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LOCAL • REAL ESTATE • BUSINESS • SPORTS • DINING • ENTERTAINMENT VOLUME 6 NUMBER 7 • JULY 15, 2007 - AUGUST 15, 2007

FREE At 200+ Locations In Plant City

TAKE ONE

PLANT CITY EDITION

ricardo ciabatti

the man behind the food


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


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


J U LY 1 5 - A U G U S T 1 5 , 2 0 0 7

feature

local

50-54

7-48

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!

There’s a wonderful book that has been written about Plant City called, “Plant City: Its Origin & History.” Meet the man who partnered with Quintilla Geer Bruton in writing the book, find out why they dedicated so much time to the project, and hear from Bailey himself why he has spent his life with the people of Plant City.

sports

100 & 102

Photo by CHAD SPENCER

Each year at the end of the regular season, Plant City Little League gears up for its city championships. Players from age 5 through 15 are involved in a tournament within their division to determine a city champion. Last month the Remco Transmission Yankees became the city champs in the 7 and 8 year old Machine Pitch division.

dining & entertainment

120-131

Ceilings sparkling like stars, dining room elegance, and 50’s nostalgic touches of records and old fashioned cars decorating the room and tables perfected the ambience at the Red Rose dining room on Friday night, June 22nd. DooWop bopped into Plant City for the second time in classic style to another sold out music-filled night with friends.

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

spotlight

56-58

Several years ago, the Ramada Inn Plantation House opened its doors after an extensive renovation. The owners, Evelyn and Batista Madonia, have done a wonderful job of making the Red Rose Dining Room a favorite place to eat, both for locals and those traveling through town. The food is incredible, and the man behind the food is Chef Ricardo Ciabatti.

PULL-OUT SECTION Check out our second installment of the Business Focus section this month! More to come in our August 15 issue!

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, Janeel Shulmister CONTRIBUTORS Sherry Nueesch, Gil Gott, Al Ruechel, Shelton Keely, Michael Cameron, Bruce Rodwell, Natalie Sweet, Dr. Susan Ott, Lori Brown, Jack Holland, Helen Kent

Letters, Questions and Comments can be sent to us at ktoney@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:

Section Writer: Ruchelle Owens

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

Chef Ricardo Ciabatti

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


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


letter

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FROM THE EDITOR

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I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get tired. Know the feeling? When it’s 2:00 a.m., I’m still at the office trying to finish my to-do list and my coffee has just run out. I’m tired! There are days when I wonder why I do this, day in and day out. I’m sure you’ve experienced the same thing.

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I heard a song the other day called “You Remind Me Why”. The lyrics speak of a teacher, wondering if she had chosen the right career, until her problem student has a breakthrough. They speak of a soldier, tired and lonely, until he comes upon a captive and rescues her from a life of bondage.

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You remind me why, I dare to do it all You remind me why, I answered the call You’re all I need to see, I’m where I need to be There’s a reason I chose this life And you remind me why Every time I’m at Wal-Mart and someone walks up to me to tell me how much they love the magazine, it makes me smile. Every time I walk into the gym and my fellow patrons ask me what’s coming in the next issue, I’m excited to share. Every time I receive an e-mail or a phone call with a positive comment, it really does brighten my day. You’ve been there. You may be working harder than you ever had in your entire life, but as soon as you see a result in any way, the endless working fades and you’re ready to keep pressing on! Our Spotlight Interview this month is with Riccardo Ciabatti, Executive Chef of the Ramada Inn Plantation House. He is truly an individual who loves what he does, and does it all for the people of Plant City! Our feature checks in with David Bailey, who worked with Quintilla Geer Bruton on the book, Plant City: Its Origin and History, giving a voice to our community, and don’t forget our special Business Section, highlighting those who do it all for Plant City. I can honestly say that you, our readers, are why each and every one of us at Focus Magazine do what we do; from the publisher, to the editors, to the writers, straight on through graphic design and accounting; we are here to tell your stories. We believe everyone should have a voice in a place like Plant City, and we work to give that voice to you. You truly are the reason why. With You in Mind,

Kristen Toney Editorial Director

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


LOCAL

TALK OF THE TOWN

ception for her, which Marion Smith from the Chamber attended and presented Parrish with the Good Egg

Healthcare Alliance with the 2007 Premier Award for Quality for excellence in the care of patients in the are of Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI). Congratulations, and thanks to SFBH for all they do for us!

August 28. Major Korey Brown, son of Ed Brown of Plant City has been deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan. He will be working directly with NATO and the Director of International Security Assistance Forces. He will be away for approximately 7 months be-

Businesses in the Alexander Oaks business park came together to host a Block Party for the community! Along with lunch, business owners on hand to chat and fun giveaways,

Brand new officers have been installed to the Pilot Club of Plant City! President Jill Kinney, President-Elect Kathy White, Vice-President Ann Roberts, Corresponding Secretary Phylis Pastor, Recording Secretary Barbara Green, Treasurer Noma Riley, Directors Fran Heller, Nancy McLean and Virginia Berghofer, Club Operations Connie Kalel, Fundraising Ann Roberts and Projects Virginia Berghofer. Congratulations to all these individuals, and also to Nancy McLean, who was named Pilot of the Year! As well as installing the new officers, the club also honored student Kara Tumbleston with the Isabel Solomon Love in Action Scholarship. Kara was 10th in her class with a 5.86 GPA and plans to make her career in Business. We know she will do well! Roberta Parrish retired from Coldwell Banker this past month. She has been the Managing Broker at Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, and has been part of their office for more than 20 years. Her career in real estate spans nearly 30 years here in Plant City. Her colleagues held a re-

Award. Congratulations, Roberta! We wish you the best in your health and future! The Keller Williams Realty family would like to welcome Pat Comstock, who joins them from Exit Realty Consultants. Pat has joined with Keller Williams because she wanted to “be a part of something exciting!” We welcome you, as well, Pat! Congratulations to Freemarr Homes, who recently announced their newest community, Walden Pointe, located on the corner of Charlie Griffin and Mud Lake Roads. We know this new venture will be a great one for this great company! Rita Staffing announces that Janet Kelly, Staffing Manager for the Plant City Office, has successfully completed the necessary testing and is now a Certified Staffing Professional. This is one of the highest certifications that can be obtained through the American Staffing Association. Congratulations, Janet!

fore his return to his wife Tracy and twin daughters, Christina and Rachel. Korey, our thoughts and prayers for your safe return are with you!

there were also several ribbon cuttings for new businesses held. Thanks to all involved for including the community in your celebration! Congratulations to Rick and Di Lott, who are the recipients of the Plant City Family YMCA 2007 Strong Leader Award! The award will be presented to the Lotts during the 2007 Strong Leader Award Dinner on

South Florida Baptist Hospital has been recognized by the Premier

The Chris Welbon Karate Club tournament team has done an outstanding job this year. The AAU Karate National Tournament produced great results, with seven out of the 22 team members who qualified able to make the trip to Winston Salem, NC. There were over 1800 competitors and all seven CWKC team members placed within the top ten in the nation. Congratulations to all the students! Our thoughts and prayers go out to Robin Emery, former Editor of Focus, in the loss of her husband, Robert Emery. Robert leaves behind his wife, as well as five children.

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Story by Cheryl Johnston Photos by Melanie Malcuit

Tea of Significance

PREGNANCY CARE CENTER’S 3RD ANNUAL BENEFIT

Elegant rose themed table

African themed table

irls know how to have fun – especially when it’s for a great cause. The Pregnancy Care Center’s 3rd Annual “Tea of Significance” benefit on June 23rd hosted 160 women (plus a few good men) at the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) to increase awareness, donations, and volunteer service for this non-profit, pro-life organization.

Twenty-one creatively themed tables, seating 160 women (and a few good men), were inspired by individual table sponsors or business owners. Encouraging friends enjoyed delicious English tea treats served by Kathy’s Katering. Guests’ votes selected winning table designs by Commissioner Mary Thomas Mathis, Heritage Law Group, and Aunt Donna’s Butterfly Garden. Additionally, a silent auction and Chinese auction earned $1,500 to benefit the medical, intervention, prevention, and post-abortion or sexual abuse recovery programs offered by the PCC.

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The center, open weekdays from 9 to 5 or by appointment, serves our community by helping women choose life, in more ways than one. Significant growth in client numbers requires more operating funds and much-needed additional space to adequately serve those clients. Donations and fundraisers are the center’s only source of income. Citizen generosity is the center’s lifeline. Sponsors this year were the host church (EPC), Camilla Rose Tea Room & Gifts, Hopewell Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens, the firm of Byrd & Stitzel, P.A., and Patricia McClure. American Sandblasting & Painting, LLC provided door prizes.

Director Mary Alice Hendricks reported, “This has been the most difficult year for the PCC, yet at the same time, perhaps the most productive. We have had to walk by faith as never before.” The non-profit medical clinic status allows the center to offer free, confidential pregnancy tests and ultrasound verification. Client visits by abortion-minded women have increased 12-fold in 2007. Thankfully, ultrasound confirmation visually allows those women to see their baby’s development, helping approximately 90% choose prolife. With more decisions for life comes even greater responsibility for the staff and volunteers, as these women and families need friendship, emotional support, supplies, and visible evidence of God’s love and encouragement. Obviously greater responsibility requires more funding. Board of Directors member Patty McClure appealed for financial support at the tea’s conclusion. Statistics can never tell the best story, but these from January through May, 2007, prove compelling. The center sees from 75-100 clients each month, providing 40-50 pregnancy tests and 13-20

ultrasound confirmations. Often, difficult situations open doors and hearts for people to receive spiritual help. McClure encouraged attendees to think on things that are pure, honest, trustworthy, and to support those with money and prayers. A $5 monthly commitment would be as simple as foregoing one “hamburger-French fries-Diet Coke” meal. This is a great idea, not to mention how it will help waistlines and wellness. Please consider financially supporting this valuable organization. Also, mark your calendars for September 11, 2007 and the center’s Celebration for Life fall fundraising banquet. This year’s keynote speaker is NY Times bestselling author, Stephen Mansfield, whose most recent book, The Faith of the American Soldier involved research embedded with our troops in Iraq. Call Mary Alice Hendricks at 759-0886 to offer table sponsorships, donations, or volunteer help. In our town, helping the Pregnancy Care Center is one of the most noble and effective sacrifices citizens can make. Get involved to help save lives and touch hearts.

Two event highlights were the Denise Young Boutique fashions modeled by local women and the IMPACT Teen Advisor presentation. The summer group of students performed several skits illustrating pressures teens face. These high schoolers interview for paid positions which involve sharing the message of healthy life choices with local schools, clubs, groups, and neighborhoods.

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

Teen Advisors perform skit

Director Mary Alice Hendricks


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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 • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 9


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

Chamber of Commerce There is still time to enroll in the LEADERSHIP PROGRAM OF THE GREATER PLANT CITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. The goal of this truly fine Leadership Program is to prepare current and future leaders of our Greater Plant City community for decisions that must be made as our city continues to grow and develop. 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. Call the Chamber office at 813-7543707 for enrollment details. This is a great program and one the Chamber knows that after participating in, you will be glad you made this commitment to your own future, as well as the future of Plant City. This is truly a unique program.

1701 South Alexander Street. Be sure to call the Chamber office at 813-754-3707 to RSVP. Great fun and a chance to meet your Plant City neighbors. ★★★★★★★★★★

Also, mark Saturday, July 21st on your calendar. That’s the date of the STRAWBERRY CLASSIC CAR SHOW in historic downtown Plant City. This is great family fun. Lots of cars, vendors, food and entertainment. Starts at 4:00 PM. ★★★★★★★★★★

Congratulations to our wonderful hospital. The Premier Healthcare Alliance recently recognized the nation’s top hospitals for their commitment to outstanding patient care and operational efficiency with the 2007 PREMIER AWARD FOR QUALITY.

★★★★★★★★★★

PLANT CITY ENTERTAINMENT, in conjunction with Hillsborough Community College Plant City Campus, will present “MUSIC MAN” on July 20 and 21. This great presentation will take place at the Trinkle Center at HCC. The show gets underway at 8 PM both nights. For ticket information, call Frances Hardee at 813-754-4929. ★★★★★★★★★★

Congratulations to RICK LOTT on his being named Plant City’s Mayor, and to ROBERT BROWN, who is our new Vice Mayor. Both of these fine gentlemen are former Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce Board Chairmen. ★★★★★★★★★★

Mark this date on your calendars…. Thursday, July 26th from 5:15 to 7 PM. That’s the date and time of the next Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce BUSINESS AFTER HOURS. This month’s event is being held at O’Brien’s Irish Pub & Bistro,

year olds Wednesday, July 25: Mini-Workshop – Wrapping Presents 10:30 AM Thursday, July 26: Fritzy Bros. One-Man Circus at 10:30 for 5-12 year olds

Hospitals that win the Premier Award for Quality deliver the highest quality of care in a cost-effective way. Our SOUTH FLORIDA BAPTIST HOSPITAL was a 2007 AWARD FOR QUALITY winner in the Acute Myocardial Infraction (Heart Attack) category. Premier is the largest healthcare alliance in the United States, dedicated to improving patient outcomes. They serve more than 1,700 hospitals and 46,500 other healthcare sites. A tip of the Chamber hat to all the Team Members at our great hospital! ★★★★★★★★★★

What’s happening at the BRUTON MEMORIAL LIBRARY: Tuesday, July 17: Storytimes, 9:30 for Toddlers and 10:30 for Preschoolers Sports & Automotive at 2:30 for 6-12 year olds Wednesday, July 18: Mini-Workshop – Painting at 10:30 AM Thursday, July 19: Special “Our Own Pet Show” 10:30 AM for 6-12

For additional information, call the Library at 813-757-9215. ★★★★★★★★★★

Now that we are in the hurricane season, you want to be sure you familiarize yourself with the hurricane jargon and Hillsborough County government’s role during an emergency. Hurricane WATCH – Issued when costal lands are in danger of experiencing hurricane conditions within the next 36 hours. Hurricane WARNING – Issued when costal lands are in danger of experiencing sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour within the next 24 hours. Meet with your family and create a disaster plan. Review it often. Hillsborough County residents can watch television, channel HTV22, or go to www.hillsboroughcounty.org for continuous updates or to sign up for an emergency news e-mail subscription service. ★★★★★★★★★★

On June 22nd the Chamber held their monthly Contact Breakfast at the Ramada Inn. The program was presented by Tampa Electric and featured University of South Florida football coach Jim Levitt and Director of Athletics, Doug Woolard. At the breakfast it was announced that they are holding a “Service Organization Night” on Saturday, September 22nd. The USF Bulls will be hosting North Carolina. Tickets are $22.00 and for each ticket purchased, USF Athletics will make a donation of $2.00 to your group or organization. A minimum of 10 tickets must be purchased by your

organization. Tickets come with Club Access to the East Club Lounge of Raymond James Stadium. This is a wonderful opportunity for your Club or Organization to support the great USF football team. All orders must be received by September 20th. Call John Lewis at 813-974-7492 or you can e-mail him at JohnL@admin.usf.edu GO BULLS!! ★★★★★★★★★★

Want to help out at our Plant City YMCA? Volunteers are needed to help with decorating, setting up, taking down, serving food and coordinating for special events that will be taking place. There is also a need for volunteers to serve as coaches, assistant coaches, scorekeepers, and referees to help with the various Youth Super Sports throughout the year. There are several other volunteer opportunities and you can call Donna Hines at 813-757-6677 for more information on how you can help. While on the subject of the YMCA, if you are the parent or guardian of a young lady that will be moving up into middle school, there are fabulous workshops taking place at our Plant City YMCA on Saturday, August 11th. Space is limited, so call and register today. The cost is $5.00 for girls and parents are free. Parent participants will receive a complimentary lunch and a chance to win a Yacht StarShip dinner cruise for two. Girl participants will receive a YMCA backpack stuffed full of goodies, a chance to win one free month youth membership and a complimentary lunch. Call the Y at 813-757-6677 to enroll in this great MOVIN UP CELEBRATION.

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


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Story & Photos by Holly Mallalieu

Skeleton Garden

DINOSAUR WORLD ADDS NEW EXHIBIT TO PARK

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ne of Plant City’s most known attraction sites has just recently added a brand new exhibit to its already full trail of activities. First time visitors will be happy to find something different to do or see along almost every twist and turn of Dinosaur World’s extended pathway.

And, for those returning to the park, you can’t miss the Skeleton Garden-an interesting display recently opened featuring life-size models of just what it sounds like – the large, detailed, and realistic-looking bones of dinosaurs seen throughout the park.

A Tricerotops, one of several life-size figures that can be seen in the Skeleton Garden

The exhibit, which comes up on the right just following the fossil dig site, holds six replica skeletons, primarily made of fiberglass, and all created by the craftsmanship of Polish artist Andrzej Rejmer. Both he and Dinosaur World spent about one full year of hard work on this project before opening it back in March. Further along the trail, a towering 40-foot tall T-Rex looms over the boardwalk. A much more up-close look at this favorite display can be seen in the Skeleton Garden, where a replica skull of the giant T-Rex sits perched for examining.

The front entrance to the newest addition to Dinosuar World, Skeleton Garden

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

In addition to this, the garden also holds the skulls of a Brachiosaurus and Protoceratops. Full skeletons of

a Stegosaurus and Triceratops will also capture the attention of anyone visiting. All of the dinosaur bones in the exhibit can be read about in more detail from the explanation boxes placed in front of them, as can all exhibits throughout the park. “We’re trying to do new things all the time,” said Dinosaur World’s manager, Marlene Svensson, who has held the position since the park opened. “We’re committed to educational learning and hope to continue to grow.” This fresh addition to the area is worth seeing, and is a wonderful idea if you’re looking for a fun and family-centered way to spend an afternoon.


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PROUDLY SERVING PLANT CITY SINCE 1988

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


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

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Story & Photo by Holly Mallalieu

Pat Newsom PLANT CITY IS HOME!

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or Pat Newsom, Plant City has always been home. How could it be anything less when this is the place where she grew up, met her husband, and raised their four kids? She may have lived in three different places, but each was within one mile of each other, and she has now been in the same house for 20 years. She has seen many changes in Plant City, just as anyone who has grown up here will tell you, but still appreciates it for what has always made it so special – its small town feel and the wonderful people who live here. Growing up, Pat attended Jackson Elementary, which was right next to her childhood home on Calhoun Street. After finishing 6th grade, she moved on to Tomlin Middle School until 9th, and finally Plant City High School, where she was involved in the National Honors Society, Civinettes, and the Teens for Christ club.

The summer of her 8th grade year, Pat worked a summer youth program at the Tomlin library. After the school’s librarian recommended her, she was hired at the Bruton Memorial Library at the age of 15, and she worked there for the next 13 years. It was there that she met her husband, Bill, and the two were married 11 months later at Eastside Baptist Church. Pat stayed home for 19 years as a housewife and home schooled their four kids, Emily, Sarah, James, and Laura. This September will be three years she has now been at Fred’s Market where she works as a hostess/cashier, along with two of her daughters. Pat may have seen many changes since growing up here, but that hasn’t taken away from the town that she’s been a part of for so long. With quite a history already, she’s just adding more on to the memories she already has here, and we’re so glad she’s around!

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Pat Newsom FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 14


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Story & Photo by Janeel Shulmister

Habitat For Humanity CHILDREN’S CARNIVAL

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he musical magic of Kenny Flint & The Rough Diamond Band greeted guests as they arrived at the Habitat for Humanity Plant City Chapter’s June 23rd Children’s Carnival, held at the Train Depot in downtown Plant City. Community and business partners, games, food, prizes and the dedication of many Habitat volunteers created a day of family fun and public awareness. “Our goal right now is to get the name out. What better way than to come out right in the community we serve and have some fun, ” said Laurie Hofts, public and church relations for the Plant City Chapter. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is a familiar name across the

nation, yet many Plant City residents are unaware there is a local chapter. “One of our hugest battles is awareness. People need to know that we’re here,” emphasized Hofts. With a mission to eliminate substandard housing in Plant City, the chapter gives those who may not qualify for conventional home loans a chance at home ownership. Chairman Don Rainard stated, “I think the concept that people need to understand the most is that Habitat is not a hand out, it’s a hand up.” Habitat homeowner Melanie Bettis said, “Their whole philosophy, it just makes you feel like a person.” Families must qualify based on income, come up with a down payment, be able to pay the mortgage

Habitat homeowners (centered) Etta James, and Melanie Bettis, with son Jake, surrounded by Core Habitat Team

and volunteer 500 hours of sweat equity in the home building process. According to Rainard, future goals of the chapter are to build a diversified board of directors, find land, volunteers, families and sponsorships.

the love and dedication put into its creation. It is the current that runs through the organization; “I love volunteering. I love giving to our community,” said fourteen-year-old Myles Layman.

A child’s playhouse valued at $1,000.00 was the main prize of the day and sparked the theme for the carnival. Built by Habitat volunteers, no dollar amount could equal

If you would like more information on Habitat for Humanity Plant City Chapter, please go to www.plantcityhabitatforhumanity.org.

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


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Story & Photos by Wendy S. Brown

HCC Shaping Plant City’s Future DEGREES BENEFIT LOCAL POTENTIAL EMPLOYEES

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ollars in our wallets, matched funds, and very generous donors team with HCC Plant City to affect our community’s future. Broad visionaries don’t see a bedroom community, but a cohesive Plant City whose residents live and work here while embracing our quality life.

ter. According to HCC Plant City President Felix Haynes, current chair Ed Verner “is a tremendous leader.” By summers end, the $1.7 to $1.8 million-dollar goal should be met, while generating $900,000 in state matching funds that Gwen Stevenson, HCC President, states stays in Plant City.

In 2005, the Growth Fund Campaign Committee was created. Dave Miller, Bob Edwards, Hugh Gramling, Robert Trinkle, and Jennifer Chlossey, first chairman, embraced the challenge to furnish the John R. Trinkle Community Cen-

Now, has the HCC campaign raised all this money for furniture, moveable walls, and a media package? The answer is a resounding NO! How will this campaign benefit Plant City? The objective: increase high school graduates, increase HCC attendance, allow students to gain workable and marketable skills to keep our youth here. Discussions with area high schools and school district representatives led to the Bridge program. Strategies include specific tutoring, mentoring juniors, showcasing local HCC kids, and doubling offered programs. Maida Pou gave a large scholarship fund. Workshops on college success, life skills, and

HCC President Felix Haynes stands ready to bring HCC to the next level

leadership will increase success rates.

Water Treatment, Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electricity.

Ideas and Innovations surveyed local employers to identify training needed, while Alcoa wanted specific technicians. New programs at HCC include AAS degree in Building Construction Management, Certificate programs in Industrial Maintenance, Advanced

Felix Haynes and our community leaders working together have passionately created programs to benefit the Plant City’s future in workforce development, training locals for needed specific jobs that will expand business. Thanks for shaping our future!

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

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Story & Photo by Heather Davis

Combining Art WITH REAL LIFE

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here are two types of artists in this world; those who are able to make it their means of livelihood or career, and those who pursue it as a hobby or outlet for their creativity. Most of us fall into the latter category; working our day jobs but finding various means to express ourselves artistically. I was able to meet one such individual who, although she works a day job as a Computer Software Engineer, finds a creative outlet through painting. Laura Brown began an interest in painting through fellow artist and friend, Clay Hood, who encouraged and helped her learn technique. Mrs. Brown’s choice of medium is acrylic. Rather than paint on canvas, she prefers to use recycled materials such as wood, cardboard, and other found materials.

Upon viewing Mrs. Brown’s artwork, one is struck immediately by the color and vibrancy she produces. In her paintings she is inspired by the simple things in life. One of her paintings which takes center stage in her living room was inspired by a flower that blooms twice a year and only at night. Struck by its beauty, she was moved to paint the “Queen of the Night.” Mrs. Brown has sold several of her paintings to a local restaurant in Tampa, as well as several to neighbors, but many she has given away to friends. When Mrs. Brown is not pursuing painting, she also is learning how to play guitar and loves to travel. As a resident of Plant City for the past three and a half years, she has also beautifully and artistically restored a bungalow home in the downtown historic Plant City area. In this world of nose to the grindstone, it’s refreshing to meet individuals such as Mrs. Brown who can find ways to break free and provide the world with a breath of fresh air.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 17


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Story & Photos courtesy of Jack Holland

11th Bi-Annual Fishing Derby

SPONSORED BY THE PLANT CITY RECREATION & PARKS DEPARTMENT

Special thanks go to T.A. Mahoney, Bill’s Bait & Tackle, Imperial Pizza of Mulberry, Turkey Creek Bait & Tackle, Harold’s Outdoor Products Plant City, Culpret Worms, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Front: Brandon Williamson, Jacob Bender, Payton Ray, Bailey Meachum, Rachael Anthony; Back: Noah Pawlowski, Daniel Watford, Commission and Austin Dempsey, Joshua Meachum, Nathaniel Baker, Eddy Totherow Bill Heard Chevrolet Plant City he City of Plant City Recreation for their support in making this event & Parks Department’s bi-annual such a success. Youth Fishing Derby was a great sucThis is the 11th year the Recreation cess on Saturday, June 16, at a city & Parks has held the bi-annual derpond behind Plant City Stadium. bies. The location has been moni-

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

tored by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and was a test site when stocked with brown bullhead catfish in 2000. A special thanks goes to our fishing derby judge, T.J. Vail, for his masterful weighing of the catches. Two Fishing Derby records were broken or tied this weekend: Biggest Bass ever: 4 lb 0 oz - Noah Powlowski (old record 3 lb 4 oz set July 2001) and Biggest Catfish ever: 5 lb 6 oz - Rachael Anthony (tied old record set January 2007). All records are listed on the Fishing Derby Web site at http://www.plantcitygov.com/ rec/rec-youth-class-fish-derby.htm. RESULTS: 1st Bass CaughtBrandon Williamson

1st Catfish CaughtRachael Anthony 6-10 years Largest Fish CaughtPayton Ray 4lb 8oz Bowfin Most Fish CaughtDaniel Watford 14 total 11-15 years Largest Fish CaughtRachael Anthony 5lb 6oz Catfish Most Fish CaughtBailey Meachum 8 total 6-10 years Casting ChampionAustin Dempsey 2nd place- Noah Pawlowski 3rd place- Jacob Bender 11-15 years Casting ChampionJoshua Meachum 2nd place- Eddy Totherow 3rd place- Nathaniel Baker


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


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Story by Daniel Sperry Photos courtesy of HR Plant City

Group Tries To Improve Workplaces HELPS RAISE AWARENESS OF EMPLOYMENT RULES

H

R Plant City is trying to make a difference in the community. Human Resource professionals from across the area have been meeting on the third Wednesday of each month to improve their skills and to discuss ways to improve working conditions in Plant City.

Jenny Hough is the Treasurer for the group and believes that they are an important part of building a strong community. “HR Plant City meets at the Ramada with the purpose of networking and supporting one another

with new ideas,” said Hough. She says that they have worked with the Plant City Chamber on local wage and benefit surveys as well. “We share resumes of qualified candidates and also help secure [jobs] for any displaced employees.” Hough said that they think it is very important to know which companies treat their employees well in the city so they can point people in the right direction at Job Fairs and when they have to lay someone off themselves. “I certainly want them to obtain employment at a company I know will treat them well,” said Hough.

Meetings like this are when the HR Plant City group come up with plans and ideas for workplace innovation

INSTANT GRATIFICATION

“This is a group of people representing employers who really care about the community,” said Hough.

At the monthly meetings there are special speakers and discussions on topics such as OSHA Updates, Immigration Law, and Management Training. Speakers are experts in the fields on which they are presenting and give attendees a new perspective and more information on important subjects that impact the working lives of individuals. HR Plant City hopes to raise awareness of workplace issues in Plant City. They believe that by coming together to meet and discuss these issues, they will help make Plant City a great place to work for employees as well as employers. For more information on the group, visit www.hrplantcity. com or call 813-707-5420.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 20

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


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Story & Photo by Daniel Sperry

Man Volunteers 2,000 Hours in Four Years TEACHES SENIORS TO USE COMPUTERS

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enry Wright is a busy man. Working full-time at the Plant City Police Department would be enough to make anyone look forward to going home at the end of the day and unwinding in front of the television with their favorite show. But not Wright. So far in the last four years, Wright has volunteered more than 2,000 hours of his time to help seniors learn how to use computers.

From the Police Department to volunteer work, Henry Wright has dedicated himself to helping the community.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 22

Every Tuesday and Thursday, Wright goes to 1111 S Gibbs St. to the Improvement League of

Plant City and teaches from 5:307:30 p.m. Seniors learn the basics of starting a computer, opening programs, and using a mouse, and then they move into more complex operations like using the Internet and sending and receiving email. “I love to be able to do something to help seniors stay connected with the world,” says Wright. Wright was encouraged to begin working as a volunteer four years ago by the Grand Master of the Mason Lodge where Wright is a member. “He said that we should be making a difference in our community,” says Wright. “I’ve always enjoyed teaching and I

just thought this would be a great thing to do.” It does not end with teaching computers to the elderly, though. Wright plans on starting another volunteer project within the year. “I want to set up a boys club for kids from age 9 to 19,” says Wright. “It would be a way to teach them some values and get them plugged in to something that is good rather than getting in trouble in the neighborhoods.” Wright is certainly busy, but he is also happy. His lined face melts into an easy grin as he talks about his volunteer work and how satisfying it is to be making a difference.


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 23


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Story & Photo by Debbie Bowers

A World Leader in the Making LOCAL STUDENT GOES TO THE NATION’S CAPITAL

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t the ripe old age of twelve, Juan Marquez, a 6th grader at Marshall Middle School has

a profound outlook on life. Be patient and try your best to accomplish your dreams. Last year, Marquez was nominated by his teacher, Ms. Gentry, from Bryan Elementary School to attend a People to People World Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. The student was nominated and accepted for the honor, based on outstanding scholastic merit, civic involvement, and leadership potential.

Juan with his best friend and Mom, Lucy Marquez

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

During his spring break he attended with other sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students throughout the world, an opportunity to learn, be challenged and earn academic credit while

exploring the most prominent monuments and institutions of the United States. Students entered America’s centers of justice, legislation, sought history and witnessed how successful leaders develop strategies and foster change. From Capital Hill to Colonial Williamsburg, Juan, a delegate, took part in daily group discussions and activities which built knowledge, self-confidence, communication skills, leadership skills, lasting friendships and interaction with his peers. When the week ended, Juan received 65 credit hours which will be applied to his transcript when he reaches high school. Dwight D. Eisenhower created his vision through a program for students to

foster world citizenship during his presidency in 1956. Among other achievements, Juan received a high merit for an essay which was published in a “Celebrating What is Important to Me” book on the victims who survived the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina. When Juan is not busy with school work, he’s involved in soccer as a goal keeper for the Plant City Lancers. Marquez stated, “I am thankful I had the opportunity to attend this program and learn so much about myself and the world I live in.” Someday, this engaging young man with a zeal for diplomacy may become a world leader.


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


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Story & Photo by Kristen Toney

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

GLENN D. TURNER, A.R.N.P.

A New Vehicle

AVAILABLE AT LOTT-MATHER

O

n June 14, those who make up the Lott-Mather dealership held a special reception for a brand new vehicle now available right here in Plant City. Instead of the typical dealership release, the Buick professionals took this introduction to the next level at Walden Lake Golf & Country Club. Amidst refreshments, good conversation and a few holes of golf, the all new Buick Enclave was presented. The first luxury crossover SUV ever, potential buyers and even those who were curious were invited out to test drive the vehicle, talk with the sales professionals and enjoy complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres. The Buick Enclave is, according to Buick, “the culmination of the best we’ve ever been.” The refined cabin offers exceptional luxury, with silk-infused leather seating, warm wood tones, brushed

aluminum elements, rich fabrics, bright chrome accents and precision quartz analog clock. It offers impressive standard features, such as a power lift gate, OnStar Directions & Connections Plan with Turn-by-Turn Navigation, XM satellite radio, and AM/FM/XM stereo with single disc CD/MP3 player, auxiliary input jack and six speakers. In comparison to similar vehicles such as the Acura MDX, Lexus RX 350, Lincoln MKX and Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Buick Enclave clearly wins by far. Not only was the Enclave on display, but other vehicles, such as the Chevy Acadia and the Pontiac Solstice sat along the green. Thanks to those at Lott-Mather for introducing this new vehicle to Plant City in style! For more information on the Enclave, call 1-866-460-7652.

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

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A variety of vehicles were on display for all in attendance

1802 W. Reynolds (Just East of Fairgrounds) www.brownsfloralshop.com FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 27


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 28


lott mather

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


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Story & Photos by Pat Hearn

Preserving the Past

BENEFIT DINNER RAISES MONEY FOR THE BING HOUSE just happens to be Janie Bing’s grandson, realized the work that needed to be done and called for some help.

A pro dancing couple shows the audience how it’s done

L

ong ago, in the rural town that was Plant City, Janie Wheeler Bing ran a rooming house and restaurant in her home during the segregation era. The Bing House served as a home to AfricanAmerican truck drivers, teachers, and entrepreneurs. The house was opened in the 1920’s and was home to many minorities through its 50 years in operation, until its closing in 1975. Fast forward 30 years. The house, having weathered the past 80 years (as well as termites), was in need of some major repairs. The current owner, Jimmy Washington, who

That’s where the Improvement League of Plant City, Inc. stepped in. The Improvement League is a non-profit organization that works to address the needs of the community and gathers the resources needed for the community to make necessary changes and improvements. Realizing the importance and historical value of the house, the Improvement League set about restoring the house and having it placed on the National Register of Historical Places. Ten years and over 200,000 dollars later, the house looks brand new (well, on the outside at least). With a new coat of paint and some external renovations, the house looks much like it did when it was first built. To get the funds for this massive undertaking, the Improvement League has sought grants as well as held fundraisers. Saturday night, June 16th, was the third dinner fundraiser that has been held for the Bing House. The dinner was held in Cronin Hall at St. Clements

One couple’s tango lessons really pay off

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

Old pictures, like this one, lined Cronin Hall

Catholic Church. The hall, decorated with balloons and star cut-outs, was lined with old photographs, including photos of the Bing House before its reconstruction. The attendees paid 50 dollars per ticket to enjoy the festivities. Those in attendance included Rick Lott, the newly elected mayor of Plant City, who helped finance the project, several Improvement League members, and Jimmy Washington himself. A delicious steak and chicken dinner was provided by Outback Steakhouse.

So what’s to become of the Bing House? Well, the Improvement League has big plans for the historical abode located in the center of the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Come to find out, the Bing House is the only surviving historical site from the segregation era in Plant City. Therefore, the house is intended to be a segregation era museum. The museum will feature a genealogy room where residents can trace their ancestry, as well as provide testimonial histories from interviewed people.

As if a buffet-style dinner wasn’t enough, live entertainment was also provided. The theme of the dinner was Dancing with the Stars, so a professional dancing troupe was very appropriate. The troupe danced the tango to the music of the Argentine group, the Trio Buenos Aires and Danny Bouchet. The band, along with the troupe, entertained the audience for well over an hour. Afterwards, the troupe handed the floor over to the audience so couples could show off the tango lessons they had been taking.

A project of this magnitude may seem like too much to handle. However, the members of the Improvement League are confident. “We feel like we are on the right track,” says William Thomas, Jr. Despite a minor set-back this past November, things seem to be moving more smoothly for the house. “Tonight is a celebration,” declares Mr. Thomas to the 100 plus seated in Cronin Hall. “A few people said this couldn’t be done.” Skeptics beware, the Improvement League, along with its supporters, are bound and determined to make this vision become a reality. An open house date is expected for sometime early next year.


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 31


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he Plant City Planters 14U team was formed in the fall of 2001 by Roger Brown, Mark Jordan and Mike Moore. The Planters have traveled throughout Florida to play area teams and have participated in AAU and USSSA state sanctioned tournaments throughout Florida. As a 9-under team, the Planters placed 3rd in the USSSA Fall Twin Classic Tournament. Followed up by that in 2004, the Planters finished 3rd place in the Sunshine Baseball 1st Pitch Classic Tournament. Jumping forward in 2006, the Planters finished 3rd place in the Slug-A-Rama Tournament and accepted overall 3rd place for the 2006 Fall Season in the Fire Division. Most recently they were named 2007 Division II State Champions! The Planters competed in the AAU State Tournament over Memorial Day weekend at Lake Bonney Park in Lakeland and were the 6th overall seed. They began pool play on Friday against the #11 seed, Caloosa Crush, winning strong by 13-0. On Saturday morning, they

took the field against the #3 seed, Gainesville Bats. The Bats battled until the last run was scored and proved to be the quality opponent the Planters expected. On Sunday morning after a tough loss, the Planters’ bats came to life against the #5 seed, Plant City Lobos, in the 2nd inning with scoring 7 runs. The Planters went on to win 13-5. They then moved on to face the overall #1 seed, Sante Fe Sluggers, in the quarter finals, winning 4-3, and then beating the #8 seed, St. Pete Stingers, in the semi final game 8-7. The championship game was played against the #2 seed Clearwater Thrashers, with the Planters again winning 9-1. What a great weekend for the Plant City Planters 14U being AAU State 14U Division II Champions! Congratulations and a big thank you to all of the players, coaches, parents, family members and friends who stuck it out for four games!

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

Front: Jon Oorlog, Max Wrinn, Bradley Young, Art Knight, Nicholas Bryce and Levi Brown. Back: Coach Dwight Hagin, Lee Easters, Kyle Bowers, KShawn Smith, Coach Leland Young, Parker Hagin, Zach Verdi, Coach Roger Brown and Cody Mizelle.


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 34


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 35


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Story by Daniel Sperry Photos courtesy of Pam Riner

A Sweet Sixteen To Remember DISABLED GIRL SERENADED BY FAVORITE MUSICIAN

Briana was born April 28 of 1991, weighing 1 pound and was 12 inches long

Riner, it made the day magical for Briana. Lee performs across the country and more information can be found at www.thedennisleeshow.com.

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hen Briana was “I’m just so born, doctors did Briana at age 16 grateful to Dennot think she would live. nis Lee,” said She weighed about one and Riner. “I mean, he doesn’t have to a half pounds and was nearly four travel down here and do the prom months early. But Briana survived. each year, but he has just such a soft When she was a year old, she came spot in his heart for these disabled down with pneumonia and again, kids.” doctors did not think she would make it, but Briana survived. Today, Briana Lee’s kind heart certainly made a sigis sixteen and thriving. She is blind nificant impact on Briana, a girl who and disabled from her traumatic early has survived against all odds to have entry into the world, but Pam Riner, a sweet sixteen she will never forget. her mother, says that she is just like any other 16 year old. “And she just idolizes Dennis Lee,” said Riner. Dennis Lee travels to Plant City from Washington State to perform at the Strawberry Festival every year. He also has been making a special trip back to Plant City each year to perform for free at the annual prom at Willis Peters School where Briana attends. This year the prom fell exactly on Briana’s birthday and Lee made sure it was one she would remember.

Briana (left) at 16, her 5-month-old sister and her grandmother

“He sang ‘Pretty Woman’ to her,” said Riner, “but he changed the words to ‘Pretty Briana.” Lee came down to where Briana was and serenaded her in honor of her birthday. Briana was thrilled. She even got the chance to sing the song with him and according to FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 36

Dennis Lee and Briana


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


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Story by Wendy S. Brown

Proudly Presenting UNITY IN THE COMMUNITY

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n our rushed daily lives, we normally don’t notice the hungry and truly needy around us. Lou Baird would like “to have an US community instead of a WE community”, where the whole community comes together to help each other. What a blessing it would be if true togetherness inhabited our busy world? Unity in the Community is a non-profit 501C organization devoted to bringing the community together for a cause. Unity is the brainchild of Joyce Jordan, 2006 Grand Marshal of the Plant City Christmas parade. While talking with friends one day in 1999, Joyce Jordan noticed that there was a great need to do something for the community, some cause to help the needy in the area, and to bring all people together for the betterment of everyone. Their cause became hunger. This all volunteer organization is comprised of the following hard-working board members: Joyce Jordan, President; Linda Fuhrman, Vice-President; Henry Falcon, Nancy Farley, Amanda Hill, Melody Townsend, and Anna Reitz. “Energy-packed and community minded people should take up this cause and become board members, donors, or volunteers,” states Lou Baird. From the early beginnings of Unity when small donations of cash were collected and then donated to a needy organization, this small but mighty non-profit now has a $65,000.00 goal for 2007. Many fundraisers and donations from our community allow this group to assist The United Food Bank and

Volunteers are incredibly important to Unity in the Community!

Services of Plant City, Meals on Wheels, and Feed Plant City, along with other worthwhile projects.

ies, cappuccino, gourmet hot dogs, and awesome cookies. The biggest yard sale of the year, Fine Art Auction, Blue Grass gospel program at the 1914 high school, and a Halloween Haunted House where the local Key Club members get made-up creepy and scare anyone lurking in the dark, help round out fundraising projects for this very busy group of volunteers who have the heart to help others.

Sweet Bay sponsors a spring golf tournament for Unity in the Community. Local golfers playing for trophies help raise a majority of the funds needed for local charities and needy projects. If you’ve ever been to the car or bike shows, you will have noticed the Unity concession on wheels which serves the most delicious smoothGolfing for Unity

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

With the help of Sweet Bay and Henry Falcon, this non-profit was able to

cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner for over 100 members of the Westside Boys and Girls club. There were so many leftovers, that a second meal was served. According to Linda Fuhrman, “Kids and parents were so grateful that we helped them that many people had tears in their eyes.” Feed Plant City provided 180 families complete supplies for a home cooked Thanksgiving meal. Local school guidance departments distributed vouchers to needy families who may not otherwise have enjoyed the typical Thanksgiving dinner. Eastside Baptist Church even has a “bear brigade” who handmade teddy bears for all the children. Talk about a community coming together for the betterment of others! Since 2005, Unity has collaborated with South Florida Baptist Hospital nurses and staff to manage the PEDI Prescription Fund at Family Care Pharmacy. Staff at SFBH hold fundraisers and donate individually to PEDI. This benevolent fund provides needed prescriptions for children of families who cannot afford necessary medications. I would like to challenge everyone to donate their time, ideas, and even funds to this worthwhile organization, though small, serving many souls. Help Unity in the Community help others or even sponsor their concession. Please call Joyce at 752-1275 or Linda at 752-2727. Get involved!


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 39


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Story by Kristen Toney Photos by Billy Friend

Country Music Star

VISITS PLANT CITY COUPLE’S WEDDING

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“I looked over and Billy Dean was standing there, six feet tall, handsome, and I said, ‘Oh my gosh!’” Leah remembered. “He began to play and sing Slow Motion, the song he wrote for his wife when they were married two years ago. It was the biggest surprise and the best wedding gift ever!”

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Billy Dean performs at the wedding of Kris Long and Leah Mullis.

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ll of the plans were in place for the marriage of Kris Long and Leah Mullis. After a year and a half of organizing and planning, the decorations were set, the weather was perfect and the guests were all seated. As Kris and Leah met at the altar and waited for the ceremony to begin, they heard a single guitar began to play.

Upon winning overall on Star Search, Dean became an instant sensation, quickly moving away from his poverty-marked childhood in Florida to an A-list celebrity. Now a Grammy winner, he moved up the charts so quickly that on only his fourth album he was ready to release a Greatest Hits title. Dean came to sing at the MullisLong wedding at the request of groom Kris Long’s parents, Don and Brigittia Long, and somehow all involved were able to keep the secret from the bride and groom until the special moment at the wedding. Thanks to Billy Dean for sharing this couple’s special day, and to this couple for sharing their special day with us!

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

Bride and Groom, Kris and Leah.

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thecarstores.com FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 41


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Story by Debbie Bowers

The Civitan Club

CREATING HOPE FOR A BETTER WORLD Civitans committed themselves to raise and complete a new hospital to aid in the recovery of this population.

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ne of the many defining pledges of the humanitarian Civitan Club known throughout the world is to practice the Golden Rule and to build upon it a better and nobler citizenship. From the time Civitan Clubs chartered their first clubs, aid to the less fortunate was of great attention. Their dreams were big, their sights high, and their accomplishments great. Individuals you would recognize as members included Thomas Edison, Presidents Calvin Coolidge, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and John Kennedy.

In 1960 the Civitan International Foundation was established by the executive board. It took the death of the Founder, Courtney W. Shropshire in 1965, to provide the encouragement to insure the foundation was fully established. In years past, the national level of Civitan clubs organized other projects of great importance, including the completed construction of Cedar Lake Lodge, a home for developmentally disabled adults near Louisville, Kentucky. From the very beginning, Civitan encouraged its clubs to seek out needs within their community and to fulfill those needs. Many other historic projects included the attention of the plight of tuberculosis patients. In Tennessee, the

Projects have always been a shining monument to the work and concern of Civitan clubs for their communities. Extraordinary projects were accomplished by ordinary citizens like you and me. The thought that a project would cost too much did not stop them from working hard for the needs of others. Another pledge from their creed states; my hands do the work of the world and reach out in service to others. Today another dream is a reality. The Civitan International Research Center was dedicated in 1992 in Birmingham, Alabama. The attention is not only to provide treatment, but to look for ways to improve the quality of life and perhaps eventually prevent mental disabilities and other developmental illnesses. Ms. Pat Pogue, President for the past 2 years, and the members of the club are thrilled to be serving the needs of the developmentally disabled students throughout the community. Each year, 123 students are each presented with a Christmas gift and a visitation with Santa Claus. “Our club has made a differ-

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

ence in the community, focusing on the needs of the youth with disabilities. We have built ramps for the wheel chair bound individuals entering their homes and access to the outside world in which they live,” stated Mrs. Pogue. For additional information pertaining to the club, contact Mrs. Pogue at 813-754-4680. The Plant City Civitan Club established in 1954 has been busy with many fundraisers to assist the developmentally disabled students of this city. Through many venues, the hardworking and caring members each year provide donations and gifts through fundraisers. In the past, fundraisers included a booth at the Strawberry Festival, selling delicious items to the fair goers. Fish fries and selling candy are just two of the many events used to provide assistance to the youth. Traditionally before the Strawberry Festival parade, over 2000 students participate riding

floats; marching bands and baton twirlers entertain the community. This encourages the youth to become more involved in their community and is an opportunity to share their talents. Other events include the donation of monies for the supply of foods used in student’s cooking classes, Stepping Stone Ranch for Girls, and a festive event recognizing the honor students of Tomlin Middle School. It all started in Birmingham, Alabama, a group of individuals dedicated to making the world a better place for the needs of others, a true gift of love.

The Civitan Mission Statement is: To build good citizenship by providing a volunteer organization of clubs dedicated to serving individual and community needs with an emphasis on helping people with developmental disabilities.


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 43


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Story & Photos courtesy of Helen Kent

The 2007 Junior Royalty Queen & Court SERVING THEIR COMMUNITY IN AND OUT OF SEASON

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average age of her audience, spoke about the Festival Youth Parade and Grand Parade. She explained these are two events you don’t want to miss. She talked about the Shoe Box Float Contest and how the students could enter the contest. Kaylan gave credit to the three Shortcake Booths, Turkey Creek Assembly of God, East Hillsborough Historical Society Shortcake Booth and St. Clement Catholic Church Make Your Own Shortcake Booth for using their proceeds to give back to the community.

he 2007 Junior Royalty Queen and Court was invited to Bryan Elementary School on Friday, June 8, to speak to the students in the after school program about the Florida Strawberry Festival®. The group totaled approximately 30 students ranging from 5 to 10 years of age.

Rebekah Snapp, the 2007 Junior Royalty Queen, spoke about the history of the festival, how the festival started, and about the farmers and how the festival is a celebration of the harvest. She also talked about the big name entertainment on the Festival Sound Stage, and about the Junior Royalty Pageant, telling how she became Junior Royalty Queen.

Kiersten Struth, the 2007 Baroness, spoke about her favorite rides and games on the Midway. Kiersten did confess that she is really no different from the adults - she comes to the festival for the food!!

Kelsey Brown, the 2007 Junior Royalty Princess, spoke to the class about all the agricultural experiences you can have at the Festival. She talked about raising pigs, steers, plants, rabbits and the Dairy Costume Contest. Kelsey shows plants at the festival and won an award for Champion Hanging Basket. Kaylan Kelly, the 2007 Junior Royalty Duchess, who is about the

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

Students in the after school program at Bryan were very attentive and are looking forward to a happy and safe summer.

The 2007 Junior Royalty Queen and Court at Bryan Elementary School

The Florida Strawberry Festival® will be held February 28 through March 9, 2008, in beautiful Plant City Florida.


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


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Story by Sherry Baldwin Photos courtesy of Dennis and Dolores Digamon

Here and Abroad

LOCAL COUPLE REMAIN TRUE TO THEIR BELIEFS ordinated effort with Rotary International, of which Dr. Digamon is a member. The “Rotary of Siberia is very active working in orphanages there,” added Dr. Digamon. In addition, the Digamon’s home host, with whom they stayed while working in the area, is a member of the Rotary as well.

Dolores Digamon assisting husband, Dr. Dennis Digamon, during mission trip to Gorno Altysk, Siberia, Russia

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t is clear that Plant City Dentist Dennis Digamon and wife Dolores believe in the importance of “taking responsibility for others and giving back to society.” They also believe that there is a growing inter-connectiveness across the globe…making us one. Simply put, “The world is getting smaller.” As a testament to their beliefs, the Digamons recently participated in a medical mission trip to Gorno Altaysk, Siberia, Russia. The couple, along with a small group of dental and medical professionals, traveled there in an effort to provide “much needed dental care to over 200 of the area’s orphaned and poor children.” Working over a three day period, the group delivered preventative education and an astonishing “689 emergency dental procedures” to mostly teenaged children. Dr. Digamon explained that these teens are sadly referred to as part of the “lost generation.” This is said to be a result of the social, economic and political change that swept their country. Many of the teens live in orphanages and had never received proper dental care. This, coupled with the fact that language barriers necessitated the use of interpret-

ers, set the stage for what could have been a frightening experience. However, the Digamons shared that it was clear – even without a spoken word – the teens were grateful for the care given to them. In fact, one patient, coincidentally named “Dennis”, asked for Dr. Digamon’s autograph – which he provided in good humor. The Digamons further shared that they found the people of the area to be extremely hospitable. Without a doubt, the entire group came away with memories of a time well spent. The trip was organized by Medicine: Arm-In-Arm, Inc., a non profit corporation whose mission is to utilize volunteer professionals to provide free, onsite medical, surgical, and educational services to disadvantaged individuals in the U.S. and throughout the developing world. The goal of their efforts is, therefore, to “achieve better health and quality of life through delivery of medical interventional clinics and building of partnerships with communities to create lasting change.” The mission was also a co-

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

Traveling to Siberia was not the first trip of this nature for Dr. Digamon. In 2004, he traveled and worked in an area near there. Together the Digamons have also done similar work in their native Philippines. Locally, they are respected for the valuable work they do with the area’s migrant community. Through their dental practice, they plan to expand their efforts to more specifically target the area’s children. The Digamons are also active members of St. Clement Catholic Church, in Plant City, where they are both Eucharistic Ministers. They have been married for 32 years and are the proud parents of four adult children: Don, John, Angela and James.

Another highlight of their trip included attending a Rotary District Conference. During this conference, Dr. Digamon met former Rotary International President and Author, Frank Devlyn. This was particularly significant because the Rotary has become such an important part of Dr. Digamon’s life. He has been a member of the Rotary Club of Plant City – Noon for the past 13 years. He is the International Service Chairman for the Club and will soon (once again) become a member of the Board of Directors as well. Dr. Digamon expressed true gratitude for the support he has received from his home club. He made special mention of Dr. Victor Kohlmeier, who he will remain “forever Dr. Dennis Digamon, with grateful patient indebted to for guiding also named “Dennis” and his interpreter during mission trip to Gorno Altysk, Siberia, Russia me to Rotary.”

Dr. Dennis Digamon (far left) along with wife Dolores Digamon (4th from left) and those involved in recent mission trip


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


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Story by Cheryl Johnston Photos courtesy of the families

The 38th Annual Lewis Family Reunion HOMEGROWN HERITAGE, TRADITION, AND TIES THAT BIND households traveled from Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, New York, South Carolina, and Texas. Most are firmly planted right here. Edith Sapp, Viola and Rainey’s sole surviving daughter, is pleased that committed family members maintain tradition, and amazed at the memories a family creates when they work, plan, play, and pray together.

Jack Lewis, the family fun-loving character in the tutu & tights skit from Pirates of Penzance – “I Wanna Dance and Sing”

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n a time when family values may seem only a sound byte, Plant City takes pride in many who truly live them. One worth detailing is the extended five-generational Lewis family, which gathered here June 2930, 2007, for its 38th Annual Lewis Family Reunion. Fourth of July celebrations honor national independence, but this exceptional group also cherishes the patriotic holiday for connectivity. Since 1969, they have faithfully set aside time to do what families do best – encourage, entertain, and share. Their creative happenings make certain those ties still bind.

Games, entertainment, meals, and attire revolve around a democratically determined annual theme. Hollywood was spotlighted this year. The 2008 focus will be Blast from the Past, using any of previous themes such as cowboys, hillbillies, Hawaiians, or the 50’s. Families cherish video footage from years past, especially entertainment segments, because some in the films have died. Best character in the all-time funniest skit 2007 Oscar was posthumously awarded to Jack Lewis for his tutuand-tights dancing role in a Pirates of Penzance routine. Bittersweet tears, mixed with laughter, flowed for precious recollections of a man who relished crazy fun and love with relatives. Treasured snapshots and films will archive unforgettable moments, reminding each generation of their roots connection. The reunions begin Friday evening

Today the family tree sprouts various last name branches supported by the roots and trunk of a Lewis heritage. The first reunion in Ochlocknee, Georgia, was initiated by Rainey and Viola Lewis, who moved to Jacksonville and finally Plant City. Marriages expanded the family to include locally familiar names like Raulerson, Taylor, Sapp, Peacock, Snapp, Blanton, Harrell, Adams, and Anderson. This year kids of all ages spanning five generations from 70

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 48

with a sandwich deli surrounded by continual welcoming and hugging, fueling conversations into the wee hours. Saturday morning’s favorite country breakfast also includes grits & tomato gravy, providing extra energy for fiercely competitive group games. Salem Primitive Baptist Church, pastored by Steve and Gayle Wilkinson, now serves as the crowd’s home base. Family committees share responsibilities for food and activities planning. One traditional favorite, horseshoe pitching, awards plaques in three age divisions. Trophies, photo albums and collages illustrate the Lewis’ loving legacy. The Oscar Awards finale featured talent and a fine-dining Maryland Fried Chicken buffet in the fellowship hall. Courageous family members dressed to perform, mimic, or imitate stars, old and new. Flashing paparazzi cameras captured celebrities sauntering the red-carpet as co-emcee sisters Debbie Harrell and Brenda Adams announced each notable’s entrance. Sonny and Cher, Harry Potter with Hermione, Hannah Montana, Brittney Spears, Patsy Kline, Angela Lansbury, Minnie Pearl, Loretta Lynn, John Wayne, Paris Hilton, Paula Abdul, Sandra Bullock, Alice in Wonderland, Larry the Cable Guy, and an aspiring young painter gar-

Five generations from 70 households traveled from 7 states to attend their 38th annual Lewis Family Reunion at Salem Primitive Baptist Church in Plant City

John “Rainey” Lewis and wife Viola initiated the Lewis Family Reunion 38 years ago in 1969

Back row: Brooklynn Lang, Monica Lang, Debbie Harrell, Reverend John Lewis, and his mother Adeline Lewis (seated). Two children seated in front are Kristalynn Lang and Ashtynne Lang.

nered appreciative applause. Many also received stellar performance statuettes. Focus Magazine would like to thank Monica Lang, a Lewis granddaughter, for inviting us to share their togetherness story. Her grandfather John Lewis expressed their commitment: After God, the children are our priority. So, each generation nurtures the next and compassionately cares for the previous. His mother, Adeline, was one of those honored with an Oscar for faithfulness. Encouraging and affirming, this extended family’s love and pride overflowed. Once again they embraced their shared Lewis heritage desire to remain connected. This priceless celebration is a Plant City treasure, too!


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


It’s a Wonderful Life, David E. Bailey David E. Bailey Jr. has had a wonderful life. As a young child, Bailey grew up in north Florida in a small town called Shady Grove, just outside Perry, Florida. Bailey’s parents were from the area. His mother, the former Pricilla Browning, went to teacher training school, called a normal school in those days, and the place that she would meet her future husband, and Bailey’s father, David Elmer Bailey Sr. Bailey Sr. was working in his uncle’s general store at the time, the same place that Bailey Jr. would later be born. Bailey Jr. arrived on August 5, 1917. Bailey said, “In fact, I was my father’s draft exemption from WWI.

A tribute to one of Plant City’s jewels!

Story by BRIAN WEST Photos by KRISTEN TONEY & Courtesy of the PLANT CITY PHOTO ARCHIVES

David Bailey at his home, July 2007 FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 50


HEALTH

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Submitted by Sherry Nueesch

Make it Whole lines, a serving is anything that supplies 16 grams of whole grains. Your goal is to shoot for about three servings of whole grains a day, or a total of about 48 grams or more. So why the whole grain kick? Compared to refined grains -- like those found in the profane white bread – whole grain products have more fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Studies have shown that this leads to a decline in the risk of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity. Although there are several varieties of breads on the shelves that won’t list “whole” as the main ingredients, products that list whole grains somewhere farther down

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veryone is talking “whole grains” and white bread might as well be a four-letter word. But, like every nutrition-bent trend, everybody wants you to believe they have the best product and they’ll use confusing terms to get your bread. For example, which do you think is better: stone ground, multigrain, or whole grain bread? You usually can’t tell by reading their savvy marketing lines on the top of the loaf packaging, as none of those phrases means much. Stone ground has no FDA definition, multi-grain simply means there’s a variety of different grains (not necessarily whole), and whole grain must have some

whole grains, but it can actually be very little. For example, Pepperidge Farm Natural Whole Grains Crunchy Grains bread is most whole grain. Pepperidge Farm Light Style Seven Grain bread is not. To see if it is plentiful in whole grains, you’ll need to flip it over and look at the ingredients label. The first item on the list should read “whole”- whole wheat, whole rye, whole barley, etc. You can also look for a Whole Grain Stamp from the Whole Grains Council, which is a trade group. It will state how many grams of whole grain a food has. According to the Dietary Guide-

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

the list have some nutritional benefit, at least when compared to completely refined grain varieties. These, however tend to be higher in fat, sodium, and, or sugar, so the message is to go for the healthier varieties whenever possible. The bread I use is from the French Meadow Bakery. I like it because the grains are fermented before baking. That’s a whole other article!! As always, to your health.


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


SPORTS

BASEBALL

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Story by Joe Bowles Photos courtesy of The Yankees

Yankees Capture City Championship UNDERDOG TAKES MACHINE PITCH TOURNAMENT

In the championship game, the Yankees quickly took the lead and by the second inning the score read 7 – 2. The White Sox comprised predominately of seven year olds were the hottest team at the end of the season, but fell to the Yankees by the final score of 11 – 5.

The winning team!

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ach year at the end of the regular season, Plant City Little League gears up for its city championships. Players from age 5 through 15 are involved in a tournament within their division to determine a city champion. The most exciting part of the year-end tournament is that every team has a chance to be crowned champion, regardless of their regular season record. Often times an underdog will peak at the right time and take the championship. That was the case last month as the Remco Transmission Yankees became the city champs in the 7 and 8 year old Machine Pitch division. Manager Chris Macca and coaches Olin Stephens, Henry Budd, and Albert Monseratte hoped for victory, but as the fifth seeded team, their chances of reaching the finals were remote as they were forced to play three teams that were seeded higher than they were. The Yankees’ road to the championship began on May 21st with a 16 – 5 win against the 12th seeded Mets.

That win pitted them against the Devil Ray. The Yankees displayed a brilliant defensive effort with no errors recorded as they knocked off the number four seeded team 9 – 3. The team that the Yankees were to play next was the Braves, coached by Tate Whatley. Whatley’s number one seeded team went undefeated during the regular season, beating the Yankees on two previous occasions. This game was a see-saw battle as the Braves took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning 7 – 6. With the bases loaded and only one out, the Braves were positioned to add additional runs when a Braves’ batter lined to second baseman, Tyler Deerheart, who ran and tagged first base, completing a double play that ended the threat and the inning. In the top of the 6th inning, the Yankees scored 3 runs and the Braves were unable to score again, thereby advancing the Yankees into the Championship game against the second seeded White Sox, coached by T.J. Messick.

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

Macca, a former standout at Santa Fe High School in Lakeland and a third round draft pick of the Colorado Rockies playing six years in the minors, felt that his players started playing as a team in the second half of the season. “Everybody was pounding the ball, and our infield started making the plays that we needed,” said Macca. Led by clean-up hitter, Luke Trimble, and an infield made up of Christopher Macca, Deerheart, Garrett Deshong, Gresham Stephens, and Peyton Cantu, the Yankees depended mainly on their defense to propel them to the championship. Macca felt that the attitude among his players and parents contributed to their improvement throughout the year. “We had some really good kids and great parents. That

gave us a real good atmosphere for improvement.” The Machine Pitch tournament was one of five yearend tournaments. In addition to the Machine Pitch tournament, winners were crowned in Tee Ball, Minors, Majors, and Juniors.

Definitely a day to remember!

This means victory!

This one’s for the championship!


R S A O E F Y G 1 7 R E G A N T I T S A E R R B VICE E L E C

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


SPORTS

ATHLETE OF THE MONTH

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Story by Holly Mallalieu Photo courtesy of Ashley Mohler

HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE OF THE MONTH

ASHLEY MOHLER Y

ou can’t always find someone as well rounded in athletic ability and involvement as Ashley Mohler, an 18 yearold who just finished her final year at Plant City High School this past May. Since she was a freshman, Ashley has been an outstanding player on the school’s softball and volleyball teams and in her senior year took up soccer. Under three different coaches, she’s been a hardworking and important member of each of these, and has really made a name for herself when it comes to athletics. Like most, Ashley didn’t just jump right into a game when she hit her freshman year. Before high school, she played on Plant City Little League teams for softball, alongside summer travel ball. Her love for volleyball started when she joined the team in the 7th grade at Tomlin Middle School, and since then she’s only improved her game.

Ashley played 3rd base for softball, outside hitter for volleyball, and was the soccer team’s goalie during her senior year under Coach Storter. Although she’s very skilled at all three and enjoys each very much, “my favorite would have to be softball,” she says, “because I’ve played for so long.” She has received the Coach’s Award several times under Coaches Newdsling and Kouveras, as well as Most Improved and the Leadership Award for softball. After being a part of three high school sports teams, two of them for four straight years, Ashley Mohler will certainly be hard to replace. She’s had a great impact on the team itself and all of the games as an experienced athlete and leader, as well as made many memories with good friends through all of the time spent together. Whether she carries out her talent for sports after high school or not, she’s sure to be successful in anything she does, and we wish her the best of luck.

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


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


EXTRA

AL RUECHEL

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By Al Ruechel

Paris Hilton... Why Do We Care? Can we be perfectly honest? I don’t know why people care so much about what happens to Paris Hilton. No, let me restate that. I don’t know why we think people care so much about Paris Hilton. There are people starving in Darfur. Our troops continue to suffer at the hands of Muslim extremists. We are in a drought with wild fires raging out West. And Tampa has been named the worst city out of 40 when it comes to an environment conducive to young professional workers. Yet, it’s that simpleton Hilton that grabs all the headlines as she struts like a Cheshire cat out of the jail and into her waiting limo. I heard one reporter say there were over 100 cameras waiting outside the jail to catch a glimpse of the blonde nymph trotting to freedom. Don’t you love America?

For those of us in the news business this is a real dilemma.

For those of us in the news business this is a real dilemma. We don’t like it one bit. No sane newsperson can watch all those cameras and live trucks and floodlights and flashing cameras without cringing. It makes me want to go to the sink and wash my hands. I feel like when I’m walking down the grocery aisle, folks are pointing at me and laughing. “There’s that pandering Paris Hilton cheerleader.” “Look honey, there’s Al Hilton. I mean Paris Ruechel. Oh, you know what I mean.” And yet, on our news, we ran nearly a twominute story from CNN on the triumphant return of Hilton to her family, as if Al Qaeda had held her captive for years. Here’s the logic we use in this “danged if you do and danged if you don’t” scenario. We know it stinks and it is Hollywood pulling the nation’s chain. We know it has no cultural relevance. We know she is a spoiled, mixed-up, publicity seeking, in my humble opinion, sleaze. She has done nothing with her life of any significance. She doesn’t play the dumb blonde, she IS the dumb blonde. Her only claim to fame is her dad, who happens to own one of the largest hotel chains in the world. That’s it. Period. End of story. No, it’s not. You like this stuff. You buy it standing in line in the supermarket. For Pete’s sake, some lady in Publix last week asked me when I was going to get to interview Paris and could I “please” get an autograph for her granddaughter. What kind of granddaughter is this woman raising, anyway? For whatever reason, we’ve all become minutia freaks. It’s a diversion from the ordinary and humdrum get up in the morning, drive to work, put in your eight hours and head home again routine. TV ratings go up when Paris is on the air. That’s not fiction. It is the truth. It’s the poor little rich girl you love to hate, except for that nutcase who tried to high-five the prosecutor as he was talking to the media about Hilton’s release. “She’s free. She’s free. She’s free,” he kept screaming over and over again. What was that all about!? And let’s talk about the 24-hour cable networks that spent hours and hours every day analyzing to death every aspect of this non-story. And did you read about all the fighting for the exclusive prison release interview? We still don’t know for sure if NBC was actually going to pay Paris one million dollars for her first interview or if that was a publicity stunt. And did Barbara Walters actually say it was “below her” to interview Paris? Doesn’t seem to bother Larry King, who’s getting the interview without “trading a player to be named at a later date.” Here’s the part that really gags me. Those stupid helicopter shots following the Hilton van to their mansion. What are we hoping to see? Is it suddenly going to turn into a “transformer”? Is Paris going to get on top of the van and pull off a Michael Jackson? Is OJ waiting somewhere along the road? And here’s the kicker. We actually got a call from a person who wanted to know why we didn’t carry the Hilton release “live”. Well, hello! It isn’t stinking news. This is fluff of the fluff. We are trying with every fiber in our journalistic bodies not to give in to the tabloid poison pulsing through the veins of otherwise reputable news organizations, whatever that means. The only encouraging bit of news to report is that your attention span is even more fleeting than Paris Hilton’s fame. Can’t you just wait to see whomever else the media crowns to take her place tomorrow?

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


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


EXTRA

FROM THE COMMISSIONER’S DESK

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By Robert Brown

Well, the folks in Tallahassee passed several bills in special session that will affect the 2007/2008 budget of the City of Plant City. Initially, the new law will require a rollback to last year’s tax rate along with an additional 5% tax reduction. It appears at this time that the City will be able to absorb the tax reduction without decreasing the level of services it provides. Another piece of legislation passed will put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in early 2008 for the voters’ consideration. The amendment would significantly increase the homestead exemption. While this sounds great to those of us that own homes, it will probably place an even higher tax burden on business and non-homestead property taxes. If this amendment passes, it will most likely negatively affect the level of services that the City provides. It’s too early to tell exactly what the impact will be and what cutbacks may be necessary to City services. With regards to growth, the City has hired a consulting firm to develop a Northeast Master Plan focusing on areas north of I-4 and east of SR 39. The purpose of the study is to help Plant City and the County Planning Commission plan properly so that there is a balance between residential housing and commercial and industrial development. Part of the work includes extensive analysis of I-4 traffic, an issue that has a direct affect on the ability to develop in this area. Although some of the area is already part of Plant City, the vast majority lies in unincorporated Hillsborough County.

...the new law will require a rollback to last year’s tax rate...

When it comes to expanding the City limits, some people are confused about the process involved. We’ve all read the terrible stories of cities up north that take, through eminent domain, other people’s houses and property in order to create a new mall or commercial development. In the State of Florida, such an action would not be permitted. Although the eminent domain rules would allow a governmental body to take someone’s property for a public purpose (for a new road or water line extension, for example), it is a very cumbersome and expensive process, and not often used. In order to develop their land, a property owner may wish to become part of a nearby city. For land immediately adjacent to existing Plant City limits, the owner would utilize a process called voluntary annexation. Voluntary annexation is when the property owner requests to change their property from unincorporated Hillsborough County to the City of Plant City, subject to all the development rules of the City. All voluntary annexations require approval by the State of Florida’s Department of Community Affairs (DCA), after being thoroughly reviewed by the Planning Commission, the Plant City Planning Board and approved by the City Commission. The City is allowed to send only two such Comprehensive Plan amendments (with no limit to the number of properties included) to DCA each year. All such amendments are subject to two public hearings. For example, there are three voluntary annexations included in the City of Plant City’s 2nd cycle 2007 Comprehensive Plan amendments, which are all part of the Northeast Master Plan and total 1,037 acres, with the largest being the Cone-Graham property of 1,009 acres. The first public hearing on these changes is scheduled for July 9, 2007. Although there is a process in place to allow a governmental body to annex property involuntarily (without the owner’s request or permission), it requires action by the State of Florida and, in my opinion, it is very unlikely that this would ever be used by the City of Plant City.

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


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


and we became very dear friends,” said Bailey.

Bailey’s father continued to work at his uncle’s general store in Shady Grove while he was a baby, but moved to Sirmans, Florida and built a drug store when Bailey was about a year old. There was a doctor in the corner who prescribed medicine and Bailey’s father sold the medicine. Bailey said, “We did well. I lived a wonderful childhood. We lived in a big two story house on a hill. We had one of the first telephones in town and one of the first model T’s. My mother had help in the house. The church was next door to our house and they didn’t have a full-time preacher, but when the preacher came to town, he’d stay at our house, and we had fried chicken every Sunday.” Bailey’s best playmates were practically part of the family; the maid’s two sons, Thurmon and Gus. But Bailey wasn’t without time with his parents. His mother was able to teach him how to read and write on a Chautauqua board before he entered school. The Bailey’s moved to Plant City in 1923 when David was six years old. Bailey said, “I thought it was the most magical place I’d ever seen. All the stores were open and people were shopping. There were children running around and everyone was just so friendly.” Bailey’s father operated a dry goods store called Bailey’s Cash Store and Bailey’s mother was a teacher in the “Strawberry” schools. This became a strong influence in young Bailey’s life. He attended 11 different schools, colleges and universities, including Mt. Enon, Knights Station, and Dover, where his mother taught. He remembers picking strawberries for two cents and three cents a quart. Growing up in Plant City, Bailey attended most of the local schools for one reason or another and eventually decided that teaching would be his occupation; quite a change from his first childhood dream of being a preacher. Bailey said, “I wanted to be a preacher. I was on a trunk preaching away and my mother left to answer the phone. I fell off the trunk and broke my arm. The bone was sticking out and I ran to my mother who saw the injury and fainted. I later reasoned that falling off that trunk and breaking my arm was the Lord’s way of telling me that he didn’t want me to be a preacher.” Bailey has the college equivalent of a little more than a doctorate degree. After completing his time in the Army, Bailey already had a bachelor’s degree and still had four years of the GI Bill remaining, which he used at the University

David Bailey as Outstanding Citizen in 1978

of Florida. He went to school there for 10 summers in a row. He received his Masters degree in Education in 1949. His Masters’ thesis was titled, A Study of Hillsborough County’s History, Legend, and Folklore, with Implications for the Curriculum. Later on, a group of educators developed a curriculum around his thesis. Once he completed his Masters degree, Bailey still had some of his GI Bill left, so he took some Social Studies classes. He achieved a Rank I certificate, which meant that he did all the work, except the residency, for his PhD. He was paid as though he had a doctorate’s degree. Bailey said, “When I retired in 1977, I was probably the highest paid elementary school principal in Hillsborough County.” Bailey worked in the Hillsborough County school system for 40 years. He taught school for 12 years and was a principal for 28 years. One of Plant City’s most influential citizen’s, the late Jim Redman, was one of Bailey’s students when Bailey was teaching at the old 1914 Plant City High School. Bailey lights up when he speaks of Redman. “He was one of the best students I ever had

Bailey became a school administrator and received his first role as principal at Knights Elementary. He served there for four years and then moved to Jackson Elementary, where he also served for four years. His final stop was Bryan Elementary where he served as the principal for twenty years, from 1957 – 1977. Of his days as an administrator, Bailey said, “As a school administrator I had some great supervisors and they gave me free rein. I enjoyed all the schools and I loved the children.” Delma Graves, a former teacher’s aid, said of Bailey. “He’s a good man. He was always so nice to everyone. I really enjoyed working with him at Bryan [Elementary].” Bailey once participated in an off-site training session with several principals from the area. During the training, each of them was asked to complete a self-assessment of sorts to be evaluated to provide feedback to them on their leadership style. Bailey laughed when he recalled his description, saying, “I opened it up and it said that I run my school like a benevolent dictator.” At first he thought this was critical, but as he studied the evaluation, he found it to be quite complimentary. After 40 years in education Bailey began getting tired, so he decided to retire. In addition to being tired, Bailey said he was beginning to see some trends in education that he didn’t like. Bailey said, “I’m a traditionalist from the old school. But I also

by The book created Quintilla Bruton David Bailey and


stepped deadlines to have material submitted. One of the most interesting things to consider about this is that Bailey did all of his work using an old Royal typewriter and a 5 x 7 file box, all long before computers were being used the way they are today. Bailey said, “I would type things as I went along without carbon copy.”

believe in education according to child growth and development principles. I think we need to understand children at various ages in order to educate them properly. I do not like this No Child Left Behind Act. I think it’s abominable. We’re teaching to a test. Teachers are under such pressure, they’re practically all unhappy. Everybody’s running scared. To me, school should be a happy place. It should be a beautiful, safe and happy place where children learn. When I walked through the halls of a school, I wanted to hear laughter. I wanted to hear kids enjoying school. I didn’t have to paddle kids very often when I was an administrator, because the kids knew that I could.” Although many people refer to him as an historian, he calls himself more of a social historian. In 1977, Bailey and Quintilla Bruton were trying to complete the history of Plant City. They’d been working on it together for a year or two and Bailey had been working on it for several years prior to that, collecting material. So over the years, Bailey collected information on the history of Florida, and more importantly, the history of Plant City. It was this collection of information that brought him and the late Quintilla Geer Bruton together. Bailey and his wife were close friends with Judge Bruton and Quintilla. As close friends, Bruton nicknamed Bailey, Professor. Judge Bruton accumulated a lot of records of Plant City and the surrounding area during his years as an attorney and later as Judge. Many of the records were of the land of the area and how the area developed. Judge Bruton knew a lot of Florida history and Quintilla became interested. They decided to combine their materials and write a book. Bailey said of Quintilla, “Although she only had a business college education, she was as brilliant as any PhD I’d ever known. She was a news writer. She could really get right down to the point and express herself well in just a few words.” Bailey describes his writing as very verbose and so the two made quite a pair complementing each other’s style. Bailey is also quick to give Bruton a great deal of credit for the book, saying that she worked tirelessly well into the night almost daily to get the work on the book complete. They edited

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

The book was published on time, and then in 1985, the centennial anniversary of the City of Plant City, they wanted to have a centennial version of the book published. They changed publishers again but the difference between the first and second edition is that the second edition has an index and a different cover. Some students in the journalism department at the University of South Florida did the index for them.

David and his bride, Eloise, on their wedding day, August 22, 1940

each other’s work as they moved along and Bailey was proud of how clever they were with some of the chapter titles, but when it came time to publish it, they didn’t have a title. They finally decided on Plant City: Its Origin and History – probably a large part in Bailey being known as a local historian. They had already made arrangements with a publisher prior to completing the book. This wasn’t a book idea that they planned to shop around once it was completed. Arrangements were made and a deadline was set for 1977. They selected the publisher in large part because they wanted someone close to them. They worked with Rose Printing Company in Tallahassee, which happened to be owned by the husband of the first Strawberry Queen, Charlotte Rosenburg – but that’s another story. They were going to work with Charlotte and were about to sign the deal when they realized they’d be making a lot of trips to Tallahassee, so they found a publisher closer to home that was located in St. Petersburg, the Valkyrie Press of St Petersburg, Florida. So they set the deadline for the completed book in 1977, along with

Bailey said that he has been influenced greatly by the writings of American philologist Vernon L. Perrington, who published his ideas in two volumes entitled Main Currents in American Thought, in which he expresses the thoughts of several of our American founding fathers. In an early chapter of the first volume entitled The American Mind, he says of Ben Franklin, “Benjamin Franklin’s mind from early youth to extreme old age was curiously open and free. And to such a mind the intellectual wealth of the world lies open and free.” Bailey says that he has tried to live by this philosophy and would love to have been a full-time student for most of his life. He has kept his mind active by reading and working crossword puzzles, and he has kept physically active doing yard work and cultivating his two hundred Camellia shrubs and trees. He said, “If I hadn’t been an educator, I would have loved to have been a yard man or a song and dance man on Broadway.” Bailey and his late wife, Eloise DuBois Bailey, went to school together and met in Latin class at the old 1914 Plant City High School. They married and had two children; a son, David, and a daughter, Randi Sue Cox. Bailey’s wife was also an educator. She taught school in Hillsborough County for 38 years as a math and art teacher. She did quite a bit of painting and even sold several of her paintings. She retired in 1977, along with Bailey, so they could spend the rest of their lives together. Unfortunately, Mrs.


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


Other honors Bailey is especially proud of include Plant City’s Citizen of the Year in 1978, appointment by the Governor to the Florida Education Council in 1978, recognition by the Florida State Legislature for his historical and educational contributions, and the Outstanding Service to Humanity Award in 1993 from Florida Southern College, and the first Photo Archives Heritage Award in 2003. I asked Bailey if there was anything else he’d like to accomplish with his life. He said, “No, I have no interest in living to be 100 years old. I’ve had a wonderful life. Quality of life is important to me. If I could live a little longer and keep most of my marbles, then that would be good.” Thank you, Mr. Bailey for your many contributions to Plant City. Special thanks to the Plant City Photo Archives for their help and resources provided for this story!

Quintilla Geer Bruton (left) in 1961 Bailey passed away five years ago. Bailey is proud to be surrounded by many of her paintings. Bailey said of her, “She was a quite talented and accomplished painter.” Today, Bailey spends time at his home in Springhead. He has a library in his home, but due to his health and the fact that the library is located on the second floor of his home, he hasn’t used it in many years. His son David spends time with him most days, caring for him and helping him get around the house. Bailey gets out from time to time and speaks with local service clubs. Bailey has many other accomplishments he’s proud of. He was instrumental in saving the 1914 High School as a member of the East Hillsborough Historical Society. He helped to save the old train depot as a member of the Plant City Arts Council. Most recently, he’s been working with the Cornerstone Church building where they are currently replacing the copper domed roof. He is proud to have been a past member of the Plant City Lions Club, where he served as Tail Twister, and later became a member of the Plant City Kiwanis Club where he and Betty Barker led the singing for many years. Bailey also believes he is the living member with the longest active membership at the First Baptist Church of Plant City. He began to worship in the original church building the year it was built, 1923. Bailey said, “The basement wasn’t even finished. Our youth groups and scout groups met there. I was baptized in that church on April 29, 1928, and I’ve been a member for 79 years.” And now Bailey and his family are working to plan his 90th birthday party, which will be held at the Cornerstone Church on August 5th.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 54

David Bailey in 2001, outside the 1914 High School


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


Interview by BRIAN WEST Photos by CHAD SPENCER

ricardo ciabatti the man behind the food


Several years ago, the Ramada Inn Plantation House, formerly the Holiday Inn, opened its doors after an extensive renovation. The owners, Evelyn and Batista Sr. Madonia, have done a wonderful job of making the Red Rose Dining Room a favorite place to eat, both for locals and those traveling through town. The food is incredible, and the man behind the food is Chef Ricardo Ciabatti.

Focus: Where are you from originally? Ciabatti: Northern Italy, the Valsesia region in a little town called Borgosesia. Focus: So is your family from Italy? Ciabatti: Yes. All of my family is of Italian origin, though my grandfather did migrate to the Italian side of Switzerland during his working years. My sister now lives there with her family. Focus: How long did you live there? Ciabatti: I lived in Italy until I was 24 years old and then I moved to Florida. Focus: What did your parents do for a living? Ciabatti: My mother made beautiful carpets in a factory near our home and my father was a skilled tool maker. Focus: How many brothers or sisters do you have? Ciabatti: I have one sister. She is 11 years older than I and lives in Switzerland with her family. Focus: Tell me about your immediate family. Ciabatti: I have been married for 18 years. My wife’s name is Angela. She is half German and half Italian. She was born in Germany but her family moved to the United States when she was one. She is a successful massage therapist with her own practice. We have two sons. Mattias is 13 and is going into the 9th grade, and Andreas is seven and a half. We live in North Tampa so I drive back and forth to Plant City. Focus: Tell me what it was like growing up in Italy. Ciabatti: It was fun and carefree. Life seems less worrisome for children there. I don’t recall there being as many rules as they seem to have here. Most people grow up in their same hometown. We build very strong bonds with our childhood friends. I am still very close to the friends I grew up with. I was always fascinated by America and what I saw in the movies. That’s what actually brought me here. Focus: Really, which movies? Ciabatti: Well, I was young and carefree; I thought the United States was one big party. I liked Animal House and Graffiti, that type of movie. When I saw them I thought to myself, “What’s going on over there? I want to see.” I used to travel everywhere in Italy. In the winter time I would travel to Monte Bianco. It is the tallest mountain. The place is called Courmayëur. It is a ski resort. I would go there for four or five months from November through March and the people from Italy and Europe would go there for vacation for a week or two; just like they do in Aspen, Colorado. In the summer time, everyone would vacation by the sea; someplace like Costa Smeralda, a nice part of Italy. And I used to work in those places. So I’d work five or six months there and then everybody would go to the next place because of the change in season. Focus: So you were really traveling to wherever the people and the work were? Ciabatti: Yes, because my home town was a town of factories. They were making clothes and things. Fila had a factory there. I didn’t want to work in a factory. I’m not of the character to do the same repetitive thing all day. Young chefs often do seasonal work; you go to the mountains in the winter and everybody is on vacation and they’re happy. When you go to the sea in the summer, everybody is on vacation and everybody is happy. So I was always around happy people. You go to the factory and work for 10 or 15 years doing the same thing and everybody is miserable. I couldn’t do that. My grandfather was a pastry chef in Switzerland during the war and was the first person to own a car. He did very well up until changes with the war. Focus: What got you interested in cooking and food? Ciabatti: When I began my training, most of my friends were going to FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 57


ricardo ciabatti • the man behind the food school to be something like an engineer. Many of them could not find jobs. My mom said, “Why don’t you cook? You can always find a job cooking.” So that’s what I did. I didn’t enjoy it much in the beginning, but it grew on me. At 17, you want to play more than work. But with maturity, you pride yourself on skill and creativity I really enjoyed the travel. Kitchen work is very demanding, both physically and mentally. It is fast paced and you have to be able to do multiple things at the same time. Timing is very important. The hours are long, you always work weekends and holidays, it is not a job for many, despite having a love for cooking. I enjoy really good quality food and that is the motto I run my kitchen under. I always work by example and have found that this gives me a loyal team in the kitchen. We all work hard, but try to keep the atmosphere light, so that we continue to have fun despite the demands. Focus: What did you do when you came to the United States? Ciabatti: I came to the states with a friend of mine because Donatello’s in Tampa needed a couple of cooks and a pastry chef. My friend from Naples was a pastry chef. We had worked together in Le Tuille, a winter resort in the Alps. He said to me, “They have two positions in Florida. Do you want to go?” So we dropped everything and came to Florida. We were pretty adventurous. Traveling out of Europe was a big step, especially not being able to speak English. Focus: How many places have you worked in Florida? Ciabatti: Here in Florida I have worked in two places. I began working at Donatello’s, where I remained for about a year and a half. The chef at the time left to open his own restaurant in downtown Tampa and I went with him. A year later I received a call from the owners of Donatello; they were looking for a new chef, and I accepted the position. At the time, I was only 26 years old and Donatello’s was listed as one of the top 50 Italian restaurants in the United States. And it is still great today. I believe that Donatello’s and Armani’s are the two best Italian restaurants in Tampa. They’re different though. Armani’s is more about presentation and Donatello’s is more family style with really good food. I stayed with Donatello’s for 15 years, before I came to the Ramada. Focus: What do you enjoy most about being a chef? Ciabatti: I enjoy pleasing the customer. I like the experiences that come from the anticipation of a meal, the first bite and then the expression of pleasure that follows. I enjoy greeting the customers and getting their feedback from the meal. We have so many restaurants to choose from, but very few that truly have good food or service. Pricey doesn’t necessarily make the meal good. I am honored when our patrons continue to return because the food is great. Here at the Red Rose, I focus on Northern Italian cooking. I concentrate on the basics and the simplicity of a good meal in an elegant setting. When I first came to the Red Rose, no one was eating pasta, most people would order steak. I would like to believe that I have made an impression on our patrons and have enlightened them with good pasta dishes. Focus: Do you have a favorite dish? Ciabatti: My favorite dish is risotto. It is a flavorful hearty dish that warms the entire body. Some would even say it nurtures the soul. It is a very difficult dish to make properly, most people overcook it. The region of Italy I come from is known as the rice capital. They grow the rice about 15 miles from my home. Risotto is often the main course dish of our day. Focus: What is hard about making risotto? Ciabatti: Have you ever watched an episode of Hell’s Kitchen? They make risotto each time, and it’s always made improperly. You’ll hear the chef yell, “It is over cooked! It is over cooked!” To make risotto, true Italian risotto, it takes about 20 minutes to cook and you have to stir it constantly. Most people don’t understand the effort that goes into making a good risotto. Constant attention in a busy kitchen takes a lot of skill as well, making sure that it is served promptly so that it does not harden. It’s a challenging dish

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

to make properly. I love making risotto, I guess I like the challenge and I strive to be the best at what I do. The same goes for pasta dishes; anybody can make pasta, but to make good pasta is difficult. At Donatello’s we made our own pasta, lasagna and fettuccini. You might find three places in all of Tampa that make their own pasta. It’s an art that is disappearing. Focus: So how do you like working here at the Ramada? Ciabatti: It’s great! The owners Evelyn and Batista Sr. Madonia are wonderfully enthusiastic. Their employees are an extension of their family. They have always supported efforts to make the restaurant the best in the area. We have a beautiful setting with entertainment and great food. The atmosphere is festive yet elegant. We have actually received many awards from FOCUS Magazine. Please come visit us in the Red Rose Dining Room. Enjoy the experience, relax and let us take care of YOU! Focus: Do you have aspirations to have your own restaurant someday? Ciabatti: Of course I’d like to have my own restaurant. I believe it is the dream of every chef. It would have to be an Italian restaurant with a lot of homemade pasta, seafood and maybe a few steaks for those that have not yet fallen in love with good pasta. Focus: Are there high expectations from your friends when you have them over for dinner? Ciabatti: Well, yes, but in a good way. They are always excited to come for dinner and are sure to experience a wonderful meal. They always say they would weigh “two tons” if they lived in my home. We often have big parties at our home and I cater them myself. We’re sure to have a good turnout at the gathering. Most people are afraid to invite me over for dinner. I’m a simple guy, a good steak and a potato can usually satisfy me. I’m much more particular about my pasta, and usually enjoy it best if I prepare it myself.

If you haven’t been to the Red Rose, you need to take the time. The food is well worth the trip. If you happen to see Chef Ciabatti or the Madonia’s, tell them you read this interview in FOCUS.


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


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


HISTORY

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Story courtesy of Plant City Photo Archives, Inc.

Reminiscing with Jim Pollock 10). The telephone company had its administrative offices on the first floor of the building and the operators worked out of quarters on the second floor. Jim and Dottie were married in 1950, and Dottie continued to work for Peninsular until 1956.

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1939 graduate of Turkey Creek High School, James T. “Jim” Pollock has spent his last 80 years in the Plant City community. He was born in Georgia in 1922 and his father moved the family to Florida about 1926. While in high school, Jim worked part-time at a service station. Pollock’s first “real job” after high school was at the Table Supply Grocery Store on the west side of South Collins Street between Haines Street and South Drane Street. (These streets are Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and J. Arden Mays Boulevard today.) Jim Pollock worked there from 1939 to 1942, when he entered the U.S. Army. Pollock was inducted at Camp Blanding and served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Europe, 1943-45. Sergeant Pollock served with the 9th Air Force in action in Europe, including the Battle of the Bulge. Jim Pollock was discharged at Camp Blanding and returned to Plant City. Upon arriving back in Plant City, Pollock joined the staff at Plant City Auto Supply, on the west side of South Collins Street. He worked there until 1950; while there he met Dottie Johnson, who worked for Peninsular Telephone Company located at the NW corner of Haines Street and South Collins in the old Simmons Building, (which served as the town hall 1907-

In 1950, Jim Pollock joined the sales force at Plant City Steel, a growing company founded by Cliff Hardee at the intersection of US 92 and Park Road. After ten years with Plant City Steel, Pollock had an opportunity to purchase a service station and thus began his life as an entrepreneur. From his first Cities Service station, he built up a distributorship and sold diesel and kerosene to citrus growers and farmers in the area. By 1963, Pollock was ready for his next step and founded Pacemaster Oil Corporation, becoming his own independent dealership and distributor. He began building and purchasing service stations throughout Central Florida. In 1968, Pollock established the Speedee Shops, one of the early convenience store - gasoline outlet combinations, and by the mid-70s his operation grew to 68 Pacemaster service stations and 28 Speedee Shops. He set up Pacemaster Oil Corporation offices in the former Coca-Cola Building at the SE corner of Pennsylvania Street and East Baker Street, which was built in 1939 by James W. “CocaCola Jim” Henderson. Jim Pollock was active and worked closely with the business and civic leaders of the community and served on many boards, including Hillsboro Bank. The Pollock’s sold Pacemaster, along with the Speedee Shops subsidiary, to Farm Stores about 1976. Jim came out of retirement in 1979 when he was appointed Deputy Director of the state’s Energy Office, and he worked out of his Tallahassee office, while returning regularly to his Plant City homestead. The west side of Evers Street between South Drane and Haines Street housed Dr. Black’s office, the Wildcat Grocery, and at the southern end the Coca-Cola bottling plant. The east side had the Stallwood Furniture building and the Plant City Enterprise newspaper, where the Orange Blossom Tea Room is situ-

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

ated today (2007). The block surrounded by Collins Street, Baker, Evers, and Mahoney Street once held the First Baptist Church, an old stately house serving as the church parsonage, (where the Pollock’s were married in 1950), the Masonic Lodge on Evers, and at the corner of Collins and Mahoney was the City Hall, along with the Police Department, Fire Department, and City Court. Pollock also remembers a Walgreen Drug Store and an A&P Grocery Store on the Reynolds, Collins, North Drane, and Evers Street block. Of course, today’s McCall Park was then the site of the ACL depot and a Central Truck Line building. He also remembers that the former Table Supply Grocery was the forerunner of the Kwik Chek and Winn Dixie Grocery line. There was also a vacant lot on South Drane, just west of Collins Street, where Snellgroves Restaurant parking is today (2007) that was known for its pugilistic activities. It seems this outdoor arena was the site of wrestling matches (just as fake then as today, he remembers), and other prize-fight or boxing matches. Then there were: Pete Winters’ DodgePlymouth dealership on Palmer, the Railway Freight office, New York Liquor, the first Publix grocery in Plant City, Rogers & Middlebrooks, Hagan’s Lunch, Rusty’s Pool Room, the Plant Pharmacy, and many others in that south side neighborhood.

Saturday night in Plant City began early and lasted until the late hours, and stores would remain open until 10 p.m., 11 p.m., or midnight if there were customers. The kids would head for the movie houses - to attend a doublefeature and a continued series with Hop-A-Long Cassidy, or Tim McCoy or others. This was only a dime, and there was enough left over for a treat at one of the several ice cream parlors downtown. Kids knew that they might find their parents at Mr. Harold’s news stand on Collins Street, across from the taxistand, or they could go to the Central Park (City Park) behind the Wright Arcade Building. Parents shopped at the many general stores, dry goods, grocery stores, drug stores, and feed and seed stores downtown. Pollock restated what a number of others have said about Plant City on Saturday nights - you could not believe the numbers of people on the sidewalks and in the stores those nights. The sidewalks were shoulder-to-shoulder and the restaurants were packed. There were no extensive parking lots and on Saturdays, people would park where they could and walk the half mile or so into downtown. The Pollock’s love their “home town”, call it a “great place to live”, and remain active in this wonderful community. Sources: Plant City Photo Archives, Plant City Photo Archives Oral History Project 2002 and 2003, James T. and Dottie Pollock.

Of interest is that the field later known as Cooke/Courier Field was used as early as the 1930s for local softball leagues with teams sponsored by communities, civic clubs, and businesses. One of Jim Pollock’s best memories is of the wonderful Saturday nights in Plant City. “Back in those days,” he recalled, “there were no television and shopping centers, so all the good country people, including me, would flock to Plant City on Saturday night.” Pollock, Pacemaster-Baker Street, 1967.


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PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 67 C o n t a c t u s at worldwiderelocation@century21.com FOCUS


NOW SELLING

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FREEMARR HOMES “Your Quality Home Builder” ��������������������������

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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.

CRC 043791

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

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

MAGAZINE

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


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

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Spread out w/a 3-way split 4 bedroom plan plus office, formal living & dining rooms w/new wood floors & family room. The gourmet kitchen features New GRANITE countertops, new tile, walk-in pantry, Center Island and so much more. Almost 2900 sq’ of living. Large lanai, pool & spa. You will LOVE this home!!! Only $429,900. Call Natalie at 813-758-9586.

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.

4 bedroom, 3 bath custom Home w/large kitchen open to family room w/fireplace. Large master suite with walk in closet, jetted tub & double sinks. Formal living & dining rooms. Pool & Spa. Don’t miss this one! Newly listed for only $375,000. Call Natalie at 813-758-9586.

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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. $319,900 Call Natalie 758-9586.

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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

This Wonderful Pool Home is at the end of the culde-sac w/no back yard neighbors! Spacious great room with formal dining & large eat-in kitchen are just some of the features of this lovely home. AC new in 2005, Brand New ROOF in June 2007. This home is a MUST SEE! Call Angel 813-546-9586.

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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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This beautiful Home w/Pool & Spa is right on Lake Mango. Join in on the water sports like skiing & boating or just sit back and enjoy watching. The views are incredible! Gorgeous Kitchen w/upgraded 42” Cherry Cabinets. The master bath features jetted garden tub & walk-in closet. Gorgeous tile & carpeting throughout. You will LOVE calling this HOME! Priced to sell at $395,000. Call Natalie 813-758-9586.

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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 • July 15, 2007 - August 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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• Lower Rates • Lower Payments �������� in as little as • Debt Consolidation ������������� • Home Improvement

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• Judgement ¸�� • Foreclosure ¸�� • Poor Credit ¸�� • Collections ¸�� • Bankruptcy ¸�� • Cash Out ¸��

Chadwell Mortgage Group

800-474-0143

www.CMGFunding.com/applynow FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 71


1607 S. Alexander Street Suite 102

813-752-2087 813-759-1200

������������������������������� Beautiful 4/2 home plus den in Copper Ridge over 2100 sq.ft. concrete blk constr., Kitchen has wood cabinets and eat in area with breakfast bar. Screened lanai - split bedroom plan - Formal living rm, dining rm, and family rm. Great home and in “move in condition” - 2 car garage Reduced $239,000 ���������������������������������

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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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ST CO CE NG N SI STA O CL SSI A 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. ���������������������������������

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���������������������� Beautiful 1.3 acre lot with hilltop view and small pond on highly desirable Varn Rd. Survey and deed restrictions available. Price reduced to $99,900! ��������������������������������

Benefit from some closing cost assistance, great family space providing the quality Florida living you deserve! Appreciate 3 bd, 2 ba, formal living and dining rooms, open & flowing floor plan. Could be yours...

This Wonderful Pool Home is at the end of the cul-desac w/no back yard neighbors! Spacious great room with formal dining & large eat-in kitchen are just some of the features of this lovely home. AC new in 2005, Brand New ROOF in June 2007. This home is a MUST SEE!

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Spread out w/a 3-way split 4 bedroom plan plus office. The gourmet kitchen features New GRANITE countertops, new tile, walk-in pantry, center island & much more. Almost 2900 sq’ of living w/large lanai, pool & spa.

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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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Builder’s special with homes of 2000 sq’ or more! Custom build or use builder’s plans. Some standard features are 42” cabinets in kitchen w/Granite countertops, crown molding in the main living areas, designer tile & much much more.

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...because your move matters FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 72


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 73


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UNBELIEVABLE

PRICE REDUCED $80,000 under appraisal. Hereʼs your opportunity to own a great 3BR 2BA ranch home with 3.75 Acres fenced & cross fenced. Approx. 1954 sq. ft of living space plus an open front porch and scrnd back porch. Barn & small pond w/fishing dock. Donʼt wait, see it today! Itʼs yours for JUST $319,900. #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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experi refinancing te r u o h it w d very please h lower percentage ra “We were uc lm a d e ceiv s very know re ence. We re t of money. Nate wa we e w d la a lo are so g e W l. and saved a n ll our nd professio happy to te e b l il w edgeable a e w Nate, and referred to the future.” t City, FL in y il m fa d n a s ong, Plan friend ecca DeSh b e R d n a - Gary

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“Exc e us in llent Em ai fo Ever r maed a l Commu nd w ythin nicat e g we Nate nt ac never fe ion. Nate !” cord - Ric ing t lt “in the kept hard o pla and N n. Th dark”. ia Ra anks mo, P , lant C ity, F L

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Purchase

0 Down Payment/100% Financing Fast Closings Affordable Monthly Payments First Time Home Buyer Loan Mobile Home Loan - 30yr Term - 3-5% Down

rvice... ceptional se ex d an s ante “LOW ra he did not ble , and if k la ai ac b av u s yo ay Alw call ll, he would swer your ca .” hour within the City, FL nsend, Plant w To n ya -R

“VERY, VERY pe rsonal service. Na te makes you feel comfortable and takes time to answer questions and explains the home financing pr ocess.” - Jason and Daph ne Merrin, Plant City, FL

Quality Services

Refinance

Expert Advice Clear Explanations Straight Forward, Honest Answers Low Rates Dependable Service Excellent Availability

Debt Consolidation Cash Back Loans No Mortgage Insurance Improve Your Cash Flow With A Debt Consolidation Refinance

WWW.PLANTCITYMORTGAGES.COM First Time Home Buyers No Down Payment Easy Qualification Closing Cost Assistance No Classes to Take

Flexible Loan Options

Fixed Rate Interest Only Payments 15, 30, 40, 50 year terms No Prepayment Penalties Investor Loans Mobile Home Loans

Call Now To Be Added To Our List Of Preferred Homebuyers

For Homes Under $150,000!!

Call Today: 813-763-3910 En Español: 813-478-4756

Easy Qualifiers High Debt Ratio Poor Credit Collection Bankruptcy Equity Loan

Easy Paperwork Business Owner Loan No Tax Returns No Proof of Income Stated Income

OK OK OK OK OK

CALL NATE DAVIS Mortgage Consultant

(813) 763-3910 Office Located In Plant City

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 75


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al Library, Inc. of the Bruton Memori Published by the Friends PLANT CITY Number - Ask anyone2in Vol. 13 donʼt know is the story behind Spring 2005 Plant City for a good place the days were spent in to eat name and who Grandpa Johnson biinto with getfields andthe and, odds are, youʼll be directed in Tampa hisout father. Elton still smiless. as characters hang really is. he to Fredʼs Market Restaurant own backyard This right in our shouting or zarre scrapes remembers “haw” and Tribune Tampa Grandpa Johnsonʼs Barbeque. former “gee” Dorsey, at the Tim is mule, and Ninety author laughs years ago, in the little town hereasin right Even out-of-towners are familiar will be speaking heremarks that kids today donʼt and he of Opp, Alabama, Elton reporter, on May with these Plant City originals. Johnson ity knowCommun what those Room words mean. was born on April 28th. As own Moody ourthe The Johnson family name has oldest 7pm. at son 5th he among 8 children, become synonymous with Eltonʼs father was a musical good quickly learned the value to southern cooking and classic of hard movedman sawin toIndiana, it that every washeborn work. By the time he wasTim Dorseyand barbeque. But what most a small 7 or inchild played and grew up an 1, instrument. people age of 8, old enough to hold a plow, Sunday the Florida his at afternoons wereof Miami called on the front town about an hour north spent from Auburn Riviera Beach. He graduated in Transportaa B.S. with 1983 in y Universit he was editor of the tion. While at Auburn, Plainsman. student newspaper, The

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Thank you for joining us at Grandpa Johnsonʼs Barbeque, we hope your experience has been enjoyable! Each day we strive to serve the best barbeque in the best way possible. Our sauces and rubs are the product of countless hours of testing, tasting, and refining recipes. Our menu items have been carefully selected to give you a true barbeque experienc e and good southern cooking. A few of our items are offered because they are regional favorites such as strawberry shortcake - others are family recipes, passed down through the generations. We are “smokinʼ proud” of our restaurant, food and service but above all, we are barbeque fans and appreciate any comment s you may have. We are glad you stopped by and look forward to seeing you again soon.

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for you. Who is the Hereʼs a trivia question who has outlandFlorida mystery writer into bizarre scrapes ish characters that get has to do with some to solve a mystery that Five years ago, most timely Florida issue? “Carl Hiaasen,” and people would answer today, but now that would still be correct scene who is on the there is a new author But his outlandish just as highly regarded.

porch practicing together. This was especially hard for Elton, who – like most young boys – would have rather been running and playing games with his friends. Even so, those Sunday afternoons instilled a strong family bond in the Johnson clan.

In 1932, at the age of 17, Elton moved south with his family.

They had heard through friends that there were good opportunitie s in Central Florida. They settled in the Coronet area and worked together picking strawberrie s to make a living. Over the next few years, Elton spent time at a CCC Camp (Civilian Conservatio n Continued on Page 3 “History of Grandpa Johnsonʼs BBQ”

he was a police and courts From 1983 to 1987, Journal, the now-dereporter for The Alabama Montgomery. He r in funct evening newspape in 1987 as a genjoined The Tampa Tribune also worked as a He eral assignment reporter. Tribuneʼs Tallahassee the in reporter political editor. From 1994 to bureau and a copy desk night metro editor 1999, he was the Tribuneʼs He left the paper or. coordinat news and night full time. He lives in in August 1999 to write and two daughters. He Tampa with his wife is 44.

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Writers All are Other Florida Mystery in a variety of available at the Library formats. Carl Hiaasen James T. Hall Elmore Leonard Stuart Woods Barbara Parker Edna Buchanan Les Standiford

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


HOMES

HOME GUIDE

SEND COMMENTS TO K TONEY@FLOYDPUBLICATIONS.COM

Story by Natalie Sweet

The Walden Lake Review the Walden Lake Community Association office and pick up additional decals for $5.00 each. The Board asks that we all follow the policy for golf carts. You can get a copy of the policy at the WLCA office if you don’t have a copy.

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ecently we all received the Community Newsletter to bring us up to date. One of the things the board wants the residents to know is the board is here to serve the community. If you have concerns, please contact our on-site manager, Tom Daramus, by calling 754-8999 or in an emergency, you may call his cell at 967-1626. Tom is around and very easy to reach.

There is a new Towing Policy at the lake/park parking lot. There have been an increasing number of vehicles at the park that do not have a WLCA decal. The assumption is that these are not residents and as a result, these vehicles will be towed. They will receive three notices before a vehicle will be towed. It is easy enough to get additional decals if you need them. You can see Marlene at

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

New directors elected this year at the Annual Meeting are Marcus Alexich, Bob Norton and Frank Salerno. Thank you for stepping up and caring about our beautiful community! 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 Octo-

ber 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. 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.


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


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


CACHET GRANITE � ������������������� �������������������

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Call Hiram 813.717.7779

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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

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COUNTRY DREAM! 3/2 executive home has upgrades throughout. Pool runs on salt system. Additional buildable lot included to bring total acreage to just under four acres. NO homeowner association. Tucked away like a hidden gem. $470,000.

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SO MUCH POTENTIAL This great Lakeland home needs a little TLC to make it just perfect. 3/2 with big backyard and screened back porch. Storage shed, 2 car garage for plenty of storage. Close to everything! Priced to sell fast. $135,000.

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LIS NEW

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Please Ring For The Best Royal Treatment

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SHARON OURS

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1406 W. Knight Griffin Rd Planty City, FL

752-3306

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 87


HOMES

SEND COMMENTS TO K TONEY@FLOYDPUBLICATIONS.COM

Story by Shelton Keely

Foreclosure Property Deals D

POOL MASTERS

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id you know that you can save tens of thousands of dollars on the purchase of your home by investing in a foreclosure or pre-foreclosure property? When you are trying to purchase a home for the first time and you have limited resources and limited funds, it is particularly important that you get the most “bang for your buck.” One way for a young family to get the most home for their money is to purchase a “distressed” property. With research and due diligence, you may just end up with a larger or nicer home than you thought you could afford, but without the extra price tag. One way to accomplish this is by purchasing a property that is in foreclosure. You may want to look for an REO Foreclosure. What’s an REO Foreclosure? This stands for “Real Estate Owned”, or in other words, property that was foreclosed upon by the bank holding the mortgage, and now belongs to the bank. But, the bank is a bank and not a real estate investment firm. They are simply not in the business of residential real estate and have no interest in the home other than to recoup their investment. How does this benefit you? Well, more than likely the previous owners of the property have been making payments on it for some time, bringing down the amount the bank was owed and increasing the equity in the property. Since the bank is only concerned about recouping what they are owed and not really attempting to make a profit, then you can essentially reap the benefit of the equity in the property and purchase the home for what is owed, which is likely well below current market value. This approach, while simple in theory, does require research, time, fixup, and perhaps even cash up front. This approach is not for everyone, but if your situation allows for it, you may be able to snag a great deal on a nicer home than you could otherwise afford.

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


Mendonsa Commercial Center 1706 S. Alexander St. Plant City, Fl 33566 SALE OR LEASE Professional Office Space Available in a brand new upscale office park, located in the heart of Plant City’s Professional Community.

1,700 Sq Ft - 3,700 Sq Ft • Broker Participation GREAT LOCATION FOR: MEDICAL OR PROFESSIONAL SPACE FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:

Don Stine at 813-752-9119 or Bob Garrett at 813-681-5796

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


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

MAGAZINE

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 91


MONEY

INVESTING

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

Protect Yourself FROM IDENTITY THEFT

F

irst, the bad news: There’s still plenty of identity theft out there. Now, the better news: There’s not as much as in previous years. And now, the best news: You can do a lot to protect yourself from being victimized. Identity theft involves someone getting some pieces of information about you - name, Social Security number, credit card numbers, “pre-approved” credit card offers - and using this data to make purchases or withdraw funds from your accounts. In 2006, some 8.4 million Americans were hit by identity fraud - but that’s half a million fewer victims than the year before, according to a study conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research. The study also found that, in 2006, the average victim of an existing account fraud paid $587, out of pocket, in consumer costs associated with the fraud, while victims of new accounts opened in their name paid, on average, $617.

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

www.edwardjones.com Member SPIC

The overall decline in identity theft may indicate that more people are acting to protect themselves - but the average cost per person shows that fraud victims still can get hurt. How can you reduce the chances of being victimized by identity theft? Here are some suggestions: Shield your credit card from prying eyes and ears. Thieves can now use camera cell phones to take photos of your credit cards while you’re making purchases. Don’t pull your credit card out from your wallet or purse until the moment you’re going to use it, and put it away after it’s used. If you’re making a contribution over the phone to a political or non-profit group, don’t give out your credit card number unless you’re sure the organization is legitimate. Use secure sites when shopping online. Before giving out your credit card number to make a purchase on the Internet, make sure you’re on a secure site one that begins with https://. (The “s” stands for “secure.”) Also, the site should display a small lock or other security seal. Shred those documents. If you are purging old investment statements, tax returns and bank documents, use a shredder. And while you have the shredder out, use it on pre-approved credit card offers. Go “virtual”. Try to replace paper statements with online versions. Check your bank statements at least a few times a month. If you find a transaction that looks unfamiliar or questionable, call your bank to find out more details. Get your credit report annually - To request a copy of your credit report, you can call the three main credit bureaus: Equifax (1-800-685-1111), Experian (1888-397-3742) and Trans Union (1-800-888-4213). Check your report closely for “surprises” or unaccounted activity. Guard your personal information. Don’t carry around your Social Security card in your wallet. In fact, unless it’s truly necessary, as when you’re filing official papers, don’t give out your Social Security number. Also, change the PIN number on your cash card once in a while. Identity thieves are clever - do whatever it takes to keep them out of your life.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 92


Est. 1922

EPRCCPAs

Your Future Success Is Our Business

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


GRANITE ����������� �������������������

GRANITE & MARBLE GALLERY New Remodeled Local Showroom In The Area

Large Selection of Tiles & Colors To Choose From

Tile, Marble & Granite, Cabinets, Deco Tile, Listellos, Artwork & Accessories, Shutters, Verticals, Blinds, ��������� ��������� ����������� ��������

Pam Breste r D esigner

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

has become one of the most important decisions made by the homeowners to enhance the beauty of their home. Years ago, most contractors used small tiles in bathrooms, allowing more grout joints and adding problems to the consumer and the applications were performed over green board. Thankfully, the industry has moved toward larger tiles, eliminating excessive grout joints and replacing green boards with a better and more reliable product (Wonder Board). Also there is a beautiful line of listellos, tumble stones and inserts, to create an exceptional look to any of your rooms.

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New Location!!! PAMʼS CELL - 863-670-2092 863-802-5600 • 813-707-5600

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If you need a free estimate for your bathroom or flooring, please contact us or visit our showroom.

Come Visit Us At Our New Location!


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STEVE SHOUSE, AAMS 813-752-9400 Financial Advisor

MICHAEL CAMERON 813-759-1491 Financial Advisor

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Member SIPC

TIM SHUFF, AAMS 813-752-1071 Financial Advisor

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


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813.717.7700 • 1505 South Alexander Street • Suite 102 • Plant City, FL 33563


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


HEALTH

SEND COMMENTS TO K TONEY@FLOYDPUBLICATIONS.COM

Submitted by Susan M. Ott, D.O.

Fracture Care

D

espite all of the talk these days about “Couch Potatoes,” we are actually an active society. While our activities are not always sports or health related, we do a lot of things that put us at risk for injury. One type of very common injury is a bone fracture. In fact, millions of people every year sustain a fracture of at least one bone or another. Many people have the misconception that fractures and broken bones are different. In my office it is not uncommon for a patient

to ask me: “Doctor is the bone broken or is it just fractured?” Apparently, many people believe that a fracture is not as severe as a “break.” They think that a fracture is simply a crack or some other sort of minor bone injury, whereas a break is a more complete, more severe injury. The reality is that fractures and broken bones are one and the same. Well, let’s explore fractures as a type of injury and the types of treatment available. Fractures, or broken bones, may occur whenever someone is injured. As we all know, injuries come in many forms. A simple fall can cause a wrist fracture. Stepping in a hole can cause an ankle fracture. More

severe trauma, such as auto collisions, can cause multiple fractures to major bones that can lead to life threatening complications. Usually injuries that cause fractures prompt people to seek out primary medical care at a walkin clinic or an emergency room. Sometimes, however, people with less obvious fractures may wait several days before they seek care. If an injury leads to pain, swelling, and bruising that seems worse than normal, and if those symptoms last more than 24 hours, it is advisable to have the injury examined and xrayed. Only a well done x-ray can confirm the presence of a subtle fracture. In obvious cases, there is deformity and patients with these more severe injuries have little doubt that medical care is needed. Most of the time when a fracture diagnosis is confirmed, the emergency team will apply a splint and discharge the patient from the emergency area. Most

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fractures are not urgent emergencies and routine follow up in the Orthopaedist(s) office in 2-3 days is usually sufficient. On occasion, fractures will be severe enough to require immediate surgery within the first day after injury. Orthopaedics’ are specialists in the care of fractures. They know how to evaluate and determine the correct treatment plan for virtually any fracture of any bone. Their commitment to the community is to see all patients who have sustained a fracture within a 24-48 hour time window. Of course, if necessary, they are always available to carry out emergency fracture care that requires immediate surgery. Today’s article covers the basics of fracture care. Over the next couple of months, I will be writing about several different types of fractures, their treatment, and fracture complications.

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

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

• General Orthopedics • Total Joint Replacement • Partial Joint Replacement • Mini Incision Joint Replacement

• Sports Medicine • Fracture & Injury Care • Arthroscopic Surgery • Ligament Reconstruction

116 N. Kings Ave. Brandon, Fl 33510

(813) 490-1393

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

Certified: Board Certified D.O.

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Plant City, Fl 33567

(813) 754-0817


Hope Christian Academy Now Enrolling For 2007-2008 School Year

Openings Available Educational Opportunities for Str uggling, Average & Advanced Learners

Great y ntar e m e l E with m a r Prog ssrooms cla small

Scholarships Available McKay, FL Pride & Others

K-5 Thru 5th Grade 6th Thru 12th Grade (Limited Seats Available)

Hope Christian Academy

1109 W. Grant St. • Plant City, FL 33563

813-752-1000

mhagel@hope-christian.com

Member of ACSI Accredited: NPSAA

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


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Automatic, A/C, CD Player, 120K

New Ball Joints, Tires & Rims, Ice Cold A/C, New CD Player

Automatic, A/C, CD Player, 111K, Excellent Condition

$1,800 Down / $50 per week

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$5,495 Cash

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Rick Jones

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Automatic, Ice Cold A/C, Only 80K, Like New

Like New, Only 70K Miles

Excellent, Ice Cold A/C, Automatic

Special $6,500 Cash

Special of the Month $9,900

$1,200 Down / $50 per week

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


D&E

DINING REVIEW

SEND COMMENTS TO K TONEY@FLOYDPUBLICATIONS.COM

Story & Photos by Kristen Toney

Panera Bread

HAS ARRIVED IN PLANT CITY AT LAST!

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s Plant City grows, so does our selection of delectable dining places. One newer establishment our town has looked forward to for months is Panera Bread, in the new shopping center next to Lowe’s on Jim Redman Parkway. Although Panera is a franchise, the company has been built like a family, and in looking for new areas to place locations, their real estate division hand-selected Plant City. “The division searches for new locations in up and coming areas,” commented Diana Sukup, Panera’s Marketing Coordinator. “We see a great future here for continued growth!”

“We take pride in providing fresh baked goods,” stated Jessica Spiker, Manager at our Panera. “All leftovers are end of the day doughnations (misspelling intentional) to different organizations and charities. Each location has multiple numbers of locations they donate to.”

Panera Bread is located at 2909 James L. Redman Parkway

While the populations vary in areas Panera locates, no matter if the audience is the elderly, families, business people or college students, the restaurant has a broad audience and appeal, and likes to be referred to as the neighborhood bakery café at the end of the day. Sukup has worked with Panera for five years now, and has seen all sides of the operation, from daily restaurant work to her position now with marketing. “It’s always been a great company,” she enthused. “They take care of their employees, which creates employees who are not ashamed to represent a company well.”

The managers and staff of our Plant City Panera Bread!

Even though General Manager for our location, Michael Beaulieu, believes favorite orders are “cinnamon crunch bagel with hazelnut cream cheese, broccoli cheddar soup or you pick 2’s” are the most popular orders, Panera makes it easy to choose just what you want for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Visit their website at www.panerabread.com for a full menu, company information and even recipes, and visit our Panera Bread location, right here in Plant City!

Dedication is key at Panera. Managers arrive at the store at approximately 4:30 a.m. each day, making plans to begin serving breakfast promptly at 6:30 a.m. Open through lunch and dinner as well, the store is fully shut down by 10:00 p.m., when the bakers arrive and bake through the night, preparing fresh goods for the next day’s crowd.

Critical Info Panera Bread 2909 James L. Redman Parkway Plant City, Florida 33566 (813) 659-0864 www.panerabread.com Child’s Menu All Major Credit Cards Accepted With a bakery case always full, Panera can satisfy any craving!

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

Looking for a healthy breakfast on the go? Check out Panera’s all new Natural Muffins! How about a business meeting over a tasty lunch? Between the Pesto Chicken Crispani, Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad and new Strawberry Smoothie (come on, this is Plant City!), you’ve got all you need! Would you rather finish up some work while eating dinner at Panera, or be stuck at the office? That’s an easy choice, and their free Wi-Fi makes it possible!


����������������������������������������������������� The Celebration for Life fundraising banquet to benefit Pregnancy Care Center is scheduled for Tuesday, September 11, 2007 at 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM at the John R. Trinkle Center, 1206 N. Park Road in Plant City on the campus of Hillsborough Community College. The Center is excited to announce that the New York Times bestselling author, television commentator, and educator Stephen Mansfield will be the keynote speaker at this event. Mansfield’s most recent work details experiences as he was embedded with the troops in Iraq. You will also be riveted as he shares his own personal story. Mark your calendar! In January the Pregnancy Care Center of Plant City marked its official conversion to a non-profit medical clinic. The Center now provides nurse-administered pregnancy testing and ultrasounds to confirm pregnancy. All our clients and patients receive excellent peer counseling, community referrals, and material assistance. All services are confidential and at no cost to our patients. This is a community-based organization supported by area individuals, churches, businesses, and civic organizations. Multiple fundraising opportunities are presented throughout the

year to include the “Walk for Life” in February, “Change for Life” Baby Bottle Campaign from Mother’s Day through Father’s Day, “Tea of Significance” in June hosted by ladies of the community, and “Drive for Life” Golf Tournament promoted by our golfer friends. In September is the “Celebration for Life” fundraising banquet. At Christmas, we ask area churches to help us with our “Cherub Tree Appeal.” Churches and individuals provide new baby items so that we can make gift bags for each new mother throughout the year. This may be the only new baby items they receive. We also accept throughout the year gently used maternity and infant clothes, as well as infant items.

Programs provide referrals for medical care, social services, legal aide, pastoral care, and educational options. Material assistance such as maternity and infant clothing, emergency diapers and formula and gently used baby items is also available.

Medical Services: Nurse Administered Pregnancy Testing, Ultrasounds to confirm pregnancy, and maintenance of medical records.

Prevention Services: IMPACT Program provides WAIT Training Curriculum in a classroom setting for students 12-18 with highly qualified education specialists. The Teen Advisor Program is a teen mentor program to provide after school programs and school clubs. These students sign a contract to remain abstinent from sexual activity, drugs, alcohol and tobacco. The Teen Advisor Summer Staff provide skits and programs to younger teens at YMCA’s, Boys and Girls Clubs, and other youth programs. The Parent Power Program is presented to parents who want to help their students make healthy choices.

Intervention Programs: Confidential support to clients and patients facing unplanned pregnancy. Education on pregnancy, fetal development, relationship issues, risks of abortion, loving choice of adoption, sexually transmitted infections, and abstinence until marriage.

Recovery Programs: PACE is a 10-week Bible-based recovery program to help those who have been hurt by abortion. There are classes for both women and men. PATH is an 8-week Bible-based recovery program to help those who have suffered from sexual trauma.

Programs at the Center are:

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D&E

ENTERTAINMENT

SEND COMMENTS TO K TONEY@FLOYDPUBLICATIONS.COM

Story and Photos by Wendy S. Brown

Doo Wopping AT THE RED ROSE

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eilings sparkling like stars, dining room elegance, and 50’s nostalgic touches of records and old fashioned cars decorating the room and tables perfected the ambience at the Red Rose dining room on Friday night, June 22nd. Adding to the class act, you were led to your table by a beautiful hostess in a red satin dress festooned with a red rose. Later in the evening, all ladies were presented with a longstemmed red rose, even trimmed of thorns. Doo-Wop bopped into

Plant City for the second time in classic style to another sold out music-filled night with friends. Now, what is Doo Wop and where did it come from? Nowadays, Doo Wop refers to 50’s nostalgia such as diners and coffee shops or “Grease” aficionados. But musically, “doo-wop” first appeared in 1954. The band Carlyle Dundee and the Dundees sang “Never.” Their background group sang “doo wop” in the song’s chorus as filler

James and Ola Jean Hardee enjoy the Legends of Doo Wop

Tommy, Jimmy, Frankie and Stevie wow the crowd with upbeat music

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

words. Although 150 years ago, Stephen Foster completed the verses of “De Camptown Races” with “doo-dah.” Doowop music basically uses nonsense lyrics or meaningless sounds to fill the beats and create chants in the background. There are several characteristics of Doo Wop. You must have a vocal harmony group with a wide range of voices: tenor, baritone, bass, and a leader. There will be fun nonsense syllables, a simple beat, and light instrumentation, as well as simple music and lyrics. Now how did Doo-Wop bop into Plant City? Jimmy Gallagher of The Passions, Frank Mancuso of the Imaginations, Steve Horn of the Five Sharks, and Tommy Mara of the Crests performed as The Legends of Doo Wop to an excited crowd stirring in seats and clapping their hands to “Duke of Earl,” “Stand By Me,” and even “Dum Dum Diddie Dum.” Singers entertained the lively crowd with individual sing a’ longs, homey jokes, and the singing of birthday wishes. The Legends of Doo Wop were very personal with the crowd and walked into the audience for parts of their show to involve everyone. Talk about crowd pleasers! Sherrie Mueller stated that “The Legends of Doo Wop create such a fun atmosphere that she loves to dance to the beat and enjoys the music.” Romantic songs like “Just to be With You” and “Tonight” had the audience singing along with “…my darling hold me tight” while on the dance floor as lovers twirled, embraced, and relished the slow songs. Dancers strutted their stuff to “Six Nights a Week,” “Sixteen Candles,” and “Sloopy Hang On.”

Kellie Woods, Melany Barnes and Jessica King bloom at the Red Rose

While performing “Now Wait a Minute”, groups of ladies, including myself, danced and laughed together and then led by Evelyn Madonia, swirled around the room giggling while doing “the train.” This energized dinner show filled everyone with happiness and great cuisine. Hospitality abounds at the Red Rose. Personable wait staff even gets into the act, dressed in black tee shirts emblazoned with Doo Wop Weekend and are friendly, fun, and smiley. According to Evelyn Madonia, General Manager and owner of the Ramada Inn Plantation House, “Doo Wop is very popular in Plant City. There is so much love and happiness in the room, that it’s a joy to bring the Doo Wop weekends back.” In fact, the next Doo Wop weekend is May 4-6, 2008. Of course, the Red Rose Dining Room offers a variety of other musical shows every weekend. Many thanks to the Madonia family for their hospitality and for providing a musical night spot offering delicious meals to Plant City; and dining room manager, David Rodas for his kindness, professionalism, and, of course, a red rose.


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������������ www.happykidsinflatables.com

CALL US FOR YOUR NEXT...

Birthday Party, Family Reunion, Company Picnic, Church Event, School Event, Day Care Event, etc.

All Units Are Cleaned After Each Use and Safe!! We Are Plant City Residents Licensed & Insured

Community Church “A place where everybody is somebody”

Children’s Pastor: Angie Dannison

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www.newlifeplantcity.org • Inquire@newlifeplantcity.org

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

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 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 (659-8287) .......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 Contractors & Small Biz Support - 103 E Dr. MLK Blvd. (752-3070)....N2 Coyotees/Cuzzins - 111 S Palmer St (759-2955) ................K2 Downtown Deli - 111 W Reynolds St (719-8922) ...............G7

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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

813.759.1224 206 N Collins St. In Historic Downtown Plant City

www.byrd-stitzel.com

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 (707-1417) .....................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 Whistle Stop Restaurant - 102 S Collins (752-7340) ........K3

ANTIQUE SHOPS RESTAURANTS/BARS RETAIL PROFESSIONAL

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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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Plant City

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Established 1971 Specialized in Property Management

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Commercial • Residential Tenant Selection • Property Maintenance

110 E. Reynolds Street, Suite 200 Plant City, FL 33566

(813) 752-5262

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

(P.O. Box 1118, Plant City, FL 33564)

(813) 754-1578

Photo Exhibit Gallery Hours: Th. *Fri. *Sat. 10am - 4pm

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Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Mon - Thurs: 6am - 8pm Fri - Sat: 6am - 9pm • Sun: 7am - 2pm

109 South Collins Street Plant City, FL 33563

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813-659-2585

Fax (813) 752-9420

Collins Street Junction

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Whistle Stop Café (It just doesn’t get any better)


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GET PAID ��������������

YOUR Community! Frenchmanʼs Flea Market 106 E. Drane St. 754-8388

MAGAZINE

Mon-Sat 10am-5pm

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

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Call or E-Mail Kristen 813.707.8783 ext. 24 ktoney@floydpublications.com

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Olde Town Pizzeria 3011 James Redman Pkwy 752-5800

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

Orange Blossom Tea Room 106 Evers St S 759-2247

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

Panera Bread 2909 James L Redman Pkwy 659-0864

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

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

Kazbor’s Grille 2212 James Redman Pkwy 752-2700 Linda’s Crab Shack 202 Reynolds E 754-0492 Maryland Fried Chicken 315 N Alexander 752-9200 Munchies 1707 James Redman Pkwy 757-5900

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

DINING GUIDE

Bobs Sports Grill 226 Alexander St W. 719-8187

Grandpa Johnsons BBQ 1305 Dr MLK Jr Blvd 759-0009

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D&E

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


Call Ahead Drive Thru

Dine-in • Carry-Out • Catering Located on the Florida State Farmers Market I-4 Exit (Alexander St.) South 1 Mile

813-759-0009

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


NOW HIRING

Temps, Part-Time & Full-Time

Packers / Empacador / A

Duties Include:

-Examine & inspect materials -Remove completed & defective products -Measure & count materials -Package goods

D&E Crossword:

JUST FOR FUN

by Calvin R. & Jackie Mathews

The Cat’s Pajamas

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

1st Shift/ 1er Turno 6:30am - 3:00pm

2nd Shift/ 2ndo Turno 2:30pm - 11:00pm

3rd Shift/ 3er Turno 10:30pm - 7:00am

M&N PLASTICS, INC. Apply in Person

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

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


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


PLANT CITY July 15 - 28, Sunday-Saturday The City of Plant City Recreation and Parks Department will be registering individuals for the Adult Flag Football Tournament. The tournament will be held on Saturday, August 18, starting at 9:00 a.m. and will cost $220.00 per team. There will be two divisions, 4-on-4 and 7-on7 for ages 16 and up. For more information, contact Larry Langston at (813) 659-4200 extension 4302, llangston@plantcitygov. com or www.plantcitygov. com/rec.

July 15 - 31, Sunday - Tuesday The UPS Store is offering free packing for anyone shipping items to a military APO of FPO address. For more information, call (813) 754-5533.

July 15, Sunday Plant City Entertainment, Inc. Community Theater will present “The Music Man” as its summer musical at Hillsborough Community College Trinkle Center, located on the Plant City campus at 1206 N. Park Road in Plant City, beginning at 2:00 p.m. For more information, call director Jonathan Douglas

at (813) 630-4519. Ticket prices are: $10.00 General Admission and $8.00 for seniors 55 and older AND students through 12th grade. Tickets available at the door prior to each performance. Group rates are available by calling Hardee’s Fashions: (813) 7544929. Individual advance tickets may also be purchased at Hardee’s Fashions at 1501 N. Wheeler Street in Plant City approximately two weeks before show begins.

July 16 - July 19, Monday-Thursday Kid’z Sports, in partnership with the City of Plant City Recreation & Parks Department will be hosting a Baseball Camp at Mike Sansone in Plant City from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. The cost is $85 per camper and limited to 35. For more information, contact Larry Langston at (813) 659-4200 extension 4302, llangston@plantcitygov. com or www.plantcitygov. com/rec.

July 17, Tuesday Co-Ed Kick-Ball League season starts. For more information, contact Larry Langston at (813) 6594200 extension 4302, llangston@plantcitygov. com or www.plantcitygov. com/rec.

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

Event Calendar July 20, Friday

July 21, Saturday

Drum Circle will be held at Coffee 101 in downtown Plant City at 7:00 p.m. For more information, call (813) 659-0101.

The Strawberry Classic Car Show will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. in historic downtown Plant City. For more information, call (813) 7543707.

Registration deadline for Agritech 2007. Call (813) 752-6822 for more information.

July 20 - 21, Friday - Saturday Plant City Entertainment, Inc. Community Theater will present “The Music Man” as its summer musical at Hillsborough Community College Trinkle Center, located on the Plant City campus at 1206 N. Park Road in Plant City, beginning at 8:00 p.m. For more information, call director Jonathan Douglas at (813) 630-4519. Ticket prices are: $10.00 General Admission and $8.00 for seniors 55 and older AND students through 12th grade. Tickets available at the door prior to each performance. Group rates are available by calling Hardee’s Fashions: (813) 7544929. Individual advance tickets may also be purchased at Hardee’s Fashions at 1501 N. Wheeler Street in Plant City approximately two weeks before show begins.

Ralph Allocco and Second Wind will perform an evening concert at the Red Rose Dining Room. For more information, call (813) 752-3141. The Chris Welbon Karate Club booster club will be holding a fundraiser yard sale from 7:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at their location on Collins Street. The club will be accepting donated items on Friday, July 20th, from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. For more information, call (813) 752-9800.

July 22, Sunday O’Brien’s will host their first annual charity golf classic at Walden Lake Golf & Country Club on the Lakes Course. Individual entry fee is $100.00, hole sponsor $100.00, and team hole sponsorship is $475.00. Only the first 36 teams will be able to play. Fee includes golf, range balls, lunch, beverages, goody bag, golf shirt and award ceremony and buffet at O’Brien’s in Plant City. Proceeds benefit the South Florida Baptist Hos-


PLANT CITY pital Children’s Division. For more information, call Terry Haley or Doug Hall at (813) 764-8818.

Plant City from 2:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. For more information, call (813) 6590101.

July 23 - 27, Monday - Friday

Ralph Allocco and Second Wind will perform an evening concert at the Red Rose Dining Room. For more information, call (813) 752-3141.

The City of Plant City Recreation and Parks Department will hold Youth Soccer Camp. This is a competitive level camp for ages 9 through 18. For more information, contact Steve Rossiter at (813) 757-9166 days, srossiter@plantcitygov. com or visit www.plantcitygov.com/rec.

July 29, Sunday Sunday Brunch will be held at Coffee 101 in downtown Plant City from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. For more information, call (813) 6590101.

July 24, Tuesday

August 3 - 5, Friday - Sunday

Digital Photography class will be held at Coffee 101 in downtown Plant City from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. For more information, call (813) 659-0101.

The Plant City High School Class of 1992 will hold their 15-year reunion at the Tradewinds Resort. For more information, email stacylaw@tampabay. rr.com, or visit www.classmates.com.

July 27, Friday Friday Night 101 Jam Session will be held at Coffee 101 in downtown Plant City at 7:00 p.m. For more information, call (813) 6590101.

July 28, Saturday Guitar Class will be held at Coffee 101 in downtown

August 4, Saturday Bike Fest will be held from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. in historic downtown Plant City. For more information, call (813) 754-3707. Ralph Allocco and Second Wind will perform an evening concert at the Red Rose Dining Room.

Event Calendar For more information, call (813) 752-3141.

August 11, Saturday Ralph Allocco and Second Wind will perform an evening concert at the Red Rose Dining Room. For more information, call (813) 752-3141. The Plant City Children’s Theater will present Aladdin. For more information, call (813) 752-1683.

Recurring Events: Tuesdays: Free Time Jazz will perform, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Red Rose Dining Room. For more information, call (813) 7523141.

Wednesdays: Knitting Group meets at Coffee 101 in downtown Plant City at 6:00 p.m. For more information, call (813) 659-0101. Free Time Jazz will perform, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Red Rose Dining Room. For more information, call (813) 7523141.

Thursdays: Art Class meets at Coffee 101 in downtown Plant City from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. For more information, call (813) 659-0101. Open Mic Night is held at Coffee 101 in downtown Plant City at 7:00 p.m. For more information, call (813) 659-0101. Destiny, the House Band of the Red Rose Dining Room, will give an evening performance for Singles Night Out, featuring special guest Ralph Allocco. For more information, call (813) 752-3141.

Fridays: Destiny, the House Band of the Red Rose Dining Room, will give an evening performance. For more information, call (813) 7523141.

Saturdays: Destiny, the House Band of the Red Rose Dining Room, will give an evening performance. For more information, call (813) 7523141. Beginning August 4th, Tai Chi classes will be held at Coffee 101 in downtown Plant City from 9:00am until 10:00am. For more information, call (813) 6590101

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


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1ST ANNIVERSARY M ! FOOD FIRE SALE USIC! ������� FUN! ������������������������� ��������������������� �������������������������

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


Family Feasts for 2, 4 or more

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(1 child per adult entree)

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We Will Cater Your Next Party

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All-You-Can-Eat Spare Ribs With the purchase of a beverage

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203 W. Alexander Plant City • 813-754-3229 With this coupon. Not valid with other offers Offer Expires 7/23/07

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Lunch or Dinner

Woodyʼs BBQ spare ribs, Chicken & Pork with Fried Corn on the cob, French Fries, BBQ Beans and Garlic Toast

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Side portion: Your choice of Onion Rings, Fried Squash, or Chili Cheese Fries with the purchase of two regularly priced entrees and two beverages

Purchase one lunch or dinner entree and two beverages and receive the second lunch or dinner entree of equal or lesser value 1/2 off.

203 W. Alexander Plant City • 813-754-3229

203 W. Alexander Plant City • 813-754-3229

203 W. Alexander Plant City • 813-754-3229

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Feast for 2 Feast for 4

With this coupon. Not valid with other offers Offer Expires 7/23/07

With this coupon. Not valid with other offers Offer Expires 7/23/07

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


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WE’RE NOT LIKE THE OTHER SPORTS BARS. KARAOKE

Now Serving Full Seafood Menu Steak Specials Every Weekend

Every Thursday Night 8:30PM

LUNCH SPECIAL

$5.49

Delivered in 15 Minutes or Itʼs FREE

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DANCE CAROUSEL

813-986-9892 ��������������������������������������������

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OPEN HOUSE Thursday, August 16, 2007 • 5:30pm - 7:30pm

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Owner/Director Miss Lori J. Matta

Who Is Lori? • Lori has just relocated from the Boston area to Plant City and has been dancing since the age of 3. • An accomplished instructor for the past 25 years • Lori holds a B.S. Degree in Dance Movement Therapy for the Special Needs and a M.S. Degree in Sports Medicine and Exercise Physiology • She’s a past winner of many talent competitions including: Junior Miss Talent, Miss New Hampshire and Miss New England talent. She toured the country studying and judging many competitions in California, Las Vegas and New York City. • Former NFL cheerleader for the New England Patriots

1112 N. Wheeler St. • Plant City, FL FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • July 15, 2007 - August 15, 2007 • PG 126

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


FOCUS Plant City 06-07 July 2007  

FOCUS Magazine, Plant City, 2007

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