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VOLUME 7 ISSUE 7 • AUGUST 2011

LAKELAND EDITION

Hadley

Gentry AMBASSADOR CHILD FOR THE MARCH OF DIMES SIGNATURE CHEFS AUCTION


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Table of Contents 08 14 10 09 08 Local

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Lakeland and the surrounding areas are such great communities where the people who reside there seem to understand what is important in life - it is all about community. Find out about some things and local people that continue to make Lakeland an amazing place to live.

10 Feature

Learn this month about an amazing program at work in Polk County to help troubled teens get back on the right track. AMIKIDS works with the school district and the Department of Juvenile Justice in restoring foundational values in students who need more direction so they can become productive citizens.

Volume 7 Issue 7 • August 2011

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21 on the cover Hadley Gentry ambassador child for the Signature Chefs Auction

14 Spotlight interview

Save the date for the Signature Chef’s Auction to benefit the March of Dimes organization in our county. This month you’ll read the story of baby Hadley and how the March of Dimes effort helped her and her family.

21 dining profile

“You have to eat ‘Somewhere” is the fun catch phrase that helps diners relax and return frequently at Somewhere Sports Bar & Cafe. For great food at fair prices, visit soon. The pizza is a specialty.

16 - anna maria island 22 - Event Calendar

Licensing Opportunity

Licensed territories are available. We are looking to expand the family and are looking for motivated individuals to join our award winning team. If you are interested in owning your own Focus Magazine contact Mike Floyd at 813.707.8783 ext 26.

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focuslakeland.com Full digital version of the current and past magazines Extended features, interviews, dining profiles and business profiles with extra content Community news updates


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Letter From The Publisher Summer has been wonderful - plenty of sun, time with family, work and even some new friends. Very soon our boys will be back in school and Labor Day, can you believe it, is just around the corner. Labor Day, a day dedicated to the social and economic achievements or American workers, is actually a tribute to the generous contributions workers have made to strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. The social part is especially important in communities. This month we interviewed Patty Frankenberger and Melissa Gutentag of the March of Dimes, two women who have made valuable social contributions to this organization that has helped so many premature infants survive. Contributions of time and service are sometimes the ones with the most impact. In the interview, Melissa shares the story of how the March of Dimes helped her family when their daughter Hadley was born weighing only 1lb. 5oz. Melissa spent six months by Hadley’s side in the NICU and March of Dimes was a crucial part of her support system during this time. After receiving help, most people graciously say thank you in appreciation for the kindness shown on their behalf. But Melissa took the next step. Even before Hadley was out of the hospital, Melissa turned around to begin giving back time to the March of Dimes. She, and everyone involved in this organization, are an example of living lives of generosity. Be sure to read the interview to fully grasp what this organization contributes to the Lakeland community. Our feature sheds light on AMIKIDS, an organization that works with troubled teens who have been convicted of a crime and are likely to be in trouble again. These students are removed from public school and sent to the AMIKIDS school in a program specifically designed to help them back on the right path. Many lack a support system at home and have never been taught how to make good decisions. It takes a team of dedicated people living a life of generosity to restore troubled teens. The stories they share of the great results are constant reassurance their efforts are worth it. Though they stay behind the scenes, the team at AMIKIDS is positively contributing to our community in a way we can never repay them. These individuals have chosen to live generously. They did not feel it was the responsibility of others to help their community, but rather their own. In the coming year, let’s all look for those opportunities to give of our time and resources. Let’s “live to give” and model the philosophy for our children. Let’s thoroughly enjoy this Labor Day. Mike Floyd - Publisher mike@floydpublications.com

Got a story idea? Looking to advertise in Focus? Contact us for more information.

Publisher Mike Floyd mike@floydpublications.com

Floyd Publications, Inc. 702 W. Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd. Plant City, FL 33563

Office Manager Dede Floyd dede@floydpublications.com

Office 813.707.8783 Fax 813.764.0990

Copy Editor Cheryl Johnston cjohnston@floydpublications.com

www.focusplantcity Credit Manager Angel Carter acarter@floydpublications.com Standards of accuracy: The goal of the writers at FOCUS Magazine is to provide heart-warming 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 inform it about the fact error. To do so, call (813) 707-8783 or e-mail editorial@floydpublications.com. The staff will fix the error in a timely manner. FOCUS Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Plant City businesses, restaurants and many local venues. Advertisers warrant and represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. Focus Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. All letters and their contents sent to Focus Magazine become the sole property of Floyd Publications, Inc and may be reproduced thereof. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Floyd Publications, Inc. Use or duplication of material used in this publication is prohibited without approved written consent from Floyd Publications, Inc.

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Sales Sophia Hyde | Holly Farmer Julie Hasting | Erik Butler | Linda Simmons Brent Simmons Production Anthony Sassano Tony Cartagena FOCUS TV Shana Johnson Distribution Byron Spradlin Belva DeVane Photographers Billy Friend Lori Blaser | Stephanie Humphrey Staff Writers Cheryl Johnston Brian West | Joe Bowles Derek Maul | Kelleigh Klein Heather Davis | Laura Estes | Dan Conrod | Kristi Linbaugh | Heather Davis Megan Braglin | Brittany Cerny Contributors Al Ruechel | Gil Gott Bruce Rodwell | Jo-An Lusk | Nate Davis


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Local » Focus Photos courtesy of Heather’s Hope Foundation

2nd Annual Purple Ribbon 5K Run/Walk Benefits Heather’s Hope Foundation Written By: Cheryl Johnston

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ust off those running shoes and register for the 2nd Annual Purple Ribbon 5K Run/Walk sponsored by Heather’s Hope Foundation. Help Heather’s Hope to surpass last year’s attendance of 400-plus and bring even more awareness of domestic violence to our community. The event on September 24,

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2011 at 8:00 a.m. will feature Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. Refreshments for the runners/walkers are provided and awards presented for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in seven different age groups. The group or company registering the most participants also receives a trophy. Lissette Campos with Channel 10 ABC News will serve as emcee. An added feature

this year is the “Memory Wall” on which registrants may display photo of a loved one lost due to domestic violence. Before the tragedy, Heather Lynn Rimmer was a recreational runner, a young mother and a well-loved teacher at Valleyview and South McKeel Academy. Friends and family established the memorial Heather’s Hope Foundation after she passed away in 2008 at the hands of her abusive spouse. Her mother and stepfather, Bonnie and Bob Roebuck, determined afterwards that the “silent tragedy” of domestic violence, which affects more than four million American women and their families annually, could only be eradicated through public awareness. The nonprofit group provides support for local shelters, scholarships for worthy

students, and educational high school presentations about teen dating abuse. Early prevention is a passion of the foundation. According to the Roebucks, who are raising Heather’s two beautiful daughters, Paige and Jordyn, educating teens is critical. The foundation’s slogan, “Domestic Violence…Nip it in the Bud” says it all. Register online at www.active.com or visit www.heathershope.net to download the registration form to be mailed. Preregistration and day of registration begins at 7:00 a.m. for the race starting at 8:00a.m. Volunteer and tax-deductible sponsor/ donor financial support continues the fight. Mail checks payable to Heather’s Hope Foundation, Inc. to P.O. Box 92895, Lakeland, FL 33804.


Local » Focus

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Attendees enjoyed dancing to the sounds of Finesse and the Las Vegas Sound Brass as well as several other entertainers.

Rockin’ for the A local benefit for the Animals Polk County SPCA, Inc. S

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Written By: Taylor Flumerfelt

aturday, July 30 marked the second annual Rockin’ for the Animals at the Avenue Hotel Lakeland to benefit Polk County SPCA, Inc.

Starting at 5 p.m., guests enjoyed a dinner buffet provided by Ruby’s at the Avenue Restaurant and Lounge. The entertainment kicked off at 6 p.m. with dancing and live, classic doo-wop music from Finesse and the Las Vegas Sound Brass, Stan Prinston, Bill Castner, Richie Merritt, Ken Brady’s Casinos, Bobby Palmero, and Jelvis. Attendees also bid on silent auction items, such as a one night stay in Saint Augustine, wine tasting for a party of 10, dinner for two at bd’s Mongolian Grill, and much more throughout the night. The auction items were donated by generous local businesses and all proceeds from the auction benefited Polk County SPCA, Inc. Preferred lounge seating

tickets were $35 per person and general dining tickets were $25 per person. “The money raised from the ticket proceeds and silent auction items enables us to provide care and love to our community’s homeless pets. Rockin’ for the Animals is a wonderful FUNdraiser—it’s an evening of good food, company and entertainment for a great cause,” commented Jessica Lawson, Director of Community Relations at Polk County SPCA, Inc. Other upcoming Polk County SPCA, Inc. events include Neuter for a Nickel on Saturday, August 27. This event allows, with the purchase of a regular price vaccination, for 100 male cats to be neutered for five cents each. For more information about this event and Polk County SPCA, Inc., visit www.lovemyspca.com

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Feature» AMIkids

Sh a p i n g G o o d K i d s f r o m Ba d E n v i r o n m e n t s AMIKIDS Changes the Lives of Troubled Kids for the Better Written By: Brian West

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life of crime is a misstep for anyone, but it’s even worse when it involves our children – the children of our community. AMIKIDS is working to do something about it, and the success they’re experiencing is incredible. The organization began in 1969 when Judge Frank Orlando of Ft. Lauderdale noticed the same troubled kids in his courtroom over and over, even after they had completed boot camp programs. The judge decided to send one student to a friend who ran a Marine Biology lab. The child performed his community service hours and did very well. He bonded with the staff and didn’t get into any more trouble. So the judge began sending more and more kids to the lab and it eventually turned into the first school. The program has evolved quite a bit over the last 40 years. Now there are 56 different programs established throughout the United States, and many in Florida counties. The most common of these is the day-treatment program, which is what we have here in Lakeland. These kids come to the program just as if it were their normal school. The program hires qualified teachers and the kids learn and rehabilitate themselves. All students

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are on probation through the Department of Justice. The age range for the day-treatment program averages from 14-18 years old or 6th -12th grade – both boys and girls. Every program uses a personal growth model. Through treatment, education and behavior modification, they successfully modify their behavior. Many have substance abuse issues that don’t necessarily require a treatment facility, but they need help. They smoke marijuana occasionally or use other drugs casually. They’re just headed down the path that could lead them to becoming

dependent and habitual users. A typical cycle could begin with a student who assaults a teacher, trespasses or some other unacceptable behavior. After an

arrest, they’ll be taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center under the PACT – Positive Achievement Change Tool and asked questions such as: Have you been in trouble before? Are you going to school?

Are you using drugs? Are you having sex? Have your parents been in trouble before? These examples are just a few of the myriad designed to provide a rating of low, moderate, moderate-high or high – the level of risk the child has to get into trouble again. Certain other factors are also considered. If the student has been in trouble before, doesn’t have strong parental support at home, has skipped school and uses drugs, the likelihood is stronger that they’ll be in trouble again. Offering help gets even tougher when you’re trying to teach that smoking marijuana sidetracks their life, but at home they see mom and/or dad are smoking marijuana. Gang membership is also a problem. Just five years ago, the program may have had one or two. Today, about 75 percent are gang members. The program now targets the moderate-high and high risk kids here in Polk County. Obviously, the gang influence also impacts placement in the classroom. Teachers face the challenge of rival gang members who should not be seated near each other. After assessment, the students appear


Feature» AMIkids who progress. In essence, each student must show progression. A six-month average enrollment is not much time to make an impact, but AMIKIDS is doing just that. By the numbers, AMIKIDS is looking for overall attendance to increase. This results in favorable termination rates (successful graduations from the program). On average, 80-84 percent will have favorable terminations from the program. Of those, 72-74 percent will not have any other legal issues.

before a judge, who will sentence either a term of probation or turn them over to the Department of Juvenile Justice. From there they are referred to AMIKIDS. It’s not uncommon for AMIKIDS to receive a child who hasn’t been in school for a two years, or who was enrolled but attended only 50 percent of the time. Ultimately, AMIKIDS is trying to affect an internal change so students realize that without behavioral change, their life won’t reach its potential and they’ll likely continue down the troubled path. Don’t be confused. AMIKIDS isn’t a boot camp. It’s a school. All students take a full slate of classes - Math, Science, English, etc. A report card reflects attitude, appearance, respect, language, etc., with notes individually on specific targeted behaviors. These can be as simple as arriving for class on time, wearing pants correctly, or adjusting voice tone. The idea is to build on these simple successes, and the model works. The program is staffed with three Teachers, an Educational Assistant and a Director of Education. The teachers typically have prior experience in working with troubled children. Some students have mental health issues, some have bonding issues and others have trust issues, especially with adults. So it’s definitely a challenging environment. The entire program is predicated upon the teacher’s ability to bond with the students who have had not discipline in their lives. Without that ability, there can be no progress. The children have never been expected to get out of bed on time or attend school every day. AMIKIDS works to establish foundational

behaviors that AMIKIDS. Once this happens, teachers build on them for greater successes. Teachers try to focus on the behaviors to implement change. If the student is doing drugs, they’ll focus on changing that behavior in a way the child can understand. Maybe that student wants to play sports, but they can’t because they’ve tested positive for drug use. The teacher would then ask, “So, is this getting you what you want?” These critical thinking skills we may take for granted, but many students just don’t have them. They can’t yet draw that correlation. Parental involvement is also a challenge. Executive Director, Monti Sommer said, “I’ve had parents tell me, ‘If it’s not court ordered, I’m not going to do it’, which is amazing when you realize this is their child and they’re just not interested in being involved. Imagine hearing that from a parent. Where do you go from there? We know that if mom and dad act a certain way, as a child grows, he/she will act the same way, unless something is in place to break that cycle.” AMIKIDS has been a school for about a year now. Prior to that, the Lakeland program was only an after-school program. Today, 45 students attend the AMIKIDS school from 8:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. each day. Educationally, almost none are on grade level. For example, a 10th grader may only be functioning on an 8th grade level. The challenge is help the child see they need to change. On average, students are in the program for two semesters – about six months. Others are involved all year long. All move through the rank system to remain enrolled. Each rank brings additional privileges and provides incentives for students

Administrators of the program believe they’ve been successful when a student doesn’t get back into trouble. Sommer said, “One of the ways I know we’ve made an impact on a kid’s life is when they come back to visit. Others will call us for advice. If they didn’t trust us, they wouldn’t do that. Some have gone on to have children of their own and they’ll bring the baby by to show us. Those are the moments when we know we made an impact.” There’s an opportunity here. Sommer says there’s a need to establish a support structure

for the students when they leave the program, because generally there is not the support structure that most of us experience. Their friends are other gang members or kids doing drugs and getting into trouble. There’s a need to help the students continue beyond what AMIKIDS can do for them. One day these students will need to instill foundational behaviors in their own children. The AMIKIDS program is making great progress, and it’s paying big dividends to the community. The school, located at the corner of Highway 98 and Massachusetts, is funded through three different sources: through the school board contract for providing educational services, with the Department of Juvenile Justice since they deal with children on probation; and also through donations and fundraisers. If you’re interested in making a donation or hosting a fundraising event, please feel free to contact Monti Sommer at 863-682-7600.

An Evening in Paris 21st Annual Thursday, September 29, 2011 Doors Open at 6:00pm ~ Live Auction at 8:00pm

Join us for a night of samplings from over 20 Local Restaurants, Silent Auction, Live Auction, Chance Drawings, Entertainment and so much more! For information on sponsorship or to purchase tickets, please call or email today! 863.687.8909 pfrankenberger@marchofdimes.com

$45 per ticket Proceeds to benefit March of Dimes of Polk County

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The Premier Showplace for Talent in Florida

AUGUST 19 & 27 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND WIND

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room

SEPTEMBER 9 COVER TO COVER

The trio covers the top hits from yesterday to today! Also, P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.

SEPTEMBER 16 RICHIE MERRITT

Richie Merritt, formally of the Marcels, will be performing in the Red Rose Dining Room. Also, P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.

AUGUST 20 LOLA & THE SAINTS

Doo Wop At Its Best! Relive the 50s & 60s as though it was yesterday. “Forever in Love,” “Just Over the Brooklyn Bridge.” Plus, P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds.

SEPTEMBER 24 THE MYSTICS

The Mystics, including, original members of the group, George Galfo and Phil Cracolici, will perform their hits, including their number one chart topper “Hushabye.” P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.

OCTOBER 7, 22 & 29 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND WIND

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room

OCTOBER 8 LOLA & THE SAINTS

Doo Wop At Its Best! Relive the 50s & 60s as though it was yesterday. “Forever in Love,” “Just Over the Brooklyn Bridge.” Plus, P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds.

A dynamite crowd pleaser! P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.

A dynamite crowd pleaser! P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.

Coming Soon! NOVEMBER 12

SEPTEMBER 2, 10, 17 & 23 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND WIND

FROM THE SAHARA HOTEL IN VEGAS – A SALUTE TO THE

PLATTERS, COASTERS, DRIFTERS AND TEMPTATIONS FOR ST. JUDE

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room

A dynamite crowd pleaser! P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.

Stay overnight and join in on the Sunday Tea (Oct. 2) with a reading by Marjorie York with her one woman show of “Just Call Me Peggy,” a tribute to Gone With The Wind author, Margaret Mitchell; cast members will also be in attendence to sign autographs and talk about their experience of being in one of the greatest films of all time!

OCTOBER 15 & 21 JOHNNY ALSTON’S MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE

AUGUST 26 JOHNNY ALSTON’S MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE

SEPTEMBER 3 & 30 JOHNNY ALSTON’S MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE

from the 97th Regimental String Band. Period costumes welcome, but not required. Doors open 6:30, Dinner served at 7:00, 1861 Ball Events at 8:00.

OCTOBER 1 1861 BALL

A Tribute to one of America’s top novels and film! Come see and meet original Gone With the Wind cast members, Mickey Kuhn and Patrick Curtis. Music

The act comes to Plant City to help benefit St. Jude Hospital. The annual event includes Dinner in a Supper Club atmosphere and great musical talent to dance the night away with... and, for a very good cause.

TEL: 813.752.3141 • I-4 Exit 21 • 2011 N. Wheeler St.• Plant City, FL 33563 • www.RedRoseInnAndSuites.com 12

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Helping to Deliver Healthy Children, One Baby at a Time March of Dimes Works to Help Newborns Survive Interview by: Brian West

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he efforts of the March of Dimes have become so preventative over the last few decades that they’re losing name recognition. Do you know anything about the efforts of the March of Dimes? Many don’t. The March of Dimes is spending their time on research to help newborns survive, and they’ve made major strides related to premature newborns. I recently had an opportunity to speak with Patty Frankenberger and Melissa Gutentag, both with the Polk County March of Dimes. They have a very important fundraiser in just a few weeks, and they need your help.

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Focus: When is the Signature Chefs Auction? Frankenberger: The event will take place at the Lakeland Center on September 29th at 6:00 p.m. Focus: Describe the event. Frankenberger: It will be the same as last year with a little more than 20 restaurants participating, including Abuellos, Grill Smith, Outback and the Red Rose, and many more. We’re actually hoping that we’ll have 25 or 26 restaurants participating for the event. The restaurants make whatever they’d like for the event, and usually that’s their signature dish. We’ll have a silent auction again this year. Last year about 180 items were up for bid, and we hope to have that many or more this year. Marty Higginbotham’s group handles the auction for us. We should have several live auction items. That auction begins at 8:00 p.m. Attendees have opportunity to get samples from the participating restaurants. Tickets are $45 each. Reserved 10-person tables are $350.00. Sponsorships are also available starting at $500.00. The last few years we’ve been a little below 1,000 people in attendance.

Focus: You also have other fundraisers, correct? Frankenberger: Yes. We have two major fundraisers each year; the Signature Chefs Auction in September and the March of Dimes National Walk Day in the spring. March of Dimes was the first organization to use a walk as a fundraiser. Focus: Tell me about the work of the March of Dimes. Frankenberger: They’re the only charity to accomplish their goal. They were originally established with a focus on polio, but when the vaccine was developed, they began to focus on premature births, infant mortality and birth defects. They’ve experienced a long list of accomplishments over the last 50 years, and as a result, more and more premature newborns are surviving to live normal lives; something that was almost unheard of not that long ago. The March of Dimes has Ambassador Families across the nation. These Ambassador Families speak on behalf of the March of Dimes about their own personal experiences. Deanne and Jason Gentry

are an Ambassador Family for the Polk County March of Dimes. They’ve had many challenges in their first 18 months with their first child, Hadley, and likely will have many more tough challenges ahead. Focus: Tell me how you became an Ambassador Family for the March of Dimes. Gentry: Basically it amounts to us agreeing to share our story with others so they understand the issue and the need. Focus: Can you share your story with us? Gentry: Sure. My daughter, Hadley, was born 15 weeks premature. She weighed 1lb. 5oz. She was tiny. I was on bed rest in the hospital for a couple of weeks before she was delivered. We were trying to make it to 28 weeks because the survival rate increases significantly. At 23 weeks, they usually don’t survive. At 24 weeks, more newborns survive, but there are usually lots of problems. She was born at 25 weeks and 6 days. Her lungs weren’t fully developed and that was our big obstacle. About a week later, I was released from the hospital and went home to gather my clothes and get my thoughts together. But leaving the hospital without my newborn child was the hardest thing. My husband and


spotlight » March of Dimes I were parents, but it was different not having her with us. Focus: Describe those first few days or weeks in the NICU. Gentry: I remember just sitting there. We weren’t allowed to touch her and it couldn’t be too loud in her room. She had several wires and tubes connected to her. All I could do was wonder if anyone else has to go through this. I felt like a failure. I felt like I failed her as a mom because I’m supposed to protect her. We couldn’t hold her and we couldn’t really touch her. We could only see her when they lifted the cover off of her. Since she was so early, they wanted her environment to simulate the womb, so they try to make her time in the incubator warm and quiet. They need lots of rest, and this is less stressful and allows them to grow. All we could really do is sit with her. Focus: How did you make the connection with the March of Dimes? Gentry: I remember thinking, “How do people get through something like this?” I went outside the NICU to the waiting room one day and there was a kiosk for the March of Dimes. Something caught my eye about dads coping with prematurity. I picked up a brochure and saw that they had a website where you could read stories about other families and what they’re going through. There was a lot of encouraging information for the parents, and a lot of it addressed the concerns I was having. When I read the information and learned about their work in preventing birth defects, premature babies and baby’s health in general, I felt like I had found someone on my team. They’re going to fight for the same things I’m going to fight

for, for my daughter. Hadley was born in February and they had a walk coming up in April. We planned to do the walk. We raised some money and brought some other people with us. Focus: Why were you at risk of premature delivery? Gentry: I had preeclampsia. There was a fear that I could have a stroke if I carried her too much longer, and they couldn’t control my blood pressure, so they had to deliver her early.

Hadley ‘s first days.

Focus: So how long was Hadley in the NICU? Gentry: She was there 178 days; 2 days shy of 6 months. I had to quit my job. I was living at the Ronald McDonald house in Orlando across the street from the hospital. My husband was spending 4 nights with me there and three nights at home. We were with her around the clock as much as we could because we wanted her life to be as normal as we could make it for her. It was hard. There were months where each day, I didn’t know if she was going to live or die. The good days were days where she didn’t stop breathing.

Focus: What have you learned from this experience? Gentry: I think we take life for granted. I think everyone dreams of getting married and having children and that everything is going to be just fine. I don’t think we realize how precious life is until something like this happens, but it can happen to anyone. I’d also encourage pregnant mothers to carry their child full term – 40 weeks. Each additional week of pregnancy is a milestone and the longer your child can stay in the womb the better the chance of survival and the less likelihood there is of some complication. The Gentry’s story is just one example of the types of situations that can occur during pregnancy. Hadley likely wouldn’t have survived had she been born just a couple of decades ago. There’s no doubt that the efforts of the March of Dimes had a direct impact to her survival. The March of Dimes does great work. Their efforts have a direct positive impact for everyone, with immediate impact to the families of newborns. But the March of Dimes needs your help. If you have time to volunteer, donate, or help in some other way, please contact your March of Dimes office. It could be your chance to make a positive impact in your community. You can also visit the March of Dimes website at www. MarchofDimes.com

If you’re interested in attending the Signature Chef event, tickets are still available, and there may still be an opportunity to purchase a table. Don’t forget, you can also support the March of Dimes through their walk in the spring, or through general donations. For more information, contact Patty or Melissa at (863) 687-8909 or pfrankenberger@ marchofdimes.com

Hadley at 17 months

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visit

a n n A

Consider spending the rest of your summer out on Anna Maria Island and while you’re there check out some great businesses featured in this section.

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FOCUS Magazine lakeland august 2011

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The Shops on

Play, Shop & Dine on Pine Avenue, Anna Maria Island's Main Street and Boutique District

Enjoy the Freshest Seafood on the Island. Beachfront Dining with Sunset Views of Anna Maria.

Gifts and decors to inspire the Island life: including jewelry, accessories, handbags, resort apparel, baby items and unique gifts.

Providing weekly or monthly rentals in over 200 hand selected properties. Call the "Flip Flop Company" today to book your next vacation.

The Flip Flop Shop has a variety of Anna Maria souvenirs such as flip flops, beach bags, beach towels, candles, jewelry and much more.

Gourmet food market specializing in Extra Virgin Olive Oils.

Specializing in reclaimed painted vintage furniture for beach houses and coastal cottages. An eclectic store where you never know what you’ll find.

Our Anna Maria Guest House rentals are some of the most unique, beautifully furnished and “greenest” properties on Anna Maria Island.

Relish, believes being resourceful is always in style! It offers: Wearable Vintage, Upcycled One-Of-A-Kind Fashions, Handmade Housewares and Artisan Creations.

From golf cart, bicycle and kayak rentals to marine biologist guided Eco tours, Beach Bums has everything you need to make your vacation memorable.

ANNA

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MARIA


dining & entertainment » dining profile

Somewhere Sports Bar & Café “Y Written By: Brent Simmons

ou have to eat ‘Somewhere’” says Dave Mast the co-owner, with brother Dennis, of Somewhere Sports Bar & Café. As soon as you walk in you can feel the friendly neighborhood atmosphere. Carma, the manager, greeted us right away, as she does all customers, offering us a warm smile as she showed us to our table and took our drink order. Dave was walking around talking more to the kids than the adults of the party. All the kids get crayons and a picture to color and if they address it to “Paw” – a nickname of Dave’s – then is posted in the window. When Dave sat down with us to talk, we immediately felt like we had known him for a long time. “We have only been here since November, but already we have a lot of repeat customers. The snowbirds are great, too. Most of them stopped by before they went north for one last meal and to say they can’t wait to come back and see us in the fall,” Dave told us. “This is a great town. Seems like everybody knows everybody and genuinely cares about their neighbors. But if you’d have told me a year ago that I’d be retired here owning a family sports bar, I’d have thought you were nuts,” Dave said as he began to tell the story of how he and Dennis became the proud owners of Somewhere. “I am originally from Indiana. Loved it there too. Had my own

Somewhere Sports Bar & Café 5688 Cypress Gardens Blvd. Winter Haven, FL 33884

business, Mast Vending. I built the business then for 27 years and turned over the reins to my daughter. I did not plan on retiring here in Florida. Heck, in my 57 years never once did I wake up and say, “I would like to own a bar!” But my brother Dennis has lived here for 30 some years, owns 4 daycares and decided WE should open a bar.

Every time I saw him he was back on the subject, so finally I gave in and agreed to go. He took me to many different bars to check out and I kept saying no, no, and then no. But then we came to this one and I could envision what a nice family/pizzeria/bar it could be. We checked it out on Monday and closed on Friday. It just felt right. We have not changed the menu, but we now make everything fresh from the pizza dough to the applewood bacon. We start at about six in the morning, preparing for the day. I enjoy it; I really enjoy it and look forward to everyday.” If liking what you do is one of the keys to success, then these two successful brothers have found another way to be successful. The menu has all the things you’d expect at a sports bar with an emphasis on pizza. We had the Hawaiian Pizza, Potato Skins, and a Taco Salad. The food was good and the atmosphere was much more like a family eatery than a bar. We liked Somewhere Sports Bar & Cafe, and think Dave’s right “You have to eat Somewhere.” FOCUS Magazine lakeland august 2011

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entertainment » event calendar

Lakeland

calendar of events

If you have an upcoming event and would like us to add it to our calendar of events, please email the information to: editorial@floydpublications.com

September 1, 2011

Access to Justice Banquet 7-9 p.m. The Lakeland Center 701 West Lime Street Florida Rural Legal Services Inc. First Annual Access to Justice Fundraising Banquet. Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc. is a non-profit law firm dedicated to providing quality civil legal advice, representation and education for low income people and communities. Our client services include housing law,labor and employment law, civil rights, elder law, education and family law services in the Lakeland area. In our effort to serve many additional needy members of the community while saluting outstanding community shining stars, we present the Access to Justice Fundraising Banquet. We cordially invite you to join us in this inaugural fundraising celebration. For more information, call (863) 688-7376 ext. 3011

September 2, 2011

First Friday- Dog Days of Summer 6-9 p.m. Downtown Lakeland Partnership, Inc. 100 S Kentucky Avenue Free Even if you don’t have a dog in this hunt, you’ll have a ball watching the pooches sniff and mingle. Of course, there will be dog-centric activities. And , there will be plenty of cool water to keep our furry friends comfortable. Lakeland/Winter Haven kennel club will bring out some of the members’ finest dogs to say hello. You can get up close and personal with some breeds you might have seen only on television. Dogs, tell your owners that you want to dress up and march in the Dog Days of Summer Pooch parade. If you had rather

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August 2011 focuslakeland.com

ride, then decorate a float. Just don’t be left out of all the fun. All pooches participating must be accompanied by a responsible human and must be on a leash. Decorated dog strollers, wagons or small floats are welcomed. Visit www.DowntownLakelandlfl.com for registration information. For more information, call (863) 513-3669 Feld Entertainment Presents: Disney on Ice Dare to Dream Sept 2 at 7:30pm Sept 3 at 3:30pm, 7:30pm The Lakeland Center 701 West Lime Street Tickets: $38,$27,$19 Parking: $7 Get tangled up in the newest thrilling show to hit the ice, Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream. Experience Disney’s hilarious hair-raising escapade, Tangled; as Rapunzel, her unlikely companion, Flynn, and Maximus, embark on an uproarious journey that takes adventure to new lengths! Boogie to the beat of the bayou with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen in a magical, musical journey that all begins with a fateful kiss. And fanciful dreams become reality as Cinderella meets her Prince Charming, with a glass slipper fit for an unforgettable fantasy come true. All your favorite princesses take to the ice in a spectacular finale at the ultimate Disney Princess event of a lifetime! Experience the beauty, sparkle, and spirit when Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream comes to your hometown! For more information, call (863) 8348100 Laughs by the Lake 9-10:30 p.m. Lakeland Community Theatre 121 South Lake Avenue

$5 at the door Have you ever had those days where you just needed to laugh?? This night is for you!! The Improv Addicts are back, performing on our stage, after performing to sold out crowds in Downtown Lakeland for almost a year! Come join them as they perfom their unscripted, unrehearsed, improvisation comedy routine (made popular by the TV Show, Whose Line Is It Anyways). For more information, call (863) 8732386 or email info@improvaddicts.com Tampa Yankees vs Flying Tigers 7 p.m. Joker Marchant Stadium 2301 Lakeland Hills Boulevard Box $6 Reserved $5 Tickets can be purchased at http:// purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPur chase?pid=6959218&agency=FLYIN G_TIGERS For more information, visit http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/ index.jsp?sid=t570

September 3, 2011

SPCA Pet Adoption Drive 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Lake Mirror Tower 130 S. Massachusetts Avenue Free Following Downtown’s Dog Days of Summer First Friday event, Lake

Mirror Tower Apartments and SPCA are hosting a pet adoption day. Our adoption drive will feature some really cute pets looking for a new home as well as several local pet friendly businesses and vendors. You can learn about grooming, doggie day care options or simply pick up some pet boutique supplies or meet one of the local dog trainers. Bring your 4 legged best friend with you and show them off to the public! Refreshments are provided courtesy of Lake Mirror Tower Apartments. For more information, call (863) 6467722 or visit www.lovemyspca.com Cars and Coffee 8-10 a.m. Earhart’s Runaway Grill 3900 Don Emerson Dr. Suite 201 Free Cars and Coffee occurs the first Saturday of every month. For more information, call (863) 937- 8900 Paws to Read with SPCA 10:30 a.m. – noon Bruton Memorial Library 302 West McLendon St. Plant City Free Bring your kids to read in front of the best audience ever - one of our adoptable dogs! Each child will be able to read for 15 minutes For more information, call (863) 646-7722 or email info@lovemyspca.com

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Eat Better. Love Life. Live Longer.

August 2011 focuslakeland.com


FOCUS Lakeland 07-07