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Volume 10 Issue 2 February 2011

PLANT CITY EDITION

2011 Queen & Court

Their year is about to take flight

t s e g g i B e h t f o Issue Year


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foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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TABLE OF CONTENTS 18

Volume 10 Issue 2 • February 2011

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ON THE COVER Model: 2011 Florida

Strawberry Festival Queen, Victoria Watkins.

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Photographer: Stephanie HumphreyPhotography.com (813) 767-4703

Hair & Makeup: Ashley Showalter w/ The Artistry. 1505 S. Alexander St. (813) 717-7700

LOCAL

January and February have been very busy months in our community. Read the great stories about runners, softball scholarships, couponing, Simmons Calendar Girl, Strawberry Festival Queen selection, the Wesley Centre grand re-opening, and distinguished citized, Dr. Hal Brewer.

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Special Thanks:

All clothing provided by Southside Farm & Pet Supply, Inc. (813) 752-2379 3014 James L Redman Pky

Photo by Stephanie Humphrey

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Plant City Airport for providing the location.

SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW

DRESS LIKE THE QUEEN

Enjoy learning about our new Strawberry Festival Queen and her court through their responses to Brian West's questions. In his words, they are "sweet, kind, and genuine." Homegrown and humble, these young ladies are a class act.

Rhinestone Earrings $9.99 Panhandle Slim Black Bling Tank Top $19.99

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STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL SECTION

Bangle Bracelets $19.99

It's that time of year again when our wonderful community welcomes visitors from all over the nation and the world. Have your calendar ready when you read this portion of Focus so you can plan to include the many great and many even free offerings into your schedule.

Strawberry Cart $25.99 Strawberry Storage Container $15.99

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FEATURED BUSINESS Dental Associates of Central Florida, P.A. has a busy and very professional practice in Plant City. If you're in need of dental care or smile enhancement, stop in to schedule an appointment.

Black Belt-Wildfire $149.99

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DINING PROFILE

LICENSING OPPORTUNITY

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

WATCH FOCUSTV

Milley's Hotdogs just might be Plant City's version of Mel's Famous Hot Dogs in Tampa and elsewhere. Read why everyone is so excited to finally have an establishment that specializes in the All American Favorite.

Go behind the scenes of the cover shoot. www.myfocustv.com

Rock-N-Roll Cowgirl low rise with embellished pocket $93.99


Your Smile The most attractive thing you can put on.

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

Dr. Derek M. Busciglio Dr. John A. Busciglio LICENSED ORTHODONTIC SPECIALISTS

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NEW LOCATION

623 East Alexander Street • 813.759.9474 at Alexander Crossings Plaza

TWO LOCATIONS TO BETTER SERVE YOU! 515 Corner Street, Brandon 813-681-9473 foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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See why everyone is driving to Bartow to buy a car from TOM EDWARDS.

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MEATS WIDE SELECTION OF HAMS Low cholesterol items: Smoked Turkey Wings Smoked Turkey Necks Fresh Turkey Tails & Gizzards Smoked Turkey Tails Fresh Goat Fresh Mullet/Cat sh/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 SPECIALIZING IN SPECIAL CUTS OF MEAT No Order Too Big Or Too Small

Produce We carry the best, ripest fruits and vegetables in town: apples, bananas, corn, broccoli, spinach, onions, strawberries, citrus and almost anything else you can think of, including ethnic varieties. Most of our items are grown from the best local growers. Fresh Local Produce Daily Fresh Greens Available Daily Paradise Fruit in 5-lb. box (available All Year Round) SPECIAL SERVICES AVAILABLE INCLUDE: Western Union, Money Orders and Wiring Sevices Plantains, Green Bananas (by the box or lb.)

Grocery Wide variety of all groceries available, including dairy and frozen foods. 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 Banderita Tortillas Largest Spice Selection In Town One Stop Shopping for all your large parties, family reunions and church events


NEW LOOK. SAME LOW PRICES!

Visit our web site:

www.feltonsmarket.com

Call for special orders: 813-752-1548 Walker Plaza, 617 N Maryland Ave. Plant City, FL 33563 ATM Available at Customer Service TECO Payments Accepted

Mon-Sat 7a.m. to 9 p.m. Sun 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Congratulations to

Lee Williams on becoming the new Chairman of the Board for the Plant City Chamber of Commerce


Submit Your Talk of the Town to: editorial@floydpublications.com

Photo by: Karen Garrison

TALK OF THE TOWN

LAST CALL

FOCUS MAGZINE’S 9th annual Anniversary Party/Readers Choice Awards/Plant City Chamber of Commerce After Hours will be held a Keel & Curley Winery Thursday February 17th. Everyone is invited to this big event. You can see more details by visting the Focus Magazine fan page on Facebook.

YOUNG HOOPSTERS WIN TROPHIES Congratulations to Savana Garrison, Tori Garrison and Jack Mcguire on your Tri-Star Basketball Competition Awards.

PLANT CITY CIVITAN CLUB SHOWS SUPPORT

Danny Coton with the law firm Trinkle, Redman, Swanson, Coton, Davis & Smith, P.A. presented a plaque to Pat Pogue, president of the Plant City Civitan Club, on Thursday, January 6th. The Plant City Civitan Club has sponsored and supported a Little League team for over 35 years. Danny presented a plaque to Pat Pogue and thanked the Civitan Club for their generous contribution and support of the Plant City Little League. The Civitan Club's support has help make the Little League organization field more than 50 teams in baseball and softball and provide a great experience for almost 600 children.

BIG CATCH

Brianna Polk, 11 years old, caught a 5lb bass in her backyard pond in the fall.

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SPRINGHEAD UNITED METHODIST CHURCH DEDICATES NEW FIBER OPTIC CROSS The little church with the “BIG” heart at the cross-roads of Sparkman and Clemons Roads, Plant City; will once again light the way from atop the church steeple. For neighbors, church family or weary travelers there is a beautiful new fiber optic cross to shine through the night replacing the old blue neon that was repeatedly struck by lightening. Thanks to the efforts of Lefty McDonald, Damian McDonald, Gene & Eugene Moody of Pool Masters, Plant City, SUBTERRAIN Technologies (all the way) from Palmetto, FL, and an anonymous donor; this beacon of hope, comfort and love for church members and the community will shine once more. The family at SUMC would like to invite EVERYONE for a special dedication on February 27, 2011 @ 11 a.m.; pot luck dinner to follow.


SOCCER STANDOUT HEADS TO PALM BEACH ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY

AJ is the son of Chris and Sherri Black and Maurice and Sherrie Campbell. He will graduate from Plant city High school in the Spring of 2011. He will attend Palm Beach Atlantic University in the Fall of 2011. AJ was a four year letter winner for Plant City wile earning ALL Conference and ALL county awards. He tallied 53 career goals and 57 career assist playing all positions in the midfield. AJ was the team Captain his senior year. He looks forward to playing for Coach Gomez and hopes to contribute to the winning tradition that Palm Beach has enjoyed. AJ is undecided on his major but with Palm Beach’s friendly and spiritual atmosphere he feels that the school is a perfect fit him and his collegiate career.

SHOEBOX FLOAT DEADLINE EXTENDED

Shoebox Float Contest open to school aged children 1st through 6th grade and Exceptional Students: All grades. Registration deadline has been extended to February 23. Age Groups 1st and 2nd grade, 3rd and 4th grade, 5th and 6th grade and Exceptional Students. Prizes: 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies & 4th & 5th place rosettes awarded in all four groups. Details can be found online at www.flstrawberryfestival.com under contest rules. Questions? Please contact Jill Scott at 813-752-1219

NOW HIRING ACCOUNT MANAGERS

CROSSED PALMS HONOR MEDAL RECIPIENT On Monday, January 10, 2011 Justin Jackson was honored by Troop 797 and the Gulf Ridge Council an Honor Medal with Crossed Palms. The Boy Scouts of America awards this medal to a scout who demonstrates unusual heroism and extraordinary skill or resourcefulness in saving or attempting to save a life at extreme risk to self. Congratulations Justin!

Focus Magazine is looking for motivated individuals to join our team. No experience is neccessary. Please send resume to mike@floydpublications.com

foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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A

Adventure One Go Kart Racing!

s you may have read in the Letter from the Publisher in the January issue, Focus Magazine has decided to take on 11 Adventures in 2011. The purpose of the New Years Resolutio n was to not only create staff camaraderie, but to challenge people to step out of their comfort zones and try new experiences. The first adventure of the year was go kart racing. The whole staff headed dow n to Ambassador Racing School in Wim auma. Not a single person in our grou p had ever been there before, much less raced a go kart on a track. They were extremely helpful in walking ever yone through the rules and coaching us on what to expect. The first group to hit the track were the ladies. The first couple laps were a warm up to get used to the feeling behi nd the wheel. After putting on her helmet and sitting in the kart, Angel Carter, our receptionist, started feeli ng too claustrophobic. She climbed out before they started the engines. The other five women took to the track and start ed the warm up laps. After two laps they waved the flag and the racing bega n. Some of them slowed down, othe rs couldn’t figure out how to pass other cars, but it was clear DeDe Floyd, one of the magazine owners, knew what she was doing. Maybe it was her experienc e as a pee-wee motocross champion, or just a need for speed, but she quickly passed ever yone and took first place by a long shot in the practice race. Then it was the gentlemen’s turn. As they put on their helmets, you could see the egos climbing behind the wheel. As should be expected, there was trash talk and teasing about who was goin g to lose or crash. They wheeled out onto the course for some warm ups but coul dn’t start as soon as the ladies. One race r had already spun out trying to make a turn. They realigned, finished the warm up and the race began. On the track you had Mike Floyd, Tony DeVane, and Vince DeVane, all former motocross racers. There was no clear dominant racer on their track, ever yone was passing so much you couldn’t keep up with who was in first, especially after they lapp ed a couple of the others.

It was almost time for the real races to begin, but some of the drivers still felt a little unconfident behind the wheel and wanted to try another warm up. This time Angel decided to try again and successfully got out on the track and did the laps with ever yone else. Clearly thes e were the timid drivers because their race ended with ever yone finishing in the same place they began, but we were all proud of Angel for not staying on the sidelines. Then came time for two preliminaries . The top three from each of these race s would compete in the final race. The highlight from the prelims was watc hing Anthony Sassano, one of the graphic artists, spin out and end up crashing in the grass. He got a little too cocky com ing around a curve and lost control. Finally it came down to the final race , and as expected, our four motocross racers qualified for the finale, along with Brandon Hyde and Jason Stone. Mike Floyd started off in a strong first but DeDe quickly came from the back of the pack. Pretty soon Mike started falling back and the race came down to DeDe and Vince neck and neck thro ugh the final lap. DeDe took the victo ry, followed by her brother Vince, and then Brandon Hyde, the spouse of account executive Sophia Hyde. Former race rs Mike and Tony had to eat a lot of dirt from the staff for losing to a girl, but it was all in good fun.

Log into www.myfocustv.com to watc h the video of the day. Ambassador Racing School can be contacted at 813634-1076. They are available for priva te lessons, corporate events, and public racing. Thank you to the friendly staff at Ambassador for an incredible afternoon !

page 15 Go Onlinecontinued To Chonec k Out THe full

Video at

www.myfocustv.com FocusTV > Plant City

foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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Local » Florida Strawberry Festival Queen Contestants

The 2011 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen and Court. Pictured L to R: Taelor Highland, Kori Lane, Queen Victoria Watkins, First Maid Victoria Garren and Summer Norris.

AThe 2011Long-Standing Tradition Continues Strawberry Festival Queen is Crowned E Written and photos By: Sophia Hyde

Mike Sparkman, President of the Florida Strawberry Festival, opened the event by introducing Natalie Burgin, the 2010 Queen who would be soon be passing on her reign to the next in line. Natalie welcomed the crowd and ushered in the 30 contestants for a short coordinated routine. Then she introduced the emcees for the evening: Kelleigh Klein, President of the Plant City Lions Club and Executive Director of the United Food Bank of Plant City; and Katie Sharer Butson, the 2004 Strawberry Festival Queen. The girls are judged on four different criteria. The first part of the contest is the interview with the judges, which occurs the morning of the pageant. The second criteria is public speaking, followed by casual wear, then evening gown. Each of the contestants came to the stage to present their 30-second commercial for their sponsor. This shows the judges their comfort and ability to speak in front of large audiences because that will

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be a major responsibility of the Queen throughout the coming year.

The casual competition phase followed. While the girls were walking throughout the stage, the emcees read their biographies. This phase really allows the audience to get a better glimpse of each girl’s personality as you learn about her life and see her personal taste show in her wardrobe. You see everything from dress and heels to boots and jeans. A crowd favorite was Taelor Highland who wore a pink tutu dress with a denim jacket and cowboy boots.

Strawberry Festival Queen is a longstanding tradition. What do you feel is the most important role the Strawberry Festival Queen plays in our community?” [By visiting www.myfocustv.com you can listen to each of the girls’ answers]

First maid is Victoria Garren, and the 2011 crown went to Victoria Watkins. watch

FOCUSTV

ighty-one years ago the tradition of the annual Florida Strawberry Festival began, and along with it started the lineage of the Strawberry Queen. The first Queen, Charlotte Rosenburg, was crowned in 1930 and on February 5 hundreds of people gathered at the Strawberry Festival grounds to find out who the 2011 Queen would be.

As difficult as it had to have been for the judges, it was then time to announce the top 5. This year’s 2011 Florida Strawberry Festival Court members are: Taelor Highland, Kori Lane and Summer Norris.

Finally, each girl had her moment to shine as they elegantly walked the stage in their evening gowns. During this portion, the emcees read each contestants answer to “Who is your role model and why?” The girls’ responses ranged from mothers and other family members to Dan Marino and Guy Fieri. After a twenty-minute intermission, it was time for the announcement of the top 10. The top ten for the evening were as follows: Victoria Garren, Summor Norris, Calli Jo Parker, Amber Carapezza, Emily Funk, Taelor Highland, Regan Knotts, Erica Kelley, Kori Lane, and Victoria Watkins. Each of the top-ten contestants were then brought out one at a time to answer the question, “As you know, the Florida

Victoria Watkins was crowned the 2011 Strawberry Queen on February 5. She follows in the footsteps of her sister Ashley Watkins, who was Queen in 2005, and her sister Allie Watkins who was First Maid in 2007.

If you missed the pageant, watch our coverage here.

www.myfocustv.com


The top ten (left to right): Emily Funk, Victoria Garren, Erica Kelley, Amber Carapezza, Victoria Watkins, Regan Knotts, Calli Jo Parker, Taelor Highland, Kori Lane and Summer Norris.

Ashlie Scruggs the 2011 Miss Congeniality

Laura Beasley during the casual wear portion of the competition.

Taylor Wiggs during the evening gown portion of the competition.

Tori Shepherd during the public speaking portion of the competition.

Somer Harvey during the evening gown portion of the competition.

Katlyn Messick during the evening gown portion of the competition.

Megan Young during the casual wear portion of the competition.

Riley Andreau during the casual wear portion of the competition.

foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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Local » Focus

Dr. Hal Brewer’s Acceptance Speech. Photo by Tara Parker

More than a physician, a servant to Plant City Friends of Scouting Distinguished the community Citizen Dinner P Written By: Tara Parker

lant City is filled with passionate and dedicated individuals, but in every city there are those special citizens who deliver change and positively impact the whole community. On Thursday, February 3, 2011 the Boy Scouts of America recognized one of those individuals, Dr. Hal Brewer, for his relentless service to this community. His family and many wonderful friends accompanied Brewer at the dinner. Gary Sawyer had the honor of introducing this distinguished citizen. Sawyer pointed out many of Brewer’s accolades which included but aren’t limited to: serving Plant City as a doctor for 35 years, serving on many of the committees and positions at South Florida Baptist Hospital, Chairman of the First School Health Committee, First and Second Vice President of County Medical Society, Plant City High School’s Varsity Team Physician for 20 years, Medical Counselor for the Methodist Youth Camp, President of the Kiwanis Club, President of the Plant

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City Chamber of Commerce, Charter Member of the Plant City Toastmasters, and currently the President of the Plant City Entertainment.

Sawyer also stressed how much Dr. Brewer genuinely cares for the citizens of Plant City and added, “If you are ever at the South Florida Baptist Hospital on a Monday and take the tram, you might be surprised to see Dr. Brewer as your driver.” Although family is of course his top priority and he plans to take them to Park City, Utah this spring to ski, Brewer also maintains his huge commitment to volunteer work in his spare time. When Brewer was called to the stage, Sawyer compared him to a verse in Matthew that talks about being the light on a hill that cannot be hidden and had this to say, “Dr. Brewer is the light on the hill in Plant City.” This celebration at the Hillsborough Community College Trinkle Center

included a sit down dinner provided by Fred’s Southern Gourmet Catering. Dr. Brewer was also recognized for his incredible work with the Plant City Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts. A presentation explained what it means to be a Scout and why it’s important to donate to the Boy Scouts of America program. Among the other attendees were local political figures including Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe, who presented Dr. Brewer with a proclamation on behalf of the Hillsborough County Commissioners, and Mayor Dan Raulerson who presented a proclamation and an award on behalf of Plant City. There was also an appearance by Miss Florida, Jaclyn Raulerson.

This event was organized by the 2011 Friends of Scouting Steering Committee: Marsha Passmore, Bill Dodson, Bob Edwards, Richard Ghent, Fred Johnson, David Miller, Rick Norman, Mac Smith, Dean Snyder and Charlie Whire.

The Master of Ceremonies was the Honorable Bill Dodson and the guest speaker was Mark Ober, State Attorney of Florida’s 13th Judicial Circuit. The evening was a great success and is a reminder of how proud we should be and how lucky we are to be a part of the Plant City community!

Guest Speaker Mark Ober Hillsborough County State Attorney Photo by Tara Parker


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Sprained an ankle while running? Tore a ligament picking up a heavy object? Strained a back muscle while shoveling? Over the years, a person over-extends their body and stretches, strains and sometimes tears ligaments and muscles. Those injuries heal with scar tissue very much like what one gets from a deep cut with stitches. As the scar tissue hardens, it lacks the flexibility and strength of the original tissue and often affects optimum muscle functioning. This in turn may cause nerve irritation, which can spread to other parts of the body and impact numerous internal functions. As a result, the same person may get aches and pains that they cannot explain many years after the original injuries occurred.

Chiropractic techniques can successfully reverse the effects of these old injuries. With spinal adjustments and a selfhelp program, a chiropractic doctor’s expertise helps to break up the scar tissue and promote quick healing of damaged areas. As the flow of nerve impulses over the spinal cord are normalized, the body begins to renew and rebuild itself. If aches and pains bother you, make an appointment with your doctor of chiropractic. After several adjustments you may feel younger, stronger and less symptomatic.

FAMILY IN 2011 More Benefits Than Any Health Club • Self-Defense • Fat Loss • Stress Relief • FUN!

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Karate age 4 and up Weapons Special Needs Karate ZUMBA Monday –Saturday 5:00pm-9:00pm Classes for age 4 years old and up Great Discounts for families!

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

Business Litigation Corporate Law Real Estate

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

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foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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Local » Focus

Photo by Morgan Miltner

Scholarships to Four Chargers AwardedSoftball Teammates S Written By: Maddie Turner

trawberry Crest High School has an amazing softball program – and those in the know would consider the Chargers Girls team “accomplished.”

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and I wish them luck at the next level.” Miltner feels privileged to be coaching an incredibly dedicated team which posted a 13-10 record in its inaugural year and one which hopes for a district title this season.

Of the six seniors on the 2010–2011 team, Now you would think after these collegefour recently received scholarships for bound seniors graduate that Strawberry their sport. Crest’s softball influence would decrease. In fact, to the contrary, the team has Maria Garcia, Michelle Devera, Amanda incoming freshmen and sophomore Polk and Phoebe Ellington will head to players who could take this team to even new community college teams in the fall. greater heights. The two-year-old school has cause to celebrate its sports teams. A signing party held in the media center January 24, 2011 recognized the four young women for their achievements in the softball world. In a congratulatory speech, Principal David Brown told the audience, “We hold our seniors up to higher standards, and they`ve been model students for the rest of our school. These four ladies have been a star example of that, not only through their athletic ability but also because of their academic accomplishments. We are very proud of them!” It is of interest to note that Garcia, Devera, and Ellington are the first among their family to earn college scholarships from sports. Garcia said, “My parents were extremely proud of me. It was always my Dad’s dream for one of us to go to college for softball or baseball.” Coach Mindy Miltner played for Durant High School and two years for Florida Southern before earning her degree in 2006 at St. Leo University. She praised the girls and said, “The hard work and discipline has paid off. Maria, Phoebe, Amanda, and Michelle deserve the best

Devera, HCC future student and 2nd base player says,” It’s great to know my 12 years of softball have finally paid off. I’m excited for my new experience to begin.” Polk , who will play for Polk State College is the starting 3rd baseman. She said, “Being able to do what you love most at a college level makes you feel, at the same time, accomplished and excited to go to college.” Ellington, the starting catcher, who will attend Brevard Community College, remarked, “I feel accomplished now in so many ways.” Garcia, a 2010 First Team All-Western Conference player, will attend PascoHernando Community College. She is the SCHS starting centerfielder whose batting average last year was 493 with 36 hits and 18 runs scored. Obviously, the Chargers staff and coaching team are pleased with such success in only the school’s second year of competition. Keep your eyes on the young Coach Miltner and this talented group of athletes.


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foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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Local » Focus

Mr. Berry with the Gainey Family at the 2011 Strawberry Distance Challenge.

3rd Annual M

ore than 250 enthusiasts took the 3rd Annual Strawberry Distance Challenge 5K Race to heart this month in Plant City.

Photo by Tara Parker & Vonda Gainey

Strawberry Distance Challenge 5K Race Written By: Tara Parker and Cheryl Johnston

Youth, Active.com Runners Club and title sponsor, Astin Farms. “Rrrick the Runner” Karampatsos, who recently ran 66 miles on his 66th birthday, greeted runners with encouraging words as they rallied around the mark. This October in Kenya, the man who only began running 10 years ago, plans to complete his 62nd marathon.

A family affair it was. Overall men’s winner, Sebastian Hernandez (18:41) runs “to be an example” to his two medal winning children in the 11-under age group, Pedro, 10 (27:20), and the youngest competitor Stefanie, 7, ((38:42). Other family groups included the four Witchoskeys and five of the Baerwaldes.

age/gender group also earned medals. Overall, it was a memorable morning.

2011 Winners

Men Overall-Sebastian Hernandez Master-Bryan Turner 11-under- Dakota Feathers Tommy Medlin of Seffner, 1st place 12 to 14- Caleb Winter 40-49 division (21:50) ran for his almost 15 to 19- Ike Fountain two-year-old niece Mallory McWhorter, 20 to 29- Aaron Green Family and co-worker groups used the Aside from the entry fee, proceeds who suffers from mitochondrial muscle 30 to 29- Salvador Hildago February 5th competition at Walden benefit a variety of causes. Participants disorder. Because he couldn’t be in 40 to 49- Tommy Medlin Lake as an opportunity to invest Birmingham to run with his family’s raised money for their preferred causes 50 to 59- Rick Grewe encouraging time in a healthy outdoor Mallory All Stars team, he raised support 60 plus- Phil Gorham or projects such as school, youth camp activity. and mission activities. This summer Plant and awareness here with her photo City Church of God youth will remodel pinned to his shirt. Ladies Coordinators Bruce Baerwalde and Mike an orphanage in Poza Rica, Mexico. Overall- Rachel Farkas Nelson envisioned this fundraiser as a Everyone especially enjoyed photo-ops Masters- Heidi Straye means to bring area citizens together for Almost a dozen folks from First Baptist with the tall, tuxedoed strawberry, the 11-under- Michaela Maxwell a family friendly tradition anticipated congratulatory hugging and handChurch of Dover showed their support 12 to 14- Carrie Grewe year after year. Indeed, attendance at this for the third year. Member siblings Corie shaking Mr. Berry. Miss Florida, Jaclyn 15 to 19- Corie Bellott race established a new record. (17) and Derek (11) Bellott each won in Raulerson (24:58), also placed. 20 to 29- Pamela Miller their divisions. More than 10 co-workers 30 to 39- Jamie Kruger “My goal is seeing this event grow and from Bright Beginnings pre-school Overall female winner was Rachel Farkas 40 to 49- Kim Gerlich to also be a friend to the community,” (23:06). Overall Masters (40 years-plus) 50 to 59- Donna Smith thought the SDC5K would be “a fun said Nelson. The event was organized by thing to do together.” were Bryan Turner (21:30) and Heidi 60 plus- Gretchen Elizabeth Plant City Church of God Soul’d Out Strave (24:08). Top 3 Finishers in each Participants at the perfect-picture-ofunity-and-community event ranged in age from 1-year-old Lilly Mae Whitfield to the 60-year-plus winners and in every shape, size, and culture.

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february 2011 thefocusmagazine.com


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Local » Focus

Photo by Jessica Brower

Hard Work Pays Off S

Durant High School Cheerleaders bring home first place

Written By: Tara Parker

ome might argue that cheerleading isn’t a sport, but this group of ladies would highly disagree and the results of their hard work would support this. On Wednesday, January 5th, the Durant High School Cheerleaders beat out eight other bay area teams to claim the 1st place title in the Regional Cheerleading Competition at Brandon High School. As you could imagine this title did not come easy. The Durant Cougars had already placed 2nd twice and 3rd once at the four regular season competitions, and at the Western Conference competition they placed second in the entire county. Their first place win has been a while in the making. Durant High School’s head cheerleading coach, Jessica Brower, said, “It took hard work, lots of practice and making changes based on judge’s

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comments from the prior competitions.”

Speaking from experience as a former cheerleader, Brower said, “It is really a cool experience (coaching), I had been away from it during college so it is nice to be back around cheerleading, just on the other side. It is really fun being a coach; I enjoy it even though the season is from August to February!” Brower began cheering for Plant City High School when she was a freshman and continued through her senior year. Ironically, Brower’s career has now brought her to her alumni’s biggest rival, Durant High School, where she has been a reading teacher for the last four years and the head cheerleading coach for two years. Brower said, “If someone had told me five years ago that I would become a coach at Durant, I probably would have laughed at them. Now that

I am, I love it and wouldn’t change it if I could. Durant is a great place to work and I love my girls!”

that night!” said Brower.

This group of dedicated and clearly very talented cheerleaders still has hard work and dedication ahead of them this The Durant cheerleading competition season. On February 5th they will deck team is made up of Junior Varsity and out in their blue and gold, pull back their Varsity cheerleaders; Celeste Lewis, Lauren Mosher, Danielle McCullough, hair and put on a huge smile as they Megan Rogalsky, Katie Gonzalez, Rachel compete in the FHSAA Competitive Cheerleading Championships at Silver Staffieri, Payton Sims, MeKayla Baker, Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Fl. The Sydney Robinson, Danielle Johnson, Durant Cougars hope to bring back Macaley Barrow, Sierra Meredith, Katie Mosher, Kristina Thomson, another 1st place title. After that they Brittany Shively, Madison Astin, are sure to continue to compete strongly Brittany Buchanan, Jessi Rae Varnum, for some time to come. One of the squads captains, MeKayla Baker, is the Erica Holden and Michaela Dry. They prepared a two minute and thirty second only senior on the competition team, routine they hoped would win the judges so it looks like we will continue to see over, and that they did. “We were all success from this gifted group in many really excited. We had been working so more competitions! hard and they simply looked amazing


foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

25


t for making top 10uefinenal.is in Strawberry Q

you f o d u o r p y r e v e r a We uch. and love you very m Love,

Daddy, Mommy,

Chris and Jen

Yourself Berry Best Treat

to the

Special thanks to Parkesdale Farms

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february 2011 thefocusmagazine.com


Local » Focus bill, then max out your Sunday paper subscriptions. They recommend two subscriptions for every one person in the home, although the newspapers cut you off at 10 subscriptions to one home. Then, you pull out the coupon inserts and file them for later. Keep an organized box filed by week, and from there truecouponing.com does most the work for you and it’s free. They tell you which stores are running the best specials and when the right time is to use your coupons. They keep several months worth of coupons filed at any given time because the best deals rarely come from using the most current week’s coupons. There really is quite a science to it, and a rhythm to the madness. If you’re truly interested in saving on your grocery bill, then visit truecouponing.com and look at their calendar for upcoming events. Their seminars are always free and they will coach you through getting started. What’s the catch, you may ask? Time. They make it pretty clear that it can be overwhelming and time consuming in the beginning until you get the hang of it.

Instructor Loretta Mion explains how couponing works. In this example, normally a jar of Ragu would cost around $3.00, but she explains how with couponing she got 12 jars for $3.00. Photo by Sophia Hyde

A Hundred Dollars worth of Groceries for $20? True Couponing teaches local residents how to save money

Loretta Mion, the instructor for the class, said that when shopping for her family she will weekly get about $150 in groceries for $40. When asked why they share all this information for free to people she said, “we have a desire to give away and bless others.”

Written By: Sophia Hyde

T

here has been a lot of talk lately about these people who save astronomically at the grocery store with coupons. Some people talk about seeing the show Extreme Couponing on TLC, others tell stories about friends and neighbors. Regardless, there are true stories circulating around about people saving 80% and more at the grocery store. Focus heard that an organization was coming to Plant City and teaching an evening seminar about how to jump on this coupon bandwagon and what it’s all about. TrueCouponing.com came to First Baptist Church Midway on Tuesday, January 25 to teach the basics of how to save at the grocery store. You may remember this particular evening. It was a beautiful day until about 4:00 p.m. when it seemed like the ocean fell out of the sky. It was pouring down rain, tornado

warnings were in effect and everyone was staying inside. That is, except for the almost 300 people who still managed to show up to get the details. That shows true dedication. One attendee, Rachel Hedrick, came to the seminar from Wesley Chapel. She is considering moving to Plant City because she is looking for a more affordable home. This was not her first True Couponing Seminar. She started couponing because they have a household of 10 and her husband took a $30,000 pay cut. They had to make up the pay difference somewhere, and the grocery bill to feed 10 seemed like the best place to start. They have been significantly saving on their groceries and she came to the seminar to try and learn a little more. So, what’s the secret you may ask? There is no way to cram three hours of extremely detailed information into one page, but

there are a couple key things to know. The first tip was that you need several newspaper subscriptions. Clipping some coupons out of the Sunday paper is only going to save you some pennies. If you want to drastically reduce your grocery

True Couponing was founded by Kati Keifer in Valrico. The organization has tremendously grown regionally and has recently been featured nationally. For more information, please visit truecouponing. com

A packed house filled the new sanctuary at First Baptist Church of Midway on January 25 for the True Couponing Workshop. . Photo by Sophia Hyde foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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Local » Focus Once judging was complete, Janie Castillo was crowned Cover Girl. She is the 2nd Hispanic woman in the Plant City area to receive this honor, the first being at Durant. Janie is a senior with a 3.5 GPA whose focus is early childhood education. Her extracurricular activities include On the Job Training at an area childcare facility and can food drives participation in which she collected 86 pounds in two days for Thanksgiving and more than 1000 pounds for Christmas meals. Janie names her single-parent mother Dora Castillo as her inspiration.

Photo compliments of Simmons Career Center

New Opportunities at aSimmons School of New Starts: Career Center’s 1st Annual Calendar Girl Competition Written By: Kristen Hitchcock

S

immons Career Center allows young men and women the opportunity to graduate high school while receiving training in a career of their choice. Not only does the school have the training and education, but also administration is continually adding all the fun extras of a typical high school.

Teacher of the Year. The contestants were asked two 2 questions, each randomly selected by the judges. Then the young

On January 22nd Simmons Career Center hosted its 1st Annual Calendar Girl Competition in the Trinkle Center at Plant City’s HCC Campus. Heading up the contest was Mary Lawal, teacher of Early Childhood Education/Excel. Fourteen young women from each career area offered at Simmons competed for the crown of Cover Girl. Ten young men who also attend Simmons escorted the contestants as they were introduced on stage. The task of judging was given to five members of the community: Ms. Ohm, Assistant Principal of Curriculum; Mr. Dickerson, local attorney; Ms. Lucas -Team Parent Coordinator; Ms. Griffin School Nurse, and Ms. Noble - Simmons

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february 2011 thefocusmagazine.com

Photo compliments of Simmons Career Center

ladies were judged on poise and grace, overall presentation, and speaking and communication.

Janie wasn’t the only winner that night. Her court members include Brittney Lewis - Miss January, Jessica Gillette Miss February, Saterria George - Miss March, Chloe Wally - Miss April, Kayla Clark - Miss May, Crystal Rosales - Miss June, Shayla Sims - Miss July, Alicia Lopez - Miss August, Meghann Burford - Miss September, Clarissa Ashworth - Miss October, Cheyenne Cox - Miss November, Sonia Roldan - Miss December, and Caitlyn Major - Miss January of 2012. In mid-to-late February, Cover Girl Janie will hold a tea for her court, parents, and community supporters for the release of the calendar. This first annual competition will definitely be remembered as a great tradition to be continued in years to come.


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Local » Focus

Photo courtesy of First United Methodist Church

The Wesley Centre at First United Hosts Grand Re-opening Methodist Church T Written By: Cheryl Johnston

hanks to the generosity of several families at the First United Methodist Church of Plant City, the children and youth have great new student-friendly spaces to enjoy friendships and grow together in God.

On January 23, the church and now led by the Reverend Earl Smith and his wife Peggy invited the public to the grand re-opening of the Wesley Centre in downtown Plant City. After nine months of renovations to the building, member families and church staffers were pleased to open the doors and offer tours and a complimentary breakfast at the new Loft Café on the second floor. Founded in 1885, the First United Methodist Church celebrated its 125 years of providing spiritual guidance in October 2010, the same month seven years following the initial dedication of The Wesley Centre, which was the former SunTrust Bank. Today the contemporary service is held in this part of the large UMC campus bordered between Wheeler, Baker, Evers, and Reynolds.

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Shawna Cook, the Children’s Ministries leader since 2004, is excited to have so much space for programs such as J.A.M. ( Jesus and Me on Friday nights), VBS, drama and praise teams, Acolyte training, and the God Squad community service members. Games, media space, and class areas are kid-friendly and so inviting the kids are reluctant to leave. Brian Lawson, Direct of Youth & Young Adult Ministries, has already seen an increase in new students attending Sunday and Wednesday night

gatherings. The youth also contributed to the renovation costs through their outreaches at parades and profits earned from in-house vending machines. Teens connect here and help each other to appreciate the spiritual nature of life - to revere and develop a relationship with God. The First United Methodist Church offers so much to help families who are determined to grow spiritually or to begin the process. Its mission is to “Reach Up in Worship, Reach

Out in Mission, and Reach Deep in Discipleship.” It’s a lifelong thing, and with 125 years of service under its mantle, this community anchor welcomes all to come and see that the Lord is good. The faith of children can sustain for a lifetime. Come and get involved at 303 N. Evers Street. Visit www.firstchurchplantcity. com or phone 813-754-3519 for additional information and service times.


GET READY FOR SPRING PLANTING! SPRING OPENING

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March 19 from 8-3 Come out and help us celebrate out first year with the Garden Center We will have door prizes, free hot dogs and drinks. You can also stock up on all your spring gardening needs

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You Name It We Haul It! foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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Local » Focus Obviously, this senior is in great shape. Also in shape spiritually, he runs with a higher purpose than conquering manmade goals. His Team 413 shirt bears witness, too, imprinted with “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” the sustaining verse from Philippians. What most don’t know about this diminutive bundle-of-energy is that doctors advised him he would never walk again after two serious accidents: a massive electrical shock and a roof fall that injured his spine. But Rrrick accepted that news as a challenge and received God’s healing, for whom he now runs to share the good news.

After completing 35 miles of his 66-mile run outdoors, Rrrick Karampatsos moved inside to the treadmills at Anytime Fitness, which hosts the Plant City Runners Club. Photo by Cheryl Johnston

Rrrick Karampatsos Celebrates 66th Birthday with 66-Mile Run

Written By: Cheryl Johnston

To commemorate his 66th birthday on his January 13, 2011, he ran 66 miles, the equivalent of two-and-a-half marathons, in less than 16 hours. In his book, Running Toward the Final Finish Line, the purposed 66-year-old marathoner relates more about his drive and why he spells his first name like that. Prior to this, his longest one-run distance achieved was 32 miles. However, with the

experience of 61 marathons in 50 states and his faith, Rick believed. He began at 3:30 a.m. in 44-degree temperature. After 35 miles of running outdoors, he moved to an indoor treadmill at Anytime Fitness, the 24-hour club where he trains with the Plant City Runners. (All welcome - 6:30PM, 1st Monday monthly).

AF owners Richard and Se’a Ryan held open house in his honor. Members and friends stopped in for Rrrick-watching and some even felt led to pray for him. He completed the remaining 31 miles in five 6.2-kilometer segments with only occasional bathroom breaks. At 7:40 p.m. his wife Donna and other encouragers saluted his accomplishment with confetti and noisemakers, as Rrrick dropped to his knees to thank God.

Cosmetology Program at Plant City High School

Adult and Community School, for potential adult students

daytime salon appointments are available by calling

757-9370 x. 268

evening salon services are walk-in only between 3:30-7:00, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 32

february 2011 thefocusmagazine.com

Follow his blog (www.therrrick.com) or Facebook (with one R) entries for inspiring comments from around the world. For his next incredible journey, he’s been invited to run in Kenya. Feel free to help him accomplish his dream run. You can: 1) Donate frequent flyer miles; 2) Purchase his book from Anytime Fitness, Truth Christian Store, or Amazon.com; 3) Run for pledge money to benefit his cause; 4) Donate at Anytime Fitness, 2402 James L. Redman Parkway in the Walden Woods Village Center. Call 813-567-1057 for details. Join the fun to celebrate a hometown winner.


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foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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Local » did you know

THE FIRST STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL AND ITS FIRST QUEEN I submitted By: Plant City Photo Archives & History Center

t has been common, and even traditional, for agricultural societies to celebrate the fruit of their labors with a festival. As the strawberry grew in economic importance to the East Hillsborough and, indeed, the greater Plant City area, it became only fitting that the strawberry have its own celebration.

The Plant City Board of Trade, forerunner of the Chamber of Commerce, held a “Strawberry Day” as early as January 1, 1914, and residents were encouraged to promote Plant City’s crops and tourism by sending post cards to distant friends and relatives. At a meeting of the Plant City Lions Club, July 5, 1929, Albert Schneider, first President and organizer of the Lions, suggested the members sponsor a festival that would involve Plant City and the surrounding communities. They accepted the idea and formed a committee to start planning. The City quickly got on board and City Manager John C. Dickerson was named General Manager of the nascent festival organization. Plus, the City advanced $1,000 for the committee’s operating revenue, to be repaid from the festival’s first proceeds. The organization’s incorporating Charter was approved by the State of Florida and immediately, at a meeting at City Hall, the Strawberry Festival organization elected its officers and directors: Albert Schneider, President, W. Dee Marley, Vice President, Henry H. Huff, Secretary, Henry S. Moody, Treasurer, and James W. Henderson, F. E. Cummins, and Marcus Cone, Directors. The newly incorporated Strawberry Festival organization drew up plans for the inaugural Strawberry Festival, which would include the selection and crowning of a Festival Queen. The site chosen was a vacant block owned by Ira M. Allen, who had homes in Michigan and Plant City. The site ran north from Baker Street along the Seaboard Railroad tracks and Michigan Avenue. It was centrally located and over the years had been used for baseball and other carnival-like activities. The dates chosen were Wednesday, March 12, 1930, through Saturday, March 15, 1930. The Festival Queen, to be selected through a contest sponsored by the Future Farmers of America, would be featured in the grand parade on opening day and would be crowned at the festival grounds. In addition to the parade and the queen contest, the festival group set plans for floats, vendors, a midway with rides, the Johnny J. Jones Carnival Shows, bands, demonstrations with plants, flowers, and a variety of food, and of course fresh strawberries. The story broke in The Plant City Enterprise on January 3, 1930, stating the dates and plans for the festival. The Plant City Enterprise, under Fenton M. Prewitt, and The Courier, under Wayne Thomas, both published every Tuesday and Friday, and kept a running commentary on the festival’s developments. And the necklace the Future Farmers of America was to present to the new Festival Queen was on display at Edgar Hull Jewelry.

By February 18, 1930, all the festival booths had been reserved; excitement filled the air and prominent in the excitement was the suspense of the Festival Queen Contest. Plus, the Woman’s Club of Plant City and the Home Demonstration Club had agreed to present their third annual flower show in conjunction with the festival. The communities of Dover, Hopewell, Seffner, Trapnell, Lithia, Turkey Creek, Cork, and Springhead had all registered to participate.

Announcements were made in the two local newspapers that nominations for festival queen were open and that any “maid” or “matron” who resides in East Hillsborough County was eligible. They could be nominated by clipping a form out of the newspaper, completing it, and submitting it to Gray Miley, who was working with the sponsoring Future Farmers of America committee. The last day to nominate someone for queen was Monday, February 24th. Voting would continue into March, lasting about 2 weeks. Ballot boxes for votes for the Strawberry Festival Queen were placed in stores about town to receive votes from the community. Each candidate would receive 5,000 votes as sort of a starting bonus. After that, each vote was one penny, and pennies for votes were placed in clearly marked envelopes. Any resident of East Hillsborough could vote as many times as he or she wished - just deposit the pennies with your votes. By February 24th, the last day to nominate a candidate for Queen, 36 names were submitted. Here are 33 of them. Minnie Lee Alderman, Elizabeth Alsobrook, Mrs. Earl Barker, Mrs. Charles Daniels, Mrs. R. M. Fletcher, Ewana Glaros, Annie Ruth Harvey, Sarah Henderson, Mabel Hilsman, Mrs. Edgar Hull, Mrs. J. Edgar, Knight, Jr., Mrs. Harry Lomison, Madie Lowry, Alice Maxey, Stella Moody, Louise Nettles, Anna Mae Nettles, Ruby Pratt, Charlotte Rosenberg, Mamie Sapp, Helen Simmons, Nettie Simmons, Alice Sly, Edna Smith, Leola Sweat, Margaret Strickland, Dorothy Sutton, Opal Clair Thomas, Hazel Wiggins, Irvine Wilder, Hester White, Daisy Woodall, Viola Yates The balloting for Festival Queen began in earnest Tuesday, February 25th. Each paper, The Plant City Enterprise, and The Courier, would print the ten leading candidates on subsequent publication dates. The highest vote getter would be elected Festival Queen; the next five highest vote getters would make up the Court. Heralds and Pages were chosen separately. It is reported that Nettie Simmons, a girl from Dover, was in the lead early but was soon passed by Irvine Hopkins Wilder, of Midway, daughter of Calffrey La Fayette Wilder and Joanna Singletary Wilder. Irvine Wilder’s lead gave way to Charlotte Rosenberg, daughter of Sam and Fannie (Leibowitz) Rosenberg, who had a retail business in Plant City. Charlotte Rosenberg’s vote totaled nearly 50,000 and she became the first Strawberry Festival Queen. Her court was comprised of the next five highest vote getters – Irvine Wilder, Nettie Simmons, Alice Sly, Kathryn Dudley, and Alice Maxey. Elected as heralds were Elizabeth Carey, Marian Herring, Elizabeth Hull, and Eugenia Sanchez, and the pages elected were

Katherine Andrews, Virginia Dennison, Catherine Fletcher, and Helen Spear. Thus, the newly elected Queen and her Court began to prepare themselves for the Festival and the Grand Parade. The Festival would begin Wednesday, March 12, with the Grand Parade stepping off at 1 p.m. The coronation of the Queen was scheduled for 2:30 p.m. There followed a band concert, entertainment, vendors and rides, and more. The remaining Festival days were: Thursday, March 13 – Strawberry Day; Friday, March 14 – Tourists Day; Saturday, March 15 – Farmers Day. On opening day, the first Strawberry Festival Queen and her Court led the parade of elaborately decorated floats, decorated cars, horse-drawn carriages, and marchers. They started north of Risk/Herring Street, on Wheeler Street, and wound their way through the crowded streets in the Historic District. Wheeler, Baker, Franklin, Reynolds, Evers, Haines/ML King Blvd., Collins, Reynolds again, until turning onto Michigan and marching north to the festival grounds. The band struck up a march for the Queen and her Court as they promenaded to the throne. The Queen was preceded by her four heralds, two pages bore her train and two more carried her crown and her necklace. The platform was decorated with a red, white, and blue bunting background and an overdrape of blue material with a silver fringe. Potted palms and fern enhanced the throne in the center of the stage. Albert Schneider, Strawberry Festival President, introduced Mayor/Commissioner George A. Carey, who gave a brief speech before crowning the first Queen at 2:30 p.m., March 12, 1930. The festival coincided with an annual event of the National Business and Professional Women’s Club, and the local chapter decided to combine its observance with festival activities. Thursday evening, March 13, the BPW hosted a banquet honoring festival officials and

the Queen and her Court. The banquet was held at the Masonic Hall on Evers Street just north of Mahoney Street, and was catered by women of the Eastern Star. The official estimate of the attendance at the first day of the festival was 15,000, which was impressive in that the weather was inclement and not a Chamber of Commerce day. But it was a great day for the officials, the Queen, her Court, and the many volunteers who together produced the first Strawberry Festival, which, but for the WWII years, has continued to this day. NOTES: 1. There is some discrepancy as to the list of candidates for Queen, and we are not able to verify the accuracy of the list printed above. 2. Misses Irvine Wilder, Elizabeth Carey, and Catherine Fletcher were chosen queen for subsequent festivals. Elizabeth Hull became Miss Florida, and was a Miss America runner-up in 1937. 3. Charlotte Rosenberg graduated from Plant City High School in 1930, shortly after becoming the first Strawberry Festival Queen. She attained a two-year degree from Florida State College for Women, in Tallahassee, and returned to Plant City, where she taught 3rd grade at Turkey Creek School. She returned to Florida State College for Women, met and married Charles Rosenberg, of Tallahassee, in 1935, and received her B.S. degree in science in 1937. She lived in Tallahassee, working with the family business, Rose Publishing Company, the rest of her life. SOURCES: Plant City Photo Archives and History Center, “Mary Frances Morgan/Panky Snow Papers”, Plant City Photo Archives photo collection, Quintilla Geer Bruton and David E. Bailey, Jr., Plant City; Its Origin and History, East Hillsborough Historical Society, Hunter Publishing Company, Winston- Salem, North Carolina, 1984.

foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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Local » chamber of commerce

GREATER PLANT CITY

Your Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce installed new officers at the 29th. Annual Chairman’s Banquet which was held on January 27th. at the Red Rose Inn & Suites. Congratulations to the new Board. Lee Williams will serve as Chairman, Matt Buzza is Chairman Elect. Immediate Past Chair is Charles Harris. Jim Scott is the new Treasurer; Janet Kelly will serve as Vice Chair of the Chamber’s Community Programs Division; Gary Pike is the 2011 Vice Chairman of Membership; and Doug Driggers is Vice Chairman of the Chamber’s Economic Development Council. In addition, the following Board members were installed: Rick Bunnell, Michael Cameron, Paul Davis, Edwena Haney, Nate Kilton, Gail Lyons, Steve Nierman, Roy Peterson, Ed Verner, Phil Waldron and Brian West.

********** Are you ready? The 76th Annual FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL will take place March 3 through the 13th. Can you imagine 76 years? and it gets better every year. Once again the Festival teamed up with SweetBay Supermarkets and you can buy general admission tickets at their stores for $8.00, a savings of $2.00 per ticket. There is a great entertainment lineup from Bobby Vinton to Lady Antebellum on the Wish Farms Soundstage.

submitted By: bruce rodwell

the car show is in progress.

The UNITED FOOD BANK OF PLANT CITY honored Area VI schools on Tuesday, January 25th with a breakfast at the Red Rose Inn & Suites in recognition of the schools fall food drive. Overall, the Area VI schools donated 29,679 pounds of food to the United Food Bank in November and December.

1st Place - Tomlin Middle 6,936 # 2nd Place - Durant High 3,609 #

********** You won’t want to miss the Chamber’s STRAWBERRY CLASSIC CAR SHOW which takes place on Saturday, February 19th. This month will be a tribute to all Pontiacs. Remember them? General Motors opted out of continuing that brand so it will be interesting to look over the relics. The show gets underway at 4 PM and continues till 8 PM. A great family event.

It is wonderful to see the students so supportive of this annual event. This is especially true because the United Food Bank of Plant City hosts a Children™s Nutrition Outreach Program which provides food to school aged children at risk of going hungry when school meals are not available. UFB Chairman of the Board, David Miller, said, “It is great to see kids helping kids.”

The show on March 19th will feature Corvettes. All the older and new models. Mark your calendars for that.

If you would like to make a donation of food or money, the Food Bank is located at 702 East Alsobrook Street, Suite H. You can telephone them at 813-764-0625.

february 2011 thefocusmagazine.com

The City of Plant City RECREATION & PARKS DEPARTMENT have announced some great new community classes to be held at the Planteen Recreation & Visitors Center, 301 Dort Street. Available classes include:

Home Canning of Sweets, Pickles & Vegetables: The Jam & Pickle class is being held February 22 from 5:30 to 8:30 PM and At the breakfast, each school was recognized the Pressure Canning of vegetables class is with a plaque indicating the number of taking place on February 24 from 5:30 to pounds of food the school donated. In 8:30 PM. addition, 1st., 2nd and 3rd. place in an elementary and middle/high school division Ballroom Social Dance (Salsa, Swing, were recognized. Included in the honors Rumba, etc.): Instructor Donna Garsone were civic clubs and students from Durant offers couples an opportunity to learn and Plant City High Schools. At the end confidence on the dance floor. Class takes of the ceremony one school is recognized as place Thursdays from 6 to 7 PM. There is a the overall winner for most pounds donated. fee of $10 per class. This year, that winner was Tomlin Middle School who donated 6,936 pounds of food. Country Line Dancing: Instructors Donna Edenfield and Simone Trolly will teach Listed below are the winners and pounds of you all the new steps or just polish up on food collected: what you know. Classes are Mondays & Thursdays. You can call Donna at 813Elementary School 986-2820 or Simone at 727-243-2541 for additional information. 1st Place - Valrico 2,740 # Zumba Fitness Dance Class: Instructor 2nd Place - Walden Lake 2,442 # Patty Sanchez will show you all the latest in this hottest craze sweeping the country. 3rd Place - Cork 1,165 # Classes at Monday & Wednesdays 5-6 PM, Tuesdays 9:30-10:30 AM and Friday 6-7 Middle/High School PM. Contact Patty at 813-516-4731.

Be sure you stop by the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce booth which will be located in the Arthur Boring Building.

The specialty shops and restaurants in downtown Plant City stay open late while

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CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

3rd Place - Turkey Creek Middle 3,033 #

**********

These are just a few of the classes being offered. Call Chris Wilsman at 813659-4200 extension 4340 for additional information.

with preparing assets, then soon moving into securing sponsorships, with Helios having exclusive worldwide rights to work as such on behalf of the ISF. Helios is a major player on the Olympic and international sporting landscape. Mr. Porter stated, “We are very serious about continuing to promote and develop our sport, not only in the 128 countries where we already have member federations, but in other nations as well.” ********** Congratulations to the following long time businesses that recently renewed their membership in the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce: Jack T. Gibbs, Realtors member for 44 years. Edwards, Platt, Meyer, P.A. member for 41 years Plant City Courier/Tampa Tribune member for 38 years Greater Tampa Association of Realtors, member for 38 years Wells Memorial Funeral Home member for 38 years Bella, Hermida, Hurn, Stertzer & Gray member for 36 years Donco Realty, Inc. member for 35 years American Legion-Norman McLeod Post #26 Member for 34 years Hopewell Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens member for 33 years ********** REMEMBER TO SUPPORT YOUR GREATER PLANT CITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEMBERS

********** Don Porter, President of the International Softball Federation which is based in Plant City recently announced the signing of an agreement with Helios to acquire sponsorships on behalf of the world governing body. The agreement will begin

www.plantcity.org


CHAMBER ribbon cuttings Edward Jones – Luke Carvalho 2806 James L. Redman Parkway, Plant City, FL 33566-9471 Contact: Luke Carvalho Phone: (813) 752-9765 www.edwardjones.com Email: luke.carvalho@edwardjones.com

Root canals Cosmetic Crown and Bridge Dentures Whitening New Patients Welcome Most Insurances Accepted

Planet Beach 2909 James L. Redman Parkway, Suite 109, Plant City, Fl 33566-9406 Contact: Nancy Kretz Phone: (813) 754-0212

Woodside Dental

Now Offering: In-office BOTOX!

Now open on Fridays!

$200 Whitening Special $575 Crown (without insurance) Expires 3.15.11

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

You see them in T.V. commercials and in magazines! Bailey Acoustic Shop 104 W. Reynolds Street, Suite 6, Plant City, Fl 33563-3364 Contact: Ken Bailey Phone: (813) 390-4796 Website: www.baileyacousticshop.com Email: ken@baileyacousticshop.com

Arrowhead Archery Shop 10818 US Highway 92 East, Tampa, FL 33610-5975 Contact: Jonathan Swindle Phone: (813) 621-4279 • Fax: (813) 621-0161 Website: www.arrowheadarcheryshop.com Email: jonathan@arrowheadarcheryshop.com

RACHAEL BARTLEY

OLLY HOWARD

ASHLEY KING

Major Movie Role - Baptism of Life South Florida Museum Geico Gateway Honda

T.V. Commercials Disney World, Pinnacle Financial, Golf Warehouse

Sears Essentials Fashion Show, Runway Model Publix Print Ad ($300 A Day)

CALL FOR AN APPOINTMENT TODAY!

They’re the JESS ANDERSON MODELS!

KEVIN WILLIAMS

GSP Metals, Inc. 1905 West Baker Street , Suite B, Plant City, FL 33563-1601 Contact: Janice Cruz-Riquelmy Phone: (813) 770-0392 www.gspmetalsinc.com Email: riquelmy45@msn.com

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

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Central Florida Visitors & Convention Bureau Print Ad, Professional Football Player, Bowlers Journal International Magazine National Print Ad.

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T.V. Commercials Flipping For Phonics ($200 A Day)

DUKE CLEM

MidFlorida Bank Advantage Health Care Publix Print Ad ($300 A Day)

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Jess Anderson MAR11.indd 1

1/26/2011 6:02:38 PM

foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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We’ve Moved! We’re off of US 92/ Baker Street

CoMe vISIt US at oUr Brand neW offICe! Maria Kathleen Hermano-Soriano, DDS Family Dentistry We Accept New Patients and Emergencies

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(We moved from 1912 W. Reynolds Street) Se Habla Español

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Baker / 92

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601 N. Mobley St Plant City, FL 33563

New Office

Former Office

Hospital Reynolds / 574

SELECTED PRE-SPRING BLOWOUT STRAWBERRY HUGE YARD SALE SHIRTS SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26TH THROUGH MARCH 5TH BUY ONE, 8 A.M. UNTIL 6 P.M. GET ONE FREE HAVE ARRIVED!

NEW STRAWBERRY SHIRTS NOW AVAILABLE

UP TO 75% OFF PRODUCTS FROM ALL DEPARTMENTS IN THE STORE OVER $200,000 WORTH OF MERCHANDISE ON SALE!

COME AND GET IT! 40

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Save $2.00 on Adult General Admission at participating Sweetbay Supermarkets!

MAR. 3 - MAR. 13, 2011 - PLANT CITY, FLORIDA

THE JUDDS

(The Last Encore)

Artists Appearing on the Wish Farms Soundstage: Thu. Mar. 3 Thu. Mar. 3 Thu. Mar. 3

10:30 am 3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Jimmy Sturr & Orchestra Bobby Vinton Kenny Rogers

FREE $10 & $15 $15 & $20

Fri. Mar. 4 Fri. Mar. 4

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

John Conlee .38 Special

$10 & $15 $20 & $25

Sat. Mar. 5 Sat. Mar. 5 Sat. Mar. 5

1:00 pm 3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Suite Caroline Jeremy Camp Gaither Vocal Band

FREE $20 & $25 $20 & $25

Sun. Mar. 6 Sun. Mar. 6

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Trace Adkins $25 & $30 The Judds (The Last Encore) $45

Mon. Mar. 7 Mon. Mar. 7

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Charley Pride Clint Black

$15 & $20 $20 & $25

Tues. Mar. 8 Tues. Mar. 8

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Chubby Checker Chris Young

$15 & $20 $20 & $25

Wed. Mar. 9 Wed. Mar. 9

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Tanya Tucker Rick Springfield

$15 & $20 $20 & $25

Thu. Mar. 10 10:30 am Thu. Mar. 10 3:30 pm Thu. Mar. 10 7:30 pm

The Guy Lombardo Band FREE George Jones $15 & $20 The Doobie Brothers $25 & $30

Fri. Mar. 11 Fri. Mar. 11

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Ray Price Josh Thompson/ Justin Moore

$15 & $20

KENNY ROGERS

.38 SPECIAL

TRACE ADKINS

CHARLEY PRIDE

CLINT BLACK

TANYA TUCKER

RICK SPRINGFIELD

GEORGE JONES

$10 & $15

Sat. Mar. 12

3:30 pm

Sat. Mar. 12

7:30 pm

Allstar Weekend & Jennette McCurdy Billy Ray Cyrus

$10 & $15 $20 & $25

Sun. Mar. 13 Sun. Mar. 13

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Easton Corbin Lady Antebellum

$15 & $20 $45

Concert dates and times are subject to change

Direct Auto Insurance Free Grandstand seating, 3:30 & 7:30 pm are on a first come, first seated basis. Order: www.flstrawberryfestival.com or 813-754-1996

FESTIVAL FAVORITES

Dennis Lee • Jay Taylor Band • Runa Pacha Granpa Cratchet • Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show Rosaire’s Racing Pigs • Bluegrass Parlor Band NEW: Magic of Lance Gifford & Company Rock-It The Robot • The Gothard Sisters Pirates Of The Colombian Caribbean

AMERICAN HEROES DAY, Wed. Mar. 9 All Active, Reserve, Retired Military, Military Veterans , Law Enforcement, First Responders (EMS & Fire Fighters) admitted Free all day with a valid ID

LADY ANTEBELLUM

Red Hat Society Day

Tues, Mar, 8th $2 Off Gate Admission

SENIOR CITIZEN’S DAYS

FREE CONCERTS Thurs, Mar 3rd Jimmy Sturr Orchestra Thurs, Mar 10th Guy Lombardo Band Concerts 10:30am

BILLY RAY CYRUS

THE DOOBIE BROTHERS

Cool Whip • Stingray Chevrolet • TECO • Premium Leisure • Southern Ford Dealers • CF Industries • Patterson Companies • Mahaffey Tent Rentals • Verizon Wireless • Candyland Warehouse foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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414 N. Alexander St. • 813-754-3561 www.floridainsurancecenter.com

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What’s Free in 2011? S

Stingray Chevrolet Entertainment Tent Schedule of Events

trawberry Festival organizers know how to pack the house and there’s no doubt about it. One of the secrets to that success is the lineup of local talent and fun-towatch performances at the Stingray Chevrolet Entertainment Tent.

From music and dance to exercise and eating contests, the free venue offers something everyone can enjoy. What parent, grandparent, friend, co-worker, neighbor, teacher, or church member doesn’t want to come and see the people they know and love take the stage and inspire an audience? School choirs, choruses, bands, and orchestras always draw a crowd, as do young dancers, baton twirlers, and karate kickers. The 2011 lineup also includes several serious competitions, such as the Celebrity Dessert Challenge, the Youth Parade Awards, and the Youth Strawberry Stemming Contest.

March 3, 2011

11:00..........Springhead Elementary School............................................. School Chorus 1:00............“Celebrity Dessert Challenge”................... Sponsored by: GFS Marketplace 3:30............Klassic Kountry Kloggers....................................................Clogging Group 4:30............Steve Selby......................................................................................... Soloist 6:00............Strawberry Squares..............................................................Square Dancing 7:00............Brandon School of Dance Arts...............................................Dance School

March 4, 2011

11:00..........J.S. Robinson Chorus............................................................ School Chorus 12:00..........Shining Knights.................................................................... School Chorus 1:00............Ella Jet............................................................................................... Soloist 3:30............Buddy Brown........................................................................................Band 5:00............Double Trouble...................................................................... Country Duet 6:00............Double Barrel Band..............................................................................Band 7:30............Heather Leigh & 2nd Chance Band.....................................................Band

March 5, 2011

11:00..........At His feet Ministries............................................................. Dance Group 12:30..........Youth Parade Awards................................. Sponsored by: The Civitan Club 2:00............Youth Stemming Contest.........................Sponsored by: SunnyRidge Farm 3:30............Celebration Singers..................................................... Gospel Music Group 5:00............T.A.G. Team ................. Kid’s Worship Team - Plant City Church of God 6:00............Central Florida Academy of Etiquette.................................... Dance Group 7:00............Carol Grayson’s School of Dance............................................Dance School

With the incredible amount of talent sure to be displayed by local performers and musicians, it’s no wonder there might be a few scouts in the audience. Be sure and check out the 1st Ever Mega Corndog Eating Contest and the Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest, too. If you plan to compete, you’ll need to practice in advance by sampling all the fine food the festival vendors have to offer. Should you eat too much, don’t worry. Be happy. Seniors can teach us all a thing or two about staying in shape or tightening the belt a notch as the YMCA Silver Sneakers group demonstrate ways to have fun and stay fit. Stingray Chevrolet has sponsored the entertainment tent for the last 3 years and finds it a great form of exposure and advertisement. Since the community minded dealership actively supports many of the great happenings in our town, it’s our hope that when locals need another vehicle, they will shop local with Stingray.

March 6, 2011

11:00..........Gospel Truth Quartet................................................. Gospel Music Group 12:00..........Sonshine Quartet........................................................ Gospel Music Group 1:00............Spirit Wind Trio......................................................... Gospel Music Group 3:00............Peace River Quartet.................................................... Gospel Music Group 4:00............Heavenly Hope........................................................... Gospel Music Group 5:00............Judy’s Dance Academy............................................................Dance School 6:30............Heanon Tate................................................................. Gospel Music Band

March 7, 2011

11:00..........Durant High School Choruses............................................. School Chorus 1:00............Grand Parade- Viewing available inside Tent 4:00............Lincoln Elementary School Chorus..................... School Chorus/Ensemble 5:00............Ashley Shannon................................................................................. Soloist 6:00............Buckshot Cloggers..............................................................Clogging Group 7:30............Dance Carousel.......................................................................Dance School

March 8, 2011

10:30..........Bryan Bulldog Chorus.......................................................... School Chorus 11:15..........Bryan Ethnic Performers............................................ School Dance Group 12:00..........Bailey Chorus and Drum Ensemble..................................... School Chorus 2:00............Strawberry Stemming Contest..................Sponsored by: SunnyRidge Farm 3:30............Wilton M. Stokes....................................................................Gospel Music 5:00............The O’Brien Sisters........................................................................... Singers 6:30............Performer’s Edge Dance Studio..............................................Dance School 7:30............Eden Regained............................................................ Christian Rock Band


March 9, 2011

11:00..........Amanda Massey................................................................................. Soloist 1:00............1st Ever Mega Corndog Eating Contest............ Sponsored by: Super Dog 2:30............John Summerall................................................................................. Soloist 4:00............Lithia Springs Lynx Choir.................................................... School Chorus 5:00............Shelly Stark............................................................... Country Music Singer 6:00............Resilience Road.....................................................................................Band 7:30............Jackie’s Dance Theatre.............................................................Dance School

March 10, 2011

Entertainment Revue

11:00..........Burns Middle School Chorus............................................... School Chorus 12:00..........White Lightning Cloggers..................................................Clogging Group 1:00............YMCA: Silver Sneakers.......................................... YMCA Exercise Group 3:00 Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest Sponsored by: St. Clements “Make Your Own Shortcake” 5:00............Charlie Ries..........................................................................................Band 6:30............Patrick Patriots Twirling Corps............................................ Baton Twirling 7:45............Faces South.........................................................................Rockabilly Band

Ella Jet-Singer

Klassic Kountry Kloggers

Amanda Massey - Soloist

March 11, 2011

11:00..........Progress Village Middle Magnet.......................................... School Chorus 12:00..........Trapnell Elementary Chorus................................................. School Chorus 1:00............You and Me............................................................................ Country Duet 3:00............Billy T. Elvis....................................................................................... Soloist 4:00............Bianca Swilley.................................................................................... Soloist 5:00............L.A.D......................................................................................Dance School 6:30............Entertainment Revue..............................................Song and Dance Troupe 7:30............Rave Revue.............................................................Song and Dance Troupe

March 12, 2011

11:00..........Plant City Church of God....... Gospel Music Group - Worship Arts Team 1:00............Strawberry Express Cloggers..............................................Clogging Group 2:30............Orlando Cloggers................................................................Clogging Group 4:00............South Shore Rising Stars........................................................Dance School 5:30............Julestarz Academy................................................................... Dance Group 7:00............Chris Welbon Karate................................................ Karate Demonstration 8:15............The Academy of Dance Dynamics..........................................Dance School

March 13, 2011

Buckshot Cloggers Pictured: Tiny Tot Team

Plant City Church of God Choir 46

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11:00..........Clogging Connection..........................................................Clogging Group 12:00..........Glee................................................................................................... Singers 1:00............Gulf Coast Cloggers...........................................................Clogging Group 2:30............Nate Maloney............................................................... Gospel Music Band 4:00............Music Showcase Elite....................................................................... Singers 5:00............June and John........................................................................................Duet 6:00............Brian Bracey and One Reason................................................Gospel Music 7:00............Leonard’s Dance Academy...................................................... Dance Group


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Eat Better. Love Life. Live Longer. foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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For all your hard work - and being awarded your state and national certification as a Fire Service Professional - Firefighter II

"Whoever wishes to become great must become a servant" Mark 10:43 We are so proud of you Nicholas. You have worked so hard! God has given you some special abilities and he has shaped you for a purpose. He measures greatness in terms of service, not status. We are so proud of your accomplishment! Mom, Hector and Tony

Congratulations to the

Queen and Court!

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Serving Brandon area families since 1960. A long tradition of caring compassionate service.

STOWERS funeral home 401 West Brandon Blvd. Brandon, Fl 33511 • 813-689-1211

Herb S. Popple Funeral Director, General Manager

Today, we continue our long and proud history of community service as members of the Dignity Memorial national network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers. Stowers Funeral Home, as a Dignity provider, specialize in offering exclusive Added Value BeneďŹ ts designed to provide a higher level of funeral care before, during, and after the service, all backed by a 100% Service Guarantee.

813.737.3128 foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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Strawberry Parade Berry Fine Productions takes the reigns to produce the parade

Written by: Brian West | Photos courtesy of: The Plant City Photo Archives

The Florida Strawberry Festival parade is one of the largest parades in Hillsborough County. This event for the people of Plant City also deserves credit for its longevity. But over the last few years, the parade just hasn’t been the same. The tragedy of the Christmas Parade a few years ago cast a sorrowful shadow, and people seemed afraid to have a little fun during the parades. This year, the Florida Strawberry Festival has arranged with Berry Fine Productions to produce this year’s parade. Jodi Smith founded the 501(c)(3) organization and created a board in her own personal attempt to establish a philanthropical group. Smith said, “I am excited to be a part of such a fun-filled event that really demonstrates what Plant City is all about. The Parade is a family fun day; a day everyone looks forward to all year!” This year will be a little different. You’ll see Brown’s Florist handing out flowers and Uncle Joe’s Roasted Corn giving out corn-on-the-cob nibblers. Smith really wants this year’s parade to be more interactive, rather than just people waving at each other during a drive by procession of cars and floats. The reigning Miss Florida, Jaclyn Raulerson, will serve as this year’s Grand Marshal. Al Berry is working with Smith to re-establish a tradition that his sister, the former City Manager, Nettie Draughton and City Commissioner Betty June Barker, started years ago. The two would meet in Draughton’s office at City Hall, just prior to the start of the parade. They’d put on makeup and clown suits and slip into the parade unnoticed. Berry is working to revive the “City Clowns” for this year’s parade. Several city officials have already secretly volunteered to participate. Berry and Smith are hoping more will get involved.

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Meet the

Queen & Court 2011 Florida Strawberry Festival

It’s that time of year again. On Saturday evening, February 5th, the 2011 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen and her court were named. This year, Victoria Watkins was named Queen, Victoria Garren is the First Maid and Taelor Highland, Kori Lane and Summer Norris were selected as court members. Every year, we seem to get such a great group of young ladies, and this year is no different. They are each so different and unique, and yet there are so many endearing qualities they share; they are genuine, sweet and kindhearted. I had a few minutes recently to meet the court and here’s what they had to say.

Interviews by Brian West Photography by Stephanie Humphrey Photography


Meet the Queen

Victoria The Florida Strawberry Festival Queen’s pageant is always a big even in Plant City. This is the 76th anniversary of the Festival, and it was a special night. Victoria Watkins was crowned as the 2011 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen. Just three days into her reign, I had an opportunity to speak with Victoria about being crowned Queen. Focus: Tell me about your family. Watkins: My family has been here for 5 generations. I actually learned when I was getting ready for Strawberry Queen, that my great-great-grandfather helped lay the railroads right along side Henry B. Plant. That was a cool piece of history to learn. So my family wasn’t just here, they were a part of it. And that just got me more excited about the pageant. Focus: How many siblings do you have? Watkins: I have two older sisters, Ashlee and Allie, and a younger brother, Michael. Ashlee is married and lives in Colorado and Allie is in college at Florida State University, so they’re not here with me now. But I also have a cousin, Joie, that is older than me too, and she’s lived with me for most of my life, until she graduated, so she’s really like a sister to me.

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d time? make wings an Favorite Family with my dad. We . I love to cook games. the ing Football season tch wa t d just hang ou cheese sticks an y? e to meet and wh tch his show n you would lik en I do, I wa wh t Who is one perso bu , TV of e watch a lot my own diner on Guy Fieri. I don’t I’d like to have ins and Dives. t experience. tha – Diners, Drive gh ou thr to meet him day and be able

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february 2011 thefocusmagazine.com

Focus: Was this your first pageant? Watkins: No. I competed in Little Miss Plant City when I was 10 years old. Victoria Garren and I both got in the court and Ashlyn Robinson was the Queen. So it’s cool that I’ve known them for so long, I guess that‘s Plant City for you! I tried doing Junior Royalty like 5 years in a row, but I never got drawn in the lottery, so I couldn’t do it. The last year I was eligible, I just decided that I wouldn’t get drawn, so I didn’t enter. Two years ago, I did Miss Teen Plant City USA. That was really fun. It was the first time they’d ever done the Plant City Miss Teen. It was held at the Red Rose. I was supposed to go on to represent Plant City in the Miss Teen Florida USA pageant, but I just wasn’t as interested in the USA circuit. Strawberry Queen had drawn my attention more because of what the Queen represents. Focus: Did your sisters try to impart anything on you to help you prepare for the pageant? Watkins: They’re both busy, but they’d stay in touch with me asking how things are going. During Christmas time, they came down. They were there when I got my dress. They got to be a little part of it but not as much as I would’ve liked. Ashlee told me over and over again, “Just have fun. If you win or lose, it doesn’t matter because these are girls you get to make friends with.” When we were backstage waiting for the announcement of the top ten, I was so nervous. Then we started watching Jeopardy and were trying to guess the answers. It was like we totally forgot about the pageant. We were just enjoying being with each other. And that’s something I miss. I miss that girl time with my sisters. I definitely made friends, so Ashlee was right about that.


Watkins Focus: You and your sisters are so well grounded. Is there something that your parents did that stands out to you? Watkins: Yes. They’ve lightened up now that we’ve gotten older, but they used to be really strict. At the time, when they were strict, I wouldn’t be allowed to go somewhere or see a certain movie because of the rating. As a 13 year old girl, not being allowed to go along with your friends seems like the end of the world. But now when I look back on it, I’m so glad that they kept me protected the way that they did, and that they’ve talked to me about the things that they don’t want me to experience. I know those things are there, but I know to stay away from those things. That’s something that I hope I can do when I have kids. Not shelter them too much so that they’re completely blindsided by things in this world, but make sure that they know what not to experience. I honestly think the biggest key for me to have a chance at winning, was to be humble. I cannot tell you how surprised I was that I won. I know that if it wasn’t for the fact that I thought that I didn’t have a chance in the world, I wouldn’t have done as well. If I had gone out thinking, “I’m ready for this. My sisters got it, so I can.”, there’s just no way I would have done a good job. If I had expected it, it would have never happened. I think that’s something else my parents have taught me. You have to work your hardest for what you want, and you still may not get it. Focus: Tell me what things have been like for you in your first few days as Queen. Watkins: It’s been a whirlwind. Honestly, I keep forgetting that I have the crown on my head. So when people look at me and smile, I think, “Oh, how nice. People are smiling at me.” I wore my sash to school on Monday and it was so great. People were so nice. They were coming up to me and congratulating me. And that’s so hard to believe that even girls my age that I didn’t know were excited for me. In Plant City, people just care about each other, and we get excited for each other. This is a great experience. I know that I’m going to be so involved with the community this year even after high school. I’ll still be able to be involved. It’s just such an honor that I’m getting this experience and getting to meet all the people that run our great city.

Focus: Tell me your plans after high school. Watkins: I’m a senior at Plant City High School. In the past I’ve taken a lot of AP classes but this year I only took one. Right now I have a 5.5 GPA, so I’m kind of done with the AP classes; I need a break. I’m planning to go to HCC first after graduation. I work at Beef O’Brady’s and this month I’ll have been with them for a year. I can’t imagine leaving there. I really enjoy my job. I enjoy working with all the girls and they want me to stay, which means a lot to me. After HCC, I plan to attend a Culinary School and open my own diner some day. I need to learn more about cooking, but it will be an amazing journey. Focus: Is there something you’re looking forward to in your year as Queen? Watkins: I think for me, I’m really looking forward to the whole Festival. It’s going to be really exciting. Every year, my family has one day that we all load up and go together. We just eat and ride the rides; except for me because I’m scared. We haven’t been able to do that as much as a family since my sisters are growing up and aren’t at home as much. So I think I’m just looking forward to the whole Festival experience every day, actually being able to find my way around the Festival. It’ll be an honor to be a part of it and actually know what I’m doing. I also love food. My favorite at the Festival is chicken on a stick. It’s basically just a giant chicken tender, but because it’s on a stick, it just makes it better I think. Focus: Tell me something about yourself that not everyone knows. Watkins: I think the fact that I’m very different from my sisters. We’re all completely, almost opposites from one another. Ashlee is so, so sweet. We call her Jesus’ sister because she’s just syrupy sweet all the time. You can’t make Ashlee mad. And if you do, you feel so bad because she’s just so sweet. And Allie’s got this spunk that she doesn’t let everyone see. It’s come out a little more that she’s gone off to college. I think that I’m just a mixture of them is something that’s unique. I get along with them so well now that I’m older, and you don’t always see that in families. We can all pick on each other, use sarcasm, whatever, and we’re all loving at the same time. Even though I’m a lot like my sisters I think I see the world a little differently sometimes. It is so clear that Victoria will do a wonderful job as Queen. She has a level of maturity a few years beyond her age. She’s very focused in what she wants to do with her life. She’s thankful for the way she and her sisters and brother have been raised, which is a testament to her parents. Congratulations Victoria. We wish you all the best in your year as Queen. Take it all in and enjoy every moment.

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First Maid

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Court Member

Taelor Highland

Court Meet the

Focus: Are you originally from Plant City? Highland: No. I was born in Texas and my family moved here when I was 4 years old. My dad is from Plant City and my mom was always coming to Plant City to visit her friend. After my parents met, they started dating and eventually moved here. Lane: Yes. I live in Pinecrest, a little south of Plant City. I’m really close with my family. Norris: Yes. I grew up here in Plant City. I’ve been here all my life. My grandfather lived in Alabama and moved back and forth, but I’m the third generation. My grandparents live in the backyard and my sister lives an acre away. Garren: Yes. I’ve grown up around Plant City all my life. Focus: Do you have any brothers or sisters? Highland: I have a baby brother. He’s three. Lane: I have an older brother whose 25. He and his wife have an 18-month-old boy named Jackson. I also have a sister who is 22. I’m the baby of three, but we’re really close. We spend a lot of time together. Norris: I have a sister. She was in the court in 2003, Shana Norris. Shana’s married and she has a daughter Gracie. She’s two and she’s amazing. Garren: I have a brother named Kyle, and he’ll be 20 years old in March. He kind of looks over me. I love him to death. Focus: Was this your first pageant experience? Highland: No. I competed in Little Miss Plant City in 2004. Then I didn’t do any pageants for a while until this past year when I competed in Calendar Girl at my school. Lane: No. When I was eight, I competed in the Junior Royalty pageant. I was in the top 5, so I got in the court and then I did it again two more years in 7th and 8th grade and I got on the court both times in the Queen division. My sophomore year, I competed in Calendar Girl and was the first underclassmen to win cover girl. Norris: I did Little Miss Plant City and Junior Royalty and got into the court a long time ago. This is my third time competing in the Queen’s contest. The first time, my family wanted me to do it since my sister got into the court. Last year was a tough year because the Tuesday before the pageant my great-grandmother passed away. I was really close to her. She was in a nursing home and I was even closer to my great-grandfather. The Wednesday before the pageant I got laryngitis. When I wasn’t selected, it was almost a relief. It was a blessing in disguise. That night, we left to go to Alabama to my great-grandmother’s funeral. I was able to talk at her funeral, and I was surrounded by my friends and family. And it meant so much that I was there for my great-grandfather. Even though I lost an opportunity with the Queen’s contest, I gained an opportunity with my family. It was such a blessing. You just never know what God has in store for your life. This year, I went out for it. I gave it my best and knew that God had a plan. Garren: I’ve done pageants since I was really little. After my first pageant, there were girls crying because they didn’t make it, and my mom said, “If you ever do that, I will never put you in a pageant again. You don’t do pageants to win. You do pageants to have fun and for the experience. They’re a great way to interact with the community and earn scholarships. Focus: What interested you in competing for Strawberry Queen? Highland: When I competed in Little Miss Plant City, Katie Sharer was Queen. I idolized her. I remember she had a Volkswagen Beetle and I told my mom that I wanted to be just like Katie. So I was so excited when I went to the mandatory orientation for Strawberry Queen contestants and learned that Katie was going to be the emcee and she would be going on the trip to New York. That’s when I decided it must be a sign, and I had to go for it. Lane: Like most girls, just growing up in Plant City, I always wanted to do it. I’ve always been really shy and the talking portion scared me. But when I was in


middle school, I joined FFA and that really helped me come out of my shell. I did public speaking contests and that really helped me open up and help me prepare for Strawberry Queen. Garren: It’s just a great opportunity to represent Plant City. Focus: Where are you currently attending school? Highland: I’m a junior at Durant High School. I went to an International Baccalaureate School in Tampa, so when I transferred to Durant, I didn’t know anyone. It took a little getting used to, but I’ve made a lot of friends and I like Durant. Lane: I’m a senior at Durant. It’s great. I love it. I’m in Leo Club and I’m a varsity cheerleader and this is my second year cheering. And I’m a part of the senior council, which is a lot of fun. It keeps me busy doing community service stuff and getting kids involved in school spirit and getting ready for pep-rallies and all kinds of stuff. Norris: I’ll be graduating from HCC with my Associate’s degree in Elementary Education and then transferring to the University of South Florida in the fall. Garren: Yes. I’m attending Florida Southern College. I’m the co-captain of the cheerleading squad, and I just got a letter in the mail last week that I made the Dean’s list my first semester. It was a big accomplishment. I’m working on a double major in Broadcast Journalism and Advertising. Focus: Do you know what you want to do next with your lives? Highland: Yes. I want to go to the University of Florida and major in pre-medicine. I want to be a plastic surgeon. I’m always watching Discovery Health and reconstructive surgery really interests me. I just think it would be so cool to be that person that’s able to help people boost their confidence. I think it would be the best job ever, getting to do something different every day. Lane: I plan to attend Hillsboro Community College and work on my business degree. I’m really interested in cosmetology, so I want to get my license. I’ll probably do that through Plant City High School. They have a night program and I’ll probably do that while I’m getting my business degree. When I finish at HCC I’d like to transfer to the University of Central Florida. Norris: I’m volunteering at Walden Lake Elementary in Mrs. Gifford’s 3rd grade class. When I graduate, I really want to teach 3rd grade. Garren: The Miami Dolphins are my favorite team and I’d really like to be a Dolphins cheerleader. But eventually I want to end up being a sports broadcaster on the sidelines covering football or baseball. Focus: Tell me something about yourself that not everyone knows. Highland: [With a straight face] I tend to think that I’m the best singer in the world. I’m always running around my house hitting the high notes. I could even be in the shower. My parents are always like, “Taelor! It’s not good.” For me, it takes someone to videotape me before I have my own realization that I’m really not that good. I love Kenny Rogers, so I’m really excited that he’s coming to the Festival this year. I love “Lady.” Lane: Since I’m shy, it takes a little while for people to get to know me. But when they do, I think I’m really funny. My parents always joke with me. I like the Saturday Night Live skits and the Tyler Perry movies. I’m always quoting movies and being goofy, and a lot of people wouldn’t expect that from me. Norris: Most teenagers like to listen to the radio. I don’t. I love listening to people talk. Everyone hates riding with me, especially when Dr. Tony Evans comes on 90.1 at 11 o’clock. I just love hearing people preach or talk. It’s just so entertaining to me. And the news! I love the news. What 19-year-old likes to listen to the news or traffic reports? I know what’s going on. Garren: I’m fluent in American Sign Language. When I was little, I watched a Christian video where they signed the alphabet. So when I got to high school, I thought it would be cool to learn. I love it. They have deaf nights in the food court at the Brandon Mall. It’s really cool to be able to walk past them and be able to communicate with them. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with the new Queen and her court, and this time was no different. They’re all excited about their trip to New York City to shop for outfits for their year representing our great city and the Florida Strawberry Festival. They’re also looking forward to spending time watching the entertainment, meeting the headline entertainers, and even supporting their friends in the steer show. They’re a great bunch of girls, and once again, we can be proud they’ve been selected to speak on our behalf. Thank you, ladies. We wish you the best of luck this year and hope you enjoy these once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

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Court Member

Summer Norris I love to dance & play with my

little nephew. What is one thi ng you will not leave home wi My cell phone thout? Favorite Food? I’m definetly no t a picky eater, so its hard to pic but I love my mo k a favorite ... m & grandma’s southern-style cooking! Would you rathe r be rich, famou s, smart or gorge (You can only pic ous? k one) Smart, because knowledge can ge t you a lot furthe then being rich , famous, or go r in life rgeous. Whats the bigge st risk you’ve ev er taken? I’m not much of a risk taker, but I think living in world, everyda this crazy y is a risk. Favorite Family time? I love spending time with my fam ily, especially wh all over for dinne en they’re r and we spend hours sitting at table telling sto the dinner ries and laughing . Who is one perso n you would lik e to meet and wh I would love to meet my Prince y? Charming ! ( ha ha )

Court Member

Kori Lane


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foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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2011 florida strawberry festival Schedule of Events FREE GRANDSTAND: Limited stadium seats “FREE” for all shows with general admission. Seating is on a first-come, first seated basis. Stadium shows are at 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm daily. Stadium cleared after each 3:30 pm show. Reserved seat tickets available at the Ticket Office located at 2209 W. Oak Ave., Plant City, FL 33563. An additional ticket office adjacent to east side bleachers open during Festival to sell any remaining reserved seat tickets. Reserved concert seat Tickets DO NOT include gate admission. Ages 3 & up require a ticket for shows. You can purchase reserved seat Tickets online at www.flstrawberryfestival.com. Gates open at 10:00 am & close at 10:00 pm daily. Children 5 & under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Children 6 to 12 require a youth ticket purchase of $5.00. General admission is $10.00 for patrons 13+. Dogs and/or other animals are not allowed on the festival-grounds unless they are a service or guide dog, non-human primate or animals in a show or contest. Certified trainers (with ID stating same) of companion dogs/animals will be allowed. All animals in shows or contests are to be removed immediately after the close of the event. No illegal drugs, firearms, alcoholic beverages, or pets are allowed on the Festival grounds. Because of the early printing of this events schedule, changes, errors, deletions, or omissions may occur, in which case the Florida Strawberry Festival® reserves the right to construe its own rules and regulations and to decide all matters and differences in regard thereto.

Thursday, March 3rd Senior Citizen’s Day | Ride-A-Thon Day

Patrons 60 years of age or older get $2.00 off the gate admission of $10.00 all day. Senior Day is Sponsored By: The Simplicity Plan. Ride-A-Thon from 3:00pm until 11:00 pm. A wristband purchased at the Midway for $19.00 will entitle the wearer to ride most mechanical rides for this one low price. Celebrity Dessert Challenge Sponsored By: GFS Marketplace. 10:00 am.................... Gates Open..............................Midway Opens at 12:00 noon 10:00 am – Close...... Poultry & Rabbit Shows........................ CF Industries Ag Tent 10:30 am – Noon....... Jimmy Sturr & Orchestra•.................. Wish Farms Soundstage Noon............................ Senior Citizens’ Drawing• ................... Wish Farms Soundstage (One drawing only-MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN) 1:00 pm...................... Celebrity Dessert Challenge...................... Stingray Chevrolet ......................................................................................................Entertainment Tent 3:30 pm...................... Bobby Vinton.................................. Wish Farms Soundstage 7:00 pm...................... Youth Swine Show................. Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 7:30 pm...................... Kenny Rogers................................. Wish Farms Soundstage

FRIDAY, March 4TH Moonlight Magic Night

Moonlight Magic – Ride most mechanical rides for one special price of $20.00 per person. All patrons entering the Midway for this event will be required to purchase a $20.00 wristband, 11:00 pm until 3:00 am. All patrons entering the grounds are subject to search. Dairy Shows Sponsored By: Tractor Supply Company. 10:00 am.................... Gates Open.............................. Midway opens at 12:00 noon 10:00 am – Close...... Poultry & Rabbit Shows ....................... CF Industries Ag Tent 1:00 pm...................... Dairy Contestant Judging....... Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 3:30 pm...................... John Conlee................................... Wish Farms Soundstage 7:00 pm...................... Youth Swine Sale................... Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm.. Hola Plant City........Sweetbay Supermarket Showcase Tent 7:30 pm...................... .38 Special...................................... Wish Farms Soundstage 11:00 pm – 3:00 am... Moonlight Magic........................................................... Midway


2011 florida strawberry festival Schedule of Events Saturday, March 5TH Kids’ Day

Kids through high school age admitted free all day. Youth Stemming Free Contest Sponsored By: SunnyRidge Farm. 10:00 am.................... Gates Open................................. Midway Opens at 10:00 am 10:00 am – Close...... Poultry & Rabbit Shows........................ CF Industries Ag Tent 11:30 am.................... Youth Parade............................................ Downtown Plant City Noon.......................... Dairy Show Showmanship..... Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 1:00 pm...................... Suite Caroline................................. Wish Farms Soundstage 2:00 pm...................... Youth Strawberry Stemming...................... Stingray Chevrolet Entertainment Tent 2:00 pm...................... Dairy Show............................. Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 3:30 pm...................... Jeremy Camp................................. Wish Farms Soundstage 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm.. Hola Plant City........Sweetbay Supermarket Showcase Tent 7:30 pm...................... Gaither Vocal Band........................ Wish Farms Soundstage

SUNDAY, March 6TH Mountain Dew Family Day

Bring a Mountain Dew can to the Festival and receive a voucher for $5.00 off the $25.00 wristband and ride all day for only $20.00. Mountain Dew can is not valid for gate admission. 10:00 am.................... Gates Open................................. Midway Opens at 10:00 am 10:00 am – Close...... Poultry & Rabbit Shows........................ CF Industries Ag Tent 11:00 am.................... Adult Showmanship (Dairy)... Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 11:30 am.................... Pee Wee Showmanship (Dairy)........ Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 12:30 pm.................... Dairy Costume Ball................ Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 2:00 pm...................... Youth Plant Sale................................... CF Industries Ag Tent 3:30 pm...................... Trace Adkins................................... Wish Farms Soundstage 3:45 pm – 4:45 pm.... Registration for Baby Contest.............Sweetbay Supermarket ................................... (Hillsborough County Babies Only).................. Showcase Tent 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm.... Baby Contest: Decorated Diaper Contest; Baby Features Contest; Diaper Derby (Hillsborough County Babies Only) 7:30 pm...................... The Judds....................................... Wish Farms Soundstage

Monday, March 7TH Grand Parade Day | Ride-A-Thon Day

Ride-A-Thon from 10:00 am until 11:00 pm. A wristband purchased at the Midway for $19.00 will entitle the wearer to ride most mechanical rides for this one low price. Grand Parade Day Sponsored By: United States Marine Corps. Lamb Contests Sponsored By: ASAP Rental Equipment & Sales 7:30 am...................... Farm Credit Strawberry Salute Breakfast............... Invitational 10:00 am.................... Gates Open.................................. Midway opens at 10:00 am 10:00 am – Close...... Poultry & Rabbit Shows........................ CF Industries Ag Tent 10:30 am.................... Invitational Parade Luncheon.... Sponsored by: Regions Bank 1:00 pm...................... Grand Parade Begins............................... Downtown Plant City 2:00 pm...................... Grand Parade Passes by the Festival 3:30 pm...................... Charley Pride.................................. Wish Farms Soundstage 5:00 pm...................... Lamb Jumping Contest......................... CF Industries Ag Tent 6:00 pm...................... Lamb Show........................................... CF Industries Ag Tent 7:30 pm...................... Clint Black...................................... Wish Farms Soundstage


2011 florida strawberry festival Schedule of Events Tuesday, March 8TH Red Hat Day | Ride-A-Thon Day

Ride-A-Thon From 3:00 pm until 11:00 pm. A wristband purchased at the Midway for $19.00 will entitle the wearer to ride most mechanical rides for this one low price. Red Hatters get $2.00 off the gate admission of $10.00 all day. Red Hat Day Sponsored By: Red Rose Inn & Suites. Adult Stemming Contest Sponsored By: SunnyRidge Farm. 10:00 am.................... Gates Open..............................Midway Opens at 12:00 noon 10:00 am – Close...... Poultry & Rabbit Shows........................ CF Industries Ag Tent 10:30 am.................... Red Hatters Welcome............................................ Grandstand 2:00 pm...................... Adult Strawberry Stemming Contest............................Stingray .................................................................................... Chevrolet Entertainment Tent 3:30 pm...................... Chubby Checker............................ Wish Farms Soundstage 7:00 pm...................... Lamb Costume Contest........................ CF Industries Ag Tent 7:30 pm...................... Chris Young.................................... Wish Farms Soundstage

WEDNESDAY, March 9th American Heroes Day | Ride-A-Thon Day

Ride-A-Thon from 3:00 pm until 11:00 pm. A wristband purchased at the Midway for $19.00 will entitle wearer to ride most mechanical rides for this one low price. All active, reserve, retired military, veterans, law enforcement & first responders admitted free with valid ID. American Heroes Day Sponsored By: FOX 13 CARE*FORCE 10:00 am.................... Gates Open..............................Midway Opens at 12:00 noon 10:00 am – Close...... Poultry & Rabbit Shows........................ CF Industries Ag Tent 1:00 pm...................... Superdog Corndog Eating Contest............ Stingray Chevrolet Entertainment Tent 3:15 pm...................... Honor American Heroes................ Wish Farms Soundstage 3:30 pm...................... Tanya Tucker.................................. Wish Farms Soundstage 6:00 pm...................... Youth Steer Show.................. Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 7:30 pm...................... Rick Springfield.............................. Wish Farms Soundstage

thursday, March 10th Senior Citizen’s Day | Ride-A-Thon Day

Patrons 60 years and older get $2.00 off the gate admission of $10.00 all day. Senior Day is Sponsored By: The Simplicity Plan. Ride-A-Thon from 3:00 pm until 11:00 pm. A wristband purchased at the Midway for $19.00 will entitle the wearer to ride most mechanical rides for this one low price. 10:00 am.................... Gates Open..............................Midway Opens at 12:00 noon 10:30 am – Noon....... The Guy Lombardo Band.............. Wish Farms Soundstage Noon.......................... Senior Citizens’ Drawing . ............... Wish Farms Soundstage (One drawing only – MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN) 3:00 pm...................... Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest........ Stingray Chevrolet Entertainment Tent 3:30 pm...................... George Jones................................. Wish Farms Soundstage 7:30 pm...................... The Doobie Brothers..................... Wish Farms Soundstage


2011 florida strawberry festival Schedule of Events friday, March 11th

The Tampa Tribune Day on the Midway Moonlight Magic Night The Tampa Tribune Day on the Midway Noon to 10:00 pm - $2.00 off the regular price of $20.00 Fun Pack Ride Coupon Book. Patrons can receive the coupon from TBO.COM or The Tampa Tribune, which must be presented at time of purchasing the Fun Pack Ride Coupon Book. Sponsored by: The Tampa Tribune. Moonlight Magic – Ride most mechanical rides for one special price of $20.00 per person. All patrons entering the Midway for this event will be required to purchase a $20.00 wristband, 11:00 pm until 3:00 am. All patrons entering grounds are subject to search. 10:00 am.................... Gates Open..............................Midway Opens at 12:00 noon 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm.... Livestock Contestant Judging.Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 3:30 pm...................... Ray Price......................................... Wish Farms Soundstage 6:00 pm...................... Showmanship Judging-Beef Breed.. CF Industries Ag Tent 7:30 pm...................... Spirit Song ..............Sweetbay Supermarket Showcase Tent 7:30 pm...................... Josh Thompson/Justin Moore...... Wish Farms Soundstage 11:00 pm – 3:00 am... Moonlight Magic........................................................... Midway

saturday, March 12th Farm Worker Appreciation Day

Farm Worker Appreciation Day Sponsored By: Wish Farms. 10:00 am.................... Gates Open................................. Midway Opens at 10:00 am 10:15 am.................... Baby Parade................................................................ Stadium 3:30 pm...................... Allstar Weekend & Jennette McCurdy...............Wish Farms Soundstage 7:00 pm ..................... Youth Steer Sale.................... Patterson Co. Livestock Arena 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm.............. Rev. Art Jones and the Bible Based Fellowship Church Cathedral Choir...........................................Sweetbay Supermarket Showcase Tent 7:30 pm...................... Billy Ray Cyrus............................... Wish Farms Soundstage

sunday, March 13th Mountain Dew Family Day

Bring a Mountain Dew can to the Festival and receive a voucher for $5.00 off the $25.00 wristband & ride all day for only $20.00. Mountain Dew can is not valid for gate admission. Beef Breed contest Sponsored By: Purina Mills® 10:00 am.................... Gates Open................................. Midway Opens at 10:00 am 11:00 am.................... Youth Beef Breed Show........................ CF Industries Ag Tent 3:30 pm...................... Easton Corbin................................ Wish Farms Soundstage 7:30 pm...................... Lady Antebellum............................ Wish Farms Soundstage

FOCUSTV

watch

Check out our daily coverage of the Florida Strawberry Festival Events

www.myfocustv.com


This is your hometown and we are your hometown bank

Family Royalty What did you eat when you were pregnant? Is there something in the water? Written by: Brian West | Photo by: Sophia Hyde

The home of Michael and Heather Watkins is a special place. They’ve parented four girls and a boy, and they’ve worked very hard to raise caring and respectful children. But every parent knows that parenting just isn’t easy. In 2005, their oldest daughter, Ashlee, was named the 2005 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen. In 2007, daughter, Allie, was selected as the First Maid. Now, youngest daughter, Victoria, has been crowned 2011 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen. So did Heather eat something when she was pregnant with the girls? Heather said, “When I was pregnant, I went to bed every night with each of my pregnancies, listening to classical music. To this day, they all like it. It’s relaxing.” 509 West Alexander Street • Plant City (across from Plant City High School)

813-707-6506 1016 Bloomingdale Ave. • Valrico 813-657-8989

Homemaker &

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HELPING HANDS CARING HEARTS INC.

Michael and Heather talked a lot about how they’d raise their children. Heather said, “We’ve always been family focused. We wanted our family focused here [at home] as a unit.” It may have had an impact. Each of the girls are well grounded, approachable, and have excellent social skills. Heather said, “We wanted them to be kids, but we wanted them to be safe. When they were little, I’d let them finger-paint on the kitchen floor, roller skate in the house, even stand on the end tables and dance. Other parents would come over, and they’d say, ‘Oh my gosh! You’re letting them jump on the couches? ’ We just never cared about them doing things kids do to have fun. We just wanted them to be safe.” On the other hand, the Watkins were careful to instill discipline in their children. Watkins said, “What I didn’t approve of was them being sassy to each other or to me. I wanted them to have good manners and a responsibility to themselves to behave in a way that wasn’t hurtful to someone else. Those were the things that were important, not whether or not I’d have to clean up something.”

ASSISTING YOU in YOUR

cy Agen n o i an p om

Congratulations on a wonderful job of parenting, Michael and Heather. You’ve raised a beautiful family.

Home!

Cooking • Transportation Light Housekeeping & Much More! Our happy client with his caregiver!

Plant City 813-737-6706 | Lakeland 863-812-4752 Leonard@helpinghandcaringhearts.com

helpingufl.com

Locally Owned & Operated Lic # 230092

Newly crowned Strawberry Festival Queen, Victoria Watkins pictured with her family. Grandmother Frankie Wilson, mother and father Heather and Michael Watkins, sister Allie Watkins, and Grandmother Genie Watkins. (additional immediate family not pictured are sister Ashley Watkins Jordan and brother Michael)


Business Owners, CFO’S, CEO’S & HR Directors

Work Comp Cumulative Rate Changes (%)

Florida’s Work Comp Cumulative Rate Changes

Work Comp rates are on the rise, do you have the facts?

Florida Workers’ Compensation rates move in a 6 to 9 year cycle (graph above). Currently we are at the end of a long downward cycle. Rates went up this year an average of 7.8% across all class codes and Florida is expected to see increased rates, some years with double digit increases, for several years to come. Experience Modification Factors, due to this downward cycle, are on the rise as well. This will compound the rise in cost until rates start to level off again.

WorkComp Partners has developed a system that can substantially limit this increase, while reducing your frustration with the Work Comp system at the same time. Don’t wait until your workers compensation expense eats into your profits to take action. Call us today so we can help you implement your plan to contain this rising expense. We are compensated by the insurance carrier. There is no fee for our services.

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Bombay Box $490 Leather Campaign Chair $480

Ford Trimotor $500

Our Collection of Campaign Furniture is created in the classic tradition of European cabinet ateliers. This collection contains over 70 designs. Individual pieces easily match and combine with both contemporary and classic statements. Solitaire Vintage Game To learn more about this handmade furniture collection.

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foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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Sinkhole?

Homeowners - Do you have cracks on your floors, doors, roof or walls? Are your doors and windows hard to open or close?

Signs that your home may be affected by a sinkhole *Cracks in foundation *Cracks around door or window frames *Windows or doors that don’t open or close properly *Cracks in pool decks, sidewalks or garage floors *Plants, trees or grassy areas that have died and won’t grow back *Other sinkholes in your area

 

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727-776-7719

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foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

75


The Premier Showplace for Talent in Florida Make Your Reservations Today For One Of Our Fabulous Shows! 76

february 2011 thefocusmagazine.com


FEBRUARY 18 RICHIE MERRITT

Richie Merritt, formally of the Marcels, will be performing in the Red Rose Dining Room.

FEBRUARY 19 THE VAN DELLS

50s & 60s Rock and Roll – The Van Dells are a unique blend of comedy, choreography and tight harmonies... the group is nonstop action from start to finish! Plus, PJ Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds will also perform before and after the show in the Red Rose Ballroom.

FEBRUARY 26 THE LEGACY OF THE TEMPTATIONS

Back by popular demand. This group will thrill you with the hits that we have loved for so long... including: “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg and “Papa Was A Rolling Stone!” Plus, Richie Merrit and PJ Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds.

MARCH 11 & 12 DOOWOP WEEKEND

- VOL. 5

The annual is event is underway for another spectacular extravaganza! The celebrity line up includes: The DelPrados, George Galfo’s Mystics, The Edsels (performing Saturday night only!), Terry Johnson’s Flamingos, P.J. Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds, Destiny andRalph Allocco & Second Wind. Many activities areincluded to enhance the weekend and totake a trip down Memory Lane, including Hula Hoop, Dance and Costume contests!

MARCH 19 & 25 JOHNNY ALSTON’S MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE

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

APRIL 2 BOB RYMAN

“THE FIDDLER”

Bob Ryman “The Fiddler” was a legend in the area for many years when The Red Rose was Lanny Purcell’s Holiday Inn and was also a favorite at Florida The Strawberry Festival®. Because of his fans’ request, The Red Rose Inn is bringing “The Fiddler” back. P.J.Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds will open & close the show in the Red Rose Ballroom.

APRIL 8, 16, 23 & 30 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND WIND

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room

APRIL 9 & 22 JOHNNY ALSTON’S MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE

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

MARCH 5 LOLA & THE SAINTS

APRIL 24 EASTER SUNDAY

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

BUFFET

APRIL 29 RICHIE MERRITT

Richie Merritt, formally of the Marcels, will be performing in the Red Rose Dining Room.

SHOW RESERVATIONS

MARCH 26 BUDDY HOLLY & THE BEATLES TRIBUTE SHOW

MARCH 11 & 12

A tribute to two of music’s historical cutting age acts Buddy Holly & The Beatles. BeatleBeat previously performed at Disney’s Epcot and was a big crowd pleaser. If you loved Holly and the Beatles, this is an act not to miss! Plus, Holly’s Cadillac, which also took the Beatles to Shea Stadium in the 60s, will be here to see!

Please call for ticket prices. Shows in the Red Rose Ballroom are in a supper club atmosphere with a four course meal (seats also available for the show only – for a lower price!) NO COVER CHARGE for shows in the 5-Star Red Rose Dining Room with the purchase of dinner. Show Guests - inquire about our special room rates when staying overnight after a show!

TEL: 813.752.3141

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

WWW.REDROSEINNANDSUITES.COM

Mrs. Evelyn Madonia - Owner foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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501 S. Alexander Street , Plant City, FL 33563

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757-9646

All major credit cards accepted 78

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Across From Farmer’s Market


business » business profile

Dental Associates D

of Central Florida, P.A.

written By: Cheryl Johnston

choice for his dental care provider. He complimented the practice with these words: “It has been my pleasure to be a patient of Dr. Mueller at Dental Associates of Central Florida. His kind and caring staff always remember who I am and they When Marion Smith called Mueller with According to Ryan Rollyson, this is a make my visit enjoyable. I have always an opportunity to move into the current mission accomplished. He said, “I would been pleased with the care, and the time location with more visibility, the partners recommend this group to anyone looking agreed it was a smart move. Mueller added, taken by the staff to be friendly and for a new dental office. The staff and personable … I never thought I would find “That’s the great thing about Plant City. doctors have always been wonderful to myself looking forward to my 6-month Friends like Marion Smith are part of a deal with under every circumstance.” dental visits. I can’t envision going network of contacts that want to ensure anywhere else.” our local businesses and practices survive Conveniently located in the plaza just and thrive.” north of the Walden Lake main entrance, In addition to the convenient location, the the office was previously occupied by Dr. Obviously, it’s been a good one. The group modern office facilities feature the latest Shaw before he relocated to Georgia. technologies and equipment. The dentists retained the entire staff that had worked with Shaw, including office manager Kathy also continue to attend additional trainings Dental Associates of Central Florida, P.A., Bennett, so the transition was smooth. for new treatment techniques and product established in 2009, is a group comprised innovations. of three University of Florida graduates: Steve Markham of Hillsboro Bank is John Carter (40), Trey Walding (39), and The group is proud to be able to accept a patient who can attest to that and Trey Mueller (32). almost all insurance programs, which is a one who’s convinced he made the right ental Associates of Central Florida, P.A. has a mission - to enhance smiles and preserve dental health for the good folks of Plant City.

According to Mueller, a Plant City native, the group formed because “We had all worked together in Lakeland and had become great friends.”

Dental Associates of Central Florida, P.A. 1701 S Alexander Street Plant City, FL 33566 (813) 719-2222 big help to prospective patients. Early morning appointments are helpful for many who work out of town. The office is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phone 813-7192222 if you have a special need or concern regarding appointment times. Treat yourself and your teeth to the dental care provider where smiles are the rule, not the exception.

foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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business » edward jones

ld’s Fitzgeraater W ning o i t i d n o C p and Pumce ServdiInsured

Licensed an asting Julie H Shane and 2005 er n ow s since

Brush Up on Your Estate Plan Basics D submitted By: edward jones

We can beat any competitors prices on water conditioners, purifiers and pumps.

Give us a call 813-986-4999 or Shane’s cell 813-763-0343 Your water conditioner will help you save on all cleaning products and washing detergents. When your ready to get the yellow and egg smell out of your house call us!

Become a fan of Focus Magazine on Facebook and be the first to know.

uring your lifetime, you make a lot of moves to provide financial security to your loved ones. You put away money for college for your children. You save and invest for your own retirement so that you won’t burden your grown children with significant expenses. And you purchase adequate life insurance to enable your family to maintain its lifestyle should anything happen to you. Yet, if you’re going to help preserve your family’s financial well-being after you’re gone, you also need to take one additional step: Create an estate plan. Toward that end, you’ll want to start by learning a few of the estate plan basics, such as these commonly used tools:

• Will — For most people, a will is probably the most essential estateplanning document. Regardless of the size of your estate, you need a will to ensure that your assets and personal belongings will be distributed according to your wishes. If you die intestate (without a will), your belongings will be distributed to your “heirs” as defined by state laws — and these distributions may not be at all what you had in mind. • Living trust — A simple will may not be sufficient for your needs. Consequently, you may want to design a living trust, which provides you with more flexibility in distributing assets. For example, you could direct your living trust to disperse assets to your children or grandchildren at specific ages. Also, a living trust makes it possible for your assets to be distributed without going through the often time-consuming, and public, probate process. • Beneficiary designations — Over time, your life may change in many ways,

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through marriage, remarriage, children, stepchildren and so on. That’s why it’s important to periodically update your beneficiary designations on your insurance policies and retirement accounts, such as your IRA and 401(k). These designations are powerful and can even supersede the instructions left in your will or living trust, so it’s essential that you’ve got the right people listed as your beneficiaries. • Irrevocable life insurance trust — Depending on the size of your estate, your heirs may ultimately have to pay estate taxes, though the estate tax laws have been in flux in recent years and may continue to evolve. If estate taxes are a concern, you may want to take steps to alleviate them, such as establishing an irrevocable life insurance trust, under which you’d transfer a life insurance policy out of your estate and have the trust distribute the proceeds to the beneficiaries you’ve chosen. • Power of attorney — A power of attorney allows you to appoint a person (an “Attorney-in-Fact” or “Agent”) to handle your affairs if you can’t do so yourself. • Health care directive — A health care directive allows you to name someone to make health care decisions on your behalf, should you become physically or mentally incapacitated. Estate planning can be complex, so you’ll need to work with your tax, legal and financial advisors to make the arrangements that are appropriate for your needs. It may take some time to develop your estate plan, but it’s well worth the effort. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.


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

Care For All Ages CHIROPRACTIC:

- Back pain and Headaches - Sports/exercise injuries - Arm and leg pain - Auto injury - Many aging problems - Whole food nutrition - Pregnant women and children welcome

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- Sciatica - Shoulder/knee pain - Allergies - Nutritional testing/ counseling - Weight loss

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

www.markleychiropractic.com

Year Round Landscape Management Property Prope ty Clean Up • Tractor Work Tree P Pruning uning • Mowing • Triming • Edging Free Month of Service

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foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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business » success

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 a026519@allstate.com 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 © 2009 Allstate Insurance Company.

10 #

10

“Taking care of yourself has never felt better”

reasons you need massage

STRESS AND TENSION

In 1996 Jane Yates moved from Seattle after her husband bought a business here in Florida. Jane had been in the retail industry for many years and her daughter Kelly Peeples decided they would open a store themselves and continue a family legacy of retail with Yates & Hagan.

» What is the story behind Yates & Hagan?

813-477-7978 110 W. REYNOLDS ST., #217 MM15607 • MA23235

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Yates & Hagan » How did you get started in the business?

Clinical research has shown massage affects the body’s biochemistry...Studies show an increase in the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, while decreasing the stress hormone cortisol by 53%, thus making massage especially effective in reducing stress and tension.

PLANT CITY, FL

Owners Jane Yates, Kelly Peeples and Store Manager Anna Hamilton

Christina “Nikki” Jackson

Jane’s husband’s grandfather opened the famous store, Yates & Hagan, as a men’s clothing store in Hannibal, Missouri - the same hometown of the famous Mark Twain. The store was established in 1909 and was a landmark for the town. Many jobs were provided for the town and most

had some affiliation with this large retail company.

» What are your future plans?

Jane and Kelly are very proud of their heritage and have had continued success with well-known brands like Brighton, which they’ve carried since 1998, and Vera Bradley, since 2005. The store is filled with a unique variety of beautiful things for the home, personal use, and gift giving. They want to keep going strong and stay up with the trends and customer needs.

» What are you most proud of?

Jane beamed and said quickly, “That would be my four children and seven grandchildren.


business » success

James O’Neal

O’Neal and Upholstery

Your pet looks to you for dental care Your pet looks you dental for dental care Schedule your pet’sto veterinary exam today February is Pet Dental Month. Schedule yourlooks pet’s veterinary dental exam today Your pet to you for dental care

Schedule your pet’s dental cleaning for your Schedule your pet’s veterinary soon dental exam today 20% discount.

you need to succeed not only at business but also in life. Oh, and I eventually want to play golf and vacation any time I’d like!

» What inspires you?

AC A

ST

DE

N

®/™ Hill’s and the Pets Need Dental Care, Too logo are trademarks owned by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. The VOHC seal is a registered trademark owned by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. The AVMA logo is a registered trademark owned by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The AVDS logo is a trademark owned by the American Veterinary Dentistry Society. The AVD logo is a trademark owned by the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry. The AVDC logo is a registered trademark owned by the American Veterinary Dental College. The AVDT logo is a trademark owned by the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians. ©2008 Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.

AC A

DE MY

RY ST

ER

TI

N A C ADE MY N RAY DE

I I

RY

TI

ER

ST

RY

VET

I consider learning and mastering the art of upholstery with my dad as a success in my early years. I then tested myself by changing gears. Graduating college, working and pursuing a career in the medical & information technology profession. I am being blessed with a successful transition back to my original trade. As far as O’Neal & Sons we’ve been very successful with all aspects of our trade: automotive, marine and furniture. The fact that we do all types of upholstery is unique in this business. We have done work for hospitals, doctor’s offices, car dealerships, restaurants, interior decorators, hotels and most importantly our retail customers

RY

VET

Simply put, I was born into it. My dad and grandfather were both very talented craftsman. I learned the trade at an early age. I was a shop manager at age 19 and worked on mastering the craft for years. I did leave the field after completing my college education as a medical scientist and then spent about 20 years working mostly with laboratory information systems. In my son’s teen years, he expressed an interest in learning the trade. We worked at home for a period of time, and I could tell that he had the gift and talent to become an upholsterer. I decided to get back into the business with the support of my wife Kim, my son Jason, my brother Jamie and my future daughter-in-law Kim.

RY

I

» How did you get into this business?

TI

ER

NA

NA

» What are your greatest successes?

DE MY

VET

I absolutely love it when we are able to put a big smile on our customer’s faces. When I do a job that turns out great and see a happy glow in their eyes. We get so much of our work by word of mouth. I listen hard to what people say and when I get it right it is magical. It is the positive feedback and the joy I see in our customers that inspires me.

DE

N

®/™ Hill’s and the Pets Need Dental Care, Too logo are trademarks owned by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. The VOHC seal is a registered trademark owned by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. The AVMA logo is a registered trademark owned by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The AVDS logo is a trademark owned by the American Veterinary Dentistry Society. The AVD logo is a trademark owned by the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry. The AVDC logo is a registered trademark owned by the American Veterinary Dental College. The AVDT logo is a trademark owned by the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians. ©2008 Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. ®/™ Hill’s and the Pets Need Dental Care, Too logo are trademarks owned by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. The VOHC seal is a registered trademark owned by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. The AVMA logo is a registered trademark owned by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The AVDS logo is a trademark owned by the American Veterinary Dentistry Society. The AVD logo is a trademark owned by the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry. The AVDC logo is a registered trademark owned by the American Veterinary Dental College. The AVDT logo is a trademark owned by the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians. ©2008 Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.

Animal Wellness Center OF PLANT CITY Hours: Mon - Fri: 7:30am - 5:30pm

Try our convenient Drop Off service!

3109 SR 574 West (813) 752-2869

Find us on Facebook! • www.animalwellnesspc.com Dr. Jennifer Conner

» What do you have planned » What are your aspirations? for your future? I think the best things in life are your family and loved ones. I have been blessed with a wonderful family. It’s my desire to leave my kids with a successful business. To pass on the talent, education and demeanor it takes to be successful. I hope to be able to retire some day, knowing that I’ve passed on the knowledge and wisdom

The plan is to keep on doing what we are doing. We have been growing steadily by committing to quality work at a fair price. As we grow, the trick is to find the talented and dedicated workers to make every job special for our customers. I hope to open another location soon and keep creating the magic in the art of upholstery. foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

83


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OFFERING

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


BASEBALL CLINICS

March 14th and 15th Carter Rd. Clinic 10-2 March 17th and 18th Peterson Park GSA Baseball Heaven Fundraiser Tournament March 19th and 20th Girls Softball Teams 10,12 and 14-year olds call Elly

Baseball Heaven offers private lessons half hour to full hour with basics to advanced level pitching, hitting, catching and fielding.

Staff - Coaches

Mark Persails (pictured) Demetrius “Meatball” Heath • Ozzie Timmons Alan Mills • CJ White • Will Smith • Sheldon Fuse Ron Howe • Jarod Mathis • Steven Shierling

Office: Elly Hogue • Alicia Grady

863-644-0500

5101 Gateway Suite 5 Lakeland Florida (Right off of County line Road)

Office hours: 2-9 p.m. Mon-Fri | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat | Sunday by appointment only foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

85


American Auto Repair and Service “Where We Treat Your Car As If It Was Our Own”

Complete Auto Service Center

A/C Service $34.95 Includes 1 lb 134A Freon Fuel Injection Flush $99.95 Auto Transmission Service Flush & Filter Change $149.95 & up 4 Wheel Alignment $59.95 Tires, Wheels & Much More. Free Alignment with 4 New Tires

All Major Brands Of Tires

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2670 Highway 92 East, Plant City, FL

813-752-3378 www.brokepoor.com

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Now Accepting


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

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

Kathleen Wainoris 863-608-1557 REALTOR® Notary

Let us help you find your dream home in Ichepucksassa: The Winter Strawberry Capital of the World Did you know that Plant City has a rich history dating back to the mid-1800s when settlers first began to populate Florida. Plant City’s original name was Ichepucksassa, named after the Indian village that once occupied this territory. At that time, there was so much confusion with the spelling and pronunciation that the Irish postmaster renamed the village Cork, after his home city. Then, in 1884, Henry B. Plant extended the South Florida Railroad into the town and one year later, when the town was incorporated, the city was once again renamed this time in honor of Henry B. Plant. Plant City is away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, yet still close to the beaches and the Orlando attractions. Call Team Wainoris today to let us help you find your dream home in greatest place in central Florida to raise your family.....Ichepucksassa, or as we now call it, Plant City!

WALDEN LAKE TWO STORY POOL HOME 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with upstairs loft overlooking great room. Beautiful wood staircase, family room with fireplace and so much more. Short sale: bank approved price of just $130,000.

AUTUMNWOOD GROVE CONDO

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. Price reduced to just $54,900

BUILD YOUR DREAM!

HAINES CITY CUTIE! Great 3 bedroom, 2 bath home on wonderful street. Large family room opens to large back yard. Don’t miss this great opportunity. Short sale. Asking just $62,000.

SOUTH LAKELAND SHORT SALE Wonderful 4 bedroom 2 bath home off of Shepherd Road Volume ceilings, open floor plan, covered porch with fenced yard Short sale: bank approved price of just $130,000.

Wonderful building lots in Lakeland: No deed restrictions in George Jenkins school district, beautiful level treed property with direct street frontage. Asking $59,000. 1.38 acres building lot in Meadow View Oaks area of north Lakeland. Asking just $22,000.

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Don’t miss this one! Built in 2008, this 2 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath two story condo is located in a wonderful community and is waiting for you! Enjoy an open floor plan with large kitchen, real wood cabinets, and so much more! Short sale, asking just $75,000.


®

A gathering of the world’s finest automobiles, motorcycles, aircraft and watercraft

Festivals of Speed at Mission Inn Resort & Club Display of Exotics on the Fairway Howey-in-the-Hills, FL Sunday, March 6th

Festivals of Speed St. Petersburg

The Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club Downtown St. Petersburg, FL Sunday, April 3rd

www.festivalsofspeed.com 352.385.9450

foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

89


RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE

Jimmie Robinson - 813-754-3586 ext 222

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

www.floridamoves.com/jimmie.robinson

E-mail: Jimmie.Robinson@floridamoves.com • toll free 1-877-442-7001

205 CALHOUN ST

901 PINEDALE

709 EVERS ST

CLERMONT LAKEHOUSE

Situated on a corner lot of the historic brick streets, this cute 3BR/2BA/2CG block home has almost 2000 SF living, updated kitchen, fireplace and much more to offer. A great buy at only $139,000. MLS#T2424395

Great family neighborhood-updated 4BR/3BA, 3200+ SF living, pool, stone countertops, crown molding plus sits on a shady 1/2 acre lot convenient to town. Reduced to $249,000. MLS#T2433760.

Classic 3 BR/2 BA home needing TLC and a creative touch after enduring fire damage. Over 2900 SF located inside the historic district, lots of potential. Now only $95,000. MLS#T2421560

Recently remodeled 4 BR/2 BA home with over 2400 SF, double boathouse with lifts and newer roof, septic, flooring and AC. Want to get away? Now $399,900. MLS#T2423081.

FORBES RD

608 ALEXANDER ST

3206 BAKER ST

1302 ALSOBROOK ST

20+ acres ready for development. Just reduced to $494,000. MLS#T2423651.

4938 SF office building convenient to hospital. $325,000.MLS#T2330860.

Zoned C1A - 2+ acres of commercial property that includes 3358 SF building. Convenient to town w/30+ parking spaces. Just reduced to $350,000. MLS#T2440592

Over 2600 SF commercial building for sale. Only $89,900. MLS#T2413216

LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND

LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND

DEDICATED TO THE VALUE OF HOME AND FAMILY

LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND

LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND • LAND

ida Strawberry Festival!

Flor Happy 76th Anniversary

ing with Plant City!

Looking forward to Celebrat

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

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

813-754-8697

813-754-6300 90

february 2011 thefocusmagazine.com


1513 Jim Redman Parkway, Plant City

Call us for your Residential, Commercial, and Property Management Needs

813-754-3586 www.floridamoves.com/plantcity

RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE

LARGE FAMILY HOME

WIDE OPEN SPACES!

Home designed with a 3 way split, ideal for a multi-generational or large family. 6 bedroom, 4 bath, 4,681 sq ft. Lots of storage space, 3 walk-in closets! Just 3 to 5 minutes off I-4. On a cul-de-sac street of custom built homes. Country peace and quiet, yet conveniently located! No rear neighbors. Home has three car garage and separate workshop building! MLS T2388067. Call Maggie Beard at 813-299-7155.

Road frontage approximately 4800 ft for both properties together, on both sides of road combined. Just over 60 acres for you to build your dream home and ranch! Ponds on property. 5 - 10 minutes to I-4! Gorgeous land that could be a legacy for your family for generations to come. MLS T2399075. Call Maggie Beard at 813-299-7155.

ELEGANT LIVING

GOLF LAKE CONDO

BLACKSTONE FAMILY HOME

Well loved home located on a quiet cul-de-sac less than 2 miles to I-4. Cathedral and open beam ceilings, brick fireplace, and ceramic tile. Added values include a whole house generator, new tile roof with 50 year warranty, and thermal dual pane windows. Central heat/AC system is geo-thermal, very efficient and low cost to operate. HUGE master bath suite with spa tub. Outdoor kitchen by pool with separate hot tub spa. MLS T2454196. Call Maggie Beard at 813-299-7155.

Ready to spend winters in Florida?? Single family detached condo’s in private gated community within Walden Lake. Three models available. Two and three bedroom, 2 baths and 2 car garage. Price from $169,900 to $129,900. MLS T2425020. Call Maddie Alford @ 813-382-8382

Enjoy living in this well maintained 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath home, over 3,100 square ft. Home enjoys view of pond. Kitchen is open with a large eating bar. Neutral colors throughout. Large bonus room upstairs. Large master suite and closet. Secondary bedrooms have walk-in closets. Home features 2 air conditioners. Located minutes from I-75, beaches, restaurants, and E.G. Simmons State Park. MLS T2426271. Call Cheryl McDaniel, 813-758-1429.

WELCOME NEW AGENTS! JILL SUMNER, JERMAINE CANTY AND PATTY WHEELER These agents bring experience in servicing their customer’s real estate needs from Residential to Commercial, as well as experience in Property Preservation. We are glad to have them as part of our team and invite you to call them today. Call Jill at 813-245-3074, Jermaine can be reached at 813-770-2920 and Patty Wheeler, 813-334-4930.

COLDWELL BANKER, PLANT CITY CONGRATULATES OUR 2010 TOP PRODUCERS! Jean Bridgmon – International President’s Elite (Top 3% of CB Associates nationwide) Dave McCarthy – International Diamond Society (Top 15% of CB Associates nationwide) Malissa Crawford / Lynne Halleran / Jimmie Robinson International Sterling Society (top 20% of CB Associates nationwide) foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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This is a paid advertisement

SunriSe HomeS introduceS “CoolHouse” in Walden Pointe

A

Brandon builder, Sunrise Homes, has introduced a new concept that just might change the way we think of our homes. Sunrise calls it the “CoolHouse”, and you can see it in Walden Pointe in Plant City. “Three years ago, I saw change coming in the housing marketplace unlike any I’d seen more than 25 years in the business,” says Ali Hasbini, President of Sunrise.

WALDEN POINTE ” and the Come see the “Pinnacle entire “CoolHouse” inte, Collection at Walden Po . starting from the $170’s are Preconstruction savings delay. available now, so don’t

2649 SF FOR JUST $194,990!

Among the changes he saw: falling prices, intergenerational families, rising unemployment, foreclosures running rampant. Buyers were disappearing, afraid to commit to a home purchase in an uncertain environment. “We knew then that in order to survive we needed to address those buyers’ concerns and real fears. We needed to find a way to build and sell a home that would serve today’s buyer’s needs at a value that they could afford, while assuring them that this is a home that they could be comfortable in for a long, long time and maybe for life.” The result is the “CoolHouse”. The home seems to have everything today’s rare and careful buyers demand. “CoolHouse” is a concept, not a specific house,” says Ali. “We developed the components of the package and retrofitted every house we build, so that every home we build and sell today is a CoolHouse.” So, just what is it? First and foremost, the CoolHouse is defined by a large, nearly but not completely finished space. By carefully redesigning the roofing systems and utilizing Icynene brand sprayed insulation in the rafters, Sunrise has created “grow into” space upstairs. For example, the Pinnacle Model showing in Walden Pointe has 3 bedrooms and two baths on the first floor in addition to a complete guest suite with its own bath and separate entrance. But at the top of the finished, carpeted stairs you’ll find another 713 square feet of not-quite-finished space, ready to be completed when you need it. “The space is 8’ tall, with wall framing systems, floor underlayment, windows… we’ve even stubbed the plumbing in case you want to add a bath,” says Hasbini.

GET 713 SQUARE FEET,

FREE!

“Now, if you have a boomerang kid who comes home from college, or an aging parent coming to live with you, or you get a promotion and decide to treat yourself to a home theater, you don’t need to look for a new home. The CoolHouse has you covered.” That flexibility begins when you buy a CoolHouse. Sunrise offers an unbelievable array of options on the first floor so that you can buy exactly the home you need today and nothing more. But it’s not just the “grow-into” space that makes the CoolHouse work for today’s cautious buyer. Each home is energy-efficient with that Icynene sprayed-foam insulation, dual-pane, low-e windows, 14-SEER air conditioning and a “Smart” thermostat and energy control system. Sunrise has also contracted with Central Florida Gas to install natural gas lines in Walden Pointe, opening up more energy saving opportunities including a tankless water heater. “Value doesn’t just mean price, but operating costs,” said Hasbini, “so we’ve engineered the CoolHouse concept to deliver maximum energy efficiency. That, along with low homeowners association fees and no CDD’s, makes a CoolHouse all the more affordable.” “We think that a high-value, affordable, comfortable home that is customized to your needs and will grow with you means more stable families and communities,” said Hasbini, “and that’s good for all of us.” You can see the Pinnacle and learn more about the CoolHouse at the Sunrise homes model and sales center at 3001 Via Siena Street in Plant City.

Sales and Model Center 3001 Via Siena Street www.sunrisehomescorp.com


This is a paid advertisement

How Buying new saves You MoneY

W

hen in the market for a home, most people consider the question “Do I want a new home or an existing home?” Each has its benefits, of course. As a new home builder, we want you to understand what we believe to be the overwhelming advantages of buying new. The most important reason to buy new is simple: It’s All New! Think about that. You are the first to put the key in the door, first to walk on the carpet, first to fill the dishwasher. Over the years, of course, your home will bear the marks of use, but they’ll all reflect your family’s, and only your family’s memories. A new home is all about YOUR choices, not someone else’s. You can choose your floor plan, and often structural options to fine-tune that floor plan to your needs. Choose the countertops, the cabinets and the fixtures. You can select energy-efficiency features that go beyond those already built in to most of today’s new homes. Your technology choices abound: you can choose where you want cable, data or telephone outlets or select structured wiring packages that will carry you seamlessly into future technology. You choose your neighborhood, your homesite in that neighborhood and the landscaping on that homesite. And you can secure YOUR home with the systems or features you choose for your peace of mind. It might not be obvious to you, but another compelling reason to buy new is value. Your dollar will very often buy you much more, new, and here’s why. First, your new home is likely to be much more energy efficient than one built just a few short years ago – and that’s saving you dollars every day. And you’ll be buying exactly the house you need, and no more. That’ll help on energy, insurance and property taxes. You won’t have immediate repairs and somebody else’s deferred maintenance to pay for, and you won’t have to do any renovation (painting, carpet, fixtures, appliances, countertops, cabinets, dated tile, et cetera). You’ll have lower insurance costs because insurers know that newer structures are stronger structures. And, of course, you’ll have a warranty on materials and workmanship. Add these up, and that foreclosure or short sale just might not look like such a bargain. Your new home will be more comfortably “livable”. New home builders never stop learning about buyers’ changing needs and desires; they can’t afford to. So your new home will offer the “flexible spaces”, ample storage, attractive kitchens and comfortable master suites demanded by today’s home buyers.

813-767-5175

Charlie Griffin

S.R. 39

Including Homesite

Alexander

Mud Lake

From the $170’s

New homes are safer, too, with updated plumbing and electrical codes, more stringent structural code requirements, better fire resistance and no toxic materials like lead, asbestos or Chinese drywall. And you won’t have to worry about mold lurking behind the walls from some water leak long ago. Finally, you’ll find a new home to be easier to maintain. Building components are constantly being improved for lower maintenance, as are the major systems of the house. The home will be initially easier to maintain, of course, simply because it’s new. CHOOSE exactly the home you want, where you want it. SPEND LESS to make it distinctively yours. LIVE BETTER in a home that is designed for today’s lifestyles. BE SAFER and RELAX with less time spent on maintenance. Come to think of it, buying new might just be the only way to have YOUR OWN home.


I want to sell YOUR home! WA L D E N

L AKE

GRE AT B

UY

WALDEN LAKE 3 B/R, 2 BATH, 2 CAR GARAGE. 1744 SQ FT. NEW ROOF! FIREPLACE IN FAMILY ROOM! CATHEDRAL CEILINGS & SCREENED PATIO TOO. LOTS OF POTENTIAL. $117,000

1 A CRE

E PINEDAL

REMODELED 4 B/R,3 BATH, 2 CAR GARAGE. POOL HOME 2026 SQ FT. CERAMIC TILE IN ALL WET AREAS & FAMILY ROOM. FRENCH DOORS. SCREENED LANAI WITH BRICK PAVERS & POOL. NEW WINDOWS, NEWER ROOF & A/C. NEW KITCHEN & BATHS. PRIVACY FENCE. $174,900

P OOL HO

LIKE NEW 4 B/R, 3 BATH, 3 CAR GARAGE HOME ON 1 ACRE IN SOUTH PLANT CITY. BUILT IN 2006. 2467 SQ FT. 3-WAY SPLIT FLOOR PLAN WITH JACK-N-JILL SETUP. HUGE MASTER. 10’ CEILINGS. CERAMIC TILE. ALL NEW APPLIANCES. WELL & SEPTIC. $189,000.

$84,90

4 B/R, 2 BATH POOL HOME 2177 SQ FT. FEATURES GREAT ROOM W/ TRIPLE SLIDING POCKET DOORS W/ SPECTACULAR VIEW OF THE POOL! 2/2 SPLIT FLOOR PLAN. TRAY CEILINGS IN FORMAL D/R, GREAT ROOM & MASTER B/R. CERAMIC TILE IN ALL WET AREAS, KITCHEN W/ ISLAND, GARDEN TUB & HIS/HER VANITIES IN MASTER BATH. VOLUME CEILINGS. BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPING. $225,000

0

GREAT VALUE! 3 B/R, 2 BATH, 1 CAR GARAGE BLOCK HOME. BUILT IN 2004. JUST LIKE NEW! CATHEDRAL CEILINGS, WALK-IN CLOSETS, CERAMIC TILE. MOVEIN READY! SELLER WILL HELP PAY CLOSING COSTS!

ME

REMODELED 3 B/R, 2 BATH POOL HOME IN WALDEN LAKE. GRANITE COUNTERS. STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES. WOOD FLOORS. FIREPLACE. BAY WINDOWS. LARGE CORNER LOT. 1800+ SQ FT. PRICED TO SELL. $168,000.

S HOR T S

A LE

4 B/R, 2 BATH, 2 CAR GARAGE 1/3 ACRE LOT. 1910 SQ FT. BUILT IN 2006. BAY WINDOW. LAMINATE FLOORS & CERAMIC TILE THROUGH – NO CARPETING! CHERRY WOOD CABINETS IN KITCHEN & BATHS. VERY NICE. $124,900

Lorraine Bennett (813) 716-3997 MyHappyRealtor.c

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om


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95


1507 S. Alexander St. Suite 101 Plant City, FL 33563

PCM

PLANT CITY M O R T G A G E

813.707.6200

C O R P

sident A Letter from the Pre m” “Elephant in the roo Let’s talk about the erest Rates Int d an sts Co n Loa Let’s talk about

t we r advertisements tha or testimonials in ou tacular service is a gh friends, family, ec ou Sp r. thr k de ac len db ble fee reputa ough r culture. We you have heard en a local, honest and is embedded in ou Hopefully by now, would expect from ays being available alw etc., so we stomer service you d cu ry, an , of sto e a ails t typ em ea s, the rep e ion to provid individuals to have to phone calls, quest s le ltip nse po mu to res t ed Fas err must for us. mbers, be transf hold with 1-800 nu period. don’t like to wait on call and we answer, You r. he eit to ve ha ensure you won’t

Nate Davis

Natasha Davis

President- Loan Officer

Vice President- Office Manager

Carol Barton

Jackie Duncan

mes down to…..

uld pay more their right mind wo around, but who in not so ed are ask us ve of ha st y mo the t if bu y, true nce? Rich folks ma these things to be ry large w nie eve kno nve t co nts ou y ab rar clie t po ve jus on a tem Our prospecti quotes and prices or more costs f or are e) rat mp st co d ere an int p er sho for 30 years (high nveniences, so we n afford the extra co to do. wealthy that we ca y responsible thing iall nc na fi the is at Th d of story. The only ke. ma we ase purch at your best deal, en we can meet or be t to tell a customer tha d nt ha de t nfi no co ve ha pping? Because I am with us. I honestly ng sho rki me wo e do this? How lco ag en we I rtg wh e Mo uld y eiv So why wo , how can Plant Cit ng untability you will rec co nki ac thi l be had to do it) na to rso rry t pe go (So so? difference is the a loan. So you have ney so how is that vide better terms on n get bailout out mo eve n’t do we an that we cannot pro ? I me tribution with the “big boys” expensive cost dis can they compete public is the least the have minimal to rs t de ou d len ne r Ou loa y y. mone mone method of getting der when we loan r ets, huge len Ou dg s. the bu thi m to ng fro tisi wn ion do ver iss ad It comes ders have massive only get paid a comm len we er , Oth see ds. You fun le. n model availab e unless we loa y do not pay us a dim overhead since the etc. s, ng ildi bu d an ll yro fixed costs from pa interest rates. them to offer lower costs which allows s y have about les ve ha rs de len estions that you ma So, our y to answer any qu nit rtu po op the e nt, and would lov nsaction. are very transpare ase or refinance tra As you can see we r next home purch you h wit you ist ass our services or to es. inted with our servic will not be disappo d am certain that you an ht nig at ll we I sleep

So this is what it co

Sincerely, Nate Davis President e Corporation Plant City Mortgag

Administrator

Jaida & Paitlyn Davis Office Assistants

Paul Pritt

Loan Officer

Barbara Hall Loan Officer

Rick Norman Loan Officer

Don Scarmuzzi Loan Officer

• FHA • Conventional Financing • USDA • Low down payment 5% Down 100% financing 30 year fixed rate Guaranteed Best Rates Available No Down Payment Perfect credit not required No Monthly Mortgage Insurance Seller can pay closing cost • 1st Time Home Buyers tax credit 30 year fixed rate May finance closing costs

february 2011 thefocusmagazine.com

Buster Davis Security

VA No Down Payment No Monthly Mortgage Insurance Best Rates Available

WWW.PLANTCITYMORTGAGES.COM 96

Administrator


REA

D E R’S C H O

ICE

D E R’S C H O

2010

S ARD

ICE

Please make sure that you have paid your invoice for the semi-annual dues. The cost of the dues increases tremendously when you are late. At the last meeting, the Board approved the collection attorney to go forward with foreclosing on a home

REA

The Document Committee presented the proposed Use Restrictions that can be adopted in each of the Neighborhood Homeowner’s Associations. These were then presented to the Presidents at their Meeting on January 24th for their comments, which will be addressed at the next President’s Meeting on March 28th.

US

The lock has been changed at the Dog Park so it’s time to renew your membership if you haven’t already done so. The purpose of the membership is to be sure that the owners are members of the Walden Lake HOA, that the dogs are licensed and up to date on their shots. If you are not a member and would like to become a member, please contact Bette at the HOA office, 813-754-8999 or via email at betteg@waldenlake.org. The membership fee is $25 for one dog and $40 for multiple dogs. There is also a Key Deposit fee of $10 for new members.

C

AW

FO

he Walden Lake Community Association Board Meetings are the third Monday of each month at 6:00 PM at the Walden Lake HOA office building on Griffin Boulevard in Walden Lake. The next meeting will be February 21sth. The meetings are open to all Walden Lake residents.

2010

Walden Lake T

S

NOMINATED BEST PIZZA

ARD

FO

US

AW

C

real estate » walden lake

Review submitted By: natalie sweet

that has been delinquent since 2007. Not only will the homeowner have to pay the dues, they will have to pay all existing and future attorney fees as well. At the recent meeting, Tom reported that there is much freeze damage throughout the Community, which will require an extreme amount of replanting. There will be no clean up or replanting until the risk of a freeze has passed. Residents are reminded to wait on their own landscaping as well. Marlene Merrin talked about lawn/yard enforcements. Residents need to be aware there is a difference between neglect and freeze damaged lawns. Letters will be sent to those whose lawns have been neglected and they will be expected to replace and/or repair their lawns after the danger of freeze and frost is over. Walden Lake Golf & Country Club is holding a free Bridal Fair on March 5th. There will be food and wine tasting, wedding cake samples, local wedding vendors showcasing their products and entertainment provided by Ray Mercer. All brides in attendance will be entered into a drawing to win $1,000 towards a wedding package at the club. All other brides will receive a $100 gift certificate towards a wedding package at the club. All grooms will receive a round of golf (restrictions apply). Please call Tracey at the club for more information 752-1171, extension 222.

Were not just Pizza, Come in and try our Grinders, Famous Greek Salad, and Seafood. Check out our Daily Specials and View our Printable Menu on Abcpizza.com

813-752-5146 114 North Alexander Street Plant City, Fl. 33563

- New Doors - Used Doors - Electric Openers

- 42 Years Experience - Insured


real estate Âť mortgage

Interest Rates: A major factor in your buying decision submitted By: nate davis

I

will let the numbers do the talking this month. See below for an example about how a lower purchase price may not be worth waiting for.

Buy Today

Buy in 2 years (If prices were decline 10% in 2 years)

Purchase Price

200,000

180,000

Down Payment

40,000

40,000

Amount Financed

160,000

140,000

30 yr fixed interest rate

4.75%

7.5%

Monthly Payment (P/I)

$834.64

$978.90

As you can see, an increasing rate can offset the benefit of a potential lower purchase price

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Cathy MartinAngela Natalie MillerMiller Cathy Natalie Sweet AngelaAngela Miller CathyMartin Martin Natalie Sweet Sweet REALTOR®

® ® REALTOR REALTOR 813-758-9586

813-758-9586 813-758-9586

REALTOR®

® ® REALTOR REALTOR 813-376-0891

813-376-0891 813-376-0891

REALTOR® ®® REALTOR REALTOR 813-546-9863

813-546-9863 813-546-9863

Don’t miss the 2011 Florida Strawberry Festival!

ASTON WOODS BEAUTY

COUNTRY LIVING AT IT’S FINEST

STOP THE CAR! THIS IS IT!

Fabulous 4 bedroom 3 bath Pool Home in Walden Lake. This home features a formal Living & Dining Room, large Family Room w/ fireplace, gleaming wood floors, huge lanai and more on a cul-de-sac. $225,000

Custom built 4 Bdr, 3 Bath, 4744 sq’ home on quiet country road on 1 Acre. Featuring huge bedrooms, gourmet kitchen, huge Great Room, tons of upgrades and more. 3 Car Garage with huge bonus room. Tons of parking for RV, Boats etc. Make this YOUR dream home! $497,800

This is the one you have been looking for. Beautiful 3000sq’ pool home in prestigious Aston Woods. Featuring huge 3-4 Bedrooms plus office, Great Room w/fireplace, 12’ceilings, gorgeous kitchen w/center island, 3 car garage and so much more. A Must See! $315,000

EXECUTIVE WALDEN LAKE HOME Luxurious & Beautiful is how you would describe this custom home in the Clubhouse neighborhood of Walden Lake. 4 BD 3 BA home, 3 Car Garage, tile roof all with pool and spa overlooking the pond and golf course. Fabulous Kitchen and large family room w/gas fireplace. $299,900

BEAUTIFUL*CHARMING*WATERFRONT One look and you will fall in love with this Walden Lake home. New kitchen w/wood cabinets & quartz counter tops open to fabulous family room all with a great view. Formal living & dining rooms. Great screened lanai, huge yard on cul-de-sac. $172,500

IMMACULATE WALDEN LAKE POOL HOME

FABULOUS 2 STORY WALDEN LAKE HOME

4 BD, 3 BA home w/3 Car Garage on cul-de-sac in beautiful Emerald Forest. Oversized 1/2 A lot for the whole family to enjoy. Recently painted exterior & rescreened lanai. Featuring updated appliances & gorgeous remodeled master bath. $249,900

2635 sq’ of living area, 4 BDR/2 1/2BA, living room & huge bonus room. Beautifully decorated, lush landscape on a large fenced corner lot w/ large screened lanai. You will fall in love with this home! $212,500

FANTASTIC RIVERVIEW HOME Short Sale; Home features 4BR/2BA w/ large family room, kitchen combo, great open split floor plan, tile throughout. Second bath has access to covered lanai, huge backyard that has room for a pool. $120,000

WALDEN LAKE PURRFECT! Looking for a quick close & a fabulous home? This is it. Move right in to this 4 BDR, 2 BA featuring formal living & dining rooms & family room. CALL NOW! $159,900

WALDEN LAKE PRICED TO SELL!

EAGLE GREEN VILLA

BEAUTIFUL BRANDON HOME

Wonderful Walden Lake home w/ 3 Bdr/2Baths, huge great room, & dining room. Enjoy the outdoors in the extended lanai & huge fenced back yard. Move in ready! $142,500

Maintenance-Free Lifestyle in a Resort-Like Golf Course Community. 2 Bedroom Split Plan, 2 Baths, inside utility, 2-Car Garage in move in condition. Yours for $110,000

3BR/3BA in great location close to shopping and I75. Tile floors throughout, eat in kitchen, pool, large family room and so much more! $142,500

LOOKING FOR ROOM TO ROAM? Remodeled country home on 3 acres conveniently located to I-4. Neat & Clean 1322 sq’ home w/towereing gradfater oaks providing a peaceful shady setting. The sk is the limit with the property so come make it your own! $145,000

AFFORDABLE WALDEN LAKE HOME Nice 4 Bedroom 2 Bath home in the Spring Meadow neighborhood. Featuring a Living/Dining Room combo, Large Family Room, real wood floors, and huge fenced back yard. $159,900

Search for homes at www.AnotherSweetSale.com


E S T A B L I S H E D

M A R C H

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Plant City CANCER TREATMENT CENTER

real estate » jo-ann lusk

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Pricing Your Home in Today’s Market… T submitted By: jo-ann lusk

he phrase “Top Dollar” is quite relevant across the real estate industry. What a seller wants and what a buyer is willing to pay is usually not the same; in fact, it’s rarely the same. The average property closes around 93% of the listing price, but that is usually after several price adjustments have occurred. I want to share with you some thoughts about pricing your home in this market; and as challenging as it may seem, today’s seller can still be successful if he/she/they are motivated. You may not like what I have to say, but keep an open mind… 1. Price is a moment in time. The real estate market is like the stock market. It’s fluid, has cycles, goes up and down and can be very volatile. Isn’t it interesting that people don’t usually fire their stock broker when stocks go down in value, but as soon as real estate goes down in value, sellers want to fire their Realtor? Price is a moving target. 2. The market determines value by what the buyer is willing to pay. Real estate behaves in the marketplace like a commodity, not a product. With a

product, the seller establishes the price. With commodities, the buyer establishes the value. We all know that a home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay, not what a seller is asking. So, why do so many agents and sellers think otherwise? When you treat real estate like a product, it behaves like a product. With product pricing, the seller decides what price they want and there is no negotiation. With commodity pricing, negotiation is based on supply vs. demand. Normal commodities (pork bellies, cotton, coffee, gold, etc.) cause buyers to pay what something is worth. However, real estate is an emotional purchase that can cause buyers to pay more (even in market where there is lots of inventory)! They will be paying tomorrow’s price today. Take time to consider the facts and your motivation for selling. Unfortunately, this is not the market for sellers to make big profits (although you can make up your loss by getting a great buy on something else!). Don’t “wait out” the market; you’ll be waiting for a long time. Finally, understand that the longer your home stays on the market, the less it will sell for.


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foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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sports » baseball but often they have given up on the greatest game in the world because a coach along their journey has mutilated their spirit for the sake of winning a game no one will remember 20 years from now… except the child who was berated and embarrassed by a coach with issues. That is why it is refreshing to meet someone like David Herbert, a man who understands that Little League is about the kids. It’s not about the size of the coach’s ego or the pride of an overbearing parent or even the reputation of a league. It’s about the kids. Herbert didn’t play high school baseball; he spent his time on the gridiron at Bloomingdale High as a defensive lineman. He didn’t play college ball and he wasn’t drafted. But he has some intangibles on his resume` that others need to emulate. He carries more in his equipment bag than bats or baseballs. He brings integrity, fairness, and fun back to the game. One of his assistant coaches, Mark Wegner, a Major League umpire who has seen his share of coaches in the big leagues, said this about Herbert: “The kids love playing for him. He is positive and encouraging. He teaches them more than just baseball.”

“It’s all about Coach Dave Herbert the Kids” Really Means it “W written By: Joe Bowles

e were about to give up on Little League until our son had Coach Dave,” a jubilant parent told me. “If it hadn’t been for Dave being our son’s coach this fall, he probably would not be playing this spring,” another parent said.

It was remarks like these that drew me to Coach Dave Herbert who coached the Grasshoppers in Plant City Little League’s fall league. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good coaches around. There are dads who donate nearly all of their free time to spend with their kids and with other children conducting practices and coaching games. - games that actually start

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with a pre-game workout an hour before and conclude an hour after everyone else had gone home. So, I am appreciative of dads who volunteer their time and resources to a job that often is underappreciated. On the other hand, there are still occasional horror stories of coaches who use their position to take out their anger and frustration on a child… a child who is doing his best… a child who maybe is guilty of nothing more than acting like a child. Thousands of boys and girls start out in tee ball and by the time they reach high school, only a handful are still playing. Sometimes, they develop other interests,

Herbert, the husband of Christina, and the father of Taylor (9), Evan (6), and Leah (2), knows how to win, too. The Grasshoppers won the Plant City Minors Division Fall Championship. Dave did it with a philosophy that encouraged the boys to play without being scared of the wrath they may face if they make a mistake. “One thing I have lived by is this - we will try to be competitive and we will try to win, but never at the expense of having fun. If we get too serious and if we get too competitive, it can suck the fun right out of the game,” said Herbert. “Another thing,” he added, “I believe you will never develop a player if you don’t give them the opportunity to play. It was our goal that our players played at least half of every game and that they played different positions. We also taught them what to do and why.” The kids love to play for him. The parents love it, too. Often I hear, “It’s all about the kids. A lot of coaches say that, but they really don’t mean it. I believe Dave Herbert really means it.


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sports » athlete of the month

written By: Joe Bowles Photo by Stephanie Humphrey

Mackenzie Audas M

ost coaches who work with young people have the philosophy that playing ball should be fun. They try to instill in their players that it’s a game that should be fun and not drudgery. Rarely do the players take their coaches’ advice, and they rob themselves of the joy that comes from the experience. Mackenzie Audas, however, is the exception. She is having a ton of fun as she prepares to begin her senior season at Plant City High School. “Last year I had good year, but I also had a really fun year which actually made it even more special. I love the whole group of girls and coaches. It was also fun to go to regionals,” said Mackenzie.

Indeed, she had fun, but it’s also a lot more fun playing softball if you are talented and successful. No one will argue that point when they examine what Mackenzie has done on the mound and at the plate. Last year, Mackenzie was a Focus Magazine All District selection, an All Western Conference pick and an All County choice as she compiled a 13-6 won-loss record. Audas pitched 120 innings in 21 games, striking out 228 batters and giving up only 50 hits as she posted a jaw dropping earned run average of 1.05. In three games, she gave up only one hit, including the Raiders regional victory over Ocala Forest in which Mackenzie struck out 15 while issuing just a single walk and a base hit. By the way, for the season, she also batted .338 with 12 RBI’s and 5 extra base hits. Audas came from a family of athletes. Her mom Cheryl was a gymnast and a runner. Her dad Matthew played tennis. Mackenzie, however, picked up pitching from their neighbor. “I got started pitching through Joe Hood.

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He was our next door neighbor and the pitching coach for the Raiders. I watched him work with his granddaughter who was about six years older than me. I would see her pitching in the yard and I really looked up to her. So, my dad asked Joe if could help me learn to pitch.” Mackenzie is an excellent learner. At 5’5”, this 125-pound dynamo can throw a 64 mph fastball to complement her screwball, curveball, drop ball, rise ball, and two different kinds of changeups. Her talent on the mound has garnered a lot of attention from colleges and in November, she signed a letter of intent to become a University of Central Florida Knight. But before Mackenzie goes to college, she feels that the Raiders have some unfinished business to take care of. Many feel that this year’s team may have the talent to go to the state tournament. The Raiders were one win away last year and if Mackenzie and her teammates stay focused, they would like another shot at qualifying for the state tourney. “I know that it’s everyone’s goal on the team. We’re going to try our hardest to make that happen. That’s what we’re looking to do,” Audas remarked. Last year, Mackenzie earned her team’s All Academic award as she compiled a GPA of 3.9 (5.5 weighted) and induction into the National Honor Society. “I am a Christian,” commented Mackenzie, “so I always say, ‘Give everything to God,’ and if we glorify him everything will work out for the best.” So far, it has and it will continue to be that way as long as she is having fun.


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foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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sports » Baseball team of the month

2418 James L. Redman Pkwy., Plant City, FL (813) 757-0300 written By: Joe Bowles | photo courtesy of: Christina Herbert learning the players and understanding where they needed the most coaching. They evaluated each player’s strengths and weaknesses. Once they evaluated the players, the coaches were able to work on their weaknesses and build upon their strengths… but that takes time. It wasn’t until the sixth game that that they began to see the results of their efforts. All three games in the city tournament were nail biters. In the first game, the Grasshoppers narrowly defeated the Mud Dogs by a score of 8-7. After escaping the first round, the Grasshoppers were pitted against the #1 seed, the Rock Hounds, who also possessed the best league record, 11-2. The Grasshoppers sent the Rock Hounds home, edging them by a score of 9-6. In the championship Game, the Grasshoppers were able to swat off the Sand Gnats by a final tally of 11-6.

Baseball Team W hen the Grasshoppers met for their first baseball practice after the Labor Day holiday, the consensus among their coaches was that the team looked “a little raw.” That’s just a nice way to say, “I think we’re in a heap of trouble.” That is exactly the sentiment Head Coach David Herbert and Coaches Marc Wegner and Matt Kelly expressed to one another at the beginning of Plant City’s Little League’s fall season. The assembled cast of nine and ten-year-old boys had exactly three practices allotted to them before the start of the season. From the way the first practice looked, they would need much more than these field

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of the Month

rehearsals to have a chance at success. As expected, the Grasshoppers were the whipping boy at the hand of the other league teams, capturing only one victory in its first five contests with a dismal record of 1-3-1. The Grasshoppers then turned things around and proceeded to run off nine victories against one defeat and one tie to claim the Minor League Fall Championship Tournament that included an undefeated run through three playoff games. When the dust had cleared, the Grasshoppers ended the year with a record of 10-4-2.

“We only had three practices from the draft to our first game,” commented Herbert. “We had players that never played together and we had coaches that were unfamiliar with the players. Once we went through that learning curve, we really started to analyze everything we were seeing. We then were able to put kids into positions that would complement one another. We began to gel as a team and really started clicking.”

“When the game was over, the kids were ecstatic,” Herbert recalled. “After we defeated the Rock Hounds the night before, the boys had such confidence going into the championship game that they could feel it. When we won, everybody charged out of the dugout and dog piled at home plate. It was awesome.”

In the tournament, Austin Simmons hit a grand slam homerun. Jacob Voelker hit a one-hop double off the fence. Landon Scudder pitched a solid game against the Rock Hounds. Shelby Kelly, the Grasshoppers’ catcher was called on in the championship to start the game on the mound. He pitched two scoreless innings, enabling the Grasshoppers to utilize their In fact, they were clicking with the other pitchers sparingly and stay under the regularity of the sound of a baseball card pitch count. According to Herbert, every in the spokes of a bicycle wheel. According player on the team contributed in some to Herbert, he and his coaches were way to the championship


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www.willifordflooring.com foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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extra » senior of the month

Chelsea Hanks senior of the month Written By: Brooke Allie

C

helsea Hanks, a name often heard around Plant City High School for her exemplary achievements and leadership roles, is the perfect example of a true leader. This senior not only holds these positions, but also carries them out with the utmost honesty and truly sets the bar for all others. A member since her sophomore year, Hanks is a big part of Plant City High School’s student council. As president this year, she has taken the role very seriously and has proven that she isn’t your average leader. When asked about this position she said, “This role is an honor and I love every bit of student council. I love student council so much and I’m honored that I can be such a big part of it.” Hanks takes this strong passion for leading onto the field, too. A member of the varsity softball team at PCHS since her freshmen year, she has served the last two as a captain. With this role Hanks and the other seniors on the team are hoping to take their success all the way to state and show Florida how great the PCHS softball team is! Softball is something Hanks holds close to her heart. Playing for 13 years now, it’s been an important part of her life for as long as she can remember. When Hanks isn’t leading her team or her school, she is spending time helping

out her community. An active member in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, Hanks thoroughly enjoys spending time with her little sister Jackie at Walden Lake Elementary. She views this as a growing experience for not only her little sister, but also for herself and is extremely excited to see Jackie improve in school. This past month Hanks attended a Battle of the Belts meeting at Bloomingdale High School to accept Plant City’s second place award in the annual competition. Over the last few months, Plant City Student Council diligently worked on improving and advocating seat belt safety amongst the student body. Hanks and a few other students headed up the PCHS efforts and with their achievements received $500 for the school, with which they plan to develop an in-depth drivers education program for younger kids in the 8th or 9th grades. This program will give younger student the chance to fully understand the risks of driving before they get behind the wheel. With these accomplishments under her belt, Hanks still makes time to excel academically. She is currently ranked 12th in her class and has a weighted GPA of 5.8. She has received admission and an academic scholarship to Furman University in Greenville, SC. Rollins College in Winter Park, FL has offered acceptance as well and Hanks awaits decisions from the University of Florida.

Benjamin Willis senior of the month Written By: Brooke Allie

B

enjamin Willis, a senior at Plant City High School, has truly beaten the odds. Going through life facing adversity, he has proved that nothing can stop him from achieving success. With a 4.0 unweighted GPA, (receiving straight A’s since the 6th grade), and a 1530 composite score on his SAT, Willis is exceeding all expectations of those who surround him. As president of the National Wildlife Federation, a club he founded at PCHS, and Senior Vice President of L.E.O. club, Willis has a strong passion for the environment. The National Wildlife Federation participates in community service activities all over Hillsborough County, from the Hillsborough River Cleanup to the Hillsborough County Forest for Haunted Trails, and Willis is always right there ready to work. He has racked up 162 community service hours during his high school career, the majority being from helping out at the Bruton Memorial Library. Though he has spent countless hours volunteering, Willis has also spent a lot of time working on his academic career. He is highly ranked in his PCHS senior class, a National Honor Society member, and a participant in many academic competitions. In addition to membership in the PCHS Science Club, Willis has participated in

the annual Science Bowl at USF and will compete again this year. Additionally, he will help to judge the science fair at the 2011 MOSI Science Bowl. Willis is also a member of the PCHS Academic Team through which he has competed in numerous competitions, some taking place in Gainesville. With all of these attributes Willis has certainly bulked up his resume, but more importantly, they’ve provided opportunities for success that impact his immediate future. His outstanding performance on the 7 AP exams he has taken have given him the rare honor of being an “AP Scholar with Distinction”. His AP U.S. History teacher nominated Willis for and he was honored as the 2010 National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution Good Citizenship Award. Willis also received the 2010 Google/ Lenovo Math and Science Achievement Laptop Scholarship and is a Finalist for the Barnes Scholarship. As a result of his exceptional score on the PSAT, Willis was also named as a National Merit Scholar. In the future Benjamin plans to attend a 4-year college, but has yet to decide which one. He has been accepted to the Honors College at USF and awaits the decision from several Ivy League schools. No matter where he chooses to attend, it is safe to anticipate much success as he continues his education.

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extra » al reuchel Here’s what scares me. Information you post on Facebook is not protected by the First Amendment. You may think it is but there are hundreds of cases going through the courts right now that fall on both sides of the issue. Let’s say you start bad mouthing your place of work. You put a post on Facebook and suddenly it goes viral and everybody in the world knows how unhappy you are... including your boss. Not cool! Your boss sees the post you thought was private or at least only shared within your tight circle of friends and you are fired. One of your friend’s, friends’, friends is related to your boss. OOOpppps! Wait a minute. I thought my post was just to my tiny circle of friends, not meant for viewing by the general public? Sure, but how many times have you gotten a request for someone to join your circle of friends and without thinking you click on the accept button? It happens all the time. Folks want those following numbers to grow and grow. And sharing your college pictures of that huge drinking binge where you ended up dressing like a hooker or stripped to your underwear in a game of strip poker… you didn’t think that would become public? For crying out loud you PUBLISHED the suckers, what did you expect?

Facebook movie real eye opener S

It reminds me of the scene in the movie, Social Network, where Mark’s girlfriend decides to dump him and scars him for life. In anger, he sends out an e-mail trashing her appearance, etc. Somehow it makes the rounds at Harvard... well you know the rest of the story.

Written By: Al Reuchel

everal years ago when my youngest daughter entered UF she told me about something called Facebook. I remember at the time being slightly paranoid (which most fathers of college age daughters are) about the potential for abuse. Stalkers, rapists, communist sympathizers, cats and dogs sleeping together, total conspiracy stuff flooding my ever-protective instincts. I did a story on it on TV and warned parents to monitor the situation carefully.

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No one, not even Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook had any idea this would become one of the most popular and potential society changing ventures. I’m still not completely sold on the idea of what Facebook has become or is becoming. If you’ve seen the movie about the Social Network you know this idea was born in a cloud of deceit, burned friendships, ultra egos, out of control partying, and simple greed. There was quite a bit of genius tossed in along the way. Considering it

doesn’t really create or produce anything, I’m stunned it’s valued at about 50-billion dollars. So what’s good about Facebook? It does allow you to connect to an entire nation of folks who may or may not be your friends. You can share videos, pictures, quick messages and reconnect. That’s what I like most about it. I’ve been able to find friends I lost a zillion years ago in college. And the best part, it doesn’t cost me a dime. Mr. Cheap roaring to the surface.

While the courts battle out the privacy issues, here’s a simple suggestion I’ve gotten from several legal eagles in the Bay Area. If there’s anything on your Facebook page that isn’t flattering or shows you in an unfavorable light, get rid of it NOW! Also, pray someone hasn’t already copied it and it is floating out there for some future employer to discover about the moment you think you’ve got the job wrapped up. And finally, if you don’t have something nice to say, as your Grandmother told you, don’t say it. Don’t publish it. Because when you make a Facebook entry, or a Twitter entry… publishing is exactly what you are doing. And publishing has its consequences!!!!!!


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extra » derek maul heading out to the store for ingredients to serving, took most of the day. The result was remarkable. It turns out that fresh ingredients really do make a huge difference. Using an exact amount of oregano and a precise measurement of thyme is better than my “mixed Italian spices” standby. The correct balance of mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese yields amazing results. And sautéing the mushrooms first will pay dividends when the dish is served.

Gourmet Living:

2010 was a great year for cooking. Just a few weeks in and I was hooked. I eventually prepared many more than the promised 52 gourmet meals. But something else had happened too. I realized the potential for living a “Gourmet Life”. I was a decent cook before the initiative, but I was unimaginative. Prior to 2010 my food preparation had been little more than a routine rehashing of a few “tried and true” standards. Everything was beginning to taste the same.

A Commitment A

Written By: derek maul

few days ago, standing in line at the grocery store, I paused to commiserate with the woman ahead of me. Her buggy overflowed with items such as pop-tarts, neon-colored cereal boxes, hot-dogs, lunch-ables, chocolate milk, potato chips, cookies, juice boxes and burger-buns.

“Just cooking for two,” she said, shaking her head. “With the children out of town your grocery bill has probably gone way down?”

She only had two children, she said, but they were nine and eleven, always had friends over, and ate pretty much round the clock.

It was true. I had items such as tenderloin, goat-cheese, deli meats, premium olive oil, nuts, and shitake mushrooms. Our fruit isn’t squeezed into cardboard boxes nor is it consumed via a straw. I cook fresh vegetables, eschew shortcuts and make the majority of my sauces from scratch.

I smiled and said something about the empty nest, time to cook creative recipes, and young-adult offspring living far away in Connecticut and Tuscany. She looked into my shopping cart and ran an appraising eye over the contents. I had probably four bags of groceries compared to her 12-15.

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“Hardly at all,” I replied. “But I can tell you the quality of the food has gone way up.”

I do have more time to cook now – or at least more ability to concentrate – but what’s really going on is a commitment to what I refer to as my “gourmet initiative.”

Gourmet Initiative:

It started a year ago, when I gave Rebekah some new cookbooks for Christmas with the following promise attached. “Every week in 2010, pick out a dish you’ve always wanted to try. Then I’ll prepare it exactly according to the recipe.” In addition to being an awesome gift, my promise forced me to learn new cooking fundamentals. I made the specific sauces called for, practiced unfamiliar techniques, did the research, and am using fresh herbs and spices whenever possible.

I realized I was approaching life the same way, and most especially my faith. I was “pretty good” at doing the Christian thing and God has been a key element of my daily life for decades. But I’ve been doing most of it “on the fly”, using generic ingredients, making it work but never coming close to being a threat in terms of greatness. So now I’m learning to be more open to growth. I’m learning to build my relationship with God on fresh experiences rather than borrowed, pre-packaged, flashfrozen or canned ingredients. I’m learning that there is so much more to being a Follower of The Way than “Okay,” “Good enough”, “Adequate” and “This’ll do.”

The promise of a life well lived is the ending of half-measures, and that has to include our faith. Never settling for “same old-same old”. All the best ingredients, carefully prepared, all coming together in The other day I made lasagna – Rebekah’s response to our simple decision to live like favorite meal in the world. It’s a whole new we mean it. ball game cooking from scratch. I even did stuff like crush and chop fresh sweet basil “Bon Appétit!” leaves rather than using the dried packet in my spice rack. The entire process, from


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extra » Auto Review

Successful Facelift T

New styling is turning heads and making the competition take notice

submitted By: Brian West

hese days, there seem to be lots of choices in the car market, and even more so in the hotly competitive midsize segment. There are a lot of car makers, but only one with fewer letters in the name (AC), than Kia. I haven’t been a fan of foreign car makers beyond Honda, Nissan and Toyota – aside from the exotics, but Kia may be onto something with their 2011 redesigns. For the first time, they seem to be hitting the mark in styling. And Kia has been around long enough that they’ve shown they can be dependable, so I decided it was time for a closer look. The Kia Optima got a bold facelift for 2011. We’re talking Mickey Rourke here,

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but in a good way. It’s so good; it may have taken the Kia from a forgettable sedan to a car that could actually compete for best in class. Yes, it’s a huge statement, and an even bigger transformation. So it’s time to take a look. The Optima has three trim levels: LX, EX and SX. Currently, the Optima is available in a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. However, early this year a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is slated be added, and later this year, an Optima Hybrid is scheduled to be available for “green” consumers. The power of the 2.4-liter is adequate, but there’s no doubt a turbocharger is a better idea. This Optima needs more power under the hood just to

match the styling. The interior is impressive. With plenty of passenger space compared to the competition, Kia ranks near the top of the list. From the driver’s seat you feel surrounded by comfort. The dash layout is very driver-oriented and the electronics are easy to use. They don’t require thought, and they just make sense. The Optima also comes with features like a USB port and Bluetooth. Heated and cooled seats are options, and you can also add a UVO, a system that provides voice controls to the stereo and phone. Overall, if you’re looking for a good mid sized sedan, you’ll be doing yourself a favor

to give the Kia Optima consideration – strong consideration. The Optima just seems to pull everything together to deliver what midsized sedan shoppers are looking for: great styling, a comfortable interior, pleasing performance, a stack of standard features and an overall good value for the money. The Optima won’t empty your bank account either. Depending on the trim package, you’ll land in the $19k-$25k range. Again, not bad for a midsized sedan, especially when you start comparing to the likes of the big three imports: Honda, Nissan and Toyota. It may not be best in class, but one thing’s for sure, the big three imports are looking over their shoulder.


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entertainment » dining profile

Milly’s Hot Dogs T he transformation from ice cream parlor into gourmet hot dog joint is complete; Milly’s Hot Dogs is open for service. Owners Milly Hall and Tracy Howell offered us at FOCUS the most popular items on the new menu for a tasting.

The home grown roots of the Authentic Chicago Hot Dog were transplanted right into downtown Plant City from Illinois. “We’ve had several people from Chicago try it, and they say, “It’s just like what we get it in Chicago” said Tracy. Using a classic steamed Vienna hot dog, it comes topped with yellow mustard, bright green relish, onions, tomato wedges, pickle spears, sport peppers and a dash of celery salt served in a steamed poppy seed bun. Having personally never had the pleasure of trying a Chicago Dog, I learned the fun in paying more than $.80 for a hot dog that day. A recipe perfected over time,

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Authentic Chicago Style Gourmet Hot Dogs written By: John Ross

the beef itself is as top tier as can be, full of consistent, refined hot dog flavor. The vegetables and seasonings combined with the soft bun culminate so well with the beef that my mouth watered even while eating. Jumping from Chicago to Louisiana cuisine, we tried the Gator Bites, ($5.95) served with a side of Creole Remulade sauce. “That sauce is really popular in Louisiana,” said Tracy. “They use it on Po-Boy sandwiches. The bites are breaded heavily for crunch, and peppered. Dipped in the Creole Remulade sauce, the unique bites will not leave you unaffected. They’re chewy, strong of flavor, and in the middle is tender gator meat. We also tried a corn dog, made also from Vienna beef. This corn dog happened to be the first served at Milly’s Hot Dogs, so we have the pleasure of reporting on the first corn dog out of the gate. It was epic.

You know that feeling you get when you go to the carnival and give the guy a wad of food tickets for a corndog that tastes like heaven, but in the back of your mind you can’t fully enjoy it because you keep thinking that you just spent $13? It’s one of those corn dogs taste wise, but the price is actually in line. A very homemade, slow cooked taste. The menu on the wall features 18 different combo baskets, such as the above Authentic Chicago Dog, the Swiss Dog, the Cheese & Kraut Dog, Polish Sausage, Chili Cheese, and others. The baskets include a bag of chips, a pickle spear, and a choice side of home-made macaroni salad, baked beans, or cole slaw. We also tried the delicious homemade Chili Cheese Fries, the huge Hershey’s brand Ice Cream Sundae, and the crispy Onion Rings. All of the food items may be from different

regions, (Chicago, New Orleans, etc.) but they all have one important thing in common: they are all big-taste food items, designed to be a double-barreled attack on your taste buds. The Strawberry Festival approaches rapidly, and we suggest Milly’s Hot Dogs as the joint to stop at on your way there. For a piece of authentic Chicago cooking slapped right down in the middle of Plant City, stop and try the delicious food.

Milly’s Hot Dogs 1701 S. Alexander Street Plant City, FL (813) 754-5600 Breakfast Hours: Mon - Fri 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Lunch & Dinner Hours: Sun - Thu 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Fri - Sat 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Sunday 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.


» dining guide

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813 chinese food

8

13 Chinese may be new to Plant City, but they come with years of experience. From the same owners of China One (seven time winner of Best Asian food in Plant City) comes 813, a conveniently located Chinese cuisine next to the Publix on James Redman Pkwy. Enjoy your favorites from General Tso’s to egg drop soup made from the best family recipes in town!

2204 James L Redman Pkwy Plant City, FL 33563 813-752-6888

chancey’s catfish

S

erving Plant City for over 20 years. our southern style seafood house covers every desire, from catfish, grouper, codfish, mahi-mahi,flounder, jumbo hrimp, gator, and frog legs just to nme a few! BUT WAIT...we’re not just seafood, we have babyback ribs, steak, cheese sandwiches, pulled BBQ sandwiches, ruebens, and cuban sandwiches along with many southern sides like fried okra. The best fried green tomatoes around. Fried pickle chips, hughpuppies and many more to choose from!

2509 North Park Road Plant City, FL 33563-2779 (813) 754-3433

chili’s

C

hili’s has been spicing things up since 1975. There is something for everyones taste. From sizzling chicken or beef fajitas, fired grilled classic burgers or the new honey chipotle baby back ribs that are slow smoked over pecan wood so they’re “fall-off-the-bone” tender with a bold new honey-chipotle flavor that’s impossible to resist. Call in or come in, your always welcome at Chili’s.

3001 James L Redman Parkway Plant City, FL 33566 813-764-8548 • www.chilis.com

cowboy’s saloon and steakhouse

C

owboys Steakhouse and Saloon features a restaurant for meat-loving southerners to enjoy southern cooking and a connected saloon to line dance in afterwards. Inside everything is wooden from the floors to ceiling. Come in and enjoy juicy steaks,but don’t forget about our fresh baked sour-dough, and other appetizers and entrees that are sure to make your mouth water.

106 State Road 60 E. Plant City, FL 33567-9253 813- 650-8888 foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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» dining guide

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fred’s southern kitchen

F

red’s Southern Kitchen is homemade cooking at its finest. We are proud to offer the best in family dining with recipes that have been developed from a 50 year Johnson family restaurant tradition. You’ll find crispy fried catfish and chicken, smoked ribs, homemade soups, fresh salads, casseroles, desserts, made from scratch entrees, along with our signature Southern vegetables.

1401 W. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd Plant City, FL 33565 813-752-7763 • www.FredsSouthernKitchen.com www.Facebook.com/FredsSouthernKitchen

kazbors

N

ew menu and new owners make a great blend for mouth-watering food, great drinks, friendly service and perfect family atmosphere. Not only is Kazbor’s is the best bar and grill in town to go to for lunch or dinner, but they’ve got the best wings for game night and some of the best drink prices around! Happy Hour is every day from 3-7pm and Thursdays are all you can eat wings for $9.95. With 20 TV’s and the NFL Sunday ticket, you’ll never miss a game!

2212James L Redman Parkway Plant City, FL 33563 813-752-2700

mi casa

M

i Casa Mexican Restaurant is a family-owned restaurant dedicated to serving the finest foods and atmosphere of Mexico and the Southwest. We serve lunch and dinner, and proudly feature Fajitas, Enchiladas, Tacos, Burritos, Quesadillas, Chiles Rellenos and Chimichangas, as well as other specialties of the house. In addition, we offer a wide variety of margaritas, beer and drinks to accompany your favorite meal. And best of all, at prices that are affordable to almost anyone. We’ve been voted Best Mexican by the Focus RCA awards five years in a row!

2613 Thonotosassa Rd Plant City, FL 813-752-0057• www.micasamex.com

olde town pizzeria

I

f you love deep-dish pizza, Olde Town Pizzeria is the only place around to find it. The cheesy Chicago-style pizza is a popular item on the menu, as well as the Award Winning Strawberry Walnut Salad and thin crust pizzas. In addition, they have an array of delicious pastas, salads and sandwiches to satisfy all taste buds. This family owned and operated restaurant is a Plant City favorite for those who love high quality food and friendly service.

3011 James L Redman Parkway Plant City, FL 33566 (813) 752-5800 • www.oldetownpizzeria.com

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» dining guide

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2909 James L Redman Pkwy # 113 Plant City, FL 33566-9406 (813) 659-0864 • www.panerabread.com

Plant City Hometown Buffet

P

lant City Hometown Buffet is a family owned and operated business started by Elaine Vo, a resident of Plant City for the last 24 years. They offer a wide variety of items spanning the five buffet bars, including seafood and steak. There is certainly something to fit every taste preference, whether you’re looking for fried chicken or a plethora of options to satisfy your sweet tooth. Stop in and see everything they have to offer at their very affordable prices!

1914 James L Redman Parkway plant city, fl 33563 813-754-4488

the red rose dining room

T

he Red Rose Dining Room is the only 5-star rated restaurant in Plant City. Mrs. Evelyn Madonia invites you to allow Executive Chef Matteo Casini to take your taste buds on a delicious journey. Enjoy an elegant setting and beautiful atmosphere for lunch or dinner. Tuesday and Wednesday evenings feature an all you can eat prime rib and seafood buffet. On the weekends you can catch fabulous entertainment (visit the website for upcoming shows).

2011 N Wheeler St Plant City, FL 33563 813-752-3141 • www.redroseinnandsuites.com

advertise your restaurant here 813.707.8783 foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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entertainment Âť artist of the month

Local Artist Follows Desire to Create, Share, and Inspire Others A written By: Heather Davis

s a counselor in the school system, Joe Simpson feels very rewarded in his career. But, it is through his art that Simpson has the ability to create and share what he sees and appreciates with others. What began as a love for capturing images through photography has now become a passion for painting his photographic images.

lighthouses, and barns, as folk-art in style. Recently he has been painting a vibrant series that depict many tropical scenes and flowers all inspired by photographs he has taken.

Painting for twelve years now, Simpson enjoys the opportunity to share his love of art with his students. On display in his office are many of his paintings, which Simpson is an avid traveler, and has been he hopes helps to inspire the students able to travel to and explore such places to realize they can have a successful as Europe, South Africa, Scandinavia, career and still create art. He has also Hawaii, and Islands in the South Seas. He successfully sold and displayed artwork has also traveled throughout the United in galleries in St. Petersburg. He is now States and Alaska capturing photographic the newest member of the Art Lounge images. A desire to paint those led Gallery in Plant City where many of his Simpson to take classes at Center Place artworks are on display. in Brandon with various instructors who could help him hone his skills. Joe Simpson shows that it is possible His medium of choice is acrylics and to pursue other endeavors while still color pencil. Simpson described his first following your dreams to successfully artworks depicting images of buildings, create art.

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entertainment » red rose The night wouldn’t be complete at The Red Rose Inn and Suites without the exquisite menu prepared by Chef Matteo Casini. He makes your taste buds dance along with the music. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Red Rose Inn and Suites is always a five star experience. Concerts and dining aren’t all the Red Rose Inn and Suites has to offer. They also have lavish suites and guest rooms, complimentary breakfast with your stay, full service lounge, health spa, and so much more. To find out more information on their upcoming events and concerts go to www.redroseinnandsuites.com. The Red Rose Inn and Suites is conveniently located right off Interstate 4 at 2011 N. Wheeler Street, Plant City, FL 33563 and can be contacted by phone at (813) 752-3141. Photo by Kristen Hitchcock

A Night in Vegas T

With Las Vegas Hall of Fame Entertainer Bob Anderson

written By: Kristen Hitchcock

he Red Rose Inn and Suites turned into a Las Vegas Nightclub on Saturday, January 22nd. The mood was set with the romantic and soothing sounds of P.J. Leary & the Las Vegas Sounds, followed by a guest appearance of non-other than Marilyn Monroe (Dawn Behrens), beautiful as ever with a voice that tantalized the soul. All this preview was to bring in the feature entertainment, Las Vegas Hall of Fame Entertainer, Mr. Bob Anderson, debuting A Night in Vegas. He kept the crowd alive with music, stories, and most importantly, impressions of Harry Connick Jr. to Sammy Davis Jr. and the likes. If you weren’t looking dead at him, you would swear Johnny Cash, Andy Williams, and Frank Sinatra were in the room. Bob Anderson got his start after serving in the Vietnam War. He joined “The Bobby Charles Show” and toured the East Coast. Once the tour was up, he decided to try it on his own and drove to Vegas. Unsure exactly of where he would end up, he made it to the Sahara Hotel where he sang for Nancy Sinatra and was given a spot in her show. As Bob tells it, “Nancy had all the connections”, and within a week he was on the Merv Griffin Show. From there

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Bob decided to study voice in Manhattan before moving to Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles he got noticed again by Merv who brought him back to Las Vegas as “The Singing Impressionist”. With Merv writing Bob a 6-minute piece to perform, Mr. Anderson became a regular on the TV Talk Show circuit. Bob appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson twice in one week. All of the new found exposure got him a 2-week contract with the Dunes Hotel of Las Vegas that lasted nearly 15 years. His impressions include Johnny Cash, Andy Williams, Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and so many more. Once his contract with the Dunes came to an end, Bob continued in Vegas with all the major stars. In 2002, Bob was inducted into the Casino Legends Hall of Fame. Since then he continues his career in the only Supper Club in Branson, Missouri, “Club 57”, where he appears six months of the year. Four of the other six months he tours, giving The Red Rose Inn and Suites the opportunity to take in People Magazine named, “The Best Singing Impressionist in America.” (www.bobanderson.com)

and dining aren’t “Concerts all the Red Rose Inn and Suites has to offer. ”


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STANFORD INSURANCE GROUP, INC.

entertainment » event calendar

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

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Elmo & Linda's Magical Dinning

Dining Hours: Monday - Saturday 11am - 3pm Old Town Square 353 3rd Street NW Winter Haven, FL 33881

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Reservations Accepted 863-514-5382 molinda1983@aol.com

» Art and All That Jazz Time: 6:30pm Put on by the Art Council of Plant City and Plant City Photo Archives & History Center. Tickets $25. For more information Contact Gil Gott 7541578

Thursday, February 17, 2011 » Business After Hours/Anniversary Party Hosted by FOCUS Magazine Time: 5:15 Venue: Keel and Curley Winery 5202 W. Thonotosassa Road For more information call 813-707-8783

Saturday, February 19, 2011 » Strawberry Classic Car Show 4:00pm - 9:00pm 102 N. Palmer Street

February 18- 20, 24-26 » “Dirty Rotten Scoundrells” Play 8:00pm For more information call 813-752-4949

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 » Citizen of the Year Luncheon 12:00pm Red Rose Inn & Suites Ballroom

Thursday, February 24, 2011 » Lincoln Elementary Magnet School Kindergarten Countdown Time: 5:00 p.m. Venue: Lincoln Elementary Magnet School-1207 E. Renfro St. For more information call Cynthia Doyle-757-9329 ext 238

Thursday, March 3 Sunday, march 13, 2011 » Florida Strawberry Festival 10am to 10pm Tickets: $10 adult $5 children ages 6-12 Children 5 and under FREE

Saturday, March 5, 2011 » Bike Fest 5:00pm - 9:00pm 102 N. Palmer Bike Show Registration $5. Open to public, no admission ONGOING EVENTS:  Red Rose Inn and Suites Ongoing Events: 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 palates! Music from Free Time Jazz. 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. Strawberry Square, 4401 Promenade Blvd., Plant City A full schedule of Square and Round Dancing is happening every day at Strawberry Square. We have many callers and cuer’s on the schedule. Visit our website: www strawberrysquaredancing.com or call the office: 813-752 0491 for dates and times.


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foCUS Magazine Plant City february 2011

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entertainment » crossword S N O B

T I R E H A R E M

T H O S E

A M P L E

C A S E S

A V I D

D O D O

E G A N P A U L T S O N G A S L A C E

E S L M K M A A C B I K O N S N N B K A I R I N K N G S D S Y S S T T I F A R E L E L B L E S L

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

N E E D A D L A I A U T O

N A R E E W E L WO O D S K S M E I E S L N S T O A I N T T E A I E S L S T E S Q U A U R S T I N E A N S N T T T E J I M M A G A P B O N E

P R A Y E R M A R I A S A N T S L Y

C R A H A L H A Y E A S S E L E V J A E O L B A I C A N B O R B I O N E E N E D N R B E E E T C R E T T A P S A I H O F F D A F D R Y

R A T S W A S H Y I D L E D B E S T

It Happened on Valentine’s Day

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It Happened on valentine’s day created By: Calvin R.ItandHappened Jackie Mathews ACROSS 1. Roy’s riding companion 5. T-shirt size 10. Sniffer’s needs 15. Irritable person 19. Elliptical 20. Cuomo, for one 21. Late actor Tom 22. Vigorous 23.“Laugh-In” star who died 2/14 25. Football coach born 2/14 27. Song to Billy Joe 28. Facial woe 29. Seeks answers 30. Thing worth having 31. Two-wheeler 32. Froth 34. __ of Man 36. Poultry shop purchases 39. Say 40. Pole, for one 41. __ alai 44. To __ ; unanimous 45. Actress who married on 2/14 47. Not fresh 48. Woven 49. Bric-a-__ 50. Is not, slangily 51. Arrestee’s hope 52. Room added on, perhaps 53. Country singer who married on 2/14 57. “You __ a Star”; 1983-89 TV show 58. Roll locks 59. Mr. Gershwin 60. Namesakes of a cartoon dog 61. Gruesome 62. Go under 64. Chicago __ 65. Best rating 66. Footwear 68. 200 milligrams 69. Poet’s word 70. Unused 73. Clock features 74. Actor who married on 2/14 77. Org. once led by Heston 78. Wild party 79. Pop 80. __ Minor 81. Stingers 82. Vast expanse 83. Martyr honored on 2/14 87. Delineate 88. 1000 symbols 89. Balcony row 90. Martin & others 91. Nice to look at

93. 94. 95. 96. 99. 100. 101. 104. 107. 110. 111. 112. 113. 114. 115. 116. 117.

On Valentine’s Day

“M*A*S*H” actor Insurance man Snare Common iron alloy Mojavelike Afternoon events Breather’s need British actor born 2/14 Labor leader born 2/14 Spoken Overseas dough Shocked-looking Insane Vereen and Stein Bare minimum Dumb mistake 21st Amendment foes

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by Calvin R. & Jackie Mathews

Emanations Away from the wind Finest Primary Cut in two Sable or Cougar City in western Germany __ Keach PGA term Ms. Massey __’Angelo, Italy Lawyer’s clients Sufficient Massachusetts Senator who preceded John Kerry and was born 2/14 Leader’s title Hog havens Actress who married on 2/14 Reason Did nothing Mex. miss Gratifies completely Woofs Nag’s quarters Larry and Stephen Grieve Dwight’s opponent Leans Made a bird sound Shriver, for one __ 500 Commonplace Pronoun

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© Puzzle Features Syndicate


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FOCUS Plant City 10-02