows preschoolers like to move so it’s best to use moving songs and props,” emphasizes Bonnie Balliet. Imagine nine of the most adorable preschoolers holding rhythm sticks and rocking to the beat of “The Rock in my Pocket,” a song reminding kids to pray. Besides songs teaching a lesson, Miss Bonnie allows children to create props. For the song “Sing for Spring,” kids fashioned crepe paper flowers and then ceremoniously and giggly presented to their moms during a recital on May 16th. While singing “The Truth Trail,” kids strummed rubber bands on homemade shoebox guitars. During the singing of “Jesus Loves Me,” the preschoolers even signed, “Yes, Jesus Loves Me.”

This Preschool Presentation curriculum is energy and fun-driven, allowing children to learn musical skills at a young age. Miss Bonnie knows that three and four-year-olds love to move, jump up and down, and play with different instruments, so she incorporates lots of energy into each 45 minute class. Randy and Vicki Davis’s daughter, Bethany, just loves the program. “Bethany has become very musical. She gets on the fireplace hearth at home, her stage, and sings all the songs from the program to entertain them,” exclaims Vicki. Call Linda Wilkerson, the music program coordinator at First Baptist Church of Plant City to enroll your little Bach for the next eight-week music program.


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 25


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YOU DESERVE TO BE PAIN FREE.

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THOMAS A. DIGERONIMO, M.D.,P.A. BOARD CERTIFIED NEUROLOGIST

Winning Words

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FAMILY, FRIENDS AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT HELPS 13-YEAR-OLD REACH DISTRICT FINALS!

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ith a voice resonating with confidence, Amanda Williamson speaks of challenges. It is the language of success for this Plant City teen. “My Biggest Challenges” was the theme for this year’s Optimist International Oratorical Contest. Although one point away from winning the North Florida District Finals in Ocala this past April, her mother Melanie Williamson, said, “She did the best she had ever done that day!” Williamson’s speech has brought her first place winnings at the local, zone and regional levels throughout the year. It is hard to imagine getting up in front of total strangers to give a speech, let alone be judged on it. It’s even harder to imagine a child doing it. For Williamson, who’s been competing since age 10, it comes naturally. When asked how she does it, she replies, “It just kind of comes and I do it how I feel I should do it.” When she was between the ages of eight and nine, Williamson was introduced as an observer to the Optimist Club public speaking contests by her grandparents. With

their encouragement, it wasn’t long before young Williamson started competing as well. “The Optimist Club is a local service organization that gives opportunities for young people to grow and develop. It is a friend of youth,” explained father Michael Williamson. The Plant City club has provided Williamson the opportunity to develop her speaking skills. The Toastmasters of Plant City has also given her positive support. “Toastmasters of Plant City have always been very helpful!” Melanie Williamson said. Williamson was able to have her speeches critiqued by members prior to a competition, as well as by family members and friends.

WE ARE PRIVILEGED TO TREAT YOU LIKE A PART OF OUR FAMILY. Photo By Emily Sexton

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When not competing in public speaking, the home schooled Williamson can be found participating in her Learning Heart 4-H Club, volleyball, basketball, piano or indulging in a favorite pastime of reading. Williamson credits her grandparents, parents, 11-year-old brother Andy, and many extended family members for their support in all of her endeavors, “My family has always been very supportive!”

Thirteen-year-old Amanda Williamson among her numerous awards

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 29


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Story & Photo courtesy of Ushanda Pauling

It’s Good to Be a Plant City Girl THE OPHELIA ORGANIZATION

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f you’ve seen the movie “Mean Girls”, you know how hard it can be to be a high school girl. Cliques can make every day seem like a popularity contest, and bullying and name-calling can really damage a teen girl’s self-esteem. As a result, many girls resort to eating disorders and other destructive behaviors to help fit in with their peers. What’s a parent to do? Imagine a world where teens all have the chance to grow up to be confident, self-assured women. A world where bullying is unheard of. A world where eating disorders don’t exist. The Plant City Family YMCA wants to make that world a reality. Through weekly small group meetings, the YMCA works with Plant City girls ages 8-14 to help them navigate the tricky waters of adolescence. In “Girls’ Circles,” the teens discuss issues and share their advice with each other and their adult leader. Because they’re in a safe and supportive environment, the girls can work through decisions and come up with positive solutions to the challenges they face. Plus, they gain a group of friends that they know will be there for them even when they’re at school or out in the community.

For the past two years, YMCA Girls’ Circles have served more than 50 girls at the Plant City YMCA’s Youth Extension Site on Young Street. Led by experienced group leader Jenny Brewster, the program has had a significant impact on the lives of many teens in the community. “It has helped me in many ways… to relax and connect with our feelings,” said Alex Arnold, an 11year-old Girls’ Circle member. “It’s fun and not tedious or boring. We do a lot of cool stuff, like being in parades, giving back to the community, and just having fun.” Beginning in August, the Plant City Family YMCA will host a unique celebration for girls about to enter the sixth grade. Called “Movin’ Up,” this exciting event is designed to help give girls an idea of what to expect in middle school. Through workshops, a panel discussion led by “experienced” middle-schoolers, and a chance to meet an administrator from their new school, girls can prepare themselves for a successful middle school experience. “It will definitely help me in 6th grade. There are people in the club who are in middle school and they help and give us tips,” said Arnold.

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Left to right Nia Porter, Brooke Kohr, Emily Peker, Megan Stumbo, and Brandi Kohr. These girls are the original 5 who began meeting in Girls Circles at the Plant City YMCA two years ago and began the Girls Club within the past year.

The “Movin’ Up” event also includes a parent component, which consists of workshops on issues like Internet safety, and a panel discussion with the principals and assistant principals from their daughters’ new middle schools. All rising sixth grade girls entering Marshall, Tomlin, or Turkey Creek Middle Schools may attend, and homeschoolers are also welcome. The Plant City YMCA’s Girls’ Circle programs were developed with training and support from The Ophelia Project, a nationwide effort designed to inspire an emotionally, physically and socially safe culture

for all girls. Through gender-specific best practices in youth programs, community education and professional training, The Ophelia Project works to raise awareness and provide solutions for critical issues facing today’s adolescents. The Plant City Family YMCA plans to offer similar programs for teen boys in the future. For more information about how your daughter can participate in a Girls’ Circle, or to volunteer with this program at the Plant City Family YMCA, contact Jenny Brewster or Doug Barnette at 813-757-6677.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 30

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Story & Photo by Joe Bowles

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CARPORT FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 32

or Dan Seguin, the official massage therapist for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, life has always revolved around sports. A successful hockey player in high school and at Rhode Island College, Dan had a stint in junior hockey with the Rhode Island Reds of the Eastern Junior Hockey League and with the Great Falls Americans of the American Hockey League. But it was his coincidental path in a new career venture that has allowed him to become the therapist of the sports stars. A few years following graduation from college with a degree in physical education, Dan and his wife, Kerri, who was also his high school sweetheart, began traveling around the country. Kerri was a physical therapist who worked for an organization that allowed her to travel and Dan would find jobs wherever Kerri was located until the next move came along. When his wife took the Director of Physical Therapy position at Dade City Hospital, Dan, looking to make a change in his life decided to go to school to become a massage therapist and enrolled at Suncoast School of Massage. At that time, neither Dan nor Kerri could have imagined the kind of life they would have, nor the people they would meet, based on that decision. In 1995, Steve Jersch, an instructor at Suncoast who also had a successful private practice, took a job at Murray State University. When Steve left, he referred all of his clients to Dan. His first client was Trent Dilfer, quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. From there, Dan would receive countless

other referrals and in 1997 he became the official massage therapist of the Buccaneers with clients such as Derrick Brooks, Mike Alstott, Joey Galloway, and Cadillac Williams. As an independent contractor for the Buccaneers, Seguin works under Todd Toriscelli, the head trainer. During training camp, Seguin works seven days a week at One Buc Place and during the regular season he’s at the facility on Mondays and Fridays. His education in physical education and sports anatomy prepared him to specialize his life’s work in the area of sports massage, and he has become a sought after therapist to sports stars. In addition to the Buccaneers, Seguin has clients from the Frankfurt Galaxy of the World Football League, as well as members of the Detroit Tigers minor league baseball system. This year Seguin, a resident of Plant City, partnered with Nathan Leet, official massage therapist for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and Rebecca Brahma to begin a new venture, Pure Spa & Body Work in Wesley Chapel. It that has allowed them to expand their business to total body treatments complete with facials, waxing, manicures and Swedish Massages. Their website at www.puretampa.com describes in detail all of the services offered, as well as information on appointment requests. Dan Seguin


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Renewing the Library BRUTON MEMORIAL LIBRARY GETS A MAKEOVER

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here is big change at the Plant City Bruton Memorial Library. This up and coming and very busy information center reorganized their service concept and is cheerfully updated. Director Ann Haywood reveals her hope, “We’ll be able to offer the same friendly, excellent service in a more efficient environment.” The library will be “more workable for the public and will offer more people on the floor for help.” Upon entering the library, you’ll see new carpeting and a palmetto painted help desk. Wireless connection, 23 computer stations (six more than before), two satellite catalogs, and two laptop ports accommodate our technologically minded community. Relocating the service desk to the left, closer to processing and storage areas, offer more space for books on hold. Hot pink, sea green, dark blue and lavish purple colors brighten up spaces and create an inviting atmosphere. Paul Hetrick of Paul’s Hand-Lettering produced bright area signs and a forest themed painted gateway

saying “Kids Space” that scream out the library is a fun place. Ann states, “There was a total staff effort with ideas for design and layout.” Teams weeded out thousands of books and added new collections. Other changes include wider aisles, an attractive and highly efficient reference collection, a large audio and movie collection, larger Friends of the Library area, and the ability to use face out marketing for showcasing. Quiet space is named for Treva Moore, previous library director for 29 years. Four stained glass pictures donated by Connie Buyens add tranquil color to this pleasing garden view of quiet reflection. Sunday, June 10th was the festive grand opening of the newly designed library. People came for the fun and ceremony, commemoration of the Treva Moore room, tours, door prizes, children’s activities, refreshments, and Randy Wayne White, best selling Florida mystery writer spoke.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 36

Library staff is excited about the redesign. Row 1; Debbie Clarke, Felecia Broome, Carol Lane, and Heather Bowman. Row 2: Julie Robinson, Susan Miles, Anne Haywood, Gale Vaccaro, and Salena Coller. Row 3: Becky McIntosh, Carolyn Henderson, Jackie Emmel, Valerie Evans, Danielle Croft, Lorena Gonzalez, and Erna Whitaker.


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 37


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 38


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Story by Holly Mallalieu Photos courtesy of Nancy Rupp

The Rupp Family ESTABLISHED THE MILITARY RECOGNITION SCHOLARSHIP

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Left to right: Sava Rupp, Nick Atkinson, Donald Bruno, Ben Penrose, David Brown, Jessica Rupp.

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n March 2005, Nancy Rupp, along with her two daughters, Sara and Jessica, established the Military Recognition Scholarship in remembrance and honor of two brave men who fought in our war on terror, Army Pvt. Jody Missildine of Plant City, and Marine Cpl. Nathan Schubert of Cherokee, Iowa. Through the help of the Rupp’s, recognition is being put where recognition is deserved, but the only story they want told is not their own, but that of those who are serving. We don’t realize how many people from our town are fighting for us every day. Someone you may have passed at least a few times, but never knew, may be over there right now. On March 18th, a public reception was held at the American Legion for the purpose of thanking nine men who were not only high school friends in the graduating class of 2005 at PCHS, but enlisted together into the military right afterwards. They are a real brother-

hood. On leave from serving in Iraq, each of them was at the ceremony and joined in comforting the families of their two friends, Jody Missildine and Ronnie Ginther. A huge table displayed at the event showed photographs that the soldiers had taken while in Iraq. “Looking at those pictures, and seeing where they’ve been in a year,” said Jessica Rupp, “our experiences don’t even compare.” We say “God Bless Our Troops” while they’re away, but when they come home are they given the credit they should receive? Although they don’t want the recognition, it’s people like Nancy, Sara, and Jessica Rupp who strive to draw the attention to our troops fighting in Iraq. The reception put on to thank nine soldiers who were home for a brief time is only one way of giving our men and women fighting overseas the attention they deserve.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 40

Front left to right: Bootie Ginther, Jim Ginther, Shirley Missildine, Melvin Missildine (grandparents) and Jason Missildine. Back left to right: Ben Penrose, David Brown, Donald Bruno and Nick Atkinson.


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 41


FOCUS on YOU

Yearly Event a Success Once More!

S t o r y b y K r i s t e n To n e y / P h o t o s b y E m i l y A l l e n , M i k e F l o y d , S o p h i a H y d e a n d K r i s t e n To n e y For the 4th year, Focus Magazine and our wonderful advertisers have sponsored the Focus on You Makeover. We began advertising this special day months ago, and this year had over 70 nominations come in for the four spots we had available! Our entire staff sat in the conference room for hours, reading and scoring nominations; this was definitely the hardest selection we have ever had to make. In the end, four women stood out above the rest: Karen Joiner, Sonja Lopez, Tina Sapp and Faye Wilkins. Here are just a few of the reasons why our staff chose these ladies for this special day.

Before

Karen Joiner

After

Karen Joiner was nominated by her 4th grader from Cork Elementary School, Tristen Joiner. As a foster mom, Karen currently has nine kids in her care. In the words of Tristen, “She is a super hero she deserves it 11 people live at our house 9 kids 2 adults which is really stressful…I really think my mom needs to relax and take a break!”

Before

Tina Sapp

Before

After

High School student Mario Lopez nominated his mother, Sonja, a mother of eight whose husband has been away from home for seven months. Mario himself, the firstborn, has just left to serve our country in the United States Army, and told us of health scares two younger siblings have endured, leaving hospital bills for upwards of two months. “I believe my mom deserves so much more because she would do anything for anyone, I would just like to see my mom on the receiving end for once in a great while,” Mario commented to us.

After Before

Tina Sapp is a 46-year-old life-long resident of Plant City, a mother of three who lost her husband, Herbert, to a 3-year-battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease on May 3. The couple had been married for 26 years. Living in a small home with a hospital bed that took up their whole living room, Tina held down two jobs, as well as being her husband’s primary caregiver. Tina received the most nominations our of all our entries; one from friend Sherrie Mueller, one from friend Faith Bennett, one from daughter Carol Sapp Mueller, and one from friend Tiffany Sacco.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 42

Sonja Lopez

Faye Wilkins

After

Co-worker Sheila Clark nominated Faye Wilkins, a five-year breast cancer survivor who recently lost her 40-year-old daughter to a terrible accident. A wife, mother and grandmother who is up by five every morning to complete not only her work at Stock Building Supply, but also errands for her family and friends, much of her time is spent with a special needs grandson and caring for her elderly mother.


2007 FOCUS on YOU Make-Over Many thanks to Plant City native Dennis Norman of Lott-Mather Chevrolet, who donated his entire day to us and transported two Karen and Sonja all day long in a beautiful car from Lott-Mather. Thank you for sharing your day with us, Dennis!

Jim Scott of Jarrett-Scott Ford also donated a brand new Ford Edge for Faye and Tina to be transported in for the day. Thanks to Jim and Jarrett-Scott! Karen, Dennis and Sonja

Our day began with a wonderful breakfast at Fred’s Market Restaurant, where we enjoyed wonderful service from Miss Sara Rupp! After taking “before” shots of each woman, we were off to go shopping! Faye and Tina enjoyed their time at Sister’s & Company, where Devony Scott and Cathy Davenport assisted in helping them choose the perfect outfit for their evening activities. Tina left Devony Scott, Tina, Faye and Cathy Davenport with a trousers jacket at Sister’s & Company and Capri in Beach, a Lynn Ritchie Shell, a Brighton “Zahra” Straw Handbag, Sashu Pearl Sandal and Pearl and Stone Necklace/Earring Set. Faye successfully obtained Twilight Earrings, Lori Shoes, Twilight Handbag, Rafael Zebra Sweater Set and Rafael White Pants. At My Girlfriend’s Place, assisted by Brigittia Long and Samantha Williamson, Karen and Sonja enjoyed their time of Samantha Williamson with Sonja and Karen at My Girlfriend’s Place shopping, with Sonja leaving with a beautiful black, red and cream floral wrap dress, and Karen with a striking blue blouse and black dress slacks. Both women also received jewelry, purses and shoes!

Leah Clark and Tina at The Artistry

Diane Stockton and Faye at Remedi Spa & Chiropractic Center

A soon as shopping was completed, it was time for the services to begin. Tina made her first stop at The

Faye and Tina

Artistry, where she received a massage with Leah Clark, Massage Therapist and Aesthetician. Faye enjoyed a massage with Diane StockMonica Fleming and Karen Terry Sutorus and Sonja at at The Artistry The Place of Beauty ton, Massage Therapist at Remedi Spa and Chiropractic Center. Sonja’s massage came from Massage Therapist Terry Sutorus of The Place of Beauty, with Massage Therapist Monica Fleming providing the massage for Karen at The Artistry. The group then moved on to facials. Tina was pampered by Katie Mullis at A Healthy Glow by Katie, and Faye stayed at Remedi Spa & Chiropractic Center

Tonya Frizzel and Karen at The Artistry

Nikki McAlpine and Faye at Remedi Spa & Chiropractic Center Katie Mullis and Tina at A Healthy Glow by Katie

Ruth Holmgren and Sonja at BeComing Mobile Day Spa/ The Place of Beauty

for a facial with Nikki McAlpine, R-CA, Medical Aesthetician. Sonja continued her services at BeComing Mobile Day Spa with a facial by CEO and Aesthetician Ruth Holmgren (who also owns The Place of Beauty), and Karen’s facial came from Aesthetician Tonya Frizzell at The Artistry.


2007 FOCUS on YOU Make-Over Now fully relaxed, it was time for an energy boost, with Sonja and Karen stopping at Curves to receive a free month of membership from Manager

our makeover winners, but also the entire staff of Focus Magazine! We all enjoyed a wonderful lunch there, and greatly appreciate the hospitality provided. Karen and Sonja spent almost their entire afternoon at The Place of Beauty! CEO and Aesthetician Ruth Holmgren

Ruth Holmgren with Sonja and Karen at The Place of Beauty

Bonnie Gwin with Karen and Sonja at Curves

Bonnie Gwin, and Tina and Faye receiving a free month of membership to Femme Fitness from owner Debbie Williams.

Debbie Williams with Tina and Faye at Femme Fitness.

Thanks so much to Alfredo Porto, the proprietor of our Plant City Carrabba’s Italian Grill, who opened his restaurant to not only

Sloan Short with Sonja and Karen at The Place of Beauty

provided both the ladies with manicures, and Aesthetician Sloan Short provided both ladies with pedicures. When

it came time for hair, Betty Kurtz was in charge of Karen’s, and Sherry Moseley was in charge of Sonja’s. Alfredo Porto (far right) with the makeover winners and Focus staff

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 44

Betty Kurtz with Karen at the Place of Beauty

Sherry Moseley with Sonja at the Place of Beauty


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 45


2007 FOCUS on YOU Make-Over

Hollie Clark with Sonja at Merle Norman

Lynn Connor with Karen at Tip to Toe Kelly Glisson with Tina at The Artistry

For the final touch of makeup, Karen visited Tip To Toe and was beautifully made up by Owner Lynn Connor. Sonja made her way to Merle Norman and sat under the skills of Owner Hollie Crum Clark.

Nicole Neely with Faye at The Artistry

Late in the afternoon, the transformed group of ladies traveled back to their homes and awaited the limo pickup. Crown Royal Limousine provided the limo service; many thanks to Owner Tony Garcia and driver Kevin Rott.

Faye visited The Artistry for a manicure and pedicure by Nail Tech Tammy Wilson, and hair

Tammy Wilson with Faye at The Artistry

As Kevin picked up each lady and her guest from her home, preparations were being made at the Red Rose Dining Room at the Ramada Inn Plantation House for the group’s arrival. Upon their entrance, Photographer Billy Friend of Billy Friend Photography was ready and waiting

Connie Coon with Tina at Tip to Toe

Lena Spencer with Tina at Tip to Toe

Kevin Rott of Crown Royal Limousine with the ladies at the end of the evening

Nicole Neely with Faye at The Artistry

and makeup by Stylist and Makeup Artist Nicole Neely. Tina spent the first part of her afternoon at Tip To Toe, receiving a manicure with Connie Coon and pedicure with Lena Spencer. Then she joined Faye at The Artistry, with her hair being done by Stephanie Karr and makeup by Kelly Glisson. Stephanie Karr with Tina at The Artistry

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 46

The ladies and their evening guests


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 47


2007 FOCUS on YOU Make-Over

The ladies with Mrs. Evelyn Madonia of the Red Rose Dining Room

to do a full photo shoot of all the ladies, decked out and with their special guest for the evening! Mrs. Evelyn Madonia, who owns the Ramada Inn Plantation House along with her husband Batista, greeted the guest and welcomed them to the fine establishment. A wonderful evening of fine food, music, and of course, dancing, followed, as we were all seated at a table graced with beautiful flower arrangements created by Heather Taylor at Brown’s Floral Shop.

We were fortunate to have a wonderful server, Jamie (LeeLee) Doshier, who took care of the needs of the entire table! While each of the makeover winners were able to bring a guest along with them, Tina’s friends and family came in support of her, and filled an additional entire table! Faye also had additional guests who shared the experience with her, as well. At the end of the evening, each of the ladies went their separate ways, we hope with an unforgettable experience in their memory.

Heather Taylor of Brown’s Floral Shop

Thanks to all four of the ladies who participated with us this year! We appreciate your good natures and flexibility as we took you from one location to another all day long. Also, thanks to all of our wonderful advertisers, who make this day possible each and every year. We could not do this without you! A very special round of thanks goes out to the fourth grade classes of Cork Elementary School! Especially to Mrs. Lawson’s class, who made nominating someone for our Makeover a class project! Thank you to each and every fourth grader who placed a nomination! Each year, the Makeover day is a wonderful one for everyone here at Focus Magazine! We are so looking forward with excitement to next year! FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 48


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 49


Hurricane Help Story by Cheryl Johnston

Disaster’s Compassionate Aftermath

Local and Internet Assistance Aids Victim

Floridians know about hurricanes. We’ve become perhaps too accustomed to the annual storm season information warning us to stockpile necessities, store loose items, and think safety. Every year our media journalists, weather forecasters, and civil government officials do their best to make certain we are very informed about actions to take before and during disastrous storms. Since the “4 Hurricanes in 44 Days” of 2004, and the devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005, most Sunshine State residents do make attempts to protect their property and their families. Most have heard, read, or know about someone who has endured one of these destructive storms. Best of all, most reach out to help victims when they learn of the critical needs.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 50


Plant City has several recent hurricane survivor stories worth mentioning. In this “small town with a big heart,” a church decided to do more than send money. The congregation at the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) on Charlie Griffin Road agreed they wanted to encourage several families to move here and be loved through the aftermath. Sounds simple, right? Contact aid agencies and offer assistance. Surely, with so many families displaced, it would be no problem to have many responses. Wrong! Dave Bowden, Gary Overbee, and Matt Audas, friends who spearheaded the church’s effort, discovered that offering help can be hard work in itself. EPC’s pastor, the Reverend Don Mason, was excited that his congregation wanted to help Katrina victims in tangible ways – ways in which they could personally become involved. He knew that dedicated men like Bowden, Overbee, and Audas would be diligent about finding some families to assist. What none of them expected was the time, energy, and patience required before the right connections could be made.

Brandon hotel, six in a room, while Moza looked for work and a more permanent place to live. When they discovered the EPC poster offering assistance, they felt it was answered prayer. Little did they know then how right they were. The St.Bruns had been “comfortable” in New Orleans. Their home was almost mortgage free and they owned two rental properties. Moza managed his own business, while Marie home-schooled the children and worked two evenings a week at a same-day surgery center. The children were always with one of their parents, the family had more than enough, and they enjoyed making memories together. They felt they were living the American Dream. That is, until Katrina’s destructive

of our new church family, we are making it. Insurance helped us to repair and sell the New Orleans residence for $80,000, which was larger with four bedrooms than the $180,000 home we’ve purchased here. Everything is more expensive here. But we are children of God and He has always provided, so we are thankful and we trust. We have been blessed by EPC and the good people of this community. Our family is together and we will be stronger because somebody cared enough to help.” Marie confirmed that it has been difficult to leave their New Orleans home and heritage, but they’re enjoying the encouraging Plant City community. Life lessons can be delivered through floods and high winds. Moza learned a few with Katrina and Rita. “What are important are our family and our faith. God gives us everything we could not replace (each other), and he takes what we can get again (material things). Possessions are all temporal. So, we start over. This must be His purpose for us and we will do our best to fulfill it. Nothing can shake our faith in Him.”

The three gentlemen, representing the entire church, contacted local agenEleven-year-old Berlyn, their eldest cies to offer concrete help for families daughter, is a fifth grader at Burney willing to move to Plant City with who will transition to Tomlin this needs such as housing, furniture, year. She’s earned straight A grades food, clothing, and etc. Overbee and for the entire year, so obviously the Audas were the Internet searchers storm didn’t affect her determination. and communicators, while Bowden When asked about lessons she’d learned was the voice and legwork man. from Katrina and difficult moments, After waiting several weeks, they she replied: “I’m grateful for the fact Appreciating the EPC ros e garden, Marie St. Bru n stands behind her chi phoned to follow up on the offer, that we survived together and feel safe ldren, from left to right: Sydney, Maline , Mozart, and Berlyn. hoping to welcome some new resibecause our parents and new friends dents. To their surprise, the church’s generosiwinds severely damaged their residence and encourage us. I’ve learned responsibility, ty still had no takers. So, Dave Bowden drove obliterated the other rental units. “Everythat as the oldest child I must watch over my to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office thing was turned upside down,” says Marie. younger siblings and help my parents as much on Faulkenberg Road to contact a temporary Now the wonderful people of our new home as possible. I’ve lost my bedroom space and relief center set up by Catholic Charities. church, Evangelical Presbyterian, are helping my quiet time, but I won’t complain. It’s They posted signs with contact information, to turn things right side up.” been easy to make friends at school and at and then waited some more. church. Kaniesha, in my neighborhood, is fun Moza and Marie have purchased a home at to know. We’ll be fine, and we’ll never forget At last, one month after the storm, the calls 1608 McLeod Drive, the children are thriving how people helped us.” Obviously, one of a came. Three families responded and the folks at Burney Elementary, and their faith is growdisastrous storm’s after-effects is vision and at EPC went to work with a purpose – to ing because some good folks have wrapped wisdom. This pre-teen is obviously mature welcome the displaced with open arms, hearts, their hearts around the St.Brun family. Dave beyond her years. encouraging words, and pocketbooks. One of Bowden especially thanks the management of those families is now firmly planted here in Cort Rental Furniture on Dale Mabry HighThe Evangeliste family is another helped our town, another will be returning in the fall, way in Tampa for providing furniture for the by the good folks at EPC. Eli, Myrtha, and and a third moved home to New Orleans to responding families. their 12-year old son, Eric, evacuated their help an elderly mother. New Orleans home and headed for safety in Galveston, Texas, 17 hours away. Little did Moza recently earned his commercial driver’s Moza and Marie St.Brun arrived in Plant City they know that another storm, Hurricane Rita, license and is searching for transport work that with their four children, an automobile, and will allow him to be home at night. Marie was headed there also, so they were forced to suitcases with a few outfits for each family works nights at South Florida Baptist Hospital leave Galveston. Florida family invited them member. For a week, they had stayed in a in emergency room triage. “With the help to stay temporarily in Riverview. They re-

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 51


sponded to the posted EPC flier and still can’t believe how welcoming was the reception and hospitality. The family has returned to New Orleans to rebuild and sell their home and settle with insurers, but plan to return here in the fall. While they were here, Eli worked for Stock Building Supply and Myrtha worked at Sims Elementary as a teacher’s aide. When asked about the difficulties of enduring a hurricane, Eli said, “It’s scary to lose everything and to start all over again. We are still without furniture in the New Orleans home. Now we only spend money on essentials, not frivolous things. It’s been hard especially on Eric, because he lost all his games and some of his friends. We know some who lost their lives.” His advice to Floridians is “If a storm is coming, don’t waste time. Don’t worry about your stuff, just get out!” On the long distance call, Eli expressed his gratitude for the generosity they discovered in Plant City and at the church. “We really miss them and we will never forget how everyone helped. We will never forget EPC, Pastor Don, and the wonderful people who cared so much. We can’t wait to see them again.” One single woman also responded to the EPC offer of help. She stayed for a time, but returned home to New Orleans to care for her mother. Unfortunately, her new church family has lost touch, but still pray for her safety and provision. Churches aren’t the only organizations that reach out when crisis comes. The Hillsbor-

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 52

ough County School Department is filled with compassionate employees and students,

those of giving back, helping out, and lifting up. In eastern Hillsborough County, the area director, Barbara Franques, is actively visible at almost every major community service function. She’s a giver and a doer, setting the example for teachers, staff, and students. So it was no surprise that our local schools became so involved and committed to helping victims. An incredible grass roots Internet effort to help Katrina victims has now grown into a nationally recognized volunteer agency for disaster relief. Eighteen months after the initial impact, while newscasters and celebrities have focused on other causes, the crisis continues along the Gulf Coast. An article in the Post-Gazette dated March 18, 2007, quotes Lynne Onufer, program director of Katrina’s Angels as saying, “Things are not OK down there. People are still living in tents.” Hurricane Katrina shattered hundreds of thousands of lives along the Gulf Coast.”

In her wake, angels showed the way to dignity and hope. Katrina’s Angels are volunteers who have not forgotten, and likely won’t for some time, that people in Louisiana and Mississippi still need n, Mozart, Marline, Marie St. Brun with her children, Berly help. The group formed in the immeding of their new EPC church family inclu and Sydney are surrounded by some en. Bowd diate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, bee and Marjorie and Dave Pastor Don Mason, with Gary Over when a website dedicated to the flood so much so that thousands of dollars of asconnected volunteers with people in need. sistance money was collected in school after As a branch of Atayal, a registered 501c3, school. Children brought coins to collection Katrina’s Angels volunteers have expanded containers, classes created fundraisers, and their reach to help other disaster victims, too. employees wrote checks and volunteered This is why new blood is needed in the Interservices. Disasters provide opportunities to net-based group. “We have learned that the teach some of the most valuable life lessonsregular person, no matter where they live, can


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 53


and does make a difference helping survivors of devastation.” Every “angel” can have a purpose, from determining new applicant’s relief needs to assisting with solutions. They can help locate housing, survival necessities, and jobs. But with over 1,000 applicants in their database after Katrina, and only two dozen volunteers, they realized the need for more help. All the work is coordinated online. Volunteers are spread across the country and communicate through weekly teleconferences to stay informed. Because of its virtual nature, Katrina’s Angels can use anyone with a little spare time. The active volunteers include people who are sick and confined to wheel chairs, retirees, and stay-at-home parents. “All we require of a volunteer is the desire to help,” Onufer said. Everyone has something to contribute. None of us knew what we were doing, are still learning the ropes, but in spite of our ignorance, lack of experience, and money, we have helped thousands of people.” To view storm photos or learn more about volunteering to assist from your home computer, visit www. katrinasangels.org. If you seek storm news on the Internet, you will quickly discover hundreds of sites. Information will range from photos to statistics

and from relief agencies to survivor blogs. A common thread involves the beauty of the World Wide Web in helping victims connect after the crisis to locate help or each other. A September of 2005 article in the Tampa Tribune, written by Gary Haber, described a web page opened by 100 students at USF who’d been displaced by Katrina. Those students landed at USF from Tulane, UNO and Loyola in New Orleans, and Xavier of Louisiana, in the wake of Katrina. USF threw its hospitable doors wide open with a welcoming orientation luncheon, deferred tuition, created classroom seat space, and special favor in transcript requirement submission time. So, Katrina’s floods brought a wave of brain power to our area, and that’s cause for celebration. The students communicate through the website, sharing everything from news to views and complaints to resolutions. Connectivity is an especially critical need during times of crisis. Sharing with someone who’s experienced the same trauma is a bonding and encouraging experience. It’s difficult to imagine a world today without the web, where communication and compassion combine to bring relief.

Hurricane season is upon us, formally outlined as June 1st to November 30th. According to recent AP wire reports, this year’s hurricane season will likely see more tropical storms than usual. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists predict 13 to 17 named storms for 2007, with seven to 10 becoming hurricanes. An average year produces 11 named storms in the Atlantic, six of which gain hurricane status. The NOAA predicts the likelihood of above normal hurricane activity is 75 percent. Obviously it will be important and prudent to be prepared. Being prepared can mean protecting your family or volunteering to help someone affected by the hurricanes. So, make yourself ready and available. Don’t hesitate. A quote posted on the Katrina’s Angels website makes a concise, but powerful point: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has,” and we can all agree, “the time is now.”


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 55


Interview by Brian West • Photos by Kristen Toney & Courtesy of Jackie Everidge

of dancing history

(L to R) Sharon, Jackie and Buddy Everidge

For some people, dancing is something people participate in at special occasions such as weddings and parties. For some, dancing is something of a fad; something that has become more popular over the past few years, thanks to the television show, Dancing with the Stars. But for others, dancing is a way of life. Such is the case with Jackie Everidge. Jackie is a life long resident of Plant City and dancing has been her life for more than 50 years. Jackie believes she has taught dance to approximately 10,000 people over the years; an average of 200 students a year for the past 50 years. I recently spent some time with Jackie and her daughter, Sharon, to talk about the school and celebrating 50 years of dance in Plant City.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 56


Focus: Tell me about your family. Everidge: I’m the third generation of my family to live in Plant City. Family is everything. My husband’s name is Buddy. I met him when we were in high school. He was running the lights once at a variety show while I was on stage and he kept taking the light off of me, so after the show I gave him an earful about it and we’ve been together ever since. He’s part of the Everidge clan. There were four boys in his family. In fact, his mother is about to turn 103 years old. My husband does the music and sound and a lot of the scenery for us. We have one daughter and one son, Sharon and Chuck. Sharon works here at the studio with me. Chuck is a State Farm Ins. Agent in Inverness. He and his wife Chrissy have two children, Ryan and Megan. Focus: Did any of your children take dance? Everidge: Yes. Chuck was a dance student here and he says, “Don’t tell anyone that I danced.” But I’ve had a lot of boys come through my class. I had Todd Long [in dance class] and I have pictures. We’ve always had a lot of boys. A lot of the coaches like their sons to come to the gymnastics class to learn to control their bodies before they participate in sports. They like that it builds strength and they learn how to do their hands for handstands. They learn front rolls, back round offs, and then they go into back hand-springs.

Focus: How did you become interested in dance? Everidge: I went to Washington D.C and enrolled in the Washington School of Ballet. I got really interested in it. I went there for three months and then the following year, they had summer courses, so I went there for the summer. I finished in 1957. Ann Barr Gibbs had the dance school and she was going to move and sell it to Margaret Phyllis Biro. So I took a year’s deposit on the rent to Wallace Acree. The rent was one hundred dollars a month and I sent them two thousand dollars. I wanted to secure the dance school for myself until I finished my schooling. I was real excited. We just got some pictures of our first show in the old Capitol Theatre. I did not have any pictures from the show, but we were fortunate that Gill Gott with the Plant City Photo Archives found some pictures of the show and brought us some copies. I started the school in the summer of 1957 and the first show was in 1958.

saved these pictures all these years because they didn’t have any pictures of the interior of the theatre. Pec Chambers McGinnes, Karen Dempsey Robinson and Diane Wiggins Brown were my first students.

Focus: Do you remember the students from the show? Everidge: Yes. The show was at the Capital Theatre and the people here in the photo are Linda Paige, Buckshot Kirkland, Jerry Hogan Brownlee, Jerry Hope, Pec Chambers McGinnes, Shirley Rayburn, Patsy McCoy, Sheila West Jenkins, Sue Meriwether, Mary Lib Everidge, Emily McEver and June Ruis. They

Focus: How would someone go about getting their children involved in dance with your studio? Everidge: We have classes Monday through Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and we have morning classes on Monday. Most of our students have lessons twice a week and each lesson is one hour. But they just need to come and register. The cost is $38.00 per month.

Focus: How many different locations has the school been in? Everidge: Well, I paid my first rent money when we were upstairs in the Mays building. They had a fire and I moved across the street to the Lee building, above the old Goodyear Store for a long time. We’ve been in this location since about 1978. Focus: Your current location looks like it may have been a residential home at one time. Was it? Everidge: Yes. It was Ms. Mill’s. She was the principal at the old Tomlin Jr. High School that was located where city hall is now. She taught ballroom dancing here in the house for a while.

Jackie Everidge (holding box) at a 1959 program FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 57


Jackie and Sharon Everidge were named “Women of the Year” by the Tampa Girl Scout Suncoast division

The Annual Nutcracker performance: Marie Aloyo, Ericka Lott and Sharon Everidge

Focus: Is there an age limit with your students? Jackie: They have to be at least 3 years old, and most of our students range from young children to high school age. We have a lot of older children and a lot of places don’t. Our children seem to get involved in dance and stay for quite a while. I think it’s because of the parents. I think the parents of our students recognize the discipline we instill in the students; discipline for their bodies. And we’ve had so many of our students go on to be successful in their lives; business professionals and doctors. But we also have older students. We teach all ages, but most of our students are younger. Focus: So what has set Jackie’s apart from the competition over the years? Everidge: There’s always been competition over the years; two or three schools. When I opened Jackie’s there was another school in town; the Patox school. There’s always been competition, but I thrive on it. Focus: Do you still teach the classes yourself, or do you have others involved? Everidge: Sharon and I both instruct. We teach everything. I still spot the students in gymnastics up to a double summersault. We also offer musical theatre training and we have a vocal coach, Cassie Butler, a former student since she was 3 years old. She replaced Yvonne Siverling whose husband, Todd, had to go to Germany and then Iraq. They were only in Germany for a couple of weeks when they auditioned for the Heidelberg Theatre and got the lead parts in Beauty and the Beast. In our musical theatre we teach acting, voice and musical theatre.

Showcase 2007: getting ready for Disco ‘07

then land. The trampoline makes that easier for us to teach. Focus: Is there anything you do as times change to stay current? Everidge: Oh yeah. Time changes everything. At our school, ballet, clogging and gymnastics are very popular. A simple example would be that at the high school, they require candidates to be able to do a back handspring to be a cheerleader. They don’t teach back handsprings, but they require it. So we teach back handsprings. We also perform at Dance Caravan and Disney World Focus: Are there any shows you are working on now? Everidge: Yes. Disney invites us to participate in one of their shows each year, so we’re working on that, and we got a call the other day about participating in the Super Bowl in Tampa. We have had students perform in two previous Super Bowls in Tampa. It will be hosted by Tampa again in a few years. But our students participate regularly at all kinds of events; the Chicken Festival in Zephyrhills, the Cumquat Festival in Dade City, and the Strawberry Festival. And every time Lee Greenwood comes to the area, he calls and requests that we attend and participate with him if we can. One of our students, Jamie Hall, was a lead dancer and choreographer at the Lee Greenwood Theatre in Sevierville, Tenn. He understands what

Focus: I remember seeing a trampoline in the back of the school years ago. Do you still use that? Everidge: Oh yeah. We use a trampoline to help teach students to be tight when they’re in the air. They’re supposed to bend, be tight in the air, Chuck, Ryan, Sharon, Megan Buddy and Jackie

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 58

Strawberry Festival Parade: Ryan and Megan, grandchildren of Miss Jackie

it takes to become a professional, so he goes out of his way to spend a few moments with our students. Jamie also was a featured performer at Opryland and on cruise ship lines for several years. And for years, the contestants for the Strawberry Festival Queen’s Contest rehearsed their dances here at the studio. Focus: What is the Chicken Festival? Everidge: [Very Surprised that I’d never heard of it.] It’s located in Zephyrhills. We actually had a couple of students who were dancing on top of a chicken coop once and they fell through the roof. It wasn’t funny for the students, but it was probably funny for everyone else at the time and it’s funny to think back on it now. Focus: Tell me about some of your exceptional students. Have you had any students that became professionals? Everidge: Everyone is welcome and special at Jackie’s. Some of our students that have gone on to become professional are: Louis Perez, Bonnie Cramer, Jamie Hall, Laurie Holmes, who was just in Wicked at the Performing Arts Center in Tampa, Charleene Closshey, Karen,Stephannie and Kim Goff. Focus: What’s it like dealing with the parents of your students? Everidge: Well, we’re happy and secure people, and we want them to be the same way. I can honestly say that we’ve never had a problem with a parent of one of our students. Everidge is one of the fortunate people in town to have worked in a profession they loved that has touched the lives of many children in the community. They go to extreme efforts to make sure all of their students have parts in their routines, and it’s obvious that she isn’t in this business for the money; she’s in it for her love of dance. Thank you for your dedication and the love for your work. We appreciate your efforts.


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 59


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 61


HISTORY

DID YOU KNOW?

SEND COMMENTS TO K TONEY@FLOYDPUBLICATIONS.COM

Story and Photos courtesy of Plant City Photo Archives, Inc.

Dr. Olin Seymour Wright AN EARLY PLANT CITY LEADER

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special edition of The Tampa Tribune in 1900 carried references to Plant City having “progressive people”, “good churches”, and an “excellent school system”. It was a recognized commercial center, the newspaper stated. There were also brief sketches of prominent men, one of whom was Dr. Olin Seymour Wright, the owner and proprietor of the Magnolia Pharmacy. He was described as one of the leading and most prominent men in the county, who had long ago attained the pinnacle of success in his profession. Wright, who had served as mayor from 1893 to 1896, and who was re-elected in 1899 for another threeyear term, was given credit for the “flourishing condition of this thrifty little village”. Dr. Wright was indeed a leader. He came to Plant City in 1887, in the midst of the great Yellow Fever Epidemic. He was one of the few doctors who had experience with the dreaded disease, having dealt with it in Jacksonville prior to moving to Plant City. He came to treat the sick and stayed afterward to involve himself in business, government, fraternal and religious activities, and continued to pursue his medical profession. When elected mayor, Dr. Wright set about immediately to revise the town code, enact or re-enact ordinances, work on the new charter and the new municipal corporation, promote the bond issue, and the building of a new brick school house between Wheeler and Thomas Streets. Collins Street was completed to the southern town limits, which is known today as Alsobrook Street. In 1894 the town was in good order, with experienced men at the helm – Dr. Wright continued as mayor and

Attorney Wells as clerk. The Courier observed that “the spirit of improvement is looming up on all sides” in Plant City, then less than a decade old. Olin Seymour Wright was born in 1852 in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, near the New York state line. He attended school in Hornell, New York, and after graduating from the University of Michigan’s medical school, he started his practice in Hornell. He moved to Manatee County and then to Jacksonville, where he practiced medicine for a period. He set out for Plant City in 1887. In 1888 he married Palestine Hamilton Collins, daughter of Polk County pioneer George Hamilton, and with her two sons from previous marriages, they settled into a home on Evers Street, not far from the Masonic Lodge at Evers and Mahoney Street. Palestine Hamilton (1858-1926) came from a prominent Polk County family and she married George Calmes in Polk County in 1879. They had one son, Thomas Calmes. Palestine later married Perry Collins, the oldest of the five children born to Enoch Collins and his second wife, Elizabeth Guthrie. Palestine and Perry Collins had one son, Vivian B. Collins, who was active in banking in Plant City, and in the United States Army, becoming Adjutant General of Florida. Olin Wright and Palestine Hamilton Wright had three children, Juno, Pallas Athene, and Victor Olin. The Wrights were involved in many of the early civic activities. Dr. Wright was a musician and played and composed music for both the piano and the violin. She supported the arts and reportedly grew outstanding orchids, which she used to decorate the counter at the pharmacy. He was the first Plant City doctor affiliated

with the new Hillsborough County Medical Association, and he owned both the Magnolia Pharmacy and the White Brick Drug Store, possibly in the building that he owned at 111-113 South Collins Street, (originally built by H.B. Wordehoff in 1901). Olin Wright bought one of the first four automobiles delivered to Tampa, and he drove his Oldsmobile to the only filling station in town, in front of the Magnolia Pharmacy. He was a charter member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, helping lead and finance the construction of the church in 1908. Dr. Wright was a school trustee in Plant City and served on the Hillsborough County School Board. He promoted compulsory education, good roads, and economic development. The Wrights bought property in Manatee County, Pinellas County, and Hillsborough County. He was an organizer and director of the Hillsboro State Bank, and with his step-son, V.B. Collins and W.B. Herring, he was involved in the First National Bank of Plant City and the Bank of Plant City. He was also a principal in the Plant City Granite Brick Company in 1906, along with Col. James Lauren Young, who served as Vice President and General Manager. Most of the brick buildings erected in Plant City following the 1907 fire were built with bricks from this plant, as was the power house at the Coronet Phosphate facility. Ironically, the brick plant was destroyed by fire in 1911. Dr. Wright and Palestine divorced and, at 68, he married Dorothy Athene Holloway in Lakeland in June 1921; their son, Olin Seymour Wright, Jr., was born July 25, 1922.

Council of Florida. In 1915 he became the Sovereign Grand Inspector General of Florida. In 1921, Wright was installed into the office of Grand Herald, and in 1923 he was installed as the First Grand Equerry. When he died, December 17, 1923, he was given the highest services by the Grand Master, F. & A.M. of Florida. In his memory, in 1925, the Plant City Lodge No. 79 changed its name to Olin S. Wright Lodge No.79. Palestine owned several properties in and around Plant City. One of them was the block on North Collins where the circuses and various shows were held. The City officials tried to get her to refuse to rent to these types of shows, but she refused them. It was, after all, her property. Later they agreed to a deal and the land was purchased for the new high school building constructed in 1914. She also sold the land at the corner of Reynolds Street and Evers Street to Col. James Young, Dr. Calvin T. Young, and Moreau E. Moody, where they constructed the Young and Moody Building. Palestine died in 1926; the Wright Arcade Building was constructed in her honor.

Sources: Quintilla Geer Bruton and David E. Bailey, Jr. Plant City; Its Origin and History, 1984; Plant City Photo Archives, Inc., and Plant City Photo Archives Oral History Project 2007; Remembering Plant City; Tales from the Winter Strawberry Capital of the

Dr. Wright was also very involved in the Masons. In 1899 he was appointed Deputy of the Supreme

World , The History Press, 2007; Scottish Rite Freemasonry in Florida; Polk County Marriage Records; and Gladys Jeffcoat.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 62

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 66


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 68

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Contact Paula and Abby today at 813-752-8607 paula.meyers@freemarr.com www.freemarr.com Broker Participation Welcome

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Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice. Standard features may vary per floor plan and community.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 69


For “Another Sweet Sale” Call 813-758-9586. Call Us For All Your Real Estate Needs! ������������������������������

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Spread out w/2884 sq’ of living area in the wonderful Clubhouse Woods neighborhood. This Pool home w/a 3-way split plan features 4 large bedrooms plus den/office, 3 baths, open kitchen w/center island, family room, formal living and dining rooms, large lanai & 3 car garage. Gorgeous new wood floors & designer tile. Don’t miss this at only $450,000. Call Natalie 758-9586.

You’ll love the colors in this wonderully decorated home. Over 2600 sq’ with 4 large Bedrooms, 2 1/2 Baths and huge bonus room. Recently pained outside, fenced & large screened lanai with gorgeous yard. Only $318,000. Call Natalie 758-9586.

True 5 bedroom, 3 baths, 3 car garage w/large kitchen, family room, formal living & dining rooms in the Sutton Woods neighborhood of Walden Lake. You will love the expanded pool deck and the peaceful back yard setting, This is the perfect canvass for the decorator at heart. You have to see this beauty at only $419,900. Call Natalie 758-9586.

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As you drive down the tree lined driveway, you’ll notice the lush landscape on this gorgeous 3/4 Acre lot right in the center of the city. You won’t be disappointed when you enter this 2 story, 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath pool home. Priced to sell at only $350,000. Call Natalie 758-9586.

Live the fine life in the prestigious Aston Woods neighborhood in Walden Lake. The lovely landscaped setting sets the stage as you enter this wonderful 3 bedroom, 2 bath home, great room floor plan with formal dining room and large kitchen w/center island. Call Natalie 758-9586.

You will love this great room floor plan offering over 2000 sq’ of living area, large kitchen and huge master suite. Enjoy the outdoors with the extended screened area, heated spa & private fenced yard. You don’t want to miss this one! Priced right at only $225,000. Call Angel 546-9863.

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Everything has been done! NEW kitchen w/all NEW appliances, New bathrooms, NEW windows, NEW roof, NEW air conditioner, NEW wiring, NEW plumbing, NEW flooring, even NEW washer & dryer. Pack your bags and move right in to this convenient in town location. Offered for $169,000. Call Natalie 758-9586.

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Over 1 1⁄4 Acre Commercial lot with tons of potential in a growing area. Only $149,000 Call Natalie 813-758-9586

You’ll love this 3 bedroom, 2 bath home w/out deed restrictions in quiet neighborhood. Large living room, formal dining & family rooms are perfect to spread out in. Entertain in the oversized screened patio w/brick pavers and heated spa. All this on a large in town lot. Offered for only $210,000. Call Natalie 758-9586.

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Two In town building lots available in Plant City for only $23,500 each. Over 1.5 Acre lot in convenient Plant City location close to I4. Possibility to subdivide*. Offered for $110,000. Great lot in Lakeland available with the potential to subdivide* to 2 lots for only $29,900. Call Angel for more details 546-9863.

This beautiful 6+ Acre lot is located in the exclusive community of “Alafia Ridge Estates” where you will find fabulous executive homes of 3000 sq’ & larger. Offered at $299,000. Call Angel at 546-9863.

*Buyer should verify subdividing property with city.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 70

Exquisite home on gorgeous conservation lot. Enjoy privacy courtesy of mother nature with tranquil pond view. 3 way split w/expanded suite. Family room w/gas fireplace & built-in entertainment unit. Air conditioned 3 car garage. Only $325,000. Call Natalie at 758-9586.


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 72


1607 S. Alexander Street Suite 102

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with separate suite upstairs over 4300 sq. ft. air cond. with 4 bedrooms plus a den. Great Theater room with separate kitchen - Pool on 1.8 acres in country. Gourmet Kitchen and in-law suite - Many,Many more extras-$990,000

4 bedrooms, 3 baths and 3 car garage! Spacious kitchen with center island, 42” oak cabinets, corian counters, Private master suite has 2 walk in closets, garden tub, separate shower and double sinks. This 3 way split offers a private guest suite and bathroom! Community clubhouse, pool and tennis. $285,000.

�������������������� ...on the east side of Walden Lake 3/2 with a wonderful pool. formal living & dining that open to the outside pool area. This is a home that is move in condition .Priced right at just $225,900 ��������������������������

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Live the Walden Lake lifestyles in a maintenance free home! The home features a 2 bedroom, 2 bath split plan with an extended living room, 9 foot ceilings, top of the line ceiling fans with light fixtures, tile in all the wet areas and wood flooring through-out the rest of the home and 2 car garage. This home sits on a corner lot with golf course frontage. $199,900.

Beautiful tile floors, upgraded kitchen plus osmosis water. Bathrooms remodeled w/tile & lighting. Relax in the year-round florida room. Owner will sell FURNITURE separately making this villa truly Ready-T0Move-IN!

���������������������������� This immaculate 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath Key West style bungalow is conveniently located to I-4, Brandon and New Tampa. Sits on a 1 acre lot with a barn and loft. REDUCED $338,000. ���������������������������������

������������������� You will love this gorgeous 4 Bedroom 2 Bath 2 story home in the Spring Meadow neighborhood of Walden Lake. Over 2600 sq’, Huge bonus room, large lanai and gorgeous fenced yard. �����������������������������������

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��������������������� Beautiful 5 Bedroom 3 Bath w/3 Car Garage in the lovely Sutton Woods neighborhood. This home features a large kitchen & family room, formal living & dining rooms, large lanai w/heated pool & spa ���������������������������������

With commercial possibilities at the “Gateway” to Plant City’s business/commercial district. Presently zoned AS-1 with working Orange Grove and possible rental property. Highway 39 frontage is 1300 feet MOL.

You will love this Walden Lake home featuring a great room floor plan w/over 2000 sq’ living area. The large kitchen features a center island & built in desk & has lots of counter space for the chef at heart. Huge master suite w/bonus area & enormous walk-in closet. Enjoy the outdoors in the oversized screened area and spa. Fenced yard & new roof makes this home a great value at only $225,000.

This immaculate 5/2.5 in Bloomingdale Hills is perfect for a large or growing family. Great floor plan with master downstairs and 4 beds, 1 bath, and bonus area on 2nd floor. Enlarged screened lanai with no backyard neighbors. Many upgrades - must see!

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Pristine 3/3/3 with Pool on 1.13 acre. Custom kitchen with granite, Fireplace, Luxurious master suite, Hardwood floors, Front porch that stretches across front of house. Bring the rocking chairs. See additional pictures at www. BrendaSalyers.com. This house will Wow you. $418,000.

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...because your move matters FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 73


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A LITTLE PONDEROSA

Tucked away on 3.75 acres youʼll find this great 3 bedrm 2 bath home with approx. 1954 sq ft of living space. Open front porch & scrnd back porch. Property is fenced & cross fenced with a barn & small pond w/fishing dock. Youʼll love this one for $399,000. #718

BRAND NEW & WAITING FOR YOU!

RAISE A STEER OR Plant a garden..Thereʼs plenty of room on approx. 4.7 acres that surrounds this 3 bedroom 2 bath block home. Freshly painted & updated with new tile floors, new windows & new doors. Move-in condition! Check it out today.$330,000. #716

NO DOUBT ABOUT IT This 2 bedroom bungalow needs a lot of work to bring it into shape or you can tear it down & build your dream home on this pretty city lot. Either way it can be yours for just $69,900. Want to know more? Give us a call for the location. #713

PLENTY OF PRIVACY Families looking for privacy will love this brick home surrounded by 20 acres. 4542 sq ft of living space offers 4 bedrms, 4 baths, Formal Living & Dining Rms & Family Rm with fireplace. Huge Lanai opens out to pool & spa. Plus your own private tennis court. This home has so much to offer-Call today for all the details. #723

This 3 bedroom 2 bath home has a great floor plan & is almost completed. Great room with fireplace. Master Suite has his and her walk-in closets, garden tub & separate shower. Screened lanai. Home sits on a high & dry acre lot. PRICE REDUCED to $299,900. #607

ENJOY THE COUNTRY LIFE

No deed restrictions on this beautiful 2.13 acs mol in the Springhead Area. Very nice 3/2 doublewide with bonus rm that could be used for 4th bdrm. Large back porch and above ground pool with deck. Plus a 20x24 2 story barn and a 12x18 shed. Bring your pets and have room to roam. Priced to sell at $189,900-#722

LOTS & ACERAGE

• 2.33 Acres just inside Polk County$155,000 #720 • Buildable City Lot w/large oaks $35,000 #717

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GREAT STARTER HOME! Or investment property. This 2 bedroom block home has a spacious living rm with built in book shelves & a large eat-in kitchen. Inside utility rm & covered patio. Really nice corner lot. an excellent buy for $135,000. #724

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• Three adjoining lots available in a great area. 1 acre --$150,000, 1.5 acres--$150,000, 3 acres --$200,000. ���� Buy one or all. #719

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“Extremely helpful, I wasn’t too sure about the home buying process, but Nate explained everything. The whole transaction went smooth. Wonderful experience for a first time homebuyer.” - TJ Romano, Plant City, FL

������������������������� ������������������������������ ���������������������� ������������������������������ y. is gu h th always t i w eal and stions to d losing e c ant y qu t w n a a u s “Yo rprise ble for u d a No s ly avail g an i ldin ” e d . s a W e n r r B ni, J y, FL once or c Barbari lant Cit P e , - Jo cation i Fabr

...Always nal service o ti p e , xc e d an er your call “LOW rates id not answ d e h if ” d r. n a hou available , within the ll you back ca ld u L o F w he t City, nsend, Plan - Ryan Tow

� ��� �� ������ ����������� ����� ������� ���������� ������� ������ “VERY, VERY pe � rsonal service. Na � � � � te makes you feel comfortable and ����� ���������� takes time to answ er questions and ������� ����� explains the hom e financing proces � s.” - Jason and Daph � � � ne Merrin, Plant ������ ��������� City, FL Purchase/Refinance Loans

• Business owner loans - No tax returns required • Mobile Home Loans - 3-5% down and 30 year terms • Debt Consolidation Loans • CASH out refinances - Get a check at closing! • No mortgage insurance loans • ARM Refinances - lower your payment • Investment property loans • Interest Only Payments Available • Bad Credit OK

First Time Home Buyers! • • • • •

0 down payment -100% Financing Closing cost assistance NO long classes to take LOW monthly payments Get credit for paying your rent on time!

CALL NATE DAVIS Mortgage Consultant

(813) 763-3910 Office Located In Plant City

WWW.PLANTCITYMORTGAGES.COM FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 75


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� � �� � � � � � �� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 76


GETTING MARRIED? WON AN AWARD? DELIVERED? GOT A PROMOTION?

Community Church “A place where everybody is somebody”

��������������� ������� ���������� ������� TYLER BENEFIELD STEPHAN DANNISON DANIEL FOWLER

Call 813-707-8783 Ext 24 To Share Your Good News

AMANDA HARWELL ANDREW SPAULDING

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www.newlifeplantcity.org • Inquire@newlifeplantcity.org

The Oaks Mall Suite #202 • 1514 S. Alexander St. • Plant City, FL

MAGAZINE

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 77


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 78


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 79


Blackburn & Associates Realty SAVING SELLERS AND BUYERS MONEY!!!

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www.CMGFunding.com/applynow FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 81


At Morrow & Associates we believe in the “Team” approach, where the contractor, owner, and design professionals are working together to give the owner a project that is on schedule, in budget, and will exceed the owner’s expectations. Chad Morrow - 813.781.9254 Eric Lawson - 813.781.9256 Licensed, Bonded & Insured CGC 1509134

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 82

Office 813.715.0404 Fax 813.715.0066 • 3620 Copeland Drive / Zephyrills, Fl 33542


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 83


HOMES

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Story by Natalie Sweet

The Walden Lake Review equipment in the Silverwood Park neighborhood. Remember, this is part of the master association and is for all members to enjoy.

J

an Griffin and Tom Duramus of the Walden Lake Community Association didn’t have much news to report this month. One of the major concerns right now is RAIN! We need the rain badly! As everyone knows, we are on watering restrictions, which means we can only water ONE day per week and that day depends on the number of your home. The association is asking you not to break the watering restrictions but to do the best you can to keep

your lawn healthy at this time. The neighborhood entries have been re-mulched and some have been replanted for a fresh new look. They are being hand-watered during this dry time to keep the new plants alive. All other entries are on hold until the rain begins. The gatehouse at the Alexander exit has also been newly landscaped. It’s time to enjoy the new playground

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 84

If you are wondering what is being built on the corner of Turkey Creek and Griffin, we will soon have a new 7-11 gas station/convenience store. Tom Duramus thinks we are looking at a few more months before it is completed. Walden Lake Golf & Country Club has a great Golf summer special offer. After noon, during the week, you can play golf for $20 and after noon on the weekends, for $25, cart included. WLGCC offers seasonal memberships that run through October 31st which include pool, fitness, social activities and discounts on

golf. They are also offering summer camps for ages 6 through 17. The new swim coach, Tom Schmelz, is also offering swim lessons and instruction. Also, this is a great time to get the kids involved in golf. The First Tee Junior program and tournaments are ongoing during the summer. For more information on the seasonal membership or summer camps, call Sherry at 752-1171, extension 221. Billy Kagel is the director of special events and functions. Members and non-members are welcome to book functions at the clubhouse, pool, golf course etc. Call Billy at extension 222 to book an appointment to discuss your needs. Have a wonderful June and if you are traveling, stay safe!


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 85


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Available for Pick up, delivery or we will install it for you! Call Us For Details On Why Pine Straw Is The Better Mulch

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 86

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Call Hiram 813.717.7779

Your Family will love this well kept 3/2 home with inside laundry and bonus room. Formal living room, Family room with fireplace, spacious eat in kitchen. Seller will contribute to buyers closing cost with full price offer...$168,000

METRO CLEANING METRO PAINTING New Amazing Window Scratch Repair

Remodels New Construction

Office Cleaning New Construction Commercial Pressure Washing

New & Existing Commercial Construction

1804 W. Reynolds St. Plant City, FL 33563

Residential Repaints Staining

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Custom Paints

Come in to see our paint design center. Choose your colors and discuss our easy payment plans for residential customers!

metrocleaning@metrocitygroups.com

metropainting@metrocitygroups.com FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 87


HOMES

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Story by Shelton Keely

Services That Buyers’ Agents Offer to Their Clients: (This is Part 2 of the article from last month:) *Reliable advice and information is perhaps the key factor in making a “good decision”. As your buyer agent, they will provide you information such as, but not necessarily limited to, the following:

POOL MASTERS

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* The original purchase price of the house. * Evaluating improvements that the sellers may have made to the house. * Comparative market analysis for similar houses in the neighborhood. * The average closing help paid by sellers of other similar houses in the neighborhood. * The average drop from list price to sold price. * How many days the property has been on the market for sale. * The co-relation between tax-assessed value and market value. * Computerized what-if scenarios on spreadsheets to allow you to make sound financial decisions. * Introduction to reliable mortgage lenders, home inspectors, settlement attorneys, etc. * You worry about finding the perfect house – they will help you take care of all the small details. How Exactly Does a Real Estate Investors Buyer’s Agent Get Compensated? Whenever a house is listed with a brokerage firm, the seller of that house (whether it is a new house or an existing resale house) agrees to pay the listing firm a set fee. The listing firm then enters that listing into the MLS database and agrees to pay a percentage of the final sales price to any other realtor from any other listing firm should they produce a buyer for that house. This way, brokerages get to share one another’s listings and can cross sell, thus making it easier to sell the property. Only a very small portion of owners of homes on the marketplace do not want to pay realtors. These include small or not so reputable builders who do not want realtors advising their buyer clients and for-sale-by-owners (who’re typically priced too high). I can highly recommend the use of a real estate investors buyer’s agent for real estate investors of all experience levels. Be sure that you select one with experience in real estate investment transactions. There are many of these folks out there.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 88


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 89


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MONEY

INVESTING

SEND COMMENTS TO K TONEY@FLOYDPUBLICATIONS.COM Submitted by Edward Jones

Women Must Plan

(EXTRA) CAREFULLY FOR RETIREMENT

I

f you’re a woman, you have to be actively involved in your financial preparations for retirement - and that’s true whether you’re single or married. As a woman, you have at least two special considerations associated with your retirement planning: You’ve got a longer life expectancy. Women typically outlive men by about seven years, according to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics - and more years of life mean more expenses.

You may have less money in your retirement plan. Women drop out of the work force for an average of 12 years to care for young children or aging parents, according to the Older Women’s League, a research and advocacy group. This time away from the workforce results in women accumulating much less money in their employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k)s.

Michael S. Cameron 2501 Thonotosassa Rd Plant City, FL 33563 813 / 759 - 1491

www.edwardjones.com Member SPIC

The prospect of a long, underfunded retirement is not a pleasant one. Fortunately, there’s much you can do to avoid this fate. For starters, know what’s going on in your financial situation. If you are married, share the responsibility of making investment decisions. What are your retirement goals? Are the two of you investing enough to eventually achieve these goals? And where is the money going? You must know the answers to these questions. You’ll also need to know what you could expect to receive if your husband dies before you. As a surviving spouse, you will likely inherit all your husband’s assets, unless he has specifically named other people - such as grown children from an earlier marriage - as beneficiaries. Nonetheless, you can’t just assume that all sources of income that your husband receives will automatically roll over to you. For example, if your husband were to die before you, you wouldn’t get his Social Security payments in addition to your own, although you could choose to collect his payments instead of yours. But if you both earned close to the same income, you might not get much of an increase in Social Security benefits. In any case, whether you’re married or single, here are some moves that can benefit you:

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“Max out” on your 401(k). If you can afford it, invest the maximum amount into your 401(k) and increase your contributions every time your salary goes up. Your 401(k) provides you with tax-deferred earnings and a variety of investment options. Contribute to an IRA. Even if you have a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan, you might be eligible to contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA. A traditional IRA offers the potential for tax-deferred earnings, while a Roth IRA potentially grows tax-free, provided you don’t take withdrawals until you’re 59-1/2 and you’ve had your account at least five years. You can fund an IRA with virtually any investment you choose. Do whatever it takes to help ensure a comfortable retirement - and the sooner you start planning, the better.


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 93


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 94

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 95


HEALTH

SEND COMMENTS TO K TONEY@FLOYDPUBLICATIONS.COM

Submitted by Susan M. Ott, D.O.

Science of Sports Drinks W

ith summer and high heat and humidity upon us it is more important than ever to keep yourself hydrated as well as fueled during your workouts. There is actually a lot of research going on in this area. What is the best sports drink?

• One that tastes good. If it doesn’t taste good you won’t drink it. • Cool drinks are more palatable than warm drinks • Flavored drinks are more palatable than unflavored • Sodium concentration of 20-40 mmol/L (not mg per serving) • Have a mixture of types of sugars So why is all of this important? There has been a lot of attention given to hydration in the media lately. Despite the media attention to over-drinking during endurance activities, most people do not drink enough to replace

sweat losses. At 2-3% dehydration, you will see a decline in performance and thirst is not a sufficient stimulus to drink. So. Why that particular sodium concentration? Well, if there is more sodium, then it’s not going to taste good and you won’t drink it. Also, if there is too much salt the drink will inhibit the drive to drink. Sodium also enhances gastric emptying, which is discussed below. Why a mixture of carbohydrates? This is good news for all you folks who have trouble with nausea and vomiting. There have been multiple studies looking at what combination of carbohydrates is best and the effects on endurance athletes from performance to energy stores. Also, an area of interest in gastric emptying…What’s that? That is how well something gets out of your stomach. Ever had a bunch of fluid sloshing around in your

stomach on a run? Not a good feeling. What researchers have found is that a sports drink with a combination of different types of carbohydrates (glucose and fructose for example) gets out of your stomach better than a drink with only one type of carbohydrate (glucose alone). So why not just plain water? If you are doing a short event you can probably get away with water. Research comparing performance in cycling compared water and two different sports drinks that the athletes were able to drink at will. Those using just water were unable to exercise more than three hours. Well, why is that? No more glycogen (energy). If you are going to exercise more than 3 hours, you need to replenish glycogen (energy). The easiest way to do this is with carbohydrates in whatever form you want, whether gels, sports drinks or bananas.

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So what is an athlete to do? First and foremost, learn your sweat rate. Weigh yourself before and after your workout. A pound is roughly a liter of fluid loss. So if you ran for one hour and weighed 1.5 pounds less after your workout than before (and you did not drink during your workout) then you lost 1.5 liters of fluid. The basic rule is to replace what you lose. Most athletes underestimate the amount of fluid they are losing. So, the take home lessons are: replace the fluid you lose; sports drinks will serve you better than plain water in most cases and especially during endurance events, stay hydrated and have a safe fun summer. Dr. Susan Ott is an Orthopaedic Surgeon who specializes in sports medicine. She practices at Sand Hill Bone & Joint. Please call 813754-0817 for more information.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 96

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 97


EXTRA

SEND COMMENTS TO K TONEY@FLOYDPUBLICATIONS.COM

Story & Photos Courtesy of Sherrie Mueller, Guidance Resource Specialist at PCHS

Plant City High School Finishes Well

Left to right: Guidance Resource Specialist Sherrie Mueller, Vonshea Durn, Kayla Logue and PCHS Principal Colleen Richardson

T

he Grand Krewe De Libertalia presents “Comeback Kid” scholarships to Hillsborough County Public High School Seniors who have experienced challenges in their lives and prevailed with continued plans to graduate and pursue post-secondary education. Vonshea Durn and Kayla Logue were each awarded $1,000. (Top left: Guidance Resource Specialist Sherrie Mueller, Vonshea Durn, Kayla Logue and PCHS Principal Colleen Richardson.) The Plant City Civitan Club recently hosted a breakfast at the Orange Blossom Tea Room to recognize its scholarship recipients. Olga Garcia and Ross Gentry were the honored winners. (Top Middle: Marilyn Gentry,

Left to right: Marilyn Gentry, Ross Gentry, Secretary of Plant City Civitan Club Robert Christie, Olga Garcia, Martina Garcia and Felix Garcia

Ross Gentry, Secretary of Plant City Civitan Club Robert Christie, Olga Garcia, Martina Garcia and Felix Garcia.) The Athena Society recently announced selections for the Athena Young Women of Promise. Lauren Der was selected as one of ten finalists from Hillsborough County. She was introduced to the Society, received a gift of $100 and was allowed to give a speech. (Top right: Chair of Young Women of Promise Committee Dr. Sylvia Richardson, Lori Der, Lauren Der, Member of Athena Society and retired General Director of Technical and Career for Hillsborough County Schools Rhonda Trainor.) The Tampa Bay Chapter of

Left to right: Mother of Danielle and teacher at Plant City High LaTonya McIntyre, Danielle McIntyre, Superintendent of Hillsborough County Schools MaryEllen Elia and Guidance Resource Specialist Sherrie Mueller

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 98

Left to right: Chair of Young Women of Promise Committee Dr. Sylvia Richardson, Lori Der, Lauren Der, Member of Athena Society and retired General Director of Technical and Career for Hillsborough County Schools Rhonda Trainor

Women International recently hosted an awards ceremony and dinner at the University of Tampa. Junior Danielle McIntyre won an $8,000 scholarship to the school of her choice through the nomination process. (Bottom left: Mother of Danielle and teacher at Plant City High LaTonya McIntyre, Danielle McIntyre, Superintendent of Hillsborough County Schools MaryEllen Elia and Guidance Resource Specialist Sherrie Mueller.) A group of students participating in the Take Stock in Children Program recently had the opportunity to travel to Tallahassee and attend the “Rally in Tally”. While in Tallahassee the group had the opportunity to visit with Representative Rich Glorioso. (Bottom middle:

Representative Rich Glorioso with the Take Stock in Children delegation from Plant City High School representing Hillsborough County Schools

Representative Rich Glorioso with the Take Stock in Children delegation from Plant City High School representing Hillsborough County Schools.) The Plant City Rotary Noon Club and Daybreak Club sponsored an Oratorical Contest recently. Lauren Der was selected as first place winner, Bryars Byrd placed second and Patrick Alfonso came in third. Lauren advanced, winning the districts in Lakeland and third in the state in Clearwater. (Bottom right: Noon Rotary Todd Pukas, Guidance Resource Specialist Sherrie Mueller, Patrick Alfonso, Lauren Der, Bryars Byrd, President of Noon Rotary Felix Haynes, Daybreak Rotary Mike McMinn.)

Noon Rotary Todd Pukas, Guidance Resource Specialist Sherrie Mueller, Patrick Alfonso, Lauren Der, Bryars Byrd, President of Noon Rotary Felix Haynes, Daybreak Rotary Mike McMinn


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 99


SPORTS

BASEBALL

SEND COMMENTS TO K TONEY@FLOYDPUBLICATIONS.COM

Story & Photos by Joe Bowles

Plant City Raiders Travel Baseball FLORIDA’S LARGEST YOUTH TRAVEL BASEBALL ORGANIZATION

done, is strategic in developing ball players that will one day excel at the high school level and beyond.” Gigi and Chet know from first-hand experience what that philosophy can do. This year their son Marcus was drafted in the fourth round by the Texas Rangers shortly after his high school team, the Eustis Panthers, coached by his father Chet, won the 3A Florida High School Baseball Championship. “For kids who want to play and progress, we encourage them to play as much baseball as possible. Having involvement of local high school coaches in travel baseball, as well as having community support, is necessary if you desire to have kids ready to play competitively,” Gigi advised.

The sweet taste of victory!

W

hen Plant City High School’s head baseball coach, Mike Sodders, returned home to coach at his alma mater, he knew he had to do several things. First of all, he had to instill in his players a sense of pride in being a Raider. Secondly, he had to learn to be patient. Building a winning tradition takes time. Thirdly, he knew that he had to be involved in local youth baseball programs, such as Little League and travel baseball if he hoped to feed his future high school teams with the best players in the area. The first step in accomplishing all three objectives may come this fall in the formation of the Plant City Raiders Baseball Association. This association will be made up of thirteen teams from ages 8 through 18 that will play highly competitive travel baseball in organizations such as the Amateur Athletic Union and

the International Baseball Championships. Initially, coaches from the Plant City Patriots, a travel baseball association made up of five teams, began meeting with Coach Sodders, when it was decided that it would be mutually beneficial to all concerned if the existing Patriot teams change their name to the Raiders. Later, another local team, the Warriors, also was added to the mix and along with the formation of seven new teams, the new Raider Association will become the largest youth travel baseball organization in the state of Florida. According to Gigi Lemon, Tournament Director at Sunshine Sports and wife of former Detroit Tiger All Star Chet Lemon, who is presently the National AAU Baseball Chairman and President of Sunshine Sports, “forming associations, like you have

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 100

Sodders feels that sharing the Raider name with the travel baseball organization will instill in the younger players who have not yet reached high school, a desire to one day be a member of the Raider High School baseball team. In fact, Sodders remarked, “I want to get as involved as I can. I know what will work. I knew when I came back to Plant City that we would have to have a system

in place that would continually feed quality baseball players into the high school program.” Although this association shares the same mascot name as the high school, it should be noted that they are completely separate organizations. Players who are high school age and play on any of the three Raiders travel baseball teams, Freshman (15 and Under), Junior Varsity (16U), or Varsity (18U), may or may not be members of the Raiders’ High School team. They should live in the Plant City High School district, however, to avoid any potential recruitment violations. Tryouts will be held throughout the summer as Raider coaches compile teams that will begin a light schedule of play in the fall, followed by a heavier schedule in the spring. It won’t happen overnight, but when Mike Sodders came back to Plant City to continue his coaching career, after a successful career at the University of Alabama and ten years as a professional baseball player, he came to build a winner, even if it takes time.

Plant City High School Head Baseball Coach Mike Sodders


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 101


SPORTS

ATHLETE OF THE MONTH

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Story and Photo by Holly Mallalieu

HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE OF THE MONTH

MARTIN GIRLING I

t’s hard to believe, but the 2006-2007 school year has already come and gone, taking with it the graduating class at Plant City High School. But even with the hallways empty and, of course, no sports in session, we want to take one more look at an athlete that just finished not only his last year in school, but also his final season of playing for the boys’ tennis team. Coach Rice, who just wrapped up his 22nd year of coaching, chose Girling to be this month’s recognized athlete not only because he is a graduating senior who has been a consistent player on the Raider team for four years, but also because of the dedication and sportsmanship he has always carried along with him. “Every team should have Martin,” he said. “He’s dependable, works hard, and motivates others to do their best. I was lucky to have someone like him.” Girling, now 17, has been playing tennis since he was in the eighth grade, and decided to join the high school team when he came in as a freshman - a decision that stood for the rest of his high school career. This year he was #3 for singles and #1 for doubles. He also took home the Most Valuable Player award. With his amiable personality, Girling is a great guy to have around, and it’s a sure thing that the tennis team is going to miss him now that he’s gone. When fall rolls around, he’ll be heading off to the University of Central Florida to major in business and minor in real estate. As for sports in college, he may take part just for fun. We wish the best of luck to Martin in his future, and appreciate the work he put into his four years of high school, academically and athletically.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 102


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 103


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 104


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 105


EXTRA

AL RUECHEL

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By Al Ruechel

Where’s my Golden Parachute? Well, here we go again; the “haves” and the “have-nots.” Like most Americans, I fit somewhere in between. Most days I do feel like a “have” because I have been blessed with an incredible wife, fabulous kids, a great job which I truly enjoy, wonderful friends, and good health. Who “could ask for anything more?” There are some days, though, when I feel maybe the Brinks parade has passed me by. I’m worth a whole lot more than they’re paying me. You bet. Hey, if what’s his name, Anderson Cooper, (who gives their child a last first name and a first last name anyway?), can command 4-million a year, why not me. Okay, I don’t have funky white hair with a swatch of dirt tossed down the middle. That’s how “Maxim” magazine described him.

...I feel maybe the Brinks parade has passed me by.

Maybe if we were all a little more assertive. Maybe if we just demanded more compensation from our bosses. I’ve got one better. Maybe we just demand more if we get fired. Yes, that’s the ticket. You fire me and you have to pay me two years of my salary, even though I won’t be working. On top of that, to get rid of me you are going to have to give me a butt-load of stock options. I want a health club and country club membership, too. And while you are at it, would you please buy my house and pay for the renovations I recently made? Have you completely lost your mind? The way the real world works is this: you put in your hours, you take what benefits the company offers, you work hard and do a good job. If the company is making money, you can probably count on a cost of living raise every year. You might have to pick up a few more of the benefits’ expenses each year, but you will probably keep your job and enjoy relative security. However, if profits start slipping and times get hard, you may lose your job. If you screw up or are genuinely a jerk, or you have failed in your position, you will likely get a two-week notice and then be escorted out the door by a security guard. This is the real world… unless! Unless you are a CEO at an American corporation. You can use and abuse your power to get a golden parachute. That phrase translates into: You have to pay me a butt-load to get rid of me and you will like it. It translates into: I stacked the Board of Directors with my friends and they’ve all taken a big, long drink of the Kool-Aid. They bought into the notion that in order for a company to survive, the guy or gal at the top has to be given a big of slice of the company pie, EVEN when the company is swimming in red. I call it bribery, pure and simple. The Board is getting paid to serve and service the CEO. That can be the only logical explanation for payoffs to fired or dismissed CEO’s totaling into the millions each year. I will sight only one example, thanks to Michelle Ledger at footnoted.org. “When former Nike Chief Executive William Perez resigned last January after a little over a year on the job, he got a very sweet golden parachute. Nike gave Perez a severance package worth $5.5 million, including $2.8 million that represents two year’s base salary and a $1.75 million bonus for 2006, EVEN THOUGH he didn’t serve for most of the year. Nike accelerated the vesting of restricted stock—allowing Perez to take another $11 million. Nike purchased his Portland, Ore., home for the price he paid, or $3.18 million. But here’s the kicker; the company picked up the tab on $579,649 worth of renovations Perez made at the home. Nike also offered $56,500 to cover prepaid athletic club fees if he quits the gym.” Now, doesn’t that just send you to the window screaming, “I’m mad as heck and we aren’t going to take this anymore!” It also explains why there is a move underway by some members of congress to put caps on how much CEO’s can make, or at least restrictions on the kind of golden parachutes they are allowed to exercise. Do I like that as a solution. Not one bit. It’s anti-American and anti-free enterprise. Unfortunately, when the people we entrust to live by the same moral imperatives we ourselves follow bend and break the rules to their advantage, something has to be done and has to be done… NOW!

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 106


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 107


EXTRA

FROM THE COMMISSIONER’S DESK

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By Robert Brown

Plant City has a City Manager form of government, meaning the City Commission hires a City Manager as the head administrator for all City business, similar to a CEO of a corporation. Likewise, the City Commission functions as a Board of Directors, setting policy and direction for the City Manager and his staff. Also, just as a Board of Directors has a Chairman to lead meetings, the City Commission has a Mayor who leads Commission meetings and performs other honorary duties as the City’s primary representative. In some municipalities, the Mayor is elected in a separate election. In fact, the Mayor of Plant City was previously elected in such a manner from among the five sitting Commissioners. Because of low voter turnout for Mayoral elections and the associated costs, the City Commission several years ago decided to save the taxpayers’ money and elect the Mayor from the five sitting Commissioners at its annual organizational meeting held on the second Monday of each June. This year, the meeting will be held on June 11, 2007 at City Hall. Currently, our Mayor for the last two years has been John Dicks, who chose not to seek reelection. Newly elected Dan Raulerson will fill Dicks’ seat. In addition to Dan, the other Commission members are our Vice-Mayor Rick Lott, former mayor Bill Dodson, Mary Thomas-Mathis, and myself, Robert Brown.

In some municipalities, the Mayor is elected in a separate election.

All commissioners are eligible to be elected by the Commission for Mayor, and over the years, various members have indicated an interest in becoming Mayor by announcing their intent at a regular Commission meeting. Because of the Sunshine Laws in the State of Florida, Commissioners are prohibited from discussions pertaining to any issue which will be voted on, unless the discussions take place at a public meeting. Given this rule, there seems to be an understandable moment of hesitation as Commission members decide who will support whom for Mayor at the annual meeting. Some members of our community would prefer to vote to elect the Mayor themselves. As with all issues pertaining to City Government, citizens are encouraged to present their opinions on any issue to the City Commission at any regularly scheduled meeting held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at City Hall. Since the current system of determining our City’s Mayor is working, I think it would take a significant effort by concerned citizens in order to begin the process for change. As a side note, once the Mayor is elected by the Commission, that person appoints a ViceMayor to fill in for them in case they are out of town or otherwise unavailable to perform their duties. The Mayor then appoints other Commissioners to represent the City on various Boards, such as the Tourist Development Council, Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Regional Planning Council, Ridge League of Cities, Suncoast League of Cities, Council of Governments, etc. Certain Boards are only required to be filled by the Mayor. The organizational meeting will include Dan Raulerson’s swearing-in ceremony, followed shortly by a swearing-in ceremony for the newly elected Mayor. It is one of my favorite meetings of the year, and I am looking forward to attending as your elected representative. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you as a member of this distinguished Commission. Finally, you’ve probably noticed I haven’t mentioned who I think should be the next Mayor. If I were to indicate how I might vote on any issue, I would be violating the Sunshine Laws, so you’ll just have to attend the meeting to see for yourself, or read about it in the local newspapers.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 108


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 109


EXTRA

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Story & Photos by Pat Hearn

Family Medicine WATSON CLINIC

Dr. Manish Parekh looks over some blood samples in the lab

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hen you step foot in the Watson Clinic’s Plant City office you feel at home right away. That’s because the four board-certified physicians on staff feel a special connection with the community they care for. Having treated generations of families over the years, they have earned a place in the hearts of the community. “We’ve all developed a strong commitment to enhancing the lives of our Plant City residents,” says Dr. William Haas, the sole family practice physician at the office. Dr. Haas treats from grandparents down to two-year-olds and makes tremendous efforts to promote the benefits of prevention. Dr. Haas concludes that “the key is to invest time in the present with regular checkups, exercise, and a healthy diet, so more severe health complications can be avoided down the road.” Dr. Manish Parekh, an internal medicine specialist at the Plant City office, points out that the majority of his practice is treating the effects of high blood pressure, cholesterol issues, and diabetes. “That’s why,” he explains, “I encourage everyone, particularly if they have a family history of these ailments, to begin visiting a physician early while symptoms are treatable and reversible.”

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 110

The Plant City team, along with the staff of 12 other Watson Clinic locations, possesses a trait lacking in many clinical settings: compassion. Internal medicine physician, Dr. Cindy Kelly, having survived breast cancer, knows the importance of good doctor-patient relationships. “I bend over backwards, it’s important for me to see my sick patients myself.” Dr. Donna Stone adds, “It’s very fulfilling for me personally to know that I’ve contributed to a patient’s sense of health and well-being.” The Plant City office, aside from the caring staff, offers more upsides; for instance, location. The office is located on Alexander Street, right beside the entrance of Walden Lake, Plant City’s largest residential area. They also accept all major insurances and offer an array of general medical care such as physicals and gynecological checkups. Also, an onsite laboratory offers quick test results from blood work. Waiting times are reduced through open appointment schedules designed to accommodate patients within 24 to 48 hours. Convenience, compassion, and expert medical care are all wrapped into one package at the Watson Clinic in Plant City.

Dr. William Haas discusses the day’s schedule


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���������������������������������������������� FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 111


D&E

DINING REVIEW

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Story & Photos by Kristen Toney

Elegance Has Come to Plant City IN THE CAMELLIA ROSE TEA ROOM

our town that attracted Ellen was the historic downtown area. Not only does Camellia Rose Tea Room house the tea room itself, but also a store filled with things elegant and beautiful. The merchandise side of Camellia Rose opened very quietly on Monday, April 2. “People had been walking by and knocking, so we wanted to see how things would work,” Garrett remembered. “Three weeks ago today was the actual opening of the tea room.” Ellen Garrett, owner of Camellia Rose Tea Room, holds the teapot that inspired her business logo

W

hat began as a hobby for Ellen Garrett has become a beautiful obsession, located right in the heart of downtown Plant City.

Garrett first became interested in tea when she and her girlfriends started to make it a point to visit different tea rooms in the area. “Once I started visiting them, then I got the fever!” she laughed. “I started collecting teapots and teacups, and then started practicing recipes in my home. I eventually began giving teas in my home, as well.” The idea for her own tea room was actually her sister’s, which Garrett waved off with a laugh. However, when the building at 120 North Collins Street came under new ownership, things took a turn for the…tea. After all, when the Garretts moved to Plant City from Temple Terrace 12 years ago, one of the features of

Walking through the front doors, one immediately sees an incredible assortment of all things any woman would love: from handbags to soaps to lotions to jewelry and business card holders. The boutique side leads to the tea rooms, where a full tea will be served to you at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. “I love to see people who have never experienced tea before come in and say, wow, I never realized how much fun this would be! There really are no age limits here,” Garrett continued. All teas are selected carefully by the staff and are brought in directly from tea importers. As you are enjoying tea at Camellia Rose, you will be informed of little-known facts about tea, such as the fact that cream actually masks the flavor of

Amber sugar crystals are a pure, unprocessed form of sweetener that is very popular at the tea room

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 112

tea, so milk is used, instead. Amber Sugar crystals are also used, as they help to enhance the flavor of the tea, since it is an unprocessed form of sugar. All teas are loose, as the loose teas are the most flavorful. Although reservations for the tea room are recommended, walk-ins may be served if there is availability. There are plans for many other things besides English tea times. Look for the additions of soups, salads, quiche and perhaps a meal of the day. A Bridal Shower and Baby Shower schedule are available, as well as special seating’s for little girl’s birthday parties, with a menu designed specifically for the little ladies. With Servers, Chefs and retail employees at Camellia Rose, the staff wants to continually change the menu and offer a variety of food. Two items will always be kept on the menu: the chicken salad sandwich and the cucumber sandwich. An assortment of cheeses, fruits and vegetables, as well as desserts are always available, as well, in addition to your own selection of their 39 flavors of tea, whether you would prefer it hot or iced. Garrett loves to hear stories of those who come into the building and

As expected, plenty of teapots are strategically placed around the dining area

remember when it was first created! A firm believer in preserving the historical district, she specifically designed the remodel to fit within the period of the building. “Not too many people get to live out their passion,” Garrett commented. “And I do! And I love it!” CRITICAL INFO Camilla Rose Tea Room 120 North Collins Street Plant City, Florida 33563 (813) 659-TCUP (8287) Retail side open from: 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays Tea Times are: Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. www.camelliarose.com Little Girl’s Menu All major credit cards accepted

One of the gorgeous dining areas of the Camellia Rose Tea Room

39 different flavors of tea, hot or iced, are available for your tasting at the Camellia Rose Tea Room


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 113


D&E

ENTERTAINMENT

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Story and Photos by Daniel Sperry

Ramada Inn Plantation House BRINGS HARMONIES LAS VEGAS STYLE

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f a swinging, singing sensation could be given a name, it would be P.J. Leary and the Las Vegas Sounds. Rolling into Plant City in May, this amazing band brought new meaning to the concept of dinner entertainment. Fronted by P.J. Leary, the band includes a number of supremely talented musicians who have all come together to recreate some of the best music America has seen. The band includes Dave Webber on the trumpet, Kenny Tiedeman on the saxophone, Bobby Grauso on drums and Moe Lewis on bass. Between them, the band members have played with groups like the Temptations, The Four Tops and the Drifters, as well as many others. The band performed at the Ramada Inn Plantation House in Plant City and kept diners’ feet tapping and hands clapping throughout the evening. The voices and instruments of the band blended together seamlessly through a variety of numbers. Listening to them perform Louis

Couples took to the floor and danced the night away as the band performed

Prima’s “Just a Gigolo,” was like hearing Prima himself. While many performers try to emulate great artists, not many do so with the sheer enthusiasm and bravado of P.J. Leary and the Las Vegas Sounds. Music enthusiasts of all ages enjoyed their performances throughout the evening. Tiedeman’s performance of “Danny Boy” was enthralling, and many other classics were met with enthusiastic applause all night long. Of course, supplementing the musical entertainment of the night was the fantastic food that is front and center in the Red Rose Dining Room. As is always the case with performances at this venue, the food, service and atmosphere all act as an amazing prelude and backdrop to accent and increase the audience’s enjoyment of the performers. Before Leary took the stage, the evening was opened up by the “Italian Stallion” of comedy, Pat

The band’s brass evoked the sounds of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 114

PJ Leary and the band brought classic tunes to the Ramada Plantation House

Capuzzi. This was not the first time he has performed at the Ramada Inn Plantation House and he was clearly at home with the crowd. One lady in the audience has seen Capuzzi often enough that she had many of his jokes memorized. Her familiarity did not seem to lessen hers or anyone else’s enjoyment of his act as the crowd was kept laughing throughout his 20 minute routine.

of the many successful performances that has come to the Red Rose Dining Room.

Capuzzi and Leary have performed together many times in the past and are great friends. Coincidentally, the performance in Plant City was on Leary’s birthday, and Capuzzi led the crowd in a happy birthday chorus, along with a few jokes about Leary’s age.

The Red Rose Dining Room is located at the Ramada Inn Plantation House in Plant City, and most weekends feature fantastic performances of music or comedy during the dinner hours. P.J. Leary and the Las Vegas Sounds perform across Florida and the South. More information on them, as well as Pat Capuzzi can be found on their website at www.pjlearytalentagency.com.

Once Leary took the stage, however, the mood shifted from laughter to romance. Songs by Lois Prima and Frank Sinatra filled the room, and within minutes the dance floor was full of couples dancing the night away. The incredible Plantation House staff kept drinks and food coming to everyone in the crowd and it was obvious that this was one

Major Dickson was visiting from Central Florida, and decided to see the performance on a whim. “This was the best evening I have had in a really long time,” said Dickson. “I can’t believe I never knew about this place.”

Leary and his band was an unmitigated success. Couples left with full stomachs and smiles on their faces, not at all an unusual occurrence at the Ramada Inn Plantation House.


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City of Plant City Recreation & Parks Department

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Bill Heard Chevrolet July 4th Celebration supports many major programs and projects in the Plant City area, placing an emphasis on supporting people with mental and developmental disabilities and the youth of our local community. Some of the local programs the club supports are: ����������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������� ������������������� �����������

Wednesday, July 4, 2007 Plant City Stadium 1810 East Park Road (rain-out date July 5, 2007)

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City of Plant City Recreation & Parks Dept. and the Plant City Chamber of Commerce

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A family oriented event! Please follow Stadium and Parking Lot Policy

No coolers, no alcohol, no glass bottles or open containers, no pets, no boom boxes, no loitering outside stadium or in parking lot

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 115


Antioch Bill’s - 115 W Reynolds St (707-1090) ..................G6 Antiques & More - 102 -105 S Evers St (719-6336) ........... J1 Antiques & Treasurers - 107 N Collins St (752-4626) ......G3 Brooks Land Surveying - 115 S Palmer St (754-6620) .....K5 Byrd & Stitzel, PA - 206 N Collins St (759-1224) .............. D3 Camellia Rose Tea Room - 120 N Collins (659-1802) .......H6 Century 21Shaw Realty - 105 S Collins St (719-2727) ...... J4 Chicano’s Tex-Mex - 101 E Reynolds St (754-5093) ......... D4 City Properties Company - 101 E Reynolds(752-5262) ... D5 Coffee 101 - 101 E J Arden Mays Blvd (659-0101) ...........K4 Collins Street Junction - 117 N Collins St (659-2585) ......G2 Coyotees/Cuzzins - 111 S Palmer St (759-2955) ................K2 Downtown Deli - 111 W Reynolds St (754-9800) ...............G7 England’s Antiques - 114 N Collins St (659-3046) ............H1

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Family Treasures - 107 1/2 S Evers St (659-3121) ............. I1 Floyd Publications - 101 E J Arden Mays (707-8783) .....K6 Frenchman’s Market - 106 E Drane St (754-8388) ..........H3 Genies Consignments - 101 S Evers St (719-1047) ............ I3 Gro-Mor Co., Inc. - 307 S Evers St (754-3577) ................. L1 Harold’s Outdoor Products - 201 E M.L.K (752-3314) .. R1 Home of the Better Buys - 111 S Evers St (707-1241) ........ I2 Linda’s Crabshack - 202 E Reynolds St (754-0492) ......... E1 Marion Jone’s Accents - 107 E Reynolds (754-3377) ......H4 Martin’s Place - 110 E Reynolds St (759-1023 X257) ....... D1 Ms. Dixie’s Aurora Music - 206 S Evers St (717-9575) ... M2 Next to New - 109 W Reynolds St (719-8922) ....................G5 Olde Floridian - 203 S Collins St (754-3625) .................... M1 Orange Blossom Tea Room - 106 S Evers (759-2247) ....... J2

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Patricia’s - 108 E Drane St (752-6085) ...............................H2 Pieces of Olde - 113 W Reynolds St (717-7731) ................G1 Plant City Photo Archives - 119 N Collins (754-1578) .....G4 Plant City Realty - 208 W Baker St (764-0840) .................S1 Power Shop Gym - 114 E M.L.K.Jr. Blvd (757-6038) ...... K1 Pressed Penny - 116 N Collins St (717-7698) .....................H5 Silver Dollar Saloon - 107 E M.L.K.Jr. Blvd (764-9811) .. N1 Sisters & Company - 104 E Reynolds St (754-0990) ........ D2 Snellgroves Restaurant - 109 S Collins ST (752-3652) ...... J3 Sub Club - 101 E Reynolds St (707-8606) .......................... D6 Sun Trust Bank - 201 W Reynolds St (754-7809) ............. ST The WLBS Companies - 103 E Dr. MLK Blvd. (752-3070) ... N2 Whistle Stop Restaurant - 102 S Collins (752-7340) ........K3

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206 N Collins St. In Historic Downtown Plant City

Located in Downtown Plant City

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110 E. Reynolds Street Plant City, FL 33563

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107 E. Reynolds Street Plant City, Fl. 33563 (813) 754-3377 Cell: (813) 416-0096 www.mjaccents.com

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Photographs Plant City Photo Archives 119 North Collins Street In Historic Downtown Plant City

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109 South Collins Street Plant City, FL 33563

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D&E

GETTING MARRIED?

WON AN AWARD? DELIVERED? GOT A PROMOTION? Call 813-707-8783 Ext 24 To Share Your Good News MAGAZINE

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Bobs Sports Grill 226 Alexander St W. 719-8187

Munchies 1707 James Redman Pkwy 757-5900

Camellia Rose Tea Room 120 N. Collins St. 659-8287

Olde Town Pizzeria 3011 James Redman Pkwy 752-5800

Coffee 101 101 E. J. Arden Mays Blvd. 659-0101

Orange Blossom Tea Room 106 Evers St S 759-2247

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

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

Grandpa Johnsons BBQ 1305 Dr MLK Jr Blvd 759-0009

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Kazbor’s Grille 2212 James Redman Pkwy 752-2700

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 118

DINING GUIDE

Linda’s Crab Shack 202 Reynolds E 754-0492 Maryland Fried Chicken 315 N Alexander 752-9200

Snellgrove’s Restaurant 109 S Collins 752-3652 Strawberry Town 3161 Paul Buchman Hwy 754-8265 Sub Club 110 E Reynolds St, Suite 500 707-8606 Woody’s Bar-B-Q 203 Alexander St W 754-3229


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 119


D&E

JUST FOR FUN

NOW HIRING

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Deberes incluyen: -Examinar e inspeccionar los materiales y productos -Eliminar cualquier material defectuoso y colocarlo en areas designadas -Medir y contar los materiales -Empacar y preparar los materiales para almecenar y ser transportados

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M&N PLASTICS, INC. Apply in Person

2706 Turkey Creek Rd M&N Plastics, Inc. offers competitive compensation package.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 120


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 121


PLANT CITY June 15, Friday Coffee 101 will hold a Drum Circle. Call (813) 659-0101 for more information.

June 16, Saturday Coffee 101 will host acoustical performances by Blake Emory, Adam Courtney, Mitch Downs and Jenny Flory. Call (813) 6590101 for more information. Plant City’s Dancing with the Stars will be held from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m., a benefit for the Plant City Bing Rooming House, featuring vocalist Danny Bouchet. For more information, visit www. plantcitybinghouse.com. The Strawberry Classic Car Show will be held in Historic Downtown from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Call (813) 754-3707 for more information. Ralph Allocco and Second Wind will perform at the Red Rose Dining Room. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information. The City of Plant City Recreation and Parks Department will hold its Youth Fishing Derby and Casting Contest, from 8:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. at the pond on Albertson Drive, West of Park Road, just north of Plant City Stadium at the Randy L. Larson Softball Fourplex. Age groups 6 to 10 and 11 to 15 - boys and girls are invited to participate. Preregistration preferred during the 3 weeks prior to the Derby. Do it online at http://www.plantcitygov. com/rec/FishingDerby/FishingDerby-June07/fishing-derby-registration-form.htm or download a flyer and fax or mail to us. Also register on site morning of the event. Call (813) 659-4200 Extension 4311 days or e-mail at

srossiter@plantcitygov.com for more information. Jackie’s Dance Theater presents “Disco”, their 48th annual recital at Tomlin Middle School, beginning at 2:00 p.m. Call (813) 7521683 or (813) 752-1621 for more information.

June 16 - 17, Saturday Sunday Hooters Softball Tournament will be held at the Randy L. Larson Softball Four-Plex with a charge of $250 per ASA registered team. Men’s and Women’s “C” and “D” Divisions are included, with a 4 game guarantee (3 game group play, then single elimination bracket). Call (813) 659-4292 for more information.

June 17, Sunday Happy Father’s Day! Enjoy the Red Rose Dining Room’s special Father’s Day menu featuring cold sides, soup, hot sides, full carving station and gourmet dessert display. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

June 18, Monday A volunteer prayer training seminar will be held at the Wesley Centre in downtown Plant City from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. The seminar is sponsored by Somebody Cares Plant City in conjunction with Somebody Cares Tampa Bay. Somebody Cares Prayer line is an arm of support for both ministries working together with our churches and compassion ministries to better serve our communities. Call (813) 309-3558 for more information.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 122

Event Calendar June 18 - 22, Monday - Friday Registration for Session # 2 of the Summer Youth Tennis Program runs at the Plant City Tennis Center. Session (2) starts June 25th and ends July 12th (July 4th classes will be held on July 6th). Tots classes are on Monday & Wednesday or Tuesday & Thursday from 8:15 a.m to 9:00 a.m with the cost being $25.00 for the three-week session. Beginners’ classes are on Monday & Wednesday or Tuesday & Thursday from 9:00 a.m to 10:30 a.m with the cost being $50.00 for the three-week session. Call (813) 707-7485 or e-mail sjohnson@plantcitygov.com for more information.

June 19, Tuesday Bill Heard, T.A. Mahoney and Kazbor’s will host a professional saltwater fishing seminar, including prizes and refreshments, from 6:45 p.m. until 8:45 p.m. Call (813) 359-5018 for more information. A Dance/Theatre Workshop will begin at 2:30 p.m. at the Bruton Memorial Library for ages 5 to 12 years–Plant City Children’s Little Theatre will present an interactive workshop introducing boys and girls to various styles of dance and theatre techniques. An excerpt from the musical, “Newsies,” will be featured. For more information, call (813) 757-9215.

June 21, Thursday Thursday, June 21 at 10:30 a.m.–-Prof. Vic Larsen’s One-Man Junk Band will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Bruton Memorial Library for ages 5-12 years–Vic

Larsen takes ordinary items and turns them into musical instruments. Would you believe that a toilet seat becomes a guitar that works? This interactive program on music theory becomes great fun and informative, too. 2:30 p.m. begins the Play‘N Around Traveling Children’s Theatre for ages 5-12. Robbie Colley and other members of Play‘N Around Traveling Children’s Theatre present “Princess & the Pea.” This high-energy production is put to original music with dancing, singing, and audience participation. For more information, call (813) 757-9215.

June 22, Friday The Legends of Doo Wop featuring Tommy Mara, Frank Mancuso, Steve Horn and Jimmy Gallagher will perform at the Red Rose Dining Room. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

June 23, Saturday The Habitat for Humanity Plant City Chapter is holding a children’s carnival from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the Train Depot in downtown Plant City. Volunteers are needed, and all are welcome to attend the event! Call (813) 716-1088 or (813) 717-7946 for more information. Coffee 101 will hold a guitar class from 2:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. Call (813) 659-0101 for more information. The Tea of Significance will be held at the Evangelical Presbyterian Church to benefit the Pregnancy Care Center of Plant City from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. For more information,


PLANT CITY call (813) 759-0886 or e-mail carecenter@ifriendly.com. Ralph Allocco and Second Wind will perform at the Red Rose Dining Room. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

June 27, Wednesday The City of Plant City’s Recreation and Parks Department Co-Ed Volleyball League season begins. For more information, call (813) 659-4200 Extension 4302.

June 28, Thursday Leah’s Cartooning Workshop will be held at the Bruton Memorial Library. Join local teen artist Leah Lopez as she shows how to draw people, animals and popular cartoon characters in this interactive workshop. Materials included. Beginner: Ages 5 & up at 10:30 a.m. and Anime: Ages 9 & up at 2:30 p.m.

June 29, Friday Coffee 101 will hold a jam session. Call (813) 659-0101 for more information.

June 30, Saturday Ralph Allocco and Second Wind will perform at the Red Rose Dining Room. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

July 4, Wednesday Happy Independence Day! The City of Plant City’s Recreation and

Parks Department will hold their annual 4th of July celebration at the Plant City Stadium. Call (813) 659-4200 Extension 4311 days or e-mail at srossiter@plantcitygov. com for more information. ELKS LODGE # 1727 ANNUAL 4TH OF JULY BAR-B-Q 11:00 am - 4:00 pm Plant City Elks Lodge 1501 N Alexander St. Plant City. Donation Adults $7.00 Proceeds benefits Florida Elks Charities

July 5, Thursday Reptile Discovery will be held at the Bruton Memorial Library beginning at 10:30 a.m. for ages 5-12 years. Bruce Shwedick brings some of your favorite animals from different parts of the world for introduction to boys and girls. Meet Myron, a bananaeating turtle, Gabriel, an African monitor lizard, and Banana Boy, a 16-foot albino Indian rock python. For more information, call (813) 757-9215.

July 6 - 7, Friday - Saturday Plant City Entertainment, Inc. Community Theater will present “Music Man” at Hillsborough Community College’s Trinkle Center, beginning at 8:00 p.m. both evenings. For more information, call (813) 630-4519.

July 7, Saturday The Bike Fest will be held in historic downtown from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Call (813) 7543707 for more information. Ralph Allocco and Second Wind will perform at the Red Rose Dining Room. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

Event Calendar July 12, Thursday A Puppet Show for ages 3-12 years will begin at the Bruton Memorial Library at 10:00 & 11:00 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. Creative Arts presents “The Magic Gourd.” When a kind rabbit rescues a chameleon from a thorny bush, he is awarded with a magical gourd that fills itself with whatever he wishes! However, soon a greedy king tries to claim the gourd as his own. For more information, call (813) 757-9215.

July 13 - 15, Friday - Sunday Plant City Entertainment, Inc. Community Theater will present “Music Man” at Hillsborough Community College’s Trinkle Center, beginning at 8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2:00 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call (813) 630-4519.

July 14, Saturday Ralph Allocco and Second Wind will perform at the Red Rose Dining Room. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

RECURRING EVENTS Tuesdays: Toddler Time begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Bruton Memorial Library with activities for children 15-30 months and a caregiver; 20-30 minutes of stories, finger plays, and songs. Preschoolers begins 10:30 a.m., with activities for 2 _ -5 year old children; 30-45 minutes of stories, music, games

and a take-home activity. School Age Story Program begins at 2:30 p.m. with Literature-based program for ages 6-12 years; 4560 minutes of interactive stories, crafts, games, & other surprises. For more information, call (813) 757-9215.

Wednesdays: Feature Films begin at 2:30 p.m. at the Bruton Memorial Library for boys and girls, ages 5-14 years, who can sit through a full-length movie. Titles and times will be posted in the library. Films average about 1 _ to 2 hours. Mini-Workshops begin at10:30 a.m. Try something different this summer! Boys and girls complete a different project each week. The 60 minute workshops include all materials and instruction. Attendance is limited to 20 boys & girls at least 8and up to 14 years of age. Free tickets will be given out one hour before each workshop until space is filled. For more information, call (813) 757-9215. Thursdays: Coffee 101 holds an art class from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Call (813) 659-0101 for more information. Destiny will perform at the Red Rose Dining Room. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

Fridays: Destiny will perform at the Red Rose Dining Room. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

Saturdays: Destiny will perform at the Red Rose Dining Room. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 123


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JUST WEST OF PARK ROAD IN PLANT CITY Call For Appointment

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 124

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 125


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WE’RE NOT LIKE THE OTHER SPORTS BARS.

Summer Drink Specials 7-10pm

$1 Mondays All Draft Mugs $2 Tuesdays Draft Pitchers $3 Wednesdays Margaritas

Now Serving Full Seafood Menu Steak Specials Every Weekend LUNCH SPECIAL

$5.49

Delivered in 15 Minutes or Itʼs FREE

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$4 Thursdays Jager Bomb’s

Summer Food Specials

6-9pm Monday - 25¢ Taco’s Tuesday - All You Can Eat Salad, Spaghetti and Meat Sauce $5.49 Wednesday - 2 for 1 Burgers Thursday - All You Can Eat Wings $8.95

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Gallery

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Pam’s Cell

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 126

863-802-5600 813-707-5600 863-670-2092


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • June 15, 2007 - July 15, 2007 • PG 127



FOCUS PC 06-06 June 2007