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Where You’ll Always Be Impressed A Casual, Eclectic Atmosphere… The Place to See and Be Seen …. On Lake Dora

Water Fun for All

Located On the new Tavares Marina and Seaplane Basin

111 W. Ruby Street Tavares, FL 352-742-1113

Rentals: Jet ski’s Electric chaise loungers Electric Fun boats Mouse boats Tubing Water Skiing Kayaks

Mutts & Martinis - October 17 (4-8 pm) (3rd Sunday of every month) Bike Night Music by Dangerous Dave - October 21 (6-10 pm) (3rd Thursday of every month)

Look for AL’S newest addition Upscale steak and seafood house

AL’S Top Shelf serving fine steaks and seafood.

Open every day at 11 am Live entertainment Wednesday through Sunday Happy hour Monday through Friday 4pm to 7pm ($1 off domestic beers, house wines and well drinks)

In the Biz Mondays (all day and evening) $1 off food and drinks to anyone in the hospitality industry For entertainment schedule and menu, visit

O l F e w s o t HFamily Event in Downtown Tavares th

Friday October 29

•Haunted House •Haunted Hayride 7pm-11pm •Face Painting •Haunted Boat Tours of the Dora Canal


Saturday October 30

•Trunk or Treat down Main Street 5pm-8pm

Food *Trick or Treating * Carnival Games * Bounce House * Gyros * Face Painting* Pumpkin Decorating

•Kids Costume Contest – Starts at 6:30pm @ City Hall Free to enter * Great prizes •Pet Costume Contest – Starts at 7:30 at City Hall •Haunted House •Haunted Boat Tours of the Dora Canal •Haunted Hayride 7pm-11pm

Haunted Hayride $3 Haunted House $5 1 Time Through Both - $7

Wristband for unlimited haunting both nights - $15 For more information, call 352-343-2531

Haunted House and Haunted Hayride Pick up located at the corner of Ruby St. and Joanna St.

table of contents

October 2010 volume 3 issue 8

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

Family of Community Magazines

Editor In Chief Heather Graham

VP of SALES Jack Voller

Sales - South Lake Lisa Busto

Graphic design


Plant City Lakeland Brandon Winter Haven Lake County South Tampa


14 20

MYFOCUSTV.COM Local Community Stories New Episode Every Wednesday

24 Own Your Own FOcus Magazine

Licensed territories are available. If you are interested in owning your own Focus Magazine call Mike Floyd at 813-707-8783 ext. 26


October 2010

Tony Cartagena Staff Writers Shelly Gerig Marion Wildey


As a continuation of their ongoing partnership with Taiwan, the Tavares Rotary, who hosts the Central Florida Dragon Boat festival each spring, invited a troupe of Taiwanese performers to visit Tavares on September 26th -27th. These talented performers entertained Tavares’ Middle Schoolers with their dazzling traditional folk art routine. The brightly costumed youth astonished with their talented displays of rope skipping, top twirling, and diabolo spinning.


Check out all the new businesses that celebrated Grand Openings with Ribbon Cuttings this month! These new business owners are eager to serve you! Read “Talk of the Town” to learn other notable events that happened this month in the South Lake community.


Learn the facts on the Wooton Park Expansion proposal which will go on the City of Tavares ballot this Election Day. The City Officials are proposing to take the Wooton Park renovation one step further with the acquisition of another 3.8 acres of land on the west end of the waterfront. The plan is to acquire this land for the purpose of “protecting water quality, preserving scenic view of Lake Dora, restoring the natural shoreline, improve public access to Lake Dora, and to construct waterfront improvements for recreational and music venues.”


Meet the finalists in this year’s FL Star Competition and the 2010 FL Star Champion, nineteen-year-old, Tasha Alcayaga. Tasha competed in the four-week long singing contest to beat out the other four finalists, after wowing both the judges and fans, who voted online at to help her win!

Dining & entertainment

At AL’S Landing, guests experience arguably the best view available while dining in Lake County. Not only does the venue offer an unobstructed view of Lake Dora, but as it sits directly adjacent to the boat ramp, it also gives customers a front row seat to the seaplane activity.



Tasha Alcayaga

Anthony Sassano


Lisa Rast Contributors Sharlyne Rivera Beth Ann Gause Rob Morris Hays Ginn

standards of accuracy The goal of the writers at FOCUS Magazine is to provide heart-war ming stories that are accurate from the start. Being human, however, we sometimes make mistakes. Please forgive us. So if you notice anything that is incorrect, then please do not hesitate to contact the editorial department and infor m it about the fact error. To do so e-mail The staff will fix the error in a timely manner. Readers who wish to respond to an article – not correct facts – can do so by writing a letter to the editor. If you need any other type of assistance, then please view the directory for the appropriate department. The staff at FOCUS Magazine is committed to serving their consumers and customers to the fullest of abilities. You’re paying attention to our words. Let us pay attention to yours.

FOCUS Magazine is published monthly and is available through local businesses, restaurants and many local venues. Letters, questions and comments can be sent to us at 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 D&H Publications, LLC and may be reproduced thereof. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of D&H Publications, LLC. Use or duplication of material used in this publication is prohibited without approved written consent from D&H Publications, LLC.

published by

D&H Publications, LLC 124 S. Joanna Ave., Tavares, FL 32778 Ph: 321-377-8953

Grammy Award Winner

Harvest Moon

In Concert October 23 7:30 pm

on the Lake Dora Bayou

October 23, 2010 3pm - 11pm Wooton Park Downtown Tavares

Hush Puppy (Dog) Parade * Fall Harvest Light Show * Hayrides Pumpkin Patch * Bounce House * Smores Pit * Farmers Market Movie Under the Stars * Rock Climbing Wall * Splash Park Open Ghost Boat Tours * Cajun Food Specialties Hush Puppy Parade (Sponsored by Green K-9) - 3pm Buckwheat Zydeco in Concert - 7:30 pm Movie Under the Stars - Twilight Saga: New Moon - 9pm Performances by: The Accelerators & Dixieland Band Presented by the City of Tavares. For more information - Tavares Recreation Department 352.742.6477

FOCUS Magazine Lake County October 2010


letter from the Editor



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all is officially here. Windows and doors are open and Halloween costumes are the buzz! I actually like Fall, but always feel it’s just here to try to sneak Winter in without us noticing. I guess you could say that I am a little suspicious of Fall’s motives, but can’t help but like it since it’s pretty and brings Halloween with it… In any case, it’s here and with it all the festivals and activities one County could possibly hope for! In addition to all the fun going on, it’s also Election time. I feel a responsibility to take this opportunity to encourage our readers to go out and Vote on November 2nd. While here at FOCUS Magazine we always TRY to stay away from hot topics, like politics, in our editorial, I feel very passionate about the act of voting. Everyone likes to feel their voice, their opinion, counts… and voting is the most basic way to make your say. This is one of your most fundamental rights as an American… Exercise it! I also urge you to make informed decisions when you vote. Don’t fall prey to the slander ads or who has the prettiest signs on the highway. Do your research and cast your vote for the candidate who represents the values and matters you feel passionate about. The same with issues presented on the ballot. Do your research and make enlightened choices. Also, I want to draw your attention to the fact that we have brought back “Talk of the Town” as part of our Local sections, both North Lake and South Lake. Be sure to check this out on pages 10 & 16 of this issue. This is a great spot for us to give mention to residents and businesses who have something notable to share each month. Please send me your submissions for “Talk of the Town” at I hope you all have a great month and enjoy this cooler weather. I’ll try not to whine about being cold too much! Look for FOCUS at all the great events going on this month, which you can learn about in our Event Calendar (page 48). Remember to Vote on November 2nd.

(3 Games & Lunch) Only $8.75/Person Heather D. Graham Editor In Chief

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north lake Local » Focus

chamber happenings Eustis

The Lake Eustis Area Chamber of Commerce “A Night at the Oscars” Community Service Awards will be held at the Eustis Community Center on Friday, October 15th from 6-10pm. The evening will feature dining, entertainment, and awards. Catering will be provided by Michael’s Restaurant and Catering. Tickets are available for $50 per person.


2010 Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce Presents their Annual Business EXPO on Thursday, October 14th, 2010 from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm at the Lake-Sumter Community College Gymnasium. If you have not signed up for a booth, what are you waiting for? Last year’s event saw over 160 vendors and 3000 visitors. Please contact the Chamber

today to reserve your space!

Mount Dora

The Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house at Active Life Chiropractic on Thursday, September 9, 2010. Active Life Chiropractic has a wide range of services including specializing in gentle and low force activator treatments and is located at 851 N. Donnelly Street, Mount Dora. For more information please give them a call at 352- 383-2530. The Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony for Trios Family Restaurant on Thursday, September 30, 2010. Trios Family Restaurant serves American, Italian and Asian cuisine featuring Chef Billy, formally of Jeffery Paul’s. For more information please contact Trios Family Restaurant at 352-735-2800.


Star-studded was the fourth annual Tavares Chamber Business of the Year Gala. The “Red Carpet” theme was continued providing attendees an opportunity to showcase their business on video as they entered Lake Receptions upon an actual

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October 2010

red carpet. During the dinner, the audience viewed the video featuring each attendee’s grand entrance. Anticipation was at a peak when Tavares City Manager John Drury completed a rousing State of the City address and the awards ceremony commenced.


Small Business of the Year: Belton Bail Bonds Medium Business of the Year: AL’S Landing Large Business of the Year: G&T Conveyor


Entrepreneur of the Year: Rodger Kooser Community Organization of the Year: Cornerstone


Volunteer of the Year: Jim Nichols Ambassador of the Year: Deborah Cahill Seaplane Image Award: Rodger Kooser Julie H. Hall Community Service Award: TJ Fish

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FOCUS Magazine Lake County October 2010


north lake Local » talk of the town

Tavares High School All-Class Reunion

talk town of the

Hundreds of Tavares graduates reunited in downtown Tavares on Friday, October 1st and Saturday, October 2nd. The Tavares High School All-Class Reunion was held at AL’S Landing with events on both Friday night and Saturday afternoon. The weather was beautiful and the waterfront venue fantastic for this second-year event which represented graduates from over 7 decades, the oldest being Betty Coven Wilcox from Class of 1943, who brought albums to share. Former teachers, coaches, and even a former school superintendent were in attendance also. The last two years the event has been organized by Rhonda Harris Hoffman and Bill Keeter and the next all-class reunion is tentatively scheduled for 2015.

“Rick Copley! You are an Ironman!” Local fitness coach, Rick Copley traveled to Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday, August 29th in hopes of hearing those words and walking away with a medal. Rick woke before dawn to compete in the Ironman Competition. He completed the 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run and finished 123rd out of approximately 3000 people. Rick blogs “I’ve won at all levels. I’ve done a lot in the last 23 years. I am proud of many moments. This one though is special. Finishing this race was the pinnacle of my career. This I have no doubts about.” Congrats, Rick! Lake County is proud of you!

Tavares Safe Harbor Kiwanis Club held it’s Charter Night On July 29, 2010 the newly formed Tavares Safe Harbor Kiwanis Club held its Charter night banquet at Al’s Landing in downtown Tavares. After the dinner the District Governor of Florida, Donna Parton presented the Charter to club President Marvin Sonne. This was followed by the installation of the Charter Members and the club officers. At least 90 members of Tavares and representatives of other Kiwanis Clubs and their guests were in attendance to show support for the new club.

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North Lake Local» Focus

Taiwanese Performers at Tavares Hosted by Tavares Rotary Middle School A Article by : Heather Graham

s a continuation of their ongoing partnership with Taiwan, the Tavares Rotary, who hosts the Central Florida Dragon Boat festival each spring, invited a troupe of Taiwanese performers to visit Tavares on September 26th -27th. The Youth Folk Sports Troupe hailed from Keelung, Taiwan and was made up of fifteen kids of an average age of 14. These talented performers entertained Tavares’ Middle Schoolers with their dazzling traditional folk art routine. The brightly costumed youth astonished with their talented displays of rope skipping, top twirling, and diabolo spinning. A Chinese version of the yo-yo, the diabolo is a colorful hourglass shaped plastic object which is attached to a cotton string that is tied to two sticks. The diabolo is rotated by pulling and

loosening the string with both hands. The fast footwork of the Tiawanese was displayed in their rope skipping demonstration. With multiple pairs of feet moving as fast as the twirlers could spin the rope, or sometimes even ropes, the troupe put a whole new spin on this playground classic. After performing, the troupe joined the Tavares students for lunch in the cafeteria, where they mingled and shared email addresses and Facebook info. Then, the Tiawanese kids were treated to a boat tour of the Dora Canal! Principal of Tavares Middle School, Trella Mott thanked the Rotary for arranging the event, “I can’t begin to tell you what a positive impact yesterday had on our students. It was all the buzz today. Thanks

again to your efforts and the support of the Rotary club for bringing this to TMS. It is greatly appreciated and anticipated again in the future!” Many were responsible for this event happening. Thanks goes out to Paul Lao of Lucy Ho’s Restaurant in Leesburg, who hosted a dinner for the Tavares Rotary and the Tiawanese Youth Folk Sports Troupe the night before their performance. Lao is a commissioner for Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Miami has placed a spot light on the Central Florida Dragon Boat Festival. Lao truly wants to help foster the growing friendship between Tavares and Taiwan. Thanks also to sponsors: Florida Hospital Waterman, Holiday Inn Express, and The Reunion Bank of Florida.

Coming to Downtown Eustis in October

Lake Eustis Chamber Presents PSYCHO SCAREHOUSE-

Guaranteed to scare the BOO out of you!!! October 21st-23rd & October 28th-30th 7-10pm Booths available starting at $25.00 admission $5.00 US Self Storage 2910 Kurt Street, Eustis

NORTH LAKE HOMETOWN HARVEST Join us for “Old Fashion Fun” Pie Baking/Eating, Clothes Pins in a Bottle, Ring Toss,Spoon and Egg Race, Cake Walk, Horse Shoes, Tomato Throw, Sack Race, Crafts Live Music Fun for the whole family Saturday November 6th 11am-5pm Admission $5 Adults $3 Children Lake County Fairgrounds

Any questions on these or other events please call Lake Eustis Area Chamber of Commerce


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South Lake Local» Focus

chamber happenings


Corporal Lane Roddenberry of the Lake County Sheriff ’s Office (Minneola District) received the September Public Servant Award which is sponsored by Ameriprise Financial. He has been with the Sheriff ’s Office for 12 years, and in that time has “become a valuable asset to the Sheriff ’s Office and the city of Minneola. It is not uncommon for the residents of Minneola to stop by Lane’s home or call him directly when they are faced with an issue. He has never complained that his home sometimes operates as a Sheriff ’s Sub Station,” said Lake County Sheriff Gary Borders.


Tim Green (Chamber Alliance of Lake County President), Ray Villegas, Ray San Fratello, Ryan Houck (Citizens for Lower Taxes Executive Director), Ann Dupee, and Bret Jones attended “NO on 4” political rally in Orlando. Lake County Chambers had a contingent of 10 attendees at the event that filled the Orlando Museum of Art with more than 250 people. 56 guests comprised of Chamber Community Trustees, Chamber Board Members, City Managers, Lake County staff, and elected officials from Lake County, Clermont, Groveland, Mascotte, Minneola, and Montverde met for lunch at Room Valencia inside the Citrus Tower to discuss and review Economic Development initiatives happening in Lake County. The Chamber Trustees hosted the event which was facilitated by Chairman Michael Bucher.

Lucy Hage, Chair of the Community Relations Committee, presented a $750 scholarship to Trevor Harris during the September Chamber Breakfast. Chamber Ambassadors presented R & G Italian Bakery/Deli with a Chamber “We Noticed” Award, recognizing the expansion of the dining area at their location 470 West Highway 50 in Clermont. Stop in to see it or contact them at (352) 404-6918!

Ribbon Cuttings

Chamber Ambassadors welcomed Mark Compston of Mark’s Floors and his staff to their new retail location located at 313C

Plaza) in Clermont. The can be contacted at (352) 243-0161. Stop by to welcome them to the area!

East Washington St. in Minneola, phone (352) 394-0303. Feel free to stop in and say hello to Mark - he just might even offer you a beer while you’re browsing! Buffalo Wild Wings, located at 2465 S. Hwy 27 in Clermont, made a grand entrance to the South Lake area in late August by treating many local residents and Chamber members to a complimentary food & drink celebration. Chamber Ambassadors made their welcome official by performing a ribbon–cutting ceremony right before their official grand opening to the public! They can be contacted at (352) 536-2500. Flippers Pizzeria and their staff were recently welcomed to South Lake by Chamber Ambassadors. They are located at 2523 US Hwy 27 in Clermont (in the BJ’s Shopping Plaza) and are available for delivery, pick-up, or dining in. Call them at (352) 242-2214. Jennifer Sajdak, Sharon Medlin, students, parents, and Ambassadors celebrated the grand opening of Happy Hearts Academy with a ribbon-cutting at their new facility located at 176 East Highland Ave. in Clermont. Stop in for a visit or call them at (352) 242-4700. Chamber Ambassadors welcomed JDS Uniforms and owner Jamal Bensaoui, family, and friends to their brand new location at 260 Citrus Tower Blvd (Citrus Tower Publix

A ribbon cutting ceremony and grand ‘reopening’ was held for Superior Residences prior to their Business-After-Hours on September 9th to highlight the many renovations and upgrades that have been taken place at their location (1600 Hunt

Trace Blvd. Clermont). For a tour of their facility, contact Len Spatafore or Betty Ann Gross at (352) 394-5549. Sarah’s Daughters, a non-profit and faith-based organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of marriages, recently were welcomed to the South Lake Community by Chamber Ambassadors and friends with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. You can visit their website, www., or call them directly at (866) 546-0011 A ribbon cutting ceremony was performed for Odoronix and owner Liam Hail, to celebrate his new office located in the Hunt Industrial Park, 1504 Max Hooks Rd., Suite G in Groveland. You can contact them at (888) 636-7664.

South Lake Chamber of Commerce 352-394-4191


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FOCUS Magazine Lake County October 2010


South Lake Local» Talk of the town

talk town of the

Beach Re-Opens in Clermont

Lifeguards are on duty and ready for the crowd! The Swimming Area at Clermont’s Waterfront Park is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am until 6 pm (until October 31st). Bring the family out to enjoy a day of fun.

Afternoon Tea Helps Families in Greater Clermont Area On October 2nd, young ladies and women of all ages gathered to enjoy the 5th Annual ‘Afternoon Tea.’ The Greater Clermont Cancer Foundation (GCCF) hosted a sold out event for 300 women at the Wesley Center. GCCF holds this annual fundraiser to help South Lake families affected by cancer.

Marshall Tucker Band Rocks Downtown The Marshall Tucker Band rocked Downtown Clermont on October 1st amidst thousands of fans. The City hosted its 2nd Annual Downtown Celebration with a night of fun, food, vendors and a free concert. The band played some good old southern rock songs including some favorites like “Can’t You See?” and “Heard it in a Love Song” to which they prompted the crowd to sing along. When asked how he liked Clermont, band member Rick Willis said he really enjoyed it and would love to come back. Last year Molly Hatchet...this year Marshall Tucker... Who’s next on the list? Excited fans can’t wait to hear.

Train Depot in Clermont Restored Originally built at this site circa 1925, the Train Depot has been restored and dedicated to the Historic Village in Clermont. Visitors can enjoy a NEW Train platform with covered porch, picnic tables & restrooms! The Dedication Ceremony was held on October 2, 2010 with Mayor Hal Turville, Council Member Ray Goodgame, and Delores Walker from the South Lake Historical Society.

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FOCUS Magazine Lake County October 2010


Woot Tavoan Park, res

13 m. . v o N .-4 p. 9 a.m

All commercial, not-for-profit and governmental

Previous green fairs averaged more than 1,500

entities that promote green products & services and

visitors and 75 exhibitors. The Green Fair gives

health & fitness are invited to participate in the Lake

local businesses, organizations and governmental

County Green Fair.

entities the opportunity to share some of these

Food vendors that sell locally grown, healthy and environmentally friendly products are also encouraged to participate in the Green Fair.

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FOCUS Magazine Lake County October 2010


Feature» Wooton park

Proposed land acquisition

City of Tavares Places Important Issue As they continue the Mission to make on November BallotWooton Park all it can be I Written By: by Heather Graham

n these years of such economic turbulence, the City of Tavares has been undeterred in its progress and has continued to move towards the vision the residents and City Officials see for their main waterfront recreation venue – Wooton Park. While many downtowns across the country are struggling to keep the heart of their town beating, Tavares has new business owners hanging up their shingles on a regular basis. That can be greatly attributed to the renovations of Wooton Park that have taken place in the last few years, including the Splash Park, new boat ramps, and Seaport. Tavares’ innovative plan to market themselves as “America’s Seaplane City” was questioned by many when initially revealed. However, it has truly been a “build it and they will come” story for the town, as watching seaplanes landing on Lake Dora is now a regular site. Now, the City Officials are proposing to take things one step further with the acquisition of another 3.8 acres of land on the west end of the waterfront.


October 2010

Currently opened by a developer, the land has been slated for a condominium complex, to be built in the next few years. This would end any hopes of the property ever belonging to the residents of Tavares for public use. Vice Mayor of the City of Tavares, Lori Pfister comments, “The City of Tavares has finally discovered it’s true identity. We are not just the capitol of Lake County, but we are “America’s Seaplane City!” Our waterfront on Lake Dora has become the main component of the big picture. Years of unintentional neglect have taken it’s toll on Lake Dora. The water quality is one of the poorest and the aqua culture is barely existing. Planned development on the shores of Lake Dora will not alleviate this issue, but the unique and one time opportunity to purchase this waterfront property as public land will. Conservation and water quality will be a first priority and green space will be abundant in a quaint, but prosperous downtown.” What exactly is the City proposing?

To acquire this land for the purpose of “protecting water quality, preserving scenic view of Lake Dora, restoring the natural shoreline, improve public access to Lake Dora, and to construct waterfront improvements for recreational and music venues.” Specifically, plans include a wildlife conservation area, a fishing pier, a new boat ramp, additional boat trailer parking, and the main attraction – a community outdoor amphitheater. The dream is a “green” facility that could comfortably play host to musical events, graduations, philharmonic, and other community or family driven activities. The plan includes a concession area and restroom facilities. Everyone’s first question is, “Where is the money going to come from?” The estimated cost of the completed project is estimated at $8.5 million. The City plans to obtain the funding for both the purchase of the land and the construction by issuing bonds and repaying them over the next 20 to 30 years. The revenue to

repay the bonds would come from ad valorem taxes. The City estimates “The average homeowner, with a home valued at $100,000 would pay approximately $43 per year or $3.54 per month. This issue will be in the hands of the voters on Election Day, November 2nd for Tavares City residents to weigh the cost of expansion over the benefits of having such a unique venue at the heart of their town. The money this facility can bring into the town must be taken into consideration, as visitors will not only be purchasing tickets to attend events, but also staying in local hotels, eating in local restaurants, and shopping in local stores, which will result in generating funds and the creation of additional jobs locally. “I am hoping that the residents of Tavares fully understand the ecological impact of this referendum and what it means for the economic future and overall environment of our city,” Pfister petitions.

Feature» Wooton park

What people are saying about the Wooton Park Expansion project “The city has an opportunity that will not be repeated. While everyone will enjoy a great addition to the city’s waterfront park, the next generation will look back and applaud today’s Tavares’ citizens for having the foresight to preserve a unique resource for everyone’s enjoyment.” - Rick Gonzalez, R&S Realty Group, Inc.

“Although the economy has struggled the past two years, downtown Tavares has made tremendous strides. We have all had to make tough choices recently. We’ve weathered tough times before. These difficult times too shall pass. We must look forward, not only to our future, but the futures of our children and grandchildren. Within a short period of time the landscape of downtown Tavares will

change even more. Do we want to preserve the scenic views of Lake Dora? Do we want to expand Wooton Park and make it a playground for all ages? The expansion of Wooten Park will provide more opportunities for everyone to enjoy our beautiful lakefront in downtown Tavares. The decision is ours, the Voters of Tavares, to create a lasting expansion to be enjoyed for generations. I urge you to vote “FOR BONDS” so that we can continue and further the progress we have made and provide forever lasting enjoyment for the families of Tavares.” - Freddie Belton, Belton Bail Bonds

“I was blessed and privileged to be part of the original Wooton Park renovation in the early 1970s. There were 13 Junior Woman’s Club members driving forklifts and bob cats to dig trails and lay sod. We planted hundreds of plants and spread truck loads of mulch. Wooton Park became the gathering place for our citizens at that point. The planned expansion of Wooton Park will complete the preservation of the entire downtown waterfront for all our citizens to enjoy for generations. If we miss this opportunity we will have deprived our grandchildren and great grandchildren of our amazing natural resources. Rhonda Harris Hoffman” - Rhonda Hoffman, THS Alumni and Long Time Resident & Local Business Owner

“A venue such as the proposed amphitheater would serve all of Lake County, from Clermont to the Northern tip. The economic gains the local market (Golden Triangle area) would see from scheduled events and concerts is the most attractive part of the proposal. Tavares has accomplished so much in the last few years, let’s hope they keep the vision!” - Alex Cooke, Manager Holiday Inn Express

“The Amphitheater would bring in a lot of jobs for the folks in Tavares and the Lake County area as people would come from all over to see concerts, plays, etc. It would generate a lot of money too.” -Bonnie Whicher, Downtown Resident & Owner of Bonnie Whicher Photography

Happy Hour 4-6

$1.00 off all drinks FOCUS Magazine Lake County October 2010


Leslie Campione:

A New Brand of Leadership “I have never before been involved in a political campaign. When I met Leslie Campione in February, I quickly knew I had to get involved. Four things impressed me the most; her work ethic, her Conservative Values, her grasp of the issues facing Lake County and the need for someone like her NOW. I have attended many forums and debates and watched her field the tough questions. She consistently stands out as the one candidate who has a plan for diversifying our local economy and bringing common sense to government. In addition, she has the hands-on experience and commitment to put that plan in action.” - Rozann Abato, Lake County resident

Remember to Vote on November 2 nd!

Less Government; More Accountability I am not a politician, and I am not an incumbent. I am a business woman and long time resident of Lake County, who is committed to making our community the best that it can be. If you would like to read more testimonials please visit my website at I humbly ask for your support on November 2nd.

Let the Pro's at Independent Air

- Leslie Campione • Reject property tax increases • Protect our tax dollars through better decision making • Energize our local economy and attract new jobs • Protect Lake County’s character and small town charm

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FOCUS Magazine Lake County October 2010


Spotlight» Tasha Alcayaga

2010 FL Star Competition Wraps up in Tavares Written By: Heather Graham have stood the test of time. FOCUS: What was your musical experience prior to FL Star? Tasha: Beyond my first musical performance, I have entered competitions in Kansas City and Branson, Missouri as well as the American Idol tryouts in 2009. FOCUS: How did you hear about the FL Star competition? Tasha: I heard about the FL Star competition. I was visiting a music store that I frequent, and the owner gave me a flyer about the contest. I enthusiastically entered.


ive singing hopefuls made the cut as finalists in the 2010 FL Star Competition and entered into four weeks filled with music and friendship. Each week the singers took the stage at AL’S Landing and showed off their vocal abilities as they performed before the four judges and a live audience. Different challenges were presented to the contestants each week, with “themes” for them to choose their songs from. Themes included Beatles, Rock, Country, and Broadway, daring each of the singers to push their talent to the limit. After each week’s performances, the musicians’ fates were put in the hands of the audience, as they could log onto www. and vote for their favorite. The online votes were combined with the judges scores to determine which contestant would be eliminated the following week. The competition culminated with the three remaining finalists arriving in true Tavares


October 2010

VIP style – via Seaplane -to give their last performance on a waterfront stage, with a full band to a packed restaurant of supporters. After much anticipation, a 2010 FL Star winner was crowned, nineteen year old Tasha Alcayaga. Tasha took time to sit down and talk to FOCUS about what winning this competition means to her. FOCUS: When did you f irst start singing? Tasha: My first performance was at four years old in my living room singing Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Not only did I sing but I selected my costumes and choreographed my dance numbers. At nine years old, I made my first public appearance at a local Italian restaurant in Illinois. FOCUS: Who are your musical influences? Tasha: My musical influences include Cyndi Lauper, Pat Benatar, and recently Taylor Swift. Artists such as Pat Benatar

FOCUS: What did you think of the experience? Tasha: Firstly, I am incredibly grateful for the chance to perform and learn from the judges and other performers. Practicing in your bedroom can only teach you so much; this experience expanded my knowledge of performing. FOCUS: Which week’s “category” was your favorite? Why? Tasha: I enjoyed all of the categories in this competition. So it’s very hard to choose only one as a favorite. If I had to choose it would come down to the Broadway category and our choice of Country or Beatles. Broadway was so fun and expressive. And the Beatles are my favorite band. FOCUS: Do you feel the judges’ input helped you? How? What was the most useful piece of criticism you received? Tasha: The most useful advice I received was to connect more with my audience. I tend to struggle with this the most, but I

can tell I have improved throughout the competition. FOCUS: How was it performing with a band the week of the f inale? Tasha: Performing with the band was my favorite part of the experience. They were nothing but kind to me. It was my first experience with a live band. I’m used to being on stage alone, but it was great to have them up there right beside me. FOCUS: Are you looking forward to making the music video that you won as part of your prize package? Tasha: I am very excited to make the music video. This again is a brand new experience for me; I only hope to make everyone proud and I know I’ll do my very best. FOCUS: How do you feel that winning FL Star will affect your life/singing career as you move forward? Tasha: Winning FL Star has already made a huge difference in my life. I have never been in this type of competition before. FL Star has given me so much experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. The people I’ve met, the different genres of music I’ve experienced, the weekly scheduled time to perform, all this was a great gift. Anna, Mike, Iris and Wendy are all great and I’m very glad to know them. Thank you so much to Jim and the band and the wonderful judges. Thank you Rodger and D.J. for the opportunity. I’m so grateful.

spotlight» Tasha Alcayaga Wendy Ford is unique in that she is an “accidental musician”. She first learned piano but moved quickly to guitar in order to back up her singing at family gatherings. Though she did not major in music, nor seek fame from it, she won a talent quest in Australia whch led her to perform in resorts and clubs and inspired her to direct her own children’s community singing group. Since her return to the US in 2006, Wendy has taught music to elementary students in Florida. Though she is not sure what position awaits her next, one thing is certain - it is sure to involve music! The girl can’t help it - she loves to sing, and would inspire others to enjoy life and sing along “like there’s no one listening”.

Anna Sibilrud, 22, first discovered her love for performing arts at the age of 9. The Ice House Theater in Mount Dora, The Bay Street Players and Studio 19 Dance Company in Eustis, is where she spent all of her teenage years. She has starred and co-starred in favorites such as Grease, Titanic, Mulon, HONK!, Sound of Music and other classics. After spending the last few years chasing after her dreams of a Language Arts Education degree at UCF, she was talked into entering a karaoke contest in June and won first place. After years of putting singing on the back-burner, Anna has decided to share her gift from God once again. She wants to thank her friends, family, boyfriend, and vocal coach Rita for all the love and support. Good Luck to all the finalists, you all have amazing voices and deserve everything the future brings!

If he had his choice, Mike would rather sing or write music than eat . . . well, maybe not quite. But he did start singing almost before he could talk. Always a performer, Mike taught himself guitar, bass, keyboards and drums – because he had to. How else could he share all the songs he carried around in his head? As a young child, he sang in church. . . and still does. His first public “lead” performance was in a middle school production of “Bye Bye Birdie” where he channeled his “inner hambone” in a gold lame jumpsuit to the delight of everyone who watched, and especially his music teacher/mentor. These days, Mike’s working on an eclectic repertoire that spans Elton John to Bon Jovi to Nightwish . . . to Kermit the Frog. He and Andramada partner, Mark Yarbrough, write original music that blends seamlessly with the covers they offer at an array of local venues.

IRIS I was born in Puerto Rico. My immediate family is all musically inclined. As a child I always enjoyed listening to my brother’s band rehearsing in the back yard. I sang constantly but was always embarrassed when people heard me singing. I moved to New York at the age of 20 and auditioned for a small band (Trio Guitars). Performed for a while, made many friends who loved music as much as I do. Singing is a passion of mine. I love to sing and always dreamed of singing professionally although I never pursued it. This is the first singing contest I ever entered.

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I made the right choice. I had so many questions...would I choose what was best for me? although I was experiencing uncertainty, I never felt alone. Through a network of personal care that I received at Florida Hospital Waterman, I was able to feel confident in my treatment decisions. Relying on the guidance and kindness of the breast care coordinator I was able to process all the information and choose what I felt was the best care for me. As an Oncology nurse for over 25 years, she worked closely with my doctors and the radiologists to help me and my family navigate through the many decisions ahead. Recognized by the American College of Radiology as a Breast Care Center of Excellence, Florida Hospital Waterman offers the most comprehensive breast care services available. This gives me confidence to know I made the right choice.

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FOCUS Magazine Lake County October 2010


health » Focus body from potentially injurious forces and load. It can be advantageous for athletes of all ages and ultimately can help reduce the risk of injury for triathletes, runners, and golfers alike. Speed and agility is like homework for your muscles: Critical for learning how to move and enhancing physical development. Agility is defined by NSCA as the ability to change directions and gain speed without losing motor control and is directly related to speed, balance, and coordination. Speed and agility training will help you stay on your toes, accelerate more quickly and give you the competitive edge due to increased hand eye coordination. These exercises include innovative training props such as speed ladders, agility rings, hurdles, medicine balls, and various other tools. It is an important part of a training regimen needed for all ages and can be modified for any fitness level.

Dare to try something new

Take your workout to the “extreme” Article submitted by: Sharlyne Rivera and Shelley Wagner


arning: If positive changes are not occurring as a result of your current fitness plan, something is wrong. Not only should you feel better, you should begin to look better as well. If you have been exercising for several weeks and are not seeing changes, its time to talk to a trainer and reevaluate what might be going on. For example, are you consistent exercising most days per week? Are you working at a high intensity, slightly outside of your comfort zone? Are you changing your workout routine frequently? Are you still eating too much or not enough? Is everything okay from a medical perspective? With the holiday season around the corner, it is time to try something new, like an extreme circuit sports performance program. When you are stuck in a training


October 2010

rut, find your workout is not exciting any more, or need a little hop in your step, this type of program could be just the thing to get you going! An extreme circuit includes plyometric techniques, power training, speed and agility exercises, along with overall strength and core conditioning. Go for it;add a new dimension to your training regimen. Plyometric techniques train muscles to reach their maximum potential in a short time. Plyometric forms of exercise consist of a rapid deceleration of movement followed by a rapid acceleration in order to develop explosive power. It is thought to be an exercise that trains predominately fast twitch muscle fibers and the nerves that activate them. A muscle which is stretched (eccentrically) prior to contraction, will contract more rapidly and with greater force. Research has proven that plyometric training helps protect the

It is a fact that aging brings about undesirable changes in muscle structure, function, and strength. Incorporating multi-directional movements and reaction

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Friday, December 31, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the National Training Center or at the National Training Center on race morning starting at 6:30 a.m.

drills help to “wake-up” neuromuscular pathways. The aging process not only brings about increased levels of fat but also a loss of important muscle fiber characteristics. It is very possible to reverse this process of aging by challenging yourself through progressive, innovative, and intensive exercise. This can be done as individual sessions, joined with a friend, spouse, sibling, or child. This is the time to improve your foot speed through technical drills, agility through precise movement patterns, and power through explosive techniques. A few months of training can be fundamental for success in sports and life. The type of training described above is a great opportunity for children and adults to fine tune athletic skills and potential. It is geared towards bringing out the athlete in everyone! Extreme circuit gives your total body a blast by incorporating nontraditional strength exercises. Now is the time to take your level of fitness to the next degree and surpass your wildest workout expectations. We dare you!

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Sirens 5K Series Racing to give families a Happy Holiday Article submitted by: Heather Graham and Photos provided by Maci Lowery

health » Focus

or Clint and Maci Lowery, putting together a 5K run allows them to indulge in a common love of competition and outdoor exercise. However, this husband and wife team also saw it as an opportunity to raise money for the Lake Sumter EMS Christmas Fund. As both are employed by the Lake Sumter EMS, they are familiar with the less fortunate families that are helped each Holiday season with the monies raised. The first race of the Sirens 5K Series was held on May 15th at Wooton Park in Tavares and they have been held each quarter thereafter, with the most recent one held on Saturday, September 18th. Approximately fifty people, of all ages, came out on the beautiful fall morning to run, walk, or cheer on the participants. The down and back course started at Wooton Park and went along Lake Dora, down Lakeshore to the water station, manned by another Lowery – Corbin, where racers then turned around and ended at the finish line back at Wooton Park. Prizes were awarded for best times overall (1st - Rick Copley 19:21, 2nd – Morgan Pike 24:46)), as well as in each age group.

The next, and last race for the year, will be held in conjunction with the Lake County Green Fair on Saturday, November 13th. That day they will also be holding a 10K Race. Registration is $20 per person if you pre-register and includes a Sirens 5K Series T-Shirt, or $25 the day of the race. For more information on the Sirens 5K Series or on the Lake Sumter EMS Christmas Fund, log onto www.sirensmembersonly. com or call Clint Lowery at 352-551-0166.

Thanks to sponsors

Lake Sumter EMS Guns ‘n’ Hoses Travel Jay McCarthy and The Wheelhaus Gear for Multi-sports

FOCUS Magazine Lake County October 2010


health Âť Focus

50 Days of Fitness Get up and Get Moving Article submitted by: Shelly Gerig


hat do you have to lose? Weight? Less stress on your body? The fear of not being fit? 50 days of fitness is a project that began in a church, has reached out across the country, and is now in Lake County. You are invited to sign up and have access to all of the participating locations such as Golden Triangle YMCA, Anytime Fitness, Curves and Gold’s Gym. Want to find out how to manage quick and healthy alternatives, check out E-Z Nutrition 101. This amazing opportunity allows each person a 4 week pass to visit the health centers, receive a food and fitness journal, as well as a 50 Days T-shirt and wristband. Register at NOW! The program is running until November 15th


October 2010

in North Lake and the 16th in South Lake. A pastor actually created a sermon to explain how pursuing a healthy life is part of how to fulfill your purpose in life. This goes beyond vanity by being able to physically be involved in activities that you might not otherwise be capable of. They wanted to show how the church can be a vehicle to serve its community in a practical manner. With so many churches becoming involved, volunteers have been incredible which has accelerated 50 Days to become a great program for its members. Many local gyms wanted to participate in the project and it just took off! To become a host site as a wellness provider for the next program in January visit the website


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BUsiness profile» FOCUS accompanying transformations. The fishing camp originally opened in 1957, so there is some history embedded within the lake and surrounding trees. The camp is situated on Lake Griffin, the final lake of the chain that reaches to the St. John’s River and the prime bass fishing spots. Kevin Smith, Jim Arnold and Mike Wnek came together from backgrounds in renovating, rental and development marketing to bring families in a place to be together. Remember the lazy days of summer when families spent time “at the lake” frolicing through the leisure months of summer? The partners got together and renovated a fishing camp that cries out for the laughter of those days. Properties at Lake Griffin Lodge are available for purchase, lease, long-term lease, or seasonal rentals. Imagine adding a second home for 79 thousand, and then embellish that thought with a Key West feeling, and unique and thoughtful remodeling to the cottages. The cottages are four bedroom/two bath, with tongue and groove ceilings, screen porches, full kitchens, tile and wood flooring, and extra storage space, perfect for visiting families and friends. The community also has fire pits, private boat slips (canoe, kayak rentals in the future), volleyball, sandy pier, cabana house bar, horseshoes and picnic tables – everything necessary for a life resuscitation.

Photo by Keith Smith

How to Escape and Enjoy Lake Griffin Lodge G Article submitted by: Marion E. Wildey

etting “away from it all” can sometimes present more of a hassle than the reward in the end. If you only have a few days, you start thinking about the time involved to get to and from the location you would like to visit, and by the time it’s calculated, there isn’t much time to rejuvenate and recharge. So how


October 2010

do you budget some down time in, and get more out of the time you have? Rather than stay at home and have no change of scenery, how about enjoying a little R-and-R in your backyard? Located ten miles north of Mt. Dora and fifteen miles south of the Villages, a virtual hideaway exists that blends in and disappears into the native flora of oak, magnolia and

banana trees. And if you like fishing, boating, leisure and other lake activities, Lake Griffin Lodge is your next spot on the “list of things to do.” The list may just fall away after your first visit, as you may have reached nirvana on earth. A thriving fishing camp reaching its peak in the late 50s to 70s, Lake Griffin Lodge has experienced a resurrection with

If you are looking to make having a second house a reality, then consider locations available for seventy-nine thousand within easy driving distance of Tampa Bay, Disney world, and the Space Coast. If rentals are your speed, there are a handful of rentals left to be rented nightly, or weekly; call for rates. Rentals include full electricity and enjoyment of the surrounding area. There are seven or eight long-term rentals, unless you are looking for shorter term leasing; a weekly rental includes electricity and is $750/week investment in your mental health.

About Lake Griffin Lodge Lake Griffin is the eighth largest lake in Florida, and the Lake Griffin Lodge is only minutes from the 425 acres of Lake Griffin State Park. Explore “Old Florida’s Sportsment’s Paradise -- Call 352-328-8583 today.


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BUsiness profile» FOCUS monopoly on meeting customer’s needs, and equally as important, we don’t all want the same thing. Good competition is healthy in our market. If you look at how large banks have changed over the years, the first thought that comes to mind is how they have moved their decision making closer to their customers. This was a response to competition from community banks, like Federal Trust Bank, that make decisions closer to their customers as a matter of practice. Community banks have shorter, simpler policy manuals that rely on verbal communication to assure compliance. When you have 100, 500, 1,000 or 5,000 branches, it is extremely difficult to maintain contact between senior and junior employees to facilitate consistent decisions to resolve customer issues without increased volumes of written policies. If I put it into percentages, in a large bank it’s 70% policy and 30% people and in a community bank it’s 70% people and 30% policy. Which style do you fall into and where do you bank as a result? So community banks, like Federal Trust Bank, serve the part of the market who are more personal and entrepreneurial and perhaps less broad. Large banks serve that part of the market that is perhaps less personal and broader, similar to the local eatery versus the chain restaurant. Clearly there is room for both because of the diversity of the market, which will not change any time soon. Will community banks have a place in the future? Absolutely!

Community banks still important in today’s marketplace Article submitted by: Dennis Ward, President and CEO of Federal Trust Bank


’ve been asked many times lately, “do you think there is still a place for community banks in today’s market?” My answer is always the same, “yes!” I think the question that should be asked is why am I so certain about this? The short answer is because some customers want or require a different


October 2010

type of service than they receive at a large bank, but it’s more complex than that. Let’s compare it to a large, chain restaurant versus a small, one-location restaurant. I might go to the “local” restaurant because I think their food tastes better, it’s more convenient, the staff is friendlier, it’s less

expensive or the service is better. You might go to the chain restaurant for exactly the same reasons. My reasons and your reasons could both be true indicating the decision about which restaurant we visit could be more emotional than it is based on logic. Every restaurant in a chain will have essentially the same menu whereas a local eatery may have a similar menu to the chain but have one small, unique feature that a group of customers finds appealing. In the United States, we have been taught for generations we have the right to seek businesses that provide the services we want and need individually. That can be good and bad, but the bottom line is no one organization or business model has a

Should our community bank sound like the right fit for you, please visit Robin Austin, our Eustis branch manager, at 256 West County Road 44 or call 352.357.0286. We’re located next to Publix in the Woodland Center at the corner of Highway 19 North and County Road 44.

About Federal Trust Bank Federal Trust Bank is a locally headquartered community bank focused on personal and business banking needs of its customers. Federal Trust Bank provides a variety of traditional personal and business banking products and services, including residential construction and mortgage loans, commercial mortgage loans, business lines of credit, online banking and remote deposit services. Federal Trust Bank operates 11 full-service offices in Seminole, Orange, Volusia, Lake and Flagler Counties, Fla. The company’s headquarters is located in Sanford, in Seminole County, Fla. For more information, please visit

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FOCUS Magazine Lake County October 2010


focus » legal “kids horsing around” may end up being big trouble for the new adult, leading to a criminal record which can follow the new adult around for the rest of his life. For example, illegally setting off a fire extinguisher could actually lead to felony charges. Additionally, the new adult is also now required to support himself as it is no longer the parents legal responsibility unless there is a court order stating otherwise. For the 18 year old new adult, males must also register for the selective service. Just because a new adult “can buy a car” without the parent’s consent, does not mean he should not seek the parents advise. New adults may not always be experienced enough to understand that buying a car is a legal contract, binding, with legal ramifications. The new adult can sue on his own behalf and be sued. Samples of the types of contracts a new adult can enter into when just a day earlier he could not included school loans, car loans, employment contracts and rental contracts. The new adult needs to know that to be legally binding, some contracts may be verbal with nothing in writing. Whether

Hooray, I’m now an adult. S Article submitted by: Attorney Beth Ann Gause, GAUSE & HARGROVE, PLLC

o, your son or daughter has just turned 18 years old, a “new” adult. Turning 18, the “age of majority” in Florida, is one of many milestones to come and is generally when one legally becomes an adult. A person under 18 can become an adult via a legal process called “emancipation.” Emancipation is not exactly an easy process, however, once completed the minor, regardless that he is under the age of 18, will also be an adult without the benefit of being protected under the laws as a minor. Parents and new adults should be aware that along with the joys of being an adult, there are many new legal responsibilities.


October 2010

What can new adults do? Well, they are still legally too young to drink alcohol, as you must be 21 years old in Florida. However, the new adult may now vote, enter into contracts, make a Last Will and Testament, consent to medical treatment without the approval of the parent and may live independently, outside of the parent’s control. Sounds great. BUT, slow down, stop and think. The new adult will also be responsible and charged as an adult for any crimes he commits, even if they are with their buddies who are still only 16 or 17 years old. Although minors could be charged as an adult depending on the seriousness of the crime, what may be a slap on the wrist for the 17 year old for

written or verbal, the new adult needs to be sure that he understands the terms of what is expected of him prior to entering into the contract. The new adult also needs to understand what it is to have “good” credit and the importance of good credit. Unfortunately, many new adults enter into car contracts and credit card contracts without the experience necessary to understand the full responsibilities, having ruined their credit ratings while still in their teens! Bad credit can often take 5 to 7 years to clear up, sometimes even longer. Fortunately, there are ways in which the new adult can start building good credit: Working, paying bills on time, starting a savings account and using credit cards wisely. New adults should enjoy their new found “freedom” but understand that with freedom comes responsibility. If you have an important legal issue that you would like addressed here please email us at


LAURA K. HARGROVE, ESQ. • Criminal Law • Family Law • Real Estate • Wills and Estates • Probate

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focus » Real Estate

Selling your Home? What’s so Important about Curb Appeal? Article submitted by: Rob Morris, Morris Realty & Investments, Inc.


s of October 1, 2010 there were over 4100 homes listed for sale in Lake County alone. This did not include FSBO’s (For Sale by Owner), or other surrounding counties. That’s a lot of competition if your home is currently on the market for sale. So how do you get those potential buyers “off of the curb” and into your home? A large percentage of home buyers decide whether or not to look inside a house or take it seriously based on a split second decision called curb appeal—the view they see when they drive by or arrive for a showing. You can help make sure they want to come inside your house by spending some time working on its exterior appearance. Since we become accustomed to the way something looks and functions, it’s difficult to look at our own house in the same way that potential home buyers do. When selling your home, it is important to stop thinking of the property as a home…rather, think of it as a house—just a commodity you want to sell for the highest dollar possible. Curb Appeal Exercise Try this exercise. The next time you come home, stop across (or down) the street where you can get a good view of the house and its surroundings. Now, ask yourself; 1. What is your first impression of the house and yard area? 2. What are the best exterior features of the house and/or yard? How can you enhance them? 3. What are the worst exterior features of the house and/or yard? How can you minimize or improve them?


October 2010

Now, park and walk towards the house, looking around you as if it were your first visit. Ask yourself; 1. Is the approach clean and tidy? 2. What would make it more attractive? Clean-up Curb Appeal Tips After you make a list of the problem areas you discovered; tackle the following clean up and repair chores first. • Kill mold and mildew on the house, sidewalks, roof, or driveway. • Stow away unnecessary garden implements, tools, bicycles, and toys. • Clean windows and gutters. • Pressure-wash dirty siding and dingy decks. • Edge sidewalks and remove vegetation growing between concrete or bricks. • Mow the lawn. Get rid of weeds. • Rake and dispose of leaves, even if your lot is wooded. • Trim tree limbs that are near or touching the home’s roof. Repair and Landscaping Curb Appeal Tips • If you can budget it, a fresh paint job does wonders for a dingy house. Drive around your town to find color schemes that are appealing. • Install a more attractive front door, or replace doorknob hardware. • Neat and classy landscaping with some splashes of color. • Freshly painted fencing. • Pressure washed siding. • Replace the mailbox and house numbers on the your home. • Place plants and shrubbery where it accentuates your house. • Plant colorful flowers and shrubs that

align with the walkway or accent the front door There are times that adding elements to your landscaping can improve curb appeal, but there are other times when removing something is even more effective. For example, we often have listings with big, beautiful Florida Oaks in the front yard, which obscure much of the front of the home with low hanging (untrimmed) branches. By caring for these giants and trimming up the lower limbs, you open up the view to the home, make the yard look larger, and allow better light to the ground to help the grass grow fuller and greener. Don’t’ Forget the Evening Curb Appeal Do your curb appeal exercise again at dusk, because it isn’t unusual for potential buyers to drive by houses in the evening. One quick way to improve evening curb appeal is with lighting: • String low voltage lighting along your driveway, sidewalks, and near important landscaping elements. • Add a decorative street lamp or an attractive light fixture to a front porch. • Make sure lighting that’s visible through front doors and windows enhances the home’s appearance.

Conclusion Remember, most buyers cannot visualize changes, and often won’t take a second look at a house if the first look doesn’t appeal to them. Home buyers who can visualize changes, and are prepared to make them, expect you to reduce the price of the house to compensate for the work they plan to do. Rob, along with his wife Theresa, is coowner of Morris Realty and Investments, Inc. They have two offices to service Lake, Marion, and Sumter Counties. Our main office is in Leesburg at 10135 US Highway 441 (by the Lake Square Mall). Our Villages office is across the street from Wal-Mart on US Highway 441/27 in the Spruce Creek Professional Center. Our team of Realtors® is highly experienced with assisting both buyers and sellers. Our commitment to integrity, experience, and results makes us stand apart. Morris Realty and Investments has the right team, knowledge and resources to work for you. Please contact me at 352-435-4663, or for assistance with your real estate transaction or any other topic you would like to discuss.

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FOCUS Magazine Lake County October 2010


focus » Finance gradually increasing authority and benefits. Options include deferred compensation or the opportunity to acquire partial ownership prior to their retirement. This provides both parties with something to win by sticking to the agreement… and something to lose if it falls apart. • They put it in writing, along with the help of their attorney—locking in who does and gets what, and spelling out all details and caveats, including how to establish the final valuation of the business. This formal buy/sell agreement protects everybody.

Solving the Small Business Owner’s Retirement Dilemna S Article submitted by: Hays Ginn, New York Life

olving the Small Business Owner’s Retirement Dilemma There’s a fatal flaw in the retirement of many small business owners: After pouring a lifetime of sweat, time and capital into building the business, their rough-sketch strategy is to sell out someday for a ton of money… then settle back and enjoy a financially secure retirement. Many business owners are so sure this will happen that they don’t bother to make any other retirement plans. Who is this person who, at just the right moment, is going to show up with cash in hand to buy the company… and pay a fair price? For thousands of small business owners each year, no one steps forward. Perhaps the business is too specialized or is tied too closely to the owner’s unique personality and skills. Or perhaps possible buyers equate retirement sale with distress sale and make only low-ball offers. Whatever the reason, many owners find that their company has suddenly become a white elephant that nobody wants. One Possible Solution Groom your own replacement, someone who will buy your company when you’re


October 2010

ready to retire. Maybe this person is a current co-owner (but be careful if he or she is about the same age as you, who will be counting on retiring around the same time.) Or it could be a son or daughter active in the business, or a younger key employee.

Business Owners Who Successfully Groom Their Own Replacements Leave Nothing to Chance They realize that there is no room for error at the point of retirement. Here are some examples of steps they might take: • They are cautious. They make sure their heir apparent is the right person in terms of temperament, personality, competence and personal goals. • They set up a probation period so they can terminate the relationship if they find this person simply will not work out. During that period, they keep everything informal, strictly verbal. At the same time, even when they go to a formal agreement, they make sure it contains a termination provision. • They fashion golden handcuffs and incentives to ensure that their replacement stays until the baton is passed. An ambitious successor needs and deserves

• They build in a funding mechanism. This is crucial. No matter how good the terms of the buy/sell agreement, it will be worthless if the money is not there when needed to carry out the plan. Under one option, the successor may be able to purchase the company from ongoing profits. Other options include setting up a sinking fund or allowing the successor to simply borrow the money. These options may work but they leave much to chance. Instead, consider a funding vehicle that protects your family in the event of your disability or premature death, such as life and disability income

insurance.* • They have a back-up plan. As a business owner, you know that very few things go exactly as planned. What if your business hits tough times or your successor dies, becomes disabled, or—all to common— leaves because of a personality conflict? Or what if there simply is no heir apparent waiting in the wings? Sometimes, it’s simply best to dismantle the business. Whether or not you have a possible successor for your company, you should begin mapping out your retirement strategy today. Your insurance professional or your independent professional advisors can help you develop this kind of business strategy. This educational third-party article is being provided as a courtesy by Hays Ginn. For additional information on the information or topic(s) discussed, please contact Hays at (407) 252-3568. *Products available through one or more carriers not affiliated with New York Life; dependent on carrier authorization and product availability in your state or locality.

FOCUS Magazine Lake County October 2010



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dining & entertainment » Lucky Dog Youth art show

LuckyYouthDog Gallery Art Show Café T Written By: Shelly Gerig

Photo by Shelly Gerig

his amazing and fun Pizza joint has way more going for it than a red sauce and pepperoni. Pete and Stephen Napoles have created a relaxed, musical and art space for local talent of all ages and venues. Stop in to see the art in sculptured form, jewelry, or original drawings, as well as musical instruments of various types. There are always events featuring artists, so stop in for a slice of pizza and take in the creativity of our community. The Youth Art Show held on September 30th, provided Tavares High and Middle schoolers a venue to display their talent and for us to enjoy it. Each fascinating piece was a collaborative effort of four students. They each did a part of a whole picture without knowing what the other students were doing. When it was put

together, the famous piece melded together demonstrating each student’s effort. Tavares Middle School teacher, Claudia Beitel has her students do this type of work so they only see lines on a grid to start. It is like taking small steps in the art world to grasp the concepts. Some of the younger students did negative and positive space pieces to create illusions on paper. For upcoming events, on October 16th is the Art of Hair and Makeup. There will be a Harvest Moon Festival on October 23 with Blue Grass and Folk music. Talent in photography? They are looking to have an event in November. Stop in and check out the activities at 222 E. Main St. Tavares, FL 32778 or call (352) 343-1308.

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FOCUS Magazine Lake County October 2010


focus » Dining Profile

AL’S Landing A

Tavares Newest Waterfront Dining Venue

Article submitted by: Heather Graham and Photos by Bonnie Whicher Bonnie Whicher Photography

L’S Landing owner, Rodger Kooser, is asked by guests frequently, “Are you Al?” While he might jokingly answer to the name sometimes, there is actually no “Al.” The name AL’S Landing in fact stands for Air, Land, and Sea. In trying to name the waterfront restaurant, Kooser and partner Stan Budzinski bounced possibilities around for awhile before coming up with the one that represented not just the menu, but the essence of what the City of Tavares is working to create – a


October 2010

place you can visit by air, land, or water. The theme continues in the menu, the full version of which was unveiled at their official Grand Opening on August 26th. “Air” choices include chicken wings, chicken salad on a croissant, or a turkey burger, and “Land” selections would be items such as a Grilled Ham and Swiss sandwich, a BLT, or their very popular Sliders. Examples of “Sea” representations would be a Shrimp Quesadilla, Salmon Spinach Tomato sandwich, the Fish Boat,

or a Crab Burger. At AL’S Landing, guests also experience arguably the best view available while dining in Lake County. Not only does the venue offer an unobstructed view of Lake Dora, but as it sits directly adjacent to the boat ramp, it also gives customers a front row seat to the seaplane activity. It is common for diners to observe the visiting planes glide to a smooth landing on the glistening water runway before driving right up the boat ramp and pulling into a parking spot, where the pilots and passengers disembark to enjoy the shops, restaurants, and entertainment Tavares has to offer. AL’S customers continue to be awed by this occurrence and frequently put down their forks to pick up their cameras and record the sight! On our visit, we were started out with the Spinach & Asiago Cheese Flatbread. The thin, crisp flat bread is brushed with garlic butter, then with piled with spinach and Asiago Cheese and finished with a drizzle of Balsamic glaze. This is a personal favorite, as an appetizer for the table or as a meal. If wanting to make it a little heartier, order it with the grilled chicken breast added. The richness of the garlic

and cheese unites beautifully with the tanginess of the Balsamic to create an explosion of flavors for your tastebuds. Next up for us was the Sea Salad, described on the menu as “Pan seared calamari, shrimp and crabmeat over mixed greens with tomatoes, cucumber, green onion, and kalamata olives. Served with creamy roasted red pepper dressing.” This would be a popular choice for any seafood lover, as well as one striving to make a healthy dining choice. The seafood was all prepared perfectly; tender bites of calamari and shrimp interspersed with the lump crab meat complemented with a light citrusy finish on a bed of the freshest vegetables. This dish was almost as appealing to the eye as it was to the palate. AL’S Turf and Surf was served up next. The 4 oz, petite filet was flame grilled with precision and required no steak knife, as the superior cut of meat was so tender a butter knife sliced through it with ease. The accompanying shrimp were once again perfectly seared and seasoned. A wedge of flatbread and a salad of fresh greens completed the dish, served with your choice of AL’S homemade dressing A decadent slice of Ultimate Chocolate Cake concluded our visit. The rich, dense cake featured a mousse center and a ganache frosting. A perfect finish to any meal! If you aren’t a chocolate lover, Kooser recommends their signature dessert, the Drunken Pineapple Parfait. While the food at AL’S Landing is spectacular, many customers stop by just for the cocktails! The full bar is managed by another AL’S Landing partner and legendary bartender Sherwood Heineman. Stop in for Happy Hour, enjoy the view of Lake Dora on the deck, enjoy the live music and try out Heineman’s signature drink – the Sangarita; a combination of Sangria and a Margarita! AL’s Landing is open seven days a week and offers a full bar and happy hour specials. There is live music on the outdoor stage Wednesdays-Sundays. They can accommodate private parties and also offer water sport rentals. For more information on AL’S Landing, log onto www.

Al’s Landing 111 W. Ruby Street Tavares, Fl 352-742-1113 major credit cards accepted open 7 days a week

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Car and Cycle Show and Swap Meet October 31st

Oldies music, Trophies awarded, used car corral Bring out your classic and show it off! $2.00 Admission Children under 14 Free

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FOCUS Magazine Lake County October 2010


entertainment » event calendar

Lake County Oct 15th, Friday

Mount Dora History Museum will have a walking ghost tour through the shadowy streets and back alleys of Old Mount Dora. The show starts at 7pm and meets at the Chamber of Commerce. For more information please contact the chamber at 352-3832165.

Oct 16th, Saturday

A festival for women! Weekend events include a Ladies Only 5K Run, Health Screenings, Entertainment, Keynote Speakers, Women’s Fitness Expo, Women’s Only Sprint Triathlon and much more! For more information please visit www.

Oct 22nd, Friday

Come on out for a 5K Fun Run to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of Lake and Sumter Counties. The race will be held at the Tavares Nature Park on Milwaukee St., Tavares. The One Mile Kids Race starts at 6:00pm and the 5K starts at 6:15pm. Registration is $5 for kids 18 and under and $15 for the Fun Run. For more information, contact Rick Copley: rick@yourbestfitnesscoach. com

Captain Lake Co. Saving Lake County


October 2010

calendar of events

Oct 23rd, Saturday

Join the Umatilla library for the American Cancer Society Chicken Wing Cook off from 5-9pm. All proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society. The event includes local celebrity judges, entertainment and activities for the whole family. The cost is $5 pre-sale; $6 at gate; age 6 and under free. For more information please visit

Oct 23rd-24th, Saturday & Sunday

The 26th Annual Craft Fair & Okdorafest will line the streets of Mount Dora with over 350 of the best crafters in the country. The event attracts over 250,000 visitors. The Craft Fair starts at 9am and ends at 5pm. For more information please visit www. Okdorafest will be happening on the same streets. Enjoy Beer, Wine, Bratwurst and more.

Oct 29th, Friday

Donnelly Parks and Recreation department will put on the Halloween Spooktacular at the Park Building from 6-8pm. Come dressed and get ready to play games,

get candy and have a great Halloween. For more information please call 352-735-7183.

parade will take place on Montrose Street in Historical Downtown Clermont at 1:00 PM. For more information contact the Chamber at 352-394-4191. For more info, call Cheryl Fischel at 352-394-8618

Join Downtown Tavares for the annual Howl-o-Fest. There will be tons of vendors, trick or treating for the kids, costume contests, a haunted house, a haunted hayride, haunted boat tours of the Dora Canal and so much more. For more information contact the chamber at 352-343-2531.

Nov 5th, Friday

Oct 29th & 30th, Friday & Saturday

Oct 30th, Saturday

Enjoy the annual community event sponsored by Edge United Methodist Church of Groveland. There will be games, bounce houses, dunk tank, music, food, snow cones and candy. Costumes are encouraged but please no violent, scary or offensive costumes. This is a family event and the average age attending is 4-10 year olds. The event will be held from 2-4pm, the cost is free, for more information call 352-4292572

Oct 31st, Sunday

The Clermont Downtown Partnership invites you to participate in the Howl-OWeen Pet Parade on October 31, 2010. All ages are welcome to show off their pet in a contest for: cutest, funniest, most usual, and best team (pet and owner). The pet

The 2nd Annual Fashion & Finance Luncheon Fundraiser for The Haven will be held at Lake Receptions from 11:30am1:00pm. Tickets are $25 for the event which benefits The Haven. The Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties offers 24-hour crisis intervention and provides emergency shelter and counseling services for victims of domestic and sexual abuse.

Nov 6th & 7th, Saturday & Sunday

Join Mount Dora for their 16th annual Plant and Garden Fair. Savvy gardeners wait ‘til summer’s heat is over to restore liveliness to their gardens. They come to the Fair for every type of plant for the landscape (including native and Floridafriendly plants) the herb garden or tropical accents. Seventy-five exhibitors also bring pots, garden furniture and gourmet items. Fair also features orchids. For more information please call 352-729-2170. The Clermont Art Festival will be the first weekend in November in downtown Clermont. There will be booths of artists, artisans, food vendors, a wine & cheese tasting, arts & crafts for children and more. Event times are 9-6 on Saturday and 9-3 on Sunday. For more information please visit

Nov 11th, Thursday

The annual Taste of Tavares will be held at the Elks Lodge in Tavares from 5:308:30pm. Come enjoy samples from 10 local restaurants. There will be entertainment, a Chinese auction and door prizes for attendees. The tickets are $25.00 in advance and $30.00 at the door. For more information please contact the Tavares Chamber at 352-343-2531.

dining & entertainment » Wine Gala

5th Annual Fruit of It’s all for the community the Vine Written By: Marion E. Wildey

Photo by Marion E. Wildey


eritage Hills Country Club showcased this year’s 5th Annual Fruit of the Vine Tasting Gala sponsored by the Kiwanis

of South Lake County Foundation. Kiwanis South Lake chapter sponsors the Boys & Girls Club of South Lake & Sumter South

Lake Unit. Incoming president, Richard Chapman hopes, “to raise at least $10,000 for this year. [The Kiwanis] will change the world with one child and one community at a time.”

Whitehead, said of the committee, “The committee is strong, and it was a joint effort. Everyone works, and most have businesses here. It helps out the locals and the community.”

Susan and Bobby Greene, first time attendees, only heard about the wine gala that morning over breakfast, and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sample the plethora of offerings. As the first resident of Heritage Hills, Bobby is self-appointed Mayor, so his presence was mandatory in supporting the community.

“It was a fantastic year,” President Bea Meeks said. She looks forward to “a nice transition for Richard Chapman. He worked closely with me and has great ideals. I’m sad to see [the year] end, but I’m leaving it in good hands.”

Supporting the community at large was the underlying tone of this year’s wine gala, as this is the first time all the vendors were completely local. Chairperson, Cuqui

Chapman alluded to several projects, and of course, the 6th Wine Gala, but until then, Chairperson Whitehead closed the evening with thanks to, “the community for working together for a common goal.”

Donations may be made directly through our website, PayPal or US Mail.

Adopt a Child PO box 1311 Mount Dora, Fl. 32756

A Simply Desserts Shoppe Simply Delicious


November 1, 2010 (352)-343-0495

Coming to Tavares Station on the Beach in November

Sponsored by Remax International Tavares

We work directly with the school guidance counselors.

Look for our Angel trees coming to local post offices and businesses at Thanksgiving.

No Job. No money. At Christmas time the Angel came and met our needs. I prayed and thanked the Lord for filling our needs...

124 S. JoAnna Ave. FOCUS Magazine Lake County October 2010


20% off

Awapuhi Wild Ginger Products


30% off on all Flat Irons, Curling Irons,

Blow Dryers, and Gift Bags with Advanced Purchase for Holidays Layaway Program Available


352.483.4247 100 Magnolia Ave, Historic Downtown Eustis

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FOCUS Lake County 03-08  

FOCUS Magazine Lake County Edition Issue 03-08

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