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DRINK! Lunch $6.99 Dinner $9.99 Over 100 items Salads • Desserts Steak • Seafood & Much More

Plant City Homestyle Buffet Steak & Seafood 1914 James Redman Pkwy • 813-754-4488 Hours: Sun.-Thurs. 11a.m. - 8:30p.m. • Fri & Sat 11am - 9pm

Nails • Hair • Day Spa • Massage 2804 James Redman Pkwy.

(813) 759-1231 4

october 2011

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


Table of ConTenTs 41 20 31 92 15-34 LocaL

Volume 10 Issue 10 • October 2011


Our very active community kept citizens involved this month with fundraisers such as Diamonds and Denim, the Unity in the Community Clay Pigeon Shoot, and two high school Calendar Girl competitions. The Florida Opry has new owners and the Bike Fest celebrated its 9th anniversary.

36-39 feature

It’s dance competition time once again as community minded couples are preparing through practice sessions for the 4th annual “Dancing with the Locals” fundraiser. Proceeds benefit the Noon Rotary Club and its many charitable programs. Meet the dancing teams and donate financially to your favorite.

41-43 spotLight interview

The Sparkman family has always been savvy in business and they’ve worked hard to see those businesses succeed. Their automobile dealerships are doing well, even in times of economic downturn. Mike and his youngest son Chris share some secrets in this month’s interview.

on The Cover

Chris and Mike Sparkman

92 Dining profiLe

The Focus team confirmed what the locals already know: Olde Towne Pizzeria’s famous “Strawberry Walnut Salad” and pizza can’t be beat. Most have this establishment on their “Foods We Crave” list and visit often. 51 - home guiDe 53 - waLDen Lake coLumn 54 - mortgage coLumn 58 - reaL estate 63 - finance coLumn 70 - sports 72 - athLete of the month 75 - BaseBaLL team of the month 84 - aL reucheL coLumn


october 2011

86 - Derek mauL coLumn 89 - auto review 93 - Dining guiDe 99 - reD rose entertainment 102 - artist of the month 105 - event caLenDar 107 - cLassifieDs 109 - crossworD

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

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

We are honoring breast cancer awareness month $100 will be donated to Susan G Coleman Foundation for each patient who begins treatment in the month of October

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


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 october 2011



october 2011

Letter From The Publisher

The fall season typically brings change. We are beginning to embrace the cooler air and are gearing up for the fall holidays. Change demands that our company maintains the ability to adapt. Flexibility is key and this is true especially in our relationships with local businesses and organizations. We are serious about accommodating their needs for promotion and advertising, because when local businesses succeed, we will as well. Our sales professionals have always helped us to accomplish this by keeping us informed of the changes our customers have experienced. This feedback allows us to constantly progress and present new products and opportunities that keep up with the changing landscape of the media world. We have integrated a variety of mixed media to deliver content and our advertisers’ messages to the community. These new products include: a powerful website that mirrors the magazine and offers readers the convenience of viewing the magazine, as well as a video feature and much more., online. We have also created a coupon site,, that displays deals from local businesses. Additionally, we provide a weekly email blast and social media interaction through Facebook and Twitter, too. This month we are saying goodbye to Sophia Hyde, who has been with Focus since she was 16 years old. She has decided to join her husband Brandon in their cinematography/photography business, RisingSky Productions. He’s done a great job of growing the company, and now, they have will embark on their lifetime dream. Sophia joined our company when she was still an International Baccalaureate high school student and has been a writer, photographer, editor, spokesperson, senior account manager, and a true friend to our family. Now it’s time for us to watch her move into the next phase of her career - entrepreneur and business owner. We have no doubt that she and Brandon will be very successful. Please join us this month in wishing Sophia a fond farewell and much happiness in the future. We hope you will enjoy this month’s magazine filled with great stories. Reading Focus is one easy way to keep updated with local change. Visiting us online at is another. Be sure to view the event calendar, news and special money-saving offers often. Seasons and life will bring change, whether or not we are ready. These typically involve culture, technology, and everything in between. Embrace it.

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

Publisher Mike Floyd

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

Office Manager Dede Floyd

Office 813.707.8783 Fax 813.764.0990

Copy Editor Cheryl Johnston Credit Manager Angel Carter Standards of accuracy: The goal of the writers at FOCUS Magazine is to provide heart-warming stories that are accurate from the start. Being human, however, we sometimes make mistakes. Please forgive us. So if you notice anything that is incorrect, then please do not hesitate to contact the editorial department and inform it about the fact error. To do so, call (813) 707-8783 or e-mail The staff will fix the error in a timely manner. FOCUS Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Plant City businesses, restaurants and many local venues. Advertisers warrant and represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. Focus Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. All letters and their contents sent to Focus Magazine become the sole property of Floyd Publications, Inc and may be reproduced thereof. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Floyd Publications, Inc. Use or duplication of material used in this publication is prohibited without approved written consent from Floyd Publications, Inc.

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

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


Talk of The Town

Submit your Talk of the Town to:

The James l. redman memorial CUp sTays in planT CiTy FOCUS tv goes behind the scenes at Plant City’s High School Varsity Football team in preperation for the Battle for the James L. Redman Memorial Cup. Stay tuned to FOCUS tv for “Inside the Huddle”.

pig Jam Coming soon!!! Join Us For the Most Spectacular BBQ Contest Ever! The Plant City Pig Jam on Saturday, November 19, 2011 10AM to 5PM. 1500 South Park Road. $5 parking fee

CongraTUlaTions hayden Jones on yoUr 1sT TriaThlon win! Hayden Jones competed in his first triathlon on Sunday October 2 at the Bob Sierra YMCA in Tampa. Hayden had been training as part of the Bob Sierra Youth Triathlon program headed by Michelle Sussman. He placed 2nd out of 10 boys in the 10 year old age group. The triathlon included a 100 meter swim, 2 mile bike ride and half mile run. Hayden placed 2nd with a time of 21:16.3, and just 12 seconds behind 1st place.

raChel’s Challenge ConTinUes aT Tomlin middle sChool - year #2 Tomlin Middle School will host the nationally acclaimed program “Rachel’s Challenge” for the second year on Tuesday, October 25, 2011. Students will participate in morning assemblies, one from 9:15 to 10:15 for 6th graders, and the second from 10:30 to 11:30 for 7th/8th graders. At 6:30 that evening, community members and parents along with their students will have the opportunity to participate in a similar presentation. We hope many leaders as well as all parents in our community (even if they have kids at other schools) will come to learn about this national program.


october 2011

lasT sTop - diane TrUe Taking you on every step of the way on your LAST journey to the new, improved, healthier you that’s “weighting” to emerge! FREE Workshop on Thursday, October 27th at 7:30 p.m. to learn about our health and wellness solutions. To attend, please RSVP to (813) 719-3244

SANCHEZ DERMATOLOGY WHAT EVERYBODY SHOULD KNOW ABOUT VISITING THE DERMATOLOGIST Often times when patients are sent to specialist physician practices, they will only see a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant, and may not even realize they did not see the actual doctor. At Sanchez Dermatology, every patient that comes through our doors will see Dr. Sanchez, not just a P.A. or N.P. There is valuable information specialist physicians learn during their extensive education that you and your insurance company are paying for. When you need a dermatologist, come see a dermatologist.


Fitzgeraldo Sanchez, M.D.

Have skin related questions you’d like answered? Contact Dr. Sanchez himself at:

Sanchez Dermatology | 420 N. Plant Ave., Plant City, FL 33563 | phone 813-830- DERM (3376) | E-mail - Facebook Sanchez Dermatology of Plant City, FL | A division of Sanchez Dermatology Services, PL |

QA &

with Fitzgerald Sanchez, M.D. of Sanchez Dermatology

What is the primary area of your practice?

out are the cancers that I have diagnosed and saved lives. However, as an acne sufferer in my youth, I am always very happy when someone comes in smiling because their acne has cleared up.

How are you able to help people?

What makes your practice different than other dermatology practices?

I practice adult and pediatric dermatology. This includes surgical dermatology, pathology of the skin and cosmetic dermatology.

The main priority is prevention, so by visiting your dermatologist you can prevent the progression of pre-cancers and cancers into more serious disease. With this said, there are many treatable skin conditions that can be easily treated with regular dermatology visits.

What is one of the most memorable cases you have seen and how were able to treat it? All my cases are special and important, but the ones that stand

My practice is different in that I see 100% of my patients. I believe that if you are paying a health insurance premium to see a specialist then you should see a specialist. At most other practices, you often see the nurse practitioner and not the actual dermatologist. There is a reason we have more education; it’s so we can recognize things others many not know to look for or may not be familiar with.

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


Talk of the town

Submit your Talk of the Town to:

Congratulations Katie Busciglio! Winner of the Tampa Dancing with the Stars contest presented by Julie Weintraub’s “Hands Across the Bay.” Katie danced for Kids Charity of Tampa Bay benefitting a Kids Place in Brandon. Katie Busciglio of Busciglio Orthodontics raised over $10,000 for the cause and won “Best Female Dancer” Great Job. We are so proud of you! Katie’s partner David Chancellor donated his time along with all the other Fred Astaire dancers. David is the owner of Fred Astaire Valrico.

Come out and Support your favorite Dancing with the Locals Couple Dancing with the Locals November 11, 2011 Red Rose Ballroom Donate to support your favorites. Tickets are still available. Call Brett Mueller for more information 813-752-6193

Back to Back Flugtag Victories for Plant City Team Woodrow Wilson Elementary School is Celebrating 85 years. An evening of celebration is planned from 5:30 to 7:00PM at Wilson Elementary School, 702 English Street, Plant City. Former and present administrators, teachers, staff and student alumni are encouraged to attend. For more information, find us on Faceboo khttp://www.


october 2011

It’s official. The boys from Plant City have done it again. Willy Wonka and the Amazing Flugtag Adventure, made up of Chris Elmore, Keith and Kevin Humphrey, Kevin Riley and David West, took first place in the 2011 Tampa Bay Flugtag on Saturday, October 8th at the Tampa Convention Center. They entered the Red Bull event in 2008 as Team Tampa Baywatch and won the first place prize. This year they incorporated a Willy Wonka theme; Keith dressed as Willy, while Elmore, Kevin, Riley and West all dressed as Oompa Loompas. Taking the victory this year, they became the first team to win Flugtag back to back, domestically. And the victory didn’t come easy. The team faced gusting winds that broke one of the struts on their flying machine just as they were preparing for takeoff. But thanks to some quick ingenuity, a dust broom handle and some duct tape, they were able to pull it together and fly farther than any of the other 36 teams – 50 feet. Congratulations!

C C Thank you Plant City for 21 years of trusting us with your care.

C C Caring . u o y r o f We accept all auto insurances, and most major insurance and HMO's

Auto Injury Whiplash Headaches Back and Leg Pain Sciatica Muscle Spasms Neck, Shoulder, and Arm Pain Herniated/Bulging Disc Fibromyalgia

Visit us at our NEWLY RENOVATED OFFICE To learn more about our services visit our interactive website at

Dr. Todd Glenn Dr. William "B.J." Garrison (Palmer College Graduates)

813-754-2273 • 1215 W Baker Street • Plant City, FL 33563 Educated and Dedicated to serve you!

4 out of 5 dentists recommend KARATE over candy! We offer classes for adults and children of all ages and skill levels. If you want to enjoy a positive activity with your family, find a fun way to get some exercise, or become a serious competitor, there are classes for you.

Scary Special CALL TODA Y!

“$50 Introductory Offer Includes a FREE Uniform!”

(813) 752-9800

photo by Suzanne Gallagher

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


Come Experience the Napa Valley Of Tampa Bay

Our Tasting Room & Gift Shop is open daily until 6PM Sample 12 wines for just $5 We have added two new wines Dry Blackberry and Sweet Blackberry Host Your Next Special Moment at Keel & Curley Wedding Ceremonies & Receptions Showers, Parties, & Corporate Events

Friday Evening After Hours Wine Bar Dinner Served 6PM - 9PM Reservations Encouraged Happy Hour 6PM - 7PM Wine Tasting until 9PM Live Music 6:30PM - 10:30PM $5 Cover Charge

Our wines are available at:

813.752.9100 • 5202 W. Thonotosassa Rd., Plant City • 14

october 2011


Locally Owned and Operated Since 1975

Local » Focus



Specializing in the servicing and repair of automatic and standard transmissions. We also perform expert repairs on your vehicle such as: brakes, ac, front end, oil leaks and many other repairs.

Come see Chris and he will address any of your automotive needs.


Assistant Coach Moe Tanner, Kristen Wycoff, Head Coach Ericksen

5% discount with this ad

From Softball To Kristen Wycoff Makes Pre-Med Homerun To USF Written By: Dale Bliss

In Plant City, out of the ball field rises an up and coming surgeon.

she works for the city of Plant City as a basketball and flag football referee.

Plant City High School junior Kristen Wycoff recently committed to play softball for USF in the 2013 season.

At a young age, Wycoff decided to become a surgeon and this remains her goal. She has options for her continued education. One reason she decided for USF is its proximity to home. Her mother, Jackie Wycoff, explained, “It is important to her that her parents, sister, two aunts and grandmother are there to support her. Another reason is that she has known the coaching staff since she was 10, when she started taking lessons from Coach Mo.”

Wycoff, now 16, started playing softball at age four. She cheered for the Plant City Dolphins for two seasons but preferred to focus on softball. In 2004 and 2006, during the Little League All Stars series, her team won the Florida State Championship. She was lead batter on the state runner-up all star team in 2008 and 2007. Last year, Wycoff led Hillsborough County school teams with 42 bases stolen. In her freshman year she stole 35. The athletically driven Wycoff also plays on the high school volleyball, basketball and flag football teams. She has lettered in all four varsity sports, while maintaining a 4.12 grade point average. Additionally,

Wycoff shared, “I want my family to be able to enjoy watching me play softball as much as I enjoy playing.” She has verbally committed to playing softball for USF during the 2013 season. She plans to major in pre-med and pursue a career in surgical medicine.






2303 Jim Redman Pkwy, Plant City, FL


foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


Local » Focus

2010 Clay Target Shoot with Buba the Love Sponge. Photo by Cameron Wright

Photo by

Dear Plant City:

I’ve been praying for you. Really, I have: for a long time. That’s part of what pastors do, of course, and they also try to do the things they think God would have them do. Plant City is dear to my heart—I’ve been a part of this community for 20 years. But as I have been praying for you lately, I’ve been sensing that God has something in mind for all of us. Let me tell you what I mean: With God’s help, my heart is to start a brand new church here in our community. “Why a new church?” you might ask. Well, I don’t want to duplicate what any other of our sister churches are already doing well. But I have some deeply held ideas especially about worship, a subject so dear to my heart. Worship is born in the heart of God, a glorious moment when we are invited to come before our Sovereign. I believe great worship forms great worshipers. And great worshipers build great community. Across our nation, there’s something of an awakening going on, especially among young Christians: There’s a growing, heartfelt desire to go beyond a worship that entertains and returns to ancient forms of classic Christianity— a return to rich, authentic worship that results in deep relationships. That’s the kind of brand new, but also very old, church I’d like to build here with you. So, I want to take the next five editions of this magazine, one of the heartbeats of this city we love, to tell you more about my heart for you, for worship, and for the formation of Holy Trinity Anglican Church. See you in next month’s “Focus.” In the meantime, let’s keep the conversation going. With love, Fr. Ken Rushing

Meeting at First United Methodist Church Chapel Sunday Evenings at 6:00 Located at 303 North Evers Street, Plant City, FL 16

october 2011

Third Annual Clay Target Shoot Unity In The Community - Where “Charity Begins At Home” written By: Dale Bliss


he old saying “Charity begins at home” is still very much alive and flourishing in Plant City, Florida.

Unity In The Community is making sure this age-old tradition remains active and full of energy. Through many hours of volunteer labor and having, well, just having what many would call a “big ole’ heart,” Unity In The Community will present its Third Annual Clay Target Shoot on November 19 starting at 8 a.m. at Tenoroc Sporting Complex. Plant City Gun Range has volunteered to donate more than $8,000 in items to be raffled off at this year’s shoot. The guest of honor and speaker will be none other than Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County. Another special guest will be Plant City’s own Chief of Police, Bill McDaniel. Bubba the Love Sponge will act as emcee. Pre-Registration by October 31 is $80. After that date, registration will cost $95. Many events for the day will

include a 50/50 raffle for a Franchi shotgun and six Remington guns, along with additional treasures. The live auction invites bids to “Spend a day with Sheriff Grady Judd.” Winners must be present to receive their prizes. Unity In The Community was founded in 1999 by lifetime resident Joyce Jordan Hooke and a friend. Its fundraising efforts help support different organizations in Plant City, such as Meals on Wheels, Stuff the Bus, the Plant City United Food Bank and Services, Boys and Girls’ Club, Plant City YMCA, and Winter Warm Coats for Kids - just to name a few. In its lifetime, Unity in the Community, which is staffed completely by volunteers, has raised more than $500,000 to help local residents and service organizations. They appreciate your support. To learn more about The Third Annual Clay Target Shoot, call Joyce Hooke at 813-754-1275 or 813-763-1047 or Cameron Wright at 813-650-5048.

Local » Focus

Burney Elementary students, along with parents and siblings, participated in a “Family Math Night” scavenger hunt hosted at the Sweetbay on Wheeler Street in order to complete tasks and solve problems involving math computation. Photo by Julie Otte

Burney Elementary at Sweetbay math Night Supermarket B written By: Cheryl Johnston

urney Elementary School and its business partner, Sweetbay Supermarket, hosted a “Family Math Night” at the Wheeler Street store on October 6, 2011.

From 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., more than 250 gathered for an exciting scavenger hunt. Parents and siblings helped 125 students search every aisle to solve math problems as part of the adventure. Strategically positioned teachers and school administrators answered questions or guided the learners. This event involved 34% of Burney’s student population, the most ever for an outreach into the community or one hosted at the school. Kristy Fisher, Math Specialist, brainstormed with Penny Varnum, the school’s Academic Intervention Specialist, to create the event. Hillsborough County Public Schools asks teachers to make learning math a “very real world” scenario, so children discover everyday applications. Fisher explained, “We simply wanted to show parents very easy ways they can help their children through little tasks here and there. Even a trip to the grocery store is a learning opportunity.” Fisher and school Principal Sally Stephens were especially appreciative of Sweetbay’s store manager Nancy Farley and her enthusiastic staff. Stephens complimented, “They couldn’t have been more inviting or involved. Snack tables

were set up throughout the store and they even prepared cookies and goodiebags-to-go for all the kids.”

Fisher added, “When the invitation came over the intercom for Burney to ‘make some noise’, the event became an educational party. We couldn’t have been more pleased.” Varnum considered the evening “a huge success.” She reported, “You could practically see light bulbs go off in our children’s heads as they decided the math operations needed to compare prices, estimate produce weight, and determine prices after using a 60 cent off coupon. As a reading teacher I was thrilled to see them carefully reading labels for prices, serving sizes, ingredients, and advertising claims. We hope our families now view shopping trips as fun and educational outings.”

The proof in the education of young students, however, lies in what they say. Fifth grader Brisa Rodriguez, 11, commented, “It was awesome because I really love math. I got to go around Sweetbay with my family, friends, and teachers. My little brother was so excited about weighing the coconuts.” About the family fun, first grader Michelle Berrios, 6, agreed: “My favorite part was counting all the kinds of dog treats with my dad.” From an educator’s standpoint, it doesn’t get any better than that!

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


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october 2011

Local » Focus

Surgeon Returns to Serve Community Home Writtene By: Beverly Littlejohnw


ccording to novelist Thomas Wolfe, “You Can’t Go Home Again.” Plant City native C. R. Hall, M.D., begs to differ. Hall grew up on a farm and loved working with his hands. If you asked him as a child what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would have been one of millions of kids who said, “A doctor,” except that his dream became reality. “I enjoyed school and had a calling for the healing professions,” Hall said. He realized in high school that he wanted to be a surgeon.

“Halfway through my general surgical residency, I had a great interest in minimally invasive (laparoscopic) surgery and was enamored with laparoscopic bariatric surgery,” Hall said. “The rate at which these patients, many with serious health problems, recovered from their operation and were discharged home in one or two days, amazed me. Then following these patients as they lost weight and had their blood pressure, diabetes and other medical problems resolved was most rewarding.”

His fellowship also included advanced robotic assisted surgery. He became a da Vinci console surgeon in 2010. His A graduate of Plant City High School, credentials include Board Certified Hall was President of the National Honor General Surgeon, Minimally Invasive Society, vice president of the senior class Surgeon, and American Society of and captain of the football team, for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery which he played nose guard. He received Accredited Bariatric Surgeon. a four-year football scholarship, as well as a presidential academic scholarship, “I am excited to be back in Plant City,” to attend Cumberland College (now Hall said about his new position as University of the Cumberlands) in Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery at Williamsburg, KY. A summer spent in South Florida Baptist Hospital. “I feel London, England, proved that publishing that I have a unique skill set to offer the research papers would be in his future community. I look forward to bringing – he completed a research position at the same level of technologies and the British Museum of Natural History, services in general, minimally invasive and publishing a research paper on a new bariatric surgery to South Florida Baptist species of mosquito that he named. He Hospital that would be offered at a large graduated Summa Cum Laude with a metropolitan hospital.” B.S. in Biology from Cumberland.

Photo by South Florida Baptist Hospital

Hall continued his education at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, receiving his M.D. in 2004. “My training in medical school, which is in all areas, including surgery, confirmed that my calling was in general surgery,” he said. He went on to intern in general surgery at The Ohio State University Medical Center. In addition, he completed his residency there and served as Chief Administrative Resident and Assistant Professor and Minimally Invasive Fellow.

Dr. Hall will conduct free Weight Loss Surgery Information Sessions at South Florida Baptist Hospital, 301 N. Alexander St., Plant City, 6 – 7 p.m. on Oct. 12, Nov. 9 and Dec. 7. Anyone who has been unsuccessful at diet and exercise programs, and has obesity-related health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea or GERD, is welcome to attend. Call (813) 644-6721 to register.

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


Local » Focus

Brett Mueller and Rhett Rollyson, committee members of Diamonds and Denim, greet Ron Daniel. Photo by Sherrie Mueller

Pec McGinnes and Sandee Sytsma congratulate Judy Martin, Executive Director of the SFBH Foundation on her announced retirement after 15 years of overseeing the Diamonds and Denim event. Picture left to right: Pec McGinnes, Judy Martin, Sandee Sytsma Photo by Sherrie Mueller

Lisa Gullinese, SFBH Foundation Secretary and Kim McElveen, Chair of Diamonds and Denim, oversee the silent auction items. Photo by Sherrie Mueller

Diamonds and Denim Co-Chair Rebecca Rothman and Chair Kim McElveen take time to admire the items in the Silent Auction. Photo by Sherrie Mueller

Executive Chief Michael Ambrosino, Steve Nierman, COO of South Florida Baptist Hospital and Karen Kerr, Director of Patient Care Services enjoy the success of Diamonds and Denim. Photo by Sherrie Mueller

The crowd of 500 people enjoyed the sounds of the Plant City band, K.A.G.E.D. Photo by Sherrie Mueller

5th Annual Diamonds and Denim Event Benefits South Florida Baptist Hospital written By: Sherrie Mueller

More than 500 people donned their best western-themed clothing recently to attend the 15th Annual Diamonds and Denim Event hosted by the South Florida Baptist Hospital Foundation. The event featured live music by the local band, K.A.G.E.D., and station after station of cuisine that would please anyone’s palette.

Rodwell, Rhett Rollyson, Mikie Snyder, Phil Waldron and Faye Wetherington.

This fun-filled event was held at the Expo Building on the Strawberry Festival Grounds, which was transformed into a savvy Western venue featuring leather boot centerpieces of fresh flowers. Guests enjoyed foods created by Executive Chef KIim McElveen chaired the event with the Michael Ambrosino and his staff. His choice for the evening included prime help of vice-chair Rebecca Rothman and a committee of volunteers which included: rib, roast turkey breast, pasta dishes, baby Kathy Baskin, Hal and Lynn Brewer, Jean back ribs, boiled shrimp baked brie, Caesar Ann Davenport, Dave and Lisa Galloway, salad, fresh fruit salad, mashed potato casserole, green beans and a dessert bar. Sylvia Knox, Gail Lyons, Bettye Jean Flavored coffee, tea and soft drinks were Manee, Brett Mueller, Marsha Passmore, Debi Peacock, Glenda Raulerson, Bruce also served.


october 2011

Pastor Michael Lewis of Plant City’s First Baptist Church offered the invocation. Bruce Rodwell welcomed the crowd of supporters and gave a special recognition to Judy Martin, Executive Director of the South Florida Baptist Hospital Foundation. As Director, Judy originated and has guided the Diamonds and Denim event for 15 years. She recently made the decision to retire in May 2012. The crowd gave Judy a standing ovation in appreciation for her leadership to the hospital. The guests also enjoyed browsing and bidding in the silent auction with more than 100 items donated by local

business and individuals in the Plant City community. The Strawberry Queen, Victoria Watkins and her Court, greeted the crowd and sold 50/50 tickets. Jimmie Dan Robinson, winner of the drawing, received a prize of $1,000. It is estimated that the event raised approximately $90,000 from sponsorships, ticket sales, raffle items and the silent auction. The money will be designated by the Foundation to the area of greatest need at South Florida Baptist Hospital. All in attendance seemed to enjoy the casual evening spent with friends and family to once again support a wonderful cause.

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


Local » Focus

2011 PCHS Calendar Girls F Photos & written by: Taylor Flumerfelt

or more than 30 years, Plant City High School has hosted an annual Calendar Girl competition to benefit its booster club, a committee made up of parents of PCHS students that focuses on and supports the athletic program.

Over the years, several changes have been made to the competition, including the switch from a black and white to a color calendar. Between 400 and 500 people attend the event each year. Calendar Girl is the largest fundraiser for the booster club, assisting with the fees associated with the high school’s sports equipment, fields, etc. The competition gives girls a chance to shine, as well as promote school spirit in a unique and exciting way.

The 2012 Calendar Girl winners are as follows: Kelsey Brown (Cover), Liliana Martinez (Miss January), Khalifa White (Miss February), Kelsey Fry (Miss March), Ali Grimmel (Miss April), Chelsea Talavera (Miss May), Charli Jervis (Miss June), Nicole Parmley (Miss July), Sarah Brummer (Miss August), Molly Coovert (Miss September), Hannah Jones (Miss October), Kallie Osteen (Miss November), and Riki Akers (Miss December). Each girl was given a sash and flowers from the coordinating month’s winner from the previous year. In addition, cover girl Kelsey Brown was given the most coveted prize of all: the crown. Co-chairs Donna Keel and Krystal Almon have planned the event for several years now. When asked about her favorite memory from competitions over the years, Almon commented that “working with and meeting the girls” has been just one of the many highlights. Calendar Girl is a cherished tradition, sure to continue positively impacting the community as the well as the Plant City High School Athletics Program for years to come. To learn more about the Plant City High School Booster Club, visit www.

A total of 41 people competed in this year’s contest, held September 24 at 6 p.m. in the PCHS auditorium. Elizabeth Pierce, head of the school’s Agriculture Department, served as emcee. In order to participate, contestants are required to pre-sell advertisements that will appear in the calendar to local businesses. They are also required to pre-sell calendars, which are $12 a piece and will be available for purchase in December. The participant who sells the most advertisements is recognized the night of the competition. This year’s top advertisement seller was Kayla Faulk. In addition, students must meet certain academic and disciplinary standards as well as fulfill several other requirements, since they represent PCHS and the booster club. In the preliminary portion of the competition, contestants are judged on beauty, stage presence, poise, confidence, and overall appearance. During this time, audience members get to know participants when biographies for each girl are read as they glide across the stage. The “top 25” group is selected based on those criteria and they are further judged based on their answers to a question that each girl is asked in order to determine the top 12 and cover girl. Each year, the panel consists of qualified judges who are not from Hillsborough County.


october 2011

Cover Girl

Kelsey Brown

Local Âť Focus

Miss January

Miss February

Miss March

Miss April

Miss May

Miss June

Miss July

Miss August

Liliana Martinez

Khalifa White

kelsey fry

Ali Grimmel

Chelsea Talavera

Charli Jervis

Nicole Parmley

Sarah Brummer

Miss September

Miss October

Miss November

Miss December

Molly Coovert

Hannah Jones

Kallie Osteen

Riki Akers

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


Local » Focus “I like the atmosphere of Bike Fest,” said Chris, Karl’s mother. “We know a lot of the people here. The announcer even comes into my salon. We come every few months here to look around.” Chris and Karl both entered the “Biker Bow-Wow” contest with their dogs Sally and Roxxi. During the contest, they both stood in front of the main stage and held their pets up as the crowd cheered for their favorite contestants to win. While neither of the pairs won, one couldn’t help but see how much fun they had showing their pups to the cheering crowd. Sally and Roxxi got some organic treats out of the deal, too. Besides the contests and booths, plenty of other attractions entertained attendees. Adam Holbrook of FERE Motorcycle Thrill Show was on his dirt bike performing tricks and jumps for the crowd. Homemade food vendors sold fried cheese and the Homemade Ice Cream stand utilized a John Deere engine to power an old-fashioned ice cream churn.

Motorcyclists gather from all over the state to celebrate the 9th Anniversary of Bike Fest Photo by Brittany Wessler

Keep Those Engines Revving: Plant City Celebrates Its 9th Anniversary of Bike Fest P

written By: Brittany Weissler

lant City, FL—Love for motorcycles was at full throttle during the 9th Anniversary Bike Fest. On Saturday, October 1, 2011, bikers, businessmen, families, and locals all came out to enjoy the crisp air as the town celebrated nine years of the monthly festival in historic downtown Plant City. Booths, shows, contests, and merchandise for motorcycle lovers to get excited about were in abundance. Thomas Giella and Nick Clark both worked the Giella Customs booth, repairing the bikes of patrons walking by. Thomas, the owner, has been coming to Bike Fest for four years now, but this was only Nick’s third event. “I never thought I’d being doing something like this,” Nick said. “I’m a programmer, but I met Thomas at school. He asked me to work for him, and here I am. It’s a lot different from what I’m used to. Lots of different people come out, but it’s fun and it makes me appreciate motorcycles a lot more.”


october 2011

Bands also played rock music on the main stage as an announcer officiated the various contests. The show motorcycle contests included awards for best stock, biker babe, show custom, bar cruiser, touring, trike, old school, custom Harley, custom metric, custom bagger, chopper, and anything goes. Winners of the contests received free tires from Biker’s Choice.

Bike Fest is the happening downtown event held the first Saturday of every month. Admission is free. Those entering bikes into the show contests will pay a $10 fee. For additional information, visit or call the Plant City Chamber of Commerce.

Other less serious contests were held, as well, to keep the families and bike enthusiasts entertained. These contests were the “Biker Bow-Wow Dog Looka-like” Contest, the “Daisy-Dukes” Competition, and the “Tricycle 500,” where contestants had to be the fastest to peddle down a cobblestone street. Karl and his family all came to get a welldeserved night out at Bike Fest. Karl is a veteran, having come back from the Army in 2003. He’s since become fascinated with motorcycles and loves to bring his family out to check out the new bikes and have fun.

Nick Clark talks shop with a customer while manning Giella Customs booth at Bike Fest Photo by Brittany Wessler

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Local » Focus

2011 SCHS Calendar Girls E

First-timer Danielle Mayo “loved the experience.” She said, “I had a blast and all the girls were so sweet and supportive. I expected lots of drama but it was the complete opposite! We all were just trying to have a good time.”

This year’s finalist question was, “If a visitor was to come to Strawberry Crest High written by: Deana Garrison | photos by: Torrie Fagan Studios School, what part of SCHS would you In the Preliminary Competition, contestants show them and why?” xpectancy filled the air in the were judged on beauty, personality and Ashton Houston didn’t miss a beat with her Strawberry Crest High School poise. SCHS students escorted each girl response when she explained why she would auditorium on September 24, 2011 as to the stage, where from there she walked take them to Principal David Brown’s office. many gathered for the 3rd annual Calendar alone as her bio was read to the audience. She said, “… because he is the nuts and Girl competition. Forty-four contestants During this process, 22 girls were selected competed for the 13 titles on the 2012 to continue toward selection of the final 13. bolts of the school.” Calendar. Within 30 minutes of her answer, Ashton In the Top 22 Competition, the young Houston was crowned 2012 SCHS Cover Proceeds from the pageant benefit the women were scored for beauty, overall Girl. Describing her reaction, she said, “I SCHS Future Farmers of America (FFA) appearance, and their individual response screamed and started running to the stage.” chapter. Each contestant is encouraged to to the on-stage question. The calendar girl sell sponsor ads to increase the benefits of hopefuls had been given a list of questions the fundraiser. This year’s top seller, Miss to review a few days before the event and Morgan Boykin, was recognized on stage one question was selected right before they for her $750 in sponsor ads. She reflected appeared on stage. with gratitude for “such a great experience”, saying “Backstage we really got to know Katlyn Joyner, Miss April, described the one another. We cheered each other on and behind-the-curtain anticipation: “Before hoped the best for every contestant. I had a the contest all the girls were very friendly wonderful time.” and willing to help each other. I was very nervous and we were all holding hands with SCHS agricultural teacher Susan Mayo excitement to watch who was next to be directed the pageant and worked diligently called onstage. As I walked, I just remember to make this the most successful yet. Local telling myself to smile, be confident, but also photographer Torrie Fagan captured each to be myself.” moment on film for the contestants and will create the 2012 calendar for Strawberry First time entrant Marina Conde, who plays Crest. soccer and volleyball for the Chargers, also enjoyed the “nerve wracking” experience, Erica Der and Jordan Newsome emceed, She shared, “Sports were my forte, not guiding the program and girls through pageants and glitz. But in the end, the two competitions, a Preliminary and Top practice and dedication paid off … I really 22 Final. Five judges, including WQYK’s enjoyed the friendly competition because Dave McKay, had their work cut out for the girls weren’t catty strangers. They were them as the beautiful young ladies displayed high school peers who were so genuine, personality, beauty, poise and grace. sweet, and inspiring.”

Houston, 17, the daughter of Shannon and Travis Houston, is a member of Future Farmers of America, National Honor Society, Beta Club, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. With the crown on her head, she smiled and expressed appreciation for the opportunity to represent SCHS in her senior year: “What better way to end my last year than to be cover girl.” The 2012 SCHS Calendar Girls are: Trixi Menge ( January), Emily Williams (February), Kristin Bozek (March), Katlyn Joyner (April), Morgan Boykin (May), Skylar Smith ( June), Danielle Mayo ( July), Marina Conde (August), Samantha Wisecarver (September), Katherine Martinez (October), Jordan Pugh (November), and Jessica Larson (December).

Cover Girl

Ashton Houston


october 2011

Local Âť Focus

Miss January

Miss February

Miss March

Kristin Bozek

Katlyn Joyner

Miss May

Miss June

Miss July

Miss August

Trixi Menge

Emily Williams

Miss April

Morgan Boykin

Skylar Smith

Danielle Mayo

Marina Conde

Miss September

Miss October

Miss November

Miss December

Samantha Wisecarver Katherine Martinez

Jordan Pugh

Jessica Larson

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


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his year’s Mystery Dinner revealed a murderous plot involving polygamy, lust and greed. The Friends of the Bruton Memorial Library and the Bruton Memorial Players presented a theater production of “I Wed Three Wives.” The annual dinner and comedy is a two-night (Friday and Saturday) production, designed to raise money for the Bruton Memorial Library. Each year, the Mystery Dinner event is filled with a cast of community leaders. This year’s performance was no exception. Dan Raulerson starred as Herb Fillbrook, a polygamist businessman who had wives in three different cities. By fate, all three wives ended up at the same hotel for a weekend. Kerrie Gafford, Amy Nizamoff and Annie Owens played Fillbrook’s wives. Additional cast members included David Galloway, Sophia Hyde, Cindy Gutowski, Lisa Galloway, Henry Falcon, Gail Lyons, Jeremy Davis, Tom Thoeni, Mandi Miley and Anne Haywood. The murderous ending is different each evening. Audience members are invited

to purchase clues for a $1 or other donation amount leading them to put together the puzzle of who killed the victim. As no surprise, the polygamist Herb Fillbrook was murdered both evenings. Friday night, the team of Arthur Lewis (David Galloway) and Kate Kelley (Gail Lyons) were the killers. On Saturday night, Fillbrook’s first wife Josephine Fillbrook (Kerrie Gafford) was the murderer. An extra bonus of the Saturday performance was the off-script blurt out of the current Rays and Gator games scores by Tom Thoeni, who played the Desk Clerk/Bartender, played by Tom Thoeni. The audience loved it! The show was directed by Dodie White and produced by Dr. Hal Brewer. Mystery Dinner Committee members also included Judy Barta, Lynn Brewer, Maggie Carlisle, Anne Haywood, David Miller, Marsha Passmore, Chris Perry, and Natalie Sweet.

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foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011






Local » Focus


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J. Myle Henry, founder of the Florida Opry.

New Owner of The Florida Opry: The East Hillsborough Historical Society Written By: Dale Bliss

SUPER BOWL MVP IS “WELL ADJUSTED” Dr. Brenda Dukes Chiropractic Physician

Professional athletes recognize the value of chiropractic care.

From his son’s first “stingers” to various neck, back and other injuries resulting from playing football, Dr. Ed Rogers – Dad of championship Green Bay Packers’ winning quarterback Aaron Rodgers—was always there to make an adjustment. It was the care he received following a college football injury that led the Super Bowl MVP’s father to pursue a chiropractic career. “The structure of the human body, especially the spine, and its relationship to function can be impacted by the physical nature of accidents, falls, poor posture and injuries,” says Dr. Rodgers. “That’s why chiropractic care is so valuable for many acute and chronic health problems.” While providing chiropractic care for his three sons who played multiple sports during their school years, as well as his patients in Chico, California, Dr. Ed finds that natural hands-on methods of chiropractic care to be of great value. He points out that every NFL

football team and the majority of college and high school athletic programs have a doctor of chiropractic available to treat their players. Athletes from all sports credit chiropractic care for their ability to recover from neck, back and other joint injuries, and play the game at high level. Reflecting this expertise, 2010 marked the first time that doctors of chiropractic occupied two top positions for the U.S. Olympic committee (USOC) medical team. All ages are learning to appreciate the clinical skills of the doctor of chiropractic for conditions including headaches, neck and back pain and other health issues that are related to the spine. Special Note: October is Chiropractic Health Month! Call us to schedule an appointment for your complimentary consultation today Blessings, Dr. Dukes and Staff

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


october 2011


he 1914 High School Community Center will once again open its doors to The Florida Opry, Plant City’s own rendition of the Grande Old Opry, on October 8 at 6 p.m. Patriots will be pleased to know the Pledge of Allegiance will be recited at the beginning of the show and the singing of “God Bless America” will bring the nostalgic evening to a warm and heartfelt close. Live music and the joyful sounds of delightful entertainment will once again echo through the hallowed halls of what was once the main educational building for the Plant City students. The Florida Opry, born in the esteemed 1914 High School Community Center, opened with its first show in 1996. Founded by the now retired hometown pharmacist, Merle Henry, the Opry was purchased by The East Hillsborough Historical Society in August of this year from Randall and Mayda Dallman.

Community Center over the past 10 years,” says Shelly Bender, President of the East Hillsborough Historical Society. “The grand and massive style of the 45,000 square foot 1914 building will give The Florida Opry visitors the feeling of a ‘grand ole time’,” continues Bender. The Gospel Truth Quartet and vocalist Dave Smith: The Man in Black, will be among the top performing artists. Season tickets are available for $80 and include reserved seating. Ticket cost per show will be $12 in advance for reserve seating or $10 for general seating at the door. Tickets may be purchased at the East Hillsborough Historical Society located at 605 N. Collins St. Funds from the Florida Opry not only help to preserve The 1914 High School Community Center, but they also help to preserve our deep-rooted southern history and the fond memories of the past.

“We hope to continue offering the great For information regarding future shows, family entertainment that The Florida call 813-757-9226 or visit the website, Opry has been staging in the auditorium of the historic 1914 Plant City High School

Local » Focus

Executive Director, Angelica Ibarra, with some of the children at Open House evening. Photo by Dale Bliss

The Familyof Tampa Literacy Bay Academy E Written By: Dale Bliss

ducation is a basic key to a flourishing life in America. The Family Literacy Academy of Tampa Bay is a program that has turned that key for many, and now, thanks to Angelica Ibarra, and the

Volunteer USA Foundation, a Plant City program will serve both youth and adults in eastern Hillsborough County.

Ibarra, the Executive Director of the new branch in Plant City, began working

with the program in 2003 when a grant was issued to the St. John’s Presbyterian Learning Center in Tampa.

community. It took me several years to accomplish it, but we are off to a great start,” said Ibarra.

She knows the value and difficulty of accomplishing educational goals because her family moved seasonally to follow the citrus and vegetable crops. She dropped out of school at 15, but eventually returned to obtain her GED and earn a BA in International Studies from the University of Florida.

She continued, “Literacy is such a powerful tool that can improve the lives of so many children and families.”

Ibarra obtained grants from the Volunteer USA Foundation and the Children‘s Board of Hillsborough County. She recently received word that the academy will also be the recipient of a grant from The Tampa Bay Rays Baseball Foundation. Since she lived primarily in the Plant City/Dover area, Ibarra preferred to do something that would meaningfully influence the people in the community she now calls home. So, she sought to bring the academy here.

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october 2011

Local » did you know

Journey Stories Exhibitions as seen from above

Children enjoying a journey story

THE SMITHSONIAN IS COMING! Y submitted By: Plant City Photo Archives & History Center

es, Plant City, the Smithsonian is coming to town. The Plant City Photo Archives and History Center is hosting the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibition, Journey Stories, May 26 through July 7, 2012. Mark those dates. The Smithsonian is the world’s largest and best known museum!

Through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council, the Photo Archives and History Center will be welcoming the Smithsonian to Plant City in Mid-May 2012 and installing over 800 square feet of large free-standing interactive exhibits in its 1000 square foot exhibit gallery for our community to enjoy. The exhibition will be open to the public free of charge from Saturday, May 26, 2012, through Saturday, July 7, 2012. The Journey Stories exhibition celebrates the lives of Americans, who have demonstrated courage and vision while immigrating to this country, while migrating across this country in wagons, on trains, in carriages and buggies, and on foot, and seeking new lives for themselves and their families. Rooted and immigrating and migrating Americans all have stories to tell about their motives and their modes of transportation, about their struggles and their trials, and about their successes in establishing new lives and new trades in new lands.

The exhibition includes numerous large panels, some over 7’ tall, with flip panels, audio narrations, video clips, and spans the years from the founding of the colonies, over the mountains, across the plains, and over the rails and highways through to the jet-age of traveling coast to coast. Everyone came from somewhere. The Seminoles, Cherokee, and Iroquois, the English and the Africans, the Germans, Scots, Polish and Irish, the Chinese and the Japanese, and all the rest of our residents of the new world came from somewhere. This exhibition salutes the Journey Stories of all these people – where they came from and how they traveled, and where they settled and why.


The Smithsonian traveling exhibition is part of the organization’s Museum on Main Street Program, which is designed to help bring If you would like to tell your story, the story humanities and historical exhibitions to the of how you and your family came to where American public in smaller communities. The you now live, the Photo Archives and History current Journey Stories exhibition will travel Center welcomes your participation – and to only six communities in Florida from will help you write or tell your story. Please May 2012 to March 2013, and include Plant stop in, call the Photo Archives and History City, DeBary, Sebring, Clewiston, Dunedin, Center at 813.754.1578, or email to info@ and Blountstown. The exhibition will not be on display in the larger communities such as Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and Lakeland.


Along with the Journey Stories exhibition, there will be programs including speakers about our moving history, storytelling, including a session at the Plant City “Depot” for young and old alike, and exhibits in various sites, including the Bruton Memorial Library and the Hillsborough Community College. And how about our greater Plant City area According to Photo Archives and History residents? This includes West Polk, East Center executive director, Gil Gott, the Hillsborough, Brandon, Valrico, Welcome, organization is partnering with several Dover, Hopewell, Enon, Lakeland, and all Plant City non-profits in presentations for the other of the many communities out there. the public. These partnering organizations Where did you and your family come from? include the Improvement League of Plant What is your journey story? In addition to City, the Greater Plant City Chamber of telling the story of the journeys of the peoples Commerce, the Bruton Memorial Library, of this country, which the Smithsonian Hillsborough Community College, the exhibition does very well, the Photo Archives Arts Council of Plant City, and the East and History Center will be displaying, in Hillsborough Art Guild. print form and in oral productions, the many stories that you have to tell.



The Florida Humanities Council and the Smithsonian Institution have selected Plant City to open the Florida tour and their representatives will be on hand for the grand opening, along with representatives from other museums and libraries, political officials, civic leaders and celebrities. The Photo Archives and History Center will hold a special invitation only preview reception on Friday, May 25, 2012, from 6 to 9pm, and will hold a public ribbon cutting on Saturday, May 26, at 10am. The exhibition will be open to the public free of charge from Saturday, May 26, through Saturday, July 7, 2012. Exact hours are not yet established. For a full schedule of upcoming events, as they develop, contact the Photo Archives and History Center at 813.754.1578.

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


Local » chamber of commerce



he Power Lunch Series for Entrepreneurs continues at Hillsborough Community College with the LUNCH & LEARN session on October 20th, focusing on “Small Business Ownership and Entrepreneurship”. The program starts at noon and a donation of $8 is requested at the door to cover the cost of lunch. For information and to RSVP, call Juan Lynum at 813-443-0272. ********** The Daybreak Rotary Club is holding its 2nd. Annual CRACKER COUNTRY FEST to Benefit The United Food Bank of Plant City and Charities of Plant City Daybreak Rotary on Friday, October 21st. at 6:30 p.m. This great event takes place at the home of George & Cassandra Banning, 2506 Clubhouse Drive, Plant City. The dress code is country casual or camo. The cost is $75. per person. Call 813-759-1638 to reserve your tickets. This is great fun with a Blue Grass Band and a “Handy Man” auction along with some great wild game cooking. ********** On Saturday, October 22nd. your Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce will present the second Annual PLANTACIOUS FALL FESTIVAL in Historic Downtown Plant City from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. This is an antiques and crafts marketplace plus much more. Over 40 vendors will be set up in and around McCall Park, providing the perfect place to start some early Christmas shopping. Antique appraisers will be on hand from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. in “The Depot”, in case you’ve been curious to know what some of those treasures you have been holding onto are worth. Entertainment and family fun will begin at 9 a.m. In addition to browsing and shopping, your entire family will enjoy a chili cook-off, face painting, hay bale maze, food, entertainment, pet costume contest, and lots more. For general and/or vendor information, call the Chamber office at 813-7543707. ********** Also on October 22nd, the Plant City Campus of Hillsborough Community College will host an INAUGURAL OPEN HOUSE featuring lunch by Johnson’s BBQ from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is open to the public and free of charge. You will have a chance to meet HCC President, Dr. Kenneth Atwater, and in addition there will be information booths, tours of the campus, fun & games, drawings and door prizes. For more information you can log onto Also on Saturday, October 22nd, the PLANT CITY OPTIMIST CLUB/PLANT CITY RECREATION & PARKS DEPARTMENT will hold their 17th Annual golf tournament at the Walden Lake Golf & Country Club, 2001 Clubhouse Drive, Plant City.


october 2011

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE submitted By: bruce rodwell

This is their annual fundraiser for Youth Flag Football, Youth Basketball, Youth Soccer, Little League Baseball, Steppin’ Stone Farm, Youth Appreciation Week, Oratorical Contest, Easter Egg Hunt, Respect for Law Week, High School Graduate Scholarships, Tri Star Sports Skills Competition and more. With all of the programs the Optimist Club supports, you can understand why this Tournament is one of their biggest fundraisers.

Registration will begin at 11 a.m. with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. The format is a 4-person scramble. There will be a putting contest, two long drive holes, two closest to the pin holes and a door prize raffle. The basic tournament cost is $60. per player. Sponsorships are available. For more information call Walt Arnold 813-7521602, Paul Woods 813-752-0356, Jeb Hicks 813754-8804 or Pat Stottlemyer 813-759-1019. ********** How about some good old-fashioned bowling? Your Chamber is sponsoring its first BOWLING TOURNAMENT from 2 - 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 27th at the Family Bowl in Plant City. Thirty teams of four will compete to see which company has the best skills on the lanes. This is still another opportunity to meet Chamber members and do some networking while having lots of fun. There will be Goody Bags and prizes for 1st and 2nd place, Most team strikes, Least team strikes, Best looking team, Worst team score, and raffle items. For additional information call the Chamber office at 813-754-3707 e-mail . Organize your team together and come on out for some fun at the Family Bowl. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Chamber Foundation for Scholarships. ********** Congratulations to B.M. “Mac” Smith on being selected YMCA STRONG LEADER for 2011 - a much deserved honor. “Mac” is the father of Chamber President, Marion Smith. Chamber member Jarrett-Scott Ford proudly announces ‘DRIVE ONE 4UR SCHOOL’ in partnership with Durant High School. On Saturday, October 29, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Durant Cougars will host the event in the parking lot at Durant at the corner of Turkey Creek Road and Keysville Road. The school can earn up to $6,000 from Ford which will donate $20 for each test drive. Drivers must be 18 or older to test drive the vehicles. Jarrett-Scott will have the new Fiesta F150, Focus, Fusion and Explorer on hand to drive from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no pressure to buy; this is a way for Ford to support schools in our community. “We are so excited to have this opportunity to host this year and benefit from Jarrett-Scott Ford’s generosity,” says varsity

cheerleading coach, Jessica Brower. The school needs 300 drivers to maximize the fundraising potential, though Brower says they “hope to have even more!” The school will hold car washes and sell refreshments throughout the day. If you have any questions, contact Jason Swilley at Jarrett-Scott Ford 813-752-4171. ********** The Greater Plant City Chamber’s Economic Development Council will hold its Annual BUSINESS OF THE YEAR banquet on Thursday, November 3rd at the Red Rose Inn & Suites. Ten businesses have been nominated in four different categories. You will want to mark you calendars for this great event that begins at 6:30 p.m. Call the Chamber office for more information and tickets at 813-754-3707. ********** You Chamber will hold its monthly CONTACT BREAKFAST at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 9th at the Red Rose Inn & Suites. Call the Chamber at 813-754-3707 to RSVP. ********** The Noon Rotary Club is hosting DANCING WITH THE LOCALS in the ballroom at the Red Rose on Friday, November 11th. Call Brett Muller at 813-752-6193 for tickets and additional information about this fun-filled evening.

and small ceramic serving bowl bisques donated by Artist In You, Paint Your Own Pottery Studio in downtown Plant City for a silent auction. Entertainment is being planned by the Community Choir and Lark Underwood, Director. All proceeds from this project will benefit the United Food Bank of Plant City. For questions and more information, please contact Silvia Dodson at 813-754-1521, ext. 14, or visit the United Food Bank website upcoming_events . ********** Don’t miss the PLANT CITY ENTERTAINMENT performance of the uproarious comedy “Don’t Tell Your Mother” at their location, 101 North Thomas St., Plant City. There are six performance dates: November 11 & 12 at 8 p.m.; November 13th. at 2 p.m.; November 17th. , 18th. & 19th. at 8 p.m. Ticket prices are $10 for members and group advance sales, $12 for senior citizens, non-members and students through 12th grade and $14 general admission for non-members. Advance tickets and group sale rates are available at Hardee’s Fashions, 1501 N. Wheeler St., in Plant City. For additional information, visit www. **********


You will not want to miss this event!!! The 9th. Annual Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce PIG JAM is scheduled November 19th at the Randy Larson FourPlex, 1500 South Park Road, Plant City. The event begins at 10 a.m. and continues to 5 p.m.

Don’t forget PIONEER DAY at the 1914 High School on Saturday, November 12th. This event is always great family fun. **********

Over $16,000 in prizes will be awarded in the professional competition, plus there is an amateur and kids competition as well. Come on out and sample some prize winning barbeque. Admission is free. Parking is $5. per vehicle.

The FLORIDA OPRY will present another great show on November 12th. at the 1914 PCHS Community Center. Doors open at 5 p.m. with the show starting at 6 p.m.

Courtesy of The Hay Exchange, the Chamber is giving away a large Big Green Egg with accessories, valued at $1200. A second prize of a Yeti Cooler is valued at $350. Tickets are $10 each. This original American designed Ceramic Cooker has been recognized as the World’s Best Smoker & Grill. The Big Green Egg is the most unique barbeque product on the market, with more smoker and grill capabilities than all other conventional cookers combined. The Yeti Cooler will keep your picnic items cold for several days. The Chamber is pleased to be able to offer these unique prizes to help their Foundation College Scholarship fund. You will certainly want to buy several tickets. **********

On November 12th. you will have a chance to support Plant City’s Inaugural EMPTY BOWLS LUNCH from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Historic Train Depot and McCall Park. For a suggested donation of $10, attendees to the lunch will be served a bowl of soup, an apple, bread and water. They will also select from hundreds of handcrafted one of a kind clay bowls to take home as a reminder there are empty bowls that do not get filled every day. Each bowl is a grassroots effort to bring awareness to hunger and enable all ages to work together to help those in need in our community. Twenty-three area schools have signed up to handcraft the clay bowls for the project. Local churches, a restaurant, and individuals will prepare a variety of delicious soups for the luncheon. Local artists John Briggs, Jossie Azorin and members of the Art Guild have painted large


CHAMBER RiBBon Cuttings Bent Twig 1514 South Alexander Street, Suite 102 Plant City, FL 33563-8417 Contact: Michael Ellinger Phone: (813) 417-6166 Brown’s Floral Shop 106 East Reynolds Street, Plant City, FL 33563-3352 Contact: Debbie Clark Phone: (813) 752-5189 Fax: (813) 752-1520



HAMMY {Lucky For Kitty, Our Vet Can Help}

The Catering Company and Café 115 East Reynolds Street Plant City, Florida 33563-3351 Contact: Sharon Silver Phone: (813) 389-2397 Fax: 813-707-1446

Jeannie Soos Licensed Massage Therapist 110 East Reynolds Street, Suite 204 Plant City, FL 33563-3361 Contact: Jeannie Soos Phone: (813) 777-9403

Kaleidoscope Kids Learning Center 601 East Alexander Street Plant City, FL 33563-7126 Contact: Mary Davis Phone: (813) 704-6908 Fax: (813) 704-6910

Next to New Consignment & Bistro 109 West Reynolds Street Plant City, FL 33563-3353 Contact: Kim Miller Phone: (813) 719-8922

Universal Auto Sales of Plant City 611 South Alexander Street, Plant City, FL 33563 Contact: Tom Godby Phone: (813) 704-5946

October is Animal Safety and Protection month See our website for some safety tips.

Animal Wellness Center

Dr. Jennifer Conner

Gregory Organization, LLC Contact: Pennie Gregory Phone: (813) 763-3967

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

3109 SR 574 West (813) 752-2869

Isn’t it beautiful? Let’s keep it that way!

Tango It’s tIme to

By Brian West

Preparations are underway for the 2011 Dancing with the Locals


he Plant City Rotary Club is preparing for their 4th Annual Dancing with the Locals event scheduled for Friday evening, November 11th at the Red Rose Ballroom. The concept is just like the “Dancing with the Stars” television show. The difference is that our “locals” only have to learn one dance and compete one night. The couples selected by the Rotary Club pair up with area dance instructors, and the Rotary Club pays for 10 lessons for each couple. Couples can choose to take more lessons at their own expense, and some do. After choosing a dance and song, each couple spends time learning the routine for the night of competition. They put together their own costumes, whether they buy them or have them made, and really make a show of it for those attending the event. Winners are chosen based on which couple raises the most money in the form of sponsorships and pledges. Last year was a record year for the event, and the Rotary is hoping to do even better this year. Past winners include Aaron and Leslie Davis for the inaugural event in 2008, Rick and Di Lott, 2009, and Jack Vasconcellas and Jodi Smith-Stevens, 2010. Last year, some of the dance floor highlights included amazing lifts and moves by Dr. B.J. Garrison and Ericca Hope and some breathtaking twirls by Ryan and Jennifer Townsend. On stage, the emcees and judges had some of their own highlights. The bantering and barbs were flying – all in good fun of course, and everyone seemed to enjoy the entertainment they provided. This year, eight couples will vie for that coveted DWTL title. The dancers for 2011 include: Tracy Connell and Olan Deguzman, Gary and Tina Pike, Marcus Caswell and Traci Walding, Faustino Rios and Debra Hawkins, Michael and Heather Esposito, Michael and Victoria Watkins, Angel and Courtney Paat, and Charles Harris and Tara Smith. The Rotary Club works diligently throughout the year to raise money for its charities, and many of those dollars go right back into our community. This is another great event to support those efforts. The dancers have worked very hard and they’re looking forward to some fun on the dance floor, November 11, 2011. To purchase tickets, contact Brett Mueller at Sunshine State Federal Savings and Loan – 813-7526193. Please come out and enjoy the evening. If you can’t make it to the event, you can still be involved by making a pledge to your favorite dance team.

Victoria Watkins & Michael Watkins The reigning 2011 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen, Victoria Watkins, will compete alongside her father, Michael. Michael is a Florida native and a 24-year resident of Plant City. He has worked in the health insurance business for 20 years with corporate clients and individuals to manage their health care costs. Currently he is a partner of V & R Insurance with Kenna Holmes. Michael is active in the Noon Rotary Club where he served on the board of directors from 2007 to 2010, and is also on the leadership team of BNI, a business network organization. Victoria is studying business at Hillsborough Community College. She hopes to attend culinary school and one day own a restaurant or catering business. She is engaged to Anthony Sgro, an Army soldier. The couple plans to marry in March of 2012. In addition to her work as a waitress at Beef O’ Brady’s in Plant City, she works at her Dad’s office several days a week.

Tracy Connell & Olan Deguzman

Tracy Connell and Olan Deguzman will represent South Florida Baptist Hospital this year. Connell, a 1987 graduate of Plant City High School, was born in Weisbaden, West Germany, the daughter of a career military family. She received her nursing degree from HCC and graduated with honors from the University of St. Francis with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Care Leadership. Today she is a graduate student at the University of Tampa in the Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner Program. She is employed as a registered nurse in Emergency Department at South Florida Baptist Hospital. Tracy and her husband of 19 years, Danny Connell, are the proud parents of two boys, Samuel, 13, and Morgan, 11.

Olan is a native of the Philippines where he developed his natural rhythm for dance, despite lack of any formal training. He is married to his wonderful wife of 17 years, Susan, who has graciously allowed him to take time away from her during dance practices for the last few months. They have two children, Jordan and Lindsey. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Therapy and a Master’s Degree in Public Health. He works as Manager of Rehab, Wound Care, & Infusion Departments at South Florida Baptist Hospital and has been with the BayCare Health Systems for 13 years. He thanks God for all the blessings and opportunities in his life, his family, and the gift of performing arts, which he is honored to share. foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


Gary & Tina Pike

Husband and wife team, Gary and Tina Pike, are sure to entertain everyone. Gary was born and raised in Elmira, New York. Tina was born in Tucson, Arizona but her family moved back to the East coast to be near her mother’s family in north central Pennsylvania. They settled across the border in Elmira, NY, where Gary and Tina met. Love triumphed over the several years’ difference in their ages, and they married in the fall of 1990. They moved to Plant City, Florida in 1995 following Gary’s promotion to Division Manager of the Sunbelt Division of Consolidated Electrical Distributors, for which he now oversees Georgia, South Carolina, and half of Florida. And recently, Gary expressed interest in becoming a Federal Air Marshal. Though they have not been blessed with children, they have been blessed in so many other ways. They have chosen to be a part of the community through involvement in charitable activities close to their heart and principles. Tina has a dual Masters Degree in Education and is very involved in the community. She has served on boards for the Pregnancy Care Center of Plant City, Hillsborough County Republican Executive Committee and the United Food Bank of Plant City, to name a few. Gary is a member of the board of directors of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce and is the president of the Clubhouse Woods Homeowners Association. The Pikes are members of St. Clement Catholic Church. Tina and Gary Pike enjoy making their home in Plant City, Florida.

Charles Harris & Tara Smith

Charles Harris and Tara Smith, also known as, Mr. and Ms. Wonderful, met more than 10 years ago while she sprayed perfume on potential buyers walking through the fragrance department at Burdines. They live in Plant City with “The Girls,” their 4-year-old Bichons, Princess Fiona and Princess Leia. Charles is a Florida native who grew up in Clearwater, Florida. He is a proud University of Georgia Bulldog and owner of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites on Park Road. Tara is a Carolina girl who grew up on the outskirts of Blue Ridge Mountains, before moving to the Sunshine State nearly 12 years ago. For over eight years she’s worked as a National Account Manager at LidWorks M&N Plastics. The couple cherishes the community values and close friendships they’ve formed these last 10 years and are honored to call Plant City “home.”

Marcus Caswell & Traci Walding

Marcus Caswell and Traci Walding have teamed together to compete this year. Caswell, born in Lakeland, currently resides in Plant City. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business and a Master’s in Entrepreneurship from the University of South Florida (Go Bulls!) and works at Wish Farms. Plant City native Traci Walding has spent the majority of her life here. As a young girl she studied tap and jazz for more than 10 years at Jackie’s Dance Theatre. She has two boys, Kaid, 12, and Keato, 10. Traci works as the Wellness Coordinator at the Plant City YMCA and also instructs classes for Zumba and group fitness, a class she’s taught for the YMCA for 15-plus years. Traci is currently training with her partner Marcus and a few other Plant City residents for Tough Mudder, a 12-mile muddy obstacle course they will challenge on December 4th.

Angel & Courtney Paat

Another husband and wife team, Angel and Courtney Paat, will soon celebrate their 15-year wedding anniversary. They’ve called the Plant City area home for the past 12 years. They have two beautiful daughters, Kalei, 9, and Melia, 5. Courtney is a Florida State University graduate and owner of Courtney Paat Insurance Agency, Inc., a State Farm agency in Plant City. She has been associated with State Farm for more than 20 years and moved here 12 years ago to begin her agency career. Angel has worked with The Walt Disney World Company for over 28 years, specializing in Polynesian entertainment and hospitality. Born and raised in Hawaii, his entertainment experiences include appearances on “Regis and Kathy Lee’, Disney Kids’ DVDs, and shows in New York, California, Japan and Hong Kong. He currently teaches Hawaiian Hula in the Tampa Bay area and has judged the annual “Florida Ho’ike Hawaiian Hula Competition” for the past 13 years. Since becoming a father, he has been a ‘stay-at-home Dad’ and fully engaged in raising his daughters.

Michael & Heather Esposito

Michael and Heather Esposito apparently have some dancing “experience.” When he was 8, his family moved from his native city of Naples, Italy to Pennsylvania, where they started the first Esposito’s Italian Restaurant. While attending junior high school, he met the love of his life, Heather. During gym class they were paired together for a square dancing competition. Little did she know, Michael was a seasoned square dancer. After taking first place in the competition, they fell in love. Their daughter, Adrianno Carmine, is a second-generation square dancer. When they discovered Plant City a few years after moving to Lakeland, they knew it would be the perfect town to start their business. And so it began. They absolutely adore the people of Plant City and very much enjoy encountering people from all different walks of life.

Faustino Rios & Debra Hawkins

Faustino Rios and Debra Hawkins are another pair of dancers for this year’s event. Rios was born in Jalisco, Mexico – the birthplace of Tequila. He met his wife Jenny in 1989 when he “peered into her eyes and glimpsed her soul”; “she owned his heart from that moment on.” In 1993 their first child, Sabrina, was born. Faustino has worked for the Columbia Restaurant for 11 years. Hawkins is a Plant City native and graduate of Plant City High School. Debi has been cutting and styling hair ever since she could hold a comb and a pair of scissors. She and her husband Dale live in downtown Plant City’s historic district. Dale, a University of Southern Mississippi graduate, hails from Hattiesburg. The couple shares three sons, one daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.









october 2011

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011



ust a few years ago, Mike Sparkman sold his Sparky’s convenience stores and took some time off to determine what would be next on the horizon in the business world for himself and his family. Sparkman’s oldest son, Tommy, started his own business, while youngest son, Chris, remained with his father to look for their next endeavor. Before long they found themselves in the automobile business. They purchased Bartow Chevrolet and have worked hard to make it their own. Most recently, they acquired a second dealership in Zephyrhills, the former Buddy Foster Chevrolet. I recently had an opportunity to get their thoughts on the automobile industry and their struggles involving a new business venture.

Focus: You entered the car busIness just beFore the housIng and FInancIal markets took a downturn. manY dealershIps across the countrY FaIled, what have You done to maIntaIn Your busIness so eFFectIvelY?

Chris: Well, our intentions going into the purchase of Bartow Chevrolet was to be a multi-store dealer one day. Our previous business was the convenience store business in which we operated multiple stores, so we have experience in doing that. The opportunity presented itself to buy the Buddy Foster Chevrolet dealership, which had been established for 35 years in Zephyrhills. We took over operations on May 2nd and are extremely excited about the potential this store holds. In a lot of ways it’s similar to Bartow. It’s a small town dealership with a great staff of long-term employees. We were able to retain the management personnel, which helped make it a smooth transition.

Mike: The collapse made it real difficult for us to get the dealership purchased and it took us an additional six months to close the deal. In no more than a month after the purchase of the dealership, the financial market just stopped. The main thing about Focus: wIll there be anY dIFFerences In Focus For the two dealershIps? any new business is to be properly capitalized and have a business plan in place and Mike: The stores are definitely in two different markets. Bartow has had a long work hard in every way to make the company successful. history of being really strong in truck sales and service. Bartow Chevrolet consistently ranks among the top 10% of dealerships in the Southeast selling Silverado pickups. Chris: Just as with any other business, you have to maintain an expense structure Also in Bartow, we’ve put a lot of focus into our fleet sales business. A few weeks suitable to the revenues coming in, that’s first and foremost. Business is tough right ago The Polk County Democrat, Bartow’s Community Newspaper, ran an article now, no matter whether it’s the automobile industry or any industry in general. You about Bartow Chevrolet and our Fleet Manager J.C. Martin who was given the GM have to be disciplined in spending and maximize the opportunities you have to Fleet Elite Top Honors Award as the top Commercial Fleet Manager in Florida and generate profits. Also, a lot of the credit goes to our employees at both dealerships. seventh in the United States. So we’re really proud of that accomplishment. With We’re fortunate to have a great staff at both stores that also understands that concept Zephyrhills being stronger in car sales and service, we obviously have our focus on and works hard every day to help us succeed. improving sales in that category, but we also see an opportunity to increase our truck sales in Zephyrhills as well.

Focus: You mentIoned two dealershIps; I understand You have purchased another dealershIp recentlY. tell me how that came about.

Mike: Buddy Foster of Buddy Foster Chevrolet contacted Chris about meeting with him. He was interested in selling the dealership. After our visit I contacted our consultant Steve Uiterwyk and asked him to work with us on a possible purchase. We negotiated through Mr. Uiterwyk and finally came to a deal that we thought was good for us and still fair to Mr. Foster, even in this bad economy.

The Sparkman family is heavily rooted in Plant City and enjoys bringing their southern hospitality to the car industry. Pictured here is Tommy Sparkman, Aimee Solomon, and Chris Sparkman with their father Mike.


october 2011

Chris: Obviously the main focus is operating an efficient business. As I mentioned before, the stores are a lot alike when it comes to size, but the markets are totally different. Our store in Bartow is geared more toward the truck market, whereas Zephyrhills is more of a retirement community with a focus more on cars and crossovers.

no different. It gets a little frustrating at times, watching how some dealers like to operate, but by the same token it makes it more interesting. And of course, the cars. I’ve always loved cars. I always loved when I got a new car. It’s an exciting time in a person’s life when they buy a new vehicle and I’m no exception.

Focus: the automobIle busIness has seen a lot oF change In the landscape over the past Few Years. some have gone out oF busIness, some have had major FInancIal struggles and everYbodY seems to be makIng major adjustments In theIr product lInes to address the rIsIng cost oF Fuel. what kInd oF challenges has thIs created For You as a dealer? Mike: Within the last few months the $4.00 gas prices have slowed all of our truck sales and some car sales, too. The main problem we’ve had in Bartow with the bad economy was that when we purchased Bartow Chevrolet we also purchased a Chevrolet Medium Duty Truck franchise, but in the GM bankruptcy they stopped building those types of vehicles. The medium duty, which is a commercial vehicle, is probably the hardest hit area in the vehicle business. We’ve had to watch our business plan very closely to make sure we are very efficient in our daily operations. Chris: The struggles have not only been in the automobile industry. It’s no secret we’ve been going through tough economic times no matter what industry you’re in. I think the main challenge for us has been dealing with the financial institutions and the ability to get people financed. In saying that, we’ve seen a tremendous improvement over the last three years. The credit markets have gained strength and are giving people the opportunity to afford their vehicle of choice again.

Focus: what do You enjoY most about the automobIle busIness? mIke: I thInk chrIs and I both have alwaYs been car nuts and enjoY great cars. thIs gIves us a chance to own all kInds oF dIFFerent cars and trucks, and we maY even plaY wIth them For a Few daYs beFore we sell them. Chris: The competitive nature of the business is one of the biggest things. We experienced that in our years in the convenience store business, and this business is

Focus: so what’s next For You and/or the dealershIps? Mike: We are in a real bad economy and we have to stay with our business plan, and we have to work harder. When we purchased these two dealerships we knew we were going to have some hard times, but we are building for the future and feel we are in it for the long haul. We have good people in the right places and we are going to grow with them. Our teams are really motivated to make our dealerships successful. It is all about people and Chris is between the two dealerships to make sure we are giving them the tools to be the best they can be. Chris: Basically to continue to grow our business and get stronger. We pride ourselves on operating with honesty and integrity and helping the communities we are a part of to be better places to live and work. I couldn’t be more excited to be a Chevy dealer right now. Chevy is an incredible brand which is celebrating 100 years in business this year. The products rolling out are second to none. There’s not a hotter car out there than the Cruze, which gets up to 36 mpg and the Cruze Eco that gets up to 42 mpg. We have a total of eight models that drive 30 mpg or better. The crossover lineup is great with the Equinox and Traverse. Motor Trend named the Silverado HD as its 2011 Truck of the Year, and of course, the all new Volt, which was named as Motor Trend’s 2011 Car of the Year. Chevy is clearly leading the way in fuel efficiency, quality and durability. So it’s a great time to be a Chevy dealer! It’s clear that the Sparkmans have a plan and they’re sticking to it. They’ve experienced success, and they’re working hard to be successful in this new endeavor. They’re expanding at a time when many are closing their doors, and in this economy, if they can maintain their business, they’ll emerge even stronger when the economy turns around. So, if you’re in the market for a Chevrolet, new or used, visit one of the Sparkman dealerships. We are certain they’ll be able to help you find the car you’re looking for at the best price. They are all about customer relationships and serving the communities where they are established.

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


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Business Focus

Showcasing our neighborhood businesses

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Business Focus

Academic Alliance In Dermatology Introduces New Branch in Brandon

Town and Country 5210 Webb Road Tampa, FL 33615 Office (813) 882-9986 Tarpon 1005 E. Boyer Street Tarpon Springs, FL 34689 Office (813)934-7638 Trinity 2102 Trinity Oaks Blvd, Ste. 203 New Port Richey, FL 34655 Office (727)375-5961


cademic Alliance in Dermatology stands alone when compared to others. You will find friendly service and a knowledgeable staff. With 23 years of service in the Tampa Bay area, this accomplished company now has five offices, with the newest branch located in Brandon off Highway 60 on Oakwood Avenue. Academic Alliance in Dermatology can be found in Paso, Pinellas, and Hillsborough counties. Panos Vasiloudes, MD, PhD, holds a dual board certification in dermatology and pediatrics. In 1987, Dr. Vasiloudes obtained his medical degree at Philippes University in Marburg, Germany. He was awarded his PhD summa cum laude in 1989. In 1993, he completed his pediatric residency as well as a second accredited residency in dermatology. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Society of Mohs Surgery. He has practiced medical and surgical as well as aesthetic and cosmetic dermatology for the past twelve years. Dr. Vasiloudes is also a volunteer assistant professor of dermatology at USF where he educates others on the latest advancements. Sometimes it is hard to find a pediatric dermatologist. Look no further. Academic Alliance in Dermatology has the qualifications to see every age. The practice also believes in immediate patient care. In this practice you will not have


october 2011

to wait weeks to see a doctor. Same day appointments are available. Clinical research is an ongoing occurrence at Academic Alliance in Dermatology. Randy Banks, Physician Assistant at the Brandon Branch, supervises the practice’s Clinical Research department. Research opportunities are advertised and to the general population and are available to all patients who qualify. Formerly at Advanced Dermatology Cosmetic, Randy Banks recently joined Academic Alliance in Dermatology and has been a major asset to the company. Banks attended the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center where he earned his Bachelor of Science Physician Associate Degree. His Master of Physician Assistant Studies was earned from the University of Nebraska. He graduated from the United States Army Physician Assistant Program and has been in the practice for 21 years. As a retired Army Officer, Banks has over 20 years of service to his country. He specializes in general, pediatric, and cosmetic dermatology and enjoys performing BOTOX Cosmetic and filler treatments. Banks believes in doing free cancer screenings for companies. By providing this service, he not only shows his dedication and concern for others, but he is also educating the public of the seriousness of taking care of the skin. Academic Alliance in Dermatology is home to one of ten Haarklinikken clinics in the world. Lars Skjoth, founder, travels

from Europe to monitor patient progress every couple of months. This treatment system helps patients to restore and maintain their natural hair. All of the products used in this treatment have been extensively researched and thoroughly clinically tested to ensure the efficiency of the procedure. If you have been looking in the mirror wondering where your hair has gone, you may want to consider this latest development. Custom products and/or hair transplantations are available. Whether you are looking for a dermatologist for medical, surgical, cosmetic, pediatric, BOTOX, laser hair treatment, vein treatments, Mohs surgery, or even hair restorations, call Academic Alliance in Dermatology for any of your skincare needs. Your local branch is located at 131 N. Oakwood Ave Suite 131 directly behind the Race Track gas station on Highway 60. Give them a call today at (813)440-5544 or visit tampadermatology. com.

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Business Focus


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More for Less

Hours: Sun Closed; Mon-Thu 5:00am–9:00pm; Fri 5:00am–8:00pm; Sat 8:00am–4:00pm When he speaks of his troubled times he credits his wife for hanging in there when times of struggle tested them both. He says, “Times were so tough. Most women would have left. My wife stuck by my side. Behind any successful man, there has to be a good woman.” With his determination and his wife’s support no wonder he was able to turn his defeat around.


to turn a defeat into a success. That is to cut back in order to survive in this exactly what Kevin did. changing economy. What they were cutting out were all the extras. Fitness was one of them. Kevin wondered how he could keep these members and attract even more. In the meantime Kevin struggled. Times were so tough he wasn’t even sure how he was going to pay the light bill. Then it hit him. He had to make a change fast. Kevin heard of Steve Main from Nevada who had a strategy to change his own business and had success. Kevin decided to give it a try. He was skeptical at first because he wasn’t keen on changing the company name that he had worked so hard to build and he wasn’t sure how people would take the change. His change was simple. He calls it “The Wal-Mart approach to With all of his qualifications it is no fitness.” He would offer more for less. shock that Kevin and his wife Katrina He had to take out the extra classes have owned and operated a fitness club and offer more of what the community for 24 years. Fitness For $10, located wanted which was cardiovascular in Brandon with an additional center machines, selectorized machines, and added years later in Plant City, was free weights. His price dropped to formerly known as The Athletic Club. 10 dollars a month instead of the 100 dollars down with 39 dollars a month They have quite a success story. Two and people started to respond. Word and a half years ago Kevin thought got around fast that anyone could go they were at the end. Their finances to Fitness for $10 and get the quick were really taking a beating as the and easy workout they needed each economy was drastically changing month for a very cheap price. Kevin their financial status at both fitness saw success right away. Sometimes centers. Their members were having you have to look at the big picture and see what you need to change in order itness has always been an important part of Kevin Donofrio’s life. Kevin says, “Fitness is my life.” He has been in the fitness industry for over 30 years owning and operating fitness centers. He is a former competitive body builder holding many titles such as: Mr. Atlanta, Mr. Georgia, and Mr. Coastal U.S.A. He competed in Olympic wrestling and was a 4 time All-American in Greco Roman and Free Style. Kevin was also known as “Cyborg” in the professional wrestling world. Brandon High School had the privilege of having him as an assistant coach for six years and he is a FHSAA as well as USA wrestling official.

If you are looking for a fitness center that fits your budget, come to Fitness For $10. You won’t regret it! “Family owned and operated.”

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


Business Focus


Gaffney Eye Clinic

2002 South Alexander Street Plant city, fl

Welcomes Dr. Jeremy Gaffney

will not find the TearLab® technology in many Eye Clinics. This new technology is just one of the many high-tech instruments the Gaffney Eye Clinic uses to better treat patients.


affney Eye Clinic is known as one of the most highly regarded eyecare centers around. Serving Plant City for 33 years, Dr. Barry Gaffney has always shown his dedication to each and every patient. He has seen generations pass through his office, which has that friendly hometown atmosphere Plant City residents have admired for many years. When talking about his practice in Plant City, Dr. Barry Gaffney replied, “I have been blessed to practice in Plant City.” He now welcomes his son, Dr. Jeremy Gaffney to his practice. A graduate from Jesuit High School in Tampa, Dr. Jeremy Gaffney attended Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business. At that point he decided to pursue his Doctor of Optometry Degree and was accepted by the UAB School of Optometry in Birmingham, Alabama. His father, Dr. Barry Gaffney, then made the decision to relocate Gaffney Eye Clinic to a new building which would accommodate the growing practice. In June of this year, two weeks after


october 2011

graduation, Dr. Jeremy Gaffney joined his father and has been enjoying every minute. He is very excited to be working with such a caring and dependable staff. Staff turnover is rare at Gaffney Eye Clinic; most of their staff have been with the Eye Clinic for 15 or more years. The friendly service and superior work ethic have made it easy for the business to bloom. When asked about his employees, Dr. Jeremy Gaffney smiled and said, “Our staff makes our job easy.” Having two doctors in the same office allows spending more time with each patient. Dr. Jeremy Gaffney doesn’t like to think of patients as a number. “I like to get to know my patients,” replies Gaffney. Not only does Dr. Jeremy Gaffney bring knowledge of the most recent innovations in the field of optometry, he has researched and worked under optometrists that specialize in Dry Eye Disease (DED). This disease affects 30 million people. His interest in Dry Eye Disease grew while learning the profession. He admits it

is challenging, but with his experience and studies, he can help many people feel better once their procedure begins. With the new TearLab®, Dr. Gaffney can perform many procedures to help patients find comfort and healing. You

Dr. Jeremy Gaffney is in the process of earning the FAAO (Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry) to add to his title. The letters FAAO after his name will signify that he has met a high standard of achievement. This study will take approximately 3 years to complete. He seems to be following in his father’s footsteps in becoming another highly respected doctor in Plant City. We welcome Dr. Jeremy Gaffney. He will be a wonderful asset to the Gaffney Eye Clinic and will not only make his parents proud, but will make Plant City proud as well. Gaffney Eye Clinic is located at 2002 South Alexander Street. Call 754-3593 today to make your eye appointment.

Business Focus


now care walk-in clinic

1009 w baker st # b plant cItY, Fl 33563-4431

Serving Plant city Since 2005


or the past six years, Now Care has served Plant City well. Now Care will assist you with many urgent situations as well as physicals for sports and school. This office also specializes in occupational medicine such as work injuries, DOT drug screenings, BATs, EKGs, Spirometry services and Audiometry services. With a lab and x-ray machine on site, Now Care meets the urgent needs of all who enter their door with fast and friendly service. Flu shots are currently being offered at an affordable price of $15. No appointment is necessary and almost all insurance companies are accepted including Medicare and Medicaid. If you are unable to get an appointment with your primary care physician or you need doctor’s care after hours, Now Care is the place for you. Why go to the emergency room when you can get a faster, less expensive service at this fine facility? After graduating high school in New Port Richey, FL, Dr. Stephen Strait attended the University of Florida to complete his undergraduate studies. He then graduated medical school in Kansas City Missouri. His internship and residency took place in York, Pennsylvania. There he practiced family medicine for nine years before moving back home to Florida. He served as the medical director of an established urgent care center in Brandon before he and his wife Theresa moved to Plant City in 2005 to open Now Care Walk-In Clinic. Four years ago Dr. Strait decided to add something extra to Now Care and it has been a great success. By providing a Medically Directed Weight Loss Program Dr. Strait has helped many people in and around the Plant City the area. The program includes appetite suppressants and vitamin injections in the total packaging price. This weight loss

“Thank You Now Care for helping me achieve my weight loss goal.” - Dede Floyd program has been the buzz around town. Many people have achieved great results under Dr. Strait’s care. If you have been wanting to shed those extra pounds, look no further. Dr. Strait can help you find your way back to those smaller sizes in no time. To join this weight loss program you can make appointments for days, evenings, and weekends. They make it easy for you to work the program into

your busy schedule. Look inside this magazine for the $50 off coupon for your initial weight loss visit. Now Care is conveniently located on the corner of Whitehall and Baker Street in the Chambers Medical Group building at 1009 West Baker Street. You will find the office in the historic district between downtown and Alexander Street. Many people

remember this office as the old Chambers-Peacock building from many years ago. For more information about the clinic, call (813) 759-1232. Hours of operation are Monday Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stop in to see them today. You will enjoy visiting their website at

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


Plant City’s Hometown Plumber You Can Depend On


Repipe Experts Family Owned & Operated Since 1984


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october 2011

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NEW PRE-STAINED FIBERGLASS DOORS 8 Ft Tall - 6ft 8 in Tall (standard size) - Slabs and Pre-Hung Doors

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2670 Highway 92 East, Plant City, FL Open Mondays - Saturdays: 8:30-5:00



october 2011

Located Between Lakeland and Plant City

1003 S COLLINS ST PLANT CITY Availability varies by product type and is subject to availability and qualifications. Discount amount may vary by state.Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company: Northbrook, Illinois Š 2009 Allstate Insurance Company.

Recent renovations done to the Paradise Fruits office real estate » walden lake


“Crawford Hill recently redecorated our offices, which we were in desperate need of. We now have a beautiful working environment which we’re very pleased with. Michelle and her staff completed the work in a timely manner and they were a pleasure to work with. I would highly recommend their services.” Randy S. Gordon President Paradise, Inc.

Walden Lake T

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 October 17th. The meetings are open to all Walden Lake residents. The 2012 budget has been approved by the Board and there will not be an increase in the HOA dues. You will receive your bill from Rampart Properties in mid-December, along with new decals providing you do not have any outstanding charges due. Please contact the office should you require additional decals.

The Third Annual Howl-O-Ween Party at the Walden Lake Dog Park for Walden Lake residents will be held Saturday, October 22nd from 10:00 a.m. to noon. This is a fun time for the kids and canines with a costume contest for those on 2 legs and 4 legs. Additionally, there will be games with prizes, pumpkin decorating, crafts, hayrides, hot dogs and treat bags for all. Jumptastics LLC is donating a bouncy castle this year and other non-food vendors will be present. Nonfood vendors are invited to participate and if interested, should contact Bette Guarino at 754-8999 or This is an allvolunteer staffed event. If you would like to help, please contact Bette. After the Board meeting this month, the presidents of the neighborhood communities came together to review the new proposed covenants and offer suggestions. Also in attendance were

Review submitted By: natalie sweet

Captain John Borders and City Manager, Greg Horwedel. They spoke about parking on the streets and speeding through Walden Lake and what the city and police department can do to help. In the third quarter, there were 33 real estate sales in Walden Lake and Walden Lake East, the largest number of sales so far this year in any quarter. The highest priced property sold for $325,000 in Hampton Place and the lowest price was sold in Eagle Greens for $92,000. Four homes sold for $100,000 or less, thirteen sold between $100,000 and $149,999, eight sold between $150,000 and $200,000 and seven sold for over $200,000. The average sales price in Walden Lake for the second quarter 2011 was $159,848, the highest quarter year to date. Since January 1st, 83 homes have sold with an average price of $151,229 and an average of 165 days on market. At the time of this writing, there were 44 Active listings and 25 listings Pending Contract. As always, my information is deemed to be accurate although should always be verified. For more information on these statistics or your real estate needs, please feel free to contact me at 813-758-9586. Walden Lake Golf & Country Club is offering specials on golf and serves dinners on the first and third Thursdays and the second and fourth Fridays of the month. The Club encourages the Walden Lake residents to consider joining the club and offers special memberships without any initiation fee. The club is a very important component to our community and adds value to our homes. Stop by to visit and see what they are offering.


I N C.


1407 E. Baker St., Plant City •


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

Almost PArAdise cAbin rentAl

Booking Fast Call Now For Your 2012 Vacation

813-752-1333 or 813-478-1988 Owner Richard & Marilyn Hicks VRBO listing 38719

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


You’re Invited To:

ion t a r b le e C ll a F ’s h Shilo

real estate » mortgage

Hosted by Shiloh Baptist Church, Shiloh Baptist Preschool & Shiloh Charter School 905 West Terrace Drive, Plant City, FL 33563

(813) 754-7445

Trunk or Treat jousting

snow cones


lots of games

cotton candy

Wed. October 26 6:00pm - 8:00pm

exotic creatures prizes & giveaways



me u t s o c


l giant slide rock wal & moonwalks live band candy filled Trunks Please make plans to join us for FUN, FOOD, GAMES & MORE! All games & fun are


Concession items will be 50¢ Hot dogs, french fries & drinks will cost $1 each. *For more information see the event calendar

Isn’t it beautiful? Let’s keep it that way!


october 2011

no equity? you can no Problem! refinance!!! D submitted by: naTe Davis

id you know that if you have a Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae loan you can refinance with NO equity?

These loans account for a majority of the loans in the nation, so there is a high probability you have one and may be eligible. The HARP program makes it all possible. The loans are available for a rate and term refinance (you cannot pull cash out) and can borrow up to 125% of today’s market value of your home. If you currently do not have mortgage insurance, then mortgage insurance is not added to your payment. Rates for these products are currently in the 4+ % range. Closing costs are also rolled into the loan amount, so

there are no out of pocket expenses other than the cost of the appraisal. If you have recently been turned down for a refinance due to lack of equity, be sure to get a second opinion, since many banks and lenders do not offer this program that is out there and available to you. Other programs which also offer 0 equity or even negative equity refinances are FHA and VA loans as well. In short, in today’s low rate market it is a great idea to consult with a mortgage professional to determine if you can take advantage of these historically low rates and either save money monthly or pay your mortgage off sooner than you originally expected.

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







Nate Davis

to offer low internet style rates,


to back it up with Personal service and accountability

Natasha Davis

President- Loan Officer

Vice President- Office Manager

Carol Barton

Sherri Judah

Brandi Carlough

Paul Pritt

Tom Roe

Barbara Hall

Duane Madill

Rick Norman




Low Market Rates Some programs do not even consider your homes current value

Loan Officer

Monthly Mortgage Insurance is not added to your loan if you currently do not pay for mortgage insurance regardless of the loan to value

Loan Officer

Don Scarmuzzi

Call today for a free analysis to see how you can save money on your current loan or use the interest savings to pay your home off even sooner. NMLS 289323

Loan Officer

Loan Officer

Loan Officer

Jaida Davis

Loan Officer

Office Assistant

Paitlyn Davis

Buster Davis

Office Assistant


foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


The Premier Showplace for Talent in Florida





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

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room


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


Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room


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




Myles Salvage’s act from Las Vegas comes to Plant City to help benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital. The annual event includes Dinner in a Supper Club atmosphere and great musical talent to dance the night away... for a very good cause. Call about our new Tiered Pricing!

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

Start with dessert first!... or not. It’s hard to decide just where to begin.Our Thanksgiving Buffet is a big hit and a Red Rose tradition!!! Fresh fruits, warm breads, roasted turkey, traditional dressing, seasoned prime rib, glazed ham, fresh fish, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, pasta, omelet/ waffle station, and an assortment of desserts, including chocolate fountains, are only a few of the many delightful dishes that will make your mouth water! Three seating times available: 12 Noon, 2 p.m. & 4 p.m. Call to reserve your table soon.


A Red Rose favorite. Great hits from the 50s & 60s. Plus, P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds.


Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room and opening and closing for the World Famous Platters on NYE.


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



The magic of “the King or Rock-n-roll” in a truly dynamic performance celebrating the life and music of one of the greatest entertainers and pop culture icons of our time. Destiny opens and closes the show!


It’s a “Winter Wonderland Dinner Dance”in the Ballroom as the dynamic group perform their hits: Three Coins in a Fountain, Shangri-La, Tell Me Why, and more!



The Mystics, including, original members of the group, George Galfo and Phil Cracolici, will celebrate the spirit of the season with classical Christmas songs. P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.


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


The holiday isn’t complete without a fabulous array of delicious foods. Roasted turkey, traditional dressing, seasoned prime rib, glazed ham, fresh fish, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, fresh fruits, warm breads, pasta, omelet/ waffle station, and an assortment of desserts, including chocolate fountains, are only a few of the many delightful dishes that will make your mouth water! Santa will stop by for photos. Three seating times available: 12 Noon, 2 p.m. & 4 p.m. Call to reserve your table soon.


WITH THE WORLD FAMOUS PLATTERS AND THE LEGACY OF THE TEMPTATIONS It’s a celebration not to miss! Ballroom and Dining room performances of The Legacy of the Temptations and the World Famous Platters. Join the party and be part of the big COUNTDOWN for 2012... Call for our tiered pricing and details.

TEL: 813.752.3141 • I-4 Exit 21 • 2011 N. Wheeler St.• Plant City, FL 33563 • 56

october 2011

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


Why You Should Remodel

Upright Remodeling does

Five (5) Reasons to Remodel Your Home

Kitchen and Bathroom

• Increase The Equity Of Your Home

Remodeling, Handicap

• Free Up Space In Your Home

Accessibility, Tile & Wood Flooring, Painting, Doors &

• More Marketable/Higher Resale

Windows, and Additions.

• Improve Quality of Life

Upright Remodeling is affordable and reliable.

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october 2011

real estate » jo-ann lusk

A Challenging Profession H submitted By: jo-ann lusk

ere we are in the 4th Quarter of 2011 and it has certainly been a challenging year for Real Estate. However, despite the challenges for both buyers and sellers, still there has been much success.

the other way around. Obviously though, you still have to look for customers! Prospecting is key in this business; without it, you have no opportunities.

The work of a Realtor is a profession, not a hobby. Agents invest a good deal of money in their business and commit For many local Realtors, business has to long days and weekends for their been steady and for others, even stronger. customers. It’s a great profession…not Agents who enhanced their knowledge glamorous. It is a rewarding profession; and skill in the area of distressed properties helping first time home buyers realize a (i.e. foreclosures, short sales, HUD), dream come true, helping a family deal found opportunities to help many sellers, with life changing situations, and helping buyers and investors. I have noticed that others to understand that the value in the agents who never stop and those who homeownership is one of investing in the consistently make themselves available to future. prospect, engage and learn…are the ones who always have business. Many realtors in this market are some of the best in the county, even the state. Their In my experience, it doesn’t matter how reputation of dealing with honesty and long you’ve been in the business, you need integrity follows them. I applaud those a plan to keep it going. The most successful who take pride in how they treat fellow agents I know work from a plan; and they realtors and customers with respect. It consistently meet or exceed their goals. is disappointing to hear and see the lack of respect given by many in this business. In this market and probably for the next Fortunately, the good outweighs the bad, few years, agents are operating more like in many ways. Real Estate is a primary consultants than sales specialists. The goal contributing factor to the economy and is to give advice to benefit the customer, I am proud to be part of the challenge. I not the agent. At the end of day, it’s about hope you are, too! the customer. That mindset will always have customers looking for you and not

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

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

Kathleen Wainoris 863-608-1557 REALTOR® Notary


Don’t listen to the news; real estate is selling. In fact, here at Team Wainoris, we have been getting most of our new listings under contract in just a few months; sometimes even faster! Are you trying to sell your home? Are you afraid you may owe the bank more money than your home is worth and were thinking that you can’t sell? Don’t fret, call Randy and Kathleen today! We have been getting many of our listings under contract so fast that we are running out of homes to sell! Thinking of buying or selling? Call Team Wainoris before there is frost on your pumpkin!

RIVERVIEW CONDO Short Sale. Wonderful 3 bedroomunit in Villages of Bloomingdale Asking just $34,000.

LAKELAND HALLAM AREA Short Sale. 3 bedroom 2 bath in great Lakeland neighborhood on cul de sac. Large family room with fireplace. Asking $120,000




LAKELAND POOL HOME ON CORNER LOT Short Sale. Beautiful property and totally renovated and ready for you. Asking just $159,900

PLANT CITY TRAPNELL RIDGE Short Sale. Better than new 3 bedroom 2 bath home with formal living room and dining room. $94,900.

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


Your Walden Lake Experts

weet weet

Angel Miller Cathy Martin Natalie Sweet Angel Miller Cathy Martin Angel Miller Cathy Martin Natalie Sweet Natalie Sweet Angel Cathy Martin Angel Miller Miller Cathy Martin 813-376-0891 813-546-9863 813-758-9586

86 586

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Live the lifestyles of the rich and famous! Featured on the famous TV Show. Beautiful Spanish Lakefront estate w/ barn & det. pool house. Chef’s kitchen, wine cellar, sep. lounge w/ gorgeous bar, FR, LR/DR, Spanish concrete barn w/ workshop, tack room & 4 stalls, 2 open up to separate paddocks

Glass doors open into the grand foyer of this elegant custom home. Oversized dining room. Florida room directly off the huge great room w/ gas fireplace. Media room complete w/ built in speaker system & bar. This home has it all and on over 1 acre. $559,000 Unbelievable Seller Financing Terms!

Great 4 BR/3BA/3CG home w/ office/den. Features solar hot water, energy efficient thermostat & extra insulation blown in contribute to very low electric bills for this home. Formal dining room, family room w/ wood-burning fireplace. Sitting room in master bedroom, solar heated pool. $280,000

Situated on a pond in a peaceful country setting w/ No Deed Restrictions & upgrades galore! 4BR/ 3Ba, 3+CG, featuring granite countertops, crown molding, step ceiling in Master, upgraded ceramic tile. Great upscale neighborhood in the country with easy access to I-4. $239,900.





This wonderful 3/2/2 is located in a nice neighborhood on large corner lot & features a 22X16 Living Room, where you can entertain in style, large kitchen and huge dining room for those large family gatherings. Priced to sell at $112,500.

4 Bedroom 2 Bath home in the Spring Meadow neighborhood of Walden Lake. Featuring a living/ dining room, real wood floors, and huge fenced back yard. A must see at only $145,000

This 4 Bedroom, 2 1/2 Bath Arthur Rutenburg built home sits majestically at the end of the cul-de-sac and features large bedrooms, family w/wet bar, formal living & dining rooms, pool, huge lot and more. $269,900

Entertain in style in this Arthur Rutenburg built home set for large family gatherings and parties. featuring 4000 sq’ living area, 4 large bedrooms, office, family room, game room, pool & spa, 1/2 A lot & more. $350,000

Inventory Homes Available Janurary 2012

New homes from the $160s

Fabulous floorplans Energy Savings Features 60

october 2011

Sanctuary $197,990

3 Bedroom • 2 Bath • 3 Car Garage 2017 sq’ living area + 684 sq’ bonus space

Pinnacle $189,390

3 Bedroom • 2 Bath • 3 Car Garage 1936 sq’ living area + 713 sq’ bonus space

Walden Pointe

business » business profile trade and business practices to Janda Kistner, the 19-year-old who impressed him with her work ethic six months ago when he stopped in at Nick’s Pizza. As Smith watched the young woman help her boss remodel the store, he admired her determination and dexterity for handling tools, solving problems, and thinking things through. Janda is the eldest of 11 children, eight sisters and two brothers, and the daughter of a homeschool “mom who fixes stuff, too.” Kistner is proud to train with Smith and especially enjoys “learning new things like pinning locks and installing thresholds.” She said also, “I love going to work - the patience locksmithing requires and the challenges it presents. I’ve learned so much from Mr. Smith, and my mom thinks it’s really cool, too. I hope to make it my career.”

H. Charles Locksmith “The Commercial Master” A written By: Cheryl Johnston

nyone who has ever lost keys or been locked out of their car, home, or business can relate to the need for a relationship with a reliable and locksmith.

Residents, visitors, and organizations in Hillsborough and Polk counties should become familiar with the expert services of H. Charles Locksmith, “The Commercial Master.” Howard Charles Smith has worked as a licensed, bonded, insured and certified locksmith for 18 years. His company can handle any type of work involving locks, doors, hardware, thresholds, panic bars, and keying systems. Emergency service is offered for all commercial and residential applications and vehicle lockouts. Increasingly, security is a critical consideration for homeowners and business operators. With years of commercial experience for companies such as Coca Cola and Purdue Pharmaceuticals in New York and Plant City’s First Baptist and First Methodist churches among others, Smith is highly qualified to handle every situation and new installations as well. Locks that work properly can make all the difference. Smith has another advantage as well. Prior

to locksmithing, he used his criminal law degree from Mercy College for work in the legal field. He had his own security firm and served as a bodyguard when necessary.

This work, along with continual updates to trainings and certifications, has increased Smith’s capability to handle all forms of locking security systems, including security tokens such as keys and two-factor authentication (requiring both something a person knows, like a combination and something they have, like a key or keycard).

proud of “family roots that run very deep here,” since Smith’s father is one of 12 children and 30 members also call Central Florida home. His mother can trace her Dutch ancestry in this country back 400 years. Needless to say, family is important and one of the things he enjoys most about Plant City. Smith said, “Family values resonate throughout this community.” Smith also feels a responsibility to train up the next generation in order to give back to the community, economy, and country. With that in mind, he now teaches his

H. Charles Locksmith has developed great respect for and solid working relationships with the other local locksmiths since he moved to Plant City to help his dad. But he believes his company’s experience and his own track record is the best indicator of why folks should call “The Commercial Master” first. In the locksmith business, you name it and Smith has done it. The company is pleased to provide services to Plant City, Tampa, Temple Terrace, Brandon, Dover, Gibsonton, Riverview, Lakeland, Mulberry, Bartow, Auburndale and Winter Haven. Call H. Charles Locksmith at 813-7777885 or e-mail questions to Tumblerkidd@ Excellence is his trademark.

Services include installation of high security locks, panic bars, door closers, keying/re-keying and master keying systems. The company also offers maintenance and encourages annual contracts, especially for commercial facilities. Because of strong relationships Smith established with his major commercial customers, he also frequently installed their building’s doors to ensure proper fit and closure, something critical to full functionality of locking and security systems. Born in New York, he moved here two years ago to care for his father. Smith is

H. Charles Locksmith 813-777-7885 foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


Start Garden your own



It’s just that simple!

813-752-1818 1705 Sammonds Rd, Plant City

Learn how to plant your own orange tree at gardencenter

OCTOBER IS OUR ST. JUDE TRIKE-A-THON We ride for the children that can't If you would like to donate call (813)659-0904







14419 DR. MLK BLVD. DOVER, FL. 33527 (813) 659-0904 Hours of operation 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

License Number CHC 110014 | Family Owned since 1984


october 2011


business » edward jones

Do Men and Women Invest Differently?

submitted By: edward jones


everal years ago, a book titled Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus was quite popular. As the title suggests, the book argues that men and women are vastly different from each other, particularly in their emotional needs and in the way they communicate. While not everyone agrees with the notion that men and women might as well be from different planets, most of us would probably concur that the two genders frequently behave differently — and this divergence in behavior may also show up in the way that we invest. In fact, various studies and anecdotal evidence suggests these differences in the way that men and women invest: Men tend to trade more often than women. Men seem to buy and sell investments more frequently than women. This difference could result in an advantage for women investors. For one thing, if women do trade less, they may incur fewer commission charges, fees and other expenses, all of which can eat into investment returns. Also, by holding investments longer, women may be able to take better advantage of market rallies. During the 2008-2009 financial crisis, for example, men were more likely than women to sell shares of stock at market lows, which led to bigger losses among male traders — and fewer gains when some of the stock values began to rise again — according to a study by Vanguard, a mutual fund company.

their investments. This trait can be both positive and negative. On the positive side, risk is associated with reward, so the more aggressive the investment, the greater the potential for growth. On the negative side, taking too much risk pretty much speaks for itself. Ideally, all investors — men and women — should stick with investments that fit their individual risk tolerance. Women are more likely to look at the “big picture.” Although both men and women investors want information, women seem to take a more “holistic” approach — that is, instead of focusing strictly on performance statistics, they tend to delve deeper into their investments’ background, competitive environment and other factors. This quest for additional knowledge may help explain why all-female investment clubs have achieved greater returns than all-male clubs, according to a study by the National Association of Investors Corp., which represents thousands of investment clubs across the country. Men may be more optimistic about the financial markets. Some studies show that men are more optimistic about key economic indicators and future stock market performance. Optimism can be a valuable asset when it comes to investing; if you have confidence in the future, you’re more likely to invest for it, and to continue investing. On the other hand, false optimism may lead to overconfidence, which can have negative results for investors.

Neither men nor women have a monopoly on positive investment behaviors; each gender can probably learn something from the other. Ultimately, of course, it’s your decision-making, not your x- or y-chromosomes, that will determine your ability to make progress toward your long-term goals. So educate yourself about Men tend to invest more aggressively than your choices, and get the help you need women. Perhaps not surprisingly, men from a financial professional, as you invest seem to be more willing to take risks with through the years.

Dr. Barry Gaffney welcomes

Dr. Jeremy Gaffney 2011 Graduate of the UAB School of Optometry.

Dr. Jeremy Gaffney graduated from Jesuit High School in Tampa and attended Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business. Jeremy then decided to pursue his Doctor of Optometry Degree and was accepted by the UAB School of Optometry in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Barry Gaffney also graduated from UAB and established his practice in Plant City 33 years ago. When his son told him of his intention to become an optometrist and join him in practice, Dr. Barry Gaffney made the decision to relocate his practice into a new building which would accommodate the growing practice. The new building at 2002 South Alexander Street has multiple exam rooms, a full optical, a contact lens training area and two rooms to house high tech diagnostic equipment used in both the identification and preventive treatment of eye disease Dr. Jeremy Gaffney brings with him knowledge of the most recent innovations in the field of medical optometry and is trained to provide quality eye care to every family member. He grew up in Plant City and looks foward to caring for area residents as his father has for the past 33 years.

2002 South Alexander Street Plant City, Fl. 33563

813-754-3593 foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


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

Personal Injury

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

Business Litigation Corporate Law Real Estate

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

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David H. Barnhill

Byrd & Barnhill, P.L. AttoRnEyS At LAW


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


october 2011

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011



october 2011

business Âť success


Kristopher Stefani Upright Remodeling How did you get into this business? Upright Remodeling is family-owned and operated by Bill Mueller and Kristopher Stefani. Our company began out of a love for do-it-yourself projects which spawned into projects for friends and finally into Upright Remodeling. We now provide residential and commercial kitchen & bathroom remodels, handicap accessibility, tile & hardwood flooring, painting, doors & windows, and additions.

What are your aspirations? To bring our passion for beautifying homes as if they where our own to as many people as possible. We intend on growing into a multi-million dollar business while maintaining our excellent quality of work, customer service, and affordability. While we now service Plant City, Tampa, and St. Petersburg areas, we want to possibly expand into Orlando and Sarasota in the future.

What inspires you? We always hear about bad experiences with contractors from different people. We want people to know we are different from other contractors, and they can trust

us to get the job done right. We guarantee all our work, we provide excellent customer service, we can handle any project, and we are affordable. It is truly inspirational and satisfying to hear our customers tell us how happy they were with our work, our service, and our price.

What are your greatest successes? The completion of every project we do. Every project presents its own set of challenges when it comes to remodeling and construction. The success is completing the project while overcoming the hurdles with the least amount of inconvenience and expense to the customer. Our greatest success is seeing the smile on the customer’s face when we have completed their project.

What do you have planned for your future? We believe the key to our success has been our diversity in the construction industry. Therefore, our goals are to keep expanding into all aspects of remodeling. from residential to commercial and from the economical to the high end. We are also interested in expanding our services to include interior designing and property management/ maintenance.

eC ed e N ater t o Yo u r E v e r y

The Catering Company and Cafe

offers all occasion catering from luncheons to weddings, customized to your needs. Visit or call

(813) 707-1447

for more information. We also have a new dine in location serving breakfast and lunch daily:

115 East Reynolds Street, Plant City, 33563 foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011



october 2011


206 South Evers Street Plant City Florida 33563


foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


sports » tennis

“When it comes to each other, they’re competitive in everything they do. Everything’s a game to them. They even compete about the number of pancakes they eat. The winner this morning ate eleven.”

Thriving on Competition Heysek Triplets Look Forward to Competing On and Off the Court written By: Joe Bowles


ollowing the sixth attempt at in vitro fertilization, Mary Heysek learned, at eight weeks, that she was carrying three future tennis players. All right, she didn’t know they would play tennis, but she did know that all three were boys… tennis came along later. Born at 28 weeks, and each weighing about 2 pounds, the hospital became home for the family for the next two months until the triplets, Alexander, Harrison, and Spencer were finally discharged. “They came a long way,” said Mary. “We were so blessed that they had no health problems. No respiratory problems, no blindness, or any other issues that sometimes accompany premature births.”


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Last year, Alex, Harrison, and Spencer were three sophomores on a successful Plant City High School tennis team, coached by Dale Rice. This year, things couldn’t look any better for the Raiders unless of course, Mary would have had quadruplets. In the spring, the boys look to occupy the 1, 2, and 5 places on the team. “Last year we went to regional finals,” said Spencer proudly. “We hope to improve on that this year and go to state. We were young last year, but this year we have basically the same people coming back.” The Heysek triplets began playing competitive tennis at the age of nine. Tennis was always a sport their mother loved and that love was passed on to her sons. They started playing the game at six,

but weren’t serious until a couple of years later. Today, they’re very serious. They work hard at improving their game. The boys are in school taking advanced classes every weekday until one o’clock. They then head to the tennis courts at Walden Lake to meet up with their tennis coach, Cliff Snider, who works with them for a couple of hours every day. Then, it’s off to their part-time jobs, followed by homework. “When the boys were small, people would ask me how we did it,” Mary reflected. “Listen, it was easier then than it is now. I just didn’t know it at the time. Today, I worry a lot more now that they’re 16 than I did back then. They’re just so busy.”

Life for the Heyseks isn’t always this busy. Sometimes it’s even busier. During the tennis season, they compete as Raiders, but they also compete in some United States Tennis Association events. They thrive on competition, but more so with each other than they do with anyone else. “They’re gentlemen until they start to play one another,” their mother remarked. “When it comes to each other, they’re competitive in everything they do. Everything’s a game to them. They even compete about the number of pancakes they eat. The winner this morning ate eleven.” As 16-year-olds and high school juniors, Alex, Harrison, and Spencer are eligible for USTA rankings and two of them are ranked in the top 100. They’re also looking ahead to college. All three would like to play tennis at a Division I school. They’ve even allowed themselves to think about their chances professionally. Most coaches dream about having two talented brothers on the same team, but three? All the same age? It’s like a dream come true. The only negative thought in the whole matter, is, “What will the Raiders do the year after the triplets graduate?” The answer could be in their little brother, Sam, a fifth grader who just started playing in some tournaments this year.

Florida Baseball Heaven Christmas Camp! December 26th - 30th, 2011

Location - Peterson Park | Time - 10am - 3pm | Ages - 7yr to 12yr Price - $200 | Early Sign up - $175 | FBH Members - $150 MARK PERSAILS -



12 years of Professional Baseball New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and LA Dodgers Brooks Carey- 30 years of Professional Baseball College baseball at Florida State University from 1975-1978.


5 Seasons with Orioles and Cincinnati Reds from 1978-1982 Has been the pitching coach for 4 years with Sussex Skyhawks of the Can-Am league and currently with the Normal Cornbelters in the Frontier League. Won consecutive high school State Championships at Key West High School

12 Years of Professional Baseball Detroit Tigers & Houston Astros

15 Years of Professional Baseball Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, and Texas Rangers Manager in Minor League for the Florida Marlins and the Detroit Tigers Organization

5 years of Professional Baseball Drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 3rd round of the 1999 MLB June Amateur Draft and then traded to Boston Red Sox in 2003


As well as special guests throughout the week!!!

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foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


sports » athlete of the month

written By: Joe Bowles

Chelsea Bowden F or Durant senior Chelsea Bowden, the beginning of her final season of high school volleyball was a little more difficult than she envisioned. After a perfect 6-0 mark in district play last season, a 16-7 overall record, and an appearance in the regional finals, Chelsea and her fellow Cougars were aspiring to continue their success when their hopes were dealt a blow as Taylor Hackemack, also a senior and a recent Mississippi State signee, was lost for the season with an injury. The news was hard to swallow, but the Cougars were resilient. After starting the season at 1-5, Durant has bounced back and has now won four of their last six contests. Chelsea’s leadership is one of the biggest reasons for the team’s turnaround. First-year coach Brittany Wilson recently commented on Chelsea’s influence on the team. “Chelsea is just a great person to be around. People feed off her energy. As a senior captain, she’s a real leader on the team. The other players really draw from her personality. I also think that she’ll play in college. She definitely has what it takes.” Indeed she does. At 5’11”, Chelsea has the size and the skill to compete at the next level. She also has the pedigree. Her father Bud, a teacher at Plant City High School, was a three-sport athlete for the Raiders, and later played football at the University of Florida. Her mother Pam, the principal at Durant, played volleyball and was on the swim team for the Raiders. Her sister Katie also was a swimmer in high school. Her brother Chip was a quarterback at Army, graduating from West Point this past May.

Photo by Joe Bowles


october 2011

Several years ago, however, it looked

like Chelsea would not follow suit as an athlete. “I used to dance,” said Bowden. “My sister and brother were both athletes, but I was never really into any sports until my mom took me to some volleyball games. I got interested in it. I started playing in middle school and then I tried out for the Lava. That’s when I decided that I wanted to play volleyball. Now I’m into it 24/7.” The Lava was the first club team Bowden played with at the age of 12. She has also played with two other travel clubs, the Tampa Bay Juniors, and Tampa United. As a freshman in high school, Bowden made the Cougar’s varsity team and was given considerable playing time. She became a starter as a sophomore and has been contributing on a high level as a middle hitter/middle blocker ever since. By her own admission, Bowden thinks about volleyball a lot, but that is not all that she thinks about. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, Student Government, the Leo Club, and volunteers as a peer mentor. She has a 4.1 GPA (weighted) and is weighing her options for the future. “I’m not real sure about my future. I definitely want to go to college, maybe play volleyball. If I play volleyball, I’m real interested in Valdosta State University and maybe St. Leo. I’m looking at some other schools, too. Wherever I go, I know that I want to major in pediatric nursing. I love kids and I love science. It’s perfect for me.” Wherever Chelsea goes, she’ll do well… “she definitely has what it takes.”

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011



yourself to a new you!

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october 2011

sports » Kazbor’s Baseball team of the month 2212 James L. Redman Pkwy., (In the Publix Plaza) Plant City, FL (813) 752-2700 Daily specials include Tuesday night kids 12 and under eat free off the kids menu with the purchase of an adult meal. Thursday night is all you can eat wings

written By: Joe Bowles game was Josiah Lara. He had a great game. He threw a complete game and he didn’t even throw that many pitches. I believe he ended up with less than 70. He just threw a great game. We also had a great game defensively. Our team only committed one error the entire game.” As a result of Lara’s pitching gem, and the team’s defense, the Miracles beat Lakeland Rawlings by a score of 5-3. That set the stage for the championship game that was to be held later that afternoon against the Legacy. In the championship game Miracles’ Joey Stancombe pitched the second complete game victory of the day, as he and his teammates took care of business, defeating the Legacy by a score of 6-3.

Baseball Team of the month Good Pitching, Good Defense and Opportune Hitting W hen a new team plays together in their first tournament, with a new coach, and they square off against more experienced clubs out of town, things usually turn out disastrous. That’s usually the way it goes, unless, you’re the Florida Baseball Heaven’s 11U Carolina Blue Miracles. The Miracles were the unlikely champions in their first foray into tournament competition when they won the Triple Play Classic held at the Auburndale Sports Complex September 16-18. The Miracles lived up to their name as they split their first two games and then

won their final two contests, avoiding elimination and becoming champions in a match-up of 11 year-old teams in a tournament sponsored by Florida Suncoast Sports.

The Miracles began play on Saturday, September 17 by defeating what many considered the most talented team in the tournament, the Pro Talent Instructs (PTI) Rawlings, by a score of 6-5. In the second contest, the Lake Wales Legends eked out a win in a high scoring battle 9-8, handing the Miracles their only defeat of the tournament. The Miracles coach is Frankie Cruz, a

native of Puerto Rico who grew up in the Tampa Bay area. He played baseball at Brandon High School and at St Leo University. Cruz then went back to Puerto Rico to play professionally for eight seasons in AA competition before returning to this area. Cruz, assisted by Jose` Ocasio, was surprised at the poise that his young team had and how well they handled the pressure. According to Cruz, the semifinal game played on Sunday was a pitcher’s duel. “In my opinion, baseball is a game of pitching. Whoever has the best pitching usually wins the game. On Sunday, we had the best pitching. The pitcher in our semifinal

“We only had to use one pitcher in each game,” Cruz recalled. “That was unbelievable! In the final, Joey pitched great, too. Once again, we played flawless defense. On offense we didn’t crush the ball, but when we had runners in scoring position, we usually hit the ball and got them home. These kids did great. There was a lot of pressure, because every game was a close one. But, these kids played relaxed. It also helps that our pitchers didn’t give up many walks. I believe that Josiah and Joey only gave up one walk a piece. Good pitching, good defense and opportune hitting is how we came out on top.” Miracle players include Luis Ocasio, Donavan Anglan, Logan Castro, Jake Herbert, Frank Cruz, Josiah Lara, Joey Stancombe, Dean Collins, Jacob Voelkner, and Andrew Araque.

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


In remembrance of Shirley Crum 15% OFto the PROFITS IN OCTOBER WILL BE DONATED National Breast Cancer Foundation

New Owners Lisa and Scott Perry with Tony DeFrancesco.

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At PrimeCare Plant City, you get more than just medical attention; you get our undivided attention. With complete health care services, we offer everything from routine checkups to treatments of minor emergencies. Above all, we offer patients the kind of old-fashioned, personal service that's hard to find these days.

Stop by to take a tour of our office and meet the doctors & staff.


october 2011

Dr. Sumita Chandran

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813-717-9000 • 1706 South Alexander Street Plant City, Fl 33563 Regular Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8AM-5PM (Lunch 12 NOON - 1PM) SE HABLA ESPANOL

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Trunk or Treat October 31st 5:30p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Face Painting Bounce House Games for Kids Candy & Food

Everyone has needs...physical, financial, emotional, and spiritual. So how does God meet these needs and what is the believer’s part? Join us for this sermon Series on Sundays 10:45am & 6:15pm. (Childcare provided).

Eastside Baptist Church 1318 E Calhoun St • Plant City, FL 813-754-2661

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


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

extra » senior of the month

Amy Booher senior of the month

Written By: Jeremy Minaya




Appearing In Brand New TV Series “MAGIC CITY” Now Filming In Miami.

Bealls Dept. Store Easter Fashion Show Principal Role.

Appearing In Brand New TV Series “MAGIC CITY” Now Filming In Miami.


Currently ranked 18th in her class, Amy is in the top 4% of seniors with a 5.47 GPA. Due to her excellence in academics, Amy has been awarded the flag football scholar athlete award for three years. Booher was also chosen as the PCHS representative for the Hugh O’Brien Youth (HOBY) conference her sophomore year.


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Amy is a dedicated Christian as well. Since her freshman year, she has been a member of the St. Peter’s Episcopal youth group and has been a church acolyte all four years. Amy has also been extremely involved with the Raider Buddies club. She was secretary her junior year and serves now as president. The job includes pairing lant City High School senior Amy up the special needs students with the Booher goes above and beyond in general education students. Amy hopes everything she does. From sports to to form friendships and bonds that will services, Amy invariably sets the example last a lifetime. This month she helped of true leadership and stewardship. organize and facilitate the Every Buddy’s Beautiful Fashion Show; a fashion show Sports are an important part of her life. orchestrated by the cosmetology club She captained the JV volleyball team her for the buddies, who are the show’s stars. freshman year and has been on varsity This annual event is the highlight of the since she was a sophomore. In her junior year for the buddies because it proves that and senior years, she was varsity captain. Amy has also played varsity flag football all everyone is indeed beautiful. four years and has been captain since her Last year, Amy co-founded a special needs sophomore year. karate class. As lead instructor, she teaches Additionally, Booher manages to do karate karate basics to special needs students each outside of school. She has been a member Friday. of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) In the future, Booher plans to pursue a since her freshman year and has earned degree in special education at Vanderbilt an AAU national championship all four years. Amy is an AAU national champion University. When asked why she chose this field, Amy responded, “I want to give back six time medalist and an AAU Junior to the special needs kids for all the great Olympics gold medalist in weapons and things they have given me.” in sparring. Booher even qualified for the USA International karate team. The leadership skills Amy has learned and the love she has shared throughout Amy uses her knowledge in karate to high school, especially through the Raider coach others. She has been an AAU Buddies program, will ensure her much American Sport Education Program success in the future. (ASEP) coach since her freshman year. Last year, Booher was certified as an AAU double goal technical coach.


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extra » senior of the month

Justin keel senior of the month

written by: jeremy minaya bank and also to provide toys for families who struggled financially during the holiday season. “I wanted to reach out and help families who are less fortunate, so that they may have a happier holiday season,” explained Keel when asked why he started this group. Since then, the Team Santa group has expanded and they expect to help many more families this year.





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Taking you on every step of the way on your LAST journey to the new, improved, healthier you that’s “weighting” to emerge!

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ustin Keel is the perfect example of a selfless person. From service projects to just being an endearing friend, Justin is a humble, yet driven, leader. With a 4.84 GPA, he is currently ranked 60th in a class of 409 seniors. Keel was inducted into the National Honor Society his sophomore year for his academic achievements. He was also awarded the tennis scholar athlete award his freshman year and the soccer scholar athlete award his junior year. Justin has been a member of the Plant City High School Junior Civitan Club since his freshman year. Sponsored by Civitan International, Junior Civitan reaches out to the community through service projects such as the annual canned food drive. As Secretary of Civitan this year, Justin has been very involved in advertising and recruiting new members into the club. In their sophomore year, Justin and a few of his friends started a Team Santa group to raise money for the local food


october 2011

Keel has been a member of the soccer and tennis teams since his freshman year and lettered in both sports all four years. Last year Justin earned the 2nd place slot in singles competition during the 2011 District 3 Boys Tennis Championships. This year, the boy’s soccer and tennis teams are expected to do well. He credits his tennis soccer success to involvement with the Lancer Club Soccer Team since his freshman year. Due to his strong leadership in both sports and service, Justin has been awarded several times. Keel was selected to attend the Young Leaders Conference at the University of Florida his sophomore year. Last year Justin was awarded the 2011 Anne Frank Humanitarian Award for his selfless and good-hearted service to better the lives of others through efforts with the local food bank. Keel was also selected to attend the West Point Society Ethics Leadership Conference at the University of Tampa last year. Chosen by PCHS Administration, Justin was a Junior Usher in all of the PCHS 2011 Graduation Activities. In upcoming years, Justin plans to attend the University of Florida to major in either Business or Finance. Keel’s community involvement has instilled good morals and humility that will serve him well throughout his life.

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foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011










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october 2011




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foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


extra » al reuchel phone, whatever that is, or for that matter tearing down the walls for the tablets trying to price break the big Apple. For better or worse, and mostly better, Apple users are more loyal than Washington’s troops when they crossed the Potomac. Whether it’s the cool factor or maybe because we still have old Apple products laying around the house that still work… we love the functionality and the ability to sync our life with pictures, music, and conversation without being a computer genius. And how many times have my Apple products crashed or locked up? Honestly, I can only remember two or three times in the past 15 years. And I don’t get those annoying screen messages that treat me like I’m a computer technician. I want to work and get stuff done and enjoy my time on these Apple machines and not worry about writing code or trying to develop my own work arounds. So yes, I’m disappointed there is no 5… yet. I’m not one of the 49 percent of iPhone users who say they will upgrade to the 4s. I’ll patiently wait for the 5, which I hear will have a larger screen, more memory, weigh less and have a cool new beveled/curved display with 3D capabilities, surround sound, and bucket seats and anything else I can dream up and get the blogging world to bite on like a shark circling a piece of raw meat. We mourn with the Apple family as they mourn the loss of their Co-Founder Steve Jobs. Our prayers are with all of you.

So what’s in a number? I t’s a 4 and not a 5. Not a 3 or a 2 or even a 6. It’s a 4… and an “S” tossed in on the end just in case we need reinforcement that we are actually getting something new.

I’m talking about the newest Apple iPhone. Everyone in the tech world was hoping and praying we’d see something new. Some were hoping for a bigger screen to compete with the Android. We heard via the rumor mill it might be slimmed down. It was going to be fatter at


october 2011

the top and narrower at the bottom with a large home bar to boot.

But no. We get the same thing with some new innards. We get a faster phone with more memory and better voice recognition. Technically it is much better than the old 4… but it’s still a 4.

Written By: Al Reuchel

or so?

Problem is we have come to expect that the largest corporation in the United States will wow us every time they make an announcement. And for the most part they have. Apple TV, the iPad, iTunes. iPod… have we forgotten so quickly? Apple’s on top of its game, but everyone else is trying to catch up, and maybe with some phones they are ahead a tiny bit.

Folks, it’s all about the hype and this time the hype didn’t match the product. Is that Apple’s fault or are we so stinking gizmo crazy we feel cheated if we aren’t treated to Still, I don’t see many people standing in a new technical gadget every six months line to get an Android or the Microsoft

“Apple’s on top of its game, but everyone else is trying to catch up, and maybe with some phones they are ahead a tiny bit. ”

2 Great Chances to WIN Your Own



1 9 9 6

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

■ Advanced Modern Technology ■ Cancer Care Close to Home ■ Prostate Seed Implants ■ Medicare, Medicaid, Most HMO’s ■ CT Simulation ■ 3-D Conformal Therapy ■ Intensity Modulated Radio Therapy ■ Breast Brachy Therapy

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

ALL AVAILABLE THROUGH THE CENTER 303 North Alexander Street, Call 813-719-7705 for appts/consultations foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


extra » derek maul “We were designed and created for the purpose of living a life that means something. Not just in the eternal but the here and now. Not just the hereafter but today, this very day, the one we’re looking at from the vantage point of another new morning.” purpose of living a life that means something. Not just in the eternal but the here and now. Not just the hereafter but today, this very day, the one we’re looking at from the vantage point of another new morning. Over the next few weeks I’m going to be surfing the world-wide-world by investing myself in the wonder that is life: • Loving Rebekah with all the imagination and commitment and faithfulness and creative energy I can muster. • Becoming a granddaddy for the very first time! • Putting quality time into relationships with people. People rock! • Showing up at church and getting involved in the cool stuff going on there. • Walking the dog with my smartphone turned off. • Doing my very best at work. • Reading great books. fingertips. Contact with sources and source And by living large I’m not saying “Spend • Investing in my faith via prayer and documents can be facilitated in seconds. lots of money.” Money may be able to open Bible-study. Editors (and their rejection letters) are just some doors, but money has absolutely • Working in the garden. nothing to do with the fundamental the stroke of a few keys away. • Traveling to a men’s conference to orientation of living large. Living large is keynote and teach. a decision. “WWW” = Good. • Playing my guitar. • Traveling to Italy to enjoy some Surf the world-wide-world: I’d argue that living large works best as a quality time with my son. faith-based decision, because it’s built into • But today I want to tweak the “www” a Fall in love a little more with this our essential nature as human beings to little, and recommend we all spend less amazing planet. live the life abundant. time online and a little more time surfing • Plus a whole bunch of other stuff I the “world-wide-world”. I was inspired can’t think of at this moment.... this week when my son labeled his photo The Bible word “Gospel” means good news. A huge element of the good news - “Liechtenstein, country number 36 “Because of the LORD’s great love we are is the fact that we were designed and knocked off the list.” not consumed, for his compassions never created for the purpose of life that means fail. They are new every morning;
great something. Not just in the eternal but the Now that is awesome. Personally, I can is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, ‘The here and now. Not just the hereafter but count just 27 nations (thus far). But I’m LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait not simply talking about international today, this very day, the one we’re looking for him.’” - Lamentations 3:22-24 at from the vantage point of another new travel when I say, “Surf the world-widemorning. world.” I’m talking about the deliberate New every morning! The possibilities are decision to be intentional about living endless. There is so much to enjoy and to Here’s my point: large. love and to be thankful for. Why don’t you We were designed and created for the join me? Surf the World-Wide-World!

Surf the World-Wide-World I Written By: derek maul

love the Internet. It’s the perfect complement to my life as a writer.

This may be a magazine article, but most people read me via my blog (www. The miracle of the world-wide-web enables them to look over my shoulder as I do my morning devotions, sit at the keyboard, and get my writing engine running for the day. I rely on the world-wide-web. I can’t imagine how I’d begin to survive as a professional writer if it suddenly went away. Yesterday my son, Andrew, captured a photograph of Liechtenstein while traveling in Europe. He posted it on Facebook and I immediately pirated the image to paste into my blog. Because of the Internet, the pictures I take on my camera and my phone are instantly available. Research opportunities are at my


october 2011

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CHICKEN & SEAFOOD Fresh Chicken, Never Frozen Pressure Cooked in Pure Peanut Oil Complete Dinners

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At the corner of Thonotosassa & Alexander St SERVING SERVING PLANT PLANT CITY CITY SINCE SINCE 1969 1969


Please this paper! 88

october 2011

extra » Auto Review

Trucks That Just Work Chevrolet Silverado Gets the Job Done C

better ride and the skid plate offers a little extra protection for those that tend to be off-road on a frequent basis.

submitted By: Brian West

hevrolet has been making trucks for decades, and each new model year brings additional reliability. The 2011 Silverado is no different, and our friends at Bartow Chevrolet gave us an opportunity to try one for a few days. The model tested was a Crew Cab 4WD Z71 with all the bells and whistles: power windows, leather interior, a rear-facing camera for backing up and a sunroof.

trips with the family. If your children are small enough, the extra room may be enough to keep siblings at bay from one another – no more, ‘I’m not touching you’ moments that bring parents to their wits end. The instrument layout is sensible. The 2WD to 4WD control knob is located to the left of the steering wheel, and most everything else located in the center dash.

The rear-facing camera is a great feature. If you’re someone who has trouble When you first climb into the Silverado, backing up a large vehicle, or backing you can’t help but notice how much room up anything for that matter, the camera there is with the Crew Cab. It can easily could be your newest best friend. Once seat five 6-footers – without sacrificing the truck is in reverse, the center display anyone’s legroom or overall comfort. automatically converts to a full-sized This can be a big bonus for those long view at the rear of the vehicle.

Under the hood, this Crew Cab is available with a 5.3 liter V8 providing 335hp or a 6.2 liter V8 with 403hp. Either engine will offer ample power for most tasks you’ll need to perform with this truck. Opt for the 6.2 liter if you’ll be doing lots of hauling or towing. You’ll find the extra power very helpful in those situations. The ride is really smooth and the handling is great. The long wheelbase definitely helps to muffle the little bumps and imperfections in the road. The Z71 Off-Road Package includes an off-Road suspension, 46mm twintube high-pressure gas-charged shocks and a skid plate package with a framemounted shield. The shocks provide a

Whether you’re someone using a truck around the ranch on a daily basis, or just the person who enjoys driving a truck, needs the extra room for passengers and likes to have the features needed for those ‘just in case something happens’ situations, the Chevy Silverado Crew Cab 4WD Z71is a great truck. And if you haven’t driven a newer truck and you’re still holding on to your old pickup, it may be time for an upgrade. Many people are surprised at the improvements in overall handling. Trucks these days drive just as easy as cars. If you’re looking for a new truck, stop by and visit the folks at Bartow Chevrolet. Tell them you read about the Silverado in Focus Magazine.

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011



october 2011



2010 FOCUS

Thank You For Voting Us Best Cuban

2005 W. Baker St., Plant City • (813) 752-9202

Sausage Gravy and Biscuits Meat, Egg and Cheese breakfast Cuban Premium Coffee 12oz. 70¢ plus tax For Lunch....Large sandwich menu Authentic Cuban Sandwiches (pressed on request) Extreme Fresh Salads Homemade Spanish Bean Soup Hand made Shakes


$ 95

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Monday-Friday 2 eggs, Bacon, Ham or Sausage, grits & potatoes, toast with tea, coffee, or soda.

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Open For Breakfast!

Terrific Breakfast at Terrific Price!

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1/2 lb. Burger with French Fries

1505 N. Wheeler St. Plant City, FL 33563 Open Monday–Saturday 6:30am–5pm • Closed Sunday


$ 95


$ 65

10 Jumbo Shrimp w/ 2 sides

Open: Mon.-Sat 6 am- 8 pm • Sunday 6 am- 2 pm


You can View our Menu online at

FREE 16 oz. Tea

Order of $7 or more

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EXPIRES 12-2011

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


entertainment » dining profile

olDe Town pizzeria & pasTa

olde toWn Pizzeria & Pasta did we really just come for salad? a written by: joHn ross

lright, Plant City residents… you know what time it is. This “Strawberry Capital of the World” is gearing up for strawberry season soon, so get ready to pull your kids out of grade school a few months from now to help with the delightful harvest*. Everyone is joining the frenzy, and Olde Town Pizzeria is no exception. For the Dining section of FOCUS this month, we decided to come out and try the award winning Strawberry Walnut Salad, and we weren’t disappointed. First, let it be noted that Olde Town Pizzeria & Pasta accepted an award for Best Salad 2010 at the RCA awards last year. Karen Williams, general manager of Olde Town Pizzeria and winner of Best Server Award 2010,was proud to bring the same salad to us on a large plate. We grabbed the tongs and helped ourselves to the diced strawberries, romaine lettuce, mozzarella cheese, candied chopped walnuts, and red wine vinaigrette. The greens were fresh and crisp and the candied walnuts gave the salad a sweet taste that tantalized the tastebuds bite after bite. Despite how much of it we ate,


october 2011

there was still a big pile to take home afterward. For $8.49, one can’t go wrong.

Let’s not kid ourselves- we were there primarily to get in the Strawberry Season Spirit with the salad, but we weren’t about to leave without tearing into one of Olde Town’s deep dish pizzas. After all, Olde Town Pizzeria did also take home Best Pizza 2010 at the RCA awards last year. First of all, though, what’s the reason that people love deep dish pizza in general? Why, because the tall crust allows it to be filled with inordinate amounts of freshly made mozzarella cheese and tart homemade sauce, of course! We had the Olde Town Special that comes with pepperoni, cheese, bacon, and sausage. The crust was soft and moist, and even the edges chewed with ease, making it fun and easy to mow right through. The only thing keeping us from finishing the whole pie was the sweet salad we ate beforehand.

Come by Olde Town Pizzeria & Pasta and let them know that FOCUS sent you. *Please don’t actually take your children out of school to harvest strawberries

(813)752-5800 olDeTownpizzeria.Com 3011 james l reDman pkwy planT CiTy, fl 33566 open 7 Days a week from 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

» dining guide

find deals online at

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asian chen chinese buffet


resh specialties, top chefs, and great prices are what you can expect at The Asian Chen Restaurant located in the Thonotosassa Publix shopping area. Find out why customers are raving about this new fine dining establishment. Monday-Thursday 10:30am-10pm. FridaySaturday 10:30am-11pm: Sunday 11:30am-10pm. Seniors receive a complimentary beverage with their meal and party trays are available.

2609 thonotosassa rd. plant city, fl 33563 813-757-9888




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 •

cowboy’s saloon and steakhouse


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 bread, 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

mi casa


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• foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


» dining guide

find deals online at

special advertisement

olde town pizzeria


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 •

plant city hometown buffet


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, especially if you’re looking for seafood with their catfish, stuffed crab, buttered shrimp and much, much, more.

1914 james l redman parkway plant city, fl 33563 813-754-4488

the red rose dining room


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 •



axby’s offers its guests indescribably good prepared-at-order Chicken Fingerz, Jumbo Buffalo Wings, sandwiches, Zalads, Zappetizers and milkshakes along with a variety of sauces.

Zaxby’s also offers Party Platterz and catering which are perfect for any size event. Visit Zaxby’s location in Plant City at 2901 1/2 James Redman Pkwy. to find out for yourself how delicious and flavorful Zaxby’s is.


october 2011

2901 1/2 james redman pkwy. plant city, fl 33564 (813) 752-1971 •

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

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


(813) 707-9303

2301 James L Redman Parkway, Plant City, FL

2010 FOCUS



2301 James L Redman Parkway, Plant City Expires 11-15-11 (813) 707-9303


2301 James L Redman Parkway, Plant City Expires 11-15-11 (813) 707-9303

Were not just Pizza, Come try our Hambugers and Chicken and Steak too! Lunch and Dinner specials every day! and View our Printable Menu on


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october 2011


This football season is better than ever! With so many Zaxby’s Party Platterz™ to choose from, you’ll taste victory before your team hits the field! Try any of these conference favorites like the Chicken Fingerz Platter, the Cookie Platter, the Chicken Salad Nibblerz Platter or even the Zalad Platter. With a lineup this good, your appetite will be satisfied even if the game goes into overtime. ®

2901 1/2 James Redman Pkwy.

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Prices may vary by location. Each restaurant independently owned and operated. © 2011 Zaxby’s Franchising, Inc. “Zaxby’s” and “Party Platterz” are trademarks of Zaxby’s Franchising, Inc.

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011



Pkwy 2307 James L Redman

NOW OPEN BENT TWIG 1514 South Alexander Street, Suite 102 Plant City, FL 33563 (813) 417-6166 Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm





Seasonal Wreaths & Floral Accents Holiday & Home Decor Handcrafted Accessories & Gifts




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Limit one coupon per customer per visit. Coupon must be presented at time of purchase. Store must retain coupons. No substitutions allowed. No cash refunds. Void if copied or transferred and where prohibited or restricted by law. Consumer must pay applicable tax. May not be combined with any other coupon, discount, or promotion. Coupon may not be reproduced, copied, purchased, traded, or sold. Internet distribution strictly prohibited. Cash redemption value 1/20 of 1 cent. Good at 2307 JAMES L. REDMAN PKWY- PLANT CITY 813-659-1300.


october 2011


( new ownership) We Buy Wrecked or Damaged Motor Homes, Trucks, & Junk Cars



entertainment » red rose Brooke Smith was also in the dining room on the same Friday night as the Mystics. She was celebrating her 9th birthday with her mother, Stacy Smith and grandparents, Buzz and Nancy Hooper. Dressed in her long black and white dress with the newest feather braid in her hair, the third grader was having a “Princess” birthday party. Her “Prince of a Poppa” whisked her across the dance floor to the sounds of Ralph Allocco & Second Wind. When asked about her magical evening, Brookie happily and emphatically responded, “I love it here! It is really fun. I like the shows. I have been here two other times.” Red Rose accommodated Brookie’s young appetite and food choices by serving her one of her favorites . . . spaghetti! Brookie chimed in, “Last time I got chicken tenders with lots of fries.” David Wright, emcee for the Dining Room entertainment, recognized Brookie and other guests in the audience celebrating special events such as birthdays and anniversaries. He offered each guest complimentary pictures to capture the moment of the special occasion.

Carlos Rojas opens Red Rose entertainment on the weekends performing Latin music as well as romantic music from the past. Photo by Sherrie Mueller

Red Rose Dining Room T written by: Sherrie Mueller

he Red Rose Dining Room proves the myth untrue that Friday night dining is ordinary and uneventful. On a recent Friday evening the famous Mystics dined together at the 5-star venue while listening to the sounds of three different performing groups: Carlos Rojas, Destiny and Ralph Allocco and Second Wind. The Mystics were congenial with the other dining guests and happily answered questions about their success together and their positive thoughts about the Red Rose Inn and Suites. Five members comprise The Mystics group. George Galfo and his uncle Phil Cracolici are two of the original Mystics still active with the group. Other Mystics include Ralph Roberts, Joe Neary and Howard Sprotzer. The group performs at the Red Rose Dining Room four to five times a year and considers it a “second home.” Although all five members are originally from Brooklyn, New York they now call Florida their home. The Mystics formed as a group in the 195758 Era. Many music enthusiasts and fans remember their number one hit “Hushabye,” the national and international hit recorded in 1959. Laurie Records

received a Gold Record for this recording sensation.

When asked why the group returns regularly to Plant City and the Red Rose Inn and Suites, lead singer George Galfo enthusiastically responded, “People in Plant City are wonderful! We enjoy coming here. The Madonia’s (owner of the Red Rose Inn and Suites) treat us like family. We love them!” Joe Neary added, “I want us to move here. The people of Plant City are so nice and refreshing.” Howard Sprotzer approvingly quipped, “The hospitality of the Red Rose Inn and Suites is phenomenal. The Madonia’s and the staff of the Red Rose treat me better than my own family. t is really hard to describe.” The group always stays at the Red Rose Inn and Suites when in the area. They all agreed, calling the food “marvelous” and the service “excellent.” They added, “The accommodations are great! We recommend it to our traveling friends.” When asked about the secret to their continued success Mr. Galfo reflected, “People appreciate the memories we bring back.” Joni Sperling is the group’s manager. Joni and George both have suites named for them at the Red Rose Inn and

Exceeds Expectations!

Suites. George’s suite is named “George’s Red Rose Rhapsody” while Joni’s is called “Joni’s Red Rose Cottage.” Mark your calendars now for their return on December 17 and the “Mystical Serenade Holiday Show” at the Red Rose. The Red Rose is known for “magical” evenings and this is true for all age groups.

Magical moments occur every day at the Red Rose Inn and Suites. Next time book your special day at the Red Rose Inn and Suites. The professional staff and setting will always far exceed expectations to create magical moments that will last a lifetime. For reservations call 813-752-3141. The Red Rose Inn and Suites is located at 2011 N. Wheeler Street in Plant City.

Brookie Smith enjoys a dance with her Nanna and Poppa, Nancy and Buzz Hooper. Photo by Sherrie Mueller foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


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Morgan Stanley Smith Barney 4890 W. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 700 Tampa, FL. 33609 813-286-5626 © 2011 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.


october 2011

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foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


entertainment » artist of the month

Miracles Happen Local Artist Creates Visions of Joy and Beauty written By: Heather Davis


ennifer Carlough is an artist who makes miracles happen. With every piece of art she creates, she brings joy to others. Whether she is painting florals and still lifes or creating inspirational pieces that speak from her heart, everything she touches becomes a thing of fine art and beauty. Jennifer was blessed with a natural born talent that takes your breath away. From an early age she’s been recognized for her artistic endeavors. As a 16-year-old, she traveled to Washington to accept a National Gold Key Award from Scholastic for her pop-up book she entitled “Seeds To Centerpiece”. Jennifer continued to pursue her artistic talent and eventually received a Bachelors degree in fine art.

Jennifer’s choice of medium is mainly acrylic and oil, but she also enjoys working with colored pencils and pen. She draws her inspiration from things she finds in daily life and loves to focus on things that people may overlook. An avid bicyclist, Jennifer often captures images on her camera phone that she later reshapes in a vivid, literal way on canvas. When painting Jennifer becomes so engrossed in the process that she loses track of time for a whole day. Jennifer’s joy comes from sharing her art with others. In doing so, she creates miracles for others to see and appreciate. To view more of Jennifer Carlough’s artwork, you may visit the Art Gallery Lounge located at 119 East Reynolds St., Plant City.

Always busy being a part of the Plant City community, Jennifer is ready to let her light shine by becoming one of the newest members of the Art Lounge Gallery. As an active member of Liberty Southern Baptist Church, Jennifer has shared her talent by creating murals as well as combining her creative talents for arts and crafts with others during Vacation Bible School.


We Bring the Savings to WORKSHOP 2 WORKSHOP 1

FUNdamentals of Coupons

Teaches basic techniques for obtaining and organizing coupons, along with specific store policies in order to save 50% or more on your weekly bill, including baby care, pet care and household items!


october 2011



of Store Incentives

Reviews the incentive plans and programs available at store which will enable you to get items at a rock bottom price, or even free!


FUNdamentals of Stockpiling

An advanced workshop explaining the sales cycles on items and how to create an inventory enabling you to never have to pay full price for an item!

Attention Business Owners ~ A Workshop can be a great benefit to offer your Employees Treat them to learning how they can save money for their Families every week! Call now to Schedule your Workshop and receive a Free personal Follow up Session!

FINAL DEDICATION CEREMONY FOR 2011 Brick Dedication Dec 7, 2011 11:30am

The Veterans’ Memorial Monument Park at Courier Field provides a dignified and permanent way to honor our brave veterans through the US Veterans’ Engraved Brick project. Orders are now being accepted for the 2011 final dedication event on Wednesday, December 7. With the Holiday Season fast approaching, now is the perfect time to honor a special veteran with a lasting tribute that shows them their sacrifices and commitment to preserve our cherished freedoms will never be forgotten.

Public is Invited to attend

Orders must be placed by Nov 10, 2011

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

Payment enclosed:


Money Order

$150 Each Brick

Donor’s Name: Mailing Address: Phone Number:

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

The public is invited to attend the special dedication event to be held at the Veterans Memorial Monument Park on Wednesday, December 7, 2011, at 11:30 a.m. All brick orders received by November 10, 2011, will be included in the presentation. To place your order, please complete the order form above and attach your check or money order in the amount of $150 payable to Plant City Armed Forces Memorials Foundation, Inc. You may include the name, rank, branch of service and dates if they fit into the character limits of 15 characters per line. Remember, to be included in the December 7 dedication, orders must be received by November 10, 2011. Don’t delay ... place your order and honor a veteran today!

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

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


We are so proud of you!

Steven Richardson Stetson College of Law Graduated on May 14, 2011 Juris Doctor Degree Steven passed the Florida Bar Exam on September 19, 2011 . Steven is currently working at Heritage Law Group City. in Plant Cit

We Love You, Mom & Dad


october 2011

plant city

entertainment » event calendar

calendar of events

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


» Lunch and Learn Starts and noon A power lunch series for entrepreneurs that focuses on “Small Business ownership and entrepreneurship. Hillsborough Community College $8.00 suggested donation at the door for the cost of lunch For more information call Juan Lynum 813-4430272


» Cracker Country Fest Starts 6:30 pm The 2nd annual charity event sponsored by Daybreak Rotary Club to benefit the United Food Bank of Plant City and Charities of Plant City Daybreak Rotary. Dress is country casual or camo. There will also be a blue grass band, wild game cooking and a “Handy Man” auction. 2506 Clubhouse Drive Plant City, Florida $75.00 Per person For more information and to reserve tickets, contact George or Cassandra Banning 813-759-1638


» Plantacious Fall Festival 8am to 4pm The 2nd annual fall festival will have an antiques and crafts market place, family entertainment, chili cook-off, face painting, hay bale maze and more. There will also be antique appraisers from 8am to 3pm. Historic Downtown Plant City For more information, call the Chamber office 813-754-3707 » 17TH Annual Golf Tournament Registration begins at 11am, tournament starts at 1pm Plant City Optimist Club along with Plant City Recreation &Parks Department will be hosting the event to raise money for Youth Flag Football, Youth Basketball, Youth Soccer, Little League Baseball and other various youth activities. There will be a putting contest, two long drive holes, two closest to the pin holes and a door prize raffle. Walden Lake Golf & Country Club 2001 Clubhouse Drive, Plant City $60.00 per player; sponsorships also available For more information call Walt Arnold 813-7521602 » City of Plant City Halloween Festival & Haunted Tunnel 5:30-9PM Inflatables, Rock Wall, Boxing Robots and more... Cost: $7 per child ages 2 and up $6 for children in

Costume Planteen Recreation Center, 301 Dort St. For more information call 659-4256


» Rachel’s Challenge 9:15-10:15 a.m. *6th graders & concerned adults) 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. - *7th/8th graders & concerned adults) 6:30 p.m. - All are welcome An event to help promote positive community in student bodies. Tomlin Middle School Admittance is free

Wednesday, October 26th

» Shiloh Baptist Church is hosting a Trunk or Treat from 6:00-8:00pm. The fall celebration will include jousting, popcorn, snow cones, exotic creatures, fun costumes, prizes & giveaways, hotdogs, live band, giant slide and moonwalk, a rockwall, and of course, lots and lots of candy. Shiloh is located at 905 W Terrace Dr, Plant City, FL 33563. For more information call 813-7547445


» Bowling Tournament 2pm to 6 pm Chambered sponsored tournament to help finance the Chamber Foundation for Scholarships. Thirty teams of four will compete. Family Bowl in Plant City For more information call Chamber office 813754-3707 or e-mail


» Drive One 4UR School 9am to 4 pm Jarrett-Scott Ford is providing various Ford vehicles like Fiesta F150 and Fusion at Durant High School for people to test drive. Ford will donate $20.00 for each test drive, and drivers must be 18 or older. Parking lot at Durant at the corner of Turkey Creek Road and Keysville Road For more information, contact Jason Swilley 813752-4171 » Bethany Baptist Church Fall Festival 6pm to 8:30pm Food, games, hay-ride, face painting and more. Come out for a fun time. 3409 N. Cork Rd Plant City, Florida 33565 For more information 813-752-9209

Monday, October 31st

» Eastside Baptist Church is hosting a Trunk or Treat from 5:30 to 8:00 pm. The event will include face painting, a bouce house, games for kids, candy and food. Eastside is located at 1318 E Calhoun St. For more information call 813754-2661.


» Plant City Entertainment “Don’t Tell Your Mother” 8 pm An uproarious comedy and family fun. 101 North Thomas St., Plant City Ticket prices $10 for members and group advance sales, $12 for senior citizens, non-members and students through 12th grade, $14 for general admission for non-members For more information visit their website: www.

Saturday, November 5

» Festival of Joy Trinity United Methodist Chruch 8AM-2PM Huge Flea Market/Yard Sale Plant Sale Free Haircuts and health Screenings and more 416 Walter Drive, Plant City For more information call the church at 813.752.9316


» Dancing with the Locals The Noon Rotary Club is hosting this fun-filled evening. Red Rose Inn & Suites For more information call Brett Muller 813-7526193


» Florida Opry Returns Doors open at 5pm, Show starts at 6pm Family friendly entertainment. 1914 Plant City High School Community Center » Empty Bowls Lunch 11 a.m. to 1:30 pm Raise awareness to hunger and enable all ages to work together to help those in need in the community. All proceeds will benefit the United Food Bank of Plant City. $10 suggested donation For more information visit the website: www.ufbpc. biz/upcomingevents or call Silvia Dodson 813-7541521 ext. 14


» Plant City Entertainment “Don’t Tell Your Mother” 8 pm An uproarious comedy and family fun. 101 North Thomas St., Plant City Ticket prices $10 for members and group advance sales, $12 for senior citizens, non-members and students through 12th grade, $14 for general admission for non-members For more information visit their website: www.


students through 12th grade, $14 for general admission for non-members For more information visit their website: www.

» Plant City Entertainment “Don’t Tell Your Mother” 2 pm An uproarious comedy and family fun. 101 North Thomas St., Plant City Ticket prices $10 for members and group advance sales, $12 for senior citizens, non-members and


» Pig Jam Starts at 10 am to 5 pm 9th annual prize winning barbeque festival event. Many Chamber of Commerce giveaways. 1500 South Park Road, Plant City $5 car parking fee


» Auditioning now Vocalists for the Upcoming Musical Tin Pan Alley Show Scheduled for December 9th and 10th in Plant City Tickets are Available at Hardee Fashions 1501 N. Wheeler St. Admittance by Reservation For more information contact Al Cohen 707-0788 Red Rose Inn and Suites Ongoing Events: Red Rose Inn and Suites- Every Monday Learn to Dance with Susan 7 to 9 pm. Learn and 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 and 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 deserts 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 Melissa Malone or Tony Johnson! Strawberry Square, 4401 Pomenade 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: or call the office: 813-752-0491

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


Going Pink for October CRYSTAL












Pink Hair Extensions • Pink Ink • Pink Feathers • Pink Tinsel

All Proceeds going to National Cancer Foundation


Formerly of Mystic Nail Salon


Formerly of Remedi Spa & Chiropractic


1701 SOUTH ALEXANDER ST. • PLANT CITY • 813-754-2300


october 2011

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FOCUS Magazine

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011



october 2011

entertainment Âť crossword

A spooky halloween created By: Calvin R. and Jackie Mathews

foCUS Magazine Plant City october 2011


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october 2011


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Must present coupon at time of write up. May not be used with any other coupon. Shop supplies and tax extra. All Makes and Models.

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FOCUS Plant City 10-10  

FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 10-10, October 2011

FOCUS Plant City 10-10  

FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 10-10, October 2011