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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


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 813-443-2018


may 2010

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010



volume 9 issue 5 - may 2010

Family of Community Magazines

Publisher Mike Floyd Office Manager Dede Floyd Copy Editor Lynne Warren


advertising director Brent Simmons

Dr. Stern

Sales Sophia Hyde Sheryl Vitelli Holly Far mer Production Anthony Sassano Tony Cartagena FOCUSTV Brandon Hyde Distribution Doug McGee Belva DeVane Photographers Suzanne Gallagher Billy Friend Lori Blaser


FOCUS Plant City Lakeland Brandon Winter Haven Lake County South Tampa


MYFOCUSTV.COM Local Community Stories New Episode Every Wednesday





The 23rd annual Rainbow Ball was a huge success with its “A Night in Vegas” theme and highly successful art auction. The Red Rose Ballroom perfected every touch from the wedding chapel to wonderful food and service. Definitely, it was a night to remember for the Child Abuse Council effort.


Dr. Stern and the Continuecare medical office in Plant City offer a welcoming experience with highly professional staff and serious concern for your health and well being.

FOCUS oN medical

Check out the great doctors and medical care facilities for an update on the newest technologies, research, and available services. Central Florida has some of the very best.


may 2010


business profile

Homegrown and proud to serve the water pump needs in our community, Shane and Julie Hasting appreciate their work and their customers. For affordable care, call Fitzgerald’s Water Conditioning.

dining profile

Earhart’s Runway Grill is the new seriously fun spot for diners who enjoy a meal with a view. Visit new owners David and Romina Layman upstairs at the Lakeland Airport location.

12 - Talk of the Town 40 - Did You Know? 42 - Plant City Chamber of Commerce

73 - Home Guide 88 - Athlete Of The Month 94 - Senior Of The Month 96 - Al Reuchel

contributors Al Ruechel Bruce Rodwell Gil Gott Sherrie Mueller Jo-An Lusk Nate Davis Natalie Sweet Felix Haynes Editorial Interns Currie Dickerson

standards of accuracy The goal of the writers at FOCUS Magazine is to provide heart-war ming stories that are accurate from the start. Being human, however, we sometimes make mistakes. Please forgive us. So if you notice anything that is incorrect, then please do not hesitate to contact the editorial department and infor m it about the fact error. To do so, call (813) 707-8783 or e-mail editorial@floydpublications. com. 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.

Own Your Own FOcus Magazine

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

Staff Writers Cheryl Johnston Carolyn Miller Brian West Joe Bowles Steven Richardson Krystal knowles Brittany Cer ny Derek Maul

98 - Derek Maul 114 - Event Calendar 118 - Just For Fun

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 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.

published by:

floyd publications, Inc.

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

Your Smile

The most attractive thing you can put on.

Dr. Derek M. Busciglio Dr. John A. Busciglio

Braces and Invisalign for Children and Adults Free Consultations • Affordable Financing Available


Certified Premier Invisalign Provider Most Insurances Accepted • Se Habla Español


623 East Alexander Street • 813.759.9474 at Alexander Crossings Plaza

TWO LOCATIONS TO BETTER SERVE YOU! 515 Corner Street, Brandon 813-681-9473

Plant City Dental Specialty - 623 East Alexander Street, Plant City, FL

Plastic, Maxillofacial Reconstructive Surgery Jack A. Davidson, DDS, MD, PLLC

MEMBERSHIPS INCLUDE: Board Certified In Plastic Surgery The American Dental Association The American Medical Association American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons The American College of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons

TWO LOCATIONS TO BETTER SERVE YOU 623 East Alexander St., Plant City, FL Phone #: (813) 571-1516 Specialty: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Brandon Location: 1165 Nikki View Drive Brandon, FL 33511

The Florida Society of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons The American Society of Dental Anesthesiologists The Florida Dental Society of Anesthesiology Board Certified in Dental Anesthesiology foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


letter from

THE Publisher

Visit our web site:





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

GROCERY Paradise Fruit in 5-lb. box (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

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


may 2010

The impact physicians make on our community is infinite. Whether you consider the amount of lives they save, improve or transform, it’s staggering to contemplate. After publishing magazines for over 10 years now, every now and then I come across a story that really leaves an impression on me. One time we featured a pediatric dentist whose story I can’t forget. I had known Dr. Edward Gonzalez for many years because he was my wife’s pediatric dentist and my own children go to him. However, I never realized what I didn’t know about his life. The writer was able to condense his story and accomplishments into about 2000 words, but I’m sure if we were able to listen to the details of all his experiences, it would be worthy of a novel. The part that I still can’t get out my head is the sticker ball. Ten years ago he started keeping all the name tags the children wear in the office. It started with one child and one name tag, and is now a 55lb ball that sits at the exit of the office. Each one represents the life of a child who has come and gone through the office doors. His practice has been open over 35 years, so had this ball started in the 1970’s, the ball would now weigh 192 lbs, about the average weight of an adult male. The craziest part is that his pediatric dental office is only a portion of what he has accomplished and the lives he has touched. Thinking of how many people one man could touch, I started to wonder what Focus Magazine’s sticker ball would look like. It blows my mind to actually think about it. Over ten years ago my wife and I decided to start publishing FLMX, a motocross magazine, which led to us starting Focus Magazine in Plant City in 2002, which led into several other markets. If we had a sticker for every time a person read a Focus Magazine, I have no comprehension of the immensity that would look like. It was one of the most humbling thoughts sitting here pondering the figures. Between all our publications, we print over 1,000,000 copies of Focus Magazines a year. Most statistics point to magazines being read by more than one person. Think about how many times one individual has made themselves vulnerable to one of our writers and shared their personal stories, which are printed in mass quantities and read by other people. The impact of humans sharing their stories with each other is what life is all about. Now apply that same principal to all the physicians in the Plant City community. No matter what type of medicine they practice, it’s always about improving the quality of life. As a physician, what an honor to be able to look back at the end of your career and see how many lives you helped. Imagine the number of patients that come through the doors of each medical office in Plant City a year, and how many lives our physicians touch. Our cover and spotlight interview is on the Continuecare medical office in Plant City. Their staff goes out of their way to show personal attention to each patient and to recognize the important they play in their lives. Their primary focus is on serving Medicare and HMO patients. The reason their practice is successful is because they make it their own responsibility to ensure each patient receives excellent quality healthcare by understanding the guidelines of their plan. Investing into the lives of others is an affect that grows a sticker ball into an avalanche.

Mike floyd Publisher

Get Pampered this Summer!

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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010






(Free Exam with Wellness Labwork - a $45 value)

Senior Wellness Labwork includes: Bloodwork & Urinalysis to evaluate multiple organ function. Early detection is the key to aid pets in living longer. The earlier we catch these diseases the more likelyhood of treating the diseases and/or prolonging the life of the pet. 1704 Walden Village Ct. Plant City (813) 754-PETS (7387) We offer: Dentistry • Emergency Care • Grooming • Preventive Medicine • On-site Laboratory • X-ray Service and Upscale Boarding

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may 2010

Granite & Marble Gallery 813-707-5600 • Cell: 863-670-2092 1103 Goldfinch Drive, Plant City, FL 33566

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


Talkof the Town

Rotary Scholarships

The National Center for Education Statistics recently conducted a survey which stated that fifty-percent of college graduates acquire student loans after finishing their education, averaging around $10,000. College, at such a high cost, creates an unnecessary burden on newly graduating seniors, a burden which could hinder job productivity in the future. In order to secure that students will graduate from their university debt-free, Plant City’s Rotary Club began to prepare now for the costs that lie ahead in the lives of twelve deserving Plant City High School seniors. The Rotary club provides scholarships to students every year from PCHS, but this year the committee was especially generous. Instead of rewarding two finalists for the $1200 scholarship, all twelve interviewed finalists received the funds. The Plant City community is blessed to have such caring individuals in positions of leadership throughout the city, and also working within the lives of many students. One day, these high school seniors will look back and realize the generosity of organizations like Plant City’s Rotary Club, and reciprocate the kindness that has been shown to them over to others.

Insurance companies join forces

Two great names in insurance join forces to give you the best options in your search for total protection. Rolly Rollyson of V & R Insurance, one of the most respected names in Plant City’s Life & Health industry, has expanded his office to service the Property and Casualty needs of all Florida residents and business owners. Rolly Rollyson and his son Rhett have teamed up with Ken Fearnow of Fearnow Insurance, a cornerstone in Hillsborough County for Property & Casualty since 1991, to open a new agency in Plant City. Rollyson/Fearnow Insurance, is located at 1501 S. Alexander St. #104 in the Alexander Oaks Center.

Dedication of Plant City’s Veterans’ Memorial Park

The dedication for Plant City’s Veterans’ Memoral Park is set for Thursday, July 1, 2010, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. We hope everyone will come out and show your support for all those that have served and/or given their lives for our Country.


myfocus 12

may 2010

Life ela y for 0 R y it C 8 how Plant City - S Plant

Business Expo

Plant City - Sho w 81

the Son 5k Run in Show 82 lant City P

local talk of the town Rep. Bilirakis Announces New Plant City District Office Opening May 3

Congratulations to Roger and Shannon Mitchell on their new arrival

Focus Monthly Giveaway Winners

Krystal Gallagher was presented the trip giveaway by Rhonda Hardee of Travel By Horizon. Krystal won a 3 Day Gatlinburg Escape for registering for the Focus Deals program. Visit www. to get registered for the next trip giveaway or text “focus” to 32075.

Kellan Rhianne Mitchell was welcomed to the world on January 13, 2010 by her parents Roger and Shannon Mitchell and her sister Carson Leigh Mitchell. Born at South Florida Baptist Hospital at 1:28 PM weighing 7 lbs. 9 1/2 oz. and 20 1/4 inches long. Congratulations!

Sister’s & Company 2nd Annual Fashion for Life Fashion Show

Local Realtor Janet Swilley Heads to Washington D.C.

From May 11 through May 15, REALTORS® from across the nation will descend on Washington, D.C. for the National Association of REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo. During their time in the nation’s capital, REALTORS® will advance their legislative agenda and participate in a three-day real estate summit. Janet Swilley, Realtor, Broker of Realty 2000 Professional Associates

Youman’s Church “Homecoming Celebration”

Everyone is welcome to attend the “Homecoming Celebration” at Youman’s Church on May 23rd at 3816 US 92. Dinner will be served following the 10:30 a.m. Sunday service. The church, established in the 1930s, is credited with producing many ministers and leaders. Pastor Rob Cassata looks forward to meeting those, as well as new folks looking for a great place to worship Christ. Please call 813-752-2728 or visit for details.

New YMCA Director

Eric Poe stepped into the role of Executive Director of the Plant City Family YMCA on April 6 and has hit the ground running. Poe comes to Plant City from Franklin, TN where he had a managerial background both with the YMCA of Middle Tennessee and also with United Parcel Service. The local YMCA branch is one of 17 facilities of the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA. The organization is a charitable association dedicated to “building strong kids, strong families and strong communities, putting Judeo-Christian values into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all”. Programs for youths and adults are available to everyone, regardless of income. As a non-profit, through their Annual Giving Campaign and other special events, branches raise funds that stay at the local branch for scholarship programs for all activities.

Sister’s & Company invites you to a celebration honoring South Florida Baptist Hospital, with an exciting fashion show and shopping to benefit a great cause! Also enjoy an array of delicious Hors D’ Oeuvres. Thursday, June 17, 2010 from 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm at The Red Rose Ballroom. Please RSVP by June 7th. Seating is limited. Ticket Price $40 Runway Table Sponsorships $400. For information contact, Sister’s & Company, 104 E Reynolds Street, Plant City 813-754-0990.

Amanda Ardrey’s Graduation from College

Amanda Ardrey, daughter of Scott and Angela Ardrey, was all smiles on May 1, 2010. For not only did she graduate from Southeastern University with a double major in both Accounting and Finance, but she was also chosen as the University’s “Most Outstanding Finance major” for her graduating class. Amanda’s hard work and dedication paid off immensely, for she has landed a great career with Lockheed Martin as an Accounting Associate in their Space Division. In the spring of 2011, she will be returning to college to further her education as she pursues her MBA degree and her CPA license. Good luck, Amanda. We all wish you the best in your continued success.

U.S. Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis (R-Fla.), representing Florida’s 9th Congressional District, today announced the grand opening of a new district office in Plant City to better serve constituents in Eastern Hillsborough County. The new office stands ready to help individuals in need of assistance with a myriad of federal issues, including, but not limited to: Social Security, Medicare, veterans benefits, grant information, and expediting passports. “One of the most important things I do as a U.S. Representative is assist people with federal issues, and every year my congressional office helps thousands of individuals cut through red tape,” said Bilirakis. “I hope residents of Eastern Hillsborough County will use the new Plant City office as a resource whenever they need information, assistance or wish to share their views.”

Support Our Military

Please let the military know how much we love and appreciate them with love from home. We are sending care packages to our troops and ask the public to get involved. Our drop off locations in Plant City are both City Fire Departments on Alexander Rd., Taylor & Allen’s 4x4, NFW Wrestling School and Crystal Clear Pools. We are sending out the packages on Jun 21st. If you have any questions or inquiries contact Sharon Flowers at 813-764-6440. Thank you for your support in this great cause.

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


local focus

23rd Annual Rainbow Ball

“A Night in Vegas”

by C h e r y l J o h n s to n | P h o to s c o ur t e s y o f t h e R a i n b o w B a l l c o mm i t t e e

The success of the 23rd Annual Rainbow Ball was the talk of the town this past month. Over and over again, guests for “A Night in Vegas” on April 24th commented on the outstanding service and stunning themed décor provided by The Red Rose Ballroom. Complete with Wedding Chapel for those inspired to marry and slot machines, the setting was definitely a Vegas dream. Event co-chair Yvonne Fry praised the Madonias and their accommodating team, saying, “The incredible Red Rose staff bent over backwards to make this event our best ever. We truly appreciate their partnership and support.” The Doo Woop Group from Busch Gardens entertained several hundred dinner guests who danced afterwards to Funkmonster. Elvis posed for photo ops and did not leave the building until the last song at midnight. Jodi Smith and Yvonne Fry, event co-chairs, credited the “amazing committee of creative, inspiring women passionate about the cause of the Child Abuse Council, for making this year’s event a first-class success.” Despite several personal challenges and even tragedies the week of the ball,” Fry said, “We pulled together as a strong team to make this year’s ball the best yet.” The mission of the CAC, established in 1977, is to prevent abuse and to rebuild the child and family in cases of abuse. Event proceeds will benefit the new Lorena Jaeb Rainbow Center at 102 Palm Drive. The 2010 Hope Sponsors are Kovacs Brothers, Inc. and Sunshine State Federal Savings and Loan. Many other local businesses are also regular supporters. Plant City is definitely a village that cares about its children. Guests contributed in several ways. Each ordered drink received


may 2010

a playing card and the player with the best hand won Devil Rays tickets. Risk takers enjoyed the slot machines, and the cigar tent was a popular spot for the gentlemen. Both silent and live auctions for artwork and gift packages were a hit. One particularly inspirational auctioned item was created on stage by three teen artists (Demi Cobel, Kim LaBarbera, Andrea Long) under the leadership of Scott Campbell with Soul’d Out Youth from Plant City Church of God. The girls painted to music on a huge canvas as the audience watched. Everyone tried to predict the unfolding scene, but none could see the face of Jesus until the painters flipped the canvas upside down. How appropriate that this painting would be auctioned to raise money for the protection of children in abusive situations. Thank you, David and Romina Layman. Another generous guest commissioned a duplicate of the first piece. Funds raised here in Plant City serve this community. Stressful economic times increase domestic violence and abuse as families in crisis try to make ends meet. “Despite the economy, this community stepped up for this most worthy cause,” Smith said. “Many increased their sponsorships over last year and we found new sponsors as well. We are sincerely thankful for such support. We’re thrilled to have our own building now and can’t wait to make all those useful programs and resources available to those in need.” Obviously, the Rainbow Ball will continue to be a springtime great cause highlight. To learn more or receive the CAC newsletter, visit to view photos, learn the latest, and donate for the April 30, 2011 event. Help for families is only a heart click away.

Brian McEwen, Associate Director of the Child Abuse Council shares the stage with Jodi Smith and Yvonne Fry.Photo courtesy of Jodi Smith

Melissa Gaudens and Melissa Voelker take a photo op with Elvis before he left the building. Photo courtesy of Jodi Smith

UPCOMING SPECIAL SECTION In the June issue of Focus Magazine, a special section will be devoted to commemorate the July 1, 2010, dedication of the Veterans’ Monument. In addition, ads are being sold to be included in the commemorative section. The price of an ad is $75 for 50 words. For an additional $25, a specific service branch logo will be included. All proceeds from the sale of the ads will benefit the Veterans’ Monument Park! Below is the order form that must be completed for each ad sold. All ads sold must be turned in to Focus Magazine by June 1, 2010 as indicated on the form. These ads are another great opportunity for paying tribute to our veterans and our community.

Customer:____________________________________________________________Date:___________________________ Address:_______________________________________City:___________________State:_______Zip:_______________

Add Color Medallion: $25

Place a check mark under the appropriate medallion

Phone:______________________________________________Fax:_____________________________________________ Contact:_______________________________________Email:_________________________________________________ ARMY

50 Word Line Ad: $75






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Deadlines: All ads must be turned in by June 1, 2010. You may send your ad via fax to 813-764-0990 or by email to or you may drop it off at our office located at 101 E. J. Arden Mays Blvd. Downtown Plant City. Payment may be made by check or credit card made payable to Floyd Publications, Inc..

Credit Card Information


Sub Total (50 Words):________________ Expiration Date:_____________________________Type:________________________________CVC#_________________________


Add Color Medaliion:________________


*All proceeds benefit the Veterans Monument Park. Floyd Publications, Inc.

Total Billed:________________

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

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


local focus

Durant High School FFA Wins State Titles by C h e r y l J o h n s to n P h o to s c o ur t e s y o f Th o m a s S t ur g i s

The Durant High School Chapter of FFA is now home to three 2010 state championship teams in horticulture, and that accomplishment is a very big deal. More than 50 teams from around the state were registered to compete at the annual FFA State Ornamental Horticulture Demonstration Career Development Event on April 23rd in Gainesville. Students participated in five divisions: Landscape, Consumer Use, Production, Marketing, and Artistic Arrangement. Durant made history this year when it won three of the five possible state titles in ornamental horticulture. Each team was responsible for creating a 7 to 10 minute demonstration about some facet of the horticulture industry. Following each presentation, judges asked questions of the students before they made their decisions. Plenty of practice opportunities during agricultural classes at school, and in

area contests prior to the state event, help the students to speak confidently and with authority about their chosen topic. The team of Britta Pyke and Kyle Mann earned a state title in the production division for their demonstration about taking cuttings from plants. In the consumer use division, Somer Harvey and Andi Butts won the top award for demonstrating how to make Strawberry Walnut Salad Vinaigrette. The third state award winning team of Kris Dumke and Dakota Moore competed in the landscaping division by demonstrating how to program an irrigation timer. Emily Gonzalez and Katelynn Lewis earned second place recognition for creating an egg-free strawberry shortcake for people who suffer from egg allergies. Megan Young and Courtney Newsome ranked third in the state for their plant nursery’s marketing plan

In the consumer use category, Durant’s Somer Harvey and Andi Butts were the state winners for their demonstration of how to make Strawberry Walnut Salad Vinaigrette Dressing.


may 2010

demonstration. From the J.F. St. Martin Chapter, the freshmen team of Rachel Schaub and Sidney Robinson received a fourth place award for their artistic arrangement, as did the DHS team of Bailey Harrell and Tiffany Tucker for their beta fish planter. The chapter’s sponsor, Thomas Sturgis, is obviously pleased with the team’s accomplishments, saying, “These students did a great job of representing, not only the two chapters, but also the entire horticulture industry. They created interesting demonstrations and they practiced in preparation for these wins. Needless to say, I am very proud of their accomplishments.” He also expressed appreciation to the four mothers who helped to take the teams to Gainesville: Jeannie Young, Vicki Schaub, Kim Gonzalez and Marcie Barker. Events like this definitely need the support of a village! Founded in 1928, the Future

Kris Dumke and Dakota Moore pose with Durant’s FFA Chapter sponsor and agriscience teacher, Thomas Sturgis. The team took the state title for demonstrating how to program an irrigation timer.

Farmers of America organization brought together students, teachers and agribusiness to solidify support for agricultural education. Since then, millions of students - no one knows exactly how many - have donned the official FFA jacket and championed the FFA creed. Through this chapter membership program, many interested adults mentor and encourage the next generation of industry leaders in their personal growth and career success. Now, the organization is expanding the nation’s view of “traditional” agriculture and finding new ways to infuse agriculture into the classroom. Indeed, Plant City, these champions are the leaders-in-themaking of our future economic development. With poise, confidence, and a solid background in the agricultural industry, these young people will be well prepared to win at life. FFA provides a solid foundation.

In the production division of the Ornamental Horticulture State FFA competition, Britta Pyke and Kyle Mann took top honors for their demo centered on taking cuttings from plants.




Dan Manfre, PT ~ President


(813) 752-9800

602. S. Collins St.,

Plant City, FL 33563

(on the corner of Alabama St. and Collins St.)

Member of the Christian Karate Association


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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


Advantage Academy of Hillsborough

local focus

Public Charter School Grades K-8th No tuition!

Private School Environment Challenging Curriculum Highly Qualified Faculty Apple I-Pod Learning Lab Media Center and Science Lab Free After School Tutoring Before and Aftercare Provided

Parent Information Meetings May 13, May 17, May 20 or May 27 at 7:00 p.m. School tours every Thursday from 4:00 until 5:30 p.m. in May or call for an appointment! Apply on-line or visit the school to pick up an application from 9:00 – 4:00 Monday - Friday.

304 W. Prosser Drive Phone: 813-567-0801 18

may 2010

Longest Serving Members breaking ground with their golden shovels. Photo by Tony Wright

First Baptist Midway Breaks Ground on New Sanctuary S t o r y by S t e v e n R i ch a r d s o n

First Baptist Church of Midway located at 2902 Midway Road, has been a landmark in Plant City for over 110 years. Midway was established in the days of circuit preachers, in which preachers would travel by horse from church to church. FBC Midway just happened to be “midway” between Lakeland and Plant City. After nearly fifty years in the current building, FBC Midway broke ground on their new sanctuary. The new sanctuary will be able to seat around 400 people with a café that will seat around 250. Senior Pastor Dr. Mitch Weissman wanted the new building to be “modern, but with the same community flair” as the current sanctuary. What keeps a church alive for over 110 years is not just having a great place to worship, but it’s the worship itself. Dr. Mitch Weissman is the longest tenured pastor at Midway, going on 15 years as senior pastor. Dr. Weissman is a one of a kind Southern Baptist. He is a Harley riding completed Jew. Pastor Mitch grew up Jewish but has been faithfully preaching the Gospel for over 29 years. Pastor Mitch’s comprehension of the Hebrew texts and his extensive studies of the Gospel allow him to

delve deeper into the Word of God. Pastor Mitch’s teachings touch hearts and will inspire the listener to grow closer to God. In addition to the teachings, Rev. Mike Harrell leads a worship service like no other. “Mike could possibly be one of the best worship leaders in the entire country,” according to Pastor Mitch and this reverence was echoed throughout by Midway’s members. Rev. Mike has such a strong love for Jesus and his leadership reflects this love. It is through Midway’s strong leadership, devoted members and their desire to serve God, that this groundbreaking has occur. As Elder Pat Culpepper stated, “It’s not just about a building. It is about celebrating God’s Kingdom and celebrating with the people that will come as a result of this new building.” The new building is on schedule to open for service sometime near Christmas 2010. Come now do not wait until then to see what Midway has to offer. Once you’ve experienced Midway, you’ll be back. Sermon Podcasts and church details are available online at,


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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


local focus

IKON Children’s Golf Classic by C h e r y l J o h n s to n | P h o to s c o ur t e s y o f Am y N i z a m o f f

Plant City golfers gathered once again for a great cause, continuing a long tradition of camaraderie and Florida sunshine, all for the benefit of children and families. The annual IKON Children’s Golf Classic hosted 220 players in 55 teams on April 16th for the afternoon competition at Walden Lake Golf & Country Club. Proceeds from the event, hosted by South Florida Baptist Hospital, Plant City Chamber of Commerce, and the local Kiwanis Club, will benefit those three organizations, with the largest portion of funds assisting the hospital’s Wellness on Wheels program. IKON Office Solutions, Inc., once again the signature sponsor, is the world’s largest independent distributor of copier, printer, MFP, and document management technologies copiers. Special thanks are also due the following businesses (listed alphabetically): All Phase Electric, AmeriCare Ambulance Service, Inc., Associated Pathologists, P.A., CED/ Raybro Electric, CF Industries, Edwards Platt Meyer, P.A., Fred’s Southern Kitchen, HHA Services, Inc., Outback Steakhouse, Pepin Distributing, Q & Q , Inc., Raulerson & Company, P.A., SDI, Simmons Engraving, Stericycle, Stingray Chevrolet, Sunshine State Federal Savings & Loan, and Verizon. Jodi Smith chaired the tournament assisted by Amy Nizamoff, the Chamber’s administrative coordinator. Their work was simplified and attendance was boosted this year by the added convenience of online registration at the tournament website. The 4-person scramble kicked


may 2010

off with a Fred’s Southern Kitchen catered lunch at 11:00 a.m., followed by a shotgun start. During the event, golfers could participate in the putting contest and raffle with gifts galore for sponsors and players. The day ended with a poolside steak dinner and team awards. Representing St. Anthony’s Healthcare, John Nicely and Rob Goodell took first place on the Hills course. On the Lakes course, one of the two teams representing Edwards Platt Meyer, P.A. took first, with the foursome of Tom Dawson, Joe James, Scott McElveen, and Paul Seifert. Following are just a few details of how children and families benefit through this annual day of fun. The Wellness on Wheels program provides many valuable services for locals. In 2009, the traveling clinic provided safety information and back-to-school physicals for more than 750 children. WOW also assisted local schools with more than 3,300 vision and scoliosis screenings. The hospital’s annual Children’s Health Fair offered free vision, scoliosis, asthma, BMI and foot screenings to more than 400 children. The Plant City Kiwanis Club volunteers, dedicated to “changing the world, one child at a time,” impacted more than 6,000 local children last year through the clubs child-focused programs. The Plant City Chamber of Commerce provides scholarships and college funding through its resources generated by generous local businesses and individuals. SFBH Director Steve Nierman was encouraged by the “strong, community support.” He acknowledged, “After more than twenty years of participation by

folks who value children, the Ikon Children’s Classic Golf Tournament has become a true tradition in Plant City. There never seems to be a shortage of corporate sponsors or individuals participating. It really

amazes me how successful the event has continued to be in the past few years, despite our economy.” And to this, many children and families of Plant City say, “Thank you, golfers. Fore!

Melt Goodwin, Rand and Lynn Baldwin and Fred Johnson know that teamwork wins.

Matt and Barbara Powers with Angie and Steve Neirman are all smiles for a great cause.


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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


local focus

Plant City’s Relay for Life Transforming HOPE into a CURE S to r y a n d P h o to s by J o e B o w l e s

On April 23, thousands gathered at Plant City High School football stadium for Plant City’s annual Relay for Life opening ceremonies. Each year all across the nation communities like ours gather to remember those who have been touched by cancer and to raise money to continue the fight against this disease. Individuals and teams lined the inside of the track with booths and tents that gave the event the look of a fair or bazaar. Some teams shared information, others gave away souvenirs, while others sold merchandise or food items to add to the funds that their team

Early crowd at Opening Ceremony


may 2010

has been collecting over the past seven months. Some prepared to campout as team members took turns resting as at least one team member circled the track throughout the eighteen-hour relay event. Plant City’s version is one of the most successful Relay for Life events in the state of Florida. Last year’s effort raised nearly $250,000. Schools, churches, civic organizations, families, and local businesses made up most of the 60 teams that took part in this year’s event. Opening ceremonies started at 6:00 pm with the introduction

of the leadership committee, a welcome by Mayor Rick Lott, the singing of the National Anthem by the Plant City Community Choir, and the emotional first lap called the Survivors Lap. Before the first lap, cancer survivors were introduced one at a time, and each circled the track accompanied by their caregiver. At this event, everyone has a story. For Joanna Rogers, this year’s event chairperson, her involvement is very personal. “My sister, Julie Crites, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 40. After two years of treatments, she passed away with pneumonia. Her body was weakened by all she had to go through,” Rogers said, “I’m doing this for her.” Rogers, a fifth grade teacher at Cork Elementary, led a committee that ran like a “well oiled

Cancer survivor Gary Ebert and his caregiver, daughter Michelle Detwiler

machine.” “This has been a great year for me. I’ve had a wonderful committee. They did everything they promised they would do. I have a four and a seven-yearold. I hope they never have to experience this disease.” Shannon Collins, a first year team leader described her involvement, “I got involved because I wanted to be able to impact people’s lives for God and His kingdom. I wanted our church to have a presence here. My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor from 2005.” Mayor Rick Lott, sees this as a unifying event, “This event is really symbolic of the type of people we have in Plant City. As citizens walk together to fight a battle against this dreaded disease, each effort seems to unify our community. Every time I come to one of these events, I see the need but I also see the united effort put forth.” At 9:00 pm, a video presentation was projected on a large screen in front of the press box. The faces and names of those who had been touched by cancer were flashed on the screen. Some stood in silence while others prayed. Simultaneously, candles are lit inside bags filled with sand in the Luminaria Ceremony. Each candle represents a person touched by cancer. In the bleachers, candles were lit and the word “HOPE” was spelled out. As a few bags were moved, the word “HOPE” was transformed to the word “CURE.” “This is more than having hope,” said caregiver Connie Williams, “this is about finding a cure.”

Catch more on this story on FocusTV Episode 80 at

The Survivors Lap

A Unified Community

The Luminaria Ceremony

Chairperson Joanna Rogers at Opening Ceremony

Plant City Community Choir’s ensemble singing the National Anthem

Strawberry Festival Junior Royalty Court leading the Survivors Lap

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


local focus

National Day of Prayer and Heal Me Crusade by C h e r y l J o h n s t o n

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When it comes to prayer, Plant City is procactive. At a time when the right to pray in public places is being challenged nationally, our city officials took a strong stand to continue the time-honored tradition of the National Day of Prayer here in our town. During the April 27th City Commission meeting, MayorCommissioner Rick Lott presented a proclamation acknowledging May 7th as a day Plant City would join other towns across the country to honor God and pray for America. At the traditional noon National Day of Prayer service at City Hall, the Reverend Norm Blanton welcomed the faithful and Pastor Roy Liburd of Mount Olive Baptist Church led the prayer group that gathered until 1 p.m. Many area churches kept their doors open all day on the 7th, so people could drop in to pray as their schedules allowed. The prayer efforts continued that evening when the “Heal Me” Crusade opened its second annual three-night, nondenominational revival at the Plant City Stadium. The inaugural event in 2009 was Mikel and Tina Solomon’s attempt to share the God who through surgeons healed their then 8-year-old son Mikel of a brain tumor. That experience radically changed the Solomon family’s focus. The parents and their seven children want people to know that prayer in Jesus’ name works. With the support of 40 pastors from 20 area churches ranging from Baptists to Assemblies of God, more than 10,000 fliers were distributed throughout Central Florida. Each night saw an increase in attendance as the message spread through word of mouth, texting, and social media such as Facebook. Pastor Jim Rodriguez of Transforming Life Ministries opened with prayer for God’s mercy upon America. Mayor Lott presented a

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proclamation on behalf of the city to the Solomons, acknowledging the Heal Me Crusade venue as the evening continuance of the city’s National Day of Prayer. Following Lott, siblings Meadoe and Mikel Solomon shared the mike to tell the story of Mikel’s miracle and give thanks to the medical care staff. Award-winning pianist/vocalist Rita Springer invited attendees to join her singing before Kaci Stewart and the CityLife Church praise team led the worship set. Pastors and evangelists who shared God’s great hope during the 3-evening event included Tony Stewart, T.L. Lowery, Keith Barron, J.L. Cash of Healing Place Worldwide, and Richard Mull of Operation Lightforce. On the opening Thursday, Pastor Paula White of Without Walls in Tampa telephoned to pray for all in attendance. Saturday evening’s “Youth Explosion” featured five Christian bands and youth ministers who called for obedience among the young. Prior to the event, the Solomon family and friends worked together to find ways to fund the crusade, beginning at the Strawberry Festival when they offered bottled water for donations. This year an anonymous donor paid the stadium rental fee. Offerings collected during the crusade will help the needy in our community. Thanks to everyone who participated in any of the day’s events. Please continue your prayers for our nation, military, community, leaders, families, schools, individuals, businesses, and churches. The theme selected for 2010 by Shirley Dobson, the director for America’s National Day of Prayer movement, has never been more appropriate. We must pray, as the biblical Queen Esther did, “for such a time as this” and as for as long as we have that freedom.

Helpful hints on keeping your pet safe this summer • Never leave your pet unattended in the car on a warm or sunny day. Cars quickly heat up to a dangerous temperature, even with the window slightly open. • Be sure to keep your pets up-to-date on their vaccinations and preventative medications. • Fleas and ticks stay busy in warm weather and summer is also the prime time for heartworms. Check with your veterinarian about the best way to keep your pets healthy. • Beware of cocoa mulch ,certain plants and other gardening products. Pesticides, fertilizers and other gardening products. Pesticides, other harshand chemicals canchemicals also be quickly fertilizers other harsh can also fatal if ingested. be quickly fatal if ingested. • Hot sidewalks can burn the pads on your dog’s paws, so walk on the grass when possible. • When driving with pets, be sure to keep them properly restrained and inside the vehicle. Special seatbelts and secured carriers can protect pets during accidents and prevent them from distracting the driver. The back of a pick-up truck is never a safe place for a pet to ride. • Alway keep plenty of drinking water available for your pet during the summer.

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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


local focus

Changing Lives Through Exchange Students s to r y a n d ph o t o s by Ta mm y C a s ta g n o

It was a steamy night in August and I found myself sitting in baggage claim at Tampa International, wondering what I had managed to get myself into. Seven weeks earlier, I had agreed to host an exchange student from Italy and then compounded that by volunteering to be a local coordinator for the exchange program. Now I was waiting for my student and wondering how I would manage to keep track of the other 12 young people flying in from all over the world. Germany, Spain, Macedonia, Slovakia, Korea, and Taiwan - places I had never been to personally; yet I had taken on the responsibility of finding loving homes for these young people to spend the next ten months in. I was admittedly overwhelmed in that moment; and then there was my new daughter from Italy. We had been exchanging emails, but now it was real and she was

here to be part of our family. These young people are amazing. Their parents make a significant financial investment for their travel to the United States and the students themselves give up a year of school at home. They come to immerse themselves in our culture, to learn what it is to be “American�, to work on their English language skills, and to expand their view of the world. Many come with excellent language skills speaking three and four languages fluently, but commit to speaking only English while they are here. Their strength of spirit is inspiring as they adjust to a strange place with no family, no friends, and hosts that in all likelihood do not speak their native language. They adjust, adapt, and thrive. It is wonderful to watch them integrate into our everyday lives through high school sports, drama, church, dances, and the myriad

front row L-R Camilla Cibra>Italy, Jinhwa Song>South Korea, Bokyung Kim>South Korea, Gary Bestla> Germany, Hyeonjung Kim> South Korea Back Row> Christain Blinne>Germany


may 2010

of extracurricular activities our children enjoy. It is amazing the opportunities we take for granted when compared to these students. Many European schools do not offer high school sports or clubs, and prom is a new experience! For many the toughest adjustment is to the pace of activity here. We are a society on the go and it seems, 24/7. School, soccer practice, drama practice, music lessons, quick dinner, homework, church are all things we take for granted as a normal part of everyday routines. One of the greatest rewards personally has been the opportunity to share our culture with them while also learning about theirs - beyond what we read in travel brochures or see on television, but what is really unique and special about their countries. We also learn aspects of their culture they are proudest of and that are important to them. I have a new found

understanding and respect for these other societies and look forward to visiting these young people, meeting their families and learning even more about their homelands. Beyond that, they are a sobering reminder of our status and stature in the world as Americans. There perception of our country and us provides a great deal of insight into how our actions and decisions impact not only ourselves, but also those far from us. When you listen to these young people talk about the wonder and opportunity of America, it emphasizes the burden of responsibility we have as a society. It also makes me proud we are still a country that captures the imagination of people in every corner of the world. If you are interested in hosting a student or would like additional information, please contact Tammy Castagno @ 813-545-1787 or see our website:

back row Gary Bestla.Germany, Tammy Castagno>Local Coordinator, Bokyung Kim> South Korea, Gina Schindler> Germany, Camilla Cibra> Italy, Front row> Hyeonjung KIm> South Korea, Juraj Nemeth>Slovakia

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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


local focus

Never-Smokers Get Lung Cancer, Too Local Swimming Great Facing a different Challenge S to r y by Br i a n W e s t

It seems like it was just yesterday that I was sitting with a group of friends in front of the television watching and cheering as our friend, Dianne Bravis Caridi, was swimming for her dream; to make the Olympic Swim Team. It was the summer of 1988, and we all remember it fondly. Caridi grew up in Plant City as the daughter of Chuck and Kathy Bravis. Kathy taught both Dianne and her older brother Scott how to swim. They both thrived in the pool, and later swam for the Walden Lake Swim Team and Plant City High School. Caridi matured into a swimmer who could hold her own in the water with anyone, eventually earning a scholarship to swim for Clemson University. Caridi graduated from Clemson and found the love of her life, Joe. They were married and started a family. They have two young boys; Joey is 5 and Anthony is 3. Then in September, 2008, Caridi was diagnosed with lung cancer, stage IIIb (adenocarcinoma). Although she’s never smoked, this is the challenge she’s been dealt. Fortunately, she’s still as competitive as always. Just a few weeks ago, she participated in a 5k run/walk in Gainesville to benefit the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. So now, instead of facing other swimmers in a pool, she’s facing off against lung cancer, every moment of every day. Although lung cancer isn’t just a smoker’s disease, there’s a lack of awareness to this important point. Most people diagnosed with lung cancer are, or have


may 2010

been smokers, but a large portion has never smoked a day in their lives. People of all ages are being diagnosed, and many of them are young women. It’s almost as if we’re conditioned to think that if someone has lung cancer, they must be, or have been a smoker. Because of this belief, sometimes there isn’t much sympathy for those with lung cancer which is thought of as a disease the person brought on themselves. And research funding for lung cancer is less than other cancers. I remember working as a lifeguard at the Walden Lake pool, and even though no one would be there swimming on a Saturday in December with temperatures in the 40’s, the pool was open. I was sitting in the office just trying to stay warm, but I was working. Just when I thought it would be another cold day at the pool, Caridi walked into the office in a full length fur coat, with her swimsuit on underneath. She was there to swim laps, still training even though she was home for Christmas break and it was cold outside. Tony Almon, Head Lifeguard, rolled the tarp off a couple of lanes of the pool and a few moments later, Caridi ran from the bathrooms to the pool deck, dove in and swam laps for what seemed like forever. Tony and I sat in the warmth of the office as we watched in amazement at Caridi’s dedication while she moved from end to end in the pool with the cold air drawing steam off the pool surface. Caridi came up just short of making the 1988 Olympic Team during the qualifiers held in Texas. I don’t remember exactly how

short, but it seems like it was a few hundredths of a second. This time she’s chasing a different dream; the dream of life, to live another day. She’s endured a feeding tube, radiation and multiple rounds of chemotherapy. Now she’s taking a growth inhibitor, Tarceva. Although her friends and family

aren’t sitting together in front of the television, we’re all together spiritually, praying and cheering her on in her most courageous fight. Best of luck Dianne! We love you! The “Dianne Bravis Caridi Wellness Fund” has been established at Sunshine State Federal Savings and Loan to help with medical expenses.

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


local focus

Pageant Winners Miss Plant City USA and Miss Plant City Teen USA S to r y a n d ph o t o s by Br i t ta n y C e r n y

Beauty, poise and self-confidence are just a few of the traits synonymous with pageants over the years. These traits were put to the test as young women competed for the titles of Miss Hillsborough County USA and Miss Hillsborough County Teen USA in the 2011 pageant on May 2. The titles of Miss Plant City USA and Miss Plant City Teen USA were also awarded during the pageant. The young women were judged in a three phase judging system. First, the judges evaluated the young women on how well they presented themselves during an onstage interview during which they gave a prepared speech about themselves and answered a question they themselves had submitted. Then, the young women were judged on how well their beauty and health showed through their choice of swim wear. Finally, the young women were judged on the overall appearance of their evening gown. Brigittia Long, the director of the pageant, was there to not only give direction, but also to lend support to current title holders. Long serves as the director for pageants throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk Counties. To tie together such a diverse group of girls, Long supplies all of the girls with crown themed pins, rings and track suits to give them a “sense of community.” Now, there are four new young South Florida women who have become a part of that tight knit community. Samantha Williamson, a Plant City native, was crowned Miss Plant City USA 2011. She teaches nutrition to third and fourth graders at local elementary schools and loves to be involved in the community. “Pageants are good self-esteem boosters,” Williamson said, “and, you’ll


may 2010

make connections that will help you throughout your life.” Somer Harvey was crowned Miss Plant City Teen USA 2011. She plans to get prepared for the state competition in July and stay active with pageant activities. Katie Greene, a freshman at the University of South Florida, was crowned Miss Hillsborough County USA 2011. She said that she has a “long road ahead” before the state competition, but she knows that she has the support she needs to get there. “Pageants have truly been a wonderful experience for me,” Greene said. Christie Nowels, an aspiring sports broadcaster, was crowned Miss Hillsborough County Teen USA 2011. As a self-defined dreamer, Nowels hopes to make her dreams of winning a larger title come true in July. Along with the prestige that accompanies their titles, the young women also win a prize package that includes an estimated $1,750 to pay their entry fee into the Miss Florida USA and Miss Florida Teen USA pageant and all the embellishments that help the young women prepare for the state wide competition. Grant Gravitt Jr., the executive producer and director of Tel-Air Interests Inc., was at the pageant to see which of the young women would be coming with him to Hollywood to compete in the Miss Florida USA and Miss Florida Teen USA pageants. Gravitt’s family has been involved with pageants since the 1960s and these pageants provide young women with a wonderful opportunity to get involved within their communities. “I always say that people need to pay attention to these girls because one day, you’ll be working for them.” He said.

Left to right: Somer Harvey, Miss Plant City Teen USA 2011 and Samantha Williamson, Miss Plant City USA 2011.

Christie Nowels is crowned Miss Hillsborough County Teen USA 2011.

New titles, new crowns and a new list of things to do before the state wide competition in July.

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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


local focus

Run in the Son 5K s to r y a n d ph o t o s by S t e v e n R i ch a r d s o n

The first Run in the Son 5K held at the First Baptist Church of Plant City took place on May 8. The sky was clear and the sun was shining for what turned out to be a beautiful Plant City morning. The Run in the Son 5k Run/Walk is a fundraiser helping to provide for those traveling to Guatemala this summer. The week long mission trip is expected to cost around $1,250 per person and all the proceeds from the race went to help off-set the out-of-pocket expenses. The 5K was no obstacle for Christie Raburn who won with a time of around 19 minutes, with Currie Dickerson coming in a close second. However, the heart of the race is the cause which the race benefits. The race helps offset the cost of the trip that each person pays out of their own pockets. Guatemala has a population of roughly 14 million people with approximately 70% living at or under the poverty line; essentially 7 of every 10 people lives in poverty. The distribution of income remains highly unequal with the richest decile comprising over 40% of Guatemala’s overall consumption. As a result, about 51% of the population lives on less than $2 a day and 15% on less than $1 a day; 43% of children under five are chronically malnourished, which is one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world. (CIA Factbook) Nine people will participate on the mission trip to the Children’s Malnutrition Center in San Juan, Guatemala. The Malnutrition Center was identified by the


may 2010

Florida Baptist Children’s Homes as one of its first international ministry locations due to the extreme need and opportunity to greatly change the lives of children. The Children’s Malnutrition Center provides temporary care to infants and young children ranging from infancy to ten years old. The children receive three meals a day, daily bathing, medical attention, and other basic necessities. The children are only discharged once a doctor has determined they have regained proper nutrition and there are assurances they will have adequate nutritional resources once discharged. The Center currently has the ability to house 35-40 children; however, there is the capacity to house over 200 children once improvements and repairs have been completed. “This is really my heart, just working with children in the less fortunate places in the world,” said Catie Walker. This exemplifies the passion and love these children receive at the Nutrition Center, a love they have likely never felt before. Volunteers are an essential component of the Malnutrition Center which only has 3 full-time staff. Not only are those that are going with FBC Plant City providing essential physical care for these children, they are also demonstrating the love of an amazing God. The Bible says in 1 John 3:17-18 “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God

be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” While going on a mission trip may not be a current possibility for all, we all still have a part to play in this lifetime. Whether through volunteering, fundraising, donating, missions, or you name it, there is no job to small in

God’s Kingdom. If you would like to help support those traveling to Guatemala this summer, donations will be accepted through the First Baptist Church of Plant City. Simply mark the envelope “Attn: Guatemala Mission Trip.” Catch more on this story on FocusTV Episode 82 at

Runners take off at the Run in the Son 5K, winner Christie Raburn in orange shorts.

Run in the Son 2010 Results Age Group Women Men 0-4

Morgan Walls

Zy Floyd


Sydney Swartman Cole Swartman


Linzee Tidey


Currie Dickerson


Catie Walker

Nicholas Shakes


Christie Roburn

Ed Raburn


Shelly Connell

Joe Dickerson


Linda Atkins

Mario Domingues

Chase Dunn


Coleman Davis


LeRoy Erickson

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


local focus

Tribute to Life 2nd Annual Golf Tournament – Remember Brooke and Nick by C h e r y l J o h n s to n | P h o to s c o ur t e s y o f M i t ch M cD o n a l d

When a child dies, the parents’ lives are changed forever. In their grief, the families of Brooke McDonald and Nick Dandridge joined forces to host a fundraiser golf scramble to benefit organizations that help local teens. Thirty-three teams of four golfers competed in the 2nd Annual Tribute to Life tournament on May 1st at Walden Lake Golf and Country Club. A sausage breakfast preceded the 8:30 a.m. tee off. Grilled burgers and hot dogs awaited the finishers following their rounds. In between meals, there was plenty of good-natured ribbing and laughter, all for a great cause. The parents of the two deceased teens, Mitch and Barbara McDonald with his coworker Jim Dandridge and wife Monica, established the annual tournament in remembrance of their children, Brooke and Nick who died suddenly in late 2008. Monies remaining after expenses are divided among four organizations that focus on teens and their needs: The 88Wayz Foundation (founded by Desmond Clark), Highland Park Church of the Nazarene Youth Camp Foundation, Soul’d Out Youth of Plant City Church of God, and the Columbus Girls Academy at Teen Challenge.


may 2010

Golfing is a great outlet and a great connector of people. By reaching out in their pain, both fathers hope to help others avoid this same type of loss. In the process, their families have grown closer. Mitch McDonald was excited that once again, his own two brothers, Marc and Mike, had flown in to honor the memory of their niece. He described a change that has taken place in his family, since Brooke went to heaven: “Prior to this sad time, we would always talk about ‘getting together sometime soon’. Now, we make it a point to attend each other’s important functions and milestones. We’ve grown closer through this tragedy.” Desmond Clark, #88 and tight end for the Chicago Bears, is proud to support this great effort once again, along with his friend John Gilmore, #88 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Clark’s charitable work through his 88 Wayz Foundation provides mentoring and role models for at-risk youth in Polk County. The top-scoring team of Jon Heaser, Kelly Morris, Mike Jordan and Bobby Mallow took tournament honors on the course with 19 under par. Twelve-year-old Shelby Keely took top honors in her Aunt Barbara McDonald’s eyes, when she used the money she’d earned by showing and selling her pig at the Strawberry

Festival to purchase a donated four-wheeler for $512. Barbara explained, “Shelby knew the money would go to a great cause in her cousin’s memory. She adored her ‘Brookie’.” Next year’s event is planned for the first weekend in April. If you have a teen or know of

families who do, why not form a team for practice rounds now? Visit for details and to view event photos. Help others through awareness and support the local groups who work with teens. We can’t afford to have another young life lost.

L to R: John Gilmore (Tampa Bay Bucs #88), Lester Davis, Ralph Wilson, and his brother Desmond Clark (Chicago Bears #88) support the Tribute to Life once again this year.

An 80’ crane on loan from All Crane Rental of Florida becomes the flagpole that displays our American flag, and the new logo created for Tribute to Life.

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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


local focus

Who Deserves

A Makeover? The time is now to nominate someone for the “Focus on You” Makeover.

Many people know someone who is selfless, someone who always seems to be helping others. Now think for a second about someone you know like that. Who was the first person that came to your mind? Sometimes those people need a break, and they need a day where they aren’t concerned about helping those in their lives. It is not a selfish thing, just something well-deserved. Well, fortunately, FOCUS is offering a day like that for four


may 2010

lucky people. It is the magazine’s annual “Focus on you Makeover,” which rewards people with a day of pampering. So if you know anyone who deserves a makeover, FOCUS is here to make it happen with the help of other businesses in the community. To nominate someone, send a 300-word letter describing why he or she deserves a makeover. It can be submitted via mail, e-mail, or fax.

All nominations must be received by midnight May 20. Four winners will be chosen and notified on May 21 Letters should be titled “Focus on you Makeover Plant City” and mailed to 101 E. J. Arden Mays Blvd., Plant City, FL 33563. Entries can also be e-mailed to editorial@ Write “Focus on you Makeover Plant City” in the subject line and send the entry in the body of the e-mail – please, no attachments. Entries should include the name of the nominee and the nominator, along with the nominees address, home phone number, and work phone number. For faxing, call (813) 764-0990, Attn: DeDe. Letters and entries will be published in FOCUS Magazine and photographs will be taken, during the makeover day, and published in

the following month’s edition. So what’s in store for the four lucky winners? The day begins with breakfast, and afterwards the winners will pick out a new outfit. Then comes a massage, followed by a lunch with the FOCUS staff. During lunch, we will have a surprise for each winner. After lunch, the contestants will have makeup done following a professional facial, manicure, pedicure, and haircut. To top the evening off, a limo will transport the winners and their dates to a photo shoot and to enjoy an evening of fine dining. It is sure to be a day notsoon to be forgotten. See last years make over at: Plant City Episode 34

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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


local focus

New Directors fill Vacancies Sunshine State Federal Savings and Loan welcomes three new Directors

by Br i a n W e s t | P h o to s by m i k e f loy d

Sunshine State Federal Savings and Loan has served our community for 56 years. The bank is led by Floyd Hall, CEO and President, along with an eight member board. Over the past couple of years, the board has seen some changes due to their mandatory retirement age of 75, with Crea Beauchamp, Julian Craft and Robert Trinkle moving to Director Emeritus. Ed Verner was appointed on March 26, 2008. Verner’s grandfather was one of the founding members for the bank, so the appointment has special meaning him. Verner said, “Because of my grandfather’s involvement with the bank, I’m very proud of the appointment. The bank has a proven record of being good stewards of the community’s money, and also of giving back to the community.” Verner is a graduate of Duke University and Wharton School certifications for Family Business studies through the University of Pennsylvania. He is a businessman with interest in real estate, agriculture and even a “honkytonk” – the Dallas Bull. He excels at anything he puts his mind to, including writing, flying, sailing and music. He writes and composes music, and is quite talented. His immediate family includes his wife, Amanda, and three children; David (15), Robert (14) and Vaviel (12). Winfred Harrell was appointed on November 18, 2009. Harrell and his family came to Plant City in 1951 when his father purchased a fish business. Harrell worked for


may 2010

the Cornett phosphate mines for 25 years as an electrician, and started a nursery on the side with five acres of land. He retired in 1983 to pursue the nursery business full-time, and today the business operates 235 acres with about 100 employees. Harrell has been honored with several recognitions, including Horticulturist of the Year from Florida Southern College. He is a very humble soul, saying “I’m really just a farmer, farming out of containers.” But on his appointment to the board Harrell said, “It is a great honor. I’ve known the bank since it came into existence, and it’s to people’s advantage to do business there.” Harrell and his wife, Sue, have three children: Amy Wineger, Leigh Ann Battorff and Doug Padgett. Coleman Davis was appointed on February 17, 2010. He has been with Badcock Furniture since 1965, working at the Bartow corporate office, and as the dealer here in Plant City since 1971. Davis has received numerous awards for his work throughout the years, including the 2000 Retailer of the Year from the Florida Retail Federation and the 2001 the Wogan S. Badcock Jr. Community Service Award, which is given each year to one Badcock dealer. More recently, Davis was named Citizen of the Year in 2005 and received the 2008 Small Business of the Year from the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce. On his appointment to the board, Davis said, “It’s a pleasure to join a board of directors who have demonstrated integrity

L to R: Winfred Harrell, Coleman Davis and Ed Verner.

and loyalty in our community.” Davis and his wife, Sue, have two children: Laura Storter and Jamie Davis. Sunshine State Federal Savings and Loan is a model institution. They’re not only here for the individual needs of our community, but also as supporters

of many great organizations and causes – everything from the United Food Bank of Plant City to the YMCA to the Child Abuse Council. Congratulations to the new board members, and thanks, Sunshine State, for all you do to help our community.

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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010



Mike E. Sansone –

Barber, Patriot, Friend of Scouting

S u b m i t t e d by p l a n t c i t y ph o to a rch i v e s

Everyday, many Plant City area residents enjoy the facilities at the 77-acre Mike Sansone Park – the baseball and softball fields, basketball courts, skate park, volleyball courts, picnic pavilions, and nature trail. It’s a great park. But who was Mike Sansone? This is one of the articles we need help with. Many people seem to know of him, but few have related detailed stories to us. So, here is a brief story about Mike Sansone, most of which comes from the D.E. Bailey and Quintilla Geer Bruton book, Plant City: Its Origin, and History. If you have more information and stories, please contact the Photo Archives. Most everyone we’ve spoken with who knew Mike Sansone spoke admirably of his years of work with the American Legion and with the Boy Scouts of America. He was relentless in his drive for excellence. He would settle for no less than Eagle Scout. He worked with the American Legion sponsored Troop 5, and as Assistant Scout Master proudly posed on the steps of the 1914 Plant City High School building with Troop 5, which consisted of all Eagle Scouts! That was 1933. No one alive today seems to know exactly where Mike Sansone came from, or exactly when. It is said that Sansone was a volunteer for the U.S. Army in the “Mexican border wars of 1915,” which actually took place over a number of years – from 1910 to about 1920. The story goes that young Sansone, (born in Italy on August 15, 1887), arrived in Plant City “several years before World War I”. It is said that he thought the climate would be similar to his birthplace in Italy, plus his funds were dwindling. Mike Sansone got off the Atlantic Coast Line train at Plant City’s Union Station, just opened in 1909, and thought about setting up his business as a barber – a trade he learned from his father. He knew no-one. As he looked toward the small town of less than three thousand he must have been impressed. Since the disastrous fires of


may 2010

July and October of 1907, much of the downtown had been rebuilt – this time with brick. He saw a man preparing to get into his carriage and approached him and asked where he might find lodging. Here is the Bailey and Bruton book’s description of this chance meeting: “The man holding the reins looked closely at his young questioner and probably more from observation than aural understanding gathered a broad outline of the situation. With a warm smile, he gestured toward the seat beside him. ‘Tell you what, young man,’ he said. ‘Can’t tell you right off-hand where to go, but I’m going home to a hot supper right now. Suppose you come along. We can put you up tonight, and we’ll see about the rest in the morning.’ “The man was Bloxham Dormany, and Mike Sansone was a member of that household until he was laid to rest in the family plot many years later. Bloxham Dormany always enjoyed retelling this story of Mike’s arrival.” Sansone was about 30 years old when he settled in Plant City. He quickly found employment as a barber in this rapidly growing town, and then took a leave of absence to serve in the U.S. Army in World War I. He served with the Infantry’s 31st Division under Plant City’s two-star general, General Vivian Collins, son of Palestine Hamilton Collins, who later married Olin Wright. He served until 1918 and returned to Plant City. Mike Sansone had served with Norman E. McLeod, Plant City’s first WWI casualty, and assisted in organizing the Plant City American Legion Post 26, in 1919, which was then named for Norman McLeod. Sansone returned to barbering and volunteered tirelessly for the American Legion and became deeply involved in Scouting. He never married and, except for service in the wars, lived in the Dormany home. His barber shop became a gathering spot for the

Mike Sansone cuts hair of Horst Glamsch Snow, Panky Snow’s son, Jan 1960

fledgling Boy Scouts, and Sansone was a born counselor – kind, fair, and tough. “Boys flocked to Mike’s shop with their problems.” The Bailey and Bruton book states it very well: “Mike devoted his life to youth. He hiked with them, camped with them, canoed with them, and all the while counseled them. He never went to college and he did not make a lot of money, but several prominent and successful business and professional men who did, said they had received financial help from Mike to attend college.” Although in his fifties, when World War II broke out Mike Sansone tried to re-enlist – but was turned down because of his age. He was disappointed and sought out his friend, Arthur Boring, also active in the American Legion. Boring contacted General Collins, then a three-star general at Camp Blanding, and Mike Sansone sewed on his stripes as a master sergeant and trained new recruits at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for the duration of the war. After WWII, Mike Sansone again returned to Plant City, to the Dormany home, to his barbering, to his American

Legion Post 26, and to his Boy Scout Troop 5. He was in his late fifties but never slowed down. He raised money for charities, and for the soon-to-be South Florida Baptist Hospital. He worked continuously for American Legion causes and Boy Scout programs. The Plant City Jr. Chamber of Commerce established its Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award in the 1950s. Mike Sansone was the first recipient of this award. He continued his barbering and his volunteerism until the day he died, June 5, 1963, at age 75. Mike Sansone was honored at First Presbyterian Church when a capacity crowd attended his funeral to say goodbye. He is laid to rest in the Dormany family plot, Oaklawn Cemetery, lot 2, block 9A. For his life dedicated to youth, the 77-acre recreational park constructed between Park and Wilder Roads is named for Mike Sansone. Sources: Quintilla Geer Bruton and David E. Bailey, Jr., Plant City; Its Origins and History, 1984, Plant City Photo Archives’ Oral History Project 2010, and the files at Plant City Photo Archives.

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Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce by Bruc e R o d w e l l Can you believe it? This is the 83rd. column I have submitted to FOCUS on behalf of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce. Next month’s column will bring the total to 7 years! It doesn’t seem possible. Where does the time go? ********** As we approach the summer months, there will be plenty of activities and events taking place. Please remember to call the Chamber office (813-754-3707) and get your event placed on the COMMUNITY CALENDAR. The call to the Chamber serves two purposes. 1. It tells you if another event is planned for the same date and if it would present a conflict, and 2. It lets our community know about your event. If you are in charge of your organization’s event…make that call! You’ll be glad you did. ********** How about that 13th. Anniversary Strawberry Classic Car Show? There were some 650 classic cars on display. A great crowd enjoyed looking them over. The Chamber’s next show will take place on Saturday, June 19 th. You will not want to miss it. ********** On May 21 st. the 2010 Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce LEADERSHIP CLASS will graduate. This is truly a great program. The goal is to prepare current and future leaders of our community for decisions that must be made as our city continues to grow and develop. The graduation is taking place at Plant City Photo Archives. The program is under the direction of the Chamber Board and is managed by Leadership Alumni and Coordinated by Chamber President Marion Smith and her very capable staff. Member of the 2010 class include: Chris Carapezza, Clint Cline, Lionel Crooks, Jean Ann Davenport, Jim Freyvogel, Ingrid Gaylord, Angie Hunter, Jim LeHeup, Verna McKelvin, Patti Mills, Candy Owens, Grant Poling, Devony Scott, Kimberly Smoot, Tami Toney, Kathleen Waite and Karen White, CPA. Congratulations to these graduates. On March 18 th. South Florida Baptist Hospital broke ground for a $4.5 million center for heart and vascular care. This will be an 8,000 square foot addition to the hospital. Construction has already started and the center is scheduled to open this coming October. Steve Nierman, Chief Operating Officer for the hospital said the center will help save lives. He said there’s a saying in heart care that time is muscle and the faster the treatment the better chances a patient will recover.


may 2010

Coronary arterial disease is the leading cause of death in America. The sooner the physician can restore blood flow to the heart, the more likely the patient is to survive. Dr. Robert Baskin, Chief of the medical staff at SFBH said the hospital is expanding its services as part of its “commitment to improvement and excellence” in the community. ********** One of our new Chamber members, AAMCO TRANSMISSIONS is holding an open house on Saturday, May 22nd. That event will go on all day. Stop by and get acquainted. They are located at 2908 James L. Redman Parkway. ********** On Wednesday, May 26th. the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce will hold their annual EGGS & ISSUES wrap-up of the 2010 Legislative Session. Invitations have been extended to Ronda Storms, Rich Glorioso, and Rachel Burgin. This informative presentation will take place at the Red Rose Inn & Suites Red Rose Ballroom. This will get underway at 7:30 AM. Call the Chamber office at 813-7543707 to RSVP. You can find out what happened in Tallahassee this past Legislative session. ********** The Annual MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE will be held at the American Legion Hall, 2207 West Baker Street, Plant City on May 31 st. This event gets underway at 11 AM. It is a great way to honor our service men and women, both past and present. The various clubs and organizations will present wreaths in honor of our fallen heroes. After a brief service, refreshments will be served compliments of the American Legion Norman McLeod Post No. 26. ********** Don’t forget BIKE FEST which will take place in Historic Downtown Plant City on Saturday, June 5th. This is a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon and evening with the family. Lots of great motorcycles to look over. There is also great entertainment and vendors. ********** The monthly Chamber CONTACT BREAKFAST will take place on Wednesday, June 9 th. at the Red Rose Inn & Suites Ballroom. This is always interesting and a great place to meet Chamber members. Cost is $10. Call the Chamber office at 813-754-3707 to RSVP. ********** Susan Wilson, The Chamber’s Membership

Director will be celebrating her birthday on June 9th. If you see Susan on that day wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY ! ********** On Saturday, June 12th. the Second Annual HIGH HEEL HIKE will take place in downtown Plant City with the starting point at McCall Park. This event benefits Generation Rescue which raises awareness for autism. Information can be obtained by contacting Jules Burt at 813-764-8695 or her web site . ********** Sisters & Company is holding a FASHION FOR LIFE event at the Red Rose Inn & Suites on June 17 th. from 6:30 to 9 PM. Proceeds from this event will benefit South Florida Baptist Hospital. Additional information can be obtained by calling Devony Scott at Sisters & Co. 813-754-0990, extension 295. ********** Unity in the Community will hold their Annual Benefit GOLF CLASSIC on Friday, June 18 th. at the Bloomingdale Golfers Club, 4113 Great Golfers Place, Valrico. Registration is at 7 AM with a tee time of 8:30 AM. There will be door prizes, raffle prizes and a full dinner provided to all golfers. There are two hole in ones sponsored by Stingray Chevrolet, one on the front nine par 3 and one on the back nine par 3. This tournament is sponsored by Sweetbay Supermarket and benefits Unity in the Community. For further information call Henry Falcon at 813-754-9338 or Joyce Jordan at 813-752-1275. ********** Pregnancy Care Center of Plant City is holding their Annual TEA OF SIGNIFICANCE on Saturday, June 26 at Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 1107 Charlie Griffin Road, Plant City. This gets underway at 11 AM and goes on to 1 PM. For information call the Center at 813-759-0886. ********** REMEMBER TO SUPPORT YOUR GREATER PLANT CITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEMBERS………………………… LOOK FOR THE SIGN:

Ribbon Cuttings

Truth Christian Store & Event Center Jennifer Flagg, Owner 301 South Collins Street, Suite 101 (813) 363-1582 •

Plant City Dental Specialty Group Dr. John Busciglio, Dr. Derek Busciglio, Dr. Jack A. Davidson, Dr. DuroOguntebi 623 East Alexander Street

Mrs. B’s Confection Perfection & Catering Patricia Bell, Owner 624 South Evers Street (813) 764-5466 •

Strawberry House Bed & Breakfast Brenda & Guy Ford, Owner 805 North Wheeler Street (813) 759-0279 •

The Cottage In Plant City Michaela Messer, Owner 1308 South Collins Street (813) 441-4771 •

Nick’s Pizzeria & Wings Wayne Pappolla, Owner 1707 James L. Redman Parkway, Suite D (Southern Hospitality Plaza)

MEMBER GREATER PLANT CITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Future home of the Orthopedic Medical Group, which will be located at 1607 West Baker Street. Their current location is 1601 Timberlane Drive, Suite 500. Drs. Stuart & Scott Goldsmith ~ (813) 756-4001 ~

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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


| Interview by Lynne Warren |

The minute I walked in the door of the Continucare medical office in Plant City, there was an unmistakable feeling in the air. Although it appears to be your everyday medical office, something was different. The folks in the reception area were cheerful, and greeted me like an old friend. Many times, walking into a doctor’s office can be a little stressful. Understandably, because the staff is often hurried and overburdened, they don’t always place a lot of emphasis on customer service. That is not the case at Continucare and as soon as I met Dr. 44

may 2010

| Photos by Mike Floyd |

Mark Stern, Medical Director for this and the other two Hillsborough County facilities, it was clear why the atmosphere was so friendly and cheerful. Dr. Stern, although highly professional and undoubtedly a great physician, gave one of the most enjoyable interviews I have done in a very long time. His love for and personal interest in caring for his patients is obvious and carries over to the entire staff. Join me as I speak with Dr. Stern about what makes Continucare unique.

Focus: Tell me a little bit about your background, and how you came to be Medical Director at Continucare. Dr. Stern: I was born and raised in Chicago and went to medical school there. In 1977 I came to Tampa for my internship and residency in Internal Medicine at USF and opened my own practice in Brandon in 1980. I first became involved with HMO’s in 1984. HMOs in this area were new at that time and I was one of the few physicians that took care of HMO patients. I eventually owned and managed three offices with two partners. We sold that business in 1996 and I became a Regional Medical Director with Humana in Tampa. After two years with Humana I went to work at a biomedical startup company. Eleven years ago, Continucare recruited me to be the medical director for their facilities in Hillsborough County and I came on board at that point. Focus: I understand that Continucare’s primary focus is serving Medicare and HMO patients. It sounds like your extensive background with HMOs serves you well here. Dr. Stern: Absolutely. Continucare strives to work with our patients to ensure they receive excellent quality healthcare within the guidelines set forth by their HMO or Medicare. Managing their healthcare is a big part of that. We make sure we fully understand all their health issues, and coordinate all their medications, care provided by specialists, hospital care, and more. By doing this, we ensure they are receiving the best healthcare possible. It allows us to make sure all of their medications ‘play well’ together, that they aren’t having duplicate or unnecessary tests or treatments performed, and that costs are contained without compromising care. Focus: I would imagine working with HMOs and Medicare can be a little more difficult and tricky at times. Dr. Stern: That’s right. Some of the Medicare rules and guidelines can be complex and difficult to understand, as can those of HMOs. We work to help

our patients effectively navigate that maze. We take a personal interest in their care and help them understand what is available to them and what they need to do to take advantage of those benefits, never forgetting that our role is to provide all the care necessary to keep our patients healthy. Focus: How long has Continucare been serving Plant City? Dr. Stern: Continucare first opened its doors in Plant City about 13 years ago, and the facility has been at this location for 10 years. The company has medical offices in Dade, Broward, and Hillsborough Counties. The Hillsborough locations include this facility, as well as two others in Lutz and South Tampa. Focus: How many physicians are at this location and what about the rest of the staff? Dr. Stern: I have three excellent colleagues at this office: Dr. Chinyere Nnadi, Dr. Michael Coleman and Dr. Francisco Machado. The support staff here is great and we all work together very well. Each physician has a Medical Assistant, and there is also one head Medical Assistant. We have four front desk personnel, two medical coders, three Medical Records staff, four Referral staff, two Pharmacy Technicians and our wonderful Administrator, Debbie Tanner. I am very happy that our physicians and staff reflect the diversity of our Plant City community. Dr. Nnadi is an African-American woman. Dr. Machado is originally from Nicaragua and is fluent in Spanish. Dr. Coleman and I are Midwesterners by birth but have lived in Florida many years. Several of our support staff are bilingual.

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


Focus: Pharmacy Technicians? Why does a medical office need Pharmacy Techs? Dr. Stern: We strive to stretch our patients’ healthcare dollars as far as possible. We currently offer diabetic supplies, including monitors, to some of our Medicare HMO members. More importantly, we’re all very excited about the project we are currently working on. Within a few months, we will have an on-site pharmacy where we will be able to provide some of our patients with many of the medications they need, in generic form. Additionally, we will also be able to provide refills. This gives us yet another way to help them get the most for their healthcare dollar. Focus: Which insurance plans do you work with? Dr. Stern: Our main partners are the Medicare HMO’s of Advantra, Care Plus, Humana and WellCare. However, we also see patients with Medicare, United, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Tricare, Cigna and AvMed, to name a few. Focus: I noticed how friendly the staff was as soon as I walked in the door. They seem very dedicated and personable. Everyone is cheerful, positive and upbeat. That’s not always the case in medical offices. What’s your secret? Dr. Stern: Continucare, as an organization, places a huge emphasis on customer service. In fact, the company spent a sizeable amount of money, over a million dollars I believe, on a customer service and satisfaction program. All employees had to attend the primary course and all must participate in


may 2010

refresher courses at specified intervals. It is a great program, focusing on providing a high level of service to our patients. Everyone from the CEO down participated in the program and new employees are sent through the course soon after they’re hired. It has really paid off, as you saw for yourself. It doesn’t hurt that we have a great staff anyway. Patient complaints have always been low for our facilities in this region, but after the program was implemented, complaints became almost non-existent and our patient retention rates have remained extremely high. Also, we call every patient after an appointment to ensure all their questions and concerns were addressed. Focus: Is there anything else you want Focus readers to know about Continucare and your practice here in Plant City? Dr. Stern: I would like your readers to know that we really care about our patients. We take time to know each patient, and to build a relationship. We spend the time needed interacting with them to fully understand their healthcare needs. I love my job and enjoy taking care of patients. That attitude is consistent across our entire staff. We understand the intricacies of HMO and Medicare coverage and focus on helping patients maximize their healthcare dollar. We welcome new patients and are dedicated to providing the service and quality care they deserve. For more information please call 866-312-7151.

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


Ten Ways to Recognize Hearing Loss


Do you have a problem hearing over the telephone? __Yes __No

Hearing loss is a common problem in modern society due to

Do you have trouble following the conversation when two or more people are talking at the same time? __Yes __No

Hearing is a complex sense involving both the sensitivity

Do people complain that you turn the TV volume up too high? __Yes __No

type and degree of the loss, the area(s) of abnormality in

Do you have to strain to understand conversation? __Yes __No Do you have trouble hearing in a noisy background? __Yes __No Do you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves? __Yes __No Do many people you talk to seem to mumble (or not speak clearly)? __Yes __No Do you misunderstand what others are saying and respond inappropriately? __Yes __No

the combined effects of noise, aging, disease, and heredity. of the ear as well as the ability to understand speech.

Determining the prevalence of hearing loss depends on the the auditory system (middle ear, inner ear, brain, e.g.), noise exposure, and age.

It is an honor to serve this community. Winner of the 2010

for Best Specialty Doctor

Dr. Lisa E. Tanner

Do you have trouble understanding the speech of women and children? __Yes __No Do people get annoyed because you misunderstand what they say? __Yes __No

If you answered “yes” to three or more of these questions, you may want to see an audiologist for a hearing evaluation.

813-315-9850 • 522 Oakfield Dr • Brandon, FL 33511 To learn more about Dr. Tanner and Advanced Diagnotics and Hearing Solutions, please visit us online at The material on this page is for general information only and is not intended for diagnostic or treatment purposes. A doctor or other health care professional must be consulted for diagnostic information and advice regarding treatment. Excerpt from NIH Publication No. 01-4913

Dr. Larry Britt For many years she’s been contributing to the education of horse owners all over Alabama and Florida. Her name is Melanie. Melanie is a 17 year old skull that Dr. Britt uses during clinics and seminars to give horse enthusiasts a first hand and really in depth look into the mouth of a horse. Melanie has been with Doc a very long time and has quite a story to tell. Many years ago in the back woods of Alabama, Doc assisted in the birth of a little black walking horse. At seven years old Melanie was sold to a new owner. When she was eleven years old Doc was called out to treat her for a bad colic. Doing all he could he left Melanie with the hopes of her recovering. At 4 a.m. Dr. Britt was notified that she wasn’t doing well but the owner didn’t want to pay for another vet call. The owner decided he would take care of it himself and shoot her. Fortunately for Melanie the owner shot too low and with the incorrect type of gun! Being black on a moonless night has its advantages

and Melanie ran and hid somewhere on the 40-acre farm, unable to be found. Finding her alive and bleeding the next morning, the owner called Dr. Britt out to repair a bullet wound to her face and discovered she was completely over her bout of colic. Melanie lived to be 17 years old before she died of West Nile. She holds a very special place at Road Runner Vet Clinic as a tool for education and as a reminder to never give up. Research suggests that the general well-being of an animal begins at the mouth. At Road Runner Vet Clinic we believe this is true for our equine companions. Horses are herbivores that have teeth designed for constant foraging and chewing. They have pearly whites known as hippsodont teeth, meaning they are continuously growing, unlike our teeth, which are brachydont teeth that grow in and stay at that length. As the horse constantly chews in a circular motion it creates what we call the “wet rock” effect. This develops points along particular ridges of the

teeth that can inhibit effective chewing and create ulcers (sores) in the cheeks making riding, training and efficient digestion restricted. These “points” can be managed by floating your horse’s teeth. If you would like to learn more about teeth floating, call our office or Dr. Britt and the numbers provided below. We are also available for clinics, demos and discussions. Get your horse friends together to set up a barn social today! *Remember that Road Runner Vet Clinic specializes in dentistry, but is available 24/7 for all of your large animal needs.

Road Runner Vet Clinic Dr. Larry Britt, DVM 914 E Knights Griffin Rd Plant City, FL 33565 813.752.0224 office 813.951-0118 cell 813.719.1913 fax

Max F. Rattes, M.D., F.A.C.C. B OA R D C E R T I F I E D C A R D I O L O G Y

15 years in Plant City Consultative and preventive adult cardiology Providing: Echocardiogram Holter monitor Nuclear stress test Monitoring of pacemakers and defibrillators Pre-op assessments

Se Habla Español


foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


May = MelaNOma Awareness Caban Skin Institute Spreading the Word What is this word Melanoma? Why is it so serious? What do I do? These are all questions we may ask ourselves and there is one place that can give you all the answers you need. May is MelaNOma Awareness month and Dr. Francis Caban and his employees at the Caban Skin Institute take pride in helping spread the word on just how easy it is to have peace of mind. Melanoma is a dark-pigmented, usually malignant tumor arising from a melanocyte and occurring most commonly on the skin. In laymans terms it is the most serious type of skin cancer and can be fatal if not treated.

Melanocytes are the cells that make melanin, which gives our skin its color. It also protects the deeper layers of the skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. If our skin receives too much UV light, the melanocytes may begin to grow abnormally (in size and color) and become cancerous. This condition is called melanoma. Each year more than 50,000 people in the U.S. learn they have melanoma. If found in its early stages, the chances of recovery are very good. If not found early, it can grow deeper into your skin and spread to other parts of the body. Once melanoma has spread

Dermatology Francis A. Caban, M.D., P.A. “Board Certified” by the

American Board of Dermatology

to other parts of the body beyond the skin, it is difficult to treat and therefore can be life threatening. As Floridians, most of our time outside is spent in the sun and a majority of the time, we do not protect ourselves. “It is imperative that we protect ourselves with a sun protection factor of 15 or higher,” say’s Dr. Caban. Through the Caban Skin Institute not only will you receive the best treatment with the latest technologies and equipment, but Dr. Caban can help answer any question or concern you may have. Again, early detection is vital to any treatment program and a yearly check-up is highly recommended.


Early detection is KEY for your cure! Come get your yearly check-up and piece of mind

• Skin Cancer Evaluation and Treatment • MOHS Surgery for Skin Cancer since 1991 • Mole Evaluation, Rashes, Achne, Psoriasis Specializing in Diseases of Skin, Hair and Nails 934 Oakfield Drive BRANDON 654-2544

4164 Armenia Avenue TAMPA 879-(SKIN)7546

Se Habla Espanol *HMO and Medicare Accepted Same Day and Saturday Appointments Available


may 2010

Caban Skin Institute 934 Oakfield Drive Brandon, Fl 33511 813-654-2544 4164 N. Armenia Avenue Tampa, FL 33607 813-879-SKIN (7546)


1 9 9 6

Plant City CANCER TREATMENT CENTER (Adjacent to the main entrance of the hospital)

■ Advanced Modern Technology MELANOMA AWARENESS MONTH

Dr. Caban and the Caban Skin Institute have two locations which are open six days a week to better serve our community. With locations on Armenia Avenue in Tampa and Oakfield Drive in Brandon, appointments are easily available for any schedule.

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

caring concepts Dr. Todd Glenn, DC is a graduate of Palmer College Chiropractic and has been in practice for 19 years. He is a member of the American Chiropractic Association, Florida Chiropractic Association and the Hillsborough County Chiropractic Society. Dr. Glenn also has 300 hours of chiropractic orthopedic post-graduate studies. Dr. William (BJ) Garrison, DC is a graduate of Florida Southern College and Palmer College of Chiropractic. He is a member of the Florida Chiropractic Association, the American Chiropractic Association and the Hillsborough County Chiropractic Society. Dr. Garrison is an active member of the Plant City Rotary Club and has also completed 300 hours of chiropractic neurology post-graduate studies.

In addition to staying up-to-date on their education, both doctors also stay current on the latest technology available to treat their patients. The clinic now offers Dynamic Surface Electromyography. sEMG is a device which measures the amount of electrical activity your muscles release when they are contracting, more commonly known as muscle tension. It is similar in function to an EKG which measures heart muscle activity. This equipment can help determine soft tissue injury including muscle, ligament, and tendon damage. Dr. Glenn and Dr. Garrison use the test results in planning your course of treatment, measure your response to care, document more effectively your

health, and track your progress over time. For more information or for a consultation, please contact their office.

Caring Concepts, Inc. 1215 W Baker St Plant City, FL 33563 813-754-CARE (2273)

The chiropractors at Caring Concepts, Dr. William (BJ) Garrison and Dr. Todd Glenn, are advocates of continued education.

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


III John 2






Thank you for

The time you’ve given, the hearts you’ve touched, the lives you’ve blessedthese are the gifts from God.

Thank you for sharing and giving:

First of all the Lord Jesus Christ Our Families The staff Debbie & Larry Swindle Wayne & Evelyn Evans- Morning Star Ministries Braulio & Carol Gonzalez The Roger Self Family Abundant Life Church of God, Lakeland Mission Florida Drama Team Evangelical Presbyterian Church Covenant Bible Church Put on a heart of Greater Heights FWC compassion, kindness, Mt. Olive Baptist Church humility, gentleness Church on the Rock and patience. Beyond The River, Tampa all these things, put O’Brien’s on love, which is the Chili’s perfect bond of unity. Sweetbay - Colossians 3:12,14 Shana Leigh Photography (NASB) Thank you for praying for our country and ALL that have served past, present and future Have a blessed Memorial Day

2401 Walden Woods Drive • Plant City, FL (813) 752-2524

the health center The Health Center, located on N. Wilder Rd. in Plant City is a 180-bed, long-term care and fullservice rehabilitation center. The administration and staff members pride themselves on the standards of excellence and southern hospitality offered at the facility. Open since September 1985, The Health Center offers its clients a full spectrum of nursing services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and restorative programs, in addition to physician and nurse practitioner bedside care and services. They also have unique dining programs to meet everyone’s individual needs. What sets The Health Center apart from other facilities is the team of dedicated professionals who enjoy assisting their neighbors in the community, as many of them

are friends and relatives. Another reason the facility stands out is the longevity of its team members, several who have been on board since the doors opened or shortly there after. They have two full-time nurse practitioners for improved patient care supporting the highly trained and experienced physicians. This type of teamwork assists them in providing the superior care they’re for which they are known. The folks at The Health Center enjoy working in Plant City as a way to take care of their family and friends, whether it’s to welcome them home here or get them safely back to their own homes. They invite you to come in for a visit and see the work in progress as they completely remodel and update their home.

The Health Center 701 NORTH WILDER RD, Plant City (813) 752-3611

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 foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


Fun in the Summer Sun! Summertime is quickly approaching and beach days and barbeques have already begun! As you enjoy our beautiful Florida weather with family and friends, take steps to protect your skin and prevent sun damage. Skin cancer remains the most common cancer in the United States with more than one million new cases diagnosed each year, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation (2010). By taking simple steps to reduce sun exposure, you can decrease your risk of developing skin cancer. The sun’s strongest rays are between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM; be especially cautious during these hours and if possible, minimize outside activities during this time. Always wear sunscreen with SPF of

30 or higher and remember to apply 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every 90 minutes for normal outside activity and every hour if swimming and sweating. Setting a timer can help remind the group to take a moment to reapply sunscreen and enjoy a snack or beverage each hour. When choosing a sunscreen, a broad-spectrum cream offers more protection than clear sprays. Wax sticks work well for around the eyes and gels are ideal for areas with hair like the scalp. Remember lip balm and UV blocking sunglasses. Broadbrimmed hats are a great choice to keep cool and protect the ears and neck. One of the most important measures to help reduce your risk of skin cancer is routine skin exams.

Perform a self exam of your skin every month for any changing moles or blemishes. Skin exams by a health care provider should be done every six months and are vital to early detection of skin cancer. Call Mid Florida Dermatology Associates today to schedule a skin exam. Kick off this summer season of fun with steps to protect your skin. Abigail Plum, Nurse Practitioner (MSN, ARNP-BC)

Fitzgeraldo A. Sanchez, M.D.

Mid Florida Dermatology Associates (813) 719-8000 710 East Reynolds St Plant City, Fl 33563 Abigail H. Plum, MSN, ARNP-BC

Healthy Teeth & Gums for a Lifetime

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)

Dental associates of central floriDa

Caring Family Dentistry


1702 Walden Village Ct Plant City, FL 33566

Trey Walding, D.M.D. - 14 Years Experience John Carter, D.M.D.- 14 Years Experience Trey Mueller DMD - 5 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. 6/30/10


Exp. 6/30/10



$165. retails at

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

* 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. 6/30/10

Exp. 6/30/10



may 2010



Urgent Care



• • • • •

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


$50.00 OFF Davis

Alexander Whitehall

• 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!

Weight Loss


initial weight loss visit with this coupon. Offer expires 8/15/10.

1009 W. Baker St. Plant City, FL 33563 813-759-1232 Mon-Fri 8am-8pm • Sat & Sun 9am-5pm

now care The Now Care weight loss & urgent care Clinic is conveniently located off Baker Street (92W) in the historic district, between downtown district and Alexander Street. Many residents remember this as the old Chambers-Peacock building. This building has a long history of helping people in medical need and it still continues. Dr. Strait opened the business in February of 2005. Since then his facility has helped patients from anything from the common cold to emergency situations In many cases when a regular physician is booked or an emergency arises, Now Care is there to provide quick and professional service even after hours. Payments may be made with almost all insurances, Medicaid and Medicare and workman’s comp claims are accepted as well. Dr. Strait is a native Floridian, a graduate of the University of Florida, and graduated from medical school in Kansas City Missouri, followed by his internship

and residency in New York and Pennsylvania. He was the medical director of a large, and very busy urgent care clinic in Brandon, which lead him to moving to Plant City and opening Now Care Walk-In Clinic. Now Care Weight Loss Clinic and Urgent Care has medically supervised programs that include appetite suppressants, vitamin injections, and diet plans. Combined, these help the patients to have control over unhealthy eating habits and give them the power to attain the body they have always wanted. Financing is available. Now Care wants to help you get healthy, stay healthy and be there when your medical needs arise.

Now Care Urgent Care & Weightloss 1009 W. Baker St. Plant City, FL 33563 813-759-1232

Plant City Imaging Plant City Imaging (PCI) opened its doors in June of 2003. PCI is a division of Radiology and Imaging Specialists, which have been providing medical imaging services for over 40 years. The physicians and staff are dedicated to serving the Plant City community, its patients and the referring staff. Renee Adkison, office supervisor said, “I have been here since we opened 7 years ago, and I am proud to work with such a well educated staff that is friendly, helpful and compassionate to our patients.” The office offers state-ofthe-art equipment for the most comprehensive imaging care. Services include High Field Open MRI, Multi-slice CT, Ultrasound,

Routine X-ray, and CT Bone Density. As of June 1st, PCI is proud to offer Digital Mammography for its patients. Dr. Angela Sroufe said, “I am very excited that we are bringing this great technology to the community. And it will help us and our patients fight against breast cancer.” Our Radiologists have recently joined the staff at South Florida Baptist Hospital. They are excited about this new endeavor. Dr. Michael Esposito said, “We are looking forward to starting at South Florida Baptist Hospital. The staff and the facility are first class and we are proud to join the team.”



Better Detection

Better Imaging

Now in Plant City


Plant City Imaging (PCI) will be offering Digital Mammography beginning June 1st. PCI has on-site board certified radiologists and offers the latest technology with professional service and the best patient care.

. High Field Open MRI . Multi Slice CT . Ultrasound . Digital Mammography . XRay . Upright Open MRI . CT Bone Density

(Lakeland Only)

Most Insurance Accepted

A Division of Radiology and Imaging Specialists

206 West Alexander St. Suite 1 | 813.750.1724 |

Plant CIty Imaging 206 W. Alexander St., Suite 1 Plant City, FL 813-750-1724

Plant City pediatrics Plant City Pediatrics Physician, Timothy B. Williams, D.O., F.A.A.P., is a native of Bradenton, Florida. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in science education from the University of South Florida and a Master of Education degree from the University of Central Florida. He taught physics, chemistry, earth/ space science and anatomy/ physiology at Clermont High School in Clermont, Florida for three years before entering medical school. He received his medical degree from NovaSoutheastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, in May, 1993. Dr. Williams completed his Pediatrics Residency at Brooke

Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas, June 1996. He then completed his United States Army obligation at Ft Knox, KY. While serving at Ireland Army Community Hospital, Ft Knox, KY, he was twice awarded the Army Achievement Medal. Dr. Williams is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (F.A.A.P). He has been practicing since 1993. Dr. Williams and his wife have lived in Plant City since 1998. They have five children. They regularly attend Transforming Life Ministries in Plant City.

Plant CIty Pediatrics Dr. Timothy B. Williams, D.O., F.A.A.P. (813) 659-9800 ** New Location ** 511 W. Alexander St. Suite 2

sandhill bone and joint Dr. Susan Ott graduated from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts with a degree in mathematics. She received her degree in Osteopathic medicine from the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Des Moines, Iowa. She went on to her internship at the Michigan Capitol Medical Center at Michigan State University and then completed her Osteopathic training at Merida Southpointe Hospital at Kentucky Sports Medicine in Lexington, Kentucky. She focused on the study of sports medicine and related injuries. Dr. Ott has dedicated herself to the care of the injured athlete. She has cared for high school, college, professional and recreational athletes throughout her career. She is in the national health care referral networks for USA Gymnastics and USA Swimming. She is currently a team physician for Florida Southern College and Durant High School.

Dr. Ott started practicing in Sayre, Pennsylvania and relocated to Plant City in 2003. Her specialty is in sports medicine and she has interests in the female athlete and operative and nonoperative treatment of arthritis of the knee, including partial and total knee replacement. Dr. Ott is a member of the following organizations: American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics, American College of Sports Medicine, American Osteopathic Association, American Orthopedic Society of Sports Medicine.

Sandhill Bone and Joint Office of Susan M. Ott, DO 511 W. Alexander Street Plant City, FL 33563 813-754-0817

Susan M. Ott, D.O. Arthroscopic Surgery Sports Medicine

Sand Hill

Specializing in: Arthroscopic Surgery Sports Medicine Trauma/Fractures Total Joint Replacement

511 W. Alexander Street • Plant City, Florida 33563 (813) 754-0817 • Fax (813) 707-1977 • We treat Feet, Hand, Wrist, Hip, Knee and Shoulder injuries 58

may 2010

Woodside Dental Welcome to Woodside Dental. Dr. Pat Almerico started in Plant City in 1986. He had a dream to build the finest state of the art dental office. In his quest to provide full service dental care for the residents of the greater Plant City area, he built a new 3000 square foot facility. Dr. Almerico has obtained all the newest technology to help diagnosis and treatment of dental care. He has extended hours from 9:00a.m.-5:30p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with late appointments on Wednesday from 10:00a.m.-6:00p.m. His staff is trained to be service friendly. We work with your insurance company to assure the best outcome and make treatment affordable for you. Dr. Almerico also offers Care Credit, an interest free loan, to help with your

Root canals

expenses. We now have associates that can treat a wide variety of dental conditions. Dr. Albert Boholst is a general dentist who also uses laser to treat gum disease painlessly. He can effectively treat migraines and TMJ problems. In addition, Dr. Vijay Patel is working with our very busy practice. He is a general dentist with experience in extractions, root canal therapy, cosmetic dentistry, and crown and bridge. Woodside Dental is at 704 N. Alexander Street. Conveniently located 1/2 mile south of I-4, exit 21. Please call 813-752-5554 and speak to our office manager Cyndi Jones or our receptionist, Lois, to make an appointment. We will make every effort to meet

your dental needs in a gentle and caring way. Please keep us in mind. We are here to educate and guide you through your dental experience. Thank you, Pat Almerico, D.D.S.

Woodside Dental Office of Dr. Pat Almerico 704 N. Alexander St Plant City, FL 813-752-5554

General Dentistry

Cosmetic Crown and Bridge Dentures Whitening FL Lic. No. 230422

New Patients Welcome Most Insurances Accepted Now Offering: In-ofďŹ ce BOTOX!

Now open on Fridays!

Cleaning, Exam and Xray for

JJ Tree Service



New Patients only with coupon. Expires 6.15.10

Practicing in Plant City for over 20 years Dr. Pat Almerico, DDS 704 N. Alexander St • 813-752-5554

John Dross, Operations Manager


foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010



The Trio performs superior dance classics, such as “Footloose,” “Proud Mary,” “Dancing in the Street,” “Mustang Sally” and much more... Earthbeat has been requested for backing up many recording artists, including Michael Bublé, The Platters, Spencer Davis, The Drifters and Percy Sledge.



Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room

MAY 29 LOLA & THE SAINTS PLUS DESTINY Doo Wop At Its Best! Relive the 50s & 60s as though it was yesterday – “Forever in Love, ” Just Over the Brooklyn Bridge.” Destiny will also be performing before and after in the Red Rose Dining Room.


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



Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room


The band performs in the Red Rose Dining Room, plus Ralph Allocco and Second Wind before and after the show


Original founding member, George Galfo brings his Mystics to the Red Rose Dining Room singing their hit song “Hushabye” and many more memorable Doo Wop favorites! PJ Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds before and after the show.



The band performs in the Red Rose Dining Room, plus Ralph Allocco and Second Wind before and after the show

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

JULY 3, 9, 17, 23 & 31 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room



Best known for their Top Ten hit "Do You Love Me" with PJ Leary & The Las Vegas Sound before and after the show.


The band performs in the Red Rose Dining Room, plus PJ Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds before and after the show

JULY 24 LOLA & THE SAINTS PLUS P.J. LEARY & THE LAS VEGAS SOUNDS Doo Wop At Its Best! Relive the 50s & 60s as though it was yesterday – “Forever in Love, “ Just Over the Brooklyn Bridge.”



Richie Merritt of the Marcels will be performing in the Red Rose Dining Room with P.J. Leary and the Las Vegas Sounds.


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


SHOW RESERVATIONS Please call for ticket prices. Most shows in the Red Rose Dining Room have a no cover charge with the purchase of dinner. Shows in the Red Rose Ballroom are in a supper club atmosphere with a four course meal or – seats NOW AVAILABLE for a low price for the show only!


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


The Red Rose Dining Room was awarded the top award for dining and service by Trent Rowe of The Ledger

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room

TEL: 813.752.3141

I-4 Exit 21 • 2011 N. Wheeler St.• Plant City, FL 33563


Mrs. Evelyn Madonia - Owner/General Manager

USF Health

Built around quality, safety, technology and superior education, USF’s two new outpatient centers are places where systems center round the patient’s needs and concerns. Patients First USF Health invested more than $150 million in its Centers for Advanced Healthcare -- the Carol & Frank Morsani Center and the South Tampa Center. The centers were created with a customer-service focus and conciergelevel staff to accommodate patients and their families. Sophisticated electronic health records (EHR) greatly reduce paperwork and provide online access for making appointments. EHR allows patients to email physicians and request prescriptions, giving patients more control over their care. Both centers house comprehensive diagnostic imaging centers and on-site pharmacies, which offer convenient, rapid access to prescriptions sent electronically from the exam rooms to

Revolution in Ambulatory Care

the pharmacy downstairs. Carol & Frank Morsani Center for Advanced Healthcare The Center was made possible by a founding gift from Carol and Frank Morsani, matched by the state, with a commitment by the Florida legislature and USF faculty physicians. Instead of patients moving from doctor to doctor, services like X-rays, CT’s, ultrasounds, MRIs and lab tests are brought to the patient. Patients don’t have to schedule appointments at three different locations for their annual exam anymore, because everything is taken care of in just one visit to the Morsani Center. The new Monsour Executive Wellness Center within the Morsani Center combines medical expertise with the latest in advanced technology to efficiently meet the needs of today’s busy executives. The one-day, confidential Executive Health Program offers a personal healthcare concierge, comprehensive pre-assessment and a

thorough, individualized examination with full access to the team of specialists and resources at USF Health. South Tampa Center for Advanced Healthcare This center offers a full range of specialized services, including a highly trained team of maternal-fetal medicine specialists, neonatologists and pediatric surgeons to care for women expecting babies with birth defects or other highrisk conditions requiring complex testing and treatment. In partnership with Tampa General Hospital, USF Women’s Health (gynecology) jumped to number 22 in U.S. News and World Report’s 2009 hospital rankings of specialty programs. The South Tampa Center also houses an advanced Urogynecology and Reconstructive Surgery group with extensive experience treating pelvic floor disorders. USF Health physicians are skilled in minimally invasive, robotic, open and vaginal procedures and offer sacral nerve stimulation for severe

bladder control problems, and botox with pelvic floor physical therapy for pelvic pain.

USF Health

To see our specialties and request an appointment online, please visit: Or to schedule a patient appointment, please call: (813) 974-2201 USF Health Carol & Frank Morsani Center for Advanced Healthcare 13330 USF Laurel Dr. Tampa, FL 33612 USF Health South Tampa Center for Advanced Healthcare 2 Tampa General Dr. Tampa, FL 33606

In-home care accreditation assures the best of care Right at Home recently received the Joint

“Accreditation means that institutions have

• Are rigorous background checks done on all

Commission’s Golden Seal of Approval.

undergone extensive reviews to ensure that


This accreditation is internationally

basic integrity, stability, and quality criteria

• Do they develop a plan of care?

recognized as a symbol of quality that

have been met and can reasonably be expected • Does a supervisor oversee the quality of

reflects the company’s commitment to

to continue,” said Suarez. “It ensures that an

meeting the safest and highest quality of

institution is not just saying, “Take our word • What emergency procedures are in place?

performance standards. “It guarantees

for it” when it comes to quality, safety and

• Do they uphold the Client Bill of Rights?

quality and safety,” said Tino Suarez,


• Are caregivers employees of the agencies or

care being provided?

self-employees contractors?

owner of the local Right at Home office. “Of the 400 Right at Home locations in the To help find a service best for yourself or a U.S., we are the second office to receive

loved one, Suarez recommends asking the

this accreditation.”

following questions: • Which in-home care agencies on their

Suarez advises patients and their families

referral list are accredited? By whom?

to seek out service like his who are

• What kind of employee training is required?


• Are the agency and its caregivers insured and bonded?

Right at Home


In Home Care & Assistance

813-764-9290 Licence# 230959 • Certification # 11802


may 2010


FuTure oF healThcare is here USF Health Physicians have been providing quality patient care to the Tampa Bay community for more than 30 years. Specialties: Breast Health Cardiology Dermatology Ear, Nose & Throat Family Medicine Internal Medicine Neurology

Neurosurgery OB/GYN Opthalmology Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Pain Managment Pathology

Pediatrics Physical Therapy Psychiatry Radiology Surgery Urology

Locations: USF Health Carol & Frank Morsani Center for Advanced Healthcare 13330 USF Laurel Dr. Tampa, FL 33612

For AppoinTMenTS, pleASe CAll:

(813) 974-2201

USF Health South Tampa Center for Advanced Healthcare 2 Tampa General Dr. Tampa, FL 33606

business profile

Fitzgerald’s Water Conditioning and Pump Service by C h e r y l J o h n s to n

Shane and Julie Hasting make a great team – as husband and wife and as co-partners in their company, Fitzgerald’s Water Conditioning and Pump Service. Since 2005, Fitzgerald’s has built customer loyalty through affordable, efficient service. Serving Hillsborough, Pasco, and Polk counties, the company repairs or replaces all types of pumps including pool pumps, and provides water conditioning service for both well and city water. The Hasting team is pleased to offer great prices. Julie says, “Higher operating costs at larger companies must be passed on to the consumer. Our costs are lower because we do it all, with little overhead.” Shane, although fully licensed and insured, continually updates his knowledge of the new pump and water conditioning technologies through classes, seminars, workshops, and advice from even more experienced technicians. Education is a big part of his passion for helping customers with their water issues.

The Hasting Family


may 2010

Julie manages the office from 9 to 5 weekdays. Emergency service is offered 24 hours a day, too. Modeling work ethic is a family priority so with the help of Cole, 8, Ava, 4, and Miley, 3, she also works at their 3-1/2 acre homefront where they grow veggies, everything from corn to peppers. Cole and Ava also show animals at the festival, as will Miley next year. Shane appreciates customer reactions when a new water conditioning system is installed, noting “They see the difference immediately, whether the water is well or city-supplied.” Well water typically smells of iron or rotten eggs. City water contains chlorine, which can dry the skin. He also reports, “Homeowners will see the color, smell, and feel of their water drastically improve. They’ll use less soap and water for bathing and laundry. With more savings, water conditioners are a smart investment for every family.” Customers Thomas and Raquel Sturgis agree. When their previous water softener quit, Fitzgerald’s replaced it with a more efficient system.

Thomas said, “Shane recommended one which both chlorinates and softens. It’s definitely a big improvement. The service is outstanding and when problems come at an inopportune time, we know we can count on Fitzgerald’s. The Hasting’s are a great Plant City family.” Consistent pump maintenance helps customers avoid premature replacement costs. Regularly scheduled inspections are essential. Shane has saved many customers big money by discovering potential problems and repairing them before a breakdown. He advises, “If your pump runs constantly, call us right away. So many times, customers have delayed, and their pumps burn up. Replacement is always more expensive than repair.” The Hastings enjoy serving central Florida customers and they enjoy life and friendships in their Plant City community. Julie, who answers the phone and prepares invoices, feels it is critical to handle each customer’s situation with the greatest care. She says, “Shane and I work closely together, keeping

each other informed about new installations or repairs. We have a sense of hometown pride in every transaction, knowing we’ve given every customer a fair and friendly deal. We like being the “go to” company for pump or water conditioning needs.” Cost and care – these set Fitzgerald’s Water Conditioning and Pump Service apart. Family owned and operated, Fitzgerald’s provides affordable repairs and replacements to businesses and homeowners. For information or service, call 813986-4999. Improve your water and add your name to the growing list of satisfied customers.

Fitzergald’s Water Conditioning and Pump Service 4309 Stanley Rd. Plant City, FL Office: 813-986-4999

24 Hour Emergency Service 813-763-0343

Rotary Club of Plant City, FL

Become a fan of Plant City Rotary on Facebook!

(Log onto your Facebook and type “Plant City Rotary Club” into your search)

“MORE THAN A PAWN SHOP” we manufacture and recast jewelry Expert Jewelry Repair



814 N Martin Luther King Blvd. Three blocks East of Fred’s Market

From Left to Right in front row


Turn your old jewelry into new

Congr atulations to the 2010 Rotary Scholarship Recipients

Currie Dickerson, Marissa Aloya, Aaron Sykes, Chris Sullivan, Kathleen Henke, Lizzie Schmidt MLK Freds Market

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

Left to Right in back row

Drew Balliet, Michael Poppel, Mark Killebrew, Drake Futch, Zack Batley

HOPEWELL Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens




Publix Supermarkets Print Ad ($500 for 2 Days)

Principal Actor in a National TV Commercial for the 2010 Census

Publix Supermarkets Print Ad ($500 for 2 Days)


($7,500 in residuals)


All ages & types needed • No experience necessary • Free training

863-688-9939 1037 SOUTH FLORIDA AVENUE, SUITE 115 • LAKELAND, FL 33803 LIC#1290000013




Bok Tower principal role in National Print Ad, Brochure and Web Site. Air Show Lakeland Florida Hostess ($150.00 A Day)

Bok Tower principal role in National Print Ad, Brochure and Web Site.

Publix Supermarkets Print Ad ($500 for 2 Days) 6005 County Rd. 39 South 1/2 Mile South of County Road 60 813.737.3128

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010




ON TRACK. Lots of times, changes in life also affect your investments. That’s why there’s never been a better time to schedule your free portfolio review. We’ll talk about the changes in your life, and help you decide whether it makes sense to revise your investments because of them.

A portfolio review will help ensure your investments are keeping pace with your goals. Call your local financial advisor today.

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

They provide comfort to families like mine We take great pride in providing superior and comprehensive funeral, cemetery and cremation services with dignity, respect, and compassion. As a Dignity Memorial® provider, the largest network of funeral and cemetery services, we offer a wide variety of exclusive and unmatched benefits: • 24-Hour Compassion Helpline® • 100% Service Guarantee • Bereavement Travel Program • National Transferability • FREE Grief Management Library

For more information

Call 813-752-1111 Wells Memorial Funeral Home 1903 West Reynolds Street Plant City, FL 33563


may 2010

business focus

When Investing, Learn Aspects of Risk by e d wa r d j o n e s

In life, you can’t avoid all risks — and you shouldn’t try, because endeavors that carry risk also bring the prospect of reward. And it’s certainly the same in the investment world. So instead of trying to invest risk-free, which is impossible, learn to recognize the different types of investment risk while becoming familiar with your own risk tolerance. To start with, let’s quickly look at some of the most common forms of investment risk: • Risk of losing principal — This is the type of risk most commonly associated with investing. You could lose some, or even all, of your principal if you sell an investment, such as a stock, whose value has dropped lower than the purchase price. You can’t eliminate the risk of losing principal, but you may be able to reduce it by buying quality stocks and holding them long enough to overcome shortterm market drops. • Inflation risk — With an investment that pays a fixed rate of return, such as a certificate of deposit (CD), you run the risk of not keeping up with inflation, which means you could lose purchasing power over time. Consequently, it’s a good idea not to “overload” on these types of investments. • Interest-rate risk — When you own a bond, your investment is somewhat at the mercy of changing market interest rates. For example, if you buy a bond that pays four percent interest, and market rates rise so that newly issued bonds pay five percent, the relative value of your bond will go down; no one will pay you face value of your bond when they can get new ones that pay higher rates. Of course, if

you hold your bonds until maturity, which is often a good idea, you can avoid being victimized by interestrate risk. • Concentration risk — This type of risk occurs when you have too much of your money concentrated in one area, such as in a particular stock or in one industry. If a downturn strikes that stock or industry, your portfolio could take a big hit. To combat this type of risk, you need to diversify your holdings among stocks, bonds, government securities and other investments. While diversification, by itself, cannot guarantee a profit or protect against a loss, it can help reduce the effect of volatility. In addition to understanding the above types of risk, you also need to be familiar with your own risk tolerance and how it affects your investment strategy. If you are constantly worried about “the market,” you’ve probably got too many investments that are at risk of losing principal. At the other end of the spectrum, if you’re always concerned that your portfolio won’t grow enough to generate the income you’ll eventually need for retirement, you may be investing too conservatively — and, as a result, you’re inviting inflation risk. Ultimately, you need to match your own risk tolerance with a strategy that allows you to achieve your goals. This will require self-awareness, patience, discipline — and, at times, a willingness to move outside your own “comfort zone.” By learning to balance and manage risk, you can ultimately put yourself in a position to pursue your investment strategy.

making the cut ......crazy for color 110 E. Reynolds St.


Suite 400 in the downtown Lee Bldg,


Plant City



Martin’s Place For hair, Skin & Nails

A Full Service Salon & Retail Center


We Will Make Your Home Sparkle! Locally Owned and Operated

Sa me Great Service, Sa me Great Cleaners,

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


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


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.

We Offer One Time Cleaning • Licensed - Insured - Bonded • References Available Upon Request foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


business success

Elmer Robbins

EL Mar Pawn and Jewelry

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

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

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.


CALL toll-free

1.888.871.2690 ext. 21920



Federally insured by NCUA.


James L. Redman


2201 James L Redman Pkwy Plant City, FL 33563


may 2010

W. Alexander St. 7-Eleven

BACKGROUND: Elmer Robbins is a Plant City native who left and went into the air force where he was a mechanic for many years. Four generations, from his father down to his grandchildren attended Turkey Creek school. He said his favorite class was typing, because he was one of the only boys in the class. Robbins worked for the space program in the late 60’s, in the life support systems field working with life sustaining backpacks and other systems. Over the years he has had several occupations - everything from insurance salesman to construction to car sales. But it seems that the space program work was what he was most fond of. He remembers one of the most unusual events that happened while he was there. An actual rain storm developed inside one of the buildings. It was not raining outside, but because of the monstrous size of the building a rain shower was able to form inside. He has many extraordinary memories of the space program, like the reason why Neil Armstong was the first man to actually set foot on the moon: because he was a civilian. He said the test pilots were absolutely fearless and he knew many of them. He was able to watch the filming of “I Dream of Jeannie” with Barbara Eden and said she was twice as pretty as on television. Robbins still has a medallion that was made from a block of aluminum that went to the moon, with the inscription of Apollo 11 and the asrtronauts on it. He has been in the pawn and jewelry

manufacturing business for 15 years. The pawn business can make for some unusual experiences. Elmer smiles when he tells the story of an expectant mother who came in trying to trade something for ten dollars so she could get enough gas in her car to make it to the hospital. Elmer gladly gave her the ten dollars fast – he didn’t want her to have the baby right there in the store. GOAL: To have a happy life with his wife and see his children grown and happy in theirs. At times during his life, his goal was just to make sure his family was happy and fed. FUTURE; I want to live to be 137 years! When asked him if there was anything on his “bucket list” he hadn’t done, he said he and his wife were fortunate enough that if they had wanted to do a certain thing they just went and did it - working all along the way. INSPIRATIONS: I guess I have always been my own man, I have lived a life full of experiences and learned from those. One of the facets of his business he enjoys most is reworking old jewelry into new. SUCCESS: My family.... I have three children and have been married for 51 years. I have also been successful in many occupations.

Talk to me about Allstate Power Sports Insurance. I can help protect your recreational vehicles. Plus, the more you protect, the more you can save-with multi-policy discounts. Call me and I can help you find the discounts you may qualify for.

RALPH L. FEOLA, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF (813) 752 2556 1003 S COLLINS ST PLANT CITY Availability varies by product type and is subject to availability and qualifications. Discount amount may vary by state.Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company: Northbrook, Illinois Š 2009 Allstate Insurance Company.

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


business success

I will have a blast at . p m Ca er m m Su A C M Y

Andy and Jeanne Knotts Knotts Team Sports Come join the fun at the Plant City Family YMCA. There’s something for everyone... summer camp, youth sports, birthday parties, swim lessons, group exercise, adult wellness, senior wellness, member social events and much more. Stop by today for a FREE 3-Visit Guest Pass.

PLANT CITY FAMILY YMCA 1507 YMCA Pl. • Plant City, FL 33563 • 813.757.6677 •


may 2010

Background: Knotts Team Sports started unexpectantly... Andy was working at his family’s business, Knotts Hardware and was playing softball with our church. He inquired with a sporting goods line about ordering sports equipment and he started selling bats out of the back of the hardware store. The sales grew and people wanted other products so we decided to expand and open Knotts Team Sports. We opened the doors to this business in October 2001. Aspirations: We would love to continue growing our business in the Plant City area. Plant City has been so good to us and we hope to continue in business here for many more years. We started with just sports equipment and merchandise and now we do our own embroidery and screen printing. We do corporate, school, farm and church

business as well. You don’t have to have a sports team to do business with us. Inspirations: We are both Plant City natives and come from hard working families. We value honesty, hard work and were taught to treat people like we want to be treated. Successes: We are thankful that we have been in business for nine years and appreciate everyone who has done business with us! We are proud to sponsor the Athlete of the month every month in the Focus and enjoy meeting the great kids of Plant City. Future: We hope to continue growing our business and outfitting as many athletes, schools and business people as possible!

Farm Credit finances dreams large or small. Whether large or small, Farm Credit can help you achieve the lifestyle you’ve been dreaming of. We’ve been financing dreams for more than 90 years. Call us, we’re the experts. We provide: • Rapid turnaround • Financing or refinancing • Loans for large or small acreage • Loans on second residences

Vonda Fulwood 800-713-7550

Loans for land, homes, & agriculture.


Congratulations One bedroom Apartments • Rent based on income

Lacey White

2010 Plant City High School

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

405 E. Damon St Plant City, FL 33563 813.659.2669

Applications available at each location

NHS Inductee

We are so proud of you! love,

your family foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


KICK OFF THE SUMMER SALE! Best Pricing of the year no hassle, just best prices All grills & Accessories

10% Off

Remember our Veterans

Pellets Save $1 per bag up to four bags, purchase 5 bags or more and save $2 per bag

Sauces & Rubs 20% Off *In Stock Supplies Only

It Does It All Smoke • Grill • BBQ • Bake

813-689-1570 Open: M-F: 8 - 6 pm Sat: 8 - 5 pm Closed Sunday


may 2010

Corner of Martin Luther King Blvd., & McIntosh Rd. Dover, FL 33527

PROUD SUPPORTER OF 4H AND FFA • Food Plot Mix • Attractants • Feeders • and much more!

Harold’s Feed & Pet Supply

Full Line of Feeds




This is a special advertising section

Find Your New Home Today!

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


Team Wainoris ...Selling Hillsborough and Polk Multi-Million Dollar Producers |

Randall Wainoris 813-997-3000 REALTOR®/Attorney at Law

Kathleen Wainoris 863-608-1557 REALTOR® Notary


SECLUDED CHARLESTON WOODS 4 bedroom / 3 full bath, golf course pool home in beautiful gated community of Charleston Woods in Walden Lake. Over 3200 ft. Additional den/ office plus large game room. Huge covered pool area with hot tub and outdoor bar. Tremendous gourmet island kitchen with granite counters, three ovens and stainless steel appliances. $399,900.

PLANT CITY POOL HOME Adorable 3 bedroom / 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! Seller motivated, reduced to sell fast at just $119,900

CUTE AS A BUTTON Adorable south Lakeland 3 bed/2 bath home with fresh paint, newer roof and new a/c, renovated master bath,large fenced yard and screened patio. Short sale: Bring all offers. Asking just $99,000.

ADORABLE PLANT CITY HOME Close to I-4, town park and shopping, this 3 bedroom/ 2 bath home on quiet dead end street is ready for you! Volume ceilings and no maintenance floors throughout. Private back yard with screened porch. Don’t miss this one! Just $119,900.

LAKELAND 5 BEDROOM POOL HOME Stunning 5 bedroom/ 4 bath pool home on large secluded treed lot in heart of Lakeland. Volume ceilings, custom woodwork, gourmet kitchen, and every possible upgrade. This premium custom home is offered at just $449,000.



may 2010

3 bedroom, 2 bath home with upstairs loft overlooking great room. Beautiful stained wood staircase, family room with fireplace and so much more. Short sale: asking just $149,900.

Natalie Sweet Cathy Martin Angel Miller 813-758-9586 813-376-0891 813-546-9863 It’s ALL ABOUT YOU! Call for a No Obligation Buyer or Seller Consultation ELEGANT EXECUTIVE HOME




This wonderful 2,812 sq’ pool home features a 3-way split bedroom plan with a suite perfect for the in-laws or teens. 3 Acres MOL of irrigated paddocks with a stable in a great neighborhood of upscale homes. Call now for your appointment. $335,000

This 4 Bdr, 3 1/2 Ba Golf Course home features gleaming cherry & bamboo flooring. Split plan w/gorgeous his & hers master bathrooms w/natural stone, granite, & modern design. Huge backyard & lanai w/outdoor bar area, grill & sink. $289,000

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. $289,900





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 $269,900

Fabulous 4/3/3 w/huge pool & spa. Featuring formal living & dining rooms, an enormous kitchen w/wood cabinets, center island & overlooks arches into the family room, Large bedrooms and so much more. $259,900



Move right into this fabulous 5144 sq’ home with 4 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths on over 1 Acre. Built in 05 and has everything you could possibly want already built into it! $595,000

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 $212,500


Short Sale APPROVED! Fabulous Santa Cruz model with TONS of UPGRADES. 3 Bedroom, 2 1/2 Bath w/2 Car Garage. $125,000






Wonderful 3/2/2 pool home in quiet neighborhood. Featuring new carpeting, new roof in 2005, updated bathrooms w/stylish vanities, granite & handsome tile. Formal living & dining rooms plus family room. $189,900

Enjoy the peace and quiet at the end of a culde-sac in this fabulous 4 Bdr 2 Bath Walden Lake pool home, featuring formal living/ dining room and family room off the kitchen. $175,000

This beauty has plenty of room to romp and a 2 stall horse barn on 1 acre. 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath built in 2005, side load 2 car garage and spacious kitchen in Thonotosassa. Don’t miss this one! $129,000

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 $59,900.

Search for homes at

real estate walden lake review

Walden Lake Review 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 May 17th at 6:00 PM and will be held at the new office building on Griffin Boulevard in Walden Lake. A President’s Meeting will be held May 24th. The very first HOA meeting in the new office building was held on April 19th. Tom reported that entrances were replanted at Fairway Woods, Fairway Estates, Laurel Lake, and The Hammocks as well as all of the entrances into Walden Lake and the corner of Clubhouse Drive and Timberlane. Other neighborhood entrances will be replanted soon. There will be 25 trees planted around the new office building to complete the certificate

of occupancy. Tom suggested a monitored alarm system as well as floodlights and/or cameras around the new office building as the building is somewhat isolated. The new office building will be available for the neighborhoods to hold their association meetings. The Board is in the process of writing a policy on the use of the office building. The election of officers for the Master Association Board took place during the April meeting. Jan Griffin was re-elected President, Marcus Alexich was re-elected as Vice-President, Karen Olsen was re-elected as Treasurer and Jim Chancey was elected as Secretary/ Parliamentarian. The City has recently confirmed and recorded the setback

requirements in the eleven communities that had never had the setbacks recorded. The setbacks were in each of the community documents although the City had not had them recorded. Marlene continues to do a great job enforcing the deed restrictions in twelve of the communities. The Paddocks has recently been added to the other neighborhoods that she has been monitoring. Marlene will no longer be managing the enforcement of the deed restrictions in Silverwood. A few expenditures were passed at the recent meeting. A Memorial Day Spray from the Walden Lake Community will be presented at the Memorial Day Ceremony in honor of veterans that have passed away in the past year. Tom will purchase a digital camera of up to $100 to have in his truck for photos of issues that will need to be addressed by the Board. Also approved was the

expense for a framed board to hang in the new office building that will have the names and photos of the Board of Directors as well as the cost of the photos. The Annual Meeting was held on Thursday, April 8th. Current board members, Robert Hunter, Marcus Alexich, and Frank Salerno, were re-elected to serve another term. The association reminds you to be sure to lock your cars. There were several incidents where items were stolen from unlocked cars in their driveways. Residents should report any suspicious activity to the police. Walden Lake Golf & Country Club reported that they are closing the Hills course in July and August this year during the slow down that happens every summer. Contact Tracey at 752-1171, extension 222 for all your event planning and membership information.

iWait. is a relationship focused education program dedicated to encouraging healthy choices.

What does iWait. teach? REAL & RELEVANT TOPICS: Building Healthy Relationships • Making Healthy Choices Affects of Alcohol Substances • Refusal Skills Recognizing Media Influences • Marriage Preparation Encouraging Parent Involvement Goal Setting • Character Education

Call today to teach your students to live well, love well and marry well.

iCan. iChoose. iWill. 76

may 2010


ATTENTION: HOMEOWNERS WITHOUT 20% EQUITY Plant City Mortgage is HUD Approved to offer:

No Equity REFINANCE If you have an existing FHA/VA/USDA loan you need to call 813.707.6200 today We have saved so many so many homeowners money off their monthly mortgage payment with a

NO CLOSING COST REFINANCE Your loan balance will not have closing costs added to

 NO APPRAISAL REQUIRED: You did just read that. Equity is not an issue with an FHA STREAMLINE REFINANCE  30 year fixed rates  No Prepayment Penalty  10-12 Days Start to Finish  No payment due until the following month

Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? It’s not. This is the biggest no brainer I have seen in some time.  Lower your interest rate  Do not add closing costs to the loan (0 out of pocket, not even an appraisal fee)  Start saving money by paying less interest in your monthly payment *PS – If you do not have an FHA, VA, OR USDA loan we can still refinance 105% of your value WITHOUT adding MORTGAGE INSURANCE. Call today to learn more

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

I recently refinanced my home with Nate Davis at Plant City Mortgage and must say that he makes good on what he says. I did not think I was eligible for a lower rate refinance since I no longer had equity in my home. Wow, I was wrong. Nate counseled me on what programs were available for folks who did not have sufficient equity for other loan programs. Not only did I lower my payment without having to add closing costs to my loan, my next payment due on my mortgage is almost 2 months away! If I continue to make the same payment I was, I will have paid off my home much sooner than I


the payment, but your interest rate WILL be reduced.

would have before.

If you are timid like I was, set your fears aside and at least talk to Nate to see what your options are. He was very knowledgeable and honest with me and I am sure he would be the same to any other client. Thanks Again Nate, Mr. Lara, Plant City, FL

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

813.707.6200 foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010



Beautiful 2 bedroom 2 bath condo on conservation and golf course lot. Updated kitchen and bath to include new appliances, wood cabinets, granite countertops. New wood flooring greets you as you walk in the front door and view to private screened area off family room. The builtin mirrored walls in the dining room and great room bring out the nice features of this open floor plan. Great for entertaining both inside and outside on those cooler evenings. Lots of storage, custom blinds and pantry are other great features of this care-free lifestyle. Relax in the community pool, or play a round of golf outside your back door. Now at $139,900. MLS #T2381230. Call Jimmie Robinson, 813-390-6441


Looking for the in-law suite? This property boasts 2 block homes separated by in-ground pool. One 3BR/2BA/2CG with 1406 square feet; the second home has 1BR/1BA and carport. Not a short sale and in the country and just north of city limits. $225,000. MLS #T2388754. Call Jimmie, 813-390-6441.



Beautiful three bedroom/two bath block/brick home located in Pinedale Estates. Situated on 1/2 acre plus corner lot with mature oaks and pines to shade the home. This home has 2,358 SF of living area which includes crown molding, terrazzo, wood & carpet. The kitchen has been upgraded to include granite countertops, solid wood cabinets and all the appliances are in move-in condition. You will enjoy relaxing in the large family room with a brick woodburning fireplace or curl up to a good book in the separate living room. Another great home priced to sell at $175,000! MLS #t2313351. Call Jimmie Robinson, 813-390-6441


Two lovely acres in North Lakeland - ready to make your dreams come true! Well and septic in place, but not warranted. Trees, pond - and peace and quiet! Make an offer and be well on your way to having country paradise! (If you need financing, we do have resources that will make loans on vacant land.) Priced to sell at $28,500. MLS #T2411743. Call Lynne, 813-763-1881.


Beautiful updated 4 bedroom 3 bath pool home on wooded 1/2 acre lot in prestigious neighborhood. Home features stone counters, solid wood cabinets and crown molding. This 4,033 heated square foot home seems even larger with the openess of the large rooms and windows to bring the outdoors indoors. Grill on the screened pool deck with friends and neighbors. Lots are larger than Walden Lake subdivision and best of all NO FEES! Priced at $299,900. MLS #T2388714. Call Jimmie today, 813-390-6441





Escape the brown, winter doldrums in this recently landscaped 4 BR/3 BA pool home in gated community. Split bedroom plan with guest suite at back of house. Open kitchen/family room. Seller offering $5000 paint allowance and a 1-year home warranty! Great value! Contact Lynne Halleran at 813-763-1881 or Jimmie Robinson at 813-390-6441. $249,819.

This one-acre, 4BR/2BA gem has great floor plan for families! Split bedrooms plus a large family room with fireplace in between the dining/living room and 3 other bedrooms will keep everyone happy. Eating space in the spacious kitchen keeps your dining room neat and is great for watching the little ones as you do a load of laundry. No deed restrictions! Quiet, dead-end country road is conveniently located to town and its conveniences but makes you feel like you’re away from it all. $84,509. MLS #T2373300. Call Lynne Halleran, 813-763-1881.



Build your dream home right here. Bring your horses and livestock; enjoy 9 acres of privacy, peace and quiet. Zoned AS-1 and suitable for custom or manufactured home with well and septic in place. This is your chance to have your land and enjoy the country. Great price of $250,000, that’s less than $30,000 per acre – with well and septic. MLS #T2398735. Call Dennis Perkins, 813-610-1607.

OWN THE ENTIRE LAKE!!! A gorgeous, immaculate custom 3BR/3BA, 2542 SF Pool home on 22 acres of natural Florida, with a spring fed 8 acre lake stocked with bass. Your own private fishing resort and nature preserve. Additional features to note: Electric roll up shutters and Bahama shutters allow the whole house to be quickly storm secured. Across the lake from the main house, a 2 bedroom mobile home. A must-see! $798,000. MLS #T2384466. Also: Stoney Creek Reserve 4 gorgeous 1 acre home sites, towering Oaks, gated, $105K to $115K MLS T2387576, T2387563, T2387570, T2387575. Call Maggie Beard, 813-299-7155.


Real “log” home on 1.5 acres; minutes to interstate and downtown. Large stone fireplace, updated kitchen features oak cabinetry, smooth surface counters, smooth top range, microwave and refrigerator. Master features walk-in closet and dual vanity bath. Open loft and 2 additional rooms could be possible bedroom, den or study. See it today, call Maddie Alford 813-382-8382


Stunning 2-story foyer welcomes you at the entry. This 3BR/2.5BA home features hardwood floors throughout, custom top-of-the-line cherry cabinetry and a dramatic stairway leading upstairs. The large open kitchen with island features stainless steel appliances and breakfast nook. This elegant home is perfect for entertaining, boasting a formal living room, formal dining room, a large family room w/wet bar and eat-in nook, plus a music room! The 3 car detached garage has a full stand up attic for all your storage needs, as well as an additional finished storage area (28x48) that could be used for office space, mother-in-law apartment ... the sky is the limit! See for yourself today. New Price of $259,000 MLS #T2328244. Call Malissa Crawford, 813-967-0168.

Are you looking for a change? Consider a career in Real Estate! Explore opportunities today. Call Jo-An Lusk, Managing Broker, 813-754-3586 for more information. Visit and discover the difference.

Call us for your Residential and Commercial Real Estate needs

1513 Jim Redman Parkway, Plant City



may 2010



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HOW FAST CAN YOU MOVE? Cute as a Button, 3/2/2, 1813 Sq Ft. Priced to sell but NOT A SHORTSALE! Features: Formal Living & Dining Rooms, “FamilySized” Family Room w/ Fireplace, Cathedral Ceilings, Tiffany Light Fixtures, Bay Window, Garden Tub, Screened Lanai, BIG Backyard. CHARMING! $174,900


SOUTH LAKELAND DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH is looking for a Buyer who isn’t afraid to invest a little “Sweat Equity.” 2-Story 5/3/2 – 4300+ sq ft Pool Home Located in Well Established Desirable Neighborhood. Fireplace. Master Suite has Balcony overlooking the Pool & Garden area. $199,000


GOT COUNTRY? This 4 B/R, 3 Bath, 2578 Sq Ft Pool Home in North PC is looking for a Buyer who wants the best of Country Life. Built in 1992, features include: Cathedral Ceilings, Fireplace, Detached 2-Car Garage & Workshop. Completely Fenced w/ Separate Area for Horses. $269,000

YOUR HOME If You Are Selling Your Home, Call The Agent Who Gets Results!


STEP ON THE BRAKES... 4 Bedroom, 2 Bath Block POOL Home on 2.25 Acres in Plant City just North of I-4. NEW Kitchen, NEW Roof, Gorgeous French Doors & Wood Vinyl Flooring, and an Open Floor Plan are just some of the wonderful features of this home. The in-ground Swimming Pool, Deck & Yard are surrounded by PVC Fencing, but beyond this there’s extra acreage for a Horse or two! $169,900


SHORT SALE HEAVEN! Cute as a button 4 Bedroom, 2 Bath, Home in SouthWest Lakeland area (just east of County Line Road) on almost a 3/4 Acre Fenced Lot. Formal Living, Formal Dining, and Family Room too. Newer Metal Roof is low maintenance too. Qualifies for 100% financing! $119,900

Curious about Home Listings, Home Sales, and Market Trends in your Neighborhood? Visit for monthly automatic updates.

Lorraine Bennett (813) 716-3997 MyHappyRealtor.c

om *Annual Total Gross Closed Volume

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


Cole Al Cole



real estate mortgage

Cara Cole Stare


property manager

Look to us for Living

P.O. Drawer DD Plant City, Fl 33564 phone 813 659-2601 fax 659-1901

Devonshire Apartments

1006 W. Baker St., Plant City, Florida 33563

Eastbourne Apartments

1003 W. Mclendon St., Plant City Florida 33563 office is located on this site in unit #6

Le Bon Apartments

1204 W. Reynolds St., Plant City, Fl 33563

Coronation Court

13880 U.S. Hwy 92 E., Dover Fl 33527 4540 Bethlehem Rd., Plant City Fl 33563

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may 2010

Buy a home AND get money to fix it up? S t o r y by N at e D av i s

Did you know that FHA has Government Insured loans for people who would like to purchase a home while also receiving additional funds to improve the home? FHA offers a 203k streamline product that will allow buyers to purchase a home with a very small down payment (3.5%) and may receive up to an additional $35,000 in repair/update escrow money! These loans are easy qualifying, like a traditional FHA loan, and allow for the seller to pay for closing costs. These loans are in high demand right now since there are so many great deals on foreclosures, bank owned homes, and short sales that present a great value, but just need a little updating here and there. The additional funds (up to $35,000) can be utilized to: o Repair/Replacement of roofs, gutters and downspouts Repair/

Replacement/upgrade of existing HVAC systems o Repair/Replacement/upgrade of plumbing and electrical systems Repair/Replacement of existing flooring o Minor remodeling, such as kitchens, which does not involve structural repairs o Exterior and interior painting o Purchase and installation of appliances, including free-standing ranges, refrigerators, washers/dryers, dishwashers and microwaves. o Repair, replacement or the addition of exterior decks, patios and porches. o Window and door replacement and exterior siding replacement. o Well or septic system repair or replacement. To learn if you qualify for an FHA 203K loan, consult an FHA approved mortgage professional.


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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


real estate real estate

The Local Market S t o r y by J o - A n Lus k

If you are one to watch the nightly news, you have heard recent reports that “...the housing market is making positive strides...” or something like that. Yes, it is always good to hear the media saying what Realtors have been saying for several months now. Local real estate markets have been experiencing an increase in sales and pendings since late 2009. From February to March (2010) the number of homes sold in Plant City increased 41%, compared to the last 6 months’ increase of 17%. The number of homes that went under contract (pending) increased February to March by 25.5% compared to the last 6 months’ increase of 37.2%. Interestingly, the Average Days on Market across the Plant City area is 97 days at the end of March. Keep in mind this includes short sales that actually closed; and this is good news as new rules and guidelines went in effect last month that will hopefully continue to improve the short sale market. Another point to make is the Average Sale Price of $131,000 at the end of March. The six-month high of $150,000 was in February, however, March and April saw a number of REO properties (Real-Estate-Owned/ Bank-Owned) sell quickly. These homes, as well as HUD-owned homes are hitting the market and selling fast as they are priced for quick sales. Multiple offers, bidding highest and best are seeing an increase as buyers are seeing the benefits of these investments. The Average Price per Square Foot of $71 (heated sq ft) was the lowest since October 2009.


may 2010

An interesting piece of data is the Average List Price: as of March the average “on-the-market” price of $215,000 is the lowest in 6 months, and is 17% lower than the high of $248,000 back in November of ‘09. Several factors drive that including REO properties, Short Sales, and maybe the fact that Sellers are becoming a bit more realistic as they realize the competition IS the REO or the short sale. Just ask an appraiser. My question to Sellers: Do you want to be On-The-Market...or In-TheMarket? And, even more important still: What is your motivation to sell? If you are the seller who is (still) saying: “We are going to put it on the market and see what happens” or “... wait for the market to come back”, then you are still wasting your time and your Realtors’ time (and money) because the market, although recovering, will be SLOWLY recovering for years to come. Predictions are at the rate of 3%; patience will be a virtue. While there are certainly some great investment, first-time and move-up buys out there, don’t forget about the new home market. Park Place, the newest development on North Gordon St., is promoting Energy Efficient homes under $200,000 and DR Horton communities in Whispering Woods are great affordable homes and priced competitively. Despite today’s economy, home ownership remains the foundation of the American Dream, and Realtors help to bring buyers and sellers together.

• • • •

Toni Simonds 813.478.7915

Certified Short Sale Specialist

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• 4 BR/3 1/2 BA/ over 3300 S.F. • Almost 1/2 acre in Walden Lake • Great Wrap Around Porch

Jill Watson 813.917.4245

Offered at $232,000

• • • •

Are you behind in your mortgage payments? Are you facing foreclosure? Do you owe more on your home than it is worth? Not able to refinance your home?

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• 4 BR/ 3 BA Over 2100 S.F. • Corner Lot in North Lakeland • Tile throughout, Wood Cabinets • Short Sale - Make Offer

Offered at $123,400

Certified Short Sale Specialist • 3 BR/ 2 BA over 1800 S.F. • Screened Pool on 1/3 Acre • Beautiful Home, Move In Ready • Updated, All New Appliances, No HOA!

Offered at $179,000

• New 4 BR/2 BA, 2200 S.F. • Upgrades Galore+Stainless Steel Appliances • Gorgeous Water View • Seller Paid Closing Costs

Offered at $203,000

• • • •

4 BR/ 2 BA/ Nearly 2200 S.F. Very Clean, All Appliances Open Floorplan, Large Screened Lanai Short Sale - Make Offer!

Offered at $164,900 • 3 BR/ 2 BA in Brandon (Providence) • Great Investment Opportunity • Laminate Wood Floors & Very Clean • Short Sale ~ Make Offer!

Offered at $72,000 • 4 BR/2.5 BA Over 2600 S.F. in Eaglebrooke • Built in 2006, Screened Lanai, Open Floor Plan • Maintenance Free Living in Golf Community • Short Sale ~ Make Offer!

Offered at $182,000

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010





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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


sports baseball

Football Program Wins at the Golf Course Proceeds from Golf Tournament to Send Players to Football Camps by J o e b o w l e s

At the banquet following the Plant City High School football team’s annual golf tournament, everyone was anticipating the four grand prize drawings that followed the awarding of the prizes for the winning teams and door prizes. The same individual won two of the four grand prizes, a 52” flat screen TV and a three-day vacation package. There was a slight problem. You see, the winner of those two prizes wasn’t supposed to be there. He told his wife he was going to work but he actually slipped off to the golf course instead. I’m sure he was forgiven. There were many other winners on April 24 beside the golfers who participated. The Raiders football players may have been the biggest winners. You see, the money raised from this tournament will be used to send every player to a football

camp this summer. Our goal,” said head coach Jason Strunk, “is to send every kid to a quality camp this summer. We’re planning to send them to Auburn, Notre Dame. USC, and UCF among others. We did it last year and we had a lot of results. It paid off with some national exposure especially with ESPN.” Earlier this year, Strunk has his players blitz the town with golf tournament flyers asking businesses to get involved by getting a foursome together or by becoming a sponsor. The response was tremendous, even producing a corporate sponsorship from Nick’s Pizza and the accompanying check for $3000. In the end, the golf tournament netted the Raider’s program over $14,000. “It was good for the players to get out into the community,” said

Golfers Aaron Spainhour, Jerry Leab, and Allan Chandler Photo by Joe Bowles


may 2010

Strunk, “and it was good to get the town behind us.” It takes money and lots of it to pay for these camps. A typical three-day football camp at a major university costs about $350. In addition to the golf tournament, the football team raises funds by selling tee shirts and holding car washes…anything to get the team to the next level. As a result of the team’s participation in summer football camps, Plant City High School’s football program is recognized all over the country. Credit Strunk’s commitment to participation in these summer camps as one of the reasons that Jordan Prestwood, the Raider’s big tight end became one of the most sought after players in the nation. He recently committed to a college where he participated in a camp this past summer, Notre Dame.

Strunk’s first season at Plant City in 2008 ended with a record of 3-7. Strunk quickly turned it around last season with a record of 7-3. He has done so by instilling pride in his players. From cleanliness, to a new logo, to new uniforms, to a new approach in the weight room, to a new approach to the off-season, Strunk has completed an extreme makeover in a short period of time. His fellow coaches in the Western Conference Federal Division voted him as the Coach of the Year in December, a testament to the turnaround in the program. The prospect of another winning season is nearly assured, barring any injuries, with eighteen starters returning for next season. The first win for next season may have occurred, not on the football field but on the golf course.

Awards Banquet following Raiders Golf Tournament Photo by Joe Bowles

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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010



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


by J o e b o w l e s

Taylor Storey When Heidi Kouveras, head coach of the Plant City High School Raiders’ softball team, was asked to describe Taylor Storey she said, “There’s only one word… amazing.” Storey, the junior catcher of a Raiders team that made it to the semifinals of the regional tournament really has been amazing this season. Her numbers are staggering, to say the least. However, there is more to this young lady with the bubbly infectious personality than statistics. To assistant coach, Christina Dovale she is a motivator, “Taylor is a hard worker. She’s also good at pumping up the team…keeping them


may 2010

motivated and focused.” To Kouveras, she is consistent, “She is one of the most consistent players that I’ve ever coached. She’s been steady all year. Before the season, she set a goal to make the all conference team and she did. Really the only pitcher she hasn’t hit this year has been Kayla Cox.” Cox is the standout pitcher from East Bay who is headed to North Carolina State next year. By the way, less than an hour after this interview, Storey hit a home run off of Cox. Storey’s softball story began at the age of eight when she fell in love with the game through Plant City’s

Little League. She credits her first little league coach, Kyle Bruner, with teaching her the fundamentals of the game. Others also realized her potential and through the years, Storey has played on several highly competitive travel teams. She started out with the Plant City Sizzlers, then it was the Tampa Wildcats, USA Patriots, Team Florida, and now she is with the Lady Bombers Gold “The best experience that I’ve ever had was going to Las Vegas with Team Florida and hitting a home run in the first game of the tournament,” Storey said. Why do we have the feeling that

there will be future highlights that will make her experience in Las Vegas pale in comparison? Possibly because of what she has done this year at the high school level. Arguably, she is the most feared hitter in the county. After collecting three hits in three at bats against Newsome in their first meeting earlier this year, the Wolves walked her three times in their next encounter after she doubled in her first at bat. In their third meeting, Storey collected two more hits, a double and three RBI’s before Newsome surrendered and issued her a walk on her last plate appearance. This year she has hit .453, with 34 hits, 36 runs batted in, 11 doubles, 7 home runs, an on base percentage of .506, and a whopping slugging percentage of .880. She led the district in home runs, doubles, RBI’s, slugging, and was second in batting average. She has been named a First Team All Western Conference Federal Division selection and a First Team All County selection. Need we say more? Storey understands the sacrifices that her parents, Michael and Darla, have made through the years, “I am so grateful for all the money and the time that they have put into me as I’ve played softball. I really appreciative all that they have done.” Storey is an A-B student and a member of the Future Farmers of America, with aspirations to become an athletic trainer. She is leaning toward attending the University of Tampa as her college of choice, but she is keeping her options open. Brent - Paula - Hayley - Jay

813-967-1942 813-365-0960




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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


sports little league

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

Baseball Team of the Month By j o e b o w l e s

The Plant City High School baseball team may have completed its most successful season in history. We’re not really sure of that fact since records have not been kept, but as far as we know, since the inception of the school in 1972-3, no other team has chalked up as many regular season wins (15) as the Raiders have this season. The closest rivals appear to be the 1996 team that recorded fourteen wins. The Raiders started out the season with a record of 1-2 and it looked like they were about to be dealt their third consecutive loss to undefeated and district favorite Armwood, until the Raiders scored five runs with two outs in the seventh and final inning for an 8-5 victory. “That was the turning point in our season,” said first-year head coach Mark Persails, “We knew that we were

a better team than our record showed but we hadn’t been playing up to our potential. We needed that victory. That’s the kind of win that we can build on.” And they did. That victory began a run in which the Raiders won the next 13 of 17 decisions ending the regular season with 15 wins and 6 losses. In the District 5A-8 tournament, the Raiders recorded two more wins before losing to Armwood in the district final. By virtue of their runner-up status, Plant City advanced to the Florida High School Athletic Associations state championship series picking up win number 18 against 8 losses against Ocala Forest in the first round. They are slated to play Armwood in the second round. Persails credits the team’s talent, but he also believes that the team’s

2010 Plant City High School Varsity Baseball Team. Photo by Stephanie Humphrey


may 2010

preparation has a lot to do with the turnabout. “Most of these kids played together this summer and fall. They were taught how to prepare for the games in practice. They also learned that they could take the mistakes that they made in the games to the practice field and work on correcting them.” They indeed corrected many of the mistakes of the past as the Raiders have compiled the best overall record of any team in their district. Four players have also been selected to the All Western Conference team. Second baseman Kyle Madill, first baseman Sebastian Ray, and outfielder Micah Carmony were first team selections, and third baseman Matt Singletary was a second team selection. For senior Jonathan Alvarez, whom Persails praised for his success on the mound down the stretch while

quietly compiling a record of 7-0, the difference has been in the team’s persistence, “This year has been different. We played hard every game. Even when we got behind we never gave up and most of the time we came back and won.” Three seniors have committed to colleges. Carmony has signed with Polk State College, and Madill has signed with the University of South Carolina Upstate. Kshawn Smith, a defensive standout who is hitting at a .300 clip, is headed to Indian River State College. Other team members include Cole Dickson. Sergio Garcia, Cody Smith, Art Knight, Omar Molina, Dallas Thompson, Luis Gomez, Nick Rodriguez, Tyler Wyatt, T.J. Peterson, Mike Durig, Mike Singletary, Travis Cannoles, John Souza, Steven Vasquez, Zack Batley, Evan Bowles, Brett Nizamoff, and Keven Long. Assistant coaches are Demetrius Heath, Omar Molina, and Joe Bowles.

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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


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may 2010

sports fitness

Fitness Matters

Expert answers to your health and wellness questions by S e’a R ya n

Question: I keep hearing great things about antioxidant super fruit juices, and I have a few friends that became distributors. Am I missing out on something? Should I be adding these juices to my daily regimen?

question is hard to answer. Before making a purchase, it would be wise to gather all the facts you can and ask a registered dietitian if you have any questions about a specific product.

Answer: These products are popular these days, but here’s the scoop. Most of these products are exotic fruit juices marketed as super antioxidants, which supposedly have beneficial effects on the body. Unfortunately, many of these claims come from distributors or the elaborate marketing materials developed by the companies themselves. Research is often touted, too, but most of the studies that are referenced have been done on a specific fruit or an extract of that fruit, not the actual juice being sold to you. Plus, many of the manufacturers add other juice concentrates as well, so you have no idea how much of the supposed active ingredients are in the final product. This is pretty standard, though there may be a few exceptions. The other issue with these juices is the cost. Many of them sell for $20-$35 per bottle, with a typical serving being only a few ounces per day. The high cost is usually attributed to highly paid consultants and the distribution network itself, since everyone involved gets a piece of the monetary pie. The bottom line is these juices don’t appear to be harmful, but are they actually making you any healthier? That

Question: Is it better to do cardio first and then lift, or the other way around? Answer: The fact is different people do different things. Some might say you should do cardio first because it’s a nice way to warm up your muscles before a weight training session. Others argue doing this will cause too much fatigue, which might lower your workout intensity and make lifting with proper form more difficult. There really isn’t a right or wrong answer. The best advice is to pay attention to your goals. If you’re focused a bit more on the endurance side of the equation, try to do your cardio first, when you’ll have the most energy. If your goal is to pack on some muscle mass, hit the weights first, before getting some heart-healthy cardio into your workout. And if you’re really looking to push yourself in a particular area of fitness, make sure to break up your cardio and lifting sessions, so you feel energized during each and every workout. Se’a Ryan has been dedicated to fitness her entire life focused on encouraging people to take charge of their own health. To submit a question, contact Se’a at seameditate@

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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


extra Seniors of the month


of the by C u r r i e D i c k e r s o n


Chris Sullivan

Currently, Sullivan leads the county in goals saved for his soccer team (108 saves in 12 games). His efforts helped to make the undefeated PCHS soccer team second place in the district and regional runner up. Sullivan has played soccer his


may 2010

entire life, and been a member of a competitive club team for seven years. As a sophomore, he entered the PCHS varsity team and has definitely aided the team in their continuous wins. Sullivan’s persistence and dedication to the sport he loves

even deemed him worthy of being named Captain this year. Even with the pressures of playing a varsity sport during high school, Sullivan said, “I’m a student-athlete, so I always put school first.” This value in his life is demonstrated by his 5.3 weighted GPA, as he his ranked 43rd in the entire PCHS senior class. Sullivan will be presented at graduation as an Honor Graduate, and will definitely walk across the stage knowing that he gave his best efforts throughout high school. At present, Sullivan is still contemplating his future career, one that will surely bring success no matter what path he chooses. However, he will attend Samford University next fall, and received $8,000 a year for his extra-curricular activities and academic achievements. It was a difficult decision to make regarding his future education but Sullivan shared, “I felt like God was leading me there for the next step in my life.” Sullivan’s close walk with God also influences many other activities he is directly involved in with his church at Plant City’s First Baptist. He is

currently in the church’s youth group, and is also a member of the Core Leadership Group and the tech crew. Through this aspect of his life, Sullivan has participated in several mission trips, vacation Bible schools, sports camps, and clean-up projects. His most memorable moment from one of those trips was been, “walking down the streets of New Orleans and picking up trash as a means to minister to people.” Sullivan’s volunteerism does not end at his church, as he is also very active throughout the community of Plant City. He has dedicated many countless hours as a Strawberry Festival volunteer and at the South Florida Baptist Hospital. Sullivan is also a “big brother” to a child at Walden Lake Elementary, and enjoys every moment he shares with the student as his role model and friend. Sullivan is thankful to his wonderful parents for “always expecting me to strive for excellence.” The memories of his past four years at PCHS will last a lifetime, and are already preparing him for his expectant future to come.

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


extra Al ruechel

“Funny thing about our state constitution! It can be changed.”

Those Nasty Voter Initiatives! S u b m i t t e d by a l r u e c h e l

Funny thing about our state constitution! It can be changed. Yep! Get enough folks together and sign enough petitions and you can actually get a piece of legislation before Florida voters without dealing with the legislature. Before you jump up and down too much consider a few recent examples of citizen efforts that may have back fired. High speed rail. It’s a great idea unless of course you forgot about the price tag. That’s what happened several years ago when the first high speed rail initiative passed on the ballot. We forgot that meant


may 2010

diverting road funds into a 3-billion dollar project that would have cost riders about $30 for a one way trip from Tampa to Orlando. Ops! The good voters giveth and the good voters taketh away… which they did two years later. Now Uncle Sam is giveth-ing us $2-billion dollars so maybe rail is finally making more sense. Then there was the class size amendment. I remember trying to get into my local Publix store and being accosted by a class size amendment petition gatherer. He assured me the amendment would not cost a single penny for the local

school districts and every teacher in Florida was in favor of the amendment. After pressing him he admitted he was being paid for every single legal petition signature he gathered. Not cool! Not only has implementing class size cost local school districts millions of dollars but many of those signature gatherers were found to be scam artists collecting signatures from people that didn’t exist. Yes, it has reduced class size but not without costing school districts dearly. This isn’t to say high speed rail or reducing class sizes aren’t two very good ideas. And maybe lawmakers on their own would never have proposed such costly measures which, in the end, would have produced positive results. The problem is most citizens cast their votes or sign petitions based on emotion rather than good judgment. No one told voters that by setting class size requirements so strict school districts would have to building hundreds of additional classrooms and hire hundreds of new teachers without any support from the state. You can’t squeeze more money out of budgets that have already been cut by hundreds of millions of dollars. And now if there are just two students over the size requirement you either create a whole new class for those 2 students or you tell them, “Sorry, no can do!” This November you will be asked again to give school districts a little more flexibility in meeting class size reductions. Without that flexibility schools will have to truck in more

portables, hire more teachers and then trim support staff and other services. Opponents are already crying foul complaining lawmakers want to rollback classes to pre-2006 standards and don’t care about education. One last example: the hometown government initiative. This amendment wants to give you the voters more power in approving or reject developments in municipalities. On the surface it looks like great. Voters should be able to help determine the fate of their cities. But then why did you elect representatives to city and county commissions only to take the power back if you don’t like their ideas? Let’s be ridiculous and take it one step further. Why not have all of our homes hooked up to meters where we can cast an instant vote on every issue that comes before us? Shouldn’t we all have a say on every issue that comes before our elected officials? That’s your choice this fall in Florida. You will be able to change the course of Florida government on a number of issues from redistricting to class size amendments and more. Just do me a favor. Before you vote make sure you understand the implications of what you are voting for or against. That way if it comes back to bite us you can’t blame your elected representatives for those nasty citizen initiatives that may be no more perfect than the bills lawmakers produce.

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foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


extra Derek maul

“And I witnessed the power of hope and encouragement as it settled on the spirits of participants who realized that they can make a positive difference;”

Gospel Rarely Props up the Status Quo S u b m i t t e d by D e r e k M a u l

Last Friday I enjoyed an early morning drive through downtown Tampa and on over the clear blue bay waters. I had my car roof open and all the windows down; the day was sun-soaked and brilliant; classic Florida, tourist-catalog perfect. My destination was “Missio Dei”, a “holistic, missional, Christian community” close to the center of St. Petersburg. The church was hosting a weekend “Sustainable Faith Conference”, and I showed up to report for the Florida Methodist News Service. “Missio Dei” translates, literally, as “Mission of God”. And the conference title, “A Sustainable Faith”, subtly referenced both


may 2010

environmental stewardship and a sense of care for the Good News. Simply put, the church is promoting an ancient message – but with enough 21st Century social consciousness to reach the next generation; stewardship of both Earth and Gospel. The sanctuary filled quickly with eager conference participants, the majority in their 20’s and 30’s. Then there were a smattering of interested “Boomers” like me. They were there to hear Shane Claiborne, author of “The Irresistible Revolution” and one of the leading voices in the “Emerging Church Movement”. Claiborne, a social activist from Philadelphia, is quintessential

emergent: young, articulate, radical, brash, at odds with tradition where it chokes invention, and deeply committed to Gospel. He’s been arrested many times for taking unconventional stands on behalf of the disenfranchised. But his message engages the heartbeat of a rising voice within the church that increasingly rejects the values of a religious culture seemingly more interested in maintaining the status quo than living a cutting edge witness as passionate followers of The Jesus Way. I talked with authors (Doug Pagitt, “A Christianity Worth Believing”, and Danielle Shroyer, “The Boundary Breaking God”), I conversed with pastors, I eavesdropped on lively discussions, and I listened intently to stories told by farm workers from the Immokalee Coalition. I learned about the heartbreaking conditions many immigrant families still endure, and I listened to accounts of forced labor and the mistreatment of workers. But I also heard stories of Christ-directed lives effecting substantive social change, hard hearts softened, and closed minds changed. And I witnessed the power of hope and encouragement as it settled on the spirits of participants who realized that they can make a positive difference; in their own homes, in their neighborhoods and through their communities of faith. But the most important work was accomplished in the conversations that emerged

between people who had never met before, as they shared God’s love. The pastor of a socially active church in Dallas counseling a young Tampa minister; an elementary school art teacher encouraged by a Hospice worker; a homeless man speaking words of faith to a student contemplating social work as a career. Participants came from a variety of church backgrounds, but the message they all shared was this: The Good News, introduced to a desperate world by an itinerant preacher long ago, is as fresh, vibrant, real, relevant, cutting edge and necessary as it was when the first small group of Jesus followers began to turn the world upside down with their message of hope and liberation. But too many human beings still live in chains (and I’m not just talking about forced labor, human trafficking, political prisoners, and the world-wide abuse of workers). We live in chains of our own making and as a direct result of our unwillingness to claim the Jesus kind of freedom. Chains of lifestyle, debt, addiction, prejudice, priorities; and - yes - sometimes the chains of constrictive religion. Much more to think about, always. But that’s why I write - DEREK

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extra ken lawrence

High Speed Rail for Plant City? SORRY! S u b m i t t e d by k e n l aw r e n c e

There was a very popular song in the 1950’s…..”Standing on the Corner, Watching all the Girls Go By”. If you recall the tune, add the following lyrics…”Standing on Park Road, Watching the Bullet Train Go By”. That will probably be the case for High Speed Rail in the Plant City area, when it eventually is built, at least 7 or 8 years from now. Folks in this area will have to either drive to Lakeland (Around Kathleen Road) or to Tampa, (Downtown) to experience the train that they are expected to pay for through their taxes, plus a 1% increase in sales tax that they will be asked to approve this coming November. It is somewhat ironic that the one municipality in Hillsborough County, which has endured trains by the hundreds a year, will not be a pickup point for the much ballyhooed train that Washington is going to spend almost $2 Billion on, plus the Sales Tax increase. The train will run down the center of I-4, so locals will be able to see it and wave as it whizzes by down the Interstate. Plant City Mayor Rick Lott has been the driving force from Plant City for the train to be built. He has been on virtually every regional committee that has met to plan the High Speed Rail service. In a FOCUS interview, Mayor Lott says the only stop between Tampa and Orlando for the train has been determined to be around Kathleen Road, which has seen its once small country road become a boulevard. Your reporter drove the distance to the likely train stop in


may 2010

Kathleen, from the front gate of Walden Lake and it took almost 20 minutes. Add at least 10 minutes to park your vehicle and walk to the train platform, or maybe be required to go through an airport style security check, then add at least 10 more minutes, for a total of 40 minutes. One can drive from Plant City to the front door of Disney World in 40-45 minutes. If you travel to Orlando you have to take public transportation when you get there, a taxi, or have someone pick you up. If you travel to Tampa, you would easily beat the train by driving 1-4 & 1-275 into the downtown. However, Mayor Lott believes local residents will use the High Speed rail. As an aside to parking your vehicle at one of the 3 High Speed Rail stations, Tampa, Lakeland (Kathleen) and Orlando (Disney World), a local law enforcement officer told FOCUS that there better be strict security at those parking places. “Criminals will know they have several hours to break into vehicles while a person may be at work in Tampa or with the family at Disney”. On a recent afternoon, around 4pm, the AMTRAK from Tampa, going to “who knows where”, sped-by, while your reporter was waiting at the crossing on Wheeler Street. I counted the heads in the windows, admittedly a very unofficial survey. The best we could determine was 10 people. If that AMTRAK service has had a decent number of passengers over the years, proponents for High Speed rail would certainly be using train travel statistics. No one ever

mentions existing rail passenger service in Florida, because it attracts very few patrons. A long time resident of Plant City, who has lived in New York City at one point in her career, says people in the Tri-State area, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have grown up with public transportation which goes back to the 1800’s. Here in relatively young Florida, it was never a societal thing and people will not change their living habits for a train that goes 160mph and does not drop you off very close to where you

want to go. The only possible way would be for the politicians to force people to use the train, such as charging exorbitant road tolls and gasoline taxes. The way our governments at all levels have treated people, don’t rule out those possibilities. You can expect to be bombarded with advertisements this summer and fall telling you to vote in favor of the High Speed Rail sales tax. Think carefully before you head to the polls.

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Thank you to Plant City mail carriers and community for a very successful

May 8th Mail Carrier Food Drive As a result of this great effort over 22,000 pounds of food were donated to the United Food Bank of Plant City. Your support of food donations enables us to continue to meet this incredible need and ensure that no one goes hungry in our community.

United Food Bank

702 E. Alsobrook St., Suite H Plant City, FL 33563 (813) 764-0625 • Hours: Mon, Wed, Fri - 9:00 am - 1:00 pm Tues, Thurs - 1:30 - 5:30 pm foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


extra ken lawrence

Saving $$$ During Hard Times

A Focus Report on Ways to Stretch Your Budget S u b m i t t e d by k e n l aw r e n c e

America has come a long way since the so-called “Dirty Thirties” when the depression of that decade ruined many lives. Today, thanks to our social safety net, there is no one in the USA who should suffer, with so much help available from their fellow citizens or government. However, to say that families have life as good as it was three or four years ago, is inaccurate. Therefore, we at FOCUS have conducted some research and come up with a few ways for you to save money. That includes every member of your family, even children from three years of age and up. Some of these suggestions might seem pretty mundane to many of you, but tied-in with the “Big Picture”, saving of money, they are worth the reminder. Mr. Scrooge Recommends A household budget consists of the following categories…..Home-Food—Clothing—Transportation. Let’s start with the home mortgage. Check with a lender whether you can refinance your home at a smaller interest rate. You could be paying too much. However, if you do refinance, make sure you know what Closing Costs are involved. They may be too high and make the process uneconomical, at least in the short term. Look into Home Equity Loans. If you are one of the lucky ones and you still have value in your home, you might still qualify for a secondary line that is much cheaper than what credit card interest rates are these days. Bank service charges and what interest they pay for savings, are


may 2010

quite frankly, a joke. Look into Credit Unions, where you can save quite a bit, especially on interest rates. There are three Federal Credit Unions in Plant City, GTE, Suncoast Schools and Railroad & Industrial. Check them out. They can also help you transfer accounts from the mean old banks. Now, Let’s Eat! Supermarkets everywhere have tightened their belts too and are offering weekly specials that we should not pass-up. So what if every household in Plant City is eating ham that was on sale at such and such store this past week. Next week it could be sirloin steak for everyone. Clip Coupons! Years ago I knew a prominent Canadian cancer doctor who practiced in San Antonio, Texas. He used to tell me how he clipped coupons every week from the Sunday newspaper and went out with his family to shop for groceries. Cheapskate? Maybe! But why not? So start clipping folks. Also, go to another good place to find coupons on a wide variety of food and paper products. Do not hoard food. When a supermarket has a special on meat or poultry, don’t fill your freezer with a dozen chickens, 20 pounds of crab claws, or 50 pounds of hamburger meat. You’ll probably wind up throwing much of it out, when it gets “freezer burn”. Your writer had an aunt and uncle in Vermont who had three freezers filled with all manner of food. After they passed away, the food had to be destroyed. Buy specials wisely.

Around the House Now for some little things, that when added up could save you hundreds and even thousands of dollars each year. Plant City Manager, Greg Horwedel acknowledges that saving water is not only a money saver, but an important thing to do for the environment. Take the ritual of brushing your teeth. Hope it’s after every meal. Many people turn on the tap, wet the brush, squeeze on the toothpaste, start brushing and brushing and brushing, all the while the water is running. After you wet the brush, turn off the water and don’t turn it back on until you have completed brushing. Imagine the millions of gallons American would save from just that one suggestion. While on the subject of water, Plant City has one of the best, if not the best water supply in the Tampa Bay area. Just go over to Pinellas and taste their water. Why spend literally hundreds of dollars each year on bottled water? Save the water bottles you have and refill them with “good old Plant City water”. Add one of those kitchen filters if you want even better tasting water. The air temperature in every household is always an issue. Dad wants it cool. Mother is freezing and the kids are somewhere in between. Try setting the temperature just one degree higher than you now have. For example, instead of 76*, try 77*. We bet you will not notice the difference, except in your electricity bill, which will be significantly less. Do you have a few bucks to spare for a project or two? Go out to a Plant City Builder’s Supply Store and buy more

insulation for your attic. If it’s fiberglass, make sure you are covered from head to toe when you lay it down. Many people can have an allergic reaction from the particles. That one inconvenience could save you hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs. Switch to the new CFL, fluorescent light bulbs throughout the house. Experts calculate the savings in the thousands of dollars. Clothing & Transportation Ladies, you do not have to wear Designer Labels to dress smartly. This also applies to teenagers, who think they are not “cool” unless it has a well known foreign name on the label. Shop smartly and you’ll be as well dressed and up-with-current-trends, while saving money. Plant City has some very fashionable stores. Visit them, instead of burning gas to go to Brandon or Lakeland. Speaking of burning gas, if you must buy a new car, look very seriously at the hybrid-electric cars. There are models now that are pretty attractive and will save you money. Also, look at vehicles that are being offered with No Interest for several months. Saving $$$$$ can be a family fun time. Picture Dad coming home from work and the kids excitedly greeting him by stating they saved so many dollars that day. Have a point system, so that each month, some member of the family gets a reward for being a “penny pincher”. Ahhh! No matter what, life in America and Plant City is always so good.

Brayden Chase Thompson a year in phoTography happy BirThday

Suzanne Gallagher

PHOTOGRAPHER 813.967.7160 foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


entertainment dining profile

Runway Grill Takes Flight New Restaurant at Lakeland Regional Airport by B r i a n W e s t

Earhart’s Runway Grill has opened for business at Lakeland Regional Airport. The new restaurant opened just in time for the 2010 Sun N Fun Fly-In, and it’s located in the space formerly occupied by Tony’s. New owners, David and Romina Layman, aren’t strangers to the restaurant business. Romina has a culinary education with experience in several restaurants before becoming the head Chef at a restaurant in Miami. More recently, they were involved in several business ventures at River Ranch in Kissimmee. Layman said, “We always knew we’d end up with a restaurant one day, it was just a question of where and when.” So when this location came available, they opened Earhart’s Runway Grill, named after Amelia Earhart. Layman’s great grandfather, David T. Layman, was working for the Phipps family in the late 1920’s. Amy Phipps Guest was planning to be the first female pilot to make a trans-Atlantic flight, but determined that the journey was too risky. However, she and her family were still willing to sponsor the flight if they could find “the right girl.” Layman was tasked with finding the right girl. He found Amelia Earhart. Earhart disappeared in flight somewhere near the Howard Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The airport restaurant features theme décor with model airplanes hanging from the ceiling, and a mural on the wall. There’s a full-sized replica bi-plane hanging in the foyer just outside the restaurant. Earhart’s Runway Grill is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a menu featuring soups, salads, fish sandwiches, hamburgers and steak, and the food is good. The Caribbean


may 2010

Fish sandwich comes on a toasted hoagie bun. The restaurant is open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The restaurant is a great place to visit if you have any interest in planes, especially if you’re just looking for something a little different, or have young children. The booths along the south wall of the restaurant offer direct viewing of the planes that are taking off and landing, and each booth is equipped with two sets of headphones so listeners can hear the chatter between the control tower and pilots. Diners can also listen to the current weather conditions. We took our children along for dinner and this was the showstopper. They loved it, and Layman was wonderful with them. He visited our table several times to check on us, giving special attention to them. He gave both of them clip-on badges that read, “Future Pilot,” and balsa wood gliders. Unfortunately, since our children are only 6 and 3, with no experience with balsa wood planes, my wife and I spent the rest of the evening trying to salvage enough parts between the two planes to make one that would fly. Yeah, both planes had broken parts before we even got out of the restaurant. My tip: don’t open the planes until you get the little rascals home.

The sky-high Bar- B -Q pork sandwich topped with home made coleslaw will keep you coming back for more.

Children and adults can experience the action by tuning in on headsets at each window booth to hear airport ground and tower communication signals while enjoying the view. Photo by Sophia Hyde

Earhart’s Runway Grill Inside Lakeland Linder Regional Airport Terminal 3900 Don Emerson Dr. Lakeland, FL 33811 863-937-8900

The Bacon Cheeseburger loaded with home made onion rings and any of your favorite toppings is a crowd favorite.





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Carrollwood 813.968.0000 | Brandon 813.654.4141 | Plant City 813.754.0212 | South Tampa 813.258.2584 | Pinellas Park 727.521.6125 foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


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2909 James L. Redman Pkwy. Plant City 813-659-0864 Hours: 7:00am-8:30pm Monday-Sunday foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


entertainment artist of the month

Creating Art With a Message Becomes an Artist’s Personal Mission S to r y a n d p h o t o s by H e at h e r D av i s

How many times have we looked at a piece of art and thought to ourselves “How beautiful,” or “That looks so realistic.” But how often are we presented with art that makes us stop and think or perhaps question what the artist is trying to portray. It is the art that makes us think, question, or feel that can be the most profound. For artist Shannon RichieLindsey, this is the reason she creates art - in order to offer the viewer stimulation and inspiration. Shannon is an arts major with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from USF. She has always found drawing, painting, and creating realistic representation very easy. Needing a challenge, Shannon began to search for the personal meaning behind her work. She found herself captivated by images of the natural world being subdued or conquered by the man-made


may 2010

world, whether through natural or unnatural phenomena. Examples like grass growing up through a sidewalk, rusty metal pipes, and even acid rain or pollution all offered sources of inspiration. Shannon worked on a way to capture the feeling these inverse relationships convey, not in a literal sense but by trying to paint the experience. She achieved this by applying dynamic layers of color and texture to her paintings resulting in rich dimensions and vibrant energy. In her art career, Shannon has participated in a wide variety of art exhibits within the Tampa Bay area. Most recently she was a participating artist in Plant City’s first Downtown Art Walk sponsored by the Art Lounge Gallery. Currently she is looking to pursue her Masters degree in order to teach fine art at the college

level. Shannon also has aspirations to bring a working artist’s studio to Plant City, where artists can work together as well as bring other artists to the area to stimulate the arts in Plant City. It is clear that in her art Shannon

has found her personal meaning and has discovered a true way to express her visions. You may contact Shannon Richie-Lindsey at

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


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may 2010


SHOW YOUR PRIDE Buy a Memorial Brick to Honor a Veteran The Veterans Monument and Park at Courier Field will be dedicated and open to the public on July 1, 2010 5:30pm to 7:30pm. All bricks purchased prior to June 5, 2010 will be displayed at the Dedication. We encourage everyone to honor the US Veterans in their life!

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.

You don’t want to miss out on this great opportunity!

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 Salads • Pastas • Steak • Chicken • Seafood

Family Owned Since 1975

It Don’t Get No Fresher!

Mango Pie Home of the


All You Can Eat Specials Tues., Weds., Thurs.

Choice of Catfish Filets, Clam Strips, Mahi Mahi, Shrimp & White Fish The Place For Seafood Mix & Match - Dine In Only • Every Meal Cooked Family Owned for 35 Years! To Order Mon-Thurs 4:30 P.M.-9:00 P.M. • Several Dishes Straight Fri & Sat 4:30 P.M.-9:30 P.M. from New Orleans 1912 Main Street, Valrico • Seafood Baskets 813-571-7630 $17.49 1-1/2lbs. from $8.49


Crab Legs

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


Does your landscape look like this?

WE CAN HELP R 1204 N. Frontage Rd. Plant City 813-927-1288 Just west of Park Road along the north side of I-4 (exit 22)

T R E E S 112

may 2010



foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


entertainment calendar

Saturday, May 15th 4:00 PM - Strawberry Classic Car Show 4 - 9 PM. Car Show, Vendors, Local Antique Shops open, Live Music, and Great Camaraderie. Parking in North and South lots near the Depot, Drane, and Palmer. For more information call 813-754-3707. Location: Historic Downtown Plant City 7:00 PM - Margarita Ball “Friends to the Left, Friends to the Right!” Come join us for a Caribbean Casual evening. $100 a person. King & Queen Contest, Valet Parking, 50/50 drawing, Casino, Black Jack Contest, Hors d’oeuvres Galore, Cheeseburgers in Paradise, Margaritas on the rocks and frozen, and other beverages. For more information, call Plant City Chamber 754-3707 Location: 3200 Polo Place 8:00 PM - “Harvey” by PCE Plant City Entertainment. For information and tickets call Frances Hardee 754-4929. Location: Community Theater 101 N. Thomas Street

Thursday, May 20th 5:15 PM - Business After Hours hosted by Chili’s


may 2010

Location: 3001 James L. Redman Parkway

Friday, May 21st 2:00 PM - Ribbon Cutting @ Aamco Location: 2908 James L. Redman Parkway Red Rose Inn & Suites Entertainment Paul Elgin & Earthbeat Trio

Saturday, May 22nd 9:00 AM - Open House for Aamco This event is all day. Food, prizes, 50/50 drawing, raffle, free gifts! Location: 2908 James L. Redman Parkway

Sunday, May 23rd Everyone is welcome to attend the “Homecoming Celebration” at Youman’s Church on May 23rd at 3816 US 92. Dinner will be served following the 10:30 a.m. Sunday service. The church, established in the 1930s, is credited with producing many ministers and leaders. Pastor Rob Cassata looks forward to meeting those, as

well as new folks looking for a great place to worship Christ. Please call 813-752-2728 or visit for details.

Wednesday, May 26th The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce will hold their annual EGGS & ISSUES wrap-up of the 2010 Legislative Session. Invitations have been extended to Ronda Storms, Rich Glorioso, and Rachel Burgin. This informative presentation will take place at the Red Rose Inn & Suites Red Rose Ballroom. This will get underway at 7:30 AM. Call the Chamber office at 813-7543707 to RSVP. You can find out what happened in Tallahassee this past Legislative session.

at the American Legion Hall, 2207 West Baker Street, Plant City on May 31 st. This event gets underway at 11 AM. It is a great way to honor our service men and women, both past and present. The various clubs and organizations will present wreaths in honor of our fallen heroes. After a brief service, refreshments will be served compliments of the American Legion Norman McLeod Post No. 26.

Friday, June 4, 2010 Red Rose Inn & Suites Entertainment Johnny Alston’s Motown Revue. PJ Leary and the Las Vegas Sounds before and after the show.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday, June 5th

Red Rose Inn & Suites Entertainment Lola & The Saints “DooWop At its Best” plus Destiny

5:00 PM - Bike Fest 5-9 PM. Motorcycle Show, Contest, Vendors, Live Bands and tons of fun. Main Stage at the Depot (Palmer/Drane)Call 813-754-3707 for more information. Location: Historic Downtown Plant City

Monday, May 31st 11:00 AM - The Annual MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE will be held

entertainment calendar

Wednesday, June 9th The monthly Chamber CONTACT BREAKFAST will take place on Wednesday, June 9 th. at the Red Rose Inn & Suites Ballroom. This is always interesting and a great place to meet Chamber members. Cost is $10. Call the Chamber office at 813-754-3707 to RSVP.

Friday, June 11th Red Rose Inn & Suites Cover to Cover plus Ralph Allocco and Second Wind before and after the show in the Dining Room SCRAPBOOKING Event 6 PM until 11 PM 101 E.J. Arden Mays Blvd, Plant City 5 Hours of uninterrupted time/ space. Raffles,Product demonstration, fellowship and more. Gather your girlfriends for a night out. $6 and a covered dish For more information contact: Sheryl Vitelli 918-1612

Saturday, June 12th The Second Annual HIGH HEEL HIKE will take place in

downtown Plant City with the starting point at McCall Park. This event benefits Generation Rescue, which raises awareness for autism. Information can be obtained by contacting Jules Burt at 813-764-8695 or her web site jburt3@tampabay. WE ARE HAVING OUR FOURTH ZUMBA MASTER CLASS, ON SATURDAY JUNE 12TH 4:00pm TO 6:00pm OUR ZUMBA GUEST INSTRUCTOR IS ARODYS MACHADO, SHE IS A GREAT INSTRUCTOR FROM ORLANDO. COME AND JOIN THE PARTY WITH US AND I PROMISE THIS CLASS IS GOING TO BE FULL ENERGY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! COST $ 8:00 I WILL BRING PROVIDE WATER, GATORADE ETC..... Patty Sanchez, Zumba Fitness Instructor

Thursday, June 17th 5:15 PM - Business After Hours hosted by Your Green Team Location: 902 W. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd Sisters & Company is holding a FASHION FOR LIFE event at the Red Rose Inn & Suites from 6:30 to 9 PM. Proceeds from this event will benefit South Florida Baptist Hospital. Additional information can be

obtained by calling Devony Scott at Sisters & Co. 813-7540990, extension 295.

Friday, June 18th Unity in the Community will hold their Annual Benefit GOLF CLASSIC at the Bloomingdale Golfers Club, 4113 Great Golfers Place, Valrico. Registration is at 7 AM with a tee time of 8:30 AM. There will be door prizes, raffle prizes and a full dinner provided to all golfers. There are two hole –in- ones sponsored by Stingray Chevrolet, one on the front nine par 3 and one on the back nine par 3. This tournament is sponsored by Sweet bay Supermarket and benefits Unity in the Community. For further information call Henry Falcon at 813-754-9338 or Joyce Jordan at 813-7521275.

DAY 9:00 am at next door to Sister’s! (104 E Reynolds St.) Patty Sanchez ZUMBA FITNESS INSTRUCTOR Red Rose Inn & Suites - Every Monday Learn to Dance with Susan 7 to 9 PM. Learn an easy, fun and fast method to start dancing with any partner on any dance floor. No partner needed. Call 863-604-5060 (small fee) Red Rose Inn & Suites - Every Tuesday & Wednesday Prime Rib & Seafood Buffet Enjoy baked, broiled, steamed, and fried seafood including lightly battered fried shrimp. Succulent steamed crab legs, even tender prime rib au jus with all the trimmings! All this plus salads and desserts to tempt the most demanding pallates! Music from Free Time Jazz.

Ongoing events:

Red Rose Inn & Suites - Every Thursday


Singles Night Out Happy Hour, Dance Contest, Bottle of Wine and $50 Gift Card Giveaway PLUS music from Destiny and either Mellissa Malone or Tony Johnson.!

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 6:30pm. (Planteen Recreation 301 Dort. Street) TUESDAY-THRUSDAY 6:30 pm. STARDUST DANCE STUDIO (1405 South Collins Street ) TUESDAY-THURSDAY-SATUR-

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


Plant city’s First Baptist church

and its youth, college & young adult Ministries express appreciation to these Patrons and Donors for their generous support of our 19th annual Golf invitational held April 24, 2010.

SPecial thanKS to: Bloomingdale Golf club for their hospitality Bob adams-homestars insurance for course Water Johnson Barbeque & owen Johnson for lunch World Woods Golf club for Great Golf coca cola for course Drinks

Aamco Transmissions Advantage Restoration Alert Tire Applebee’s Bardmoor Golf Club Baird’s Custom Framing Bettye Jean Manee Bill & Beverly Fritz Bill & Dina Wyatt Bloomingdale Golf Club Boone’s Nursery Brandon Tire & Auto Service Brooklyn Bridge Sandwich Shop Brownlee Garden Center Chick-Fil-A Creations by Nora Creative Flowers Cypress Greens Golf Club


may 2010

Diamondback Golf Club Dr. Barry Gaffney Dr. Catherine Clayton Edward Jones—Steve Shouse Eunice Gresham Family Bowl Felton’s Market Florida Insurance CenterBruce & Dennis Brownlee Florida Plating & Machinery Frank & Janice Kimbro Golfsmith Harold & Lynda Falls Harrell’s Nursery Hawkins Corner Helen Everidge Hello Gorgeous Salon— Marlene Chesser Hillsboro Bank

PlatinuM MiniStry PartnerS Bill & Jeannine Kitchens Patterson companies - Steve howard Servpro - James Johnigean

GolD MiniStry PartnerS

Bill & Jeannine Kitchens - Double Gold Brownlee Garden Center Morrow Steel Johnson Barbeque Sunshine State Federal Savings Patterson Companies - Steve Howard Todd & Cathy Stahl Jimmie Robinson - Coldwell Banker Chris & Janet Vorderburg Rollyson / Fearnow Insurance

Bartow Ford

Silver MiniStry PartnerS Rollyson / Fearnow Insurance


Astin Strawberry Exchange Bartow Chevrolet Batts, Morrison, Wales & Lee, P.A. Bettye Jean Manee - In Memory of Harry Bill & Dina Wyatt Cal Giant- Richard & Michelle Sapp Carlisle Fields Insurance Chemical Dynamics Chuck’s Tire & Automotive Claude & Sheila Walker David & Betsy Sparkman Dub & Pec McGinnes Edward Jones - Tim Shuff, Steve Shouse Evangelical University and Seminary Farm Direct LLC- Richard & Michelle Sapp Florida Potato & Onion Frank & Gloria Peterson Fred & Gale Williams Gene’s G & G True Balance Haught Funeral Home Hillsboro Bank Homestars Insurance & Realty Hopewell Funeral Home


J & G Jewelers Lansbrook Golf Club Lark Photo & Framing Maryland Fried Chicken McGee Tire Co. McMichen Photography Mike Simmons Monica Jurnigan- Studio Three Nancy Ross- Ind. Assoc. & USANA Health Sciences Noah’s Power Wash Northdale Golf Club Oasis Auto Bath Octopus Car Care Center Olde Town Pizzeria Outback Steakhouse Papa John’s Pizza Parkesdale Market Pebblecreek Golf Club

Intrac Corp. - Mark & Lori Yarbrough J&K Eggs J&K Farms Janis Wood Designs Inc. Jay & Jill Ballard Jim & Beverly Hoover Jim & Ola Jean Hardee John & Velma Yost Ken Coleman - In Memory of Fran Larry & Betty Olson Max F. Rattes MD, Cardiology Oasis Auto Bath Poppell Insurance Reynolds Nursery Inc. Rich Glorioso - State Representative Richter Engineering, Inc Riviere & Linda Thomas Sarah Mott - In Honor of Harold Sparkman’s Truck & Auto Sales Steve & Krista Howard - In Memory of Joseph Steven L. Sparkman, P.A. Tom & Sue Cole - Wood’s Tree Farm -Double Sponsor

Pinch A Penny Plant City Minute Man Press Queen V’s Ice Cream Palace -Vicki & Kevin Strickler Remington/Kissimmee Golf Club Ridgewood Lakes Golf Course River Hills Country Club Roadrunner Oil & Lube Salon 607- Audrey Hart Sherwin Williams Sisters and Company Southern Dunes Golf Course Standard Coffee Starbucks Steve & Judy McQuaig Steve & Kelly Shissler Steve & Marie Mappin Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Storm Tampa Sports Authority The Preserve Golf Club Tom & Sue Cole Twistee Treat Ice Cream Uncommon USA—Bill & Beverly Fritz Vic & Judy Driskell Wendy Brown Westchase Country Club Wood’s Tree Farm—Ray Wood World Woods Golf Club

(813) 707-9303

2301 James L Redman Parkway, Plant City, FL

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.”


2301 James L Redman Parkway, Plant City Expires 7-1-10 (813) 707-9303


2301 James L Redman Parkway, Plant City Expires 7-1-10 (813) 707-9303

“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

Summer is in the air!

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.

1042 Bloomingdale Ave. Valrico, FL 33594

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, 36450 Eiland Boulevard, 782-9593

d in for Bring this A nt on ou sc a 10% di rchase. pu xt ne ur yo

It’s the perfect time to visit

“Banking on a First Name Basis”


foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


entertainment crossword

A Day For Mother 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

Assisted Living in YOUR Home!

Homemaker &


HeLping HAnds cAring HeArts inc. cy Agen ion n pa om

Cooking Transportation Light Housekeeping & Much More! Office 813.737.6706

Locally Owned & Operated Lic # 230092


may 2010

foCUS Magazine Plant City may 2010


FOCUS Plant City 09-05  

FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 09-05

FOCUS Plant City 09-05  

FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 09-05