Page 1


November 2009


Lane Wetherington he

Lighting up t Christmas Spirit

2009 Holiday Shopping Guide and Much Much More...


november 2009




Ford Chrysler Nissan BMW Mercedes




Up to 5 Qts. of Penzoil $2 disposal fee Not valid with any other offer, most vehicles. Expires 11/30/09

Shop locally in Plant City


✓ FAST same-day service is always our goal. ✓ EXTENDED WARRANTY contracts honored. ✓ HONEST do only the work necessary. SURPRISES ON YOUR BILL ✓ PROFESSIONAL ASE Certified Master ✓ NO all work must be approved by you before Technicians.

✓ PRICED RIGHT highly competitive pricing for the most respected service in town. ✓ CONVENIENT free shuttle service.

any work is done.

✓ WORK DONE RIGHT the first time,



on time. Completely Satisfied Customers is our #1 goal.





foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009



november 2009

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


TABLE OF CONTENTS Volume 8 Issue 11 November 2009

Dancing with the Locals 14


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

Lane Wetherington ing up the Christmas Spirit Light

73-75 Children’s Dream House Giveaway


Mystery Dinner Theater


Celebration of Life


Garden Fest 38


Red Railblybon R 16

EDITOR IN CHIEF Aaron Oberlin OFFICE MANAGER Dede Floyd CREDIT MANAGER Elizabeth Edwards ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Brent Simmons SALES Sophia Hyde Tammy Simpson Sheryl Vitelli Jason Ulmer Genevieve Ulmer Dan Conrod PRODUCTION Anthony Sassano Tony Cartagena FOCUSTV Kara Manelli




Shopping Guide

51-69 Candlelight Vigil



Business Awards 40

DISTRIBUTION Doug McGee Belva DeVane PHOTOGRAPHERS Suzanne Gallagher Billy Friend Lori Blaser STAFF WRITERS Cheryl Johnston Ruchelle Owens Carolyn Miller Brian West Joe Bowles Laura Estes Michelle Stark Phil Neary Derek Maul Sherri Robinson Mitchell Varnum Debra Lucia CONTRIBUTORS Al Ruechel Bruce Rodwell Gil Gott Sherrie Mueller Jo-An Lusk Nate Davis Natalie Sweet Felix Haynes EDITORIAL INTERNS Tanya Albert Currie Dickerson

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 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 Plant City businesses, restaurants and many local venues. Letters, Questions and Comments can be sent to us at

Optimist Club

On the cover: Lane Wetherington surrounded by elves Krysteena Wakefield and Zane Floyd. Photo: Mike Floyd


Honors Students

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• FOCUSTV NEW SHOW EVERY WEDNESDAY 6

november 2009

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. For product licensing information Contact our licensing director Mark Palmer 727-831-5069 A Division of Floyd Publications, Inc

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


letter from

tHe editor

The perfect gift! Kids love learning Martial Arts and parents love what Martial Arts teaches. This holiday season give a gift that will literally keep on giving. Give the gift of..... H WI S


Gift certificate for 4-weeks of classes and a uniform


help me •Confidence to st peer in stand up aga pressure oncentration •Focus and C e n •Self-Discipli ess Habits n •Healthy Fit n Skills o •Self-Protecti

(813) 752-9800

PLANT CITY LoCATIoN Plant City Crossings 2621 Thonotosassa Rd. • 752-6631 SEFFNER LOCATION • North Grove Plaza 1515 N Parsons • 684-5897

ShIrTS $1.49 ea LAuNdered oNLY

This offer cannot be combined with any other promotions or coupons. FM





november 2009

PANTS $2.99 ea drY CLeAN oNLY

This offer cannot be combined with any other promotions or coupons. FM

ALL LAuNdrY (exCePT ShIrTS) ALL drY CLeANINg (exCePT PANTS), PLuS weddINg gowNS, ComForTerS, BLANkeTS, ALTerATIoNS, drAPeS Minimum Order $5. Valid on incoming orders only. No exceptions. Not valid with other coupons or promotions. Expires: 12/15/09



A lthough more than 6 billion people roam the earth, there are only two kinds of humans: those who do, and those who don’t. Some people eat meat, others don’t. Some people break the law, others obey. Some people believe in God, while others wander the world without meaning in their lives. It’s sad to see something without a purpose. Like a seashell without an inhabitant, it can be beautiful in appearance, but it symbolizes vacancy – something as attractive as a blighted area ravaged by empty homes and businesses. So let me ask you this: What’s the point of living? Why would you work if you didn’t make money? Why would you donate to or volunteer for charity if no one benefited? It wouldn’t make sense. There’s a reason behind everything we do. There’s a purpose to why we wake up every day and keep going. I want you to remember that during this holiday season when you’re spending time with your family or buying a gift. Find out if you’re a person who does appreciate their blessings this Thanksgiving. Analyze yourself and discover if you’re buying gifts this Christmas because you do believe in celebrating the true essence of the Christian holiday. If you don’t, then maybe you should ask yourself why you are celebrating. For this issue of FOCUS, the staff strived to bring the heart of Christmas to you. Staff writer Brian West caught up with Lane Wetherington and found out more about the man who works year round to make the area’s largest light display a reality. Read about it in this month’s Spotlight interview, “Lighting up the Christmas Spirit.” As you fl ip through the pages, make sure you check out the Christmas shopping guide that we put together. It lists dozens of items for purchase in Plant City that will make for an ideal present this holiday season – whether you’re shopping for a male or female. As you go through the grind this holiday season, just remember it’s a time to be happy. Smile. Keep in mind that the holidays – the family time, the shopping – bring a time that allows us to realize what we are thankful for. More importantly, it gives us a chance to find out if we are people who do, or if we are people who don’t.

Aaron Oberlin Editor In Chief




t ne


w o h














i b a

t e n

S Kitchens cabinets Granite countertops bathrooms Showers, tubs Pam Brester Designer

Add beauty and additional storage space in your home!

Porcelain tile listellos/deco tile blinds Verticals

Shutters Kitchen & bathroom remodeling



813-707-5600 Cell: 863-670-2092 1103 Goldfinch Drive, Plant City, FL 33566




Email: Showing upon request


• 4 Bedroom • 3 Full Bath, 1 Half Bath • Loft/Game Room • 2 car Oversize garage • Built in 2002 • 2,430 Heated Square Feet


• Nearly 2 Acres • In City of Plant City • City Utilities

• 3,414 Total Square Feet • Open Front Porch • Screened Back Porch • 2 Master Suites with Full Baths • Walk in Closets

• 1 Mile from I-4 • Secluded, Private • “In the Country, but in the City”

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009



Cowgirl Tuff Hours: Mon-Sat 10-7 • Sun 11-5

120 State Road 60 E., Plant City, FL 33567


No job

to big

Holiday Special

we do

get ready for the season

or small

em’ all Additions, Bath/Kitchen Remodels, Windows/ Doors, Drywall/Painting, Tile/Carpentry, Decks/Fencing, Fixture Installation, Crown Molding, Appliance Installation, Pressure Washing and much more...

FREE service call ($45 value)

Serving Plant City and Surrounding areas Since 2001



HANDYMAN All types of home repair and remodeling services available

Call today for your free consultation

Jeremiah Rhodes (813) 340-8385

Licensed & Insured

PARKESDALE FARMS 3702 W. Baker Street • Plant City, FL Hwy 92 West of Plant City Limits off I-4 between exits 17 & 19 Open 9-6pm OPEN 7 DAYS


g b Ba , l 5 FREEOranges or of efruit s e p Gra ngerinder) r a T / yo u r o (w

Now Shipping Navels & Ruby Red grapefruit Starting at


Full line of Vegetable Plants now Ready!

v e ls a N et Swe edless ag Se e r b p $1.39

They’re Here!!! Strawberry cookies and Strawberry Bread.. Are now IN!

TalkOF THE Town We salute you

Many local companies and schools held moments of silence and flower presentations and paid tribute with a flag raising Nov. 11 to recognize Veterans Day. FOCUS,, like so many others in Plant City, would like to say thank you to those who have served the U.S. in the military.

95 in the books A league of her own

Plant City Optimist Club helped one of its members, Bernie Reynolds, celebrate his 95th birthday. As a charter member of the club, which started in 1963, Reynolds was its first president. On his Oct. 26 birthday, several club members and their families celebrated with Reynolds at the Health Center of Plant City. Pictured are (left to right) Paul Woods, Jeff Arnold, Gene Bowman, Mike Williamson, Bernie Reynolds, Jack Holland, Andy Williamson, Walt Arnold, Doris Robbins and Dave Robbins.

After reading an article about Plant City’s Chelsea Baker, 12, throwing a perfect game in the District Little League Championship, Justine Siegal, professional baseball’s only female coach, invited Baker to join 10 other girls with the same level of skills. They met in Fishkill, N.Y., and played in a tournament against all-boys teams. They finished third.

Proud to be drug free Strawberry Crest High School sent 27 students and four staff members to the fifth annual Berry Smart - Dont Start Drug Walk on Oct. 17 at Turkey Creek Middle School. This event, sponsored by the Area 6 guidance counselors, was a highlight of Red Ribbon Week, which spotlights staying drug free. The SCHS Chargers encouraged all students to “take Charge of your life - stay drug free!”

December 09 2009 episode 61



Tv 12

pigJam 2009 November 25 2009 episode 59

Holiday parade s a m t s chri FoCUStV

november 2009


episode 60


Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Get your chicken wing fix

local taLK of tHe toWn

Building in Walden Lake

Leaders gather at festival The Florida Strawberry Festival played host Nov. 5 to the Future Business Leaders of America’s Fall Leadership Conference, the first of it’s kind for District 9. More than 500 students, teachers and advisers came out representing eastern Hillsborough County.



Groundbreaking for new office and maintenance buildings for the Walden Lake Community Association took place in October. The project is slated to be finished in January, with Central Florida Construction Company handling the job.

New life downtown

An award of


of the

HOTTEST restaurants

high distinction

Anyone who has been downtown lately probably has noticed some new additions. Starr Design recently opened its doors, bringing screen printing to the historic district. The company will be having a grand re-opening in its new storefront, located at 107 E. Reynolds St., on Dec. 4. Call 813-4108590 for more information. Also, check out

in Winter Haven

Voted by You!

Are you a server in the restaurant industry? Does everyone prefer you to be their server? You could be on the cover of the March 2010 issue of FOCUS. Just get people to vote for you at by clicking on the Readers’ Choice Awards banner. They can vote for you, along with their favorite restaurants, here.

We offer competitive rates for all your insurance needs.

Erika Kolakowski was one of only five students in a fivecounty area selected for the General H. Norman Schwarzkopf Leadership Award, sponsored by the West Point Academy. Applicants must maintain a 3.5 unweighted GPA to be eligible. For her accomplishment, she received a plaque at a banquet with the West Point Society.

P latinum Insurance

Jessica Vargas

Agency Owner

Automobile · Commercial · Motorcycle 1501 S. Alexander St. Suite 101 · Plant City, FL 33563

Office 813-752-6742 Fax 813-752-5772

Se Habla Español

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


local focus

Dance competition raises money for service club By a a r o n o B e r l i n

gives money it raises to local schools The bass thumps, the lights scan and parks. across the stage, then everything To help organize the event, Rotary stops. A dancing couple freezes, the formed a committee, naming male holding his female counterpart McGrath the chairwoman. After closely. Then an onlooking crowd her first year, she passed the duties roars with applause. on to this year’s chairman Billy Keel, The duo looks over at three judges who’ll pass on the responsibility next sitting at a table who critique them, year to Aaron Davis. giving them two 10s and a nine. “It’s a lot of hard work. It takes Great scores. many people to put [Dancing with For anyone who’s watched the Locals] “Dancing with together…” Keel the Stars” on “tHis competition said. “This year, ABC, this scene is Based on HoW Aaron Davis might seem familiar. The mucH eacH coupLe was in charge of the dancing side primetime show raises. it’s not so of things.” casts celebrities with dancing with mucH Your dancing theDancing Locals, in some of the best contrast with dancers around, sKiLLs.” “Dancing with competing to see – Lisa McGrath the Stars,” isn’t which couple can about how well a duo performs. It’s dance the best. But this particular all about how generous the crowd scene isn’t from a TV show. The feels after watching a couple dance. victors aren’t the dancers. The “This competition is based on how dancers weren’t national celebrities. much each couple raises. It’s not so The winners were the benefactors much your dancing skills. It’s how of donations, and the competitors much your audience votes for you [by were locals. They came out to the amount of money they donate in compete in a fundraiser at the Red your name],” said McGrath. Rose Inn Ballroom that began after Aaron and Leslie Davis won in Lisa McGrath, whose husband Mac 2008. Plant City Mayor Rick Lott McGrath was then-immediate past and his wife Di took the title this president of the Plant City Rotary year, performing what Di called a Club, spearheaded the event. “sultry rhumba.” “My husband was trying to figure The Lotts, like several other out another fundraiser to have for couples this year, wanted to partake the Rotary Club, and I just pitched in the competition after attending the idea to him: Why not have the inaugural event. McGrath said something like ‘Dancing with the after the inception, “Everyone had a Stars’ and call it Dancing with wonderful time. People got a chance the Locals? Involve local people,” to see that dancing is for men. It’s McGrath said. “He pitched it to macho.” the club, and they accepted.” Rotary


november 2009

“This is something Di and I have always had a desire to do,” said Rick. “You just never get around to it – four kids, life, you never find the time.” In its second year, the event has not only drawn interest from prospective dancers, but it has also stirred quite a buzz and raised quite bit of money – more than $10,000 both years. It went from 150 attendees to nearly 230, and from one instructor to several. With more dancers and more instructors, McGrath said the competition has definitely grown, too. There were also more dances, including salsa, cha cha, hip hop,

samba, the hussle and more. To prep for the competition, each duo had at least 10 lessons that spanned three and half months. Some couples practiced all year long, taking many more lessons. With a growing event that more and more people are talking about, it’ll be interesting to see the turnout next year. See what transpired by watching episode 57 on



More than 200 people attended the Red Rose Ballroom to watch locals compete in Dancing with the Locals. Here, the dancers line up in front of the crowd awaiting the announcement of this year’s winner. Photo by Aaron Oberlin



Is Our


HAIR Lisa Bailey Laan Cruickshank Amber DeVane Lisa Edwards Jana Evers Jessica Farkas Veronica Fernandez

NAILS Linda Kickliter Christal Maxwell JoAnn Register LaVonne Sapp Carla Youmans

Krystal Gallagher Jenna Gates Stephanie Karr JoJo Kovacs David Johnson Nicole Neely Merle Overstreet

MASSAGE/ESThETICIANS Don Cawood Leah Clark Tonya Groninger

Millied Molina Cindy Parmenter Sarah Pentecost Megan Register Mistie Snell Ashley Showalter Stephanie White

MANAGER Mary Murray

OWNERS Ron & Jana Evers

foCUS Plant City november 2009 15 1505 South Alexander Street • Suite 102 • Plant City, FL 33563 •Magazine 813.717.7700

local focus

Hundreds of students dressed in red and waved signs in support of the Red Ribbon Rally. Photo by Aaron Oberlin

March reinforces school children about cons of using drugs, alcohol By A a r o n Ob e r l i n

Sirens lit up the Oct. 30 morning sky. Squad cars from Plant City and Tampa Bay police departments circled the parking lot at Knights Elementary School. Behind the patrol cars, hundreds of red-shirt-wearing students and faculty paraded, shouting “SAY NO TO DRUGS!” and picketing with banners. But this wasn’t a protest, at least not in the fashion that most would assume. It’s National Red Ribbon Week, an annual celebration bringing millions of people together to raise awareness for alcohol, tobacco, drug and violence prevention. At Knights Elementary School, however, it’s more than a day of recognition. It’s what Lisa Carlsen, a guidance counselor at the school, calls the Red Ribbon Drug Prevention Rally. It’s what she calls her “passion.” “[The faculty] wants to teach children about living a safe and healthy lifestyle,” said Carlsen about why she organizes the event every year. “If we reach children early on in their lives about drug prevention, then it will have a greater impact on


november 2009

their lives when they get older and are more apt to be exposed to drugs. Plus, it’s a fun way to meet state standards for health and safety.” Carlsen, holding a loud speaker and chanting with the children, wasn’t the only passionate person on this cool, fall morning. Some students dyed their hair red. Others wore red flair. Even cheerleaders for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Plant City High School danced to a rolling drumline by band members from PCHS. “By getting the children active and involved in learning about drug prevention, they have fun and they learn better. It utilizes all of their kinesthetics: touching, hearing, speaking, walking,” said Carlsen. When the march ceased, students broke into groups where they learned more about the cons of drug use. DACCO, a community-based provider of behavioral health services, and the Mendez Foundation, a substance abuse and violence prevention organization, both gave presentations to further the children’s education about alcohol, tobacco, drug and violence prevention.

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


local focus

Local strives for highest honor in the Girl Scouts by C u r r i e D i c k e r s o n

Somer Harvey is working on obtaining the highest honor in the Girls Scout organization, the honored Gold Award. To be eligible for such an esteemed distinction, she is required to complete a specific project and dedicate 65 hours of service into the effort. As a passionate follower of Plant City’s past, Harvey related her love for history to the completion of her project. Leading a series of five walking history tours, she hopes to educate the public of Plant City’s rich and abundant history. The tours consist of a walk through Plant City’s first hospital, McCall Park, Hillsboro State Bank, Plant City Union Station and then the old 1914 High School. In preparation for the walk, Harvey has dedicated countless hours to researching facts and occurrences related to each stop. She began her project in July of this year. “Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.” For the past 13 years, Harvey has embraced these valuable words as strong principles

in her life. Through her diverse experiences as a Girl Scout, she has grasped the true meaning of being a leader. Since attending kindergarten, Harvey has been in her Girl Scout troop with three of her best friends. She shared, “We all really made a bond,” as they still remain together. In order to advance through the Girl Scout program, all four girls, including Harvey, received silver and bronze medals in different stages of the process. A community project that the group participated in together involved helping others during a series of hurricanes throughout the area. Care baskets were made by the troop and distributed to those in need amid the hardships of the disasters. Presently, Harvey is a senior at Durant High School and plans to attend the University of Tampa in the fall of next year. She is also dual-enrolled at Hillsborough Community College and will graduate with her associate’s degree upon entering college. She aspires to obtain a degree in reconstructive plastic

To earn a Gold Award from the Girl Scouts, Somer Harvey has been giving a history tour in downtown Plant City. Here she is at the historic depot, a stop on her tour. Photo by Aaron Oberlin

surgery and one day pursue this goal as a career. As she works her way to the end of her journey as a member of the troop, Harvey reflected on her participation and realized the importance of Girl Scouts in her life. “I think Girl Scouts has helped me grow stronger as a person and

to learn to help people to appreciate who they are,” shares Harvey. While learning of Plant City’s rich history, she continues to strive toward the honored Gold Award and treasures the adventures she has experienced so far during her time as a Girl Scout.

What is the Mystic Tan™ booth? The Mystic Tan™ booth is a private, self-contained unit that, in just seconds, employs a revolutionary spray process to apply a uniform amount of Tanning Myst to the entire body in just seconds. When the tanning session is complete, the tanner simply steps out of the booth, towels off any excess Tanning Myst, dresses and exits. The result is an even, naturallooking tan.

$5 OFF

The Month Of December Mon- Fri 10-8 sat 10 -5 18

november 2009

609 S. Alexander St. Plant City, FL 752-8750



New Construction, Remodels, Roofing, Reroofing and Repairs

Don’t Wait for the Rainy Season! Call for your Free Roof Inspection! Ask how we can help reduce your home owners insurance

813-760-1719 Insured and bonded

CGC 1507291


Visa/Mastercard Accepted

$500/$750 off entire reroof Minimum 1200 sqft minimum 4000 sqft

There is no better way to book your cruise than through us!

Discount available with this coupon only Expires 05/15/2010

Now offering

BOTOX! Rick SpeaRS • 813-654-5655

SweetDreams Memorials Locally Owned and Operated | Quality at an Affordable Price

Mausoleums • Headstones Benches • Bronze Plaques Brick Engraving Pictures/Etchings

(813) 737-9542

7131 S. County Line Rd. Plant City, FL 33567

Practicing in Plant City for over 20 years

Dr. Pat Almerico, DDS 704 N. Alexander St • 813-752-5554 foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009



2009 Calendar Girls














november 2009



















We now stock the “DOG FLU” vaccine! Canine influenza (the dog flu) is a variant of the horse flu. Symptoms include coughing, runny nose, watery eyes, loss of energy and loss of appetite. These symptoms are very similar to other upper respiratory infections found in dogs. However, canine influenza can last several weeks and is fatal in approximately 10% of cases. This is a new virus that dogs have no natural immunity against. If exposed, they will become ill and may need to be hospitalized.

Xiao Pengyou

Owners Barb and Dick Shiller Xiao is a 6 year old Shih Tzu. His name means “Little Friend” in Mandarin. He is very special because he has 2 different colored eyes, has a wonderful personality and makes his parents very happy. His parents love him so much that he has his own bedroom and he goes a lot of places with them. He even has his own golf cart.

The virus is spread by direct contact, dog to dog or from contact with contaminated hands, clothing or other surfaces. There has been no evidence that the virus can be passed to cats or to humans. Luckily, a vaccine has been developed to fight this super bug. While it will not prevent infection it will reduce the impact of the illness if contracted. Until your dog receives the vaccination, you should avoid taking your dog to places where dogs congregate such as kennels, groomers and dog parks or other public areas. The vaccination process requires two doses given 2 to 4 weeks apart, followed by an annual booster. Call now to schedule your appointment or stop by between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the following special Canine Influenza Vaccination Days: Wednesday, November 18th or Wednesday, December 2nd.

Play it safe and vaccinate!

Animal Wellness Center OF PLANT CITY

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

3109 SR 574 West • (813) 752-2869

Dr. Jennifer Conner

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


local focus

Sharon Flowers spends every fall gathering items so American troops overseas can have a good Christmas. Photo by Aaron Oberlin

DJ Brewington, David Brewington, Chris Brewington Brewington’s Towing Service, Plant City

“Banking at Sunshine State is a family tradition. After 50 years, I don’t see any reason to change.” “My father started this business in 1936 as a service station. When I was just a baby he opened a savings account for me at Sunshine State. I’ve had accounts with them ever since. Most of our business is in Hillsborough and Polk counties but we go where we’re needed – Jacksonville to Miami. The folks at Sunshine State understand our business. They provide business checking, loans for equipment, and internet banking too. My sons are in the business now – it’s a family tradition. And so is our banking at Sunshine State.” – David Brewington If you’re a business owner who’s become lost in the “bigbank shuffle”, come talk to us. We have the services, the people and the strategies to help you grow and succeed. Call or visit our office nearest you today.

“Banking on a First Name Basis”

Plant City - Main Office, 102 W. Baker St., 752-6193 Walden Woods, 2400 Redman Parkway, 754-1844 Brandon, 420 W. Brandon Blvd., 689-1271 Riverview, 7459 Highway 301 S., 677-7102 Zephyrhills, 36226 Eiland Boulevard, 782-9593


november 2009

Toys for the troops S t o r y By J e S S i C a Pa U g h

arrive in Iraq for sorting, so this year’s Sharon Flowers of Plant City has deadline for donations is Nov. 17. been doing her best to serve the needs Donations in of soldiers abroad for past years have the past seven years. “tHe tHings tHat included everything Her program, Toys for sHaron Has from cereal bars, Troops, started when Been aBLe to condiments, puzzles Flowers decided to use money from her accompLisH are and markers to firstaid kits, eye drops, own social security unBeLieVaBLe. hats and bandanas. check to send food, sHe’s gotten For more entertainment, supplies and clothing to numerous pLant information on Toys soldiers fighting in war citY Businesses for Troops and what you can do to help through the holiday and cHurcHes support the soldiers season. Her mother, in Iraq, you can call Gerri Flowers, says inVoLVed oVer Sharon Flowers she’s proud of all that tHese Years to at 813-764-6440 her daughter is doing support or stop by Quality from the kindness of Furniture and her heart. our troops.” in “The things that – Gerri Flowers Consignment Plant City, located Sharon has been able at 1304 S. Collins St. to accomplish are unbelievable. She’s gotten numerous Plant City businesses and churches involved over these years Meet to support our troops.” Sharon Flowers Some of the businesses directly last year as she Episode involved in this year’s donations are put together Midway Baptist Church, First Assembly Toys for Troops and the Plant City Fire Department. at The packages take about one month to



TO GIVE THANKS. You’re one of them. On this Thanksgiving holiday, we thank you for your business. We value you as a client and look forward to continuing to help you reach your long-term financial goals.

We hope you enjoy Thanksgiving Day with your family and friends. Stephen W Shouse, Financial Advisor, AAMS 1514 S Alexander Street Suite 206 Plant City, FL 33563 813-752-9400

Michael Cameron, Financial Advisor 2501 Thonotosassa Rd Plant City, FL 33563 813-759-1491

Tim Shuff, Financial Advisor, AAMS 104 N Evers St Suite 102 Plant City, FL 33563 813-752-1071 foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


local focus

Banquet encourages women to steer away from abortion S to r y By C U r r i e D i C k e r S o n

A recent study showed that since 1973, a total of 50 million abortions have been performed in the United States. The absent cries of these 50 million children are a testimony to the importance of educating women about choosing life for their child. The statistic exemplifies the need for strong, Christian organizations, like the Pregnancy Care Center of Plant City, to take a stand and continue to defend the unborn in the fight for life. Benefiting the sanctity of life movement, the Celebration for Life Annual Fundraising Banquet took place Nov. 2 at the HCC Trinkle Center. The banquet held many supporters of the pro-life movement, including Tammy Johnson, a longtime patron of the Plant City center. Expressing the values of the center as close to her heart, Johnson said the pregnancy center is “one of the most important missions in Plant City.” When giving to the organization,

supporters, like Johnson, know that the money will be used to save a human life and impact the lives of many women in the area. A living testimony to the value of human life, Tina Howell and her husband Jeff were saved from the devastating decision of abortion and given up for adoption at birth. While in her 20s, Tina was given the opportunity to meet with her birth mother, who shared her experiences involving previous abortions. Recapping the pain and heartache, Tina’s mother shared that she was pressured by the father to carry out several abortions throughout her life, and she regretted each one. She was, however, encouraged to give life to her daughter, Tina, and found a home for her upon the birth. In regards to this miracle, Tina said, “I feel that God has His hand on me.” Tina has supported the Pregnancy Care Center for the past 10 years, and

Many people came out to attend the Celebration of Life Banquet.Photo by Aaron Oberlin


november 2009

uses her testimony to encourage others to do the same. Ministering to more than 700 women each year, the Pregnancy Care Center of Plant City has an overwhelming impact on the community. The new director of the care center, Darlene Davis, said the center’s driving purpose is “to present Christ, save baby’s lives and see that the women have a quality life.” The care center provides free pregnancy tests, counseling, abortion information, parenting education and limited ultrasounds for women; although, the primary mission of the center is to transform women’s lives by sharing Christ’s love to each hurting heart. The Pregnancy Care Center of Plant

City celebrated throughout the night during the annual banquet for the many children who are alive today in response to their efforts. The fight for life, however, is nowhere near completion, and the center still needs support from the entire community to continue its ministry. For the center, the value of each human life is all too important of a cause to wait. Find out more about the Pregnancy Care Center at



The Pregnancy Care Center is located in downtown Plant City, just across the street from the Cornerstone Center. Photo by Aaron Oberlin



3:57:36 PM

Generation after Generation.

We’ve been here for generations and we’ll be here for generations to come.



Farm Credit can provide the financing you need to live the life you love.





For more than 90 years we’ve provided financing for homes, land and equipment.



Give us a call today. We’re not only for farmers!

Vonda Fulwood Residential Lending Manager

813.719.7442 * 800.713.7550

We Will Make Your Home Sparkle! Locally Owned and Operated

Now Accepting New s Customer

Fine Touch Cleaning 813-300-4763 • 813-757-0140

Residential & Commercial Cleaning Weekly • Bi-Weekly • Monthly Quality, Dependable Service New Service Offered

Let us make your move less stressful. In addition to our cleaning service we now offer packing your home for a move. You provide boxes, etc., we pack your home, the movers do the rest.

Prices are Based on Time that is Needed.

Basic Services: Sweep • Vacuum • Mop • Dust • Clean Bathroom Wipe Cabinets & Doors (Sanitize) • Clean Windows • Sweep Porches & Entry Ways • Make Beds Do Dishes •Any Visual Straightening Needed Additional Services: Refrigerator • Stove • Cabinets Straightened Clean Window Sills Wipe Down Base Boards Watering of any House Plants • Outside Window Cleaning

We Offer One Time Cleaning • Licensed - Insured - Bonded • References Available Upon Request foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009



Screen Room!!

“FACTS” We give you Start and Completion Dates Customer Referrals on Request Quality Construction

48 Years of Professional Service Financing Available


We have a complete product line of “Do it your self kits” Concrete Floors and Drive Ways

659-2501 “FREE ESTIMATES” Licensed-Bonded-Insured



Students honored By J a C k h o l l a n D

Competitive Prices


local focus

Don’t Delay

We will show you how affordable your room can be while adding value to your home.

We Also Offer... Carport, Glass Rooms, Vinyl Windows, Siding/Soffit, Roofover, Skirting, Pool Enclosure,

ity wning & Aluminum Products, Inc. 101 East J Arden Mays Blvd., Plant City, FL 33563 • Phone: (813) 707-8783 • Fax: (813) 764-0990 “Serving Your Home Improvement Needs Since 1961”

806 WOODROW WILSON ST. UNIT #1 • 7-5 WEEKDAYS • SAT BY APPOINTMENT “Your Full Service Aluminum Contractor” •

Ad Proof

The Plant City Optimist Club held its annual Youth Appreciation Ceremony on Nov. 2, recognizing eight local high school students for their accomplishments. Students from Plant City High School were selected for recognition because of their efforts in athletics, academics and community service. Each student received an award for their good deeds. Sherrie Mueller, PCHS college and career counselor, addressed the youths and the audience on the importance of being well rounded in their activities and helping others as they give back to the community. She also introduced the students with highlights of their resumes outlining their accomplishments. The winning students were Amanda Byars, Haylee Dietrich, Taylor Flumerfelt, Elizabeth Schmidt, Drew Balliett, Blair Butler, John Kenney and Chris Sullivan. Plant City Optimist Club President Mike Williamson said, “Every year we recognize the positive activities and outstanding efforts shown by several students. They have a tremendous impact on the quality of life of the Plant City area, and we are proud to honor their achievements, which mirror the work of many of our area youths.”

Also at the event, Williamson presented a check to Mueller to help support the PCHS Honors Student Banquet next spring. The Plant City Optimist Club was founded in 1963 and has been honoring local youth through the Youth Appreciation program for more than 40 years. Youth Appreciation events are one of the most popular programs sponsored by clubs throughout Optimist International, with more than 2,000 clubs participating each year. Other programs and service projects the Plant City club members participate in include Respect for Law Week, Oratorical Contest, Christmas Parade, Steppin’ Stone Farm and college scholarships for high school graduates. For more information about the Plant City Optimist Club, call 813757-6570.

Watch the students receive their awards at



Plant City High School College and Career Counselor Sherrie Mueller, Blair Butler, John Kenney, Taylor Flumerfelt, Elizabeth Schmidt, Amanda Byars, Haylee Dietrich, Chris Sullivan, Drew Balliett and Plant City Optimist Club President Mike Williamson after the ceremony. Photo courtesy of Plant City Optimist Club


Please and fax back with your approval. november 2009 (813) 764-0990

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


local focus

Win a children’s dream house S to r y By C h e r y l J o h n S to n

Don’t miss the opportunity to enter the Children’s Dream House Giveaway. Just in time for the holidays and the season for giving, this could be the perfect gift for that special child in your life. The drawing is a community-wide collaborative effort to raise disability awareness. All proceeds benefit the MacDonald Training Center Foundation, Inc., an organization whose mission is “to empower individuals with disabilities to lead the lives they choose.” The dream house is an 8’ x 8’ x 8’ wooden playhouse built by a team of high school students from Simmons Career Center, individuals from James Ranch and volunteers from the community. More than a playhouse, the dream house is built to code for housing standards. The home will be delivered and set up within a 30-mile radius of James Ranch for the winner of the charity raffle. Although no purchase is necessary to register for the drawing or to win the prizes, a recommended minimum donation of $5 will be appreciated and used to support programs offered by MTC for adults with disabilities. To register, simply visit and follow the directions to submit your entry. Winners need not be present to claim their prizes when the chance drawing will be held at the Red Rose Inn and Suites Ballroom, located at 2011 N. Wheeler St., on Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Registrants have an opportunity to win one of the following giveaways: First Prize - Children’s Dream Home (approximately $6,000 value) Second Prize - Hotel and Dinner Package by Red Rose Inn and Suites ($500 value) Th ird Prize - Fine Art and Wine Basket by MacDonald’s Training Center ($100 value) Central Florida Construction Company, Poppell Insurance Agency, Red Rose Inn and Suites and the Simmons


november 2009

Career Center have generously sponsored this event. Additional supporters include Sherwin-Williams and Knotts Hardware and Supply Company. Volunteer Jim Chancey has enjoyed his experience of spending three days each week since early September to help instructor John Alleman work with the Simmons students on the construction project. Alleman praised the teens for “their commitment to building a solid playhouse and for the way they’ve worked with the James Ranch adults who came to do their part.” Chancey has been impressed by Alleman’s “great working relationship with the students, and also by their respect for him as a teacher.” They listen to him. It has opened their eyes to the needs of adults with disabilities and how MTC and James Ranch meet those needs. The MacDonald Training Center, Inc., established in 1955, serves adults with disabilities through vocational, employment and residential services. Help provided includes adult day training services, supported employment, support living, employment services and transportation programs. Working in partnership with supportive community businesses and organizations, MTC is highly regarded for its commitment to integrity. Staff members treat everyone with dignity and respect as they consider the best interests of the people they serve. The staff encourages independence by supporting self-advocacy and respecting the choices of family and individuals served. Spread a little holiday cheer this year by supporting this wonderful organization through a donation. MTC serves so many, so well. Individuals and organizations can make all the difference in the world when it comes to helping those who want to help themselves. For additional information, call MTC at 813-870-1300 or 813-752-6508 or visit one of their beneficent local sponsors.

Veronica Prostko, director of external affairs for MTC, and Mark Poppell, of Poppell Insurance Agency, join Simmons Career Center instructor John Alleman to check construction progress on the Children’s Dream Home. Photo courtesy of Veronica Prostko and Jim Chancey

High school students from Simmons Career Center, individuals from James Ranch and volunteers from the community put time into building the Children’s Dream Home. Photo courtesy of Veronica Prostko and Jim Chancey

After Thanksgiving Sale November 27 & 28 Clearance Items

75% OFF Original Price

% off


25% off

Camo Clothing othing) (except baby cl


$ 99

Men’s Ely Shirts


Men’s, Ladies, Children, Jackets, Hoodi es & Vests




Selected Mens, Ladies and Children Cinch, Rocky Mountain, Southern Treads, & Cruel Girl

25% OFF Regular Price

% off


s Montana Silversmith ts Produc

3014 James L Redman Pkwy, Plant City FL 33566 • (813) 752-2379

Family Law Divorce • Alimony Child Support • Paternity Custody & Visitation Post Judgement Modifications

Personal Injury

Criminal Law Felony & Misdemeanors Domestic Violence Bond Reductions Drug Charges Assault & Battery DUIs Sealing or Expungements

Business Litigation Corporate Law Real Estate

Catastrophic Injuries Wrongful Death Auto & Motorcycle Accidents Insurance Claims Slip & Falls Injuries from Defective Products 24/7 Appointments • Free Hospital and Home Calls Credit Cards Accepted • Habla Español

Johnnie B. Byrd, Jr.

David H. Barnhill

Byrd & Barnhill, P.L. AttoRnEyS At LAW


206 n. Collins St.· In Historic Downtown Plant City The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based upon advertisements. Before choosing a lawyer ask for written information about the lawyer’s legal qualifications and experience.

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009




Urgent Care

Weight Loss

• No Appointment Necessary! • Most Insurance Accepted • Experienced Urgent Care Physicians • On Site X-Rays • EKG & Labs • Stiches • Sore Throats • Infections • Physicals • Sprains • Occupational Medicine • Much More!

• • • • •

Medically Supervised Appetite Suppresents Vitamin Injections Diet Plans Meds & Injection Included in the total price • Member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians

Mon-Fri 8am-8pm Sat & Sun 9am-5pm

Affordable book prices help fund local library by J a c k s o n S m i t h

Studies have shown their are several benefits to reading every day, or at least often. Reading exercises the mind and expands a person’s vocabulary. For those looking for such benefits, perhaps there is no better place to go than a library. Libraries offer free reading materials for all people. This Nov. 21, however, the Bruton Memorial Library will have its annual Christmas book sale. Book lovers will get the opportunity to buy New York Times bestsellers without a steep price tag that is often found in mainstream bookstores. The books being sold have been donated by the public. This year’s donations of books have been

screened and inspected by the bookstore team to provide the best quality possible. Proceeds from the sale will help to fund library programs during the coming year. Starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m., people can start or finish their holiday shopping at this much-anticipated annual book sale. Beautiful books for every member of the family will be offered. Many categories of books will be available, including children’s, fiction, domestic, history, literature, biography, art and military. The sale will be held at the Bruton Memorial Library. The library is located at 302 McLendon St. For more information, call the library at 813-757-9215.


25% off ber Initial visit in Novemed




Alexander Whitehall

Supplements not includ


1009 W. Baker St. Plant City, FL 33563 813-759-1232


november 2009

At last year’s annual Christmas book sale, many people came out and took advantage of the prices. Photo courtesy of Bruton Memorial Library

New Wood Floors | Sand and finish hardwood floors Dust Free System | Stairs

Wood Grain Vinyl and Laminate are now offered by Williford Flooring Company in addition to our great selection of Hardwood Flooring.

Monday - Friday 9-5:30 Saturday and evenings by appointment


4820 Hwy 98 N • Mayflower Plaza • Lakeland, FL

Since 1946

The most trusted name in road service can also save you on insurance.

• COMBINED Home and Auto policy • Compare up to six different quotes from top-rated companies • Select dependable coverage from well-known, financially stable companies including AAA’s own insurance company • Buy your policy immediately and start saving on insurance

How much could you save? Get a quote now. Members & nonmembers welcome. Attention State Farm customers: -Home insurance discounts eliminated? -Recent renewal increases? AAA can help. Call today for a quote.

Call: C lick: Visit:

Bart Borders • (813) 752-2223 AAA Plant City Office 1703 B Thonotosassa Road Plant City, FL 33563

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


local focus

Events fight back against

domestic violence By l i n D a l aw S o n

October was fi lled with opportunities to raise awareness of the scourge of domestic violence in Hillsborough County. Plant City hosted two events for The Spring, the county’s only domestic violence shelter. Here are the two events: Love Shouldn’t Hurt Motorcycle Ride A cool, misty fog hovered over the Plant City Police Compound on Oct. 11. Volunteers gathered there around 7 a.m., setting up tables with mounds of doughnuts, sausage and biscuits, cold Sicilian pizza, coffee, sodas and water. A loud hum could be heard in the distance as motorcycles headed toward the compound parking lot. Approximately 125 riders – many dressed in leather vests and pants, tattoos proudly displayed – arrived to enjoy breakfast and a leisurely

two-hour ride to Hungry Harry’s Famous Bar-B-Que in Land O’ Lakes. One lady rider brought her medium-sized mixed breed dog. The dog was perched securely in a box on the back of her owner’s bike, wearing pink sunglasses and scarf. Each rider paid $25 for breakfast, a two-hour ride and a barbecue lunch. All of the proceeds went to The Spring, a shelter for victims of domestic violence. Candlelight vigil for victims of domestic violence Twilight approached on a hot Thursday, Oct. 15, evening. A small crowd gathered in memory of friends and loved ones who were killed in domestic violence altercations. Twenty-five names were called out as a bell was rung and a candle lit in memory of each one. The Community

Event volunteer Harold Manley directs traffic as more than 100 bikers prepare to embark on the fourth annual Love Shouldn’t Hurt Motorcycle Ride! to benefi t The Spring of Tampa Bay. Photo by Brenda Rouse


november 2009

Choir, under the direction of Joe Mendolia, and The Spirit Singers from United First Methodist Church sang several selections appropriate for the occasion. Joann Lighter, executive director of The Spring, addressed the attendees. She said, “Domestic violence is a blight and is rampant. It knows no socioeconomic barriers. It touches all of us.” The Spring The Spring is a safe shelter that houses women, children and occasionally men from abusive situations. According to its Web site, since 1977, The Spring of Tampa Bay has provided domestic violence familycentered support services to more than 50,000 victims. The mission of The Spring of

During a candlelight vigil in McCall Park, bagpiper Danny Phillips plays a song as people silently remember those who have died due to domestic violence. Photo by Brenda Rouse

Tampa Bay is to prevent domestic violence, protect victims and promote change in lives, families and communities. The vision is to be a premier provider of domestic violence services and a positive force for social change, creating a “zero tolerance” attitude toward domestic violence in Hillsborough County. The Spring is the largest of Florida’s 42 certified domestic violence shelters and the first in the United States to have an accredited school on site. School is held on site for children living at the shelter. The GED program is available for the clients who didn’t finish high school. Counselors work with families to get their lives focused and back on track. The Spring furnishes families who are ready to move out on their own with job preparedness, housing, food, furniture, kitchenware, beds and bedding. All are necessary in getting folks back on their feet. Donations are crucial in fulfi lling the needs of victims of domestic violence. The Spring’s thrift shop, located near Big Lots at 1417 S. Collins St., phone 813-754-1260, gladly accepts gently worn clothing, furniture, appliances, televisions, bridal wear, pictures, CD’s, DVD’s, books and most collectables. For more information about The Spring or to make a donation, please call its administrative office at 813-2475433. Domestic violence is a crime and should not be tolerated. Are you in a domestic violence situation? Do you need a safe place to stay? Call the Crisis Hotline with any questions you may have regarding domestic violence at 813-247-7233 (SAFE) or visit

Be there when people light the candles at the candlelight vigil by watching episode 54 on



Just what the doctor ordered. A new, dedicated orthopedic wing. We take the stress out of orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation. Thanks to our exciting, new renovations, patients can now recover faster and more comfortably in their own specialized, private room. Our 10 luxury rooms are designed large enough to accommodate physical therapy equipment, so therapists can come to the patients. Rooms include flat screen TVs and access to an internet and media café – with computers and ortho-ergonomic furniture. Even fold-out sleeper sofas allow family members to stay over night. It’s the perfect healing environment in every way.

New Orthopedic Wing 301 N. Alexander St. Plant City, FL 33563 For a referral to one of our orthopedic surgeons, call 813-754-4444 foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


local focus

Homicide in Plant City A mock murder takes place during an annual mystery play. How did the events unfold? by w e n dy b r o w n

This was the most bizarre wedding reception I’ve ever attended. You see, the occasion was the high-society wedding of Brenda Montague and Edward Crock. The bride’s father, Mr. Harold Montague, is a prominent resident of Plant City and the owner of Ybor City Urban Farms. The groom’s mother, Ms. Sheila Coquette, is quite wealthy after inheriting her late husband’s lottery fortune. After the nuptials, the guests drove their pickups and limos to an expected lavish reception at the Florida National Guard Armory. Four hundred prestigious members of Plant City’s high-brown society were in attendance and expecting a grand buffet. White linen tablecloths, candles surrounded by ferns, lights twinkling in the silk trees and champagne punch in crystal glasses added to the setting. With 911 Catering preparing the meal, the wedding guests were not disappointed. The wedding party arrived sans the bride and groom. After waiting more than an hour, everyone finally feasted on Caesar salad, roasted potatoes, roast sirloin of beef, baby carrots in a honey sauce, chicken brushetta and golden hot rolls. Mike Sweet showcased his home-brewed beers. The newly married Crocks, Brenda starting her fourth marriage and Eddie with a sixth-grade education, finally arrived after a quick stop at the Comfort Inn. You couldn’t miss the groom in his hunting boots, bright-orange tuxedo over a clean hunting shirt and chugging a beer, not to mention the spoiled-rotten bride who dampened the spirit of the whole event with her constant whining. Finally, a groomsman went out


november 2009

to get her McDonalds to shut her up. If that wasn’t bad enough to spoil the festivities, a Mr. Al P. Throckmorton dropped dead on the middle of the dance floor. While trying to catch the bride’s garter, he was shot by a mysterious person. I told you this was the most bizarre reception I’d ever been to. Turns out the range of characters was the same, except that in this story the butler didn’t do it. That was just act one of “I’m Getting

Murdered in the Morning,” written by Lee Mueller and performed by the Bruton Memorial Players. The 12th annual mystery dinner theater, benefiting the Bruton Memorial Library, was a rousing success. The Backstreet Girls added class with their musical revue. Act two showcased hints why members of the wedding party may have wanted Throckmorton out of the picture permanently. But who did it? Was this an inadvertent act of randomness, or was a member of the wedding party a murderer? Was it the mother of the bride who didn’t want to lose her status in society? Or did the DJ earn some money on the side for a hit? Vice Mayor Dan Raulerson did a

great job playing Parker, a private investigator. Raulerson said he was “pleased to support the library fundraiser and greatly enjoyed getting back into community theater.” Paul Davis, Strawberry Festival manager, said, “I’ve never done this before. I’m just the new guy, learning acting on the spot.” By the way, Paul was good. Judy Barta, of Sunshine State Federal, commented that, “As usual the plays are a lot of fun. I hope we raise lots of money for the library.” If you didn’t attend the mystery dinner theater, then you missed a wonderful evening of suspense, hilarity and critical thinking as the wedding guests collaborated to identify the killer. Stay tuned for next year.

The wedding party didn’t seem too upset with a dead man on their dance floor. Photo by Wendy Brown

111 S. Collins St. Plant City, FL 33563

Next to Snellgroves Owners Vicki & Kevin Strickler

813-764-8888 Mon–Thu 12–9pm Fri & Sat 12–10pm Sunday 1–9pm

Christmas Party Room call for details A FREE small ice cream on your birthday!

Dr. Brenda Dukes Chiropractic Physician

Tell us someThing abouT childhood vaccines…

Today more parents are questioning and refusing vaccinations for their children. Some of the reasons given are: • They consider the vaccines more dangerous than the disease. • They prefer natural rather than artificial immunity. • They have religious or philosophical objections to vaccination. • They have a vaccine-injured child (a growing number).

orders and learning disorders were rare before mass immunization.

46 Vaccines by 6 Months! The current US vaccination schedule requires 45 vaccines by 6 months and at least 74 by 4-6 years!! There is no proof that a child’s immature immune system can handle this assault.

As of 2004 the US Government had paid nearly $1.5 billion to the families of vaccine-damaged children as part of the vaccine compensation program. That number, however, represents only a fraction of those children hurt and killed.

Are Vaccinated Children Healthier? In one study children vaccinated with MMR or DPT+Polio were found to have 14 times more asthma and 30% had allergies while none of the non-vaccinated children had asthma or allergies.

We all want healthy and strong children. For that reason many parents are not vaccinating their children. The benefits of vaccination are being increasingly questioned while the damage done to children is becoming increasingly apparent. Parents must make the decision to whether or not vaccinate based on understanding, not fear tactics.

Medical historian Harris Coulter, PHD states: “Between 15 and 20% of American children are considered learning disabled with minimal brain dysfunction directly caused by vaccine damage…A large proportion of the millions of U.S. children and adults suffering from autism, seizures, mental retardation, hyperactivity, dyslexia, and other…’developmental disabilities’ owe their disorders to one or another of the vaccines against childhood diseases…” In addition to the above conditions, allergies, asthma, eczema, diabetes, ear infections, attention deficit dis-

SIDS or Crib Death Vaccinations have long been linked to crib death. This observation was underlined when, in 1975, after the Japanese government rose the minimum vaccination age from two months to two years, crib death and infantile seizures virtually disappeared. Crib death was rare before childhood vaccinations.

Special Note: At this special time of the year we would like to THANK our wonderful patients, family and friends for the opportunity to serve you and your support. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and we pray you will continue to be blessed. Please pray for our country. Blessings, Dr. Dukes and Staff

Dr. Brenda Dukes • Chiropractic Physician 752-2524 • 2401 Walden Woods Dr. • Plant City, FL 33566

Dr. Dukes encourages you to write her with any questions concerning chiropractic care.

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


local focus

An organization’s call to improving the city by S h e r r i R o b i n s o n

In this economy, one might be inclined to think that this would not be a good time for the Improvement League of Plant City to continue investing in projects such as the Bing House. They know times are tough and getting funding is even more difficult, but not impossible. This tireless organization sees the bigger picture and does not allow hard times to deter its mission of preservation and outreach. Plant City is full of history, yet untold. That’s why Henry Johnson, president of the Improvement League of Plant City, and William Thomas believe that what they are doing is worthwhile with their current project of restoring the Bing Rooming House, located at 205 S. Allen St. It was built in the 1920s and housed blacks during segregation. When it is completed, it will be opened as a Museum of Black

History. Visitors will learn about segregation, civil rights and many of the accomplishments of those who made a difference in education and business. Many of the people from that era are still living and have been sharing their personal experiences and memories with the Improvement League. Due to increasing costs and a slow economy, it has taken longer than expected to finish the restorations, but currently only $75,000 is needed to complete the interior and second floor before opening. Though the Bing House has been the main focus, the organization is also working diligently on programs that offer services to help the community’s youth. One important program that is gaining notoriety is Plant City Eagles Youth Football and Cheerleaders, which now has 242 boys, 32 coaches

This step team competes in the MLK Step Show. Another way the Improvement League influences the community. Photo courtesy of William Thomas


november 2009

The Improvement League helps with Plant City Eagle football. Photo courtesy of William Thomas

and several girls (who are really taking an interest and working hard to create a great cheerleading team). The football program is only one of several mentoring opportunities that are proving to reap tremendous benefits not just to the kids, but also for the volunteers. Many of the coaches themselves have had struggles in their own lives finding direction but now have purpose and inspiration because of working with the boys. Recently, the team has gotten the attention of Kellen Winslow, tight end for the Tampa Bay Bucs, and the NFL, who are both donating funds to enhance the Eagles football field. Though the Improvement League offers sports, they also provide programs that help enhance education by using computer labs and tutorials. Everyone is invited to participate in the programs. The Improvement League is working to clean up and save the environment. They received a grant and are working with the EPA to

clean up the area where Coronet Industries was closed. Providing affordable housing is another passion of theirs. They are working with the Community Development Council to make that happen. “Our organization has been around for 20-plus years improving the lives of children,” Thomas said. “We are always trying to reinvent ourselves.” They couldn’t have done it without all the volunteers and donations. There are always openings for new volunteers to work with children and positions available on the board of directors. Don’t forget about the MLK Festival coming up Jan. 15 – 17, with the parade scheduled for the 16th. The Statewide High School Step Team Competition will be something to see, so check it out. For more information on The Improvement League of Plant City programs and the schedule for the MLK Festival, log on to www.improvementleague. com.



FRee eStImateS



1406 W. Knights Griffin Rd. Plant City, FL 33565

(813) 752-3306 • Fax (813) 719-7622

Marty Johnson Licensed • Insured

Specializing in Rescreening & Repair • Pool Enclosures • Screen Rooms • Lanais

• Screen Entryways • New Doors & Hardware • Pet Screen & Pet Doors

• Window Screens • Vinyl Window Repairs • Aluminum Repairs

We will meet or beat any advertised price!


1/2 HOUR WREC KER SE 3 2 S N RVI CE ROW Local & Long Distance

Damage Free • Fully Insured Specialty Towing Featuring: Roll Back & Wheel Lift Lockout Service

206 S. Waller St. (813) 752-2727

Plant City, FL 33563 Fax: (813) 754-7678

Linda D. Fuhrman

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


local focus

New event blooms downtown By a a r o n o B e r l i n

The Plant City Garden Club held the inception of Garden Fest on Oct. 10 at the historic depot in downtown Plant City, attracting hundreds of horticulture enthusiasts. Money raised from the event will go toward two scholarships the club gives to two Plant City High School students every year – one for $750 and the other for $500. To be eligible for a scholarship, students attending a Florida college the following academic year must enter into a green-related field, such as agriculture, botany, conservation science, etc. Last year, Sara Beth Newsome, who currently attends Hillsborough Community College, won the $750 scholarship. “As long as [Newsome’s] major


november 2009

doesn’t change, she will be able to apply for the scholarship again even though she’s in college,” said Cassandra Banning, immediate past president of the PCGC. Mikie Snyder, president of the PCGC, and Banning chaired Garden Fest. They used the historic depot as the site of the event, hosting dozens of vendors that offered a wide array of foliage. Vendors paid a fee that gave them a booth and paid for the event’s advertising. Everything left over went to the scholarship fund. For the past 13 years, the PCGC held a garden tour for the scholarship fundraiser. The tour comprised five homes that opened their doors for people to come see private gardens in the area. There was an admission

charge and plant sale, too. “We were tossing ideas around about something new and different other than the garden tour. Someone suggested we do something like Friends of Plant Park in Tampa,” Banning said. Friends of Plant Park holds its own annual Green Fest, which is an educational nature festival educating the Tampa Bay community about the care and cultivation of indigenous plants and flowers. Although the PCGC didn’t hold its garden tour this year, it doesn’t mean it won’t be back next year. Banning said the PCGC has some deciding to do about a possible future Green Fest and tour. Nothing has been decided yet.

Cassandra Banning and Mikie Snyder helped put together the inaugural Garden Fest. Photo by Aaron Oberlin

See what sprouted at Garden Fest on episode 53 on



1701 Jim Redman Parkway Plant City, FL 33563 813.719.6605 The Law Offices of Joseph M. Williams, P.A. is proud to formally announce its partnership with Horace N. Moore Jr., Esquire. It is our pleasure to continue serving Plant City and the Tampa Bay Area, as Williams Moore Law Firm, P.A.

Joseph M. Williams Horace Moore, Jr. Joy Smith-McCormick

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


local focus

The 17th annual Business of the Year Awards Read some of what the winners had to say. See even more at S to r y By a a r o n o B e r l i n

The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Council hosted the 17th annual Business of the Year Awards on Nov. 5 in the Red Rose Ballroom. For many, after a year with many economic woes, it was a nice change to find out what it takes to be a business-ofthe-year winner. Businesses open for two to 10 years qualified for the category of Growing Business. In a difficult time to begin and maintain a business, hard work and dedication is essential. Karen Berry from In the Field Magazine felt honored to walk away with the award. “I honestly wouldn’t have thought five years ago that there’d be five magazines. That was not in my mind. And it’s not because I’m a small thinker. God’s blessed it, and that’s it,” said Berry. Another aspect of a strong business is owners’ drive to give back to the community. Dennis Der from Southside Farm and Pet Supply has taken disabled soldiers on hunting and fishing trips. He and staff at Southside Farm and Pet Supply won for small business with one to 15 full-time employees. They hope to continue their 40

november 2009

community service with military veterans. “We believe in giving back to the community…” said Der. “So if you know someone who needs a day on the water (to go fishing), a handicapped person or disabled soldier, let us know and we’ll make that happen.” Another characteristic that makes a business successful is satisfaction. Owen Johnson satisfies hundreds of people a day with his delicious barbecue, making Johnson’s Barbeque the winner of midsize business with 16 to 50 full-time employees. “That’s all I think about is food,” said Johnson after he accepted the award. “We’re all food people, everyone identifies with food. I’m thankful that our company can deliver that in a way that moves us forward and hopefully satisfies you all.” Staff is also a vital component to a successful business. A good staff is loyal, dependable and believes in the service or product it delivers. CF Industries won for large business with 51 plus full-time employees. Chief chemist Harold Falls is proud to have put so may years into the company. “CF has been my life for quite a number of years. I’ve

been working for CF for 39 years now and it’s been quite a rewarding venture,” said Falls. One more award was given to a special business for exemplary community contribution. This year’s recipient was Bruton Memorial Library. “We’re glad to help. [The library has] something for everyone, so come see us,” said Anne Haywood, executive director of the library. Since 1993, the Economic

Development Council has presented Business of the Year awards to 78 businesses and organizations. For more information about the Business of the Year Awards, call 754-3707.

See the rest of the winners on page 40. Watch the winners receive their awards by watching episode 57 on



Karen Berry accepts the Growing Business of the Year Award, from Ed Verner, for In the Field Hillsborough’ Agriculture Magazine. Photo courtesy of Plant City Chamber of Commerce

Hillsborough Community College

Plant City Campus

HCC offers Associate Degrees for University Transfer as well as Associate in Science and Applied Science Degrees. Concentrations in: • Environmental Science • Veterinary Technology • Internet Services Technology • Nursing • Irrigation and Pest Management Certificates • Earn a University of Florida BS Degree in Environmental Horticulture, Natural Resource Conservation and Agricultural Education and Geomatics (Surveying) at the Plant City Campus • Apprenticeship: Plumbing, Pipefitting, HVAC, and Sprinklefitting • Construction Management

Complete your application and enroll today for Spring 2010! Avoid Late Fees. Classes start January 11th

V i s i t u s o n t h e w e b a t : w w w. h c c f l . e d u / p c / For more information call: (813) 757-2102


813-786-1541 foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


You see them in T.V. commercials and in magazines!

local continued from page 40



Geico ($450 A Day)

T.V. Commercials Sirata Beach Resort, Disney Vacation Club ($450 A Day), The Ledger Life Section Model

T.V. Commercials Sea World ($600 A Day),

Honda, South Florida Museum



T.V. Commercials Geico ($450 A Day)

South Florida Museum Fire Fighters Documentary

They’re the JESS ANDERSON MODELS! All ages & types needed • No experience necessary • Free training







T.V. Commercials Disney World ($600 A Day),

Beauty Pageant Winner 2009, Fashion Layouts in East Polk Lifestyles Magazine, Bestow Jeans & Sassy Thai’s

T.V. Commercials Mariott ($400 A Day) BloodNet South Florida Museum, Lkld. Chamber, Movie - The Punisher

Geico ($450 A Day)

Lakeland Chamber of Commerce

Owen Johnson accepts the Mid-Size Business of the Year Award, from Ed Verner, for Johnson’s Barbeque. Photo courtesy of Plant City Chamber of Commerce

A time to gather with

FAMILY AND FRIENDS. Enjoy your time spent with family and friends and as your good neighbor agent, I appreciate your business.

Courtney Paat Ins Agcy Inc Courtney Paat, Agent 1805 James Redman Pkwy, Suite 101 Plant City, FL 33563 Bus: 813-754-1725

Providing Insurance and Financial Services P065052 06/06

42® State Farm Bloomington, IL

november 2009

Dennis Der accepts the Small Business of the Year Award, from Ed Verner, for Southside Farm and Pet Supply. Photo courtesy of Plant City Chamber of Commerce

Harold Falls accepts the Large Business of the Year Award, from Ed Verner, for CF Industries, Inc. Photo courtesy of Plant City Chamber of Commerce

Your Complete Landscape Connection

Licensed, Insured and Always Free Estimates


Sod Installation and Repair • Mulch Plants • Trees • Irrigation System Repair

Jeff Jef Je ff Lenczyk ff LLe enczyk Owner/Operator O Owner/Op wner/Ope wner/Op erat rato or

Phone: (813) 453-3780 (813) 982-1590 Anne Haywood accepts the Special Business of the Year Award, from Ed Verner, for the Bruton Memorial Library. Photo courtesy of Plant City Chamber of Commerce

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009



Saturday in Plant City S ubm i t t e d by p l a n t c i t y p h o to a r c h i v e s

That was what many area residents looked forward to. Saturday night. After a long week everyone knew they were going to go to downtown Plant City on Saturday. All day, and well into the night. There was no McCall Park then, but there was a nice park area on Mahoney Street, behind the Capitol Theatre and the Arcade, across the street from city hall, and there were no public parking lots. People came from all around Plant City and parked where they could – for all day. They didn’t gather in the park, they socialized on sidewalks and in stores, and shopped for staples, clothing, shoes, feed, seed and other necessities. These were the years, the 1940s and 1950s, shortly before the retail industry began moving south. The downtown was crowded then. People moved along the sidewalks from store to store, meeting in places like the Dixie Restaurant or White’s Central Pharmacy. The men would sit on the dock at X-Cel Feed and Seed and discuss business and politics. In those days, there were also many purveyors of fine spirits – bars, such as Tony Mike’s on Reynolds Street, Plant Liquors, Copeland’s, New York Liquors and a good number of others where local men would gather, and also where servicemen from Drane Field would head to when off duty (Polk County was dry then). There were also a couple of pool rooms that were special places on Saturday nights, such as the Corner Pool Room at Haines and Collins streets. The Reynolds Street bar was a favorite for some


november 2009

men who wished to be discreet – it had a rear entrance accessible via the alley off Palmer Street. Some would even call ahead and their order would be waiting when they arrived. The surprising part of this is that the stores would remain open for these shoppers. Rogers and Middlebrook and many grocery stores would stay open sometimes until midnight. The shopping and socializing would continue at Hookers Department Store, Black’s Department Store, the Fashion Shop, McCrory’s Five and Dime and the Luncheonette, M.S. Barker’s Dry Goods, Barwick’s and the Magnolia Pharmacy, the dress shop at the Growers Association building, Hagan’s Café, W.W. Mac Co., Jones Barber Shop, Western Auto and many other establishments. When the boys came to town they headed for the theaters – the Capitol or the State. Twentyfive cents could last them a full morning and then some. They would also head for the ice cream store in the Hotel Plant or the newsstand at Harold’s News, on Collins Street. This was not the case for the black community in and around Plant City. They did not venture much into the old downtown area, and were not permitted in the Capitol Theatre. The State Theatre, however, had a separate entrance for blacks, and the balcony was reserved for them. Much of the commercial and social activities for the black community were located along Laura Street. The city park on Mahoney Street had shuffle board courts, and inevitably some of the area

Saturdays were thriving in the ‘50s. This picture was taken in the downtown area in 1951. Photo courtesy of the Plant City Photo Archives

residents would try their skills and relax and enjoy themselves on the wooden benches scattered throughout the park. They might do this while the children enjoy a movie and the family could get ice cream at the Hotel Plant afterwards. There are many stories told about those Saturdays and Saturday nights in downtown Plant City, and most of them are similar. They

all revolve around the crowds who came from throughout the area for shopping and socializing, and how the downtown was packed with people even until midnight. Things have changed. The new “downtown” may be the malls, but the atmosphere is different. Nothing will probably replace the old spirit and closeness of the bygone downtown era.

Here’s a look at White’s Central Pharmacy in 1957. Photo courtesy of the Plant City Photo Archives

We’ve got you covered from top to bottom and everything in between

Deck your Halls, Walls, Floors & More! *Holiday Decorating Now Available

Only in salons and Paul Mitchell schools.

1701 S. Alexander Street Plant City, FL 33566

813.707.0258 LAW OFFICE OF

813-754-6898 CRAWFORD-HILL 1407 E. Baker St., Plant City I N T E R I O R S ,

I N C.



Carpet • Hardwood • Shutters • Blinds • Vinyl Flooring • Ceramic Tile Cabinets • Wallpaper • Fabrics • Artwork • Countertops • Accessories


A LAw FirM FoCUSing on Automobile Accidents Medical Malpractice

Contact Us 412 E. Madison Street, Suite 814 Tampa, FL 33602 Phone: 813-226-0067 Fax: 813-259-2505

Personal injury wrongful Death


initial consultation

We take pride in our personal service and attention to Your case. foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009



GREATER PLANT CITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE S ubm i t t e d by B r uc e R o d w e l l

Kudos to the cast and all those involved in the Friends of the Bruton Memorial Library play that took place last month. Such tremendous talent. This was the 12th annual play presented by the BRUTON MEMORIAL PLAYERS. In addition to the play itself, the Backstreet Girls were a real hoot. Library Director Anne Haywood and Greg Horwedel, assistant city manager, did a fine job as masters of ceremonies. You will want to put next year’s play on your calendar. Watch this column for the dates. Don’t miss it. ............................................................ Plant City’s great SOUTH FLORIDA BAPTIST HOSPITAL recently received the American College of Radiology accreditation. This award covers computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, ultra sound and mammography. The ACR evaluations are conducted by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Over the past few years, South Florida Baptist Hospital has added state-of-the-art imaging equipment. As a reminder, remember blood pressure checks are available every Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Community Resource Center just off the hospital’s main lobby. The blood pressure checks are free, and no appointment is necessary. ............................................................ Plant City’s UNITED FOOD BANK continues its mission of feeding the needy. During the summer it hosts a Summer Nutrition Outreach Program for children. The program is designed for children in the community who may be at risk of going hungry during the summer, when school meals are not available. To give you an idea of how this program works, during the summer of 2008, 2,321 children were served 38,500 pounds of food worth an approximate value of $63,500. This past summer, there were 4,187 children served with 76,400 pounds of food worth an approximate value of


november 2009

$126,100. As you can see, the United Food Bank had an almost 100 percent increase this year over last year. Times are tough for many families living in our community. Without the United Food Bank and your support, many of the children in our community might have gone hungry during the summer. ............................................................ Are you ready for some good ole southern-style barbecue? Mark your calendars for Saturday, Nov. 21. That is the date of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce SEVENTH ANNUAL PIG JAM. More than $15,000 in prizes will be awarded to the winners. This professional competition is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society. Entrants come from all over the United States, and it is a great opportunity to taste some real honest-to-goodness barbecue. In addition to the professionals, amateurs and children also grill up their favorite barbecue for you to sample. This is firstrate, family fun with kid’s activities, live entertainment and vendors. This all takes place at the Randy Larson Four-Plex at Plant City Stadium and gets underway at 10 a.m. with the barbecue going on till 5 p.m. Chris Sparkman and Jodi Smith are again in charge of this event, along with the help of several chamber members. You will not want to miss it. Come and enjoy some real mouthwatering barbecue. If you need additional information, call the chamber office at 813-754-3707 or go on-line at www. ............................................................ Also on Nov. 21, the STR AWBERRY CLASSIC CAR SHOW will take place in downtown Plant City. This event starts at 4 p.m. and goes on till 9 p.m. After you have enjoyed some great barbecue at the Pig Jam, come on downtown and look over some of the great classic automobiles. .............................................................. Another event occurring Nov. 21 is the Bruton Memorial Library ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BOOK

SALE. A great time to buy that holiday book for the special person on your gift list. All proceeds benefit library programs. The sale gets underway at 10 a.m. and goes on till 2 p.m. .............................................................. Each and every Chamber member along with President Marion Smith and the staff wish you a HAPPY THANKSGIVING. ............................................................ Can you believe Christmas season is almost upon us? And with that in mind, it just wouldn’t be Christmas in Plant City without the annual LIGHTS OF LOVE, sponsored by the South Florida Baptist Hospital. This wonderful family event will take place in McCall Park in downtown Plant City on Thursday, Dec. 3 and gets underway at 6 p.m. There will be singing of Christmas songs, pictures with Santa and, of course, a beautiful Christmas tree decorated with hundreds and hundreds of colorful lights of love. Mark your calendars now so you are sure to attend this wonderful holiday tradition. The annual PLANT CITY CHRISTMAS PAR ADE will take place Friday, Dec. 4. The parade will start at 6:30 p.m. and will wind through downtown. ......................................... On Saturday, Dec. 5, the chamber’s annual CHRISTMAS BIKE FEST will be held in downtown Plant City. Come on out and see all the pretty Christmas decorations and holiday lights. Great family fun. Starts at 5 p.m. ........................................................... The PLANT CITY GARDEN CLUB will be hosting a Fun With Flowers workshop on holiday arrangements Saturday, Dec. 5. The cost is $15 and includes lunch and supplies. This fun event will be held at the Lord of Life Lutheran Church, located at 2104 Mud Lake Road. It starts at 10 a.m. and goes to 1 p.m. You are asked to bring your own clippers or scissors. Space is limited and you must RSVP by calling Cassandra at 813-759-1638. ............................................................

Another Christmas event, CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK, will be held at 1601 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. on Sunday, Dec. 6. Call La’Tosha Lewis at 813-757-9195 for additional information. ............................................................ On Dec. 11 and 12, the tennis world’s No. 1 doubles team, the Bryan Brothers, and Larry King are teaming up in Plant City at the Lott residence, located at 3200 Polo Place, to fight heart disease for the Zeno/Canon Tennis Challenge. The V.I.P. party takes place Friday night, and limited tickets are available. Tickets for the Saturday event are $75 each. If you would like to attend the V.I.P. event and the Saturday match, that ticket price is $150. Friday night offers the rare opportunity by way of a live auction to play a set with Bob and Mike Bryan before the main event. The gates open Saturday at 11 a.m. The main event will begin at 3 p.m., featuring the Bryan Brothers against Croatian doubles specialists Mirko Pehar and Goran Dragicevic. For ticket information and sponsorship opportunities, call Rhett Rollyson at 813-719-0158 or visit www. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Larry King Cardiac Foundation. ............................................................... REMEMBER TO PATRONIZE YOUR GREATER PLANT CITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEMBERS. THEY ARE BUILDING A BETTER COMMUNITY.

Watch Coffee Talk every Friday to see Bruce Rodwell and Sandee Sytsma interview community leaders.

local chamber column

Ribbon Cuttings

Nutritional Weighs Gregory Pulju, Independent Distributor 813-362-0020 1514 S. Alexander St., Suite 108

Plant City Photo Archives, Inc. Gil Gott, Executive Director 106 S. Evers St. 813-754-1578

Hannah’s II Antiques and Collectibles Edward Haynes, Owner 115 W. Reynolds St. 813-754-7260

James W. Hays, CPA, CFP, LLC Jim Hays, CPA/Owner 408 W. Renfro St., Suite 107F 813-754-6000

The Corporate Training Center S t o r y by F e l i x H ay n e s

Rigatoni Grill and Lounge Diana Erland, Owner 813-754-7900 110 E. Reynolds St., Suite 101

Liberty Tax Service Bill Renn, Franchise Owner 1701 S. Alexander St., Suite 103 813-719-2223

Sol Serenity Beauty and Wellness Institute Mike Phillips, C.E.O. 105 S. Collins St. 800-765-4505

Design4 Marketing Communications Clint Cline, President/Owner 106 N. Collins St. 813-849-0076

As Florida, or more specifically Hillsborough County, begins to emerge from the current recession, where should a local employer look for turnkey solutions to improve its competitiveness and its opportunities to increase revenue? One good answer to this important question is The Corporate Training Center at Hillsborough Community College. TCTC, a division of HCC that maintains a separate membership in the Plant City Chamber of Commerce, provides organized performance improvement and business intelligence training and consultation services to improve an organization’s performance. “All our offerings are short-duration, workplace-specific, noncredit programs. Many are preplanned and approved, but we can also customize courses that are specifically tailored to address the workforce needs,” explained Yolanda Levell-Williams, executive director of TCTC. To truly be competitive and stay in the game, TCTC develops programs that facilitate organizational refinement so a company can work smarter, operate in more cost-effective ways and realize greater economic and productivity gains. As an example, TCTC is currently working with Plastipak in Plant City to drive lean manufacturing through their organization. The implementation will result in a significant waste reduction and subsequent cost savings on its PET bottle lines. “Our programs are offered at your location, at one of our five HCC campuses, or at our main office at 39 Columbia Dr. on Davis Islands. For locally based companies that have offices in other American states and overseas, we have delivered distance-learning programs, which can be deployed anywhere,” explained Levell-Williams. The organization’s easily searchable Web site,, lists 350 noncredit courses. Courses most frequently requested include Women on the Frontline Doing Extraordinary

Things, Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft PowerPoint, LEED Green Associate Exam Prep, Lean Healthcare Overview, OSHA, Manufacturing Skills Manufacturing Council (MSSC), Workplace Spanish, English as a Second Language, PHR/SPHR Certification Exam prep, CEBS Group Benefits Management, CEBS Compensation Concepts and Principles and CEBS Retirement Plan Design. A broad range of courses to prepare students to earn certification in many information technology specialties has been a TCTC strength during its 11-year history. These courses include Certified Information System Security Professional, Adobe courses in digital and visual design, Cisco specialties in networking and voice-over Internet protocol and CompTIA courses. Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint application specialist, database administrator and systems engineer courses, all leading to Microsoft certification, are also offered. Given TCTC’s primary mission of training the county’s workforce, programs leading to certificates like sustainability and green certifications can increase a worker’s qualifications for job advancement or competitiveness for that next promotion. Other workforce certificate offerings include New Manager Certificate and Professional Administrative Assistant Certificate. Courses to prepare workers to take examinations to become certified in specialties like payroll or human resources are also offered. Many of these courses and programs are offered under contract with 19 well-known partners, including the American Management Association, the American Society for Quality, the American Society for Training and Development, ed2go and the Society for Human Resources Management.

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


72 months 0 % $6500 Rebates

1475 W Main St Bartow, FL 33830 •

(863) 578-4696

2009 Chevy Avalanche 4wd, navigation, loaded

2009 Chevy HHR LS Full Power

2009 Chevy Cobalt LS Automatic

stk# 9-340

stk# 9-396

stk# 9-370


2009 Chevy Express Cargo Van Chrome Appearance Pkg




2009 Chevy Impala LT Leather Luxury Edition

2009 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab V-8 Full Power



stk# 9-057 stk# 9-117 stk# 9-151 All rebates and incentives assigned to dealer. All prices plus tax, tag, and $499.95 administrative fee. 72 month financing W.A.C. GMAC.

2004 Chevy Corvette 2dr Convertible 49,688m 5.7L 8cyl AT $27,990


1475 W Main St Bartow, FL 33830

• (863) 578-4696

05 Chevrolet Suburban 4dr 1500 LS 66,927m 5.3L 8 cyl 4 speed AT $22,990

06 GMC Yukon Denali 4dr AWD 54,327m 6.0L 8 cyl AT $23,990

2005 Pontiac Vibe 4dr HB 84,973m 1.8L 4 cyl AT $9,990

08 Honda Accord Sedan 4-Door I4 LX-P 7,437m 2.4L 4 cy AT $23,990

08 Chevy Impala 4dr Sdn 3.9L LT 37,396m 3.9L 6 cyl 4 speed AT $17,990

2006 Chevy Colorado 2WD crew cab LT w 1LT 28,685m 2.8L 4cyl AT $16,990

07 Chevrolet Tahoe 2WD Ext. cab 50,750m 5.3L 8 cyl 4 speed AT $27,990

07 Chevrolet TrailBlazer 2WD 4dr LS 32,643m 4.2L 6 cyl 4 speed AT $17,990

2008 GMC Yukon 2WD 4dr 1500 SLE 29,619m 5.3L 8 cyl AT $33,990

2008 Chevy Malibu 4dr Sdn Ls w/1LS 35,070 2.4L 4cyl AT $17,990

2008 Chevy Silverado 1500

4WD crew cab 24,966m 5.3L 8cyl AT $29,990

2009 Honda Pilot EX AT 2WD 7,164m 3.5L 6 cyl AT $29,990

2008 Isuzu i-370 4WD Crew Cab LS 3.7L 5 cyl AT 6,356m $21,990

2007 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan 18,616m 2.5L 5 cyl Manual $16,990

2008 Chevy HHR FWD 4dr LS 37,920m 2.2L 4cyl AT $10,995

2008 GMC Arcadia FWD 4dr SLT1 47,879m 3.6L 6cyl 6 speed AT $30,990

2010 ChevyCamaro Coupe 2SS 1,311m 6.2L 8 cyl 6 speed AT $39,343

07 Toyota Tacoma 2WD V6 39,124m 4.0L 6 cyl 5 speed AT $23,990

november 2009

2006 Chrysler Town & Country

3.3L 6 cyl 33,959m 4 speed AT $12,990

Psalm 105:1– ord, ks unto the L "O give than e name: mak call upon his eds among known his de the people."

We, at Gala Salon and Spa, would like to give thanks to all the people of Plant City who, along with our friends and families support us and keep us going.


use this coupon and save when we pack $2 OFF: 1 Package $5 OFF: 2 Packages $10 OFF: 3 Packages

We give thanks unto the Lord for helping us get through these trying times, keeping us strong, and showing His love. May the Lord bless us all.

Gala Salon welcomes Patricia Gildea, formerly of Textures

EXP: 1-15-10

Christmas is weeks away, gift certificates are available. We are a full service salon offering skin care, haircare, nails/pedicures, and massage. Call today for our holiday specials with select stylists.

The UPS Store

117 W. Alexander St. 754-5533 Located next to Sweet Bay


Buy a Memorial Brick to Honor a Veteran

1805 James Redman Pkwy., Suite 201 (Between Auto Zone and Payless)


Think for all your Holiday packing & shipping needs.

Plant City’s new Veterans’ Monument at Courier Field is allowing you the opportunity to commemorate our USA Veterans with an engraved memorial brick. Each brick will become a permanent part of history in Plant City! Memorial bricks are open to all veterans of the USA military services: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. Include the name, rank, branch of service and dates if they fit into the character limits of 15 characters per line. Payment enclosed:


Money Order

$150 Each Brick

Donor’s Name: Mailing Address: Phone Number:

Brick Engraving: 3 lines- 15 characters each line, including spaces and punctuation. PLEASE PRINT. Line 1 (15 characters) Line 2 (15 characters) Line 3 (15 characters) Send to: Plant City Armed Forces Memorials Foundation, Inc., PO Box 5013, Plant City, FL 33563-0036

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009



november 2009


2009 HoliDay SHoPPing gUiDe

accessories • shops • jewelry • gifts

FOCUS HoliDay SHoPPing gUiDe

2009 •

accessories • shops • jewelry • gifts

Art Lounge Gallery

Art Lounge Gallery

119 E. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.659.0915 or 863.660.5322 “The Natural Order” by Beverly Farley Oil Pastel $130

119 E. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.659.0915 “Thatched Houses” by Eric Barber 16x20 Photo on Canvas $200

Art Lounge Gallery

119 E. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.659.0915 “Strawberry Harvest” by Kim Wells Acrylic Prints Available for $25

Art Lounge Gallery

119 E. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.659.0915 or 727.331.0888 Ukrainian Decorated Eggs by Bohdonna Blay Also available in chicken, goose, and ostrich eggs $25-$500


november 2009

Art Lounge Gallery

119 E. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.659.0915 “Old ‘57” by Carolyn Miller (Partial Grill and Headlights of ‘57 Chevy”) Acrylic Painting $140

Art Lounge Gallery

119 E. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.659.0915 or 813.423.1423 “My Sunshine” by Debra Bryant 11 x 14 Oil Portrait $560

119 E. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.659.0915 “New Man” by Matt Rentz Acrylic and oil pastel $200

Art Lounge Gallery

Art Lounge Gallery

119 E. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.659.0915 “Vana Illusion” by Father Carlos J. Rojas 11x14 water color and ink $180

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


FOCUS HoliDay SHoPPing gUiDe

2009 •

accessories • shops • jewelry • gifts

Cowboys Western World

Cowboys Western World

120 State Road 60 E. Plant City, FL 33567 813.737.3259 Cinch Low Rise Boys Jeans $24

120 State Road 60 E. Plant City, FL 33567 813.737.3259 Wrangler Felt Cowboy Hat $62

Cowboys Western World

120 State Road 60 E. Plant City, FL 33567 813.737.3259 Cowgirl Tuff Blue Thermal Henley $44

Cowboys Western World 120 State Road 60 E. Plant City, FL 33567 813.737.3259 Justin J-Flex Children’s Cowboy Boots $65


november 2009

Cowboys Western World

120 State Road 60 E. Plant City, FL 33567 813.737.3259 Montana Silvermith’s Choker $54

Cowboys Western World

120 State Road 60 E. Plant City, FL 33567 813.737.3259 Adiktd Ladies Fashion Jeans starting at $68

Cowboys Western World

120 State Road 60 E. Plant City, FL 33567 813.737.3259 Wrangler RETRO Premium Denim $58

Cowboys Western World

120 State Road 60 E. Plant City, FL 33567 813.737.3259 Boulet Men’s Exotic Cowboy Boots $450

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


FOCUS HoliDay SHoPPing gUiDe accessories • shops • jewelry • gifts

Dukes Chiropractic


• •

2401 Walden Woods Dr Plant City, FL 33566 813.752.2524 Massage Gift Certificates 1/2 Hour- $40 and 1 hour- $65

Dukes Chiropractic 2401 Walden Woods Dr Plant City, FL 33566 813.752.2524 Lower Back Pillow $40

RRR Farm

7449 Loghouse Rd Plant City, FL 33565 813.982.1172 Horse Riding Lessons $50 / hr

Dukes Chiropractic


november 2009

2401 Walden Woods Dr Plant City, FL 33566 813.752.2524 Digital Pulsewave Analysis Tests heart rate, arterial flexibility, and hydration. DPA can prevent certain heart health issues through awareness and early detection $35 per test

The Veteran’s Monument

Commemorate our USA Veterans with an Engraved Memorial Brick See page 49 for details $150 each brick

Red Rose Inn and Suites

J & G Jewelers

2011 N. Wheeler St Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.3141 5-Star Dinner Gift Cards Available for any Amount

304 E. Baker St Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.9629 Diamond Journey necklace in white or yellow gold $250-$5,000

Red Rose Inn and Suites

2011 N. Wheeler St Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.3141 Tickets to the New Years Eve show featuring The Drifters and The Platters (Price Includes five course meal prepared by the 5-Star Red Rose Dining Room or gourmet buffet, as well as entertainment) $249-269 per couple

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


FOCUS HoliDay SHoPPing gUiDe accessories • shops • jewelry • gifts

• •

Merle Norman


1514 S. Alexander St Suite 102 Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.4718 10% Glycolic Acid Peel $52.00

Merle Norman

1514 S. Alexander St Suite 102 Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.4718 Gift Sets Starting at $45.00

Merle Norman

1514 S. Alexander St Suite 102 Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.4718 Men’s Gift Set $25

Merle Norman

1514 S. Alexander St Suite 102 Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.4718 Lash Builder Set $29.50


november 2009

Merle Norman

1514 S. Alexander St Suite 102 Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.4718 Come in and find your colors Buy 3 colors receive 4th one free $14 and up per item

Merle Norman

1514 S. Alexander St Suite 102 Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.4718 Luxiva Aqua Balance Makeup $26.00

Merle Norman 1514 S. Alexander St Suite 102 Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.4718 Mineral Cheeks $18

Merle Norman

1514 S. Alexander St Suite 102 Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.4718 Age Defying Eye Liner and Lip Liner $15.00

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


FOCUS HoliDay SHoPPing gUiDe

2009 •

accessories • shops • jewelry • gifts

Sisters & Company

Sisters & Company

104 W. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.754.0990 Brighton Celebration Carving Set $52-55 per piece

104 W. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.754.0990 Brighton Night lights $29-32 each

Sisters & Company

104 W. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.754.0990 Brighton Wine Stoppers $17-22 each

Sisters & Company 104 W. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.754.0990 Brighton Picture Frames $38-85 each

Sisters & Company

104 W. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.754.0990 Brighton Large Twinkle Post Earrings $22

Sisters & Company

104 W. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.754.0990 Brighton Cherry Hill Silver-Gold Charm Watch $120

Sisters & Company

104 W. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.754.0990 Brighton Reindeer Charm Everyone’s favorite reindeer has turned into a favorite holiday charm. Silver details, red enameled nose $9.50

Sisters & Company

104 W. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.754.0990 Cher Croco Shoulderbag Shown in Cherry. Available in: Black, Bronze, Pewter Of all the ubiquitous reds leading the design trends today...this shade of cherry is the freshest pick! 11 1/2” strap, inside zippered pocket, cell phone pocket, key holder, inside patch pocket, zip top closure, scroll lining $260

FOCUS HoliDay SHoPPing gUiDe accessories • shops • jewelry • gifts


Sisters & Company

104 W. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.754.0990 Vera Bradley Gift Bags (small, medium and large) Available in two prints $5-7

Sisters & Company

104 W. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.754.0990 Vera Bradley “Vera” in Blue Rhapsody $78

Sisters & Company

104 W. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.754.0990 Vera Bradley Apron Gift Set Contains apron and recipe card (Available in four different prints) $28

Sisters & Company

104 W. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.754.0990 Vera Bradley Christmas Stocking in Blue Rhapsody $22


november 2009

Sisters & Company

104 W. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.754.0990 Vera Bradley Ball Point Pen ($19) and Forget-Me-Nots ($14)

Sisters & Company •

104 W. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.754.0990 Vera Bradley 2010 Agenda $25

Sisters & Company

104 W. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.754.0990 Vera Bradley “Gabby” in Imperial Toile $48

Sisters & Company

104 W. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.754.0990 Vera Bradley Take Note Cube $16

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009



You won’t believe your ears when Jack Berrios takes the stage in tribute to the legendary Neil Diamond. He does a remarkable impersonation of the artist and is truly a gifted performer. Special guest, Rick Larrimore, will also thrill the crowd with his “Ultimate” Tribute to Rod Stewart. Both acts are sure to please! P.J. Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds will perform before and after to show in a Supper Club atmosphere in the Red Rose Ballroom.


The Kings of Retro Swinging Blues! Their sound is authentic, gritty, down & dirty, roadhouse music - boisterous, enthusiastic, and raucous - serious purveyors of retro cool! The place to be if you love Swing Dancing!


“The Voice With A Heart!” Back by popular demand the International performer is returning to the Red Rose Ballroom with a bigger (14 piece) orchestra for an evening of continental charm in a Supper Club atmosphere.




Ralph Allocco & Second Wind perform before and after the show.

DECEMBER 4, 12, 18 & 26, 2009 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND WIND Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room

DECEMBER 12, 2009

2010 Schedule



Celebrate the season with the flair of the Irish! Cahal delights audiences around the world with his classic charm and smooth style. P. J. Leary & the Las Vegas Sounds also featuring special guest KEN BRADY– lead singer of The Casinos - featuring the 1967 hit “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye®” before and after the show in the Red Rose Ballroom in a Supper Club atmosphere!

DECEMBER 19, 2009


Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room


"DooWop At its Best" with PJ Leary and the Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show


JANUARY 15, 2010

The Mystics sing seasonal favorites and your all time favorite hits! P.J. Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.

Richie Merritt currently of The Marcels, formerly sang with The Clovers when they were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002 and also sang on PBS DOO WOP 51 with The Clovers. Plus, PJ Leary and the Las Vegas Sounds before and after the show.


DECEMBER 31, 2009 -


The Red Rose Dining Room and Ballroom will be bopping with music, great food and the Spirit of bringing in 2010!




JANUARY 16, 2010


Singer-songwriter and comedian, Jim Stafford will grace the stage in the Red Rose Ballroom for this special evening. His hits include: Swamp Witch, Spiders and Snakes, and My Girl Bill. Jim’s music has been covered by George Jones and Jerry Reed and he has contributed to several movie soundtracks. Also performing - PJ Leary and the Las Vegas Sounds before and after the show. Space is limited so please RSVP for this great dinner show soon!


P.J. Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.

Call now, space is limited and it’s gonna be an evening not to forget!

SPECIAL ROOM RATES! Show guests - inquire about our special room rates when staying overnight after a show!

TEL: 813.752.3141 I-4 Exit 21 2011 N. Wheeler St. Plant City, FL 33563

WWW.REDROSEINNANDSUITES.COM Mrs. Evelyn Madonia - Owner/General Manager


november 2009

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


FOCUS HoliDay SHoPPing gUiDe accessories • shops • jewelry • gifts


“i hate m y trainer but i love the resul ts”

Personal Training Gift Certificates

J & G Jewelers


304 E. Baker St Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.9629 Black and white diamond set in white gold Necklace, ring and earring sets Pieces starting at $300

Elite Home Fitness

(Training Studio Coming Soon) 117 E Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.786.1541 Gift Certificates Available for in-home or studio personal training

Harold’s Farm Supply

12990 Dr. MLK Dover, FL 33527 813.689.1570 Soda Stream Fountain Jet Starter Kit $79 after $20 mail-in rebate

Camellia Rose Tea Room

120 North Collins Street Plant City, FL 33563 813.659.TCUP (8287) Interchangeable Fashion Simply Pop and Go! rings start at $49.00, the stones are sold separately starting at $20


november 2009

Art Lounge Gallery

119 E. Reynolds St Plant City, FL 33563 813.659.0915 or 813.410.8591 “Leighann” by Jesse Starr of Starr Design, Inc. Ball Point Pen 11.5” x 16” Drawing in a 16” x 20” Frame $1200

Harold’s Farm Supply 12990 Dr. MLK Dover, FL 33527 813.689.1570 GatorOpoly Many themes to choose from 24

J & G Jewelers Fred’s Southern Kitchen 1401 MLK Jr. Blvd Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.7763 Gift Cards Available

304 E. Baker St Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.9629 Pink and green agate with fresh water pearls, smokey quartz, and Swarovski crystals on a sterling silver necklace This necklace and other agate combinations from $55 up foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


FOCUS HoliDay SHoPPing gUiDe

2804 James L. Redman Pkwy. Ste 105 Gift Cards Available; Buy 50 get $5 Free, Buy $100 get $10 Free Price: Starting from $20


accessories • shops • jewelry • gifts

Ku’tur Nail Lounge & Salon

Ku’tur Nail Lounge & Salon

2804 James L. Redman Pkwy. Ste 105 Body Massage: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Hot Stone Therapy, Pregnancy, Sport Price: Starting at $40

Ku’tur Nail Lounge & Salon

2804 James L. Redman Pkwy. Ste 105 Deluxe Hot Stone Pedicure: includes callus treatment, hot stone leg massage Price: $25

Parkesdale Farms

3702 W. Baker St. Plant City, FL 33567 813.752.0502 Open 7 Days a Week 9am-6pm We have selected three distinctly delicious and juicy citrus varieties: Navel Oranges, Ruby Red Grapefruit and Nova Tangelos. Its the perfect sampler for the smaller household! Order now to guarantee Christmas Delivery. YOUR COST $25.95 (plus shipping $9.95)


november 2009

J & G Jewelers

304 E. Baker St Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.9629 Fresh Water Pearls 18-80 inches in black, white and multi-color $50-$150

Dr. Pat Almerico, DDS

704 N. Alexander St Plant City, FL 813.752.5554 Teeth Whitening Christmas Special: $230

Dr. Pat Almerico, DDS

704 N. Alexander St Plant City, FL 813.752.5554 Botox Starting at $250


609 S. Alexander St Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.8750 Variety of tanning beds, as well as Mystic spray tan Gift Certificates Available

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009



november 2009

We do what neighbors have always done for one another: We help you through your most difficult times.

New, Old & Handmade A Family of Vendors All in one Place

The Chic’ Boutique’s Holiday Open House and Celebration Saturday, December 12th, 9 am - 4 pm

The idea of losing a loved one is something most would rather not think about. And yet, more and more people are finding value in planning with us. One reason is all the exclusive benefits we can offer through the Dignity Memorial® network, such as our One-Of-A-Kind Memorials, thoughtful

The Chic’ Boutique *Inquire About Vendor Space

they most appreciate is the way planning freed them to celebrate the life of one whom they will always remember. With respect and with dignity.

Wells Memorial Funeral Home

1903 West Reynolds Street Plant City, FL 33563 (813) 752-1111 8SCIPP000634

2201 Thonotossa Rd Plant City, Fl 813.704.5912

tributes that recognize the importance and value of those who have passed on. But what people tell us


foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


Our Services Include:

Full Mouth Reconstruction Including Restoration of Dental Implants, Crowns and & Cosmetic Procedures (Veneers) Teeth Whitening Orthodontists (Braces) Replacement of Missing Teeth (Bridges, Partials, Dentures) White Fillings Denture Relines & Repairs Perio Gum Treatment (non-surgical) Extractions Tempromandibular Disorders (TMJ)

Healthy Teeth & Gums for a Lifetime

Richard Swilley Donnie Johnson

Dental associates of central floriDa

Lic EC13002274 Bonded and Insured

Caring Family Dentistry


1702 Walden Village Ct Plant City, FL 33566

Trey Walding, D.M.D. - 13 Years Experience John Carter, D.M.D.- 13 Years Experience Trey Mueller DMD - 4 years experience General Dentists Graduates of University of Florida

New Patients & Emergencies Welcome

$100 off crowns

$100 off

* paid in full at the time of service Can not combined with other services Does not apply to multiple services

* paid in full at the time of service Can not combined with other services Does not apply to multiple services

D2750 and D2740 Exp. 12-31-09



$165. retails at * paid in full at the time of service Can not combined with other services

* paid in full at the time of service Can not combined with other services


Exp. 12-31-09


-ComprehensiveExamD0150 -Full Set of Digital X-Rays D0210 -Consultation, Including Ortho D9310

Exp. 12-31-09

ElEctricity is no hobby call: 813.737.9057

Exp. 12-31-09



FINALLY! Two local guys than can take on your nagging electrical repairs and wire your new home or business at a reasonable price! “Richard and Donnie look forward to serving your electrical needs. With 75 years of combined experience we can make your home and business safer and leave you with confidence that the job is done correctly. Give us a call and let us show how we can ease your concerns about your electrical system.

FALL FOOD DRIVE from November 9th - December 11th

The United Food Bank served 12,484 clients in the Plant City Community last year. The United Food Bank of Plant City provides food to referred clients year round to individuals and families in our community who are truly hungry.

Four convenient Plant City food drop off locations

Hope Lutheran Church 2001 North Park Road Mango Cleaners 2404 James L. Redman Parkway & 416 North Alexander Street

(non-perishable foods only):


november 2009

Red Rose Inn and Suites 2011 North Wheeler Street

Lane Wetherington Lighting up the Christmas spirit


Lane Wetherington has a very special interest: Christmas. The difference between him and other people who love the holiday is that he thinks about it and works on it all year long. As the man behind Christmas Lane, a larger-than-life Christmas display Wetherington puts together in the front yard of his parent’s Dover home, he has to work on it year round to make possibly the largest noncommercial light display in Florida a reality.

Photo: Mike Floyd

FOCUS: Tell me about your family and what it’s like putting on a massive light display in their yard. LW: The actual Christmas display takes place in my parents’ front yard. I trash their yard for about two months each year, so to make up for it, I take care of their yard the rest of the year. But it gives me a lot of pleasure. I love my parents to death. I wouldn’t take anything in the world for them. They are phenomenal when it comes to Christmas time and allowing thousands of people to walk through their front yard. That’s dedication. They’re names are Ron and Faye Wetherington. They were both born and raised right here in Dover. They’re doing great. They do quite a bit of traveling. I love to see them travel and enjoy it while they can. I also have two sisters, one younger and one older. Rhonda is my older sister. She lives in Plant City with her husband, Chip, and she sells real estate for a living. Shayla is my younger sister, and she lives in Frostproof with her husband, David. They have three children, Skarlett, Dakota and Moriah. I’m single. I’ve never been married, and I’m not dating anyone. [Laughing] I’m too old and too set in my ways. I’m very independent, and this is my life.

Lane Wetherington

FOCUS: So how did you get started with Christmas Lane?

LW: It started when I was a kid. My mother and dad had lights on the front of the house. There was a blow-mold Santa Claus on the front porch and a couple of candles. I’ve always been fascinated with lights, lighting and electrical. I was the one sticking things into the wall outlets when I was a kid. The lighting and electrical part of it just fascinated me so much. That was probably the thing that got it started for me. The first display that really got me going was one that I got from Joe Osmanski. He used to have a commercial Christmas decorating company, and we pretty much bought him out. That was in the early ‘80s. That was my first segment. Then I got the Christmas display from Eastlake Square Mall, and that was the big jump. I don’t remember what year that was, but ever since then we’ve just been acquiring more mall displays. Their massive size is what makes my Christmas display different than any other display. FOCUS: How far in advance does the planning take place each year? LW: In October, we’ll have a planning meeting with each of the key personnel – safety, security, train operations, concession stand operations and general setup and design. We’ll cover all of those topics here in the barn, and safety is a big part. The projected start date this year was Oct. 25. There are certain pieces that go out first –


november 2009

An enormous barn at the Wetherington’s home stores all the light displays and Christmas figures necessary for Christmas Lane. Lane says without it, Christmas Lane would not be possible. Photo by Aaron Oberlin

instrumental pieces that everything else will build from. There is a large crew of people made up of volunteers, neighbors and friends who help set up the display. The goal is to open the display by Dec. 1. This year, we’ll probably run through Dec. 30. New Year’s Eve is mine, and I’m taking some time off. A lot of the work in the display is putting it together so visitors don’t see the electrical panels and bulky extension cords running everywhere. We work really hard to hide that stuff. If you’re in the walking path around the display, you can’t make contact with any of the electrical. Everything is completely concealed and safe. Safety is very important to everyone here. FOCUS: There is obviously a lot of time and effort that goes into putting this together.

LW: I work on this stuff pretty much year round. I’m always doing maintenance, and right now we’re in the process of doing repairs that were needed for this coming season. There are 200-plus volunteers that help put this together, run it and dismantle it each year, and there’s no way it could be done without them. They are the backbone of the event. FOCUS: What kind of preparation are you doing to make the display for outside use? LW: Back before I started using tents it would take us an hour to uncover and an hour to recover every night. Two or three years ago, we put the tent up for the reindeer when we found out that they just don’t hold up well outside. This year, we’re adding two more tents, but we’re working hard to keep it from turning into a tent city. We’re just trying to save the displays and the props and as much

work as we can for the volunteers. There are multiple displays that hold up just fine, but the ones that don’t are the ones that will be under the tents. We also try to give everything a good coat of sealer. Before the tents, if a rain storm came through, we’d have to rush to get everything covered. Now, with the tents, when a rain storm comes through, we cover the little train that the children ride and then we all walk under the tents. We can just close the flaps on the tents and we’re done. FOCUS: How are the donations used that are left by the visitors to Christmas Lane? LW: There aren’t any profits. As I said, it takes quite a bit of work to maintain the display, pay electric bills and there are a lot of costs associated with the maintenance. We do make a donation to the Florida Baptist

Children’s Home. We also feed the volunteers. Some volunteers will prepare a meal. When they do, they’re feeding 25 to 40 volunteers, depending on the night of the season. We have a complete kitchen, serving line and dining room under a tent in the middle of the display. Most people who see it are surprised, not realizing it was even there to begin with. When you feed the volunteers a good, hot meal, it makes all the difference. We’re not talking about sandwiches. We’re talking about a good, hot meal. They love it, and the fellowship is wonderful. The friendships that have been made here is a key to it.

FOCUS: Do you have aspirations for the display to be even larger? LW: Well, my mom and dad say that it isn’t going outside their front yard. I never dreamed it would go as far as it has. FOCUS: What’s your favorite part of the display? LW: The 35-foot tall Christmas tree. The other is probably the latest acquisition I got: The reindeer that goes in the big tent with the drums that turn. I really cherish them.

at the Santa tent where we give out beads. I walked up and they were all there watching Santa, and you could just see the look in the eyes. They were all in wonder of Santa. I went to the line and stood up on the sleigh and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have some very special guests, and Santa is going to step outside to speak with them.” They all stopped. Santa got up and came out to speak with each one of them and give them beads. It was very touching for everyone who was there. Christmas Lane has a concession stand if you’re interested in a snack

FOCUS: What are the hours you’ll be open this year?

during your visit.

Children are

encouraged to attend, of course accompanied by an adult. Children

FOCUS: Give me the stats on the display. LW: The display is in an acre and a half, and I have no idea how many lights are used. The way I usually describe it is that a normal home uses a 200-amp service. I have six 200-amp services that are dedicated solely for Christmas Lane. All the lights on my mother and dad’s home are powered from Christmas Lane and not through their meter.

LW: We’re open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Dec. 1 to Dec. 30. Santa will be visiting from the 18th through the 24th, and may be here earlier, but I’m not sure just yet.

up to 48 inches tall can ride the train. They have a stage area for individuals and choirs that come in to sing Christmas carols. If you’ve never been to Christmas Lane, you really are missing a great opportu-

FOCUS: Tell me about a moment that was special for you, here with the display.

nity to do something special with your family. You certainly won’t find another Christmas display like this one, so bring your camera.

LW: A couple of years ago we had some adults come through with multiple handicaps. They were over

For more information, visit

Christmas Lane By The Numbers 1.5

Acres of the Christmas Lane display.

200 and 6


Two hundred is the size amp it takes to power a regular home. Six of those amps is what it takes to power Christmas Lane.



Years of Christmas Lane existence.

The height in feet of the Christmas tree in the middle of Christmas Lane.

190 x 40

The dimensions in feet of the barn storing Christmas lights.


Volunteers it takes to help put up and run Christmas Lane.

Pounds of raw popcorn served last year. Of course, it was served popped.


The amount of children to ride on the kiddy train in one night.


Farthest distance a volunteer travels to help. That’s right, each year, one couple travel from Great Falls, Mont.

3,500 to 4,000

Average monthly electrical bill for Christmas Lane.


Wire ties used a year at Christmas Lane.

Too much to count

The amount of lights and pieces on display.

Plan your Christmas events When it comes to Christmas lighting displays, Christmas Lane is the star on the tree. But there are several other places in the area where people can see a vibrant Christmas display. For the festive fanatics, here are a few free events and places to satisfy your Christmas cravings. Dec. 3 - Lights of Love Sponsored by South Florida Baptist Hospital, this event awakes McCall Park with Christmas songs, pictures with Santa and the lighting of a colossal Christmas tree decorated with hundreds of light. The entire park, stretching four blocks, also shines with fancy light configurations. Dec. 4 - Plant City Christmas Parade Every year, people from all around flock to the James L. Redman Pkwy. and downtown Plant City to see one of the liveliest Christmas celebrations from central to western Florida. Spectators can get a chance to see local residents and businesses compete in a friendly manner to see who can concoct the coolest float. There’s a surprise every year, too. Santa always appears in a unique fashion. Dec. 18-19 - Christmas Caboose A restored 1963 Seaboard Coast Line red caboose, complete with regulation track crossing signals and whistles, sits at 908 Joe McIntosh Road to spread Christmas cheer while educating people about railroad safety. On the Friday and Saturday before Christmas, Santa Claus is there for children of all ages to have their picture taken with him and to tell him what is on their Christmas wish list. They will receive a gift bag with treats and goodies. For more information, call 813-759-3345.

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009



november 2009

. . . t f i G e Her a


ll i W e h S . .. ! t e g r o F Never




1705 Jim Redman Pkw y Plant Cit y, FL 33563 • 754-2360 foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


business profile

Magnolia Hill A beautiful abode awaits by E l i z a b e t h E d wa r d s

When it comes to family tradition, Plant City is no stranger to a long line of generations that have withstood troubled economic times. It is, however, the unique stories that led them to where they are today that set these family facilities apart. One such tale belongs to Robert W. Willaford, owner of Magnolia Hill, a leisure-lifestyle manufactured home community in the beautiful countryside of Plant City. Robert is and has always been known as a hard-working man in every sense of the description. He lost his father at the age of 16, forcing Robert and his 17-year-old brother Hoyt to become responsible adults much sooner than anticipated. In turn, the boys took over manning the farm that has been in the Willaford name since 1935, just across the street from Magnolia Hill. Robert graduated high school in 1955, the same year he was awarded the FFA Star Chapter Farmer’s Award, an honor he will never forget. Robert’s father had leased the property that Magnolia Hill now sits upon in 1950, when there were only two magnolia trees on the entire lot. The family bought an impressive tractor with a bottom plow to turn the land into something more. “Hoyt and I would race there after school every day,” Robert said as he grinned fondly. “Whoever was first got to drive the tractor. The loser walked behind the mules.” Now, the 17-acre block known as Magnolia Hill is home to 118 rental properties that make residents feel right at home. Robert makes note that without the help and generosity of the associated investors of Plant City, Magnolia Hill never would have existed. When he was starting out in 1987, he had land, but not the funding. The investing group went


november 2009

in 50/50 with Robert and supported him throughout his business venture. The time came for the investment group to sell their share, and they made sure to come to Robert first when selling their share. Robert spent an entire Saturday writing a proposal to keep Magnolia Hill, which the investors happily accepted the following Monday. The business is truly a diamond in the rough for potential residents. Accepting applicants ages 55 and older, Magnolia Hill has a wide variety of amenities to keep residents happily occupied. To list a few, there is a beautiful pool with an adjoined patio area, miniature golf, picnic area, shuffleboard court and a southern-style clubhouse where multiple events are held weekly. Some of the events include Bingo, cards, breakfast socials, ladies luncheons, potluck dinners and holiday parties. The main area also offers shelves full of board games and books to entertain, as well. All of the homes have the option of coming completely furnished, including a carport, a raised screen room, a utility room, brick skirting and a sodded lawn. While there are a total of 118 units throughout Magnolia Hill, 104 homes are currently occupied. Of those residents, almost 70 percent are permanent and not just renting for a season. “It’s a huge family,” Robert said of his clientele community. “The residents look out for each other, and myself, and I look out for them to the best of my ability.” Robert also states that it’s next to impossible to look at someone who has lived here for more than 20 years as anything but family. When Robert’s first wife died of cancer in 1998, there was an overwhelming amount

of support from the community. So much, in fact, that the residents of Magnolia Hill had a plaque made in her memory that currently hangs in the main area at the clubhouse. Robert later found love again in a woman named Felice, who had also lost her husband to cancer. The two were married in December of 2000 on the Amtrak Silver Star train, in the dining car to be exact. It was the first wedding Amtrak had ever hosted, all thanks to Robert’s close friend Marshall Johnson who made the ceremony possible. Marshall

and Robert worked together on the railroads for over 30 years and have remained close ever since. Magnolia Hill is located at 325 Magnolia Hill Drive, just off of Joe McIntosh Road, in Plant City. To find out more about Magnolia Hill, call 813-754-8059 or stop by the office to chat with a friendly face.

Magnolia Hill

325 Magnolia Hill Drive, 813-754-8059

The pool at Magnolia Homes has plenty of room for sunbathers. Keep that tan this winter. Photo by Elizabeth Edwards

Robert Willaford smiles with his granddaughter Katie Royster, who helps him run the place. Photo by Elizabeth Edwards

First Community Bank oF


our PLeDGe

I‘ll UNDERSTAND your business, ANTICIPATE your needs and help you NAVIGATE through complex financial choices better than any other Banker. Wesley Joyner, Vice President

6542 US Hwy. 41 N • Apollo Beach, FL 33572 (813) 658-1200


Impress your special someone this holiday season

with the tasteful gift of beauty and wellness. Craft your personalized Sol Serenity gift certificates online at It is quick and easy to show how much you really care!

FREE Weight Management Workshop

Spanish: Thursday December 3rd at 7:00pm to 9:00pm English: Thursday December 17th at 7:00pm to 9:00pm Please reserve at 800-765-4505 due to maximum capacity is 10 people per workshop.

Services: -Customized facials with fresh fruits and vegetables -State of the art body wraps -Electro stimulation slimming treatment -Wellness assesment -Massage therapy -Aromatherapy

Right in Downtown Plant City ... just across the municipal parking lot!

105 South Collins Street, Plant City, FL 33563 • For Class Registration and Appointments Call 800-765-4505 Se Habla Español

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


Keeping perspective

on Your Financial strategY

You’re Invited … With all that has happened with the economy and financial markets recently, it can be difficult to know which news to pay attention to and which information should impact your investment decisions. Date: Join us for Cutting through the Noise: A Market Tuesday, December 8, 2009 Update. During this program, Alan Skrainka, Edward Time: Jones’ chief market strategist, will discuss the 6:00pm to 7:00pm Location: current state of the economy and financial markets 2501 Thonotosassa Rd, and provide strategies to help you keep perspective. Plant City We’ll also explore: RSVP: • How today’s markets could make converting to a Darlene 759-1491 Roth IRA an attractive option by Friday Dec 4th • Important year-end tax strategies and what you Refreshments will be served need to know about current tax law changes • How to keep more of what you earn through municipal bonds

Bring your family, friends and co-workers. To reserve your seat for this free Edward Jones video presentation, call or visit today.

Michael Cameron Financial Advisor 2501 Thonotosassa Rd Plant City, FL 33563 813-759-1491 Member SPIC


Mistie and Nick

on your engagement.

We pray that you are

blessed with many years of happiness.

Love Mom and Jeff Now Certified in Brazilian Keratin Treatments

$5 off haircut or $10 off a color service expires 11-15-2009

813.717.7700 1505 South Alexander Street Suite 102


november 2009

business focus

Everyone wins when you make charitable gifts by e d wa r d j o n e s

It’s Thanksgiving time again. Like everyone, you have many things in your life for which you are thankful. And you may want to show your appreciation for what you have by making a gift to a charitable organization. If you do, both you and the charitable group can come out ahead. Of course, it’s no secret that 2009 has been a pretty rough year, with most of us feeling the effects of the recession in one way or another. Consequently, you may feel that you can’t really afford to make charitable gifts right now. But there’s probably never been a more urgent need for these gifts, as the distressed economy has led to a decline in contributions for charities across the country. Furthermore, your charitable gift can provide you with some distinct economic advantages. Specifically, by making charitable contributions, you can gain these tax benefits: You can take an immediate tax deduction. If you itemize your taxes, you can deduct your contributions to charitable organizations, as long as they are “tax qualified.” (Be sure to ask the organization if it has tax-qualified status.) Your tax deductions for charitable contributions are generally limited to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income. (If you want to claim a deduction for the 2009 tax year, you’ll need to make your contribution before Jan. 1.) You can avoid capital gains taxes. If you want to support a charitable group, you’re not limited to making cash contributions — you can also donate other assets, such as stocks or real estate. If you’ve held these assets for a long

time, their value may have risen considerably, despite the volatility of the financial and real estate markets the past couple of years. If they have appreciated, and you wanted to sell then, you’d have to pay capital gains taxes on your profits. But if you donate these assets, you can avoid the capital gains liability while still claiming the tax deduction. You can remove assets from your taxable estate. In 2010, the estate tax is repealed, but it will be back in 2011. Estate taxes can be heavy, and if your heirs aren’t prepared for them, they may have to sell assets to pay them. To possibly help avoid this problem, you may want to reduce the value of your taxable estate. One way of doing this — and of also receiving an immediate income tax deduction — is to donate assets, such as investments and property, to a charitable group. If you want to still enjoy the benefits of these assets while you’re alive, you could transfer them to a charitable remainder trust, which can then sell them and reinvest the proceeds, out of which you could receive an income stream for life. Upon your death, the charity you have designated will receive the remainder of the trust’s assets. (To properly establish this type of trust, you’ll need to work with a qualified legal advisor.) As you can see, the old saying “when you give, you also receive” is certainly true when it comes to making charitable donations. So, during the upcoming holiday season, be as generous as possible — to charitable groups and to yourself.


Combined Insurance Policy for Your

Home & Auto

re with: Save moe w thu:nts discio r o m m iu e m v e Pr •Sa unbtesr ceom

m ivedis iusm clu •rEexm •P t ber u em comn dise • Exclusiv * t discoun

Simplify and save with one policy, one contact, one payment– the Combined Policy for Home and Auto.* • Exclusive 5% AAA member discount** • Customizable home insurance protection • One deductible when covered loss damages both home & car • Savings that average hundreds of dollars • More savings when switching both home and auto insurance from the same prior insurer Walden Lakes

13209 Byrd Drive, Odessa, FL 33556 813.926.8500 • Fax: 813.926.3075

Poppell Ins. Enjoy the comfort of knowing you’re covered by a trusted company that will be there when you need protection the most. w w w. D e s i g n e r G o l f C o . c o m


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

Talk with your authorized AAA agent today.

Since 1964



3rd Proof 4-17-07

*Applies to site built homes only, and availability is subject to underwriting criteria. Product is underwritten by Auto Club Insurance Company of Florida (ACICF), an insurance company headquartered in Tampa, Florida. ** Discount applies to select auto coverage only.

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


business success Drop into

Sister’s & Company and see Santa’s Little Helpers to make your gift giving easy and enjoyable with gifts that every girl loves! • Wishlists • Gift Certificates • Gift Wrap • Shipping 104 E. Reynolds St. • Historic Plant City • 813.754.0990

Victoria Vo

Director of Kutur Nail Lounge and Salon, Inc. by Ta mm y S i mps o n

Background: I was born June 9, 1983, in the Philippines. At 2 months old, my family moved to America after my father was done serving in the U.S. military in Vietnam. My husband and I have a wonderful 3-year-old boy. I have lived in Plant City since 1990, growing up on a farm and graduating from Plant City High in 2001. I guess I could say I am a Plant City native.

Nuskin Products: •Skincare •Shampoo & Conditioner •Cosmetics •Vitamins •Body Wash

Aspirations: I enjoy and love the beauty industry, keeping up with the latest trends and style. My goal is to create and offer a salon where the utmost factors are cleanliness, sanitation, professionalism and a serene pampering experience. I also strive to build great personable relationships with all our clients.

Patricia Lazarz, Stephanie Daniels & Larry Daniels FREE SAMPLE..Energy Drink Weight Loss Products

102 S. Evers St. #103, Plant City

Now Offering AVON


november 2009

(813)754-9580 10-5 Tuesday - Saturday (after hours by appt. only)

I go above and beyond the expectation that is out there. In any industry I have a career in, I fill myself with knowledge and have high expectations for myself. Until all those expectations are met, I will never stop striving for it. I get involved in every aspect of the beauty industry to advance my knowledge and skills. The more you know, the more you can achieve. Inspirations: I have a total of five siblings who are all

restaurant business entrepreneurs. Growing up in a big family that is business oriented, it is hard not to become one. I myself, on the other hand, took a leap into the beauty industry, becoming a licensed esthetician when I was 18 and eventually becoming a full specialist. My inspiration is my family, and they inspire me to be successful in the beauty industry. Success: Owning my very fist nail salon at the age of 23. I am the former owner of Sassi Nail Bar. My salon is a successful nail salon, yet there is always room to advance. I decided to return to college to finish my degree as an RN or a dental hygienist. At the same time, multiple investors have approached me and entrusted me to design and operate Ku’tur Nail Lounge and Salon, Inc. I am now the director of my ideal, dream salon. Future: I see myself creating a highly successful salon with Ku’tur Nail Lounge and Salon – one that offers great services and quality products and has only the most qualified talents from the industry to serve our clients. In the near future, I would also like to expand our salon and add a professional skin-care, makeup line.

Your Complete Landscape Connection

A time to gather with


Licensed, Insured and Always Free Estimates

As your good neighbors, we appreciate your business.

Crosby Ins Agcy Inc Rob Crosby, Agent 1718 W Baker St Plant City, FL 33563 Bus: 813-752-4599


Installation and System Repair

Providing Insurance and Financial Services P065053 04/06

statefarm.com速 State Farm Bloomington, IL

(813) 453-3780 or (813) 982-1590 foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


business success

Dr. Jennifer Conner Animal Wellness Center of Plant City by S o p h i a H y d e

Background: I am a native of Winter Haven, Fla. After my undergraduate studies at the University of Florida, I completed veterinary school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I then completed an internship in medicine and surgery at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. In November 2002, I purchased the Animal Wellness Center of Plant City from Dr. James McFarland. He served the Plant City community and their pets for 43 years. Aspirations: I am very lucky that I get to do what I love every day. I strive to provide my clients superior medicine and surgery for their pets along with quality customer service and convenience. I have made wonderful friendships with families. As the “family doctor” for their animals, I really get the chance to be part of their lives. Inspirations: I am inspired daily by the bond that my clients share with their pets. It is important to me that I do everything possible to preserve that bond through education and preventative care. My staff also inspires me, as they are very dedicated to our work and to the families of our practice. I am extremely lucky to have always had encouraging mentors to emulate. My high school agriculture teacher, Mr. Bob Lee, taught me to be patient and to believe in myself. He also inspired my love of teaching and educating. Dr. Bill Latter, of Lakeland, showed me that it is important to take the time to listen to your clients and to truly address all their concerns. He also showed me it’s alright to let people know you care. Successes: Our practice just celebrated its


november 2009

seventh year. It is exciting to look back at my first year and realize how much I have grown professionally. We have been able to do a lot of remodeling, so our older building can still serve our growth. We are able to help many rescue groups, such as Buddies thru Bullies English Bulldog Rescue, St. Francis Society, and even a local domestic violence shelter by fostering pets short term for their clients in need. My hobby is barrel racing. This past year I was able to fill my WPRA rodeo permit, placing 5th at the NBHA Florida State show. Future: I hope what’s next is a lot of the same. I am enjoying life so much right now and am surrounded by such wonderful people. On the professional level, we are adding new equipment that will allow us to perform more advanced ultrasound and have also invested in a soft-tissue laser for therapy and chronic-pain management in our patients. Veterinary medicine is such an exciting field with so many new medications and treatments becoming available.



and receive a Special BONUS on Traeger

Buck Knife Sale

15% OFF

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


James W. Hays CPA, CFP, LLC Taxes- Business and individual, management consulting, accounting, and financial planning.

Ranging from monthly accounting encompassing financial statements and all taxes to annual tax returns at efficient, minimal overhead rates. An experienced professional uniquely providing for your accounting and tax needs while giving you the benefit of actual business entrepreneurial expertise, i.e., convenience stores, restaurants, townhouse development, computer services and more.

• Debit Cards w/CURewards points • Free Checking • Savings & Investments • Online Services • Auto & Personal Loans


Our deposits are insured by the NCUA up to $250,000 per account. And, depending upon how your accounts are structured, you could receive additional coverage.

140 W. Bay Street Davenport, FL 33837

Phone: (813) 754-6000 Fax: (813) 754-6006



“Accounting and taxes are areas of my business I do not worry about. Jim gives me valuable financial and management guidance at no extra cost.”

ext. 21920


Federally insured by NCUA.


-James J. “Jimmy” Carapezza, President Central Florida Construction Company


James L. Redman


See Ad Back Cover

2201 James L Redman Pkwy Plant City, FL 33563

Member: American Institute of Industrial Engineers American Society of Professional Consultants

Happy Happy Holidays Holidays



Call Jim for a free consultation. 408 W. Reynolds Street, Suite 107F Plant City, FL 33563-5297

• Credit Cards w/CURewards points • Home Loans • Business Services • Insurance Services • Health Savings Accounts

W. Alexander St. 7-Eleven




Opening Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Week! Opening Week!

Christmas Tree Sales Christmas Tree Sales

Proceeds stay to in town toour support our local YOUTH!!! Proceeds stay in town support local YOUTH!!! Thank You To Our Plant City Optimist Club / Plant City PLANT&CITY OPTIMIST CLUB / PLANT CITY PLANT CITY OPTIMIST CLUB / PLANT CITY Recreation Parks Dept. Golf Tournament Sponsors: RECREATION & PARKS DEPT. GOLF TOURNAMENT SPONSORS: SPONSORS: RECREATION & Gold PARKS DEPT. GOLF TOURNAMENT Sponsors GOLD SPONSORS: McEnany Roofing, Inc. GOLD SPONSORS: McEnany Contracting, Inc., McEnany Roofing, Inc., Tampa Electric Company

McEnany Contracting, Inc., McEnany Roofing, Inc., Tampa Electric ThanCompany T SilverSPONSORS: Sponsors k n SILVER a ha h Ambulance Service, Inc.; Caring Concepts; IBM; J. L. Marine Systems, Inc.; Morgan Stanley; T AmeriCare Yo k nk All-A-Bloom SILVER SPONSORS: a Florists, Caring Concepts, DC Engineering, ! h Remco Transmissions/Road Runner Service; Scott McElveen Construction; Tampa Electric Company u! u T Y o Y ou Concepts, DC Engineering, 2 Go, ScottFlorists, McElveenCaring Construction u! Fresh FruitAll-A-Bloom


Fresh Fruit 2 Go, Scott McElveen Construction Hole Sponsors HOLE SPONSORS:

All-A-Bloom Florists; Antiques & Treasures Plant City;&Bartow Chevrolet; Chuck’s TireColdwell & Automotive; Construction Allen Dodd’s Elite Auto Collision & Glass,ofAntiques Treasures of Plant City, Banker Park Place Technology Group; DC Engineering; Edward Jones Investments; Florida Insurance Center; Fred’s Edward Jones Investments, Properties, Construction Technology Group, Curb Appeal by Calco, CornerofofMaki MakiRd. Rd.&&W. W. Alexander Alexander St. Allen Dodd’s Elite Auto Collision Antiques & Treasures Plant Coldwell Market Restaurant; Fresh Fruit&2Glass, Go; Gasparilla Shipping & Receivingof UPS Store;City, Haught Funeral Banker Park Corner St.Ininfront frontofofPlant PlantCity CityHigh HighSchool School FloridaHome, Insurance Center, Harrell’s Nursery, Funeral Home, Inc., Image Boosters, Inc.; Hillsborough Title, Inc.; HopewellHaught Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens; Keller Williams Hours:Monday-Friday Monday-Friday 10am-9pm, Sat &&Sun 9am-9pm Edward Jones Investm Properties, Construction Technology Group, Curb Appeal by Calco, Hours: 10am-9pm, Sat Sun 9am-9pm Corner of Maki Rd. & W. Alexander St. In front of Plant City High School Team Sports; Kolakowski Physical Therapy and Team Personal Trainer;Kolakowski Linder Industrial J.L., Realty; MarineKnotts Systems, Inc., Keller Williams Realty, Knotts Sports, PT Florida Insurance Center, Harrell’s Nursery, Haught Funeral Home, Inc., Image Boo Machinery; Parkesdale Farm Market; Plan Mortgage; Plant City Mortgage; Poppell Insurance, Hours:toMonday-Friday 10am-9pm, & Sun Bring this coupon the Plant City Optimist ClubSat Tree lot &9am-9pm receive Inc., Linder Industrial Machinery, Matrix Medical, Parkesdale Farms, Plan Mortgage, Bring this coupon to the Plant City Optimist Club Tree lot & receive Inc.; Queen V’sMarine Ice Cream Parlor; Sedita, Kilton & Company, C.P.A., P.L.; Sunshine State Federal J.L., Systems, Inc., Keller Williams Realty, Knotts Team Sports, Poppell Insurance, Inc., Rossiter Mobile Detailing, Sedita, Kilton & Company, Sunshine Kolakows Savings & Loan; Team ALS/Jim Robertson; Trinkle, Redman, Swanson, Coton, Davis & Smith, Bring this coupon to the Plant City Optimist Club Tree lot & receive Linder Industrial Machinery, Matrix Medical, Parkesdale State FederalInc., Savings & Loan, Investments, Universal Structures, Inc., Farms, V & R Plan Mor P.A.; V & RSunTrust Insurance; Youmans Drafting and Design

Opening Thanksgiving Week!


$ $ $

any purchase anysingle single tree tree purchase

Coupon valid 11-24-08 thru 12-14-08 No Duplication-Only one coupon per tree.

any single tree purchase

Coupon valid 11-24-09 thru 12-14-09 No Duplication- Only one coupon per tree.

Coupon valid 11-24-08 thru 12-14-08 No Duplication-Only one coupon per tree.


november 2009


Poppell Insurance, Inc., Rossiter Mobile Detailing, Sedita, Kilton & Company, Sun Drafting and Design Insurance, Youmans

State Federal Savings & Loan, SunTrust Investments, Universal Structures, Inc. Door Prize Sponsors


Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar; Chili’s #1034; Grandpa Johnson’s Barbeque; Kazbor’s; Music Youmans Drafting and Design Insurance, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Fred’s Restaurant, Knotts Team Sports, Showcase; Pool Masters; PublixMarket Supermarkets; QuiznosGibson Sub; RedGolf RoseAcademy, Inn & Suites; Southland Advertising; Publix Sweetbay Supermarkets Supermarket; Toufayan Bakery of Plant City, Inc.; Walden Lake Golf & Country Club; Zaxby’s


0002580940-01 Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Fred’s Market Restaurant, Gibson Golf Academy, Knotts Team S Publix Supermarkets





This is a special advertising section

Find Your New Home Today!

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


COUNTRY COMFORT! 4Bd/2Ba home on ½ acre is perfect for the owner that is looking for convenience to Interstate 75 & the atmosphere of the country. Home features separate living, dining & kitchen opens to the Family room w/fi replace. Kitchen features all appliances & newer cabinets. The in-ground pool over looks fenced back yard. $255,000. #12


Are offered with this 3Bd/2Ba, 1550 SF home with open floor plan, kitchen appliances, privacy fence and tasteful décor. Only $150,000. #23

UN-LEASE YOURSELF! Be wise & stop paying rent! Buy this 3Bd/2Ba, 1045 SF, move in ready w/newer interior paint & pergo fl ooring. Kitchen includes all appliances. Separate dining rm is perfect for entertaining. Inside laundry rm w/single car garage. TAX TIME TIP - up to $ 8,000 2009 tax credit, eligibility applies, call for details. $ 90,000. #25

ROOM FOR THREE GENERATIONS 6Bd /4.5 bath home features separate living, dining & Family rooms w /upstair bonus rm or bedroom. The upstairs includes full bath & 7x14 storage rm. Corner lot has side entry 3 car garage that overlooks large oak trees. The inground pool & spa is perfect for summertime entertainment. $ 225,000 # 80

OLD AND QUAINT BUT UP TO DATE! 4Bd/2Ba, 1803 SF home is located with view of Lake Bonny featuring older charm & beauty. Recent renovations have been made in kitchen & bath areas. Large fenced backyard includes a large 13x22 screened building, perfect for a backyard barbeque. $ 58,000 #89

TAKE IT EASY – In this 1471 SF, 3Bd/2.5Ba condo in Lake Place. Two-story w/gracious LV RM/DN RM combo. Extra storage throughout the home. Large lanai & balcony with view of lake. A great buy at $ 94,900. #62

AMERICAN DREAM – Starts w/homeownership. 3Bd/2Ba in Thonotosassa on 2.98 acres. Lovely screened patio & pool area w/wood fencing provide plenty of fun for Family & Friends. Huge barn workshop will delight Dad! Only $198,500. #42

COLLECT THE RENT RECEIPTS! From one side of this duplex and live in the other. Both units have 2 bedroom, 1 bath, centrally located in Lakeland. $79,900. #18

COME HOME TO COMFORT – Don’t cramp your style, 2577 SF, 4 Bd, 2.5 Ba & FR w/ FRPL in open fl oor plan. Fully equipped kitchen is Family friendly. Beautiful slate fl oors enhance glassed porch. Heated sports pool adds to family fun. Must see only $249,900. #77

ADORABLE-AFFORDABLE! 3 Bd/2Ba ½ duplex is located in North Lakeland area. The appeal of small; the impact of big w/ Family rm/dining rm combo.Upstairs 3rd bdrm loft or workout rm. Kitchen includes all appliances. Fenced back yard is perfect for man’s best friend with separate dog run fully fenced. $ 95,000. #53

HORSE COUNTRY! 3Bd/2Ba, 1617 SF on 2.58 acres. Open living area, kitchen includes all appliances, inside laundry & screened porch. 21’x40’ barn is ready to saddle up with 3 horse stalls & tack rm. Most of the property is fenced w/ 3-board fencing & includes shed. See to appreciate call for more details. $254,900. #9

SUN DAPPLED OAKS – On 2+ acre, custom built 2 story offers 2526 SF, 3Bd/3Ba & 2 half baths! Carefree tile thru-out, wood cabinetry & granite counters. Approx 24x33 in-law suite, office & approx 25X60 metal shop for car enthusiast, wood workers, etc. All c/l & galv fenced. A country haven to behold! Only $ 359,900! #70

BANK OWNED! 2Bd/1Ba home, conveniently located in the heart of Lakeland. Newer exterior/interior paint & fl oors. Be comfy & cozy by the fireplace in the living rm. Enjoy lazy summer days on the front screened porch. Priced at only $ 34,900. #57

VISION & AMBITION Is what is needed, Downtown Plant City Historic Dist. Offers 3924 SF, 6 - 1Bd/1Ba Apts - Sold “as is“. Great Value $ 34,900. #46

ACREAGE & COMMERCIAL PRIME 10 ACRES OF BEAUTIFUL LAND – Priced to sell at only $182,500 – Owner says sell! 330ft mol of road frontage & possibly of 3 parcels. A steal is yours, cleared w/gorgeous trees, fenced & ready for you & your Family. #59 2 ACRES LAMPP RD - WILL LIGHT YOUR FIRE! – Beautiful serene country setting awaits plans for a new home. Minutes from I-4. REDUCED to $ 69,900. #7 KEEP THE DISTANCE - No back door neighbors w/nearly 5 ac in Thonotosassa, 660 ft. road frontage you‘ll place dream home in middle! A STEAL @ $216,900. #22 FARM or DEVELOP - 7.31 AC, fronts on US Hwy 92 & Glen Harwell Rd., great access to I-4. 6“ well is suberb for berries or home. A great value @ $ 395.000. #2 ENTRY TO WALDEN LAKE! Don’t miss this opportunity! 8.92 Ac, ideal for church, development, south of new YMCA, is pretty, high and dry! Additional sites adjoin parcel and are available. $ 895,000. #65 COMMERCIAL ZONING – Ideal Interstate visibility, 2.13 acres w/660 ft of road frontage this parcel has city water & sewer available and a multitude of commercial uses. Hotel/Motel, retail, restaurant & more. A great fi nd, call for more info. $ 899,900. #26


november 2009

SWEETHEART STOP THE CAR! 3Bd/2Ba dw mobile home located on 1.13 acres. A perfect location for country living w/convenience to County Line Road & I-4. Separate living rm, Family rm, dining rm, & inside laundry rm. Large fenced yard. Priced at only $70,000 #91

RENTALS from $550 to $1799 a Month Call for more info.

Vogel Realty Services Celebrate & Wish to Thank God And All Of Out Clientele for 10 Years Of Success! Thank You!

Call Vogel Realty & Consider “It” Sold!

(813) 659-3306

Natalie Sweet 813-758-9586

Cathy Martin 813-376-0891

Angel Miller 813-546-9863

It’s ALL ABOUT YOU! Call for a No Obligation Buyer or Seller Consultation GOLF COURSE HOME IN HAMMOCKS

4 BDR/2 1/2 Bath/3 Car Gar featuring an updated kitchen, family room w/fireplace & wet bar in dinette. Wonderful entertaining home w/pool & spa & huge lanai /wonderful view of the golf course. Price right at $300,000


Move in READY! Fabulous 4 Bdr/2 Bath 2500 sq’ home in desirable Forest Club. Beautiful tile & gleaming wood floors throughout. NEW AC, Roof, Water Heater & Re-plumbed for peace of mind. Priced to $ELL at $290,000.



4 Bedroom, 3 Bath Walden Lake custom built home featuring Living, Dining & Family Room w/Fireplace. Solar Heated Pool and lush landscaping for your outdoor fun. A must see at $257,500

Exquisite 4 BDR/3Bath home in gated Hampton Place perfect for entertaining. Huge great room plus formal living and dining rooms. Fabulous pool with expanded paver lanai. You don’t want to miss this one! $350,000





2635 Sq’ of Living Area w/4 Bedrooms, 2 1/2 Baths & Huge Bonus Room in Walden Lake. Beautifully decorated & lovingly cared for on large fenced corner lot. Priced right at $219,900

Fabulous 3/2/2 Santa Cruz model w/TONS of UPGRADES! Kitchen features 42” cabinets, 18 tile, corian counter tops & more. Why buy new when this home has EVERYTHING! $140,000





Beautiful 5+ Acre Executive Lots in this Gorgeous Gated Community. You will fall in love with this unique Equestrian Community w.21 lots & plenty of wildlife. Horses welcome! From $99,000.

Quiet Country Living yet close to everything. Modest tidy home w/lots of perks. 30X40 garage/workshop w/ electric for all your projects & fenced pasture. $99,900

This lovingly cared for home features gleaming pine floors, high ceilings, large formal dining room, living room, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths & updated wiring. Easy commute to I4. $99,900

Wonderful 3 Bdr/2 Bath home featuring updated kitchen w/maple cabinets, corian countertops & stylish stainless appliances. Great property w/separate workshop/den & additional bath. Call today! $149,900

4 Bdr 2 B home and everything was updated in 1995 from the roof to the floors. Hardwood floors, enormous garage & workshop, irrigated fields and so much more. $300,000

Juniper Lake home w/Gorgeous kitchen with wood cabinets & granite countertops. Newly added screened pool w/ pavers. 14X20 extended lanai w/ pavers & AC, $215,000

Search for homes at

real estate walden lake review

Neighborhood entrances set to be decorated for holidays S to r y by N ata l i e S w e e t

The Walden Lake Community Association Board Meetings are the third Monday of each month. The next meeting will be Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. Great news from the board: The budget for 2010 has been approved, and there will not be an increase in Walden Lake’s association dues this upcoming year. Soon you will see the neighborhood entrances all decked out in their holiday finest. Judging will take place between Dec. 11 and 13. There will be first-, second- and third-place winners along with honorable mention in the categories of large and small entrances.

The foundations have been poured and before long we will see the office and maintenance buildings going up. The estimated time for completion is the end of January. There was lots of fun during the Halloween party at the dog park – hay rides, goodie bags, games with prizes and best costume contests with fabulous prizes. Best-dressed dog was Jaxton, dressed as a pirate, and is the proud pet of Andy and Patti Giangreco. Second place went to Shadow, dressed as a witch/wizard,who is owned by Tracey Payne. For children in the 0 to 3 age group, Randall, dressed as Buzz Lightyear, and Gracye,

dressed as Minnie Mouse, won. In the 4 to 8 age group, Ashley, dressed as a veterinarian, and Joshua, a Power Ranger, won. In the 9 and older age group, Hunter, a Monkey Boxer, and Chloe, dressed as a prom queen, won. At this month’s meeting, the board talked about how to resolve the problem of the set-back requirements that were never recorded in the city plat of some of the Walden Lake neighborhoods. The deed restrictions do have the set-back requirements, and the city needs the information for permitting issues. Please remember that watering is just one day per week depending on the last digit of your street

number. There are also extended restrictions regarding car washing and pressure washing. For complete information, visit www. Under the Departments tab, you will tab to Public Works, then to Water Resource Management to the current watering restrictions. Walden Lake Golf and Country Club reopened the Hills course, and it is ready for play. Don’t forget the club will be holding its New Year’s Eve celebration, with dinner and dancing. It’s always a big hit. Book your holiday parties as well as other functions by calling Michele at 813-752-1171, extension 222 for all your event planning and membership information.

Are you caring for an aging parent? AFFORDABLE In Home Care!

Right at Home


In Home Care & Assistance



november 2009

Owned and operated by Tino and Debra Suarez w w w. r i g h t - a t - h o m e - p c . c o m Licence# 230959 • Certification # 11802


Plant City Mortgage 12 Days $0 Yes Yes Yes Yes

Loan Process start to finish Lowest Down Payment available Representative at closing Insurance Quote Assistance Available on Weekends Free Credit Repair Assistance

Other Guys 30-45 Days 20 % Yeah Right! Keep Dreaming! Call on Monday Not our Job!






Nate Davis President Office: 813.707.6200 Cell: 813.763.3910 Free Mortgage Report

take Justin and I would like to was this moment to thank you. I of t ugh tho the very scared at f buying a house. You & your staf zing. made this experience ama you For a First-time homebuyer

You explained everything in detail. my were great with dealing with procrastination as well. ll ~ Julia Cates & Justin McConne

1501 S. Alexander Street, Suite 103 Plant City, FL 33563

813.707.6200 foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009



The perfect spot for your business. Building has drive-through in place with 676 heated square feet. Near Walgreens, Blockbuster, McDonalds, Burger Kin, 2 new banks. Medium cut corner at Henry Avenue. Retail property sits on a 135x330 lot with highway frontage; zoned C-1A. $600,000. MLS #T2386334. Call Dave McCarthy for more details, 813-263-4797.


Adorable 2 BR 2 BA 2 CG block home offered for $110,000. This home is well maintained, very clean with nice sized yard (.26 acre). Features ceramic tile throughout except in bedrooms. Master bedroom is very large. French doors lead to the screened-in porch. Quiet neighborhood on dead-end street. The location is convenient to shopping, local eateries, and medical facilities, including the hospital. First time home buyers - here is your opportunity! Call Janet Moore (813) 751-9890. MLS#T2390527


4 GORGEOUS wooded homesites. MLS #’s T2387576, 63,75,70 $105K to $115K , situated high above delightful flowing creek along rear of property. Gated and deed restricted to preserve your future value. Paved cul-de-sac, underground utilities and street lights installed. Just 2-3 minutes to I-4, 20-30 minutes to downtown Tampa. In the new International Baccalaureate Strawberry Crest High School district. Call Maggie Beard, 813-299-7155.


Seller is motivated. Looking for low maintenance living? Come home to this 2 BR/2 BA split plan townhouse, built in 2000, and loaded with extras: fresh paint, upgrades, lots of storage, formal dining room, separate living room, new landscaping, and screened lanai. All appliances, even the washer and dryer, are included! A screened balcony off the master bedroom overlooks the privately fenced back yard. Located across from the community pool, this home is in a quiet, well maintained neighborhood with a dog park in the community…your four-legged family members are welcome here! Now just $64,900. MLS #T2380312. Call Malissa for more information, 813-967-0168.


Easy to show 4 Bedroom 2 Bath home in Walden Lake with double garage, shady fenced back yard with outdoor patio area. Tile in kitchen with room for a breakfast table. Formal dining room and split floor plan. Walk to Walden Lake Elementary by walkway. Short Sale. MLS #T2388350. $158,500. Call Jean Bridgmon 813-478-3107


Just Reduced. This nine acre pasture with pond is now being offered at $305,000. This property has a 3 BR/2 BA 1,288 sq. ft. manufactured home and well, septic and electric are in place. Zoned AS-1. Home is currently occupied by tenant, please do not disturb. Cable available. Call Janet Moore (813) 751-9890. MLS# T2375376


This exclusive lake frontage property is available for sale. Premium homes are currently being built on these serene estate lots. The value is here and the savvy purchaser of this private fishing lake land will wake up to this view everyday. 2.30 acres; 1.5 upland. Two brand new schools are now completed in this community, Bailey Elementary and Strawberry Crest High School. Close to Tampa so commute is not cumbersome, yet privacy prevails in this gorgeous setting. You must see it to believe it. $219,000. MLS #T2368878. Call Janet Moore 813-751-9890 or Brenda Herring 813-365-0353 for more information. CONT RACT PEND ING


With lots of roaming room you will be sold the instant you drive through the gate! This 4BR/2BA home with an open floor plan is sure to be a pleaser. The kitchen is huge and offers endless possibilities, large indoor laundry room and a large walk in pantry. Settling in by the fireplace is a great way to end the evening and relax. This home on 4.02 acres offers fabulous views from every angle. The barn in the back and oversized 2 car garage are sure to meet your every need. Enjoy the best of both worlds because you are still just minutes from shopping. Call today! Malissa Crawford 813-967-0168. MLS #T2378863. $269,000.


Well maintained 3 bedroom/2 bath home on almost 2 acres. Great room w/corner fireplace and dining area. Open kitchen w/ breakfast bar and nook, smooth surface range and side by side refrigerator and (2) pantries. Gorgeous “real” wood flooring in living areas. Spacious lanai 40 X 12 w/ vinyl sliding window and fans. Property is completely fenced, front is vinyl rail, w/chain link on sides. 20 X 10 workshop, 10 X 10 utility shed. $238,500. Call Maddie Alford, 813-382-8382.


Ten acres waiting for residential development. Offering 660 feet of paved road frontage and zoned AS-1 to allow for one dwelling per acre. Property is located within walking distance to Diamond Hills Golf and Country Club and Gated Community. Surrounding neighborhood includes additional executive estate home developments. The adjacent corner parcel belongs to local church. Currently located on property are two mobile homes with little or no value. However, both are tenant occupied so please do not disturb. $499,000. Call Janet Moore (813) 751-9890 or Brenda Herring (813) 365-0353. MLS# T2382085


3 Bedroom, 2 Bath, 2 Car Garage Villa located in the beautiful gated golf community of Walden Lake. Lawn and pool service are included in monthy fees. A must see! New tile throughout home, new tile in master and upgraded fixtures, new garage door, winter panels for screen, fresh paint outside. $139,900. MLS #T2391772. Call Bob Love today, 813-478-8096.

BRAND NEW! $184,990

Just released 3/2, over 1,700 square feet former model home loaded with upgrades! This home features Corian countertops, upgraded wood cabinetry and ceramic tile, beautifully landscaped and is ready to go! Qualify for the $8,000 tax credit? No delays here, smooth sailing, quick closing from start to finish. Possible closing cost assistance as well. Call today, this one won’t last long. MLS #T2386647. $184,990. Ask for Malissa, 813-967-0168.

Call us for your Residential and Commercial Real Estate needs

1513 Jim Redman Parkway, Plant City



november 2009


Jimmie Robinson - 813-754-3586 ext 222 RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE

1513 J. L. Redman Pkwy Plant City, FL 33563

E-mail: • toll free 1-877-442-7001


Walden Lake East-3 BR/2BA/2CG with almost 1500 SF living, ceramic tile, breakfast bar and more. Situated on a nicely landscaped lot on a private cul-de-sac. $142,000. MLS#T2390190.


1.27 fenced acres with 4 BR/2 BA newer doublewide that features over 2300 SF, fireplace, deck and much more. Large workshop/storage area included. Great buy at only $149,900. MLS#T2388743.


Two homes built in 2005 on 1+ acre in the country-all for the price of one! Main home is 3 BR/2 BA/2 CG with 1400+ SF living. 2nd home is 1 BR/1 BA w/carport. Nice pool area situated in between homes. $249,900. MLS#T2388754.


Two-story 3BR/2 BA/2+CG home that features 2533 SF living, oak floors, fireplace, surround sound, vacuum system, water softener and security system. Plus unfiinished 1000+ SF 2nd story waiting for your personal touch to make it an entertainer’s delight . Priced to sell @ $299,900. MLS#T2378065.


8 high & dry acres MOL, fenced and currently greenbelted-zoned 4 units per acre. Includes a 2BR/1 BA older home with 1946 SF and 3 car carport. Lots of potential-$375,000. MLS#T2390805.


2 BR/2BA condo on the golf course with 1041 SF, new appliances, new wood floors, granite counters, screened porch and open floor plan. Convenient to clubhouse on a conservation lot within a cul-de-sac and access to community pool. Now $163,000. MLS#T2381230.


3BR/3 BA/3CG home with over 3000SF living area, tile floors, gourmet kitchen, formal living and master bath with hot tub and separate shower. Situated on a cul-de-sac lot in a great family neighborhood. $326,900. MLS#T2378814.


3 BR/2 BA brick home with wonderfully shaded 1/2 acre yard situated in family neighborhoodno HOA fees. Home features 2300+ SF living, brick fireplace and lots of room to entertain for family & friends. $209,900. MLS#T2313351









Commercial building located near hospital and I-4. Currently in the remodel stage. Buy now and customize for your particular business. $360,000. MLS#T2330860.

Beautiful two-story 4 BR/3 BA with over 4000 SF living, screened pool area w/grill area, formal living areas and very open floor plan. All on a 1/2 acre landscaped lot in wonderful family subdivision with no HOA fees. $329,000. MLS# T2388714.

6 high and dry acres of fenced property waiting for your dream home and some horses. 2 wells included. $252,000. MLS#T2373595

4 BR/2.5 BA manufactured home with over 2000 SF living and above ground pool. Located in the country on almost one acre wooded lot with private drive. Wont last long at this price-$119,900! MLS#T2383893.





PLANT CITY 18.5 high & dry acres with office building and Perfect building lot in new community of larger Building lot in established neighborhood of nice 60x60 metal building with loading dock. Fenced homes. Ready for your dream home of 2400 homes.Owner ready to sell-priced below market One acre building lots convenient to town. Area of newer homes, with 3 lots to choose from at w/water & sewer. $1,300,000. values. Now $29,900. MLS#T2346179. SF living or more. $59,900. MLS#T2324771 a great price! Owner Financing. Only $38,900 MLS# T2386723 each. foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


Renee CoRzine

real estate mortGaGe


Realtor Multi-Million Dollar Producer

1607 S. Alexander Street • Suite 102


$365,000 3 HOMES ON 9.47 ACRES All 3/2 Split Plans, 1200/1064/924 SF, Lots of Upgrades, Cedar Beams & Trim Detached Workshop, 3 Sides Fenced

$175,000 EAGLE GREENS IN WALDEN LAKE 2/2/2, 1364 SF, Granite, Wood Cabinets, on Golf Course, Split Bedrooms, Scnd Lanai





2/1, 1096 SF, Totally Updated, Hardwood Floors, Newer Roof & Windows & Appl, Utility Shed, Fenced

2+Bonus/2/3, 1455 SF+ Home, 1200 SF Block Gar/Wkshop, Fireplace, 300 SF Bonus, Tile, Crown Molding, Fence



WE CARE - WE LISTEN W E G E T R E S U LT S Aquatic Therapy Sprains and Strains Bone and Joint Injuries Auto Injuries Balance Disorders Hand Therapy Neurological Conditions

Work Related Injuries Wound Care Sports Related Injuries Post Operative Therapy Fall Prevention TMJ Therapy Spinal Injuries

1214 W. Reynolds St. Ste. 1, Plant City, FL • Phone: (813) 754-1062 Fax: (813) 759-8254 • • Dan Manfre, RPT President *Most Insurances Accepted


november 2009

Analyzing the bottom; Are we at the bottom? S t o r y by n at e d av i S

While I do not think anyone can tell you specifically when you are at the bottom of any market, whether it be the real estate market or the stock market, until it has passed, I do think that you can look at some telling signs that we are extremely close, if not already. First, allow me to elaborate on a few specifics that I always look at when determining the real estate market: 1 – You MUST look locally. Do not let what you see on the nightly news (good or bad) determine what you think the local market is doing. Remember, what is going on in Texas is not necessarily happening in Plant City. Real estate is a very local market obviously, and therefore reports, news, etc. should all be considered only on local levels. 2 – When analyzing prices in relation to their bottom, you must also consider the price bracket itself. For example, I do not think that the entire Plant City Real Estate price elasticity amongst all homes will contract and expand at the same rate. An example of this would be homes that are $300,000-plus. Those home values will likely need to further decrease in order to find their bottom than an average home priced at say $100,000. Th is is not because they presently do offer a substantial value, but due to the supply of homebuyers who are those price ranges. 3 – Available Financing: Th ink about this. If you tripled the number

of qualified home buyers, do you think home values would increase (assuming supply was consistently the same)? Of course, demand would increase and supply would remain the same and slowly decrease. Th is is what occurred when stated-income loans, no-downpayments loans, low credit score loans, etc. were all rolled out during relatively the sale time period. Now, if you flooded the market with supply, and did so at short sale and foreclosure-type prices while simultaneously slashing the number of qualified buyers by 50 percent thru removing loan programs, raising credit scores, having a poor economy with 10-plus percent unemployment and an uncertain economic outlook to boot, then you would have the perfect storm. Prices would hemorrhage from the increased supply and lack of demand. Th is is what we are experiencing now. Ultimately, it is irrelevant if you purchased at the perfect time, but rather if you got in when prices were low. To illustrate, ask yourself this: Would you be upset if you bought into the stock market when the DOC was at 7,100 versus 6,800 (today it is over 10,000). Either way, you would have done well. In short, no one can time the market, but we can agree that homes are affordable now and the deals are there. Happy hunting.

Team Wainoris...Selling Plant City and Lakeland

Randall & Kathleen Wainoris

REALTOR® / Attorney at Law

REALTOR® / Notary

813-997-3000 863-608-1557

Multi-Million Dollar Producers


TOLL FREE: 888-488-2822 • FAX 813-659-0196

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION Charming 3 bed/2 bath Lakeland home, just 1 minute from Polk Parkway and shopping. Large family room, nice yard with 9x12 utility shed on quiet cul de sac. Just $135,000

PLANT CITY TOWN HOME Beautiful upgraded 2 bed/2 bath unit with bonus room and rock fireplace in living room. Large back yard, great location just 1 minute from I-4. Don’t miss this one! $119,900.

PLANT CITY POOL HOME Adorable 3 bed/2 bath pool home with absolutely beautiful fenced yard just minutes from I-4 and shopping. Renovated baths, dual pane windows, separate living room and family room. Inside utility and beautiful polished wood ceilings throughout! Just $139,900.




1930’S CHARM


This could be a photo of your home! Call us today to see how Team Wainoris can help you sell your home!


Adorable 4 bedroom, 2 bath Plant City home with almost 2300 ft. of living area. Formal areas, hardwood floors, separate L/R and family room. Asking $195,000.

Great location and great schools. 5 bedroom pool home in Lakeland Highlands area. Almost 1/2 acre, split flan with formal areas Only $249,000.

Enjoy care free living in this Kimberlea 2 bedroom 2 bah condo. Volume ceilings, lovely enclosed porch with private wooded back yard. Inside utility. Only $112,000.

Beautiful waterfront 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home with fishing pier and boat ramp. Huge wooden screened deck off of master. Great location on Lake Parker. Just $247,000.

Exit Realty is Growing • WWW.TEAMWAINORIS.COM foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009

95 Brent - Paula - Hayley - Jay

813-967-1942 813-365-0960


Dec. 12,2009

Historic Downtown Plant City Christmas Stroll Plant City’s Shopping & Dining Destination Our gift shop is filled with Apparel • Jewelry • Unique Gifts • Home Decor

Afternoon Tea - Lunch - Specialty Teas - Coffee - Pastries

120 North Collins Street • Plant City, FL 33563

813.659.TCUP (8287)

Birthday Celebrations, Bridal & Baby Showers Church Events, Business & Civic Group Meetings 96

november 2009




Little Giggles 105 West Oak Drive Lakeland, Fl 33803 863 682-7722

CLAYTON DERMATOLOGY GROUP Welcomes to our Practice

Watch for Trinity on TLC’s Season Finale of “Toddlers and Tiaras”


Awarded “Best in Formalwear” & “Best in Casualwear” Custom Designs by Little Giggles


Medical, Surgical & Cosmetic Dermatology Accepting New Patients of All Ages

Holiday Cash $10.00 off $50.00


813.752.0757 Online Appointments Available

or more non-sale item other discounts apply


Call 813-754-1571 for Expert Service

nks Many thsatomers u to our copportunity e h t for you! to serve


“THe originAl” 6 monTHS PeST ConTrol ServiCe e TermiTe ConTrol • STinging inSeCTS • All HouSeHold PeST

h We have Gift Certificates

for the Holidays! h

Justin Lariscy, Agent

1605 S. Alexander St. Suite 101 Plant City, Fl. 33563 Tel. (813) 704-4805 Fax (813) 704-4896






1001 FAIR WINDS CIRCLE, PLANT CITY, FL 33563 • (813) 707-1151 foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009




813.752.2236 1902 W REYNOLDS ST.

180 bed nursing and rehabilitation center Physical, occupational, and speech therapists State-of-the-art 5,000 square foot therapy gym

The Health Center of Plant City 701 N. Wilder rd.

813-752-3611 98

november 2009

real estate real estate

The giving season S t o r y by J o - A n Lus k

Surprised? Seems like only yesterday the holiday season was here, and here it is again. This year, I’d like to label it for what it is and should be – The Giving Season. Due to economic strains, falling home prices, rising food prices, rising gas prices, rising unemployment rates, well, you get my point; we are all under some sort of stress. I’ve learned this year, especially, that no matter how bad my problems are, somewhere, someone is hurting more. So this year I intend to give more – more time, more effort and compassion, more of myself. Just because money is tight doesn’t mean I can’t give. Realtors especially give at this time of year. Every December, realtors from the community come together and serve up a special luncheon filled with great food, gifts, music and Santa Claus for the wonderful folks at James Ranch here in Plant City. Realtors support many causes in the community, including Toys for Tots, Metropolitan Ministries, Habitat for Humanity and Ronald McDonald House to mention a few. And although some of these are yearround charities, it always seems to mean just a little more during the holidays. It truly is better to give than receive. Giving comes from the heart. It’s the heartbeat of my faith. It’s what we all need to do more of these days. There’s a quote that says, “It isn’t the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart that gives it. (Quoted in “The Angels’ Little Instruction Book” by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994). Yet I know many feel they have nothing left to give. Maybe, just maybe, this year can be different. We can all think of something that has been taken away – that’s easy. So let us consider what we can give in order to be a blessing to someone else. The fewer blessings to find, the more precious they become. Let us be thankful for every kind word, friendly hug and gift that is given from the heart – gifts that cost only time and intention. Idries Shah said it best: “If you give what can be taken, you are not really giving. Take what you are given, not what you want to be given. Give what cannot be taken.” May you find peace in this giving season, and most of all, the opportunity to give what cannot be taken.


One bedroom Apartments Rent based on income

Plant City Towers 103 W. Mahoney St. Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.5116




Ocean Blue

Southern Cypress

Mocha Brown

Cedar Red

Turf Green

* Some colors may require special order


30lb Bag

Plant City Living Center 405 E. Damon St Plant City, FL 33563 813.659.2669

applications available at each location

Open Mondays Through Saturdays: 8:30-5:00 (Between Lakeland and Plant City)

2670 Highway 92 East, Plant City, FL • 813-752-3378

702 Hitchcock St. 813-764-0242 ask for Dan Trailer Repair All types including, boat, utility, flatbed Welding, steel, stainless steel and aluminum

Custom Fabrication Manufacturer of Rolls Axle Boat Trailers Retrofit your boat trailer with Rolls Axle parts

Wheels and tires. Stainless steel hubs -in stock.

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


A /C Service $34.95 includes 1 lb 134A Freon

Fuel Injection Flush $99.95

“Where We Treat Your Car As If It Was Our Own”

Oil C hange, Lube & Filter Buy One Get One Free ( up to 5qt premium oil) $28.95

Complete Auto Service Center

(same vehicle) expires 12/15/09

A uto Transmission Service Flush & Filter C hange $149.95 & up 4 W heel A lignment $59.95 Ti res, W heels & Much More. Free A lignment w ith 4 N ew Tires

Check Engine Light On? ialist We Have A Spec u! For Yo

Al l M ajor B ran d s Of Tires Oil Change, Lube, & Filter for Diesel


1508 W. Sammonds Road • Plant City, FL 33566 • Hours Of Operation: Mon. – Fri 7:00am to 5:30pm

(8 1 3 )-7 5 2 -6 7 2 9

Call Today about Allstate’s Safe Driver Discount Ralph L. Feola, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF 1003 S. Collins Street Plant City


november 2009


Discount and insurance offered only with select companies and subject to availability and qualifications. Discount amount may be lower and applies to most major coverages.Allstate Insurance Company and Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company: Northbrook, IL. © 2007 Allstate Insurance Company.

Delivering Right to Your Door Get the most out of your clothes by bringing them to Myers Cleaners, your Sanitone Certified Master Drycleaner. Our unique Sanitone process can help clothes last longer, and keep them looking like new. Myers Cleaners will conveniently pick up your order and deliver your fine fabrics crisp, clean and fresh to your doorstep.


Fine Authentic Italian Cuisine!

Full Bar

Casey Stidham Now Playing Every Thurday & Saturday Night at 8pm! Ladies Night Thursday 8-12 1/2 off Well and House Wine

110 E. Reynolds St. Plant City, FL 33565

813.754.7900 Catering all events • Accepting Reservations

Reserve now for Holiday Lunch & Dinner Party’s. Let us Cater your next event Tue-sat 11 am - midnight • Sun 11 am - 4 pm closed monday

Happy Hour Tue-Fri 4 pm - 7pm

1/2 Price on all House Wine and Well Drinks foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


sports GOLF

Todd Long played quarterback for Plant City. Today, he is the athletic director for Durant High School. Photo by Joe Bowles

Building upon a solid foundation As a former athlete and coach at Plant City High School, Durant High School’s new athletic director’s loyalty is strong. S to r y by J o e b o w l e s

When Todd Long took over as the athletic director at Durant High School earlier this year, he undoubtedly took some good-natured kidding about where his loyalties lie. Although Long had been at Durant since 2005, he is now the man responsible for the Cougars sports programs, and therefore questions about his past seem to pop up. You see, most remember him as the face of Plant City Raiders football for 12 years – two years as the Raiders quarterback in the late ‘70s and 10 years as the Raiders head coach in two stints, 1994-2001 and 2003-2005. Long was born and raised in Plant City. He played youth sports growing up, and in his last two years in high school, he quarterbacked Plant City to two of their most successful seasons in history. In the fall of 1979, as a junior quarterback, he led the Raiders to an undefeated season until the most memorable game in his life was played. “They (Plant) were ranked No. 3 in


november 2009

position and the head football-coaching job at Plant City. He sold his business, the state, and we were ranked No. 5. moved back to town and remained the They decided to play the game at the head coach until 2001. It was then that old Tampa Stadium. I couldn’t believe he returned to the classroom to obtain the crowd. That game was the largest his master’s degree. Ironically, when crowd to ever see a high school football his successor went back to get his game in the state of Florida. There master’s degree two years later, Long were nearly 26,000 in attendance. We was once again offered the job. lost the game, but we still ended up As most who are in coaching know, ranked in the the hours and “I still follow Plant top ten,” said commitment Long. involved in high City. I can’t help it. It Following school sports his senior feels kind of funny are extremely year, Long demanding. As when Durant plays attended the a result, Long University of Plant City, but I love it was looking for South Florida something in at Durant.” graduating administration with a degree – Todd Long that would be in marketing challenging but education less consuming. in 1987. He coached at Burns Junior In 2005, Long went to the Raiders’ High School and Bloomingdale High rival Durant as the assistant principal School before he took a couple of years for student affairs. Four years later, off to pursue a business opportunity in he accepted the athletic director’s Bradenton. position. In 1994, Long was offered a teaching

“When you are a coach, you are a guidance counselor, a meal planner, a mentor and a disciplinarian among other things,” said Long. “Coaching is a very personal thing. I love it, but it is demanding. Being the athletic director is better for my family.” Long is married to the former Carolyn Everidge, and they have two sons: Grayson, age 5, and Creighton, age 3. The oldest is in his first year of flag football. “Having a job in an area that I have been familiar with for more than 20 years was ideal. I miss the time on the practice field and the game nights. Those were always adrenaline rushes. But I am close enough to the game that I still feel a part of it,” Long said. When asked about his loyalties, Long replied, “I still follow Plant City. I can’t help it. It feels kind of funny when Durant plays Plant City, but I love it at Durant. I am trying to add to what has already been done here. I want to keep the foundation solid and then build upon it.”

Visit our web site:

g Happy ThanksgSafivein and Be Thankful! Be

24 Hour Service • Large Vehicle Tow Available • Accident/Recovery Heavy Equipment Towing • Lock-Outs, Jumps & Tire Change

302 E. Calhoun St. • Plant City, FL 33566





Low cholesterol items: Smoked Turkey Wings Smoked Turkey Necks Fresh Turkey Tails & Gizzards Smoked Turkey Tails Fresh Goat Fresh Mullet/Catfish/Perch Fresh Dressed, Grade A, Premium, Ice-Packed Poultry Leg Quarters 40-lb. box Fresh IBP Small and Med. Spare Ribs Fresh IBP Lite Spare Ribs “Great for Barbecuing” Fajitas by the package or the box

No Order Too Big Or Too Small Largest Spice Selection In Town One Stop Shopping for all your large parties, family reunions and church events

SPECIAL SERVICES AVAILABLE INCLUDE: Western Union, Money Orders and Wiring Sevices Plantains, Green Bananas (by the box or lb.) Fresh Local Produce Daily Fresh Greens Available Daily

Paradise Fruit in 5-lb. box


for them all!

Paint ‘til Ya Faint Fridays - Nov 27 and Dec 11 We’ re staying open EXTRA late to paint!

Children’s Ornament Making Party: Nov 23 @ 1pm

Call for details! a paint your own pottery studio



Forget the mall...

The Pottery Patch


(available All Year Round)

WIDE SELECTION OF: #10 Can And Gallon Size Items Martin’s Potato Bread Entenmann’s Bakery products Goya • Lisy • La Costena • San Marco’s and La Dona Tortillas

Open every Monday in December

2551 SR 60 East • Valrico • 643-0014

Alignment•Tires•Wheels•High-Speed Balance Tire Truing•Extended Warranties Accepted AccEpTS MoST crEdiT cArdS

VicTor J.pULLArA

302 NorTH pALMEr STrEET pLANT ciTY, FLoridA 33563 813-752-2388

Walker Plaza, 617 N Maryland Ave. Plant City, FL 33563 ATM Available at Customer Service TECO Payments Accepted

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009



901 West Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Plant City, Florida (813) 754-2588


by j o e b o w l e S

Blair Butler

If you were to look up the word “dedicated” in the dictionary, you might see a picture of Blair Butler. Butler is Plant City High School’s super swimmer who has won every single race this year until a secondplace finish in the 500m freestyle at the Western Conference Championships. By the way, he did win the 200m free. For Butler, his day begins at 4:30 a.m. six days a week as he travels to the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center for practice. His practice ends at 6:30 a.m. He showers, grabs some breakfast at home and then he’s off to school. After school, he heads back to the pool until 5:45 p.m. That kind of dedication plus a lot of talent usually results in success. It certainly has for Butler, as he has gained the attention of several Division 1 colleges. He visits


november 2009

Florida Atlantic this month and has a scheduled visit to East Carolina in January. Butler began swimming competitively in his freshman year and qualified for districts in the 100m freestyle. By the time Butler finished his junior year, he had broken two school records, and he has shattered three more records this season. “I love to race,” said Butler. “Getting better is a challenge that I take seriously. I love to improve my times.” Blair has the dedication to do so. He is driven in the classroom as well. He has a 5.9-weighted GPA, is a member of the National Honor Society, the Junior Civitan and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions). After college, Butler would like to work in the medical field.

Brandi Dilts

Sports programs at first-year schools generally struggle to find success in their inaugural seasons, but don’t tell that to Brandi Dilts, the leader by example of the Strawberry Crest Chargers volleyball team. The Chargers have been a pleasant surprise in the area, and Dilts is one of the main reasons why. She leads the Chargers in four statistical categories: kills-8, blocks-19, aces-35 and digs-35. Dilts, the daughter of Brian and Bobbie, moved with her family to Plant City when she was in the first grade. She didn’t play volleyball, however, until the eighth grade when she answered a tryout for the Brandon Sparks, a club travel team. Through that experience, she quickly learned the game and the following year became a member of the Plant City High School varsity team as a

freshman. When Dilts learned that she would have to attend Strawberry Crest, she was initially excited, but then became a little apprehensive. “At first I was really looking forward to it. But then I got a little upset that I wouldn’t get to see a lot of my friends again,” said Dilts. “But now, I am so excited to be here. It worked out better than what I expected.” It worked out well for the Chargers too. Dilts, a 5’10” middle hitter and middle back, was the catalyst that helped lead the Chargers to six wins and to the second round of the district playoffs. Dilts is a member of the Drasose Club, a drama/science club, and is involved with the Strawberry Crest Friends. She would like to attend college to become a marine biologist.

MARKLEY CHIROPRACTIC Dr. Guy Markley • Dr. Robyn Markley • Judy Markley A.P.

Keep your family healthy in this cold and flu season. CHIROPRACTIC:

-Sinus/Allergies/ear infections -Neck and arm pain -Low back and leg pain -Boost immune system -Whole food nutrition -Wellness care

Front Row Donna Pettit C.A., Vicki Hutcheson, Julie Pippin C.A. Back Row Judy Markley A.P., Dr. Robyn Markley-McGarry, Dr. Guy Markley


Complimentary consultation -Stress -Shoulder/Knee Pain -Low back pain -Sciatica -Nutritional counseling/testing -Weight loss

1802 W. Baker Street. Plant City, Florida. 752-6001 Monday -Friday 9 am-1 pm; 3 pm-6 pm

“I HATE MY TRAINER BUT I LOVE THE RESULTS” Ask Yourself 3 Questions: 1. Are you overweight? 2. High blood pressure? 3. High Cholesterol? If so, don’t hesitate, call Elite Home Fitness Certified Personal Trainer

Couples • Individuals • Office Groups • Seniors

Call for Appointment Workout From Your Home, We Come To You!


foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


sports baseball

2418 James L Redman Pkwy, Plant City (813) 757-0300

Experience of a lifetime Players’ long season ends with a fourth-place finish in the state tournament. By j o e b o w l e s

For most Little League baseball players in Florida, the season begins in early February with tryouts and ends in late May with a league tournament. For those who are fortunate to make all stars, their season may end in late June or early July. For 13 Plant City Senior League (1516 year olds) players, their season was extended into August as they won over their district and section competition to advance to the state tournament in Niceville, Fla., against seven other section winners from across the state. The Plant City Seniors All Stars’ postseason journey began July 5 against district competition. With only two teams competing in the District 4 tournament, the title came down to a two-of-three-game showdown against Lake Wales. The initial game was played at the North Lakeland Little League complex and saw Plant City on the winning end of a 10-5 score. Travis Cannoles led Plant City hitters with two home runs. The tournament was put on hold, however, for the next several days as rain deluged the complex and left the fields unplayable. After a two-day delay, tournament officials finally decided to move the remaining games to Lake Wales, an area that had been spared the heavier rainfall. The second game on July 8, however,


november 2009

North Springs by a score of 7-4. The second pool game was a tight affair with North Port topping Plant City 5-3. Plant City got their bats going in the third pool game and bested Palm Springs 8-1. Lee Easters pitched a complete game, and Travis Cannoles hit a three-run homer. Although Plant City had lost two of three pool games, it qualified for the championship round through a tiebreaker formula as the top four teams moved on to the semifinals. Plant City’s long season ended in the semifinal as they fell to Callahan 9-1, taking fourth place in the state. “It was the experience of a lifetime for these kids,” said Manager Jeff Jacobsen. “I think that having our players play together through all these years helped prepare us as a team.”

had a different outcome as Lake Wales 22-10. The following day, Bloomplated the winning run in the final ingdale defeated North Seminole setinning, eking out an 8-7 victory and ting up the championship game later forcing the deciding game the next that evening with Plant City. evening. The final game was a seesaw affair In game three, Plant City came that was not decided until the final inout victorious 10-0 as Brett Nizamoff ning when Anthony Sgro led off with pitched a no-hitter while fanning 13 a single. Sebastian Ray doubled off the batters, allowing Plant City to claim fence sending home the tying run. Ray the district championship for the moved to third on a groundout and second year in a row and move on to scored the winning run on a passed the Section 4 tourney. ball for a final score of 8-7. Sectionals were played at the In the first pool game of the state Manatee East Little League Park tournament, Plant City lost to Miami in Lakewood Ranch and pitted Plant City against District 13 champion Bloomingda le and District 25 winner North Seminole. In the opener played July 24 against North Seminole, both teams traded runs nearly every inning until Plant City finally blew it open Plant City Little League Seniors claim District and Section Championships. Pictured are (front row) Taylor Schulte, Rene` with an 11-run Negrete, Jose` Molina, Lee Easters, Michael Wilson, Josh Jacobsen, Sebastian Ray, (back row) District Director John fourth inning to Tucker, Evan Bowles, Manager Jeff Jacobsen, Omar Molina, Art Knight, Brett Nizamoff, Cody Smith, Travis Cannoles, capture the win Coach Edgar Molina and Coach Joe Bowles. Photo courtesy of Bud Knight

Merry Christmas Have a Safe Holiday!

509 West Alexander Street • Plant City (across from Plant City High School)



Pumps • Motors • Filters • Leak Detection • Solar Systems

1016 Bloomingdale Ave. • Valrico 813-657-8989

Heat Pumps • Gas Heaters • Pool Cleaners & Heating Systems FREE In-Store Water Analysis Weekly Pool Maintenance & Pool Repairs

Michelle Dodge at Martin’s Place is... Thankful this season for all those who Place their Hair in her Care! Check out Martin’s Place on FACEBOOK

Sales -- Service Service -- Repairs Repairs -- Supplies Supplies Sales Hours: Mon. - Sat. 9am - 6pm

24 Years of Experience

813.759.1023 ext 253 110 E. Reynolds St., suite 400 Plant City, FL 33565

117 Prosser Dr. •


foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


extra seniors of the month


2901 ½ James l. redman pkwy. (813) 752-1971


Mark Killebrew At the age of 3, Mark Killebrew was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a form of cancer that possibly could have taken his life. Learning much from his experience, Killebrew has since overcome this obstacle and now desires to find a cure for others who also encounter such adversity. Using his personal life as a testimony to the hurts of cancer, Killebrew aspires to obtain a degree in biomedical science from the University of Florida, continuing his goal of uncovering a cure for this unforgiving disease. Killebrew says, “I have seen how it affects families,” and he realizes the importance that this discovery would

hold on others. Already well on his way to success, Killebrew is currently fourth in his senior class at Plant City High School, holding a 6.2 weighted grade point average. He is a member of the Senior Executive Council and the National Honor Society, and is also an advanced placement scholar. In regards to community service, Killebrew said, “I want to be an inspiration to students to show that through community service, you can change the world.” Killebrew applies this passion to serve others by volunteering for the Harvest for Life, Special Olympics, the United Food Bank and the Boys and Girls Club of America. He is also a committee member of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event at PCHS, serving on the team development chair as team captain and cancer survivor.

Alexandria Headley Alexandria Rosa Headley is a young woman who has her act together – good grades, athleticism, great family, good friends and a serious plan for her future. The 16-year-old junior at Strawberry Crest High School is the daughter of Miriam and Rick Headley. Several years ago the family moved to Valrico from Plant City, the town Headley admires because “it’s so family oriented.” Together they attend Nativity Catholic Church. Prior to SCHS, Headley attended St. Anthony’s Catholic School, St. Clement’s Catholic School, Walden Lake Elementary, Mulrennan Middle School and Brandon High School. As a Strawberry Crest Charger, she’s busy serving her SCHS community through Key Club and Junior Council memberships. For the past three summers, Headley worked as a teen volunteer at South Florida Baptist Hospital. Additionally, in the summer of 2008, she volunteered time as a junior counselor at the Plant City Parks and Recreation Department. Her favorite subjects at school include history because Headley likes “to learn about the past and how significant events shaped the world today,” she said. She also enjoys math classes because “there is always a right answer and you can correct a wrong answer with the right formula. Math doesn’t ask for your interpretation or opinion to an abstract theory.” Presently, she maintains a 4.55 weighted GPA. Headley stays in shape physically through team sports. As captain of the SCHS varsity volleyball team, she reports, “We’ve had a great fi rst season.” SCHS coach Morgan Miltner


november 2009


by C h e r y l j o h n S t o n

Lizzie Schmidt

As a responsible leader and active student at Plant City High School, Elizabeth Schmidt represents a well-rounded young lady. Not only does she hold various leadership positions throughout her high school, Schmidt has also been given numerous opportunities for success within many other areas of her life. Currently, Schmidt is the vice president of her senior class at PCHS, a member of the Buc’s Student Advisory Board and Miss April in the PCHS 2010 calendar. In regards to being a responsible leader, she said, “You have to work with other’s opinions and then compromise.” In her relationships, Schmidt values her family and friends as superior to other commitments. She is also involved in her church at St. Peters Episcopal, and is a member of the youth group. As a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes club at PCHS, Schmidt clearly cherishes strong Christian values in her life. A very rewarding experience for Schmidt has been her participation in the Best Buddies program at PCHS, which is a club for members to make a lasting impact on special needs students who also attend the high school. She is currently the president of Best Buddies, enjoying every minute she gets to spend with the buddies. “I not only make an impact on them, but that also affect me in many ways,” Schmidt said. Her role as president grants her many moments to connect with each of the buddies, and in turn make a lasting impact on their lives. Schmidt’s love for others is also shown in the goals she plans for her future career in elementary education. Her mother, Nancy Schmidt, inspired Schmidt to embark on the adventure of becoming a teacher. Nancy is a local elementary school teacher. Recently, Schmidt has been accepted to the University of South Florida, but will also be applying to the University of Central Florida and the University of Florida to pursue her degree in education. With her caring attitude and heart for others, Schmidt possesses an ideal disposition for a successful teacher. complimented Headley for being a “well-rounded student and team leader who is always willing to help others without being asked.” Soccer season is up next and Headley plans to play for the Lady Chargers team. She played both sports at Brandon High School as well. For fun, Headley enjoys club soccer action and listening to music. The Headleys hold season tickets for the University of South Florida Bulls football games and enjoy tailgate gatherings before the kickoffs. Because she’s had so much fun playing volleyball this year, Headley will try out for the Synergy Volleyball Club team in November. In addition to sports, like most teens, she enjoys movie nights and fun with friends. College plans include applications to the University of Florida and USF, where she hopes also to play volleyball while completing her bachelor’s degree. Afterwards she will apply to enter the physical therapy program at UF, USF or Florida State University for an advanced degree and certifications. A dream come true would be to be a physical therapist for a college or professional team, preferably for a volleyball, soccer or football team. If her history is an indicator, this fit and focused female should have no problem accomplishing her goals for the future.

HOPEWELL Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens

Wishes You a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving Remember our Annual Tree of Remembrance program will be on December 13, 2009. For information please call our office. 6005 County Rd. 39 South 1/2 Mile South of County Road 60 813.737.3128

Merry Christmas from

J & G Jewelers Making Dreams Come True Since 1983


(Adjacent to the main entrance of the hospital)

■ Cancer Care Close to Home ■ Prostate Seed Implants ■ Medicare, Medicaid, Most HMO’s ■ CT Simulation

Plant City’s Largest Selection of Fine Jewelry at Affordable Prices

God Bless

15% - 50% OFF Storewide

304 E. Baker Street, Plant City


Christmas Hours: M-Sat 10am-7pm

Layaway Now For Christmas

1 9 9 6

Plant City CANCER TREATMENT CENTER ■ Advanced Modern Technology

Designer Styles in Gold, Silver & Platinum


■ 3-D Conformal Therapy ■ Intensity Modulated Radio Therapy ■ Breast Brachy Therapy

Randy V. Heysek M.D., F.A.C.R.O. Board Certified in Radiation Oncology Kathryn L. Kepes, M.D., F.A.C.R.O.

Board Certified in Radiation Oncology, Internal Medicine & Medical Oncology Co. Director

ALL AVAILABLE THROUGH THE CENTER 303 North Alexander Street, Call 813-719-7705 for appts/consultations foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


extra Al ruechel

“Did the boy fall to his death? I’m just as concerned as you may have been. This was real life played out on TV as we all learned about the events and the mystery together.”

Balloon boy, oh boy! S u b m i t t e d by a l r u e c h e l

So there I was minding my own business when this balloon comes drifting across my screen on the news monitor. Fine, weird shape. It sort of looks like a flying saucer. Then I notice a crawl on the screen – something about a runaway balloon near Denver. You have to realize we – the staff at Bay News 9 – monitor so many different channels and satellite feeds that we see a lot of unusual sites on our screen that do not turn out to be news. Car chases, traffic tie ups, cats in trees, bad weather from Any-


november 2009

town, U.S.A.; the supply of video is endless. What made this different was the possibility that a 6-year-old boy was hiding in the basket below the balloon as it was racing across the Colorado planes thousands of feet in the air. So we jumped on it with live coverage, or wall-to-wall, as we call it. Now, when you start covering a story like this with video feeds from multiple sources you don’t have the benefit of talking to a reporter. So you rely on the wires, local Web

sites, interviews and conversations. Your producer becomes your link to the outside world with desk folks and others feeding you information along the way. Let’s face it, what made the story compelling was the little boy. A helium-filled runaway balloon with no one on board… boring… dump the story. But if the boy was inside, and his brother said he was, what a pickle. There’s nothing funny about a child at 15 to 16 thousand feet in the air potentially dying from lack of oxygen. What if the basket he was riding in gave way? Would we be seeing the child fall thousands of feet to his death? That’s why I played it straight on the air for those two hours. You bet we wanted more information, and a safe rescue – or as I mentioned on the air, the possibility the little boy wasn’t on the balloon. We talked with balloon experts about a rescue. It’s never been done before. We listened to the chopper pilot barking out the altitude as it went higher and higher. We heard from a neighbor who knew the family and the little boy and how they worked together on the balloon. And all the while my producer feeding me more information. It sure seemed real to me, and all of us. Then the balloon touched down.

It’s didn’t break into pieces. We prepared to dump out if the video was too graphic. To our shock and probably yours, there was no one inside. No little boy. No rushing out to the arms of local rescuers. A final piece of drama then hits the screen. It’s a photo of a small basket attached below the balloon as it fell from hundreds of feet in the air. Did the boy fall to his death? I’m just as concerned as you may have been. This was real life played out on TV as we all learned about the events and the mystery together. Then comes the clincher. The boy was not in the balloon. He was hiding in the garage. He was OK. I was OK with that as well. Sure we spent nearly two hours trying with the nation to fill in the blanks of missing information, but if it ends, then well who cares about the rest – except it may have been a planned hoax? You’ve got to be kidding! As one viewer’s e-mail summed it up: “Al, you got punked! But it sure made for some interesting live TV.” Just another day in the life of a TV anchor trying to make some sense out of a world that doesn’t always seem to abide by the rules.

OUTPATIENT PHYSICAL THERAPY Physical Therapy promoting independence and freedom for an active lifestyle.

ellness Center, W & ab eh R y it C nt At Pla g less than the best in th no ve ei c re ill w you atmosphere and the therapist, a friendly respect you deserve.


headaches | neck and back pain | arm and leg pain carpal tunnel | sciatica fibromyalgia | sports injuries auto injuries | osteoporosis | work injuries knee, hand and hip pain | workers’ comp. certified arm, she d broke her left an ll fe e if w FFERING HE y M ellness to ty Rehab and W Ci t an Pl ry ve to e t er en w w Nina erapy. Tony and EST N get physical th her the full g in tt ge ghtful in ou th d d an g an s rin ca r friend EHABILITATION . I would refe e use of her arm Wellness if th d an ab eh R ty Ci t an at family to Pl ise. The staff AND ELLNESS erapy would ar th y an ul r rf fo de ed on w ne e ar s es ln el and W Plant City Rehab sionals. es of and caring Pr When my orth opedic specialis . H N -E & t prescrib physic










ed al therapy for my back proble Plant City Reha ms, I choose b and Wellness Center. From the first day on, I was made to feel m welcome. I kn ost ew immediately that I was in capable hands. very Nina Vecina and the staff have truly helped m e with my back problems. I would certain ly recommend Plant City Reha and Wellness Ce b nter to anyone . They really ca about you! re -J.R.S.

Plant City Rehab & Wellness Center INC. 1503 South Alexander St. • 813-759-0106 • We accept Medicare and most insurances foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


extra Derek maul

“Thanksgiving, in my mind, provides the perfect opportunity for the calcified among us to do what it takes to set our hearts free. It’s the only way we’ll ever make it all the way to Christmas without losing our way.”

Thankful for a free heart S u b m i t t e d by D e r e k M a u l

You’ve got to love November in this part of Florida. I’m not sure if it’s the long overdue relief from prolonged summer heat, anticipation for the coming holiday season or the simple joys of Thanksgiving, but – and any way we slice it –November is just about my favorite month of the year. Launching the holidays from a Thanksgiving Day platform can set our seasonal trajectory perfectly – heading into December via the foundational context of gratitude. America’s soul has become so firmly rooted in the shopping


november 2009

districts – having moved there from church to match the focus of our adoration – that Thanksgiving stands as one last opportunity to ground ourselves in substance before potentially losing our footing at the mall. This year, I have one more compelling reason to recognize Thanksgiving as a “heart” celebration. I have a story to share that tells the truth about healing, and explains exactly what needs to happen if we’re ever going to manage the repair work necessary to move forward in lives of more focused faith.

Just recently, in the middle of October, what started out as a routine examination for my dad turned into five hours of emergency open-heart surgery. I’ve seen pictures of blocked arteries before, but when the cardiologist showed us the film from my dad’s heartcatheterization, I was amazed he hadn’t already had a massive cardiac event. The doctor said he was surprised too. There was 90 to 95 percent blockage in six significant arteries, and the blood-flow pictures looked like little sausages that had been tied off in various places. Consequently, once we all got over the shock, surgery was scheduled immediately. And, for those who have any doubts about how serious things were, here’s a quote from the doctor: “If you don’t have the surgery, you will have a heart attack today, later this week or next month. To let you leave this hospital now would be medical malpractice.” Now, to cut to the chase, there’s one more critical part of this account. Read carefully, and you can draw your own conclusions. The surgery, advertised at three to three and a half hours, went on for a little over five. When the surgeon came to talk with my family, he explained why. My dad had extensive calcification and scar tissue completely surrounding his heart, the result

of some previously undocumented infection. My dad’s heart was, quite literally, enclosed in a shell. The surgical team had to work hard to make their way through the casing before they could repair the damage inside. It was like they had to break open a walnut. “So,” my wife, Rebekah, said to the doctor with a faint smile, “you set David’s heart free.” The repair work was extensive – there were huge blockages and the risk of immediate cardiac arrest. But my dad’s heart could not be repaired until it had first been “set free.” I don’t know about the rest of you, but for me it’s a message that’s at once overwhelming, challenging, potentially liberating and wonderful. Thanksgiving, in my mind, provides the perfect opportunity for the calcified among us to do what it takes to set our hearts free. It’s the only way we’ll ever make it all the way to Christmas without losing our way. My daily blog is called “A Life Examined.” It’s my life that I’m examining, but, as always, I invite every last one of you to join me.

You can reach Derek Maul at, or visit

Hometown Attorneys Working For You Personal Injury

Catastrophic Injuries Wrongful Death Auto & Motorcycle Accidents Insurance Claims Slip & Falls Injuries from Defective Products 24/7 Appointments • Free Hospital and Home Calls Credit Cards Accepted • Habla Español

Byrd & Barnhill, P.L. AttorneyS At LAW


206 n. Collins St.· In Historic Downtown Plant City

Johnnie B. Byrd, Jr.

David H. Barnhill The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based upon advertisements. Before choosing a lawyer ask for written information about the lawyer’s legal qualifications and experience.

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


Christmas Day Buf fet

Holiday Feast

(10:30 AM - 8:00 PM)

$12.99* Adults

$6.99* Children

Roast Turkey, Baked Ham, Roast Beef, Smoked Sausage, Shrimp, Ribs, Salads, Vegetables and Desserts all included in One Very Low Price!

1101 Goldfinch Dr.

Booking now for Holiday Parties and Catering


Fried or Roasted 12-14 lb. Turkey or 1/2 Pan Ham plus 1/3 Pan Corn Bread Stuffing, 1/3 Pan Sweet Potato Souffle’ & 16oz. Cup of Cranberry Sauce $65.99

Mon-Sun 7:00 am - 8:30 pm

Gift Certificates Available!

Place your Order NOW!! Deadline for Order: December 23, 2009 Last Pick up Date: December 24, 2009 - 3:00 PM Call or Stop by and Place Your Order

*No other Coupons, Promotions or Discounts are valid with this Special.


november 2009

De’Javu Upscale Boutique Plant City’s Premier place for all your pageant and special occasions

Where Everyone is treated like Royalty Located at 104 W. Reynolds St., in Historic Downtown Plant City, FL


Owner Sheryll Broadnax Girls, Teens and Adult Pageant Attire from the Nation’s top vendors such as: Unique Fashion, Prima Dona, Tony Bowls, Alyce Designs, Jovani, Landa Designs, Perfect Angels, Scala and many more

We Grow Royalty

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


entertainment red rose

“Stayin’ Alive” show benefits St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital S to r y by a a r o n o b e r l i n

At the five-star Red Rose Inn and Suites, the lyrics, “Stayin’ Alive, ah, ha, ha, ha, Stayin’ Alive” reverberated through the beautifully appointed ballroom. The familiar hit along with “Night Fever,” “More Than a Woman” and “If I Can’t have You” were four of the 22 hits of the Bee Gees. In 1975, they wrote the songs for the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack, which breathed new life into their lagging career and fading disco. On Saturday night, Nov. 10, the group Stayin’ Alive, from Melbourne, Fla., presented “Reflections of the Bee Gees.” The three vocalists, Al Spohn – playing Barry, Tom Lapp – Maurice, Gino Pehota – Robin, sounded amazingly like the Bee Gees. Hunky Brian Bergdoll wowed the gals playing the part of John Travolta. They were backed up by musicians Hank Wansaw and Bill Van Allen. They sounded and dressed like the Bee Gees right down to their white patent leather platform shoes, hippie attire and hats. They rocked the house. The crowd, many of them dressed as flower children, danced themselves silly. Some members of the band pleased the crowd by joining them on the dance floor. Several times Mrs. Evelyn, owner and manager of the Red Rose Inn and Suites, was spotted cutting a rug and doing it quite well I must say. Batista Madonia, Sr., owner, had himself a good time, too. The evening opened with the wildly hilarious comedian Barry St. Ives, who kept everyone in stitches, followed by great music and dancing that was topped off with fabulous food.


november 2009

For starters, there was an assortment of fine cheese and fruit, spring salad and bread. A choice of delectable entrees of chicken marsala, salmon or New York strip steak was offered. A superb finish to the outstanding meal was a slice of decadent bourbon pecan pie. Delish! The evening was great fun and benefited a great cause: St Jude’s Children’s Hospital. They were represented beautifully by a former patient, Tory and her grandmother. Tory and her little sister sang a song that patients get to sing on their last day in the hospital, when they are cancer free: “I don’t need chemo anymore.” A video featuring small children afflicted with cancer moved a packed house to tears. St. Jude’s was founded by entertainer Danny Thomas on the premise that “no child should die in the dawn of life.” According to St Jude’s Web site, discoveries at St. Jude’s have completely changed how doctors treat children with cancer and other catastrophic illnesses. Since St. Jude’s was established, the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer, has increased from 4 percent in 1962 to 94 percent today. St. Jude’s has treated children from across the United States and from more than 70 countries. All medically eligible patients who are accepted for treatment at St. Jude’s are treated without regard to the family’s ability to pay. It is the only pediatric research center in the United States where families never pay for treatments that are not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay. In addition to providing medical services to eligible patients,

St. Jude’s also assists families with transportation, lodging and meals. There are three separate specially designed patient-housing facilities, with no cost to the patient. On Nov. 21, the Red Rose Inn and Suites will feature a tribute to Neil Diamond and Rod Stewart. On the 28th, Gene Farrari, “A voice with a heart,” accompanied by his 14-piece orchestra, will woo your best girl or guy. Check out redroseinnandsuites. com for more times.

On Thanksgiving Day, a feast will be served to hungry guests – a bountiful offering of fresh fruit, roasted turkey, traditional dressing, seasoned prime rib, glazed ham, fresh fish, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, pasta, an omelet and waffle station and an assortment of desserts. Reservations for sittings at 11 a.m, 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. can be made at the Red Rose Inn and Suites or by calling 813-752-3141.

“Stayin’ Alive” rocked the crowd in the Red Rose Ballroom. Photo courtesy of the Red Rose Inn and Suites

Mrs. Evelyn and Batista Madonia, Sr., are the owners of the Red Rose Inn and Suites. Photo courtesy of the Red Rose Inn and Suites



2613 Thonotosassa Rd. Plant City, FL Sun–Thur 11–9pm Fri & Sat 11–10pm


QUESO DIP Appetizers when you buy 2 entrees Expires 12/15/09

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


entertainment artist of the month

Anna Artymko Alepin shows one of her many drawings. Photo by Heather Davis

Art that feeds the soul and moves the spirit S to r y by H e at h e r D av i s

When people first meet artist Anna Artymko Alepin, they can’t help but be struck by the genuine light and warmth that emits from her being. So much so that they want to know where her strong sense of self and spirit originates from. Upon viewing her art work, which in her words is “her passion,” viewers can gain a glimpse into what it is that feeds her soul. As the 10th child of 12 siblings, Alepin attributes her love of art and appreciation of beauty to her family and faith. She grew up in a family who surrounded themselves in a life saturated by color, beauty and art. This strong sense of family, beauty and art is a major part of who she is today. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Alepin moved to Florida and later to Plant City where she is actively raising a family of her own. Following in her family’s footsteps, she has continued to immerse herself and her children in art, dance and music. As an artist, Alepin finds inspiration from the things in life that she finds truth and beauty in. Before beginning a painting, she asks God for guidance and prays for those who will look upon her work;


november 2009

that they may be moved in a positive way by what she creates. Through her art work, she hopes to reach someone else’s soul in order to open their eyes to help them reflect on the beauty of life. Much of Alepin’s art work is diverse and expressive of what she is inspired to paint at the time. At times, she may be moved to paint boldly in bright vibrant colors through the use of acrylics, or she may create loose figure drawings in black and white that seem to dance across the canvas. In whatever Alepin is creating, the depth of her love of life is conveyed in her art. She explains that art has always been a part of her life and is blessed to have had her artistic skills finely tuned by various master teacher artists. The importance of art was ingrained in her and continues to be something that she immerses herself in, in the hopes that she is able to bless someone by what she creates. Alepin is a member of the Art Lounge Gallery, located at 119 E. Reynolds St., in downtown Plant City. You can find out more about her and view her artwork at the gallery on Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Anna Artymko Alepin’s art work can be seen in the Art Lounge Gallery in downtown Plant City. Photo by Heather Davis

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


dining profile

Rigatoni Grill and Lounge New restaurant brings a taste of Italy to Plant City. S to r y by A a r o n O b e r l i n

In the heart of the historic district of Plant City, Rigatoni Grill and Lounge adds to the quaint area’s distinctiveness – one of the few culinary establishments in the city where elegance meets everyday people. Located in the 87-year-old Lee Building, passersby strolling along the sidewalk can depart nostalgia and enter into an avant-garde, posh world where the food and service are first class. At a reasonable price, with menu items ranging from $2.50 to $23.50 (Bistecca Florentina, a 12-oz. T-bone steak served with the vegetable of the day – a must try), patrons can get a chance to experience fine dining common across Europe, one with an environment consumed by classy artwork, modern interior designing and a first-rate menu. Credit the menu to executive chef Antonio Mazzella, who brings an authentic taste of Europe with him. Hailing from Naples, Italy, his traditional Napolitano cuisine comes straight from his family’s kitchen with the approach that everything is fresh. “It’s better that way,” said Mazzella, in a strong Italian accent impossible not to notice. “Not only does it taste better, but it’s easier to cook. When food is frozen, you have to compensate how you prepare the dish.” The Ravioli Antonio ($15.50 | dinner) exemplifies Mazzella’s fresh approach and shows off his flair for dressing the dish. Shrimp, scallops and a creamy Gorgonzola tomato sauce top jumbo cheese raviolis for a delectable dining experience. He even jazzes up lasagna ($12.50 | dinner) by garnishing it with a mint leaf and using a Bolognese ragu sauce covered with mozzarella and Parmigiano cheese.


november 2009

“The cannelloni is the best I’ve ever had. It was excellent,” said Kitina Bloom, a patron who had just finished her meal at Rigatoni Grill and Lounge. “It’s light and had excellent flavor to it. Nothing was overwhelming, yet you could taste the meat. The sauce was an accompaniment.” The inventive entrees sit fittingly in the aura of the restaurant. Diana Erland, who owns the restaurant, imported a European atmosphere to compliment the cuisine, an idea stemming from her travels to the western continent after several years of living in California. The culture consumed her personal tastes. “I spent a lot of time in Europe, where you got a lot of beautiful restaurants,” said Erland. “The restaurants were so elegant, and quite expensive. What I did is bring that to Plant City, but I made it affordable.” Gigantic photos of the Venice Carnival, a custom attracting thousands of people from around the world each year to Venice, Italy, hang from the walls. The Venetian festival celebrates the passage from winter to spring. The photos blend in with the restaurant’s interior, which is painted with deep, strong yet soothing colors. After Erland added dark-wood trimming, a tranquil atmosphere came alive. “This is a beautiful atmosphere where people can come to during a very stressful economy and be able to relax and enjoy good food and music,” Erland said. “I collected music I heard in lounges in Spain, Italy and Greece. People have told me that when they walk in here, it’s like they’re not even in Plant City anymore.” Although the serenity of Rigatoni Grill and Lounge sets the

The interior of Rigatoni Grill and Lounge is relaxing, with soft, soothing music playing in the background. Photo by Mike Floyd

restaurant apart from most in Plant City, there is one thing unique about it: limoncello, an authentic Italian liqueur. After every meal, Erland and Mazzella offer it. Limoncello has a grain-alcohol base. Mazzella soaks lemon peels in it and after the oils from the peels flavor the alcohol, he adds sugar and water to dilute it. Magnifico. “We make this in Naples,” said Mazzella. “Once people here know about it, they’ll be asking for it.”

Rigatoni Grill and Lounge 813-754-7900 110 E. Reynolds St., Suite 100 Hours Tues.- Sat. 11am - Midnight Sun. - 11am - 4pm

Layers of gooey cheese, meet and lasagna noodles make for a can’t-miss dinner or lunch. Photo by Aaron Oberlin


(813) 732- 31 1 3 CELL DOLPHIN REALTY

Hate Income Taxes? Contact me for a free, no obligation consultation about the income tax implications of your real estate transaction

Five Lots in Plant City

Large enough for your house, horse stables and more. Plenty of privacy and seclusion. Minutes from Brandon, close to shopping, and dining. Corner of Trapnell & Smith Ryals Rd.  Lot 1—17.8 acres. Asking $575,000  Lot 2—12.6 acres. Asking $415,000  Lot 3—8.5 acres. Asking $265,000  Lot 4—53.8 acres. Asking $1,620,000  Lot 5—20 acres. Asking $566,000

Additional Properties Available:

 Three Residential Lots in Historic District of Plant City

Dolphin Realty  208 Apollo Beach Blvd.  Apollo Beach, FL 33572

A DIVISION OF RADIOLOGY & IMAGING SPECIALISTS HIGH FIELD OPEN MRI MULTI SLICE CT ULTRASOUND MAMMOGRAPHY X-RAY UPRIGHT OPEN MRI (Lakeland Only) CT BONE DENSITY Plant City Imaging is the only outpatient imaging facility in Plant City to have fulltime, on-site radiologists and the latest technology in high-field open MRI. Most Insurance Accepted 206 W. Alexander St. Suite 1 • 813-750-1724

813-659-0886 foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


entertainment calendar

nov. 15 The South Florida Baptist Hospital Foundation hosts its eighth annual Fall Fancy from noon to 3 p.m. The event is at the home of Mayor Rick Lott and his wife, Di, 3200 Polo Place, Walden Lake. Proceeds benefit South Florida Baptist Hospital. Tickets are $30 per person. Call 813-757-8478 to purchase tickets.

nov. 16 A free tour of Plant City’s history starts at 6 p.m. at McCall Park, ending at the 1914 Plant City High School Community Center. Anyone interested should call the Eastern Hillsborough Historical Society at 813-757-9226 or e-mail

nov. 20 Destiny performs at the Red Rose Inn and Suites. The Red Rose is located at 2011 N. Wheeler St. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

nov. 21 The seventh annual Pig Jam takes place at the Randy Larson Four-Plex at Plant City Stadium, located at 1700 S. Park Road, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce at 813-754-3707 or visit www. for more information. Ralph Allocco and Second Wind are performing at the Red Rose Inn and Suites at 8 p.m. for a Las Vegas-style


november 2009

show. The Red Rose is located at 2011 N. Wheeler St. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

Johnny Alston’s Motown Revue performs at the Red Rose Inn and Suites. P.J. Leary and The Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show. The Red Rose is located at 2011 N. Wheeler St. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

dec. 3

Diamond, a tribute to Neil Diamond, performs in the Red Rose Ballroom. P.J. Leary and The Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show. The Red Rose is located at 2011 N. Wheeler St. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

Lights of Love takes place in McCall Park in downtown Plant City, starting at 6 p.m. There are Christmas songs, pictures with Santa and a beautiful Christmas tree decorated with hundreds of lights.

The Strawberry Classic Car Show takes place in downtown Plant City from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Call the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce at 813-754-3707 for more information.

The Plant City Christmas Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. and winds through downtown Plant City. For more information, call Fran Nielsen at 813404-2227 or the Plant City Chamber of Commerce at 813754-3707.

The Bruton Memorial Library, located at 302 W. Mclendon St., holds its annual Christmas Book Sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All proceeds benefit library programs. Call 813-7579215 for more information.

nov. 27 Charlie Vegas and the New Blues Combo perform at the Red Rose Inn and Suites. The Red Rose is located at 2011 N. Wheeler St. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

nov. 28 Gene Ferrari performs with a 14-piece orchestra at the Red Rose Inn and Suites. P.J. Leary and The Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show. The Red Rose is located at 2011 N. Wheeler St. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

dec. 4

Ralph Allocco and Second Wind are performing at the Red Rose Inn and Suites at 8 p.m. for a Las Vegas-style show. The Red Rose is located at 2011 N. Wheeler St. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

dec. 5 Johnny Alston’s Motown Revue performs at the Red Rose Inn and Suites. P.J. Leary and The Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show. The Red Rose is located at 2011 N. Wheeler St. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information. The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce plays host to its annual Christmas Bike Fest at 5 p.m. in downtown Plant City. Call the chamber at 813-754-3707 for more information.

The Plant City Garden Club hosts Fun With Flowers, a workshop on holiday arrangements, at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 2104 Mud Lake Road, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $15 and includes lunch and supplies. Please bring clippers or scissors. Space is limited. RSVP by calling Cassandra Banning at 813-759-1638.

dec. 6 Christmas in the Park is 1601 Martin Luther King, Blvd. Call LaTosha Lewis 813-757-9195 for additional formation.

at Jr. at in-

dec. 11 There is a live auction to play a set with Bob and Mike Bryan, the world’s No. 1 tennis doubles team, at the Lott residence, located at 3200 Polo Place. The match will be played Dec. 12 at the Zeno/Canon Tennis Challenge. For ticket information and sponsorship opportunities, call Rhett Rollyson at 813-719-0158 or visit w w espor t sgroup.c om. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Larry King Cardiac Foundation. Tickets for the Friday event are $75 each. Charlie Vegas and the New Blues Combo perform at the Red Rose Inn and Suites. The Red Rose is located at 2011 N. Wheeler St. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

dec. 12 The tennis world’s No. 1 doubles team, the Bryan Brothers, play Croatian doubles specialists Mirko Pehar and Goran Dragicevic at the Lott residence, located at 3200 Polo

entertainment calendar

Place. Tickets for the Saturday event are $75 each. For ticket information and sponsorship opportunities, call Rhett Rollyson at 813-719-0158 or visit w w espor t sgroup.c om. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Larry King Cardiac Foundation. Cahal Dunne’s Wonderful World of Christmas Show is in the Red Rose Ballroom. The Red Rose is located at 2011 N. Wheeler St. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information. Ralph Allocco and Second Wind are performing at the Red Rose Inn and Suites at 8 p.m. for a Las Vegas-style show. The Red Rose is located at 2011 N. Wheeler St. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

dec. 18 Christmas Caboose is at 908 Joe McIntosh Road. Santa Claus is there for children of all ages to have their picture taken with him and to tell him what is on their Christmas wish list. Children get to receive a gift bag with treats and goodies. For more information, call 813-759-3345. It is free.

dec. 19 Christmas Caboose is at 908 Joe McIntosh Road. Santa Claus is there for children of all ages to have their picture taken with him and to tell him what is on their Christmas wish list. Children get to receive a gift bag with treats and good-

ies. For more information, call 813-759-3345. It is free.

onGoinG Registration for the girls softball Plant City Future Stars League is until Dec. 21. There are four age groups: 8 and under, 10 and under, 12 and under and 14 and under. Register through the Recreation and Parks administration office, located at 1904 S. Park Road, or call 813-659-4255. More information is available by e-mailing Recreation Superintendent Carlton Benton at or calling 813-659-4200 ext. 4304.

mondays Dancer Susan Staton is giving dance lessons from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Red Rose Inn and Suites. Cost is $10 per person. Call (863) 604-5060 to schedule a session. The Red Rose is located at 2011 N. Wheeler St. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

East Hillsborough Art Guild has a meeting at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of every month. It is in sanction with the GFWC Woman’s Club, which is located at 1110 N. Wheeler St. Call Leo Watson at (813) 719-6533 for more information.

tuesdays Arts Council of Plant City meets at 7 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month, September through May. Meeting is in the Chamber of Commerce Public Meeting Room at 106 N. Evers St. Call Maggie Carlisle at (813) 752-6133. Come to the Red Rose Inn and Suites for a prime rib and seafood buffet and enjoy live music. The Red Rose is located at 2011 N. Wheeler St. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information. GFWC Woman’s Club of Plant City meets at 10:30 a.m. on second Tuesday of every month at the GFWC Clubhouse, which is located at 1110 N. Wheeler St. Call Lynn Connor at (813) 4781474 for more information.


The Plant City Garden Club meets at 10 a.m. on the second Monday of every month. For meeting location, call Cassandra Banning at (813) 7591638.

Come to the Red Rose Inn and Suites for a prime rib and seafood buffet and enjoy live music. The Red Rose is located at 2011 N. Wheeler St. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information.

American Business Women’s Association has a meeting at 11:45 a.m. / on the last Monday of every month at Carrabba’s Italian Grill, which is located at 1205 Townsgate Court. For more information, call Annie Carapezza at (813) 707-1221.

HR Plant City meets at noon on the third Wednesday of every month at the Red Rose Inn and Suites, which is located at 2011 N. Wheeler St. Call Janet Kelly at (813) 754-5997 for more information.

The Improvement League of Plant City meets at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month at 911 E. Warren St. Call Henry Johnson at (813) 7674374 for more information.

thursdays The Red Rose Inn and Suites is hosting Singles Night Out beginning at 5:30 p.m. The event includes happy hour, a dance contest, music and more. The Red Rose is located at 2011 N. Wheeler St. Call (813) 752-3141 for more information. GFWC Plant City Juniorettes, which is for girls ages 12 through 18, meet at 6:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month. The GFWC Clubhouse is at 1110 N. Wheeler St. Call Nia Ramo at (813) 754-2916 for more information. Toastmasters International meets at 7:30 a.m. every Thursday at the Chamber of Commerce Public Meeting Room, which is at 106 N. Evers St. Call Stan Reynolds at (813) 309-0269 for more information. Plant City Federated Republican Women’s Club meets at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of every month at the Red Rose Inn and Suites, which is at 2011 N. Wheeler St. Call Diane Martin-Johnson at 813986-4554 for more information.

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009


entertainment crossword B A I L B A N S







F A S T S P L E A T P O T A T O A S T A P U T L S F A T & P I E S S A M O U N O N R E D D A I E L E V S V O I L E R & U N C G T E I P E N T S S A Y O T T E H O S

A M S T E E S & R L E L X V I I O N O S W E N T I S M O E L N C L I C E E I C E D S L E S A G A B O L D O S U G R A C R S T E A S

M O A R U P O L L S R E C A P I E L L A R M Y E T T E R I S H A I F A A S T I C N E E S T F I L E I D E A L R R I V E E W I G B E R A E & E A T E M P E P R Y

Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving & Its Joys

Follow us on

twitter focustv


november 2009

Thanksgiving & Its Joys P r o v i d e d by C a lv i n & J a c k i e M at h e w s

Thanksgiving & Its Joys

ACROSS 1. Household pets 5. Good Friday observances 10. Bullets 14. Band’s output 15. Folds 17. Shred 20. Start of verse 23. Neutered pets 24. One __ time 25. Metal fastener 26. Go over 28. Feasted 29. Home for Gilligan 31. About 2/3 of C 34. Added wing 35. TV sitcom diner 36. Way too heavy 39. Cation or anion 40. Fighting force 41. 2nd part of verse 48. Levels 49. Quantity 50. Hatcher & Garr 54. Dryer residue 55. Quartet member 58. Suffix for real or patriot 60. Israeli seaport 61. Put in 62. __ Valley, AZ 63. Change the decor 65. Stretchy 67. Open porch 70. Lean 72. Pierces through 75. Abbr. on a city sign 77. Em or jay follower 78. NY’s zone 81. Official language of Iran 82. 1997 U. S. Open winner 84. Uttered 86. Do a clerk’s job 87. Walk through water 88. Hockey team from Edmonton 90. Flawless 91. 3rd part of verse 97. False deity 100. Jeter’s stick 101. Co. that merged with Bell Atlantic to form Verizon 102. Actor Kaplan 103. Not well 104. Daughter of Henry VIII 106. Obsolete 107. Head topper 110. Light wood 112. Willing to hear about 117. U-boat 119. Many years 120. End of verse 125. Virginia & others

126. 127. 128. 129. 130.

Furry swimmers City near Phoenix Beard wearer Biblical prophet Agile

38. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 51.

DOWN 1. Use foul language 2. Inquire 3. “__ yellow ribbon...” 4. Bladed tools 5. Military addr. 6. Heights: abbr. 7. Chair 8. “See ya!” 9. Street sign 10. __ T; Verizon rival 11. Body of eau 12. Native New Zealander 13. Shield border 14. Stray, often 16. Convince 18. Sore 19. Song of praise 20. Lupe’s aunt 21. Peter, __ Mary 22. Discriminators 27. Thickness 30. Cough syrup amt. 32. Oath 33. Ending for Carol or Joseph 35. Most AMA members 36. Of a leg bone 37. Unanimously 1




52. 53. 55. 56. 57. 59. 64. 66. 67. 68. 69. 71. 72. 73. 74. 76. 78. 79. 80. 5




10 16








62 67 73


40 47






103 110












123 126







105 113








111 120















83 88













39 46







49 55



31 36






35 43


25 29


83. “I’ve __”; ’70 Elvis Presley song 85. Cuba or Catalina: abbr. 86. Presidential monogram 89. Drag 90. Outrage 92. Wizards’ org. 93. Dark, sticky liquid 94. Subject for Freud 95. Hot stuff 96. Kidnaps 97. Item for baby 98. Greenspan and others 99. Distribute 104. Mediterranean island nation 105. __ facto 107. Emotional 108. “Dies __” 109. Pistol 111. Crossed the pool 113. Old Testament bk. 114. Intl. alliance 115. Nautical ropes 116. Bad guy 118. Page 121. Slimy fellow 122. Half a fly? 123. Mandela’s land: abbr. 124. “Dr. Jekyll __ Hyde”













by Calvin R. & Jackie Mathews

Nashville sch. Relaxed __ Ward Enthusiastic Give for a time Aardvark’s tidbit Actor Carmichael Chili topper, for some __ Allen Slower, in music: abbr. “__ Were a Rich Man” Pouch Traditional knowledge Wipe away Prefix for plus or profit Brawl Usually difficult split Was less than honest Servant __ Root (1845-1937) Dino, __ Billy; band of the 1960s Mediocre report card Suppositions Prefix for function or nutrition For Happening O forerunners, in refrain Pole, for one Prefix for scope or prompter

119 124

127 129


© Puzzle Features Syndicate

Grace & TruTh Family BapTisT church

WhaT is Family-inTeGraTed church? New church meets in former coffee shop in downtown Plant City

Plant City has a new church! Pastors Skip Athey and Ronnie Oxner, founders of Grace & Truth Family Baptist Church, began several months ago with a vision God gave them that has grown from their biblical convictions and the crisis of the family in our culture. GTFBC exists for the glory of God, the proclamation of His word, to reach the lost with the message of hope and to exemplify the biblical principles of the family.

fulfill their biblical roles and to teach parents to disciple their children in God’s word at home. When you visit this church you will notice something different from the start. Children, that’s right, children are welcome in the worship services. The church is located at 101 E. Arden Mays Blvd. in downtown Plant City, right behind the Whistle Stop Café. The leaders at Grace & Truth Family Baptist Church want to create a simplistic model of church based on the New Testament church, where worshipping God, instruction in God’s Word, fellowship with one another, compassionate giving and sacrificial service to others, all are natural outcomes of a true, loving relationship with Jesus Christ.

discussion on a variety of topics. It is a place where those who may feel uncomfortable in a traditional church setting can come and get some answers to some of life’s most important questions. We encourage you to stop by and welcome this new church to our community.

“We are different from many other churches in that we do not have age segregated ministries, instead we are focused on building strong faithful families as a testimony to the world that God’s plan for the family works,”

“We are different from many other churches in that we do not have age segregated ministries, instead we are focused on building strong faithful families as a testimony to the world that God’s plan for the family works,” said Athey. Their passion is to equip men to be the spiritual leaders in their homes, to encourage women to

SATurdAy NighT BrEW is a time for people to stop by, get a free cup of coffee, listen to some good music and here a thought provoking

Pastors Ronnie Oxner and Skip Athey


sunday service: Worship Service 11:00 am Fellowship meal following Bible Study 2:00 pm “saturday night Brew” 6 pm –8 pm 2nd & 4th Saturdays

live music, topical discussions and free coffee!

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009



Happy Holidays!

Let us help you make this a

! n so ea S y a id ol H e re F s es tr S

Leave all your Housework to Me!




Walden Lake Golf & CC 2001 Clubhouse Clubhouse Drive Drive Plant Plant City City 2001 The Hills Course is now open for Play! Driving R ange Voted as one of the Memberships available “Best Places to Play” Public Invited


Golf Digest



$26 $22



/after 2


$32 $28 /11-2

/after 2


Coupon rate..All rates INCLUDE sales tax. Lake Golf Course. Expires 12.15.09

Please call for

Holiday Parties

813-719-7642 Licensed • Industrial • Residential

HOLIDAY PARTIES... BOOK NOW & Save! Call today to find out how to get a

FREE ROOM RENTAL for your holiday party!!!

Contact Michele at

752-1171, ext. 222 for more info!

813-752-1171 • Tee Time online @ 126

november 2009

r u Yo e l i m S The most attractive

thing you can put on

Braces and Invisalign for Children and Adults Free Consultations Affordable Financing Available Certified Premier Invisalign Provider Most Insurances Accepted Se Habla Espa単ol

Two Convenient Locations 2309 W. Reynolds Street, Plant City 813-759-9474 515 Corner Street, Brandon 813-681-9473

Dr. Derek M. Busciglio Dr. John A. Busciglio LICEnSEd OrTHOdOnTIC SPECIALISTS foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2009




One Call Does It All! New Homes RooďŹ ng Additions Remodeling Swimming Pools & Spas


MR & MRS KOKOCHAK Chris, Annie & Jimmy Carapezza Builder License #CBC-059203

Family Owned & Operated Since 1985 Roofing License #CCC-057919

TO PLANT CITY Swimming Pool License #CPC-057274

FOCUS Plant City 08-11  

FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 08-11, November 2011