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your standard of living. Stunning architecture. Inviting interiors. And luxurious enhancements. You’ll experience all of this and more at KB Home’s premier community. Choose your own homesite, including many with water views. Personalize your home with upscale design choices from KB Home Studio. And delight in your new home of unparalleled beauty.

Terrace Grove in Clermont

From the $160s

13538 Laranja St., Clermont, FL 34711 Open: Mon.–Sun., 10am–7pm

Tour the model homes and receive a $10 gift card!

From FL Turnpike North take Exit 272/Winter Garden/ Clermont (SR-50). Turn left on SR-50 West, left on Hartle Rd. to community ahead on left. (407) 347-7652

ke npi Tur FL

• 1- and 2-story homes, 2 model homes • 10 floor plans from 1,443–3,187 sq. ft. • 3–6 bedrooms, 2–2.5 baths, 2-car garages

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3% broker cooperation 888-KB-HOMES Broker cooperation welcome. ©2010 KB Home (KBH). $10 gift card available while supplies last; no rain checks, not exchangeable for cash, limit one per household. Payment of Broker Co-op requires Broker to accompany and register Buyer on first visit and comply with Broker Co-op Agreement. Plans, pricing, financing, terms, availability and specifications subject to change/prior sale without notice and may vary by neighborhood, lot location and home series. Additional charges apply for lot premiums, options/upgrades. Buyer responsible for all taxes, insurance and other fees. Sq. footage is approximate. Exterior photos show upgraded landscaping/options and may not represent community’s lowest-priced homes. Interior photos show upgrades/options that may be purchased at predetermined stages of construction for an additional cost and decorator items/furnishings not available for purchase from KBH. Map not to scale. See sales counselor for details. CBC051212 ORL-90244

table of contents

november 2010 volume 3 issue 9

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


eDITor In CHIeF Heather Graham


vP oF SALeS Jack Voller




SALeS - SoUTH LAKe Lisa Busto



Plant City Lakeland Brandon Winter Haven Lake County South Tampa



20 MYFOCUSTV.COM Local Community Stories New Episode Every Wednesday


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


kay simpson

cover photo by bonnie whicher, bonnie whicher photography

LOCaL nORtH Lake

Read about the recent Hair Art Show in Tavares and the new roads in Eustis in this month’s Talk of the Town. Also, the fi rst Harvest Moon Festival on the Lake Dora Bayou. Th is fi rst time event brought thousands out to enjoy an evening of food, music, and family fun in downtown Tavares.


Check out all the businesses that celebrated Ribbon Cuttings with the South Lake Chamber of Commerce. These new additions to town are ready for your patronage. Remember to Shop South Lake! And read about the dedicated energy that Jami Blemker and the folks at Clermont Quilters, West Orange Quilt Club and First Baptist Church of Mt. Dora Quilting Ministry craft in their special pillowcases and quilts. Th is collaborative gift of admiration goes to wounded soldiers recovering from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.


James Gray’s motto was, “Never let a child’s dream go unanswered,� and it continues with the spirit of Adopt A Child for Christmas. Many families have suffered from various hardships, and this organization is dedicated to making sure Christmas is still a special time for those children. Learn about this program in your own backyard and how you can help this holiday season.


Meet Kay Simpson! Owner of Papa’s Diner, this local business woman has dedicated herself to the community she loves. Whether it is helping the High School raise money, walking the track for Relay for Life, or serving on the board of the Greater Clermont Cancer Foundation, Kay is committed to the causes she believes in!

Dining & enteRtainMent

The Mount Dora Craft Festival was a huge success once again, drawing approximately 30,000 people to peruse the vendors from all over the country. Who doesn’t love a good slice of pizza? Read our dining review on Lucky Dog Gallery CafÊ!

Anthony Sassano Tony Cartagena STAFF WrITerS Shelly Gerig Marion Wildey 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

HeaLtH & FitneSS 30 eVent CaLenDaR 48


november 2010

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

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

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Located On the new Tavares Marina and Seaplane Basin

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

Mutts & Martinis - November 21 (4-8 pm) (3rd Sunday 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 FOCUS Magazine Lake County november 2010


letter from the Editor

I 341 N Alexander Street Mount Dora, FL 32757 866.942.8138 352.383.2165 (P) ● 352.383.1668 (F)

      Nov. 27, 2010 - 30th Annual Light Up Mount Dora 5-9PM. Join us for a Centennial themed lighting in Donnelly Park and downtown Mount Dora with close to 2 million sparkling lights. Illumination will begin at 6:30PM. Wonderful holiday season entertainment and festivities including Santa! Details: Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce 352-383-2165. FREE

s anyone else exhausted from all the activities around town this past month? Our family calendar was completely crazy! And we (secretly) loved every second of it. I have to send a shout out to all who came out to support the Howl-o-Fest event in Tavares. The week of building the haunted house and then the two nights of scaring in it was awesome! As a family, we had a great time and were so excited to be more involved this year! The committee had quite a few obstacles to overcome and we tackled them as a group and made this year’s house and hayride really something to be proud of ! In this job, I am lucky to find inspiration all around me… I get to meet and forge relationships that I truly hope and believe will last a lifetime. I get to meet really remarkable people and hear their stories. I think Kay Simpson is one of those people that quietly makes a loud difference in her community. I hope you will enjoy reading about her contributions. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner… and while I love the turkey, it’s the Friday after Thanksgiving that gets me drooling! While commonly called “Black Friday” we can just refer to it as “Heather’s Favorite Day of the Year.” I treat the whole experience as challenge… Me versus the stores. I have a strategy and a plan… which includes 5-hour Energy Drinks and Protein Bars (and sleeping with my clothes on to save me a few minutes at 3am when I am heading out the door). I can say with certainty that I intend to do my part to stimulate the economy (and work off the multiple servings of Sue Squires apple crisp that I plan to have)! On a serious note, as we head into this Holiday Season, remember to savor the special time with the ones you love and that making memories that last a lifetime is more important than the number of pies on the table or gifts under the tree. Happy Thanksgiving (and Shopping)!

Dec. 3, 2010 - 19th Annual Christmas Walk 6-9PM. Join us for an Old Fashion Christmas holiday street party with music, Santa and shopping. Details: Mount Dora Village Merchant & Business Association at 352-735-1191 or 1-866-6836722. FREE

Dec. 11, 2010 - Children’s Christmas in the Park with Snow 4-9PM. Join us in Donnelly Park for a chance to go snow sledding. Free hot chocolate and cookies provided by the Mount Dora Kiwanis Club. Details: Mount Dora Parks and Recreation Department 352-735-7183. FREE

Dec. 31, 2010 - 2010 New Year’s Eve Celebration 5PM-1AM. Ring in the New Year in Downtown Mount Dora with live entertainment, beer/wine garden & ball drop. Details: Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce 352-383-2165. FREE


november 2010

Heather D. Graham Editor In Chief



Valid only at Golden Triangle YMCA. First time guest only


1465 David Walker Road Tavares, FL 32778


“A Picture Perfect Christmas” SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2010 (Downtown Tavares)

Parade on Ruby Street & Main Street *** New start time for parade – 5:30 p.m. *** Followed By Festivities in Wooton Park: “Ice” Skating * “Snow” Storm * Light Show * Family Christmas Picture Slideshow Living Toy Soldiers * Horse-drawn Wagon Rides * Farmer’s Market * Christmas Wreaths S’mores Pit * Face Painting * Bounce House * Rock Climbing Wall Live Entertainment * Great Food & More!

Watch for Santa’s exciting arrival in the park! Parade applications can be downloaded from our website: Call (352) 742 - 6370 for more information

Want to see your family photos on a special Christmas slideshow in the park? E-mail your digital family Christmas photos, both old & new, to no later than Friday, November 26th. MEDIA SPONSORS Florida Hospital Waterman Dr. Susan Caddell Family Dentist

Smallwood Sign Company

Allstate Insurance Agent — Marsha Strong

FOCUS Magazine Lake COUnty november 2010


north lake Local » Focus

chamber happenings Eustis

As the holidays approach, the Chamber is partnering with the Eustis Historical Museum on two very special activities. The 3rd Annual Parade of Trees, a fundraiser benefiting the ongoing activities of the Museum and the Chamber, kicks off with a tree decorating party on November 20th at the Eustis Community Center. Local businesses and organizations are invited to compete in categories that celebrate creativity, hometown spirit, and traditional holiday themes. In time for the holidays! The first in a limited edition series of annual Christmas ornaments will soon be available for purchase. Featuring historic sites, the initial set will showcase “Clifford House” and “Eustis City Hall.” Ornaments will be for sale at a cost of $15 for one or $25 for the set

of 2. Only 100 ornaments of each site will be available beginning early December. The items can be purchased at the Chamber offices or at the Historical Museum. Proceeds will be used to support activities sponsored by each organization.


CenterState Bank celebrated a Ribbon Cutting with the Chamber on October 21, 2010. CenterState Bank is located at 15830 US Hwy. 441. Advance Nursing Concepts hosted a Ribbon Cutting on October 7, 2011. Advance Nursing Concepts offers rehabilitation and home health care. Chamber Members and Ambassadors celebrated a ribbon cutting at Inspired Hair Salon on October 28, 2010 . Inspired Hair Salon is located at 11203 US Hwy. 441. EZ Nutrition 101 Celebrated a Ribbon Cutting at their new location on October 1, 2010. Stop by the new location at 320 W. Alfred Street to sample their tasty new smoothies!

A Simply Desserts Shoppe Simply Delicious

Holiday Meal & Pies from $12.95 order yours today! New Savory Menu Holiday Fudge Favorites

(352)-343-0495 In Tavares Station on the Beach

124 S. JoAnna Ave.

WISE CARPENTRY Quality renovations since 1992

Master Carpenter


AARP Age in Place

Certified Aging in Place Specialist “Helping the Elderly stay in their Home” Handicapped accessabilty Grab Rails Easy access Baths Elderly Conversions Sate Certified Contractor cbc057356

PO Box 1108 Mt. Dora Fl. 32757 352-516-4242


november 2010

North Lake Local» Focus

talk town of the

Eustis Roadwork Completed After four months of construction, the City and it’s residents are now reaping the rewards. The renovated downtown now boasts beautiful new brickwork and a much improved traffic flow. The center of the city is the location for the monthly “First Friday” events, which draw thousands each month to enjoy live music and shopping and dining. The project also included the replacement of underground utility systems and widening of the sidewalks.

Lucky Dog and Pure Aveda host first Hair Art Show On Saturday, October 16th, Lucky Dog Gallery Café in Tavares and Pure Aveda Salon & Spa from Mount Dora, joined forces to put together the first Hair Art Show in Tavares. With the hair being the art, the models displayed their creative dos from behind frames suspended from the ceiling. The curtains were pulled for the big unveiling to the gathered crowd. The event was a huge success and the next show is already in the planning stages, aiming for the Spring of 2011.

City of Tavares Changes Christmas Parade route and time Hundreds of Tavares graduates reunited in downtown Tavares on Friday, October 1st and Saturday, October 2nd. The Tavares High School AllClass 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.

Bonnie Whicher Photography we capture moments on photographs… for the memories, sharing with others and documenting life.


Authentic Jamaican/French Cuisine Dine-in - Take out - Delivery - Catering offered New Hosts Howard & Rowana Leslie

“Com e Taste Jam aica”!!

352-253-6246 202 Ww. Main St. Tavares FOCUS Magazine Lake County november 2010


north lake Local » focus

Antique Center Over 200 Shops

Shop in A/C comfort in our enclosed building and in our unique "Street of Shops" for that special addition to your collection. Renninger's individual shops and booths owners provide you with a unique shopping experience.

Open Sat-Sun. 9am-5pm

Antique Extravaganza

Nov. 19th-21st 800 Booths - Indoors & Outdoors 352-383-8393

Farmers and Flea Market

Photo by Lisa Rast

HARVEST MOON ON THE LAKE DORA BAYOU Tavares Introduces A New City Festival Article by : Lisa Rast


ctober 23, 2010 the City of Tavares kicked off the fall season with the first annual Harvest Moon Festival on the Lake Dora Bayou. The day began at 10 a.m. with a leash cutting ceremony for the grand opening of Tavares’ Dog Park at Aesop’s Park on Caroline Street. The event featured pet-friendly vendors and demonstrations by Disc Dog Nation. Continuing with the canine theme a Hush Puppy Parade, sponsored by the Green K9, kicked off the Harvest Moon festivities at 3 p.m. Costume-clad canines paraded down Ruby Street and New Hampshire Street. Prizes were awarded for best doggie costume. In Wooton Park, food vendors served up seafood and Cajun specialties and kids and adults alike enjoyed roasting marshmallows


november 2010

at the S’mores pit. Local bands The Dixieland Band and The Accelerators entertained the crowd. A pumpkin patch, pottery demonstrations, rock climbing wall, and hay rides were a part of the fall festivities. When dusk fell Premiere Boat Tours took visitors on a scary ride through the “haunted” Dora Canal. At 7:30 p.m. Grammy award-winning Buckwheat Zydeco flavored the air with their Cajun, bluesy sound, followed by a synchronized light show in the trees of Wooton Park. In keeping with the harvest moon theme, following the concert the movie “Twilight Saga: New Moon” was shown on a 17’ movie screen under the stars. Tavares plans to make the Harvest Moon Festival an annual event, with a different theme each year.

Over 700 Dealers

The Flea Market facility offers fresh produce, seafood, spices, herbs, groceries, carpet, crafts, luggage, foliage, furniture, leather goods, household items, jewelry, watches, and a wide variety of new and used merchandise.

Indoor & Outdoor Saturday & Sunday 8am - 4pm (352)-383-3141

Mud Drags

November 27th Gates open at 4pm, Events starts Between 7-8pm $10.00 at the Gate.

Car and Cycle Show and Swap Meet November 28th

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

Lake County Musicians Swap Meet

November 14th-11am-4pm- Adm. $2.00 Buy-Sell-Trade - Ton’s of great deals "Live Jam Session" 2-5 PM


20651 U.S. HWY 441, Mt Dora

FOCUS Magazine Lake County november 2010


South Lake Local» Focus

chamber happenings


Gem of the Hills (October) – Born in Michigan, the Chamber’s October Gem of the Hills, Kay Simpson has always been known for her leadership and organization. As a member of the Girl Scouts she believed getting involved with the community was very important. She has been very supportive of the high school band and was instrumental in refurbishing the unused football concession stand and then raised money for musical equipment, transportation and many other necessities. Kay also created Bras for the Cause as a fun way for people to raise money for the Greater Clermont Cancer Foundation.

Ribbon Cuttings

Tone-Up owner Barry Gilden recently celebrated his first anniversary at his store in the Kings Ridge Publix Plaza. Chamber Ambassadors were there to perform a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the occasion. Contact Barry at 352.243.9777, or stop by for a visit - 4375 S. Highway 27 in Clermont. Chamber Ambassadors, friends, and family welcomed Dynamic Media Services to their new location in downtown Clermont at 716 W. Montrose St. Since he’s located right across the street from the Chamber, feel free to stop in and pay a visit or contact owner

Mark Fagan at 407.497.3925 Jesse Buxton and PSA Companion Care were recently welcomed to Minneola and the South Lake area by Chamber Ambassadors.

Chamber Ambassadors, friends, and animal lovers performed a ribbon cutting ceremony for the South Lake Animal League who opened up their brand new “A Haven Before A Home Adoption Center” located at 4648 Baptist Island Road in Groveland. Please feel free to visit this beautiful facility or call them 352.429.6334

They are located at 214 E. Washington St. Suite A. and can be contacted at 352.241.8016. Chamber Ambassadors, friends, family, and wandering cyclists welcomed Rene Fonseca as the new owner of South Lake Bicycles, located at 121 W. Washington

St. in Minneola. Please stop in for all of your cycling needs or give Rene a call at 352.394.3848. The brand new Lake County Sheriff ’s South Lake District Office was officially opened on Oct. 9, 2010 by Sheriff Borders, his staff, Chamber Ambassadors, and other dignitaries via a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house celebration. The new substation is at the former Dodge dealership at 15855 State Road 50 in Clermont and their phone number is 352.394.6661

Chamber Ambassadors welcomed Melinda Gill to the South Lake Chamber at her recent “Cradle to College” Upscale Children’s Consignment Event & Expo which was held at the Wesley Center in downtown Clermont. Contact Melinda at 407.616.1233 or visit her website for more information. Pollo Tropical, located at 2625 E. State Route 50 in Clermont, celebrated a grand reopening as they are undergoing an exciting transformation to offer a new, elevated experience – complete with sizzling fajita platters and free table service. Chamber Ambassadors were there to perform a ribbon cutting ceremony to highlight the occasion. Stop in and try them out or call them at 407.654.7913

South Lake Chamber of Commerce 352-394-4191


VINO ETCETErA Over 800 Wines & Ales in Stock November Zinfandel Sale - Save 10%-25%

692 D West Montrose in Historic Downtown Clermont • (352) 394-9805


november 2010

“Because wine is fun”

352-404-6973 FOCUS Magazine Lake County november 2010


south lake local» talk of the town

talk town of the

“belk rebranding” Belk of Clermont’s general manager, Sutton Seibold, had fun unveiling the company’s rebranding campaign with a breakfast/dance party on October 7th. The store’s 32 employees came in to work on Friday morning to a new look and vision, “For the modern Southern woman to count on Belk first. For her, for her family, for life.” Belk has a rich heritage of community involvement that dates back to the company’s founders who believed strongly in giving back to the communities that made the success of their company possible. The annual Charity Sales are dedicated to supporting local non-profit organizations.

“clermont resident brings home the gold” Bret Gordon, 18, competed in the 3 martial arts events at the World Martial Arts Games in Las Vegas, and came in first place in all and brought home 3 gold medals for his country. Bret graduated from East Ridge High and is the chief instructor at Trio Martial Arts Academy in Clermont.


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A Christmas of New Beginnings elegant evening of food, wine tasting and entertainment by candlelight at the Tuscan Castle of Bella Collina benefiting “New Beginnings” - a non-profit recovery program helping local homeless children! November 18, 2010, 7-10pm - Bella Collina, Montverde Paul Pitts – Internationally acclaimed Opera vocalist Liberty Voices candlelight processional, conducted by Derric Johnson Foundation Academy Children’s Choir Ballroom dancing under the stars by Life Dance International Rare Blend Quartet Moonlight Players Christmas Carolers Readings from the book, Kris, by JJ Ruscella, a new novel launched tonight! Cost: $35 order now - limited tickets available Order tickets at or call 352-404-6946 Sponsorships available.


november 2010

“big fish” Alex, age 10 from Clermont, lands his first 6-pound bass.


Come meet our new manager - Jon Corrigan



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Open 8 to 5:30 - 5:30pm on Saturdays FOCUS Magazine Lake COUnty november 2010


Irish American Menu • Great Food • Fair Prices Specialties: Fish ‘n Chips, Shepherd’s Pie, Corned Beef & Cabbage New York Strip Dinner Special $14.00 Thursday Nights Wide Selection of Draught Beer

South Lake Local» focus




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Army Ranger cheered up after delivery of quilt and pillowcase from Jami and Thom, a former Airborne Ranger. Photo provided by Jami Blemker

Quilts of Appreciation

Shroud Soldiers with Overwhelming Esteem


Jami and her husband Thom, a former Airborne Ranger, took a trip to visit the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial wall to honor the fifth anniversary of her brother’s passing. Since then, they have made annual trips to visit wounded soldiers in Fort Gordon


november 2010

(corner of 8th & Minneola Ave. Downtown Clermont)

Clermont Florida, 34711

Céad Míle Fáil te


(a hundred thousand welcomes)

The Law Office of Pamela J Helton, P.A. 352-2 43-9991 In an emergency

$50 off consultation w/mention of this ad

Article by : Marion E. Wildey here are so many ways to give gratitude to the men and women who serve in the military, yet few contain the dedicated energy that Jami Blemker and the folks at Clermont Quilters, West Orange Quilt Club and First Baptist Church of Mt. Dora Quilting Ministry craft in their special pillowcases and quilts. This collaborative gift of admiration goes to wounded soldiers recovering from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The incredible symbolism of gifting items threaded with hours of love to envelope soldiers during sleep, their most vulnerable and important moments necessary to achieve well-being is sometimes received with overwhelming tears of joy.

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in Augusta, GA, the Fisher House, or the Walter Reed Medical Center. During her trips, Jami brings with her patriotic pillowcases and quilts made by herself and members of her quilting circles. Each of them come with a special message for the wounded soldier… “The Florida women’s quilting groups want to thank you for serving our nation with exceptional courage and for all the personal sacrifices you make. This pillowcase was hand sewn and offers you the quiet strength, untold support and the comforting knowledge that you are in our thoughts and prayers. We truly thank you for all your efforts that ensure we are afforded the opportunity to live in freedom.” If you are interested in getting involved or making a donation, (any type will be greatly appreciated), email gmaquilter@embarqmail. com.



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november 2010

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Exp. 12/15/10 FOCUS Magazine Lake County november 2010


Feature» Adopt a Child

The Angels of Christmas Present Adopt a Child for Christmas T Written By: Marion E. Wildey

hroughout the year, most of us are wrapped up in our personal lives; we don’t give much thought to the trials and struggles of others. Although always present, however, awareness of others’ misfortunes are heightened when the focus of the season is centered around giving. In the spirit of sharing and caring, what do you do with this sad knowledge? One gentleman in Mount Dora took to the hardships of some families he witnessed and began a tradition that carries on today. Almost a quarter of a century ago, postman James Gray relied upon his intuition and powers of awareness to boost the gloomy circumstances of some families on his postal route. He and several of his co-workers surprised these families’ lives, with clothes, shoes and toys during the Christmas season. As you can guess, that random gesture made an impact that continues today, known as ‘Adopt A Child for Christmas”. There are many ways for the community to get involved, whether through donations of time, or


november 2010

money, or helping with fundraising events throughout the year. While it is sometimes hard to see beyond our own bills and taking care of our own families, when we notice the deficiencies of others, an overwhelming feeling of compassion sets in, and that’s when we set wheels in motion to set something right in the world for someone else. Board member, Nancy Boyer has been working with Adopt a Child for Christmas, and thirteen years ago sought, “an organization that is truly benefiting the community. I wanted to find something that would be fulfilling and contribute back to this wonderful community. And so Adopt a Child came up, and I love this one because it is very hands on, it’s all-volunteer, and therefore ninety-nine percent of the money goes back to the community.” The organization is run like a well-oiled machine, mostly due to the three-year leadership of president Mary Beth Bruss, who has everything organized, all the

way down to the assignments everyone has to accomplish by the end of the season. Several angels have been with the organization for multiple years, like Bertha Carroll, who has volunteered for fifteen years, and has brought on her daughter and granddaughters to continue the tradition. One of the original postal workers, Jerry Straser, still works tirelessly to support Gray’s cause, and all are thankful for the faces of gratitude they meet. James Gray’s motto was, “Never let a child’s dream go unanswered,” and it continues with the spirit of Adopt A Child for Christmas. Many families have suffered from various hardships, unemployment, illness, parent incarceration, and single parents unable to support their children, so “we have a very detailed approach that we take when the angels come in. No one can just sign up for [the program] because they want to, they have to be selected by their guidance counselors as truly

needing help. The kids have to be under the age of twelve, and despite that, we had over eight hundred kids last year, so the need is continuing to grow.” Parents or guardians of the submitted children provide a wish or needs list for fulfillment by members of the community. Lake County area post offices will have special angel trees in the lobbies, and by selecting an angel from the tree, you can help fulfill a Christmas wish for a family in need. Return gifts to the post office by Sunday, December 6th, and they will take care of delivery. Monetary donations can be made through PayPal, or sent or dropped off to the office in Tavares. Adopt A Child for Christmas is a one hundred percent not-for-profit organization, and there is plenty of room for volunteers who can share their time. If your budget doesn’t quite allow for extra spending for donations, then there are many volunteer positions that would help support the organization. Besides cutting out angels, filling gift

feature» adopt a child bags, picking up donations, shopping and hunting for bargains for quality merchandise is always needed, and those services are extremely useful, as they shop all year. Boyer is one of the shoppers, “There are a group of us that are shoppers, and we shop throughout the year to get clothing and toys that are on sale. We know the typical sizes and ages of the kids. And so shoppers, whenever they see a store having a really wonderful bargain, they will go out and they will buy things on sale so that we get top quality clothing for these children, but at a very reasonable price.” Helping out, no matter how minor, really makes a difference in families lives, for Christmas is far from the grasp of close to a thousand kids

in Lake County. Every effort is put to use to help these growing numbers every year. This year in order to contend with the economic times, Adopt a Child started some fundraisers, like the 15K Mouth Cancer Walk, Beat Domestic Violence Bike-a-thon, and a Pumpkin Patch. More information, and other fundraisers can be found on the calendar, Boyer says, “We were so worried that we wouldn’t be able to continue at the scale we’re at, and hopefully people

will continue to be generous. It’s gotten so big, and the option was -- do we start to turn away kids, and we can’t do that. I have to tell you, the community is extraordinarily generous, even in these tough times we have got people that are donating. It’s just amazing, and I think it’s because they know their money is going back to the kids, it’s not going for overhead.” A simple celebration that lasts for one day, yet weeks of planning, hours of shopping and mounds of food are prepared for the Christmas holiday. The enchantment of this one day is so built up that children and adults alike view it as magical; the angels of Adopt a Child for Christmas see the gratitude of receiving families, and keep a box of tissue on hand for all to wipe away tears of joy.

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FOCUS Magazine Lake COUnty november 2010



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FOCUS Magazine Lake COUnty november 2010


spotlight» kay simpson


QuIETLy MakInG a LOud dIFFEREnCE written by: hEaThER GRahaM


eet Kay Simpson! Owner of popular local eatery, Papa’s Diner, this local business woman has dedicated herself to the community she loves. Whether it is helping the High School raise money, walking the track for Relay for Life, or serving on the board of the Greater Clermont Cancer Foundation, Kay is committed to the causes she believes in!

FOCUS: Hi Kay! Tell us a little about yourself. Are you married? Do you have any children? Kay Simpson: My husband Ray and I just celebrated our 30th anniversary and we have a wonderful daughter Rachel. FOCUS: How long have you lived in Clermont? How did you end up in Clermont? KS: We opened Papa’s Diner in 1985 and grew to love Clermont; so we built our home here in 1991 and have been here ever since. Being in business for over 25 years so many of my customers are like family. I now have young couples coming in and their children use the same highchair that they set in when they were young. FOCUS: You were recently recognized for your contributions to the community as a “Gem of the Hills” recipient. How did that feel? KS: I was so totally surprised. I thought I was asked there to speak about Bras for the Cause & Boxers Too! I am standing there listening and wondering who else was born


november 2010

in Michigan and been married for 30 years and then they started talking “band moms” and I knew it was me they were talking about. Then I started to look around and I spotted my husband and my best friends there and I was blown away. I don’t think of myself as a “Gem” and the intro made it sound like I did it all by myself but everything I do I have had a great team to work with. I believe Jeff Rice is still cooking hamburgers for the band at South Lake High School. FOCUS: Tell us about the Greater Clermont Cancer Foundation. KS: The Greater Clermont Cancer Foundation is a local nonprofit foundation started in 2004 by our founding board members Phyllis and Vic Hutcheson. The sole mission of the foundation is to support the citizens of South Lake

County as they cope with the emotional and financial aspects of dealing with cancer. We are not affiliated with any other national organizations and we strive to provide services not available from these groups. We are a 501C3 and we are completely nonprofit with no one taking a paycheck. Our overhead is less than 3 % and when we have one of our fundraisers we spend less than 7% to do it. There is such a need for us; the request for financial aid is up 129% this year. We also provide scholarships for our area high school seniors. In May 2010 the Cynthia Kinet Memorial Scholarship was established to honor her service to the Lake county school system. We have 2 cancer support groups, one for breast cancer survivors and one for any type of cancer and their caregivers and family. We opened our Community Cancer Library at InterCommunity Cancer Institute

providing free information and resources for our residents. FOCUS: What prompted you to become involved in this organization? KS: In 2004 my father was diagnosed with bladder cancer and I was devastated. I had just lost my mom in 2002. I was invited to the Celebrate Life dinner that the foundation was having. It gave me hope and I did what I do best - I jumped in and started serving salads and clearing dishes. Then I started helping with the Tennis tournament that was the sole fundraiser that the foundation did at the time. Little by little I got more involved and then I was asked to become a board member in 2006. The foundation is not able to cover all the cost of cancer but we are able to offer some help when it may come to the choice of paying the electric bill or receive

spotlight» kay simpson a treatment. There are so many uninsured or underinsured patients in our community. We have even had the American Cancer Society send some patients to us for help. We offer other sites to contact for help on our website FOCUS: What is Bras for the Cause? KS: Bras for the Cause & Boxers Too!! is a fun afternoon of Wine, Hors d’oeurves, and a runway show of whimsically decorated Bras & Boxers. We then auction the bras and boxers off to the highest bidder. Last year we were very lucky to get Lesa Burton from C2C Auction to join our committee and that helped increase our revenue and added to the fun. Mike Madawi from Smooth Musical Entertainment was our emcee and we were very fortunate to have Wine from Olive Garden, beer from Lagniappe Brewing Company, and food from area restaurants donated to complete the event. Bras for the Cause & Boxers Too!! is one

of our 3 signature fundraisers that the foundation holds. We have an Afternoon Tea in October to celebrate women’s health. On March 5th we will be having our 10th annual Tennis Tournament at Summit Greens. We have been blessed with the support of area restaurants that hold events where the proceeds benefit the foundation, The Redwing, Chili’s, Spiro’s, and D’amato’s. We now have the support of Lost Lake Elementary where they hold in school events that benefit the foundation. The foundation is getting to be known for the help that we do and I believe it started with Bras for the Cause. Word travels when you start showing decorated Bras. FOCUS: How did you ever think up such a clever event? KS: Phyllis and Vic had gone on vacation to Jackson Hole Wyoming and she came back talking about this event where they had a dinner dance and auction of

decorated Bras. We kept talking about it and we wondered if Clermont was ready for something like it. We looked for a location to hold Bras and The Hampton Inn offered their meeting room for it. It was small but we just wanted to sell 100 tickets, we didn’t think we would even get 10-15 bra entries but word traveled and we had 23 entries the first year. We had a committee of 7 and in 4 short months we pulled it off. We now have a committee of 20-25 members and we started planning in September. I believe my event planner Marie Howd from Peacock Productions started planning the day after last year’s event was over. FOCUS: When is the next Bras for the Cause and how can our readers get involved? KS: The next Bras for the Cause & Boxers Too!! will be held April 16, 2011 at the Heritage Hills Clubhouse off of Hancock Road. Tickets will go on sale December 1st. We hold our planning meetings at Papa’s Diner the 3rd Tuesday of every

month at 7:00pm and if someone would like to enter a bra or boxer or become a sponsor of the event all of the forms can be picked up at Papa’s Diner also. Thanks to Gloria Tomblin Photography and Linkh Printing we now have our first Bras for the Cause & Boxers Too!! 2011 Calendar for sale. The calendar has all of our last year’s entries in it with great shots of the fun had by all our guests. The calendars are $10.00 and available for sale at area locations, Clermont Florist, The Village Goldsmith, Sugar Mama’s Bake Shoppe, Bangz Hair Salon, Spiro’s Restaurant, The Buzz Hair Salon, Intercommunity Cancer Institute, Linkh Printing in Groveland, and Papa’s Diner. Buy a calendar, decorate and model a bra or boxer, or become a sponsor of the event. Help the Greater Clermont Cancer Foundation assist South Lake’s cancer patients and their families cope with cancer.

FOCUS Magazine Lake COUnty november 2010



november 2010




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We work directly with the school guidance counselors.

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

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FL 30211475 FOCUS Magazine Lake COUnty november 2010


sports» Focus

Anglers flipping over Harris Chain bass T Article submitted by: John N. Felsher

hick grass blankets the shorelines throughout the Harris Chain of Lakes near Tavares, Fla., but that grass can hold lunker largemouths. “I’ve caught many 10-pound bass by flipping the grass, but it’s really hit or miss in the Harris Chain,” said Phil Kelley, a retired bass pro and guide. “Someone may flip miles of bank without a strike and then hit the Mother Lode. Because of the dark water, fish stay very close to cover. Some remain shallow all year long, but sometimes, it takes a number of casts to one spot to get a bass to bite.”

The nine natural lakes in the chain span about 76,000 acres of central Florida. The lakes harbor many 2- to 6-pound bass and some in the 7- to 10-pound range with an occasional bigger one. In 2008, Lake Eustis produced a 13-pounder. State biologists shocked up 12-pounders in Lake Griffin. Anchoring the system, Lake Harris covers 15,500 acres and contains some of the deepest water in the system. A few holes drop to about 20 feet deep. Really just a


november 2010

cove off the main lake, Little Lake Harris breaks off the southern shoreline. At its northeastern edge, Lake Harris connects to Lake Eustis through the Lake Harris Dead River, a one-mile-long natural pass. Lake Eustis covers 7,806 acres and connects to Lake Dora through the Dora Canal. Haines Creek joins Lake Eustis with Lake Griffin through a long, winding channel partitioned by locks. North of Lake Eustis, Lake Yale covers 4,042 acres, but remains landlocked during periods of low water. At the eastern end of the chain, Lake Dora flows into Lake Beauclair. A cut opens between the southern shoreline of Lake Beauclair and Lake Carlton. With little deep structure in the shallow, flat-bottomed lakes, flipping the grass offers one of the best methods for enticing lunkers. To “flip,” hold excess line in one while swinging a long rod almost like a cane pole toward a specific target. Release the excess line gradually, dropping the temptation accurately with hardly a ripple. A skilled flipper can slip a Texas-rigged temptation into a tiny pocket between grass blades, twigs or lily pads with ease.

“With so much Kissimmee grass growing on the Harris Chain, anglers who don’t flip won’t catch as many fish,” said Steve Niemoeller of Capt. Steve’s Central Florida Guide Service. “Normally, I fish the outside edges back to about three to four feet in the grass. I target individual pockets between the grass blades. Frequently, bass sit in cavities under the grass. Grass might be matted on the surface, but beneath, there’s room for bass to hide.” To slip a bait more easily through thick cover, use the smallest weight practical and downsize lures. Tubes, trick worms and similar baits work very well. Use straighttail worms instead of ones with curled tails that may hang up on grass blades. If bass don’t strike on the fall, jiggle the bait up and down a few times before swinging to another pocket. A good flipper can thoroughly probe almost every potential bass lair along a stretch of shoreline. “I usually use 1/8-ounce, seldom more than 1/4-ounce,” Niemoeller said. “The only time I use more than 1/4-ounce is when I find a really thick mat with fish under it. Sometimes, the grass will be a little thicker or maybe has some hydrilla in it. Then, I might go to a 1/2- or even a 1-ounce

weight to get the bait down through the grass. I use a really heavy, stiff 7.5-foot rod spooled with 50- to 80-pound braided line with a 15- to 20-pound fluorocarbon leader about 2 to 2.5 feet long.” In thick cover, bass anglers frequently won’t feel a strike, but see the line moving in a contrary direction. Sometimes, the bait just feels like it snagged the grass. Soft and lifelike, many plastic baits come with salt or other flavorings added to make them smell and taste natural to fish. A bass might taste a bait before swallowing it. If in doubt, set the hook. Lure color, size and shape usually won’t matter as much as placement. Bass might strike anything that lands inches away, but not look at a bait plunging two feet away. Many anglers use 4- to 6-inch junebug worms or tubes. Other hot colors include junebug with red flakes, watermelon, watermelon red, redbug and red shad. For booking trips with Niemoeller, call 386-846-2861. On line, see www. or For area information and fishing tips, see

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FOCUS Magazine Lake COUnty november 2010


health » focus

getting down to the core why your core eXercises

are so important for your overall health.

article submitted by: ELIZaBETh dECkaRd, naTIOnaL TRaInInG CEnTER EXERCIsE sPECIaLIsT


our core or the area in the center of your body is one of the most important aspects to focus on during training. Balance, coordination and stability all stem from the core. If we have a weak core, we tend to overcompensate with other areas of the body during exercise and activities of daily living and end up either injured or in constant pain. Do you suffer from back pain or neck pain? When was the last time you did some work on your abdominal region or work on the upper back muscles to improve your posture? Focusing on the core during training doesn’t mean doing crunches every day. Just like any other muscle groups, the abdominals need rest too. It is also important to remember that the core of your body is made up of more than just the abdominals. It includes the gluteus, the back and the hip muscles as well. The majority of the working population has desk jobs. We spend so much time in front of computers and doing movements in front of our bodies that we neglect the back side. Overtraining one area and under training another will cause imbalances which can and eventually will lead to injuries and poor execution of movements. A good rule of thumb to follow is to do one or two exercises for the back side for every one exercise you do for the front side. For instance, if you do chest press or push-ups, also throw in a low row or lat pull down. If you do a set of abdominal crunches, also throw in some “supermans” or back extensions. Don’t forget the sides or your body either. Work on the sides of your gluteus muscles (also known as the


november 2010

medial glutes) or outer hips and don’t leave out those hip flexors. Doing exercises such as mountain climbers or knee tucks will target the hip flexors as well as the lower abdominals. Side lunges and side leg raises will target the medial glute muscles and the oblique abdominal muscles (the sides of the abs) can be targeted doing pickpockets with a medicine ball (twist the torso side to side trying to tap the ball on the ground while having feet suspended in the air) or side planks. When you are picking exercises, try to pick those that use more than one muscle group at a time. An example would be the plank. It not only engages the deep, deep muscles of the core, but also has the back, legs and arms engaged as well. Same for the side plank. Side lunges and the like not only engage the glute muscles, but also get the quadriceps, hamstrings and the calf muscles. If you add dumbbells in you get the added benefit of using the arms. In any exercise or movement you do throughout the day, be conscious of your abdominals. Make sure they are engaged (flexed) during any movement. This includes sitting at a desk, lifting weights, picking up boxes, etc. This is especially important during movements that involve the back. Keeping the abdomen tight will support those muscles. Lastly, make sure to do exercises to increase strength in the abs, not just endurance. In other words, don’t do 50 or 100 reps on crunches or back extensions just because you can. Challenge yourself and add weights to make that core burn! As always, find an exercise professional to check your form, and remember to have fun! Laughter and exercise are a fantastic and effective combination!

ABOUT THE EVENT Starting and finishing at the National Training Center, the Florida Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K course will use paved fitness paths through south Lake County.


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.

SCORING/TIMING Chip timing will be used for the Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K.


All marathon and half marathon finishers will receive medals.


Marathon: $75 $85 $100

Awards will be given to overall winners for men & Saturday, women in both races and January 1, 2011 the top three finishers (men & women) in each until Oct. 12; age-group (5 year age-groups) for both until Dec. 22 races. after Dec. 22

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FOCUS Magazine Lake COUnty november 2010


focus » legal DPOA or DHCS; and for good reason, it can mean legal trouble for the third party.

Guardianship for My Elderly Parents I Have All of the Documents, I’m ready but can I

Another problem seems to lie with how third parties view your elderly Mother and how she views herself, such as her refusing to believe that she needs your help beyond that of the normal helpful child. Sometimes, being elderly is just that, elderly; there may be some memory loss or just obnoxious behavior but just because your elderly Mother does not want to do what you recommend or tell her to do does not mean that she incompetent. However, there are other times when an elderly person does have dementia or other form of mental impairment beyond that of the normal aging process. The tricky part is trying to figure it out on your own; it is especially true if the dementia is in the beginning stages: Sometimes Mom is okay and sometimes she is not. When Mom is “okay” or at least has periods of being “okay” it can be frustrating trying to get the doctors or others to see that your Mother truly does need your assistance, as she may seem okay in the presence of nonfamily members or others who do not know her as well.

Even if your elderly Mother planned ahead and had “all of the documents”, you may still need the court’s help to become the Guardian over your Mother’s “person” in order to make decisions for her such as where your Mother is going to live. Your Mother may have previously designated who she desires to be her Guardian, both over her person and/or over her possessions, by executing a “Declaration Naming Pre-Need Guardian” (“Pre-Need Declaration”). Although the court does not have to abide by the Declaration, it is given consideration and can be used to assist the court in the event a Guardianship of your elderly Mother is needed. A Pre-Need Declaration alone, without a court Order, does not make you a Guardian. Therefore, although you may have “all” of the documents, you may still need the Court’s help in order to be the Guardian over your elderly Mother’s person. So, the answer to the initial question remains, “maybe.” If you have an important legal issue that you would like addressed here please email us at

avoid Guardianship?

Article submitted by: Attorney Beth Ann Gause, GAUSE & HARGROVE, PLLC


our elderly Mother previously went to an attorney and had “all” of the documents drafted and executed when she was competent for a future time in case she becomes incompetent; the plan was to allow you, the adult child, to care for her. She properly executed a Durable Power of Attorney (“DPOA”), giving you the ability to take care of many legal affairs and manage her possessions, that is, her “property.” Your Mother also properly executed a Designation of Health Care Surrogate (“DHCS”) form, giving you the ability to make health care decisions for her in the event that she becomes incompetent. She even properly created a Revocable Trust, which may also allow you to manage her property. Since your elderly Mother took the time and care to have these documents in place, will you, the adult child, still need to seek a court Order naming you the Guardian of your Mother? Maybe. Maybe? Yes, that is the typical attorney answer, avoiding the clear cut yes or no. It’s aggravating but unfortunately, many times there are just no black and white answers. With the proper documents, it may not be


november 2010

necessary to seek a court Order naming you the Guardian over your Mother’s “property,” however, you may need to seek the court’s intervention and ask to be named the Guardian of the person, the body, of your Mother. A DPOA can be created to come into effect immediately or to come into effect only upon one being declared incompetent. Although the DPOA and a Revocable Trust may allow you to control or manage your Mother’s property, such documents do not allow you to control your Mother’s “person.” Also, the DHCS is limited to health care and to those times when your Mother has actually been “declared incompetent.” Without being declared incompetent, your Mother has full right to make health care decisions on her own. By now you are starting to pick-up on the word “declared.” For many documents and legal functions to take effect, a person must be “declared” incompetent before the documents can be used. In most cases, only a court or doctors will be able to “declare” a person incompetent. And, since in general it must be declared that one is incompetent, many third parties such as health care workers and banks refuse to acknowledge the


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Art Around Town

Nov. 24th

Thanksgiving Party

Dec. 11th

Canvas Foundation Fund Raiser and Show

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Next to Wooten Park

Hours: Tue. Wed. Thur. 11am-10pm Fri.-Sat. 11am-11pm Sun. 11am-4pm.


Window Gang 407.909.1100 352.385.0500

•Pressure Washing •Gutter Cleaning •House Washing •Lanai Cleaning

Dryer Vent Cleaning 80 exp. 12-10-10 Fully Insured & Bonded

FOCUS Magazine Lake COUnty november 2010



november 2010

USSELF STORAGE •Ask about our FREE month move in special •Additional discounts available •We will meet or beat any competitors price •Free use of enclosed trailer for our customers •Monthly pest control •RV-Boat-Trailer Storage •A/C units available from 5x5 to 10x35 •Surveillance cameras with 24/7 access 352-483-1083 2910 Kurt Street Eustis Fl. 32727

I nsi d

St o r e a g e Ou ts F i de P o r rices Ca

l l No w!


FOCUS Magazine Lake COUnty november 2010


Estimates Molly LakeCounty County Molly Maid of lake

Entertaining during the holidays? Call Molly Maid. 352-742-3026 Trust Molly Maid to clean your home so thoroughly, people are guaranteed to notice!

Offer valid one time per household. Expiration date 4/10/10 5/10/10

Listen for us on Zmax Radio ©2008 Molly Maid, Inc. Each franchise independently owned and operated.


Reasons why your season will be brighter if you do!


More Free Time, I don’t have to spend my days, nights or weekends cleaning!

for a free, in-home consultation and estimate.


Ease, I only make one phone call to set up 6/27/08 the cleaning and1:02:51 it’s done.PMThey even offer Same Day Service!

$15 off your first, third and fifth regularly scheduled cleaning.


Priority List, If I don’t need everything in my home cleaned, they will work off my priority list!

Molly Maid is a member of the Service Brands International family.

Call today MM_Branding_AD_Half.indd 1

Save $45 Molly Maid of Lake County

352-742-3026 Offer valid one time per household.


Offer Expires: 11/10/10

Your home. Your cleaning plan.™ Which Rooms

How Often


Special Requests

Value, MOLLY MAID was voted “Best Value” by Good Housekeeping Magazine! Wow!! No Contracts, MOLLY MAID wants to earn my business with each cleaning!

Molly Maid is a member of the Service Brands International family.

For a cleaning plan designed around your home and lifestyle,

A clean you can trust.


©2009 Molly Maid, Inc. Each franchise independently owned and operated.

Big Cypress


S tep back in time to a newly renovated 1950’s Fish Camp 14 Cabins with Tongue and Groove Cypress Ceilings all nestled together overlooking Lake Griffin. Covered Boat Docks, Pool, Shuffle Board, Community Center, Laundry, and more. Cabins for lease or rent.

Own a Piece of Florida History! Come see us at:

408 Ice Cream Road, Leesburg (Across from the Harley Davidson Dealer).



november 2010



Sundays 9am -12pm Breakfast Bowl

(3 Games & Breakfast) Only $7.50/Person

12pm-3pm Lunch-N-Bowl

(3 Games & Lunch) Only $8.75/Person

Wednesdays 7pm -10pm

DOLLAR SPECIAL DAY Games, Shoes, $5.00 Pitchers

Saturday Family Special Saturdays from 11am-4pm Cost is $40.00+Tax/Lane (5 People/ Lane Max.)

Specials Includes: 3 Hours of Bowling, 1 Large, 1 topping Pizza 1 pitcher of Soda, FREE Shoe Rental

1950 Classique Lane • Tavares, FL 32778


FOCUS Magazine Lake County november 2010


focus » real estate

in choosing a real estate company… bigger doesn’t mean better! article submitted by: ROB MORRIs, MORRIs REaLTy & InVEsTMEnTs, InC.


mericans think big. This has helped make us the most powerful nation on Earth, but bigger is not always better. If I were to visit a symphony orchestra and ask them about their growth plans for the future, how would they respond? They would talk about their plans to extend their repertoire, and to bring their work to new audiences, not about increasing the number of violinists. The same holds true for a real estate company…that is they should strive to be better not bigger. So, in selecting the right Realtor for you, consider what is truly important, not just the size of the organization he/she works under. Real Estate: Choosing the Right Agent Finding the right real estate agent to help you with your home sale or purchase is everything. Real estate transactions are complicated, and if you’re like most home buyers (or sellers), most of your assets are on the line. But all real estate agents aren’t created equal. The amount of formal education a realtor has, the knowledge they have about the neighborhoods you want to buy into, their experience, past results, and the real estate listings they have access to, vary widely. Confused yet? For the most part, the size of their organization isn’t as important as the level of integrity, experience, and consistent results that he or she may have. But trying


november 2010

to find the real estate agent who embodies all the above shouldn’t be a challenge. Read over the following tips for choosing a realtor and you will be ahead of the game: • There are a few types of real estate agencies out there – small ones, large ones, franchises and independent agencies – but don’t get too hung up on the differences. The individual agent is more important than the real estate agency. Again, one that exhibits integrity, experience, and a consistent level of results. • To find the right agency, do some legwork. There are lots of real estate agencies listed in the phonebook (and online). But if you pick one at random you’ll probably regret it. Explore the neighborhoods you’re interested in buying into and look for realtors experienced in that area. Thumb through local real estate publications and newspapers to see who can afford to advertise. • Look for experience. The real estate profession has a high rate of turnover, which means lots of untested agents are constantly moving in and out of agencies. If you’re considering working with a particular realtor, ask how long they’ve been practicing. If it’s been less than two years, you may want to keep looking. • Look for commitment. Many real estate agents only practice on a part-time basis

and they might not have the time or drive to give you the attention you deserve. Also, many brokers are only interested in representing properties within a certain price range. If your home isn’t in it, they might not give it their all. • Interview real estate agents you’re interested in working with. Don’t be afraid to ask them how well they know your neighborhood and exactly how often you’ll hear from them. Ask for references and check them. Evaluate prospective agents based on personality as well. Your relationship with your real estate agent will be a working one, and if you don’t think you’d work well with him or her, it won’t work out. • Ask friends to refer you to real estate agents they’ve had good experiences with. • Select a real estate agent who can work with your schedule. If you can only see homes on evenings and weekends, you won’t go very far with an agent who only works days. • Ask any prospective real estate agent what they’ll do to sell your home. It sounds elementary, but not all agents work the same way. Some brokers will advertise your property and spread the word to other

agents they know. Others will just add your property to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service, a directory of homes for sale) and wait for inquiries. The more proactive your realtor, the better. • • Finally, ask about their results! What have they listed and closed as of recently? What price range? After all, the ultimate goal with your choice of realtor is in the final results….a sale. So, in conclusion….Don’t go for the biggest…go for the best! Rob, along with his wife Theresa, is co-owner of Morris Realty and Investments, Inc. They have two offices to service Lake, Marion, and Sumter Counties (Leesburg and The Villages). 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.

ng Grand Openi

Lic. # L05000100882

LUBE MASTER II Get More Mileage from your Vehicle

We are your all-purpose cleaner.

Family owned and operated since 1980 • 17 Pt. Inspection • Preventative Maintenance • ALL Major Brands of Oil • Many Rebate Programs Availabe • Complimentry mid-service available • Warranty and Lease Maintenance available

512 Hatfield Dr. Umatilla


Mon.-Tue. 8-6 Wed.8-7 Thur.-Fri.8-6 Sat.8-4

Free Fuel System Cleaner

with Valvoline Max Life oil Change (Exp. Nov. 30th $12.99 Value)

Residential | Commercial | New Construction Fire and Smoke Certified | Grout Cleaning

Fran 352-504-1524

Pete 352-455-4573

Fax 352-347-0048

Why not get the most for your money! These homes are priced below invoice to make room for the 2010 models! Bring this ad to Jeff or Brian and ask them how to get a Washer and Dryer or Stainless Steel Grill.


ZACK 3 Bdrm, 2 Bath 1,060 SF (order only)


WAYNE 4 Bdrm, 2 Bath, save $8,000 1,590 SF

(2 to choose from)


AUDREY LOO 2Bath 1,484SF


for model only.. reduced $8,000)

2Bdrm, 2Bath, 933SF



(lot model only)


Cert Avai ificates lable

FOCUS Magazine Lake County november 2010


Don’t Forget Before it’s to late for your Tax Credit on approved A/C and Heating Units

9am to 2pm (no Sundays)

Saturday morning

$6.00 breakfast buffet. s nowbird S k c a b e Welcom Golf in Town!! t Cheapes


Restaurant open to public


Mount Dora Golf Club

Banquet Facility available call for details 1100 South Highland Mount Dora, FL 32757 352-383-3954

We provide service on all units Proper Maintenance of Your Unit Insures Its Efficiency

Receive up to $1500 Tax Credit on qualifying Goodman brand Heating and A/C units before year end!!


21901 US Highway 441 — Mount Dora


352-383-0922 or 1-800-458-2703

Monday-Friday 11am-3pm Saturday 11am-2pm Closed Sun


We’ve Got Gas! 87 & 93 Octane

“home-made soups, made-to-order sandwiches and fresh salads daily”




Free Delivery in Down Town Tavares Area Stop in for your favorite WWD Salad or Sandwich

100% Pure




Ethanol Located at Tavares Station on Lake Dora 124 S. Joanna Avenue at the Corner of Joanna and Ruby

352-343-0745 40

november 2010

On & Off Road Diesel • Lubricants • Race Fuel

focus » Dining Profile

Lucky Dog Gallery Cafe P Article submitted by: Heather Graham and Photos by Bonnie Whicher Bonnie Whicher Photography

eter Napoles grew up in a family where he was encouraged to explore his creative side. The influences of his European and Hispanic parents, Pete and Carmen, led Peter to discover his loves of music, art, literature, and a deep appreciation for really good, flavorful food. After

working together for years, in real estate and development, the Tavares based Napoles clan began looking for a new venture. Thus, the idea of Lucky Dog Gallery Cafe. Peter describes, “The concept is a creative atmosphere, unique to the area, which would influence and encourage creativity, especially

Art, Music, and Pizza

at the local level, and especially to youth.” That concept includes a design of a space in the heart of downtown Tavares; with the gallery/boutique entrance on Main Street and the Café entrance on Ruby. Guests enjoy an ever changing display of amazing art, while their pizza is tossed and cooked to precision. While waiting, feel free to strum a guitar or play a few notes on the keyboard, displayed not for looks, but to encourage a hands on approach to the creation of music. Another key element in Lucky Dog is Family. While Peter is usually the most visible, the restaurant really is a family affair, with his two brothers,

Stephen and John, along with his parents helping to make things happen. Long time family friend, Joe, an honorary brother, is the brilliant and gifted pizza man. While he may be behind the scenes, the mouth-watering pizza is credited to him. Peter’s unique, artistic approach has also given birth to new events, such as the recent Youth Art Show, which featured art from Tavares High School AP students and Tavares Middle School students, or the Hair-Art Show, where they partnered with Pure Aveda Salon & Spa. Feedback from the Hair Show was amazing, with the hair models acting as the “art,” displayed behind frames suspended from the ceiling. The show was likened to something you would see in New York. The next show is already been planned for the Spring. On our visit, we were started out with the delicious pizza Lucky Dog has quickly become known for. We sampled their most popular choice, Blanco, which features a white cheese pie topped with all fresh ingredients – thin slices of tomato, bright green spinach, and fragrant basil. The perfectly crisped crust and garden-fresh ingredients make it easy to see why this is a favorite. However, this Editor’s choice and all time favorite remains the Iberian. If you like a little kick to your pizza, try this chorizo topped version! Personally, I was surprised to learn that Lucky Dog serves a lot more than just great pizza. Up next, we samples the Aegean. The Greek inspired wrap consists of a pita overflowing with tasty chunks of chicken, lettuce, tomato, feta cheese, black olives, and topped with a Greek dressing. A filling option with an amazing combination of flavors. The Pollo Asado is Cuban inspired with marinated chicken breast served with black beans and rice. This tasty dish is best described as kicked-up comfort food! Be sure to check out their signature desserts and their homemade Sangria! Lucky Dog is also having monthly Craft Beer and Wine Tastings, Karaoke on Wednesdays, and Writer Nights every other Tuesday night. Stop in to meet the Napoles and try some of the best food in town.

Lucky Dog Gallery Café 222 E. Main Street Tavares, Florida 352-343-1308 Beer and Wine

FOCUS Magazine Lake County november 2010


dining & entertainment » MOUNT DORA CRAFT FAIR

The A.W. Petersons Gun Shop christmas lay-a-ways & gift certificates available now complete line of hunting and gun supplies

Concealled Weapons Classes offered Monthly call


4255 w. old us 441, mount dora fl. 32757


Therapy Skin Care • Reverse Regiment for Brown Spots, Dulness and Sun Damage • Anti-Age Refines Texture, Energizes Skin, Boosts Collegen • Soothe- Regimen for Sensitive Skin • Umblemish-Regimen for Acne and Marks Call Betty Ainslie

352-255-5668 Photo courtesy of Lisa Rast

26 ANNUAL Mount DORA CRAFT FAIR Featuring Over 350 Crafters From All Over TH

The Country Article by: JLisa Rast


Abbott said. “The Mount Dora police helped unlike any other year before.”

President of the Mount Dora Merchants and Business Association Terry Abbott was very happy with the success of the event. Abbott said the Merchants Association received an overwhelming response from the vendors. “The vendors were very happy, three vendors sold out of product,” he said. Abbott also said that two-thirds of the crafters have already signed up for next year’s craft fair. “It was also the easiest setup and breakdown ever,”

Downtown merchants were also happy with the turnout. Hungry folks lined up outside local restaurants and the downtown boutiques were crowded with shoppers. Dianne Berilla of Dianne’s Tasteful Indulgences was thrilled with this year’s craft fair. “It was wonderful,” Berilla said. “People were buying, even with this economy. I think people are tired of not being able spend money, they bought and they seemed happy and relaxed.”

he Mount Dora Village Merchants and Business Association hosted one of the city’s biggest events on October 23 and 24, 2010. Over 350 craft and food vendors lined the streets of downtown Mount Dora while shoppers flocked to the town to get a head start on their holiday shopping.


november 2010

It is estimated that over 300,000 visitors came to Mount Dora for the event, breaking the record of last year’s number of 265,000.

sici a l mu


Jam nth d r a y k Th e sBtaSacturday of every mo

A s re


y loc st e d b

i rs 2- 7 p m F

Happy Hour Prices all day

Everyday could be a Jam Night Come see & hear the musicians of Lake County

Boars Head Subs Cold Drinks Beer/Wine

Music Consignment & Supplies

Biker Friendly

Bike Nig ht


Happy Hour prices



121 Highland St. Mt. Dora Fl. (Corner of SR 46 & Old US Hwy. 441)



You Ain’t Heard Nothing Yet! Richard will be doing a live broadcast @ Waterman Village in Mount Dora, on Tuesday, Nov. 23rd @ 2Pm featuring JP Perry, guitarist and country singer, along with Robert Glaffy, concert pianist. The public is invited.

Photo by Bonnie whicher Photography

For more info call 383-0051 Ext. 313.



PH: (352) 383-1801

FOCUS Magazine Lake County november 2010




Healthy Alternatives Day Spa & Training Institute

Massages, Facials, Body Wraps, REIKI Hypnosis, Reflexology. Certified Hypnosis and REIKI classes offered.

1107 N. Donnelly St. Mount Dora

352-735-7555 Nail Tech Wanted

MA MM17079


10% OFF with ad.

For Junk Cars Running or not

Specializing in FULL COLOR printing! • Business Cards • Letterhead/Envelopes • Rack Cards • Flyers • Newsletters • Booklets • Postcards • Posters • Signs • CD Labels • Invitations/Programs ...AND MUCH MORE!


Call today for an estimate!

352.357.4781 300 Morin Street, Eustis, FL 32726 •


november 2010


Frank J DiPietro, CPA PA

CFP, Accounting, Tax, & Financial Software Services

“Where Caring is Priority One” 11225 Oakshore Lane Clermont, Fl 34711 Offce: 352-3505240 x 301 Cell: 352-255-3706


Top Dollar Paid $150.00 and Up

Call 352-771-6191

r Truck For YouBusiness Real Estate Banners Mount Dora

3 5 2 -7 3 5 -74 4 6 By B ySpecial SpecialRequests Requests Catering Catering Your Home-Town Caterer Winner: “Taste of Tavares”



Book your Holiday Book your party early Holiday Party early! Call Sandra Renaux



S e h t o a p & Ar c k S s ’ n a ad tm Lake Square Mall Across from the Food Court


Full Arcade/Pool Table • Party Specials See our Black friday Specials Black Friday Weekend 2 for 1 Tokens

352-435-9356 • Offer valid through 12/10/10

Frantz Brignol, DMD General & Cosmetic Denistry


600 N. Eustis St • Eustis Open weekdays & Saturdays


8136 Centralia Ct. Ste. 103 • Leesburg Monday–Friday


licensed/insured Over 20 years Experience

Scott by

Your Complete hardwood Floor Service

Sanding-Refinishing-Installation Solid Hardwoods-Engineered Hardwoods

Repair Work- All Work Guaranteed Quality Work At A Reasonable Rate


Mainville Tax Preparation & Bookeeping

Accounting for every penny

Income Tax Preparation Small Business Bookkeeping Payroll Services Quickbooks Instruction Sales Tax Return Preparation

Dawn Mainville, E.A.

414 West Main Street, Suite 201 • Leesburg, FL 34748 Phone 352.728.8588 Cell 352.455.8587 FOCUS Magazine Lake County november 2010


dining & entertainment » Trash to fashion


Pictured is first place winner Roberts and author Lucienne Diver Photo courtesy of Judy Buckland

Trash to Fashion Winners Announced Article submitted by: Judy Buckland, Lake County Library System

he Lake County Library System is pleased to announce the winners of the 2010 Trash to Fashion Contest. First place was awarded to Jennifer Roberts for a unique dress and accessories made of coca cola cans. Second place went to Aubrey Covington with a rubber inner tube top, newspaper flower sash, a rubber glove skirt, bottle cap necklace and light bulb earrings. Third place was Jennifer Torres who created a dress made of chip bags with a jacket, buttons and belt of monster cans and tabs. Fourth place was Erika Fils whose entry was a jacket and pants made from entirely from trash bags with paper clip fasteners; and Fifth place was Kimberly Bangle whose tank top dress and vest with stylish accessories featured the use of newspaper, ribbon, aluminum foil, tissue paper, garbage bags and pop tops. Our emcee, vampire fashionista Gina Covello with author Lucienne Diver kept the audience laughing and the event way out of the ordinary. Recording artist Derek Martin entertained with original, inspirational music. Students from Eustis High School television production/ entertainment technology were

on hand to film the event with Director Stuart Klatte. The show will be aired on Lake Front TV. Judges for this event held for Teen Read Week included Chad Fernandes, a singer/ songwriter who has recently released an EP album entitled “One Step Closer”. He will be appearing on TV this fall in the vocal competition ‘Voice of an Angel’. Dennis Smolarek, directs the adult programming for Cooper Memorial Library and is responsible for Opera @ the Library that brings monthly opera programs to the public and students. Austin Breeden appears in the upcoming film The Old Livingston House premiering Sunday at the Fort Lauderdale Independent Film Festival. Teen Coordinator for Rock the Runway, Amanda Paige, is the author of Hear That Tune, a monthly column on the TeenLib page on our website, Check out the latest review which features Bruno Mars: Doo-Wops and Hooligans.


Ask for Connie 352-504-0499 Call for Interview


La Yaquecita Mexican Grill Authentic Mexican Cuisine Dinner Entrées Starting at $7.50!! Buy one entree get 2nd one 1/2 price


november 2010


Happy Hour 4-6

Bring in ad for 10% off.

$1.00 off all drinks

Hrs: Mon.-Thur. 11am to 9pm, Fri.- Sat. 11am-10pm

Dinner only not valid with any other offer

226 W. Alfred St. Tavares 352-253-5272

Is your business in the

y t n u o C LFaarmkerse& Flea Market

BLACK? Do you really know?

Would you like your Accountant to: LOWER your taxes? INCREASE your profits? Help you control your CASH FLOW?

Thursdays 8am-1:30 at Lake County Fairgrounds

Get your business IN THE BLACK Call Sharon S. Brown

County Road 452 & 44


Seasonal produce, collectables, crafts, prepared foods

SSB Accounting Services

Call for a FREE Business Assessment ($500.00 value)


Grand Opening Nov.19th-21st •

Call for Reservations

12th & 13th

Daily Commercial Car Show

November 14th

Lake County Humane Society Westmuttster Dog Show

December 11th & 12th Gun Show

Please call for times and information


Gou r C he met e se Wine Bar - Light Menu - Accessories Come see our new shop in “New Downtown Eustis” Wednesday & Thursday 4-10pm Friday- Sunday 12-til’ 106 E. Magnolia Ave s it U 352-385-0053 Come Vis Also see our retail shop in Mount Dora, 2385W. Old Hwy.441 352-385-0053

Now n O pe

need a

home loan?

You need to see us. We’re determined to do more for you, so check out our fast, easy home loan applications.

Come see us or visit Federal Trust Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.

FOCUS Magazine Lake COUnty november 2010


entertainment » event calendar

Lake County Nov 12th, Friday

Astor Chamber’s Harvest Jamboree will be held at the Astor Community Center from noon to 8pm. Barbeque plates with ribs and chicken are a deal for $9 and kids are $5. There will be food, games, music, raffles and prizes. For more information please call 352-759-2679

Nov 13th, Saturday

The Green Fair held at Wooton Park of Tavares gives local businesses, organizations and governmental entities the opportunity to share sustainable-living ideas with the community in a fun, fair-like atmosphere. Activities planned for the event include zumbathon, 5K fun run, paddling adventures, face painting, Radio Disney, treasure hunt and children’s crafts. The event will be held from 9am-4pm for more information visit November 12th- 13th, Friday &Saturday Don’t miss the 31st Annual Montverde Day Festival, featuring a full carnival for children and adults, live musical entertainment, food and craft vendors and lots family fun! The event is held at Kirk Park, Friday from noon-10pm and Saturday from 8am-10pm. For more information call 407469-2681.

Nov 18th, Thursday

The Tuscan Castle in Bella Collina of Montverde is hosting “A Christmas of New Beginnings” an elegant candlelight evening with wine tasting, food, dancing under the stars and wonderful entertainment. The event is from 7-10pm. Tickets are $35 per person, for more information please call 352-404-6946.

Nov 19th, Friday

The Carousel Club at The Wesley Center in Clermont will step back in time to a 1940’s Supper Club... Enjoy dinner, dancing with live swing band Nostalgia and the classic sounds of pianist Richard Silanskas. The event begins at 7pm.

Nov 19th, Friday

Leesburg Craft and Beer Festival from 6-10pm on the Islands of Venetian Gardens. A ticketed event, featuring over 20 craft beers, local restaurants, wine tasting, live entertainment and more. The event is presented by the Leesburg Partnership. For more information visit


november 2010

calendar of events

Nov 26th, Friday

Light up Eustis: Holiday carols, visit from Santa, live music, street vendors, kids carnival and commemorative t-shirt giveaway. Come join us in celebrating the official opening of our new downtown while lighting up the City for the holiday season! The event will be from 5-9pm. Nov 27th, Saturday Light up Mount Dora: Join the City of Mount Dora for a Centennial themed lighting in Donnelly Park and downtown Mount Dora with close to two million sparkling lights and Santa. The event will be from 5-9pm.

Dec 1st, Wednesday

Tree Decorating and Lighting Ceremony at the Fruitland Park Library will begin at 10:30am. At this story time, the children will make Christmas decorations and decorate the tree. The tree will be lighted by City Clerk, Diane Gibson Smith and she will share a special holiday story with them. For more information call 352-360-6561.

Dec 3rd, Friday

Light up Clermont: The 22nd Annual Light up Clermont ceremony will take place at Center Lake on Friday, Dec. 3, at 6:45 p.m. with music and performers on stage at Center Lake and a downtown celebration to follow on Montrose Street until 9 p.m. The festivities will continue on Saturday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a holiday craft show and food vendors on Montrose Street. At 1 p.m., the hometown holiday parade begins.

Dec 4th, Saturday

The City of Tavares presents a Picture Perfect Christmas in Wooton Park starting at 5:30pm. A Christmas Parade will travel Ruby and Main Street followed by other activities at Wooton Park. For more information please visit December 10th-11th, Friday & Saturday Howey Christmas Festival: The Friday Night “Party in the Park” features a Christmas tree contest, karaoke, Christmas music and refreshments. Saturday activities include a craft show, car show, boat show, entertainment, food and Christmas parade with Santa and the Grinch. Event times are from 5:30-9pm on Friday and 8:30am-6pm. For more information please visit http:// events

FOCUS RELEASE PARTY November Release Party Monday, November 15th 5:30-8:00pm Kelly’s Brickhouse Pub 794 W Minneola Ave Clermont, Fl Live Entertainment * Appetizers * Drink Specials * Door Prizes For more information, call 321-377-8953

We expand your brand


• Great time to buy an investment property. • Let me find a property for you and a qualified tenant. • Competitive prices & excellent Service.

Mt. Dora Plant Co. “Your Neighborhood Garden Center”

POINSETTIAS Locally Grown Florist Grade Special Pricing For Prebooked Poinsettias before Thanksgiving

2145 Britt Road Mt. Dora, FL 32757


(2 miles behind the 7-11/ Racetrack Gas Station off 441 on Wolfbranch Road.)

Robert E. (Bob) Harris


We’ll help you move, by paying for your movers!*

SummerBrooke at Mount Dora Homes from the $120s! Townhomes from the $100s! Sales Office

P: 352-385-3965 2251 Natoma Blvd Mt. Dora, FL 32757 2010 Park Square Homes. Prices, plans, promotions and availability subject to change without notice. *up to $1,000 CBC# 1256275 FOCUS Magazine Lake County november 2010


, y a w a t e g your

The First Green Hotel in Lake County

but not too far

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Largest HoteL ConferenCe room in Lake County ReseRve Today • Complimentary deluxe hot or cold breakfast bar • Outdoor Pool with hot tub • Microwave/Refrigerator in every room • High Speed Internet Access • Exercise Facility • Guest Laundry • Business Center • Free Local Calls • Complimentary USA Today • 2 Meeting Rooms with Conference facilities from 30-60


november 2010

Discover the Best Western Lake County Inn & Suites so close to everything yet so far away, located in the heart of Tri-City



(Mount Dora, Eustis and Tavares) right across the street from

US 441

Waterman Hospital and Cancer Center. Reninger’s Flea Market,

US 441

Art Festival, Craft Show, Boat Show, Antique Extravaganza, Downtown Mount Dora and many more attractions are nearby


Old US 441


where thousands come to visit.

1380 E. Burleigh Boulevard Tavares, Florida 32778-4305 fax (352) 253-0788

(352) 253-2378

Join us for our Holiday First Friday Street Party December 3rd

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

Friend us on Facebook and receive monthly specials and discount offers

FOCUS Lake County 03-09  

FOCUS Magazine Lake County Edition Issue 03-09